Five years later
Leia sat down at her dressing table, the sight of herself in the elaborate make up still rather startling to her. She commenced removing the elaborate headpiece, relieved to have its weight gone from her head. Only one more month of this, she told herself. She had enjoyed her tenure as Naboo's queen; but was more than happy to have it come to an end. There was so much going on her life right now, and the demands of being queen did not allow her to fully enjoy them. She smiled as she thought of the previous evening. Han had been so nervous when he had proposed, so uncharacteristically jittery that Leia had to fight not to giggle.
Han Solo had come into her life once again quite unexpected five years earlier, and their relationship began shortly thereafter. Leia remembered her childhood crush on him, and at first found it almost surreal that Han was now returning her feelings. But their relationship was based on friendship, and that was what made it so strong. Although there was ten years between them, Leia's level of maturity and Han's youthfulness negated it.
Leia's parents had not been at all surprised when Leia and Han had started dating. They both liked Han very much, and accepted him into their close knit family.
Leia heard a knock on her bedroom door and turned to it. "Come in," she called.
The door opened and Leia's younger sister, eight year old Amidala, entered the room.
"Hi there," Leia said with a smile. "Come on in. You can help me with my hair."
Amidala walked up to her sister, still rather awed by the sight of her in her royal regalia. "You look pretty, Leia," the child told her, looking up at her with awe.
Leia smiled. "Thanks," she said as she started unpinning her hair. "But you know what? I like the way I look better without it."
Amidala smiled as she started helping Leia with the pins in her hair. "You look pretty all the time," she assured her.
"So do you," Leia assured her. "I love your beautiful blond hair," she said, stroking Amidala's long braids.
Amidala beamed under her sister's praise. "Mom wanted me to tell you that Han is here," she said, remembering the reason for her visit.
"Oh, great," Leia replied, hurrying with her task. "I guess I'd better hurry," she said.
"How's business?" Anakin asked Han as they sat in the front room with Padmé.
"Good, really good," Han replied, sitting on the edge of his chair. He set his hands on his knees, wiping them on the fabric nervously.
"And Chewbacca?" Padmé asked. "He's well?"
Han nodded. "Yeah, he's busy now with the kids," he told them with a smile. "He loves being a dad, though."
Anakin smiled. "I can relate," he replied, watching his young namesake building a puzzle on the floor nearby.
Han grinned. "No kidding," he replied. "So is Luke home? Leia told me he was coming for the weekend."
"Yes, he's upstairs right now," Padmé told him.
"Jedi Master Luke Skywalker," Han said with a smile. "Pretty impressive."
Anakin nodded. "He worked hard for it," he reported.
"That's Luke for you," Han replied, glancing up towards the stairs, his nervousness growing as each minute passed.
"Milady dinner is ready," Threepio announced.
"Thank you Threepio," Padmé replied. "Go upstairs and let Luke and Leia know."
"Let's go sit down," Anakin suggested. "They'll be down shortly."
Padmé and Anakin stood up, followed by Han.
"Come on short stuff," Han said to Ani, who immediately jumped up and grabbed Han's outstretched hand with a smile.
"Look at what I did," Ani said proudly, pointing to the puzzle on the floor.
"Very cool, Ani," Han told the boy with a smile.
Ani beamed, thrilled to be the object of Han's admiration.
As they were making their way to the dining room, Luke, Leia and Amidala came down the stairs. Han looked up at Leia and smiled, happy to see her own face now rather than the official face of the queen. Leia returned his smile, sensing his nervousness immediately.
Luke looked at his twin as Amidala bounded down the stairs.
He popped the question, didn't he? Luke asked silently.
Leia's smile grew. Last night.
Took him long enough, Luke teased as he grinned and put an arm around his sister's shoulders.
"Good to see you, Luke," Han said, shaking Luke's hand as they met. "Or should I call you Master?" he asked with a smile.
Luke laughed. "Please, just Luke," he replied. "The younglings at the Temple make me feel as old as Master Yoda when they call me that."
Han laughed, and then looked at Leia. "Hey there your majesty," he said, holding his arm out to her. "Care to join me?"
Leia smiled, and linked her arm through his as Luke went on ahead.
"You ready?" she asked him quietly.
"As ready as I'll ever be," he told her with a nervous smile.
Leia smiled, and gave his arm a squeeze. "You'll do just fine," she assured him.
Anakin watched as the two approached the table, knowing what was about to happen before either of them said a word. The thought of his precious Leia becoming a bride, of walking her down the aisle threatened to make him lose his composure, so he took a deep breath to calm himself, bracing himself for what he was sure was coming.
