The Beginning

Jacen nearly fell out of bed as Jaina's silent scream jolted him out of sleep, filling his head.  Her pain was leaking through their Force-bond, uncontrolled and rendering her immobile.  She wasn't calling for him, but just for someone in general to put her out of her misery.  He could also feel the terror she was trying to fight back.  Jacen was awake in an instant, reaching for his clothes before he could consider the reasons why Jaina would be in so much pain.  By the time he'd zipped his pants, he knew why his sister was in so much pain.  Tearing down the corridors, he couldn't get to her fast enough and he nearly knocked down a few people in the process.

*          *          *

Leia grabbed Han's hand and pulled him up from bed.  He could barely understand what she was saying, her words coming out so fast they were tumbling on top of each other.  He heard something about Jaina, but beyond that, Leia was incomprehensible.  However, Han didn't get to where he was by not being able to put two and two together.  Waking up took longer these days, but this time he was wide awake.  He was out the door ahead of Leia, cutting a path through the corridors like his son.

*          *          *

Jaina bit back a scream, gritting her teeth as sweat poured down her face.  The med droid was keeping a running commentary on exactly what was going on and had she not been so busy trying not to break the hand of the man who'd done this to her, she would have reached out with the Force to crush the droid's head. 

"Breathe, Jaina, breathe," Jag murmured from somewhere above her head.  "You're doing great."

She glared at him, her brown eyes shooting sparks and he winced.  Knowing Jaina as well as he did, he expected her reaction to be something like this.  Regardless how much she enjoyed making their children, he knew she would blame him for the pain when the time came.  And the time had come indeed.

The operation room's doors slid open and Jacen came running in, followed closely by his parents.  The med droid protested their presence, but they ignored him.  Jag didn't know just how relieved he looked at seeing them until he saw the amusement on his brother-in-law's face.

"Need a break?" Jacen offered.

Jag wanted to say yes, but didn't know exactly how well Jaina would take that.  She couldn't take a break and when he came back from his, he'd be facing even more trouble. 

"Go," Jaina gasped to his surprise—and relief.  "I'll try to be nice when you come back, but go!"

Kissing her on the forehead, Jag handed Jaina's hand to her brother and he led her parents out to the waiting area.  Leia, a small smile on her face, wound her arm through his. 

"How are you holding up?" she asked.

"I…I don't have the words to describe what this is like."

"I understand how you feel, Kid," Han said, sitting down.  His face was a little more pale than usual and his hands twitched restlessly.  "When Leia was having the kids, I was on autopilot.  We've all been through a lot, but nothing can compare to seeing your wife give birth to your children."

"Exactly," Jag sighed, sitting next to him. 

Leia shook her head as she regarded the two men.  "You two are a sorry pair.  Look at you: a general and a colonel, quaking in your boots over two tiny people who can't even hold their heads up," she teased.

"And you're not nervous, Princess?" Han countered, eyebrow arched.

"No," Leia said, a faraway look in her eyes that Han knew meant she was opening herself up to the Force.  "I'm not nervous.  Jaina's doing just fine."

"These Jedi," Han snorted.  "You should have gotten a medal for marrying into a family of them, Jag."

Jag smiled.  "I got something better."

Leia winked at him.  "Good answer."

*          *          *

"This is harder than I thought," Jaina confessed to her brother.

Jacen smiled gently.  "When you have two beautiful babies in your arms, you won't even remember what you went through to get them there."

Jaina managed a smile.  "If mom's words over the years are any indication, I doubt that."

"Good point."

"I'm glad you're here, Jace."

"Me, too.  How are you holding up?

"I'm in labor.  I'm as good as I'm going to be."

He cracked a smile.  "You'll be alright, Jaya," he said, using her old nickname.  "You'll be just fine."

"I know…but Jacen, you think you can help me out…with the pain here?"

"Just remember that all your actions have consequences," Jacen said dryly.

If Jaina had been able to laugh, Jacen knew she would have.  As it was, he felt her amusement through the Force as well as the equivalent of a smack in the back of his head. 

"Make yourself useful…and…get my husband," she said, her eyes dancing.

"See, all you needed was some happy memories to remind you just why you're pregnant with his children in the first place."

"I knew I could count on you to…straighten things out…AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH."

Jacen winced.  "I'll go get him."

Left to her own devices, Jaina tried to focus on something else other than the pain, and found herself thinking of the countless happy times she'd had with Jag.  So when he came back into the room, she didn't glare at him or start yelling.  She smiled and despite the fact that her hair was plastered to her skull with sweat, her skin damp, and she was breathing hard, he thought it was the most beautiful smile he'd ever seen.

"Hi," she said.

He smiled back, taking her hand in his reassuringly.  "Hi."

"Jacen suggested I remember the good times with you so that you wouldn't be afraid to come back in."

Jag couldn't help but grin.  "Is that right?  How successful were you in that particular mission?"

"Consider the fact that you're not hanging upside down a success," she returned, her words coming out in a rush as another contraction gripped her.

"Remember the first time, Jaina," Jag said as he held her hand, his face close to hers.  "Remember when I told you I loved you."

Her expression softened.  "I would never forget that.  We had a lot of firsts that day."

"I love you."

"I know."

*          *          *