Author's Notes: Well, yes, I do know that it's a little late for a Christmas story, and my apologies for not posting this here during the holidays. But this is the next part of my post RotJ-AU series, and some of my readers told me they wanted me to continue. (Thanks, guys!) So I'm going ahead even if it is well past Christmas at this point.

"Christmas Reunion" is the fourth story in my series, and it takes place immediately after the last tale, "Fear." Anakin Skywalker has survived RotJ, been healed, and reunited with his children. He and Luke have left the Jedi Academy on Naboo and come to spend Christmas on Coruscant with Leia and Han. Hope you enjoy it.

Rating: G

Disclaimer: Star Wars belongs to George Lucas. I write for fun, not for money.

Christmas Reunion Chapter 1

"Han, that's enough," Leia laughingly protested as her husband leaned close to give her a lingering kiss, for about the twentieth time in the last hour. "We're never going to finish decorating at this rate."

Han pretended to look hurt, "What, are you saying you don't enjoy my kisses?" and proceeded to steal another.

Leia gave him a little shove, though she was smiling. "Quite the contrary, nerf-herder. But there is a time and a place for everything. And right now we are trying to finish decorating the tree before the concert this evening."

"Well, its not my fault," Han gave her his famous roguish grin. "You shouldn't keep standing under the mistletoe."

"Luke," she said warningly. "I don't care how much Han is paying you. Hang that mistletoe back in the foyer where it belongs, or I'm returning your present."

Luke grinned at her. "Killjoy," he remarked amiably even as he floated the mistletoe back to the foyer to attach itself to the chandelier there.

He supposed it was a silly little trick to use the Force to have mistletoe follow his sister around the apartment, but he'd been in high spirits ever since she and two of the padawans had miraculously escaped death on Naboo a couple of weeks ago. It was such a relief to have the terrorists captured and the anti-Jedi sentiments dispersed. And now that Christmas was approaching and the family had gathered together on Coruscant to spend the holidays together, he was almost giddy with happiness at times.

They all were. They knew how fortunate they were to be together. Luke glanced at the door to the kitchen where Threepio and Artoo were beeping and arguing as they prepared a spicy jug of cider and kept an eye on baking gingerbread cookies, then over at his father, who was kneeling on the floor sorting through boxes of Christmas decorations. It was Anakin's first Christmas with them, and he was as excited as a child himself. He'd thrown himself into all the holiday preparations-shopping for presents, cooking special treats, and now decorating Leia and Han's apartment-with zeal.

"How about these strands of golden beads?" Anakin asked, holding one up. "Do they go on the tree, or somewhere else?"

"The tree," Luke told him, and Anakin caused the box to float over to the gigantic tree in the corner of the room where Leia, Luke, and Han were all busy hanging tinsel, Christmas balls, and other brightly-colored ornaments from its branches.

Leia shook her head in amusement. "It's not fair. You two get out of doing any of the heavy work. What a frivolous use of the Force," she teased.

"You could learn to do it, too," Luke pointed out. Leia had learned to do a few things. She was very good at sensing the truth, and ever since she had helped Elissa and Tera levitate the gungan sub they'd been trapped in, she'd been practicing that skill with varying degrees of success. But she wasn't interested in becoming a full Jedi. She said, and Luke had to admit she had a point, that her job as Vice-Chancellor kept her busy enough.

Perhaps Leia's thoughts drifted towards her experience with the padawans, too, because she asked, "How are Tera and Elissa doing?"

"They're fine," Luke assured her. "It seemed a little strange to send all the padawans home for the holidays right after they came back, but I think everyone was looking forward to having a few quiet weeks with their families."

"I know I am," Anakin came to lay his arms around the twins' shoulders and give them a squeeze.

"A few quiet weeks?" Han inquired. "And when will we be having those? We've hardly had any time to rest. This is the first day we've been able to spend any time at home, and even so we still have to go to that concert tonight."

"You mean you're not looking forward to hearing the Coruscant Symphony?" Luke joked.

"You mean you are?" Han responded.

"Sure. I can get a nap in, if nothing else," Luke answered.

