Sometimes You Don't Need a Reason

A Pink Dormouse Production

 

  A bar full of off-duty troopers fell silent as the man walked in. He wore a black waistcoat over a cream shirt and grey trousers. An out-moded blaster was slung low over his right thigh and another was tucked into the back of his belt. He had an over-confident swagger for one so obviously out of place as he walked straight up to the bar, slapped a pile of credit chips on the counter and drank his beer, when it arrived, straight from the bottle.

  Travis, sitting alone in a corner as always, watched this newcomer carefully, knowing that trouble was highly likely to follow. The stranger met his gaze then raised his glass in a mock toast before turning to face the bar once again.


***


  "We don't get many of your sort in here," the barman said conversationally as he opened another bottle of beer.

  "So I gather." Han Solo glanced around the room taking in the massed assembly of black uniforms, staring slightly longer at the officer he had eyed-up when he first walked in. It was quite a risk he was taking, drinking in the midst of the upholders of Federation Law and Order but, on reflection, a hell of a lot safer than drinking in any bar where he was liable to run into either business rivals or those lowlifes who mysteriously thought he owed them money.

  The planet was technically under martial law, which was what made it such a lucrative smuggling destination. Yet another good reason for drinking in here was that the noisier factions of the local trouble-making element had long since been eradicated, leading to a large number of bored troops and offering a hope of all manner of possibilities for recreation and additional profit. Although, from the look of it, there seemed to be little chance of the latter option with no card games at all for him to join and the former was looking unlikely too: Space Command was distinctly male-biased (this bar being very much in keeping with that) and the men here were giving the definite impression of being homosocial but determinedly heterosexual. With, he assumed, one or two exceptions, if he could just spot them.

  Conversations had broken out again amongst the various groups at assorted tables, indicating that no one was planning on challenging his right to be there just yet, although the solitary officer was still watching him. He had shifted his chair slightly so as to give his un-patched eye a clear line of sight in Han's direction.

  Han was two parts wary to one part intrigued. The man stood out in here almost as much as he himself did but then neither of them was going to be inconspicuous no matter where they drank. Gloves were not typically part of a Federation Officer's uniform although the man's black leather pair went well with the rest of his black leather uniform. The yellow-stoned ring on his left hand was a garish contrast to the get-up too, maybe an heirloom of some sort. And while he was giving out major 'keep the hell away from me' vibes to the entire room, he had hardly taken his eye off of Han since the smuggler walked in. 

  Han knew he was classier than the average smuggler in this corner of the galaxy: he had heard tell of one or two who came close but they always had inferior ships or less competent crews or both. He thought about joining the man at his table but officers were generally a way riskier proposition than troopers. As far as Han knew he had not appeared on any Wanted posters in this jurisdiction just yet - and was unlikely to before he shipped out home the way his plan was holding out - but you never knew quite where else someone like that had been.

  Best to let him make the first move then and if he proved unfriendly, well Han was a pretty damn good shot and as ludicrously quick on the draw as he told people he was.


***

  The noise levels in the bar were increasing as the troopers became drunker. Han thought that it was probably better to leave early and avoid getting mixed up in any drunken brawls. After all, he could not afford to waste any of his profits on bail and there was the little matter of what the authorities would say when they saw just who, or to their minds 'what', was likely to bring the bail funds to free him. He finished the bottle of beer in his hand and walked out. 


***

  Travis needed to know where the man was heading next although he was unsure whether it was through habitual suspicion of anything out of the ordinary or through some other, as yet undefined, interest in this stranger. He rose, which prompted a series of hasty curtailments to discussions amongst the troopers and shouldered his way through the silenced crowds. Once outside the door Travis glanced quickly around him, spotting his quarry walking self-assuredly through the milling pedestrians. Travis followed.

  The man left the busy main street and turned into a quieter side street and then into a deserted alley. Travis knew the area pretty well and tried to think of a route by which he could cut the man off and find out exactly what he was up to. 

  The alley led to a dead end. The man turned; leaned back against the wall, arms folded; stared challengingly. 

  'That's my role,' Travis wanted to say but the words got lost somewhere. "You took a big risk in there," he said instead.

