"I want to sit with you."
Han almost laughed aloud as he lowered her datapad to look at his wife. "What's that?"
Leia struggled to sit up in her medical bunk. She repeated, "I want to sit with you."
Leia had been in recovery for just over a month now; her legs were still healing from an encounter with a gang of Yuuzhan Vong who had been in the middle of sacrificing Leia to their gods.
Han had nearly lost her.
Now, not only was Leia in the middle of a long physical recovery, but the two of them- together- were in the middle of a long recovery of their marriage. While some parts of it had been quick to heal, Han knew it would take a while for things between them to be comfortable again. It would be a while before Han could speak to her without her wincing as she remembered harsh words he'd screamed at her in grief and confusion. It would be a while before Han could speak or even look at her without feeling consumed by his own guilt. Leia seemed to be eager enough to fix things between them. It was like she'd missed him so much, she needed him at all times; she needed to know he was still there and that he would never leave her side again.
And Han hated himself all the more because of it.
He looked at her now, his gaze avoiding her swollen, purple legs. "Sweetheart, you're in no condition to leave that bed-"
Leia stopped him there with a deathly glare. "I've been lying in medbunks for a month now. Han, please, I just want to sit with you. Your chair looks so much more comfortable."
While Han didn't doubt that his chair in her medroom looked much better than her own bed, Han knew that wasn't really the reason to her words. He chuckled a little. "Trust me; it's not as nice as it looks."
Leia shrugged. "I don't care. Han, just let me sit with you."
Han got up and stood at her side, gently pushing her back down on her bed. "You need to rest, first. That is, if you want to get out of this bed as much as you say you do."
"Han!" Leia whined. She looked like she was so frustrated, she could burst into tears at any moment. It broke Han's heart. "I spent a month in a medbed on Corellia, then all of our time on the Falcon in either the medbunk there or the repulsor chair. I just want to sit with you, Han."
He really couldn't stand to see her so upset and Han could see how vulnerable she was in this rare moment. More than anything, Han wanted to concede to her wishes. If she felt anything like he did, Leia just wanted to be with him as they hadn't in so long. Because Han had left her. She just wanted to sit with him, sleep in the same bed as him like a normal married couple. Like they hadn't in months. Because Han had left her. And he would never do that to her again.
Han circled around her bed where Leia's fluid drip hung on a hook and more machines and tubes were stationed that were all connected to her. They were all hung on the same post and Han rolled the post to stand beside his chair. Leia's face brightened. Han returned to her side and slipped an arm beneath her shoulders. "This is going to hurt, sweetheart," he warned her even though she already knew.
She repeated simple, "Han, I just want to sit with you."
Without another thought, Han put his other arm under her legs and he lifted her out of the bunk. Leia screamed, but she silenced herself, burying her face in Han's shoulder so she could muffle her groan against his shirt. Carefully and slowly, Han sat down and kept his wife curled up in his lap. He held her in his arms like a child and when Leia looked up at his face with tears of pain dotting her cheeks, Han wiped them all away and laid a tender kiss on her forehead. Leia tilted her head back so his lips were now on hers. It was brief, short-lived, but- for now- it was a step forward.
"I missed you," she whispered, resting her head against his chest.
"I missed you too," Han responded and it wasn't a lie. He'd always subconsciously known he'd spent months away from Leia searching for something, searching for a peace in her heart that he didn't know how to achieve. Now, though, Han knew that that peace he'd been searching for was exactly what he'd left behind. He'd been searching for Leia without realizing it.
"You're never leaving me again, Solo," she said in a sort of slur. She was hyped up on so many painkillers, it killed Han.
"No!" she vigorously shook her head and Han cupped her head in his hand to calm her. "I'm not letting you go. Never again, Han. Next time you want to run, I won't let you."
"I know you won't. And you should know I won't ever consider it again."
"You won't," Leia agreed.
Quickly enough, Leia fell asleep in his arms. Han cradled her close, whispering all the promises he could think of. I'm never leaving you again. You'll never be by yourself again. I'll always be there with you and the kids. I love you too much. I will never let anyone hurt you again. I will hold you in my arms for the rest of our lives.