AN: As you know, I don't own Star Wars, but I'm required to say that anyway. Now that that's out of the way, this fic was inspired by the many hectic experiences I've had teaching elementary school. And yes, this will probably end up being an AU since Ahsoka will most likely die at the end of Clone Wars, but I thought it would be funny if she were the Solo kids' teacher.
"Mom, Dad," nine-year-old Jaina said at the dinner table one evening.
"Yes?" Leia and Han answered at the same time.
Jaina reached into her school bag, which she hadn't let go of since arriving home from school, and pulled out three datapads. "Would you please sign these permission forms?"
"Permission forms?" said Leia. "For what?"
"There's a field trip coming up," explained Jacen with his mouth full. "To Tatooine."
"Tatooine?" exclaimed Han.
"They can bring guests, so I can go too," piped Anakin.
"Well fine," said Han, "but why the hell would anyone take a field trip to that Force-forsaken planet?"
"Han, it's the birthplace of Darth Vader, it's the original home of Luke Skywalker – it's a famous planet now," said Leia.
"Yeah," said Jaina, her eyes shining. "So will you sign them?"
"I don't see why not," said Leia, taking the datapads and entering her name without really looking at them.
"Dad needs to sign them too," said Jaina, pointing at Han.
Han exhaled through his teeth. "Fine, fine," he said, taking the datapads. "But if you guys get sunburned, don't blame me." He signed the datapads without looking at them and tossed them back to his children. "There."
Jacen grinned as he looked over the datapads. "Thanks, Dad. Thanks both of you for volunteering to be chaperones on the trip."
"WHAT?" both Han and Leia reacted together.
Jacen's eyes grew big as he innocently looked up at his parents. "What? Did we forget to tell you about that?"
. . .
Day One, One Week Later
"Mom, Dad, wake up!"
Han groaned, pulling the covers over his head. "Not now . . ." he mumbled, wanting only to go back to sleep.
"Yes now," said Jaina, pushing her father's body and yanking the covers down. "Or the shuttle will leave without us."
"Tell the shuttle to wait an hour."
Leia gave a big yawn. "It's all right, Han. We'll be able to sleep on the shuttle."
Now Jaina was grabbing Han's hand and yanking on his arm. "Yeah Dad, but first we need to GET on the shuttle!"
"Five more minutes . . ."
"No, NOT five more minutes, NOW!" Now Jaina was yanking so hard that it felt like she was trying to pull Han's arm off. "Dad, come on, get up, get UP!"
The mattress creaked from Leia sitting up, then almost immediately Han felt a shove in his back, pushing him in Jaina's direction and almost off the bed.
"Lei-aaaaa," Han slurred. "What'd you do that for?"
"I knew you wouldn't get up otherwise," said Leia, getting out of bed and pulling on her robe. "Now come on, we've gotta get dressed. And don't you dare go back to sleep."
Han grunted. "Fine, fine, I'm up." He yawned as he forced himself out of bed, dreading what he had gotten himself into.
. . . . . .
There wasn't a hint of sunlight when the Solos reached the landing platform where they were to wait for the shuttle. Bunches of children and half-awake parents were gathered around, but unlike Han and Leia, most of the parents would get to go home after the shuttle picked up their kids and go back to bed. How Han envied them. The luggage was stacked haphazardly in a pile where it looked like things could easily get mixed up. Some kid might end up picking up his clothes. Or some other poor chaperone parent might end up wearing them. Han gulped, wondering just why he hadn't gone to someone saying he had never meant to sign up for this.
"Look!" said Jaina, pointing upward as she tugged on her father's shirt. "There it is!"
Han looked up and sure enough, there was what he presumed was their shuttle, growing larger and larger as it neared the landing platform. Well, at least now he might be able to get some sleep, even if it would be in a cramped shuttle seat instead of his comfortable bed.
"Good MORNING, everyone!" a middle-aged Togruta woman sang as she jumped out of the shuttle, just seconds after it landed.
"Good morning, Ms. Tano!" the kids all sang in unison, ringing in Han's ears.
Han had to struggle not to groan. Ms. Tano's perky attitude was the last thing he needed this early in the morning. No wait, it wasn't even morning, not by any logical definition of the word. Who was the idiot who decided morning started in the middle of the night anyway?
"All right boys and girls, line up outside the shuttle, line up!" Ms. Tano said, her voice way too cheery for this time of morning, or night, as Han preferred.