  Two insolent brown eyes met his blue one again.

  "No one bothered me, did they?" the stranger said. He was tall, well put together, obviously used to manual labour. He had a hard to place accent that indicated he was from nowhere Travis had ever visited. "So. You going to arrest me, or what?"

  "What have you done?" Travis asked, looking around for indications of an ambush in progress.

  "Maybe it's what I'm planning to do you should be worried about." He winked and grinned.

  "Really?" Travis raised his functional eyebrow, still challenging, thinking that this was no ambush but could be very interesting indeed. A silence fell as they sized one another up.

  Travis made the next move, closing the distance between them to lock eyes with this insolent stranger.

  "So who are you?" he asked.

  "Solo's the name. Captain of the best ship you'll ever see. Probably the best pilot you'll ever meet as well."

  "Only probably?" Travis feigned surprise.

  "I can run rings around any of your military hotshots with one hand tied behind my back. But, like I say, I've got the best ship."

  'Prove it,' Travis nearly said but he craved physical contact, a weakness he despised in himself far more than in others. He glared at Solo with renewed malice, daring him to finish this round and move on to the next - obvious - stage of the encounter.

  Solo took a step forward and snaked his left arm behind Travis' back, pulling him in close. The right hand stayed thankfully gun-free. Which, combined with the erection now pressing against his own, gave Travis a pretty good idea where they were heading.

  "I suppose," Solo sneered, "this is where you tell me that respectable Federation Officers don't do such things."

  "Maybe they don't," Travis said. "But I do."

  "Not respectable, eh?" Solo slid his free hand between the pair of them and then between Travis' legs pushing the heel of his hand up against Travis' balls while his fingertips pressed further back sending shocks up Travis' spine and yet more blood rushing to his cock.

  Travis moved his right hand to the back of Solo's neck and dragged him into a bruising kiss, holding him there until he remembered about how breathing was a good idea. 

  Solo slid his hand up the seam of Travis' trousers and fiddled with the fastening.

  "What say we go some place more private?"

  'Here will do just fine,' Travis wanted to say. He glanced around, noting that the alley was still deserted. But maybe a little discretion would be wise. He slid his hand slowly, seductively down Solo's back as he released him. "Your place or mine?"

  Solo swung around pushing Travis into the wall and holding him there, a hand on each shoulder.

  "Docking Area C, Bay Twelve." He dropped his hands to his sides, turned and walked away, still with that really annoying confident swagger.

  Travis leaned against the wall waiting for his heart to slow to somewhere nearer normal rate and for his head to stop spinning. Obviously the whiskey had been less watered-down than usual since he was giving serious consideration to following.

  A hotel would have been acceptable - safe enough anyway - but an assignation with a, presumably non-Federation, offworlder on the man's own ship was just asking for trouble. By all that was sensible he should just forget it and go to a place three streets away, where he knew he could pay someone to suck him off, no questions asked. Travis spent a good ten minutes listing all the potential dangers then headed for the docks anyway.


***

  Of all the stupid, harebrained, crackpot ideas that Han had ever had, this one just about took the biscuit. He knew exactly what Chewie would say when he got back from wherever Wookies went on a world where hairy aliens were not exactly welcome. So he had one not-exactly-illegal alien co-pilot, one not-exactly-registered ship and one hell of a collection of proscribed cargoes in the hold: he was obviously more in need of getting laid than was healthy if he was resorting to inviting pretty-pretty-once Federation Officers to visit. This would have to be his last run in this area of space anyway. Off-load the cargoes on the various recipients, get paid and get the hell back to where he came from with a small fortune in gold and rocks, most of which unfortunately would have to go towards paying off Jabba and all of Han's other creditors.

  Han checked his chrono. Five minutes since he got back. He was betting on no more than ten before his conquest showed up. Fifteen at the outside. And if it got beyond twenty then he had better declare a red alert just in case the authorities decided to come along-with their minion. 

  "Ten minutes," Han said to the punching bag hanging in front of him. "I can't believe he's not coming." He delivered a series of blows to it that did nothing to improve his mood. The hatch-com buzzed and he threw one last overly vicious punch before answering it.

