Writer: Callista Loveday
Disclaimer:I am not getting any money for this story, and these characters and places belong to George Lucas, not me!
Note: My second peice of work, it's a bit dumb, but please review anyway..
~~~~Sequel to Virtual Nightmare: Nine years after ROTJ, Leia meets her mother and has to make the most important decision of her life. But is it all that it seems?
"How is it that we have finally settled down and have our own house, yet I am never home!?" Queen Leia Organa-Solo complained to her husband.
"Well, it was different on Coruscant. We -you- didn't go off planet ALL the time." Han said and gave her a long look. He sat down on the bench next to her, and they watched their three growing children play not-so quietly in their pool. Leia sighed and reached for his hand. "It's just been so hard these past few years. Ever since I became Cheif-of-State...and queen of a planet! I still don't know as much as I'd like about my mother." She smiled wistfully. "Luke sure was excited, though. I don't think I've ever seen him with a smile so large." Han laughed at the memory. "Yeah, but on his wedding day it came pretty close."
Leia slapped him lightly on the arm. "I had forgotten about that. Mara Jade looked so happy I thought she was going to burst."
"You know, our wedding day wasn't that bad, either."
Leia giggled. Jaina stopped splashing for a minute to converse with her brothers. They stood at the edge of the pool for one second, then they poured water out of the sides and covered their parents in water. Leia let out a little surprised shriek, and looked down in horror at her red and white dress. It's a good thing this wasn't as expensive as my other outfits, Leia thought. Han gave his wife a little mischeivious smile, one Leia knew all to well. "Oh, no." She moaned, trying to back away. But Han lifted her up in his arms and replied cheerfully, "You're already a little wet, might as well finish it off," and dumped her in the pool. She stood up a few seconds later, sputtering. "You're going to get it, Solo." She warned, and dumped water on Han's already soaked shirt. He chuckled, then jumped in the pool.
The Solo kids watched this display with a strange look, but soon joined in the fun.
"Mistress Leia?" Three-pio asked, confused. But the reply was more laughter. Chewie shook his head and let out a sound that sounded like laughter at the droid's next comment. "Human behavior is one thing I'll never understand..."
That night, Leia lied down on her bed to rest. But rest was one thing she couldn't do. Her head pounding, she was sweaty, and she didn't have the strength to lift her arm, never the reach the buzzer for a maid. Maid's are one thing I'm never without, she thought with a dry sense of humor. "Han? Han!" she called out, but the softness of her voice surprised her. With all her might, she tried again. "HAN! Han? Han? Come help!" A few minutes passed by before she realized he wasn't coming. He could be at the other side of this place, she thought, I was was lying when I said house. "I've got to get to that buzzer. I've got - to try." She moved to the floor with a bang. The impact wasn't that bad to her head, but she passed out.
Han was downstairs, directly below his bedroom when he heard the thud. Anakin's eyes filled with worry. "Mama in twouble."
Han raced up the staircase to find his wife spawled on the ground, deeply breathing. "What happened?" he murmered to himself. He placed his hand to her forehead. It was burning. "Hold on, Leia. I'll get you to the hospital."
Hours later, Han was sitting in the hospital's sitting room, his face in his hands. His expression was comical; his mouth hung open and his eyes were still wide from shock.
"Mr Solo?" a med droid said, entering the completely wide room. Han leaped up in a second. "What happened?" He couldn't disguise the fear in his eyes, or the tremble in his voice.
The droid seemed to take an eternity. "Sir, I'm afraid your wife is in a coma." The room seemed to spin around Han at the moment. He sat back in his chair and took a controlling breath. "What-what happened? What does she have?"
The droid answered, "I'm afraid we don't know. It's off the charts. Now if you'll excuse me, I must go." Han waved his hand in dismissal, and even that gesture brought back memories of his wife. The sun had danced off her chestnut hair, and a sparkle in her eyes had caught Han's attention. Her laughter had sung out and everything else except his family had disappeard. The kid's. In Winter's care, he reminded himself. Meanwhile, he walked back to his wife's side. I wonder what she's dreaming about now, he mused.
