The following morning Gidden was allowed in to see Tenel Ka and the triplets.
Jacen had spent a few minutes with the boy, letting him know that the four were resting comfortably, but were exhausted, and needed to sleep for the night. Reluctant, Gidden had stayed with Han and Leia, unwilling to leave the infirmary waiting room until he'd gotten to see his new siblings.
Now, he moved eagerly into the room and stopped by Tenel Ka's bed side. Someone had placed a stool on the floor, onto which he stepped, so he could see her. Exhausted, she turned her head towards him and extended her hand. Gidden grasped it. "You okay, mamma?"
Gidden grinned, relieved, and leaned forward to place a gently, shy kiss on her cheek. "I'm glad. Grandma Leia said you would be cranky this morning."
She ruffled his curly hair. "I am happy this morning. Your brother and sisters will meet you and our family will begin anew."
Gidden's grin widened to almost take in his ears.
Jacen wrapped his hands around the boy's waist and lifted him onto the bed next to Tenel Ka. Tenel Ka used the controls on the bed to move herself into a sitting position, still tired from the last two days, but exhilarated all the same. Motherhood, knowing that she was now responsible for three more individual lives, brought her happiness and lent her a glow neither Gidden nor Jacen commented on.
But it was there all the same.
"Who would you like to hold this morning, Tenel Ka?"
"Tana." She stretched her arms out to him.
Jacen gently lifted the youngest of the triplets from the crib.
They'd woken them this morning with whimpers and feelings of hunger. Tenel Ka had, one by one, fed the infants while Jacen had taken the opportunity to spend some time with each of their new children.
Now, Tana was placed in her mother's arms, and Tenel Ka's face blossomed into a soft smile for her youngest.
Gidden stretched his arms out. "Can I hold one?"
Jacen gently lifted Jarid from the crib, unable and unwilling to withhold the smile of pride that came with holding his son. His son; flesh of his flesh, the heir to the Solo name. "Hold your arms like your mother, Gidden."
Gidden did as instructed and Jarid was placed into his careful, eager grasp.
Jacen lifted Layne from the crib last and laid her against his shoulder, carefully holding her head. Gidden checked out his little brother from feet to toes, to eyes, staring into one another's eyes almost comically.
Jacen chuckled softly. "He's human alright, Gidden."
Gidden looked at Layne as Jacen joined them by the bed, and then over to Tana. An odd look appeared on his face and then he beamed. "This is how I remember it in my dream!"
Tenel Ka's rarely heard chuckled came first, followed by Jacen's and then Gidden's giggle. They shared in the tension release that came from the incredulous, amazed statement, and the newborns watched, enchanted, as the laughter swirled around them.
The grandparents, aunts, uncles, surrogate uncles and surrogate aunts were all introduced to the twins over the next several hours and, finally, when everyone had left them alone for the night, the Doctor appeared to do an examination of Tenel Ka and the triplets.
Jacen stood by, Gidden at his side, as the Doctor finally stood, a smile on his face. "Everyone is healthy and doing fine. The triplets appear to take after their mother's constitution. I'd still like to see them every couple of days for the first few months, but I can make the house call. You'll be free to go home in the morning."
Tenel Ka thanked the Doctor for his help and his time, assuring him he was more than welcome in the Royal suite before his departure. Jacen and Gidden waited until she'd settled herself comfortably again before Gidden spoke. "Mamma, Grandpa Isolder, Grandpa Han and Grandma Leia wanted me to help get the crib ready for Layne, Jarid and Tana tonight. Is it okay if I go help?"
He rushed over to hug her and then darted out of the room.
Jacen settled himself at Tenel Ka's bed side. "I told him you wouldn't object, but he seems to think you have to say the words or he could be letting you down."
Her lips twitched, her gray eyes sparkling. "He is learning the role of Chume Da already."
Jacen blinked and then chuckled. "I see you've regained your sense of humor, my love."
She reached up to cup his face. "Thank you, Jacen. Thank you for our children, all of them. For staying with me when I needed you most."
"For the pain and the suffering?" His tone was serious, but there was mirth in his eyes.
Her lips twitched. "Thank you for being more stubborn than I am and convincing me to marry you. I love you."
"Thank you for saying yes." He leaned down and let his lips trail over hers in a languid, almost reverent fashion. And while they were under doctors orders to go no further, Tenel Ka reveled in the magic of Jacen's kisses.
Everything else would follow.