  "Solo."

  "Best ship I've ever seen? I think not." The man looked to be alone. Solo smiled to himself and palmed the hatch control.

  "You'd be surprised." Han rubbed his knuckles as the man walked onto the Falcon.

  "Surprise me then." 

  "Not without knowing your name. It's only fair since you know mine already."


***

  Travis thought carefully about what he should say. It would be oh so easy to lie to this outsider, who would probably be three systems away by tomorrow night and out of Federation Space soon after by the look of him. But then that was also a good reason to tell the truth, since Solo would be too busy getting away to bother passing on any unwelcome news to Space Command. Lies just complicated things most of the time anyway.

  "Travis." There was no need to say more than that since the other man had not. He looked over the fixtures of the ship, gauging where the rest of the crew might be located if this were an ambush after all. Be a bloody contrived one but even so he was cautious.

  Travis could still leave even now of course; coming here was not committing himself to anything. Then Solo grinned at him and they both knew he would be staying.

  "Drink?"

  Travis nodded. He leaned against a bulkhead, trying to look oh-so-calm, while feeling anything but.

  "Don't normally do this, huh?" Solo ducked under a beam and returned with a bottle of something too dark to be whiskey and two glasses.

  "Casual sex, yeah. Fucking on someone else's territory, no." Travis cursed inwardly; he had just given far too much away.

  "Your idea." Solo poured two fingers of whatever-it-was into each glass and handed one to Travis. "Now get that down yourself. You'll feel so much better for it."

  Travis took the proffered glass and sniffed at its contents. Strongly alcoholic, spiced, nothing he recognised. He downed a good half of the glass in one, feeling the liquid burn in a very pleasant way indeed.

  "You're supposed to sip it." Solo smiled then demonstrated. He leaned against the opposite bulkhead, arms folded, genuinely relaxed. "So what's with the arm?"

  Travis winced. He had kept both gloves on all evening so there was no reason Solo should have noticed. Still, maybe it was better if it were got out of the way now rather than later.

  "Same fire-fight I lost the eye in." He emulated Solo's easy grin, trying to pretend that none of it mattered. "I was careless enough to let the rebel scum we were arresting pull a gun on me."

  "Tough luck."

  "It wouldn't have been as bad if they'd let me kill him after. But, oh no, they had to have their show trial and prove just what a good little reformed citizen they'd turned him into. Bastards." Travis tried sipping his drink this time. He had to admit that it did taste better that way. "And what's your story?"

  "The usual. Came out of some back-of-beyond world you won't have heard of. Drifted around the galaxy, won this ship -" (Solo smiled lovingly) "- in a card game. Drifted some more, wound up here."

  Travis unwound a little; anyone who cared that deeply for his ship was unlikely to jeopardise it by picking a fight onboard. He raised his glass again and suddenly Solo was at his side, taking the glass from his hand.

  "I think we're done with the small talk," he said.

  Lust flared again in Travis, accompanied by another burst of rising panic. He should not be here; he should be around the bars where it was relatively safe rather than holed up in a docked freighter with someone who was almost certainly telling less of the truth than he ought to be.

  He forced the emotion back down: Solo had spotted his prosthetic arm but there was no way he could have realised there was a weapon lurking inside it. So Travis still had the other man out-gunned and at a disadvantage. Or so he thought, as Solo moved again and pinned him against the bulkhead. 

  "Let's see what you're made of," Solo said.

  Travis felt oddly light-headed. That would be an effect of whatever he had been drinking then: today was definitely not a high point for his common sense. He mentally shrugged and decided to go with the flow, allowing Solo to manoeuvre him away from the bulkhead then backwards until his knees contacted the edge of a bunk. Solo pushed him gently down and back and he collapsed onto the mattress, rolling onto his side then stretching out on his back. Thankfully he had a few minutes for the cabin to stop spinning while Solo removed both pairs of boots and socks before joining him on the bunk.

  "That uniform looks good on you but I bet you look better out of it." Solo was kneeling up on the bunk, straddling Travis' thighs. He reached down to tug the leather jacket open.

