AN: I'd like to thank everyone who read and reviewed during the course of this fic. It's certainly been a lot of fun to write, so I'm always pleased to know people enjoy reading it.

"The Chaperones"

By EsmeAmelia

Chapter 15

"Gotta make sure I have all my autographs!" Tad chirped as he packed his bags. "I'm gonna show them to my kids and my kids' kids and my kids' kids' kids."

"Even the one on your old candy wrapper?" said Han, who was lying on the bed, silently counting the cracks in the ceiling.

"Yup!" said Tad. "And I'm gonna tell them all about how I met the great Han Solo on the best field trip ever and we became best friends!"

The best field trip ever. Han would have a differing opinion about that.

"Say Han," said Tad, bouncing onto the bed, "you haven't autographed my suitcase, have you?"

Han pushed himself to a sitting position. "And why should I autograph your suitcase when you've got fifty other autographs?"

"But what if I lose my other autographs?" said Tad, his eyes wide. "What if my house is on fire and the only thing I manage to save is my suitcase? I'LL HAVE LOST ALL MY AUTOGRAPHS!"

"Fine, fine," said Han. "Just get me a pen and I'll sign your suitcase."

Jacen and Anakin giggled from their bed. "Hey Dad," called Jacen, "do you wanna sign my suitcase as well? After all, you never know when you might lose everything except for your suitcase."

. . .

"Girls, make sure you have everything packed up well," said Leia. "If you leave it behind, it's lost forever."

"Lost FOREVER?" Allura cried.

"Yes," said Leia. "So make sure you double-check everything."

The girls rushed to pack up their stuff. Jaina was grabbing armfuls of clothes and stuffing them into her bag along with the various souvenirs she'd gotten. "Bet I can pack faster than you guys!" she chirped.

"No you can't!" shouted Kai.

Now that it was officially a competition, the girls looked like they would be finished within minutes. Leia actually smiled at them for a few moments, but of course, just like every other time when she thought she could relax, a fight broke out.

"That's MINE!" Allura screamed.

"No, it's MINE!" Kai screamed back.

Leia quickly whipped her head around to see that the object both sisters were claiming ownership of was a small gray sock. Allura was pulling on the toe while Kai was yanking at the ankle.

"Girls, there's no need to fight!" said Leia.

"Kai's grabbing MY sock!" Allura yelled.

"It's MY sock!" Kai yelled.

Leia groaned. "Girls, is a sock really worth fighting over?"

"YES!" Kai and Allura said in unison. "IT'S MY SOCK!"

They both started pulling harder, stretching the sock out of recognition.

"Mrs. Organa Solo," said Allura, "tell Kai she can't have my sock!"

"It's MY sock!" said Kai. "Tell her she can't have it!"

"I don't KNOW whose sock it is!" said Leia. "Jaina, help me out here."

Jaina, who had been sitting on the bed and watching the fight in amusement, grinned up at her mother. "Well, we could cut the sock in two pieces and give each of them half."

"WHAT?" both sisters screamed, again in unison. "YOU'RE NOT TOUCHING MY SOCK!"

They both tugged even harder, so hard that they were grunting from the stress.

"IT'S . . . MY . . . SOCK . . ." grunted Kai.

"MY . . . SOCK . . ." grunted Allura.

Suddenly a loud rrrriiiipppp caused the girls to stop fighting. They both gasped when they saw that the sock now had a large tear in the middle.

"LOOK WHAT YOU DID TO MY SOCK!" they both yelled before jumping on each other.

Leia sighed.

. . .

"Han, how come the autograph's not showing up?" asked Tad.

"I dunno," said Han, pushing the pen into the fabric and failing to make a mark. "It's not my fault your bag's made of this weird material you can't write on."

"But you've gotta autograph my bag!" Tad gasped. "What if . . ."

"Yeah yeah, what if your house burns down and all that's left is your bag," said Han. "Look kid, if that ever happened you could just gimmie a call and ask for a new autograph."

Tad's eyes bulged. "Wha . . . what did you say?"

"I said you could gimmie a call and ask for a new autograph," said Han. "No big deal."

"I could CALL you?" Tad exclaimed. "As in, you and me talking on the comm together?"

"Uh . . . yeah," said Han.

"Uh-oh Dad," said Jacen, "you're gonna be swamped with calls now."

Tad simply stared wide-eyed at Han for several moments before exploding. "WOOOOOOW! I GET TO CALL THE HAN SOLO!"

"Great," said Anakin, rolling his eyes. "Now you'll never be off the comm."

. . .

That night, Leia and Jaina lay together in the hotel bed for the last time. Everything was packed (at least Leia hoped so), and they would be leaving before the suns rose tomorrow. Leia was already looking forward to being back in her regular bed tomorrow night.

"Mom?" Jaina asked.

"What, honey?"

"Was I good during the trip?"

Leia sighed. "Well, apart from how you tackled Melda, yes, you were pretty good."

"So I get a treat when we get home?"

"Don't push it," Leia groaned. She turned over, letting out a large yawn in the process. "We've got to get up early tomorrow, so I'd suggest you get some sleep."

"Okay," said Jaina, but a few moments later she was talking again. "Mom, why were Kai and Allura so mean to you?"

"Probably because I actually expected them to listen," said Leia. "Go to sleep."

"So whose sock do you think it was?" asked Jaina.

Leia yawned again. "I don't really care. Go to sleep."

"I think they hate you cause they're jealous that I have such an awesome mom," Jaina continued, patting her mother's cheek. "Cause you got the Force and your cool job and all."

Leia smiled. "Yeah, you're probably right."

