Star Wars belongs to George Lucas. All writings are not for profit and strictly for fun.
This is a very loose addition to Renewal, set approximately a year and a half afterwards.
Leia keyed the Millenium Falcon's access codes and boarded quickly, switching on the darkened ship's power and waiting for the lights to show her the way. Then she headed for the main hold, shedding her long pasmin cloak and setting it on the hologame table. Usually, whenever on board the Falcon alone, the emptiness of the vessel unnerved her, as though she played a child's game of hide-and-find, trespassing where she was not meant to go. No matter how much time she'd traveled on it, lived on it, the legendary, jury-rigged ship was truly Han's domain, his personal space. Not today though.
He would be here, soon.
In the meantime, her head felt as though it was detached from her shoulders, free floating with the clouds of Coruscant's skyline, her body light and beautiful, her feet skipping, and it wasn't merely her imagination's vision of her self. She'd seen the tech crew when she entered, their good-natured smiles. They said, 'Good afternoon, Your Highness,' and she'd seen that they couldn't help responding curiously, known they too saw what she felt on the inside, that her lightheartedness was contagious. She'd wanted to hug the supply officer on duty, kiss the pilot who'd just disembarked from his Y-Wing and strode past her with a wave.
Her message to her husband of nearly a year had been brief.
Meet me at your ship, Leia.
In an effort to tamp down the influx of excited energy, Leia strolled full circuit through the looping corridors twice, then decided to wait in his cabin, on his bunk. Their bunk. Impulse beckoned her to stretch out and try a few calming breaths, and she did, sliding her palms over the soft thermasilk sheets, twisting herself within them onto her back and staring at the tarnished ceiling panels.
She knew the moment – or moments, for there had been two on that trip, that day, though there was no 'day' in hyperspace so she could never really say what time of day it had been. They hadn't been focusing on it. They weren't supposed to be thinking about it. It had been five months since they'd made the decision, departing Tatooine. For five months, still possessing its own schedule, like chrono-work, her body had proved unyielding, capricious as a sandstorm, and reluctant to bend to her will.
Two months ago, Han had made her promise to put the trying aspect out of her mind. It would happen when it was meant to, he told her, sounding unhurried and reassuringly wise. Her physician repeatedly guaranteed her nothing was wrong with either of them, and said that contrary to any beliefs she might have, conception was one of those few natural miracles that responded very well to forgetfulness and inattention.
Almost from the day they'd both spoken the words that had bound them legally to each other, Han had been vocal about how badly he wanted a family. Regardless of what she'd avowed in the past, deep down the same hopes lay suppressed. What she hadn't known was how right he was about her. She hadn't known how much it would grieve her to endure the overwhelming hype of near-expectation, near-happiness, to have her psyche soak it all in as though she were a porous sponge dipped in water. And inevitably, the day would come when it was wrung out of her until not a drop was left. The up and down roller coaster was exhausting, the dips of hopes rising and falling disorientating.
Unlike her, Leia suspected Han had actually meant it when he reiterated the part about putting it out of their minds. She'd tried in vain - until yesterday that was, when her brain had begun calculating dates again. Buried away in a fresher drawer was a medical bag with every available type of home test, most of which were as reliable as any tests they might run in the medcenter, as reliable as the most enhanced scan. Half the night she'd lain awake, watching Han sleep, wanting to slip off and give herself one. The other half she'd lain perfectly still, stretching with ever bit of her Force senses, trying to feel for the glow, the bud of life within herself, but whenever she'd relaxed just enough to do it Han would shift and groan, begin to make those deep bass sounds that rumbled in his chest and break her concentration. She'd given up and waited until after Han had left that morning.
Three tests in a row had confirmed that she was entering her third week of pregnancy, that their spirits were bound by flesh and bone and life. Her life force was the wind and it was caressing the crystal spires of Shownar, coaxing them to part with their bittersweet lullabies, enchant the will of the universe so suit her. She could believe in anything today.
The past would lay as it was, safely buried beneath the soles of her feet, no longer sticky, oozing, like pools of fresh blood, leaving patchwork crimson footprints that marked a winding path to the very fiber of her being.