  Travis drew a shuddering breath and thought about not biting his lip. This was another good reason not to follow anyone home; there was always the chance that Solo might change his mind once he actually saw what was on offer. Travis focused on his co-ordination and reached both arms around Solo's back to pull him down onto top of him. Solo broke his descent with a hand on either side of Travis' head and grinned down at him.

  "Not ready for that, eh?" He lowered his head slowly into a series of long slow kisses. "Didn't see you as the romantic type but if that's what you want."

  Dead wrong on the former but a definite yes to the latter. Travis reckoned that if he could get the pair of them off without losing too many clothes then he would have got what he had set out for without any potential loss of dignity. Or something like that, he had to admit that he was enjoying the idea of a ridiculously prolonged - by his standards - session of foreplay.


***

  Travis had some pretty big hang-ups in Han's opinion, especially when it came to actually getting naked. He was tempted to go fetch the spice-wine again and see if that banished a few more of them but it was his last bottle and they were a long way from Kessel, where he could replenish his supplies. 

  So far he had managed to dispose of the right glove, which hid nothing particularly shocking - in exchange for his waistcoat - and both sets of visible weaponry. He still had his holdout blaster and was trying to figure out what Travis had that was comparable. Whatever it was, it seemed to be well hidden under all that leather. The jacket was definitely going to be the next item to end up on the other side of the cabin, even if he had to chew it off seam by seam. But first he would try a little intensive distraction.

  Han began a prolonged assault on Travis' neck with his mouth, edging the jacket's fastener down just a little further every time he nipped hard enough for Travis to whimper in response. The right side was going to be one big bruise by morning he noted - and heaven help the man if his superiors saw fit to comment. Travis seemed not to be worrying about that right now, judging by the way his hands were sliding all over Han's back, kneading at muscles and tracing up and down his spine.

  Han got the jacket open and moved across to the left side of Travis' neck. He slid his right hand inside the jacket and tweaked a silk-covered nipple. Travis twisted and sank his teeth into Han's shoulder. Now that was definitely cheating.

  Han twisted away, hearing more than feeling the shirt rip. And he had liked that shirt too. He straightened up, taking his weight on his knees and stifling the urge to backhand Travis across the already-damaged side of his face. He settled instead for pushing the jacket back off Travis' shoulders so his arms were more or less pinned to his sides. Han unbuttoned his shirt and pulled it off, not caring that the rip widened, throwing it into the far corner of the cabin.

  Travis struggled to push himself up on his elbows. The jacket slid further off both shoulders exposing flesh on the right and grey-white Kevlar on the left.

  "There," he snarled. "You've seen it. You may as well get me out of this altogether. Unless," he added more softly, "you prefer me immobilised."

  'And who bit you?' Han wanted to ask. He had found himself a real live one here but it was too late to give up and start hunting over again now. He pulled Travis up into a sitting position and eased him out of the jacket then lowered him back onto the bunk.

  The artificial arm was quite a piece of work. Travis was obviously worth a lot to Space Command if they went to all that expense to keep him on active service. Han had seen few enough Federation Officers with a missing eye or some other facial injury since his arrival but none with missing limbs before. Back home he knew that some worlds fitted their fighters with prostheses but the Federation hardly struck him as a benevolent authority, keeping its men in work no matter what.

  "Seen enough to put you off yet?" Travis asked, sounding very much like he was trying, and failing, to hide a very unhealthy dose of resentment.

  "Not at all." Han dropped his hands onto the sleeveless shirt still covering Travis' torso and ran his thumbs slowly over each nipple. Travis was doing a good job of not responding so Han did it again a couple of times until Travis reached up and pulled Han back down on top of him.

  "You realise," Han said, wincing slightly as Travis bit him a little too hard again, "that this is going to make it a lot harder for me to finish getting us naked."

  "I'm sure you're..." Travis pressed upwards doing nothing at all for Han's concentration, "very resourceful."

  Han slowly pushed the hem of the shirt up towards Travis' head, feeling an impressive collection of scars under his right hand. Travis winced.

  "Sore?" Han asked.

  "Not anymore. Just... you don't have to look, you know."