Leia opened her eyes. "Where am I?" she muttered to herself.
"You mean you don't know? You don't recognize this courtyard?" a harsh voice said from behind her. Leia gasped. She turned around to see the man who had appeared to her five years ago. Half his face was horribly scarred, and it still appeared to her in her nightmares.
The Queen of Naboo gave a better look around her surroundings. It was Bail Organa's courtyard. She shivered. Something was different. Something was wrong.
Once again, the man seemed to of read her mind. "Yes. It is different. It's because everyone you've ever cared about, everyone you've ever known, lives here. Even those you have never met."
Without warning, Leia ran away from him. But she didn't get far. Tall gates blocked every exit, and beyond that there was blank openness, as if they were on a cloud. Her face paled. Not because of her surroundings, but because of the woman before her.
"Hello, daughter," the woman said. It was the same woman as before. Her mother. Amidala's long hair cascaded down her back, and Leia felt tears fall down her cheeks. She reached out to hug her mother, but her arms went straight through her. Amidala winced from the attempt of contact. Leia let out a short sob. "I can't stand this! Here I am meeting you at last, after 31 years, and I can't even touch you. It's just not fair!" Amidala tried to comfort her best she could, and finally Leia calmed down. The tears stopped streaming from her smooth, young-looking pale skin and smiled. "There is just so much I wanted to ask... But now I can't think of a thing!"
Amidala gave a sad little smile back. "We don't have much time. Follow me." She led her puzzled daughter to marble bench, and motioned her to sit. "I have waited for a long time to have this moment." She held out a black stone wrapped in rope, and a black string was tied to it. Her amulet. Surprisingly, Leia was able to hold it and fasten it to her slender neck.
"Thank you so much." Leia whispered gratefully. Her mother smiled. But quickly she frowned. "You will need to get back soon. Every minute here is a day in your time. That man will want to talk to you again, soon. But there is one more thing I need to ask you. Will you stay here? With me? With your father, Bail Organa, Obi-wan, your friends from Alderaan, aunts? Please say yes," Amidala Naberrie pleaded.
Leia hesitated. "I don't know if I can." Her mother hushed her. "Think about it. I will be back in a week."
Suddenly, a force pulled her away from her mother. The recent Queen of Naboo cried out in surprise, to the mysterious man's delight. Their surroundings were Cloud City. Shudders ran down Leia's spine. The memory of Han in carbonite was too clear. And Luke, dangling from a weather vane from with one arm. She remembered when they had found him. Lando had given him a blanket to wrap his arm in, so she didn't see the stub at first. But when he had lied down, he had pulled her over to him. "Leia, my arm." Luke had said, and Leia couldn't hide the horror in her face. Then she ran off, refusing to cry in front of Luke.
The man glanced at her, but it was not of hatred. Instead, he smiled. "You see, I am making you a deal. A good one."
Han held Leia's small hand his own, squeezing it hard, beleiving she would wake up if he did. "Leia, please wake up!" Han sobbed.
His wife's eyelid's fluttered open. "Han," she whispered weakly. Han couldn't beleive it. He let out a whoop, then released her cold hand. A nurse came running in. "Mr Solo?" she asked, confused. Her eyes fell on Leia. She grinned. "Your Highness, you're awake!" She ran out to tell the news. Han watched her go, then looked back his wife. Several tears fell from her eyes, and she struggled to sit up.
"What happened? Where'd my mother go?" Leia said.
Luke Skywalker burst into the room. "Leia! Oh, Leia, you're awake!" he exclaimed, deeply releived.
"Mother? What happened to mother?" Leia repeated. Han watched Luke's face. "I don't know what she's talking about, Luke."
Luke held his sister's hand in his own. Closing his eyes, he meditated on her thoughts. Han was worried. Had something happened to Leia? He would never forgive himself... When Luke opened his eyes, he was smiling. "Han, she met my mother! She met her!"