Luke, ever the pedagogical Jedi, the teacher, had reassured her and offered his advice. Be mindful, be cautious, but don't bar the door to rejoicing in life for fear of what might be.
Her brother had said, remember that love is of the Light side of the Force.
The future belonged to itself, not to the past, not to the present. It was the whitewashed slate upon which they could scrawl their wishes and dreams. That was what she had learned in recent months, what she was teaching herself to believe with her heart and soul. Han had believed it all along, and startled her by revealing late that the man she'd married was an optimist at the core.
The sound of the ramp releasing from the aft deck reached her. Leia bolted upright and squirmed free of the sheets. She debated running to greet him, then opted to let him seek her out. The lights and her cloak would give her away.
It took him less than a minute to locate her. "This is a surprise," he said immediately, grinning lopsidedly. "I thought you had a meeting with the Ithorian Ambassador today? Of course, if this is your idea of a meeting with me, I like it. I like it a lot."
Leia smiled mischievously and swung her legs over the side of the bunk, scuffing her shoes over the rough durafab carpeting. Certainly, finding her in his bunk mid-day registered as a type of pleasant surprise, and his wrongfully concluded delight was written all over his face, audible in his suggestive tone. "I cancelled it. This is not what you think, nerfherder."
"No." Climbing to her feet and bridging the distance between them, Leia took both of his hands into her own. Looking up at him, she took a deep breath, possessed by the crazy impulse to nestle with the news, hoard it, let this one moment of telling lay eternally before her - or just a little longer. Her heart was pounding faster than the staccato beat of tambour drums inside her ears; euphoria swelling beneath her breast so fiercely it was a physical ache. "I have something important to tell you."
"On my ship?"
"I love you so very much," she blurted out, though they were not the words she'd consciously chosen to say first.
Han regarded her, visibly touched and dubious. "I love you too and... what did you do?"
"We do, Han, I'm pregnant."
"You are?" Without warning Han scooped her up and swung her around in his arms as though she were a little girl. "Really? Really?" he kept saying.
The cabin whirled and shifted. She laughed, kissed his neck and told him about the test results. He covered her mouth with warm lips and she could hear his pleased sounds deep in his throat. After a long embrace he set her on her feet and tugged at her skirts, sliding his hand up along her bare thighs until it reached the soft skin of her stomach. His grin was foolish, almost silly, his hazel eyes twinkling. "Here, huh?"
She placed her hand over his with the fabric of her dress between them. Her voice came out a squeak. "There."
"Our little jaunt to Qretu 5?" He glanced about his cabin with new understanding. "Have you been to the medcenter yet?"
Leia nodded once. "Yes that trip," then shook her head. "I go tomorrow morning for a scan."
"I'll go with you."
Again she was glowing from the inside out. "I was hoping you would."
Han swept her up again and tumbled her to the bunk, pushing at her skirts and kissing her stomach, tickling her with the scruff on his chin until she begged him to stop. Though he wasn't force-sensitive, she felt as though she were soaking in projected emotion, that his love was blanketing her. In the security of his arms she knew herself to be strong, felt herself to be safe. Nothing sounded but the thrumming of the Falcon's central power systems and their own breathing.
To create because you believed you were more capable than your forbearers had been, to know their mistakes and accept them, was as noble and as valid as any reason might ever be, Leia thought. And lying there, she considered that, as selfish as she'd ever thought herself to be for wanting children, that being selfish was part of it too. It had always been a part of it, along with believing in the future. For therein was love, and if Luke was right, love and the Light side went hand in hand, as naturally as she and Han were joined as man and wife, as naturally as making love and powerful emotions melded together.
"Sweetheart, do you have the rest of the day cleared?"
Were about to meld together.
Leia blinked. The grin hadn't faded. Han was beaming and her flesh tingling all over, yearning for his body to weigh her down and draw her under. Her spreading soul still coaxed the spires to play; if she concentrated she could hear them. "Yes."
"Because I love you," he told her. "You have no idea how much."
"Yes." She touched his cheek. "We do."