Friday, May 25, 2012

Mother's Day Challenge Submission #2

Aside from a single chapter of the joint story, this is the first thing I've written in months, so go easy on me!  And, like the other one, this is just fluff.  I was inspired by the post that said something about things not going so well for Mother's Day, so I just typed this one up.  Hope you enjoy!

She faintly heard the tiny cries waking her from a deep sleep.  These were not cries of distress, but rather the frustrated cries of a child who was ready to be freed from the confines of her crib so she could explore the world for another day.  Leia Solo slowly opened one eye and tried to shake the fog of another night of not enough sleep.  She and her husband Han had been raising their twins Jacen and Jaina for eight months now, and it had been at least that long since either one of them had felt completely rested.  She constantly tried to remind herself that those two, beautiful little babies were worth all of the trouble, but it didn't change the fact that their were certainly mornings where she awakened and wanted nothing more than to remain curled up in bed for the remainder of the day.  So far, today was turning out to be one of those mornings. 

But her daughter continued to fuss, and Leia was quite sure that she would not stop until someone came and released her.  Just as she rolled over, she noticed that Han was not lying next to her.  Before she even had a chance to contemplate why she heard his low, soothing voice over the baby monitor as he entered the children's room and apparently got Jaina out of her crib, as she almost immediately stopped crying and started making adorable little cooing noises.  Leia smiled.  Jaina had always been easily soothed by her father. 

"Good morning, baby girl," she heard Han say quietly through the speaker.  "No more crying so Mommy can, sleep, okay?  You know what today is, right?"

Leia almost started laughing as she listened to her husband asking their daughter questions when she was far too young to actually answer him.  But she still heard her babbling as if to answer.  "That's right," Han said.  "It's Mother's Day.  It's your mommy's first Mother's Day, so we have to treat her extra special, right?" 

Leia heard another series of incoherent babbles and fought the urge to get out of bed and visually witness the scene.  Han obviously wanted her to stay in bed, and she was not one to turn down such an opportunity.  So she pulled the covers more tightly around her and snuggled back down into the warm mattress, shutting her eyes and savoring a little bit of extra rest. 

Sometime later, though she had no concept of how long she'd been asleep, Leia was gently awakened as she felt a familiar weight settle into the mattress.  She rolled onto her back and opened her eyes to find her husband clad in a white t-shirt and light blue sleep pants and holding each of their adorable twins in his arms.  He looked back and forth between each of their smiling faces, bouncing them at his sides.  "Can you tell Mommy happy Mother's Day?"

His eyes were on Jacen, who smiled brightly and then vigorously shook his head.  "No?  What about you, Jaina?"  He turned to his daughter, who mimicked her brother's response.  "Oh, come on," he said mockingly.  "Come on," he said again before leaning in and pretending to bite at her neck while she screeched loudly with laughter, then he repeated the same gesture on Jacen, who let out an equally loud squeal.  Leia smiled.  Han was a wonderful father and she loved watching him interact with their children, who seemed to love him just as much. 

"All right, then.  How about kisses?  Can you give Mommy kisses?"  He lowered each of them down to the bed and Leia took the opportunity to lean in to each of their tiny faces so they could reach her lips. 

Once they each kissed their mother, Leia sat up and pulled them into her lap.  "Thank you, my sweeties."  She looked up at Han smiling back at her.  "And thank you for letting me sleep a little bit more this morning."

"It was the least I could do.  But that's not all for you today."

Leia arched an eyebrow, intrigued.  "Oh, really?"

"Really.  I've booked you a massage, a pedicure and a facial."

Leia smirked.  "What?" Han asked.  "Come on, I know about that stuff."

"Oh, I'm sure you do.  And thank you," she said before leaning forward and Han caught the hint and met her halfway for a kiss.  "But what about these little darlings?" Leia said, bouncing the twins in her lap.

"I'll handle 'em for a few hours.  It'll be fine."

