"Happy Father's Day"
AN: Here's a little (extremely sappy) Father's Day treat for you. No, I don't think they really celebrate it in the Star Wars Universe, but hey, it's a fanfic, and it could possibly be celebrated there. As usual, I don't own anything, and a special thanks to Jedi Princess Jainakin, who wrote a Mother's Day fic last year and inspired me to write a Father's Day fic.
And this story is dedicated to my late father, who died the month before Father's Day when I was thirteen.
The sounds of three angelic voices drove Han out of his slumber. He fluttered his eyes open, causing the four faces staring at him to gradually come into focus. Three of the faces were leaning in at a close proximity that would normally be considered uncomfortable, but when they were his three children, the intimate distance caused a smile to break out on his face.
"HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!!!" Jaina, Jacen, and Anakin shouted together.
"Children, not so loud," Leia scolded gently from her more reasonable distance. "Your father just woke up - he probably wants things to be quiet for a while."
"But Mom, he's been sleeping forever," protested seven-year-old Jaina.
"We wanna give him presents now!" said five-year-old Anakin.
"Presents?" said Han. "I think that's worth waking up for."
"So we're not?" said Jacen, pretending to be hurt.
Han slowly sat himself up on his elbows and stretched while giving a long yawn. "Hmmm...no," he said with a grin after a few seconds. "After all, what's there to see?" He ran his fingers through Jaina's brown hair. "Just the best young mechanic in the galaxy..." He rubbed Jacen's head, stirring his hair. "...the smartest animal lover in the galaxy..." He poked Anakin in the stomach, making him giggle. "...and the cutest little Jedi in the galaxy."
The children bounced on the bed on their knees, shaking Han's stiff body. "Let's get his card first," Jaina instructed the other two. "Wait here, Dad." They lept over their father's body and merrily scampered out the door.
Leia laughed as she sat down on the edge of the bed. "Happy Father's Day, honey." She leaned over and gave her husband a long Father's Day kiss, completely waking him up.
"So Jaina says I've been sleepin' forever," Han said after they pulled out of the kiss. "Just how long is that?"
"It's almost noon, that should give you a hint," said Leia, stroking her husband's shoulders. "But don't worry - the restaurant serves breakfast all day."
"What, no breakfast in bed?" Han said playfully.
"With my cooking, I think you'd be glad of that," grinned Leia, twirling a lock of her husband's hair around her finger. She leaned over to give him another long kiss. As their lips swirled together, Han wondered what he had ever done to deserve this.
"Now, even though they serve breakfast all day," Leia said once her lips were free, "I still think it's a good idea to get dressed." She slyly waved her finger to the side. "Look where I usually am at night. While you were 'sleeping forever,' I washed them for you."
Han turned to his side to find his favorite outfit of his white shirt, black vest, and Corellian Bloodstriped pants neatly laid out on Leia's side of the bed, smelling of various flowers mixed together to make a laundry soap.
"Don't complain - even you should wear clean clothes to a restaurant," said Leia.
Han gave a lopsided grin as he grabbed his clothes. "Thanks hon. I'll put these on just as soon as I've rubbed 'em in grease."
"You'd better not, or the Father's Day breakfast will be canceled," Leia said as she rose from the bed and headed for the door. "I'll leave you to get dressed - the kids are probably wondering where I put their card." She blew another kiss to Han and disappeared out the door.
Han got dressed feeling slightly dazed, perhaps from too much sleep, or more likely from the occasion they were celebrating: a holiday that, before seven years ago, he had barely known existed, much less imagined that he would one day be the center of it. Father had once been a painful word for him: a word that meant something he would never have. He swallowed as his thoughts wandered to the frequent times during his childhood: the times when he would shut himself away wherever he thought no one would come and huddle down into a corner, wondering what it was like to be a normal child: a child with a family. Sometimes the anger at fate for making him an unwanted orphan would explode out of him, making him scream into the dark. Other times it was the loneliness for loving parents that overtook him, making him burst into tears, knowing that no one would come to comfort him, for he was unwanted.
Unwanted. That word followed him to adulthood, subconsciously labeling him. It stood as something he couldn't change - a cold fact of his existence. He was born to be an outcast: a title he lived up to quite well, forming various enemies who wanted him dead, picking up different women for one-night-stands, doing whatever it took to stay alive. If anyone had told him during his smuggling days that he would one day be a family man, he probably would have taken them for being drunk.
He often wondered what kind of person his own father was. Did he even know he had a son? If so, which side of his son would he approve of most: the smuggler or the family man? There were times when he wondered what it was like to have a father to go to for advice on how to be a parent. He had Chewie, who had a son of his own, but that simply wasn't the same. Although Chewie treated Han like a son, their species differences would forever remind them that they were not father and son, but something else, something Han still wasn't sure how to define.
The children dashing back into the bedroom returned him to the present moment. Jaina was waving a red envelope over her head as she skipped merrily between the other two. "Dad, come see your card!" she squealed as Jacen and Anakin grinned widely.
"A card?" Han exclaimed, pretending to be completely surprised. He took the envelope from his daughter, giving a big smile to his children, who were all staring so anxiously that it seemed the ability to blink had escaped them.
The father carefully opened the envelope, slowing his movement to further build the suspense for his children, though once he got the card out of the envelope, he opened it with a quickness that could rival a Jedi's reflexes. A holographic image popped out of the pages, showing his three smiling children frozen in time for a few seconds before the card's message started playing.
"Hi Dad! Happy Father's Day!" they all shouted together in the message.
"You're the best dad in the entire galaxy," Jacen said with vigor.
"You fly a really cool ship," said Jaina.
"And you take us for rides on it," said Jacen.
"You play games with us," said Anakin.
"We're lucky that out of all the dads in the universe, we got you," said Jaina.
"You even get us ice cream when Mom tells you not to!" Anakin exclaimed.
"ANAKIN!" the other two shouted, glaring at their younger brother.
"What?" Anakin said innocently.
Jaina's hologram quickly looked back up. "Uh, anyway Dad, Happy Father's Day!"
Han continued to stare at the card after the message ended, his children's voices replaying in his head. He slowly looked up to the faces of his real children, whose hands were clasped and eyes were wide in anticipation.
"Well Dad, did you like it?" Jacen said nervously.
Han felt a large smile stretching his muscles, a smile that couldn't dissipate if he wanted it to. He crouched down so he was on eye-level with his kids and wrapped his arms around them, squeezing them as tightly as he could without breaking their bones.
"You guys are the best kids anyone could ask for," he said.
AN: There will be one more chapter, which will be a little closer to my usual angst.