Immediately the children broke away from their parents and started lining up by the shuttle's door with constant chatter that sounded like, "He cut in front of me!" and "I was here first!" Even Leia and Han's children were getting into the struggle – Jacen and Jaina were shoving each other for a spot in line and Anakin was shouting out that another kid had taken a place that was rightfully his.
"Now now, younglings," said Ms. Tano, "there's no need to push each other around," but the children acted like they hadn't heard her, which was probably true. By now their chatter had grown so loud that Han was feeling an urge to cover his ears.
Ms. Tano apparently decided to try a different approach this time. "All right class, ATTENTION!" she boomed, and immediately the children quieted down as if they were soldiers snapping into order.
"That's better," said Ms. Tano. "Now, I know you're all excited to go to Tatooine, but unfortunately, we can't get on the shuttle until we've got a straight, quiet line. Understand?"
"Yeah," one of the kids said.
"I said a quiet line," said Ms. Tano. "Now I'll say it again, we can't get on the shuttle until we have no talking. So I'll wait for you to get the chatter out of you before we leave."
Han couldn't help but groan. Did it really matter so much whether or not the line was straight and if a few kids were still talking to each other?
Apparently so, since Ms. Tano proceeded to shush anyone who still said so much as one word and refused to let the line move for at least a good five minutes. "All right," she finally said, by which time Han was almost asleep on his feet, "we're all straight, we're all quiet, I think we're finally ready to get on the shuttle, quietly."
Han was beginning to feel embarrassed at the sight of his own kids in the midst of that military-ish line. Maybe former Jedi generals weren't exactly the right people to teach school.
After the kids were finally on the shuttle, Ms. Tano shuffled up to Leia and Han while the other parents loaded their kids' luggage in the back. "Ah, the Solos," she said with a large smile. "I want to thank you for volunteering to be chaperones."
"It was a pleasure," said Leia, omitting the fact that they had been tricked into volunteering.
Ms. Tano made a squeal that sounded almost like a little girl. "I'm sure the whole class is excited that you're joining us – I know I certainly am." She turned to Leia. "You know I was your father's padawan, right?"
"I think you might have told us a few times," said Leia.
"Like, every time we talk to you," said Han.
"Well," said Ms. Tano, "you can go ahead and find your seats. I'll take care of your luggage."
"Finally," Han groaned. Without bothering to say goodbye to the teacher, he headed to the shuttle doorway and climbed up the steps to get in. Inside, the kids' chatter had started up again, no surprise there. Some were blowing hot air onto the windows and drawing faces in the fog, others were running up and down the aisle (one of whom almost ran right into Han), and still others were opening their bags and showing off what they were bringing on the trip.
"Psst, Dad, sit with me!"
Han turned around and there was Jaina in a window seat, her small bag in the seat next to her. "I saved a seat for you, Dad," she said cheerily.
"Thanks hon," said Han, though he would have preferred a window seat since that would be more comfortable to sleep in. He slid into the seat as soon as Jaina lifted her bag. "Now you're gonna behave on this trip right?" he said teasingly. "I don't wanna see any bad reports from ole' General Tano."
"Dad," Jaina said with a giggle.
"Course, General Tano's gonna have to answer to General Solo if she gives you any unfair bad reports," Han continued, grinning at his daughter.
As if she had heard her name spoken, at that instant Ms. Tano's voice filled the shuttle. "All right class, ATTENTION!"
The kids snapped to attention yet again, including Jaina.
"Thank you," said Ms. Tano. "Now before we take off, I want to make sure everyone has their safety harness buckled. I'll be going down the aisle checking everyone. Remember flight safety, everyone!"
Han looked down and realized that he had forgotten to buckle his own safety harness. Quickly he dug down into the seat, yanked the harness out, and fastened it just as Ms. Tano was passing them.
"Good, good," said Ms. Tano. "I wouldn't want to have to use a parent as an example of not following flight safety rules."
Han gulped as she continued down the aisle checking everyone.
"Hey Dad," said Jaina, "you know your face is pink, right?"
When the teacher finished her inspection, she returned to the front of the shuttle and addressed the class again with her loud "ATTENTION" that made Han's ears ring.
"Now," she continued, "it will take a while to get to Tatooine, even at lightspeed, but we'll be watching a holofilm on the way and we'll have snacks, plus we'll be stopping for breakfast in about an hour. I don't want any complaining about the trip being boring and I don't want any fighting, got that?"
"Yes, Ms. Tano," the kids said in unison.
"Good," said Ms. Tano, after which she finally sat in her own seat and the driver started up the shuttle.
"Look," said Jaina, pointing out the window and Coruscant's lights getting smaller and smaller below them. "Isn't it pretty?"
