Title: Gift for Hermione

Author: tarotgal

Fandom: Star Wars

Pairing: None

Rating: G

Disclaimer: These characters and their world are as not mine as they could possibly get.

Summary: After confronting Lord Vader and losing a limb, Luke is presented with another complication.  

Notes: Written for Hermione for the winter holidays, 2004



Gift for Hermione


      Luke lay back in the seat in the medical ward with his eyes squeezed shut. Vader's voice still echoed through his mind as though the man were still talking to him telepathically only this time repeating the same thing over and over again. Deep down he knew perfectly well why Obi-Wan had not told him the truth. But what he did not know was what to do about things now. Everything had gone so impossibly wrong since he'd left Dagobah. He would have made the same choice again if given the chance. But he also wondered how things could possibly have gone worse had he stayed away. Han was frozen in carbonite and Luke had done nothing to help that. Leia, Chewie and the droids would have escaped just as they had been doing without his help and they probably would have managed a better escape without having to have gone back for him. And, most noticeably, he still would have had his hand and part of his arm.


     He looked down at that part of him now, lying useless on the shelf attached to the chair that held it up so the medical droids could work on it. They had attached a cybernetic replacement hand, and it looked almost like his actual one had. But only the most rudimentary parts had been hooked up. It required more circuitry and integration before it would work properly. Right now, he could move his hand so that it twitched or, if he concentrated especially hard, he could move a finger or two. For the most part, it was useless.


     Which made handling his sneezes somewhat more difficult. Luke sniffed lightly as he rubbed a finger beneath his tickling nose. It had been tickling nonstop for an hour now, and several small fits of sneezes as well as a few stray ones here and there had done nothing to make the tickle back away. At the moment, the tickle intensified. He cupped his whole hand to his face. "HShhhh! KShooo!" The sneezes were strong and sudden, and barely did a thing for his nose. He sniffed hard a few times and rubbed his finger at his nose again.


     Luke glanced around for a med droid, but they were off attending to another patient at the moment. He could not blame them for that. The worst had passed for him. The pain medication was making his situation much easier to bear and they had to wait a little while before finishing on his hand. If they tried connecting things too soon, it might cause worse damage.


     So Luke reached down to the tissue box he was keeping between the side of his body and the side of the seat. Instead of bothering anyone for tissues, he had used his powers to retrieve a box from the counter on the other side of the room. He pulled one out and wiped his nose with it.


     A few seconds later, Luke had to sneeze again. "hh...hhhKShhh! ehhShooo! h'Shooo!" And simply rubbing a tissue at his nose was not going to be enough. However, he had not had much luck blowing his nose using just one hand. Sniffling and coughing from congestion, he pulled out another tissue and folded it in half. Then he covered his nose and blew. He was barely able to accomplish anything with it. He wiped his nose again and closed his eyes.


     His nose tickled again. With violent, desperate tickles. He pulled out a few more tissues and buried his nose in them. "hShhoo! huhShooo! huhhhSHHOO!" Feeling sniffly and with his nose running, Luke tried again to blow his nose with one hand. He failed miserably. Picking up his other arm, he pressed his side of his practically useless hand against his nose through the tissues. This time he was able to clear his nose rather well. He balled up the tissues and tossed them over to a nearby trashcan.


     Luke sighed and relaxed back in his seat. He took a look out at the stars through the window. There was a solar system dead ahead, and beyond that nothing but the darkness of space punctured by distant stars and systems. Han was out there someplace. So was Vader. And so was the emperor. It was his destiny to kill him. He had the ability to kill him. Even Vader had said so. He had survived a fight he had not been expected to survive and the only reason he could think of was in order to finish what was started.


     He closed his eyes, trying to ignore the tickle that refused to leave his nose. "hehhh..." His breath wavered as his nose tickled. "ehhh-hhh... huh-KShhh! KShooo! Choo!"




     Luke opened his eyes to see Leia at the door to the room. She looked concerned, but her eyes left him to glance over at the large floor-to-ceiling windows. Luke knew that she, too, was thinking about Han.


     She looked back at him. "Luke, are you all right? How's your arm? Still in pain?" She approached slowly, looking more sympathetic than concerned.


     Luke shook his head. "They gave me something more for the pain. It's much better nuh... now..." He turned his head and pulled out several more tissues. "huhhh-Chhhhh! huhhChooo! hhShoo! KShoo! Shooosh!"


