Title: Things I Have Loved (I Am Allowed to Keep)
Spoilers: Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
Summary: Nothing seemed impossible here. Until it was. (or) The four times Han brought Leia flowers, and the one time he didn't.
A/N: I have always wanted to write another of this type of fic, but I never felt it completely right until now.
Even with the Empire defeated, things weren't exactly fine and dandy. But they finally gave themselves a moment to just breathe. Endor was a place neither of them were quite ready to leave just yet.
He approached the small hut the Ewoks had given to her. He cleared his throat. "You decent?" he teased, half hoping she wasn't. He clutched something behind his back as he didn't wait for her response before ducking inside.
He found her sound asleep, curled up on the fur blankets they'd given her. She looked almost too peaceful to disturb, but he missed her. Her presence alone seemed to pull him toward her.
Kneeling beside her bed, he pulled the flower from behind his back and gently caressed it along her cheek to just under her nose; certain she could inhale its scent.
A sleepy smile graced her lips. "You're something else, did anyone ever tell you that?" she teased as she opened her eyes to drink him in; a sight he was. One she welcomed whole-heartedly.
"Might have come up once or twice." He leaned in, kissing her mouth softly.
Han made arrangements for him and Chewie to pull into port without a huge fanfare as to try and surprise her. Word usually traveled fast anyway, but tonight, he had completely taken the base by surprise and arrived earlier than any had expected. He stood quickly, barking orders at Chewie to take care of the Falcon, and he'd see him tomorrow.
He approached their sleeping quarters to find it completely empty. He frowned as he clutched the flower behind his back. He quickly tracked her down, swearing bodily harm to whoever ruined his surprise.
Half an hour later, he found her in command central; pouring over databases and governmental plans. He lingered in the shadows, intent to just watch her for a moment. She was in her element, and it showed.
He quietly approached her from behind, but he knew the moment she sensed his presence. "Don't turn around," he encouraged.
"What are you up to?" Their was a breathlessness to her voice as she anticipated his inevitable touch. "Han," she almost whined as it took a nanosecond too long for his hand to clutch her hip.
He pressed in against her as his head dipped to press to her exposed neck. One arm snaked around her as the other offered the exotic beauty of the single flower in which he'd brought her.
She took it gently, letting her hand linger in his. "Getting sentimental on me, I see."
"Never." He turned her slowly, but only just enough to fit his mouth desperately to hers with a kiss he had longed for since he'd departed several weeks prior.
Han slipped in behind her, wrapping his arms around her. The party was in full swing at that point in the festivities. He kissed the side of her head as he closed his eyes as they swayed to the softly playing music. "So you ready to blow this joint? I can think of several dozen things we could be doing instead."
She chuckled softly, turning her head enough to get a good look at him. "Well, it is our party, Han."
"Which not one person here expects us to play faithful host. It's our wedding night. C'mon, sweetheart. Don't make me beg." Too late. He already was.
"I love to hear you beg," she reminded him. "Isn't that why you love me?"
He had enough of her teasing. She was enjoying herself entirely too much. He turned her to face him, bent at the knees and picked her up over his shoulder and announced to the crowd, "Night, folks. Enjoy yourselves, but we must really be going now." And with that he turned and exited the reception hall.
Leia beat on his back. "Han, you put me down. I can't believe you did that." Her face blushed a bright crimson. She didn't know how she would face their friends ever again.
"Keep your skirt on," he retorted, carrying her quickly across the semi-deserted hanger bay and on board the Falcon to his sleeping quarters before he placed her on her feet. "Or better yet, don't..."
He slowly turned her toward the bed. It was covered in different hued flower petals with the lights dimmed low. It took her breath away.
"Oh, Han..." She was in complete awe of how much thought he had put into making this night special for her. For them.
His arms moved around her, holding out a single stemmed flower. The same kind of flower that he had picked for her over a year ago on Endor.
She took it delicately in her fingers, bringing it to her nose and inhaling the intoxicating scent. Their eyes met as she stepped into him, slipping her hand up and along his neck. When his head bent, she met him halfway with a kiss. Everything and everyone else was forgotten.
Han had taken the last shuttle planetside. She wasn't due for another eight days, but it seems their son had other plans. He'd made his way kicking and screaming his little head off into the world ahead of schedule, and it figured that he'd do it when his old man was out of the house. He'd seen the entire thing via Comm, and he ached to be there to hold her in person.
Tears had pricked his eyes as the baby was placed in Leia's arms. He touched their faces on the screen. "You did good, sweetheart." The next several hours before dawn had been sheer torture. Sleep had refused to come.
As soon as the first shuttle had started, he'd used his General's status to commandeer it and demanded he be taken back to Home One. His stomach tied in knots as it drew closer and closer. He'd left a husband and returned a father. Probably the scariest job he had ever taken on.
He stepped off the shuttle, feeling his steps heavier suddenly as he approached the Falcon. He glanced around, looking for any sign that she'd be inside or elsewhere. He started to ask about her when the sound from inside his ship caught his attention; the soft cries of a newborn baby.
He moved up the ramp, finding her there trying to get the fussy baby back to sleep by walking the floor with him. And she looked absolutely dead on her feet. His first thought was to stop and stare, but then action spurred him forward. He eased his free hand against the small of her back, guiding her to lean back against him. "Here. Why don't we trade?"
In his hand was clutched a single flower.
Leia stepped quietly onto the surface of Endor, taking in all that was around her. Her breath caught in her throat as she felt the breeze as it slipped along her skin and ruffled the dress as it flowed around her. It felt like it had all those many years ago after the battle with the Empire had been laid to rest.
The memories rushed over her, causing her knees to quake beneath her and threatening to give way. The sounds from behind her as the others on the shuttle had started to disembark and set up camp caused her to rush from the path, deep into the forest. There was a place, a special place, that he'd always take her when they'd come to visit.
She'd never been able to find it on her own, but something told her tonight would be different. Tonight had to be different. She followed her heart; placing one foot in front of the other. She clutched a single flower in hand. Flowers had seemed such a simple way for him to say he loved her all these years. And now she'd used one to say goodbye.
The path narrowed, then widened onto the clearing. Their clearing. She felt the pain of his loss so desperately in that moment that she couldn't move, that she didn't dare to even breathe. Then the breeze beckoned her. Finally able to move, she made it to the place where they'd sat for hours at all times day or night and talked about everything and nothing.
Nothing seemed impossible here. Until it was. He was gone, and he was never coming back. She placed the flower on the lonely patch of moonlight before she fell to her knees and sobbed. Her last words to him echoed around her.
"Bring him home."