"Are you sure?"  It's not that she didn't think he could handle them on his own.  He had managed a few times before.  She just knew that two eight-month olds were not easy to handle for anyone on their own.  Leia noted, not for the first time, that it was a good thing they were so cute or their parents might have gotten rid of them by now for all the trouble they were. 

"Sweetheart, we'll be fine.  It's just for an afternoon.  You deserve a little break.  Now, what do you guys think?" he asked the twins.  "You want to play with Daddy all day?  Huh?"  He reached out and tickled each of their bellies, eliciting their infectious giggles.  "See?  They love the idea."

"All right, then," Leia replied.  "I'll just take a shower and be on my way."

Leia had been gone for a couple of hours, and was still at least a few more from returning.  Things had started out simply enough.  Han had managed to feed the twins and then spent some time on the floor playing with them, inventing new ways to make them laugh.  He loved their little smiling faces. 

But as much as he loved their smiles, he was not such a fan of them when they were fussy.  And getting them down for their morning nap had proven to be more difficult than usual.  The two tended to be pretty decent sleepers, Han guessed because they were quite good at tiring themselves out during their waking hours.  But while Jacen seemed to have no trouble calming down once Han placed him in his crib, Jaina was a different story. 

She'd started crying almost immediately, and Han had tried leaving the room for a few minutes in the hopes she'd fall asleep, but it didn't seem to work and he found himself back in the room, picking her up and trying to quiet her.  It usually didn't take him much more than simply holding her for her to become content, but her distress continued.  "What's wrong, baby girl?  Do you miss Mommy?"

Her brown eyes were filled with tears and he felt at a loss as far as what to do.  He knew he'd spend the rest of his life trying to keep that little girl from knowing any sadness, and he hated that he didn't know what to do to make her happy. 

Leia felt as though she had died and gone to heaven.  She had spent nearly two hours having every muscle in her body worked over, and every knot or ache or pain massaged away, leaving her feeling more refreshed than she'd felt in many, many months.  She was currently lying reclined in a plush chair, wearing the softest, fluffiest robe she'd ever touched, her face caked with some sort of rejuvenating mask and her feet being gently rubbed by a lovely young woman who worked at the spa, her hands seeming to have magical properties. 

She sighed as she released a deep breath of satisfaction, thinking about how lucky she was to have such a wonderful husband who would do this for her.  And thinking about how much she loved those two little babies that both exhausted her and delighted her to no end.  She had no idea she'd enjoy this Mother's Day thing so much.

After two hours, Han had given up trying to get Jaina to nap.  He'd checked her diaper and tried to feed her, hoping that the solution would be just that obvious.  It didn't work.  Finally he pressed the backs of his fingers against her cheeks, finding them a bit warmer than usual.  A check with a thermometer in her ear confirmed that she had a bit of a fever.  It wasn't high enough to be alarming, but it was certainly high enough to be the cause of her being so obviously uncomfortable.  And it was certainly going to make for a long afternoon. 

Jacen had woken up and soon Han had two of them to deal with again.  Fortunately his son was being far more cooperative and Han was able to leave him to entertain himself, sitting in some giant chair surrounded by lights and things that spun and all sorts of random amusements to entertain a baby.  Han thanked the gods that his children were not yet mobile on their own, or he might be in serious trouble. 

Suddenly, the crying stopped.  Han looked at Jaina and saw her eyes still wet with tears, but at least she was quiet.  "Are you feeling better, honey?  Are you gonna be good for Daddy?"

He had barely gotten the words out before his daughter threw up her breakfast down the front of his shirt, immediately resuming her crying afterward.  Han sighed and shook his head, then heard Jacen joining in on the tears.  "Gods, I hope Leia appreciates this!" 

Han had mostly been unable to keep the kids quiet.  He had somehow managed to feed Jacen, who was at least less fussy than his sister.  But poor Jaina still wasn't feeling very well.  And Han had at least managed to change his t-shirt, only to have her throw up again on his pants while he was bouncing her on his knee.  He'd finally called their pediatrician to get some advice and gave Jaina some medicine that would hopefully soothe her obviously upset stomach. 