     "Luke?" She leaned against the side of the reclined chair and pressed her hand against his forehead. "Are you coming down sick?"


     That was all he needed. A bad cold on top of his injury and all of the other problems would have been dreadfully difficult to handle. Not to mention that he did not want to worry Leia. "Doe, I'b dot sig," he said, shaking his head. He lifted both hands and blew his nose as best he could. "It's just a tickle in my nose."


     She still looked worried. She stroked his forehead, pushing his dirty blond hair back.


     "Leia, I'm... huhh..." Another tickle in his nose, Luke tried to finish his statement. "I'm allergic..." He covered his nose again. "hehhh-Shooo! huhShuhhh! Hhh'Chshhhh! Chooo!" He turned his head away to save her from having to watch and blew his nose, wishing he could save her from having to listen.


     She moved closer. "Allergic, Luke?"


     He nodded. "There's something in these medical centers. A cleaning product or something like that. Makes my nose itch and tickle pretty badly." As it was, the tickling was nearly nonstop. "h'Chhh! h'Chuhhh! huhhChooo!"


     "Can't they give you something for the sneezes? You look miserable, Luke."


     Luke nodded. But he could not linger in misery. Not when there was so much more to be done. His own feelings did not matter. "This happened when I was in the Hoth infirmary as well. They gave me... huhhhh..." He rubbed at his nose again. "They gave me something for it. I'll ask the droids next time they come around."


     Leia looked determined. "I'll get them now--"


     "No," he shook his head. "I don't want to bother them. I... oh..." His breath caught and his eyes closed. He fought against the tickle for a moment, and it burned in his nose, wanting to come out. Desperately he reached for a tissue. Leia spotted the box, pulled one out, and handed it over. Luke flashed grateful smile, then held it to his face. "hehhShhhhh! hahhChoo! hehChuhhh! SHuh...SHOO!"


     He wiped his nose and then readjusted the tissue to blow. But before he could, Leia raised another few to his nose and covered it for him, pinching his nose through the tissues. A bit reluctantly, Luke blew his nose, finding it quite a relief. "There," she said when he was done. "Is that better?"


     He nodded and smiled. "Thanks, Leia."


     She gave him a smile back, albeit a short-lived one.


     Luke understood why. "We'll get him back, Leia," Luke said reassuringly. "We'll figure something out."


     She shrugged. "He was going to leave us..."


     Luke grinned and shook his head. "No he wasn't. After all we've been through, there's no way he would have gone when we needed him."


     Leia knew this, and nodded in agreement. "But now he needs us," she finished with a worried sort of sigh.


     As he reached out and took Leia's hand, giving it a squeeze, Luke's breath caught again. He quickly pulled back and cupped his hand to his face instead. "HEH-Shooo! EhTChhh! hehShuhh! hahShoo!" He sniffed and shook his head when she offered to help him blow his nose again. "I'll be all right. Shouldn't be long now. Sniff! Sniff! You may go if you like. Don't have to stay."


     She smiled back at him kindly. "I'd like to stay. If you don't mind, that is."


     Luke did not mind in the slightest, and told her so. She pulled over a stool and took a seat beside him. Luke knew she wanted to stick around for the same reason he enjoyed having her stay. There was something very comforting about being with her, knowing she was close.


     The door opened again and in came C-3PO and R2-D2. "Mister Calrissian is preparing to depart," Threepio informed them.


     Luke nodded. "Thank you for... for..." The need to sneeze struck again, and a look showing that he was about to do so came across his face. Leia retrieved more tissues for him. "hehhh-IHSchhhh! IhShoooo! K'Chooo! Sniff!" And she helped him blow his nose once again.


     "Master Luke! Are you quite all right?" Threepio asked.


     Luke nodded. "Just an aller... al... ahhh... ahhCHISHHH!"


     "An allergy," Leia finished for him as she tended to him. Apart from the unfinished job on his arm and this constant sneezing, Luke was feeling much better and it showed. And though Artoo beeped sympathetically, neither droid pursued the subject of his health. The medical droid seemed to be on its way over now, anyway. With any luck, his allergies would be suppressed and his new hand would be attached before Lando and Chewie took off to search for Han and the Jabba the Hutt.