"How long have I am out?" Leia asked.
Han winced. "You've been out for a week, Leia. A week, a day, two hours, and forty minutes."
Leia's hand flew to her throat. The necklace was still there. She looked up at the two confused faces. "I need to get out of this place. I have some work to do."
Two days later, Leia was clutching Anakin's little hand in Cloud City. They had just landed the Millenuim Falcon down. Leia smiled at a awe-struck Anakin, but the experssion on his face as he looked at all the ships flying around them was too hilarious. Leia had decided to bring him, but not the twins. She didn't know what she was looking for, but she couldn't waste time baby-sitting three kids that were always looking for trouble.
Han stared at her. Well, at least she's happy, Han thought.
Lando's laughter broke into their thoughts. "Han, ol' buddy! You decided to visit!" He frowned. "And you still have my ship," he muttered to himself. Han forced a smile at Lando's jealous comment.
"Didn't lose it." Han said with an edge. Leia quickly added, "Yet."
After a couple minutes of small talk, Han asked if they could borrow an apartment for a couple day's. "Leia, take Anakin and go to the room." Han ordered. At Lando's growing confusement, Han pulled him over. "Look, I know this seems kind of strange. Leia just came out of the hospital, and she's been acting kind of weird. She keeps talking about a dream she had." Han looked very concerned, and his friend knew he wasn't acting. "Now, she'll see there's nothing here, and we'll leave. She says she has a week to make a decision. Some people would say she's insane, but if they've been around her and Luke, they would know better." Lando chuckled at that.
The darks-skinned friend snapped his fingers. "Han, I have an idea."
Yawning, Leia lied down on the bed. "No one will mind if I close my eyes for a second," Leia murmered in her pillow.
**I was let through the halls of the Death Star. I figured that it was my execution, but why didn't they question me more? I had been tortured, of course, but I didn't tell them anything. Not as long as there's breath in my body.
Finally, we stopped walking. And there he was. Grand Moff Tarkin. His skinny little face smirked as Vader led me to him, and I said coldly, "Tarkin- I recognized your foul stench as I was brought on board. I should of expected you here holding Vader's leash." He let out a short chuckle, as if he was laughing at me.
"Charming- to the least." He replied, and I considered asking if that was the best he could do. After a few little remarks passed back and forth, he stared out at the see-through glass screen in front of us. Alderaan. "...That is why I have decided to test the full power of this battle station on your home planet of Alderaan." Tarkin said. My blood ran cold. I let my calmness fade away from me and I said, "What!? Alderaan is peaceful, we have no weapons."
Tarkin faced me. "If you want another target, a military target, then say the system." I couldn't tear my eyes away from my planet. Billions of people lived there- My friends, my parents, my aunts. I couldn't let them die- I couldn't! Tarkin let out a weary sigh. "I get tired of asking this, so it will be the last. WHERE ARE THE PLANS?"
There was only one thing to do. I looked down at the ground, and pretended I was in emotional pain. "Dantooine. It's on Dantooine."
The Grand Moff glanced up at Darth Vader. "You see, Vader. She can be reasonable." He turned his back to us and gave the command to shoot.
"WHAT!?" I screeched. I tried to reach forward to stop him- or hit him- but Lord Vader held me back. Tarkin said that I should have a clear view- and then- POOF! Billoins of people were killed. Everyone I cared about was gone. I knew everyone was waiting for my reaction, but I didn't cry. I would NEVER let them see me cry. But when I was put back in my cell- I let it all out. I didn't bother to stop the tears flowing down my face, or the sobs escaping. I cried myself to sleep.**
"Mom? Mom?" Anakin's shreik's woke Leia up. She gasped and bolted straight up. Anakin watched, wide-eyed. "Mama? I had dream like you. What was that?" he asked, lower lip trembling.
Leia sighed. "I didn't want to tell you until you were older, Anakin, but about 13 years ago my home planet was blown up by my father's friend."
Anakin stared, confused. "Why would he do that?"