"You may have something there, kid," Han admitted.

Leia grimaced slightly, not at her husband's and brother's comments. They were pretty good about attending events, even Han who always had to make a token protest. But because she was going to have to tell them that they had another stop to make before the concert. And Han was right. They had been very busy lately.

She and Han had been working long hours, making up for time they had lost while on their honeymoon and then caught up in the events on Naboo. Even when Luke and Anakin had arrived a few days earlier and she and Han had been able to take a little time off for Christmas, they'd been busy. Since Chewbacca had gone to Kashyyk to be his family there, they had had a big celebration for him before he left. And then they'd been swept up in the whirlwind of activities necessary for preparing for Christmas. They'd all agreed that, after this concert, they'd stay at home and just enjoy their time together.

But the last Imperial prison camp (that they knew of) had been liberated a week ago, and the former prisoners had been brought to Coruscant for re- integration. It was tiresome, but necessary.

The New Republic had to determine which of the inmates had been unjustly imprisoned, and which were genuine criminals. Then the innocent were given thorough medical exams to make certain they weren't carrying infectious diseases that could be disastrous for their home planets. Finally they were provided with free transport back to their homes and given a small amount of money to help them get started on their new lives.

Mon Mothma herself liked to personally visit the Coruscant Refugee Center to speak with the former inmates, to let them know the New Republic sympathized with their plight and to wish them well. But Mon Mothma was ill with a terrible head cold, and she had asked Leia to fill in for her this time.

Leia wasn't thrilled about it, but she knew it was important and it wouldn't take long. They could all stop by the Center for a little while and then head on the concert.

"Uh-oh. I know that look," Han commented, seeing her wry expression. "What else have you got cooked up for us, sweetheart?"

Leia explained, and to her relief, the others didn't object to the plan.

"Sure, Leia, it's no problem," Luke remarked.

"Actually, I'd rather spend the evening at the Refugee Center than at the symphony. At least, we'd be doing some good there," Han agreed.

"I only wish we could do more," Anakin said sadly. Any mention of past injustices committed by the Empire was sure to bring on a wave of guilt for him. He would never get over his regret at serving Palpatine for so long.

So that evening after a quick supper they climbed into Leia and Han's silver speeder and headed for the Refugee Center. As they entered a large central room crowded with thin, bedraggled people, Luke felt a moment's awkwardness. Perhaps they shouldn't have come here on the way to the concert. They were all dressed in such finery, and the people here were in ragged uniforms. Leia's black velvet dress and Han's gray suit were jarringly out of place. He and his father wore their light-colored Jedi outfits and brown robes, but even those were finely-made from soft, warm material. He hoped they didn't look as if they were lording it over the refugees.

Leia spoke briefly to the group, and then they spent a short time mingling with refugees, listening to their stories and offering sympathy. Luke was relieved to see that most of the refugees seemed hopeful for the future and grateful for a new chance to have a normal life, although some still seemed to be in shock.

They were about to leave when Luke happened to notice a man and a woman standing near a door. It was hard to tell their age because hard work and poor rations often caused the former prisoners to age early. They both were very thin, with grizzled unkempt hair, and wore baggy, ill-fitting clothes. But suddenly they both looked up and met his gaze, and Luke felt as if suddenly time stood still.

It couldn't be! But the woman's bright blue eyes, the man's lined features and stance-they were so familiar. His breath caught in his throat and even across the distance he could see the shock on their faces as well.

Then suddenly he rushed towards them, his feet seeming to move of their own accord, and they ran to him, and the three of them met and caught each other up in a wild embrace.

They were crying and laughing and hugging so hard that Luke thought his ribs would break, but it was one of the most wonderful moments of his life. Finally, he wasn't sure if it was minutes or hours later, they stepped apart. The woman touched his cheek lightly with her hand, and the man gripped his shoulder. Luke reached out to take both their hands in his own.

Behind them, Han cleared his throat. "I take it you all know each other?"

Luke turned to see his father, sister, and friend standing nearby, staring in amazement.

"Yes," he said in a shaky voice. "They're my Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen."

TBC