"Yeah," Han said with a yawn. "Now if you don't mind honey, Dad's gonna take a nap."
Jaina wrinkled her nose. "You'll snore."
Han groaned yet again. "So?" He gestured to the rest of the shuttle, where the child chatter had already started up again. "I doubt anyone'll hear it." He leaned back in his seat, closing his eyes as he felt the shuttle jump into hyperspace.
"All right younglings," Ms. Tano said, "you can walk around now, but be careful. We'll start our holofilm in just a few minutes."
Han squeezed his eyes tighter, trying to imagine that he was tucked up in bed with a soft pillow and warm blankets, but then someone whispered, "Psst!" directly in his ear, blowing an annoying wind into it.
"Jaina," Han moaned, "Dad's trying to sleep."
"I'm not Jaina," said an unfamiliar child's voice.
With still another groan (how many times had he groaned today?), Han opened his eyes to find a boy around Jaina's age with short black hair standing next to him. "All right, who are you and why are you disturbin' me?"
"Dad, this is Tad," said Jaina. "He's one of my classmates."
The boy was grinning creepily at Han. "Are you really the Han Solo?"
"Yeah," said Han, "and I'm tired, so if you could go bother someone else . . ."
"WOW!" shouted Tad, leaning against Han's knees as he kicked his feet in the air. "The Han Solo is coming on our trip – I can't BELIEVE it!"
"Okay kid, I get it, you're a huge fan, now can you let me sleep?"
"Can I have your autograph?" Tad said so rapidly that it sounded like a single word.
"Not now," said Han, closing his eyes again.
The boy rapped loudly and painfully on Han's knees. "I won't let you sleep until you give me one!"
"Then I'll just tell your teacher that you're buggin' me and she'll put you in detention," said Han, keeping his eyes closed.
"I don't care," said Tad. "I'll do anything it takes to get the Han Solo's autograph."
Han opened his eyes and looked confusedly at the boy. "Wait a sec, you're sayin' you don't care if you get detention?"
"You'd better give him your autograph, Dad," said Jaina. "It'll save you a lot of trouble."
Han gave a yawn so large that it felt like his jaw might snap. "Look kid . . ." he said.
"You've got morning breath," said Tad.
Han sighed through his teeth. "Kid, if I give ya an autograph, will you leave me alone?"
"Okay," said Han. "What have ya got for me to sign?"
Tad's eyes suddenly bulged. "Oh Force, I forgot to bring something! Be right back!"
With that he dashed back to his seat, his feet pounding the floor as he did so. Han leaned back in his seat again, thinking that maybe he could nap a little while the kid looked for something, but no sooner had he closed his eyes than he felt a sharp jab in his shoulder.
"Hey!" Tad hissed. "You can't go to sleep until I get an autograph, remember?"
Han opened his eyes and his jaw dropped. Tad was carrying a bundle in his arms that consisted of datapads, shoes, small holoposters of Han, a shirt or two, an empty chip bag, a wallet, and a figurine of Han with a large wobbly head.
"Kid, there's no way I'm signin' all that stuff," Han declared.
"You said you would," said Tad, making his eyes wide as if trying to be cute.
"I said I'd give you one autograph!"
"Sure you did," said Tad. With that, he dumped all the stuff into Han's lap. "One autograph on each of my things. And if you stand up I'll tell Ms. Tano that you spilled my stuff all over and she'll be mad at you for not setting a good example."
Jaina giggled a bit before Han glared at her. "Fine," he said through a sigh. "Give me a pen."
"Oh Force!" the boy said again. "I forgot my pen! Just a second!"
As the boy rushed to get his pen, Han growled a few words that were usually inappropriate to use in a bus full of children, but fortunately the kid chatter was too loud for anyone to make them out.
By the time he was finished signing autographs, Han's hand was sore and he was more tired than ever. It took Tad several trips to get all his stuff off of Han's lap since he "didn't want anything happening to his precious autographs," but hopefully the kid was finally satisfied now. For the third time Han leaned back and closed his eyes, desperately hoping he'd be asleep soon.
"All right class," Ms. Tano's overly perky voice shouted, invading Han's darkness, "it's HOLOFILM TIME!"
"YAY!" the kids shouted together.
"Hey Dad," Jaina whispered, "don't you wanna see the holofilm?"
"No," said Han, keeping his eyes closed.
The holofilm's opening music came booming into his ears, but he concentrated on relaxing, even when the sounds of a space battle surrounded him and the kids' chatter was increasing its volume yet again even though the holofilm was supposed to hold their attention.
This was going to be a long trip.