Leia drew him unto her lap. "Because your grampa was not very nice. And neither were any of his friends. But in the end, he turned into a good person. Now, don't you worry about it. That's your mom's job. Your mom's and Uncle Luke's." Anakin still didn't understand it, but ran to meet his father at the door. "Papa! Papa!" He yelled, his arms out-stretched. As Han picked him up, Anakin whispered, "Mama had bad dream. I had the same one!" His eyes were round with curiousity.
Han frowned. "Leia! Come on out! I've got a big surprise."
As Han and Leia stepped through the round doors, Leia gasped. The dining room was styled completely in a Alderaan design. The chandelier was huge, and the sunlight made little rainbows. The walls were painted in gold and white, and the table was a dark, dark wood. Everything looked expensive, and even Han was surprised by how far Lando went.
"Oh, Han." Leia gasped. "It's- it's beautiful!" But Leia looked very pretty herself, in a long white satin dress and a crown made out of diamonds and rubies- the crown for Naboo.
"Han pulled out a chair for her to sit in. "Now maybe you can tell me what's been bothering you."
Leia told him the whole story. The deal, her dream, everything. Han found himself losing his appetite. "But... but that means you would be dead." Leia nodded sadly. "But you would meet me again one day." she argued.
Han looked at the ground sadly. "I don't want you to leave, but it's your choice." He glanced up at the pendant around her neck. He knew her mother meant a lot to her. I just don't know if I can compete, he thought.
Leia had one day left. But she was scared. Scared that her mother would be mad if she refused. Scared that Han would be upset if she left him. Scared of how her mother would appear. Will I die, anyway? she thought grimly.
"Mama? Mama? What is it?" Anakin asked, running up to her. "I feel that you're upset." Leia smiled a big smile for him. She had decided to come back home, after all. "Nothing, sweetheart. I'm just... thinking about the Senate." Anakin accepted that and ran off.
"Leia?!" Han yelled from downstairs. What is it now, Leia thought to herself. She rolled her eyes and joined him on the tenth step. They stood there, staring at each other, until Han said weakly, "Leia, there is one day left. What did you decide? Are you staying here with me?"
Leia sighed deeply. "I don't know," she admitted.
Then something in Han snapped. "You- you don't know? How can you NOT?! You've had a week, Leia. A WEEK! How much time do you need? I thought you loved me and the kids. How can you do this? It should be obvious!" Leia's temper boiled. She withdrew her left hand, ready to strike, when Han ducked and she lost her balance. A scream escaped her throat, but when she tumpled on her head she was silenced. Then she lay on the floor, motionless. Han stared in horror. What did I do, he thought.
When Leia opened her eyes, she was back in the courtyard. Her mother looked up from the bench. "Am I dead?" she asked sorrowfully.
Her mother laughed softly. "No, just unconscience. But it is enough time to make your decision." She stopped for a moment and noticed her necklace on Leia's neck. "What will it be? We were never able to talk to each other for 31 years- We could catch up on things. We could be together- just like best friends. If your husband cared, he wouldn't of pushed you down the stairs. You could own all this, you know. Be with Bail Organa and your father and me. What do you say?" Amidala asked softly.
Leia's mind became fuzzy. Did Han push me? I thought I fell. But my mother wouldn't lie, she thought. Her mother held out her hand. Leia took it. "Yes," she said. "I will."
Amidala's eyes turned red. Then she grew, and half her face was scared. Slowly, she transformed to the strange man from before. "It's a shame you fell for it." Leia began to float off the ground. She couldn't move!
Han placed Leia gently in his arms and placed her in their bed. A stray tear fell down his cheek, but he knew she was alive.
Something Leia had said remained in his mind. Every minute was a day. He had a bad feeling about all this. He only hoped that if a bad thing happened, it was in less than a minute.
"Han, what happened?" Luke exclaimed from behind. Startled, Han jumped. "Kid, what are you doing here?"
Luke explained it calmly. "I had a vision. Leia fell, didn't she?" But it was a rhetorical question. "I brought Mara with me. I have a feeling Leia will need all the help she can get."