  "Why shouldn't I?"

  Travis' eye blazed in anger.

  "Don't you bloody dare feel sorry for me." He tried to twist away and out from under Han.

  "Now what gives you that idea?" Han rolled Travis back onto his back, removing the shirt as he did so. He glanced at the scars that continued down below the waist of Travis' leathers: no worse than some he had seen but then the Federation military seemed to have more rigid ideas about physical perfection than some circles he had moved in. He leaned down and ran his tongue over the more blatant ridges of damaged tissue that were visible.


***

  Travis almost came on the spot at that. He choked back a sob of pleasure and managed to work Solo's belt buckle open. Solo responded by turning his attention to Travis' mouth, which at least prevented him from saying anything he might regret later. Travis was too high and aroused to get Solo's trousers unfastened on the first attempt but he was successful on the second, sliding his hand inside to grasp the other man's cock. 

  "Not so fast." Solo slid out of Travis' grasp and off the bunk. He dug around underneath it then removed Travis' remaining clothes followed by his own.

  "I don't..." Travis tried to remember exactly what his limits were then decided to give up and go with the flow.

  "Hold out your hand."

  Travis thought about it, finally consenting to remove the ring, with its firing mechanism for his gunhand, and glove from the prosthesis (now he really was vulnerable); then decided that the biological one was more appropriate to the situation. Solo took hold of his wrist, turned his hand palm up and poured something onto it. He swung his leg over the bunk so he was once more on top of Travis.

  "There you go. Now get hold of both of them."

  Travis decided that using both hands might be an idea.


***

  Now that felt good. Han thought that the contrast between the real and the artificial hand added something to the sensation but would have been hard pressed to say exactly what. He studied Travis' face carefully but could find no remaining trace of the suspicion that had dogged him up until now. Score one to the smuggler. Travis obviously liked to feel he was in control even when he quite obviously was not. Which would explain why Han had found him drinking in the same bar as the troops rather than with the other officers.

  The beauty of it was all in the precision of the timing of course. Travis was harder to read than most partners Han had experienced; he had already shown himself to be unpredictable and to be holding far more of himself in restraint than could ever be healthy. Han had more than a passing attraction to vulnerability and he was iron to conflict's magnet, so Travis was doubly alluring. He was also very quick on the uptake, shifting the position of his hands in response to Han's movements and reactions. 

  "Very nice," Han whispered, ducking his head down to tongue Travis' ear. "You're a natural at this, aren't you?"

  Travis tightened his grip and hissed, presumably in protest at the implication. Han shook his head and smirked to himself; he would bet a serious chunk of his profits that Travis had spent a lot more time on his feet fucking in alleys than he had on his back getting screwed through the mattress.


***

  Travis closed his eye and tried to keep his responses in check. He was not going to be shown up by some undisciplined outsider. Although if Solo kept up his current line of attack there was going to be little Travis could do to deflect the inevitable. 

  "Look at me."

  Travis opened his eye. Solo looked down at him then moved in close, bringing their lips back into contact.

  "Fuck," Travis whispered into the kiss and gave up on holding out, with Solo coming a couple of thrusts after him.


***

  Han rolled off Travis and sat up. Travis pulled him back down onto the bunk; the prosthetic arm was as strong as it looked.

  "Where you off to?"

  Well that was interesting; Han had expected Travis to be straight out the hatch as fast as he could get his clothes back on. Instead Travis shifted slightly and rested his head against Han's shoulder. Fine for him, he was not the one who was going to have to change the sheets or spend the next three days hearing his co-pilot complain about how the whole ship stank of rutting humans. 

  For some reason Han found he was not so heartless as to move just yet. He smoothed a stray lock of hair off Travis' eyepatch and wondered how come a corrupt organisation as homophobic and ablebodyist as the Federation had gone to so much trouble to keep the man on active duty. Someone, somewhere had big plans for Travis but it was not Han's place to warn him. The Falcon supported him and Chewie very nicely; they could well do without half-insane excess baggage. Besides, half-insane or not, Travis was smart enough to figure it out for himself eventually.



Dormouse

 

 

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