He put Jacen down for another nap, thanking the gods that once again his son at least had no trouble falling asleep.  Knowing it was futile, he placed Jaina in her crib and tried to walk away, but her crying persisted and once again he was left carrying her around, hoping that maybe, just maybe she'd quiet down and fall asleep. 

Finally he decided that walking her around wasn't helping, so he might as well lie down himself.  If she was going to be crying anyway he might as well get a little rest himself.  "All right, sweetie, let's lie down here on the couch.  Daddy needs to shut his eyes for a few minutes."  He lowered himself down and swung his long legs up onto the couch in the living room, propping his head up on a pillow behind him and placing Jaina on her stomach against his chest.  He gently rubbed her back and slowly heard her cries quiet and eventually disappear. 

Han almost couldn't believe it.  And once again he was reminded how easy it was for his children to make him go from being immensely frustrated with them to never wanting to let them go in about five seconds flat.  "That's a good girl," Han said quietly, continuing to rub her back soothingly and shutting his own eyes.  "You be a good girl for Daddy while we wait for Mommy to get home.  Daddy's just going to rest for a few minutes."

He felt her breathing slow and simply felt the slight weight of her tiny body against his chest.  She had almost made him forget the prior four hours in which she had driven him crazy... almost. 

Leia arrived home feeling invigorated.  Her skin felt as soft and smooth as she could ever remember, and any tenseness that had been residing throughout her body was completely gone.  She had enjoyed her day to herself but she was very much looking forward to seeing Han and the twins.  She'd spent some time thinking of several ways to thank her husband that she was sure he would enjoy. 

She opened the door to their house expecting to hear the noises of the three of them playing, but instead she only found silence.  As she slowly made her way inside she had to suppress the urge to audibly express how adorable the sight in front of her was.  There on the couch was Han, lying flat on his back with his head turned toward her, mouth slightly agape and his chest slowly rising and falling as he breathed deeply in sleep.  One arm hung down off the couch and onto the floor, but the other was resting gently on Jaina's back as she lay on her tummy in an equal state of sound sleep resting on his chest, her little arms tucked under her, her face pressed against her Daddy's chest.

Leia took a few moments to commit the image to memory and then walked over to sit on the edge of the couch near Han's head, absently brushing a few stray hairs from his forehead.  She hadn't intended to wake him, but he stirred and opened his eye, looking up to her as she smiled back before leaning down to kiss his forehead. 

Han glanced down, seemingly not realizing that Jaina was still sound asleep on his chest.  His hand moved up and down her back again, and Leia reached over to touch the soft, brown hairs on her little head.  "How was your day?" Han whispered.

"It was wonderful, thank you.  Really.  How was yours?"

Han looked down at his sleeping daughter, appearing to consider his answer before turning back to look at Leia.  "Great.  No problem."

As soon as the words were out of his mouth Leia heard Jacen's cries from the next room, and it took about three seconds for Jaina to join in on the fun.  Leia saw Han's eyes roll.

"Happy to be home?" he asked, raising his voice a little to be heard over the twins' cries. 

Leia looked down at her husband and said sincerely, "Absolutely," before heading to the nursery to get Jacen.

The rest of the afternoon had passed routinely.  Han told Leia about Jaina's fever, which upon the latest check had come down considerably.  Leia had to suppress a laugh when Han mentioned how many times he'd been thrown up on that day.  They'd managed to feed and bathe the children and even get them into bed at a decent hour, when mercifully they fell asleep quickly. 

As they made their way back to their bedroom, Han collapsed face first onto the bed with a loud, over dramatic groan.  Leia laughed and sat next to him, rubbing his back.  It felt like all of the knots that had been massaged out of her muscles had somehow been transferred to his.  So she moved her hands to gently rub his shoulders.  "Rough day, darling?" Leia asked.