An hour later, the kid's, Chewie, Mara, Han, and Luke were gathered around Leia. Her forehead had a bad gash, but Luke insisted that no doctor should be present.
Then a very weird and freaky thing happened. Leia was floating on her back, glowing a red color. The kid's began to sob in terror.
Luke swallowed a lump in his throat. He started to say something, but cried out in pain. "Luke, what is it?" Mara Jade asked in concern. "Leia. She's been hurt." Luke explained. He stared at his sister, like his insides hurt. Mara knew that it wasn't physical pain, but his love for his twin was very great, and seeing her hurt was like torture.
The group held hands. They began to think of memories of Leia.
[Luke Skywalker's memory] **In horror, I watched Ben Kenobi get cut in half. I screamed, but I learned that was a mistake. Stormtroopers tried to shoot Han, Leia and I, and just when I thought it was over I heard Ben's voice in my head. 'Run, Luke, run!'
As I sat in the Millenium Falcon, with my thoughts of misery, Leia sat next to me and put her arm around me. She told me it would be okay, and I beleived her. I don't know why. I guess because her beautiful face mirrored the pain in my loss, and her voice was full of concern. She wasn't faking, either. It was one of the first times someone had ever been so worried over me, and I knew I had made a great friend. At that moment I had found out what a great person she was, and I don't want her to leave.**
[Han Solo's memory] **I had just come out of the carbonite. I was cold, blind, and I felt horrible. A deep, gruff voice told me I had hibernation sickness. I had just been back-stabbed by a friend, so I wanted to find out if I could trust this person. I reached up to feel the person's face, but it was a bounty hunter's mask. With anger, I asked, "Who are you?"
The person who answered was Leia. "Someone who loves you." She had pulled off her mask and had risked her life for me. She could of easily said, "A friend," but she thought of me first. I silently thanked her for that.**
Leia felt an unbeleivable amount of panic. The man seemed to of known and laughed cruelly.
"Why are you doing this? Why did you trick me?" Leia asked, her voice full of hurt.
He chuckled. "You don't get it. You're a rebel. A princess. A queen. You may of killed me physically, but I still exist. Now I'm more powerful, Thanks to you. "The only think left is to destroy you, and finish the job." He pointed to outside the gate, where there was nothing. "Watch what happens when I throw this peice of paper out the gate." The paper shredded into a thousand peices. He pointed at Leia. "The same thing can happen to you."
Well, this is it, Leia thought misreably. She took off the amulet and held it in her hands. "Good-bye, mother," she muttered to herself. The man looked on in shock.
"Don't do that!" he ordered in a loud voice. Leia looked back, confused. Then she caught on. She threw the necklace with all her strength into the gate, and it dissolved.
"Nooooooooooo!" the man screamed, but then he exploded with a bang. With a cry, Leia shut her eyes to block the sight. When she opened them, she was in her bed, and her family was staring at her wide-eyed.
"Haven't you ever seen a Queen before?" Leia asked mockingly. That did it. The kid's clapped their hands in delight, and jumped on top of Leia. "Easy, easy." she moaned. She clutched her head.
The kid's climbed off, but were still grinning.
Luke and Mara hugged her, thankful she had come back.
Then it was Han's turn. He stared at the ground, shy. Leia smiled at him. "Thank you, Han." she said softly. Han looked up, over-joyed. He had been forgiven.
One Month Later:
Leia silently walked into the dining room. Her whole family was sitting there. Han noticed her face was pale. He jumped up. "Leia, what is it?"
Leia seemed to take her time answering him. Finally, she grinned and started giggling. With a gleam in her eye, she asked innocently, "So Han, where do you think the new baby should sleep?" She pointed to her stomach. Han seemed shocked at first, but then his smile matched his wife's.
Luke and Mara couldn't be happier for them. Luke whispered to Mara, "So, when are we going to have children of our own? We have a lot of catching up to do!"
Mara smiled at him. "I thought you'd never ask."