As Han pulled a chair out for Leia, he looked up at Anakin, unnerved by the fact that he was watching him. He knows, Han thought nervously. Holy crap, he already knows what I'm gonna say…
"Anakin, Padmé," Han began, looking at each of them in turn, "Leia and I would like to tell you something," he began, taking a seat beside Leia. He reached over and took her hand. "I've asked her to marry me, and she's said yes."
Anakin smiled, and looked at Padmé, whose eyes had filled with tears.
"Oh Leia, Han," she said, "that's wonderful news!" she cried, standing up and rushing over to embrace them both. Luke joined in as well, and soon Leia was as teary eyed as her mother.
"Congratulations, Han," Anakin said, standing up and holding out a hand to him.
"Thank you sir," Han replied. "I'll take good care of her, you have my word."
Anakin nodded. "I know you will," he replied. "I couldn't have chosen a better man to marry her than you, Han. Welcome to the family."
Han smiled, the relief oozing from him. "Thanks a lot," he said. "It's an honor to be part of such an amazing family."
Anakin smiled, and then turned to his daughter. She looked up at him, her dark eyes glistening with tears.
"I told you so, didn't I?" she said.
Anakin nodded, his own eyes filling with tears. "You did," he replied, taking her by the shoulders. "And I couldn't be happier that you were right," he told her. "Congratulations, sweetheart," he said, embracing her.
"Thanks Daddy," Leia replied, hugging him back. "I love you."
Anakin kissed the top of her head. "I love you too, Leia."
"Maybe we ought to have a toast," Luke suggested. "It's not every day my twin sister gets engaged," he added with a smile.
"An excellent suggestion," Anakin agreed, signaling for the serving droid to come over.
As soon as all the adults had a glass of champagne in their hand, Luke stood up.
"To Han and Leia," Luke said, holding his glass aloft. "May they have a long and happy life together," he said.
Everyone clinked glasses, even Ami and Ani, whose glasses contained fruit juice.
"I didn't think Jedi Masters were allowed to drink," Han commented with a grin.
Luke exchanged an amused look with his father. "We're changing the rules," he said with a smile as he took his seat again.
Later that night, Anakin and Padmé lay awake in their bed after all the excitement of the evening had finally subsided. It had taken longer than usual to get the two children down to bed, for both were excited to have both their older siblings as well as Han at home. Finally they had succumbed to sleep, much to the relief of their parents.
"Well I suppose we should have expected this," Anakin told Padmé as he played with her hair. "She did tell us, didn't she?"
Padmé nodded. "She did," she agreed. "I'm thrilled that they're getting married. Han already feels like part of the family, though, doesn't he?"
Anakin nodded as he ran his fingertips over the soft skin of her shoulder. "He's a good man," he agreed. "I suppose if someone has to marry Leia, he's the best choice."
Padmé looked up at him and laughed. "Just wait until they come and tell us that they're expecting a baby," she said.
Anakin looked down at her. "Oh, please," he said. "One major life change at a time."
Padmé laughed again and sighed. "Goodnight Ani," she said with a yawn.
Anakin kissed the top of her head. "Goodnight Angel," he replied. "Sleep well."
Anakin entered the Jedi Temple, the entranceway was quiet and empty. He walked through the corridors, a feeling of dreadful familiarity creeping into his heart. No, this can't be happening, not now, not again, he thought as he walked to the large room where the younglings were instructed, almost dreading what he would find there. The door slid open and the lights came up.
"Surprise!" the group of younglings cried when they saw him. Anakin was dumbfounded by the assemblage gathered there, who all started singing happy birthday to him. He saw his own children, all four of them, as well as Padmé and Han. Obi-Wan was there, and Yoda, and even the specters of Qui-Gon Jinn and Mace Windu.
Anakin smiled, the love and acceptance he felt finally negating the horrors of the past. His wife walked over to him and hugged him.
"Are you surprised?" she asked, looking up at him with a smile.
Anakin nodded. "Yes, very surprised," he told her, resting his hands on her shoulders. "Very surprised and very happy, happier than I've ever been, in fact."
Padmé smiled, and wrapped her arms around his waist.
Anakin awoke at this point, surprised to find his eyes full of tears. He sat up in the bed, awakening his wife in the process.
"Ani?" she said sleepily. "Everything okay?"
Anakin looked back at her, and then lay back down beside her. "Yes," he told her. "Everything is better than okay," he told her, pulling her into his arms. "Everything is just perfect."