"Is it too late to give them back?" Han asked, his voice muffled against the bed. 

"I'm sorry, sweetheart.  But I'm afraid they are nonreturnable.  But thank you for the wonderful gift.  I think I like Mother's Day."

Han rolled over on his side so he could look up at her.  "Good.  You deserved it, honey.  Those kids are a real handful."

"Well, you're the one who wanted them so badly.  And no matter how you feel about them they do seem to love their daddy."

"What's not to love?" he asked with a crooked grin.

"Exactly," she replied before leaning in to kiss him. 

"I hope you enjoyed your first Mother's Day."

"I did, thank you.  And if you'll just give me two minutes in the 'fresher I'm going to show you just how much I appreciate it."

Han's expression changed as he got that mischievous glint in his eye that always gave her goosebumps.  "Oh, really?" he asked.

She leaned down so her lips were millimeters from his, kissing him softly and pulling back only slightly.  "Really."

She stood to go to the 'fresher and heard Han call from behind her.  "Don't be long."

"Don't worry," she said before disappearing through the door.  Once she had finished, she walked back out into the bedroom, expecting to see Han's eyes staring up at her in anticipation.  Instead, she found him lying on his stomach, apparently sound asleep.  She was only slightly disappointed, knowing how exhausted he must be and also knowing from experience that with Han, when this sort of thing happened, as soon as he was awake he would make up for any missed opportunities. 

She quietly slipped into bed next to him, pulling the blankets up to cover them both and lying to face him, taking his hand in hers and kissing it gently.  "I love you," she whispered, seeing the corners of his mouth turn up ever so slightly at the words.  She smiled and shut her eyes, thinking about what a shame it was that Mother's Day only came once a year.


  1. Oh, that was so cute! Han as dad is great and of course the kids would love him. Love it when he asks if it's too late to return them. Never could tell when one of mine was about to throw up and have had days like that when nothing stayed clean or they wouldn't sleep without being held. Poor Han though falling asleep before he got his reward.

    Very nice job!

  2. *melts in huge puddle of fluff*

    Zyra, this is so sweet. I think it will take a lot to beat the mental image of sleepy Han with little Jaina sleeping on his chest for pure cuteness. Aww, I love that.

    Han is clearly a very devoted daddy, he's so great with them.

    Two lines I particularly liked "Is it too late to give them back?" and "Whats not to love?", that one is totally Han.

    But poor Han, those little darlings have worn him out and he won't be having fun with Leia tonight. Bummer.

    Zyra, it's so nice to have you writing again. We do miss your stories, and this one really is delightful.

  3. Image of Jaina sleeping soundly on Han's chest...priceless.

    Han would totally be a great dad, and this story was amazing...on so many levels. And the "Is it too late to give them back" made me laugh a bit. Really cute.

    Great job!!! And it's great to have you back Zyra!

  4. That was so adorable! Han is a great dad... he's so sweet. Just to cute for words! *Also melts into a huge puddle of fluff*

  5. Sorry for the late comment, been out of town. Awww, This was really sweet. I love when Han calls Jaina "baby girl." Makes me misty eyed. Poor Jaina not feeling well. It is amazing how babies can completely were you out. I think moms and dads need the naps more than the babies. It's nice to read about these baby years. Great job and thanks for sharing.

  6. Thanks for sharing this! Amazing job, I could really picture every moment happening and I had such a fun time with this read. I just savored the moment where he let her sleep in for a bit. *I pretended it was me he was taking care of but so what haha* Seriously though, you write Han and Leia so well.

  7. Awww. I just love how you write Han with the kids. Isn't it always the way that the poor Dad's end up with a little sick one and have no clue what to do! Great Job! Wonderful writing as always from you. :-)

  8. That was cute! :D

    I'm sure if Leia & Luke had grown up together, they would have been exactly like Jaina and Jacen on this story. :) Leia would have been the more demanding baby twin, Luke having no problem falling asleep. :)