"Yeah," said Jaina. "Well, g'night, Mom."

"Good night."

. . .

The shuttle ride home was even noisier than the shuttle ride getting there, despite leaving super-early like last time. Once again they played a holofilm but once again no one watched it. Tad still wanted Han to try autographing his bag, but all the way home he never succeeded and ended up with a sore hand. Melda came running down the aisle three times claiming that Jacen was being mean to her, which of course meant her father was close behind and he would start arguing with Leia or Han. Kai and Allura kept fighting and Leia kept having to break up the fights because Ms. Tano was always attending to some other misbehaving child.

Finally they entered Coruscant's atmosphere, which drew great sighs of relief from almost every adult in the shuttle, including Ms. Tano. The landing platform was crowded with parents ready to pick up their children, but Ms. Tano said she wanted to take a group holo before everyone went home.

Once they landed, said group holo took at least ten minutes because the kids kept moving around and Ms. Tano kept having to shout at them. Han was sure he'd have the teacher's voice ringing in his head for at least a week.

"All right," Ms. Tano said after the holo was finally taken, "I want to thank you all for coming on our field trip. I know we had a few setbacks along the way, but overall it was a great trip and I'm sure you all learned some valuable lessons from it."

"Yeah," Han muttered to Leia, "I learned never to volunteer for one of these things."

"And I want to offer an extra-special thank you to the chaperones," Ms. Tano continued. "Without their hard work and dedication, this trip wouldn't have been possible, so let's give them a hand!" She and the children began applauding.

"Let's hear it for HAN SOLO!" Tad shouted.

"No!" said Melda. "Let's hear it for MY dad, who had to put up with idiots for the whole trip!"

"Younglings, we're clapping for everyone," Ms. Tano said quickly. "All right younglings, you may go join your parents now, and I'll see you in class!"

"Thank you, Ms. Tano," the children said in unison.

"You're very welcome!"

As the group began to scatter, Leia noticed Kai and Allura running up to a Tw'ilek woman she assumed was their mother. The woman squeezed them both in a hug and kissed their heads.

"Hello darlings!" she said in a low voice. "So how was your trip?"

"GREAT!" both Kai and Allura said in unison.

Leia's eyebrow raised. She certainly wouldn't describe a trip that was full of fights as "great."

"And you'll never guess who our roommate was!" Kai said so fast that her words strung together.

"Yeah!" said Allura. "Princess Leia Organa Solo herself! It was awesome!"

"Best trip ever!" added Kai.

Now Leia's other eyebrow went up. She considered walking up to them and telling their mother how they behaved on the trip, but then she decided that it was probably best to leave them alone. Still, it was nice to know that the girls didn't completely hate her.

When she rejoined her family, she found Han and Tad in some sort of negotiation.

"So I can call you twice a week, but not in the early morning?" Tad was asking.

"Yeah," said Han. "And if I'm not home, don't leave a thousand messages - just one will do."

"Okay," Tad said with his big grin. "Thanks for everything, Han, this has been awesome. Hey, can you introduce me to Chewie soon?"

Han actually grinned back at him. "Sure, kid."

"YES!" said Tad, wrapping his arms around Han, who, once again to Leia's surprised, hugged him back. "See ya, Han!"

"See you," said Han.

As Tad skipped over to his parents, Leia grinned at her husband. "So, you finally made peace with your little fan?"

Han cocked his head in Tad's direction. "Hey, you wouldn't want me to turn away my biggest fan, would you?" He took a deep breath. "So, home?"

"Yes," said Leia. "Home."

. . .

The Solos' apartment had never looked so beautiful, toys on the floor, marks on the walls, and all. Once they were inside, Han threw down his luggage, stepped out of his boots, and headed straight for the bedroom, with Leia following close behind.

"Are you thinking what I'm thinking?" she said, reaching over and rubbing his shoulder.

"Yup," said Han, putting his hand on hers and grinning. "Something we haven't gotten enough of lately."

"I think I'm starving for it," said Leia, slyly bumping his hip.

"Me too," said Han, running his hand through her hair. "Really starving."

By now they had reached the bedroom, and once they caught sight of the bed they both collapsed on it, letting out long, exhausted sighs. Within minutes, they were both fast asleep.

. . .

"Mom, Dad, wake up!"

"Whaaa?" Leia groaned, keeping her eyes closed.

"Come on!" said Jacen, shaking his mother's shoulder. "We've got a surprise for you!"

Han gave a long yawn. "Surprise?" he mumbled sleepily.

"Yeah!" said Jaina. "Come on, look!"

Finally the tired parents opened their eyes and pushed their heads up to find their children kneeling in a semicircle around a tray on which sat a plateful of sandwiches, a pitcher of blue milk, and a note that said "Best Chaperones Ever!" written in large, uneven handwriting.

"Surprise!" said Anakin. "We made you supper!"

Leia gave a large grin as she reached for a sandwich. "This is wonderful," she exclaimed. "Thank you, darlings."

"Well, we wanted to thank you," said Jacen.

Han took a large bite out of one of the sandwiches. "Well you're welcome, kids," he said with his mouth full. "This helps make up for all those times your teacher yelled at me."

"By the way," said Jaina, leaning forward over the tray, "can we ask you something?"

"Sure," said Leia.

"Would you be chaperones for our next field trip to Hoth?"

"WHAT?" Leia and Han shouted together.

Jaina gave a cheeky grin as her brothers burst into giggles. "Just kidding."


AN: Wow, that story ended up being longer than I originally thought. Anyway, now I can fully concentrate on my current big fanfic project "Defenders of the Force" (the first two chapters are up if you want to read it). Thanks again for reading!