The first thing he was aware of was that he was far more comfortable than he’d been in weeks. He was lying on his back, his head and shoulders propped up on big, fluffy pillows. Comfortably, wonderfully warm, he felt the weight of the soft comforter pulled up to his chest, resting over his body. The mattress underneath him was just the right combination of firm and soft, thanks to much deliberation during the purchase process with his wife.
His wife. Han Solo slowly opened his eyes, the fog quickly lifting as the room came into focus. This was no longer the sterile room at the med center that he had been forced to stay in for far too long during the initial part of his healing process from the terrible beating he’d taken from Nil Spaar.
He winced at the memory, still occasionally being able to feel the sharp pain of the blows even though over time his injuries had mostly become merely a dull ache in spots. He’d been so insistent on coming home as soon as possible and it still took weeks. He felt as though he wouldn’t truly heal until he was allowed to go home.
Glancing down, he saw the top of Leia’s head as she slept peacefully. Her head was resting on his shoulder, her body pressed intimately against his and her hand resting against his chest, clasped in his own. It was such a relief to see her looking so content. She’d spent a few nights with him in the med center, sharing his room but, unfortunately, not his bed. The dark circles that had worsened during his recovery made her look almost worse than he did, and he’d barely been recognizable the first time she’d seen him after the beating.
He wasn’t sure which was worse: the beating itself or seeing Leia’s face as she saw the extent of his injuries. He couldn’t stand seeing her hurt, and he could only imagine the worry and agony she had endured at not just knowing what had happened to him, but being forced to watch. He wasn’t sure that he would’ve been able to handle seeing anything remotely close happening to her and hoped he'd never have to.
He knew she’d blamed herself, no matter how many times he’d tried to convince her otherwise. He was proud of her for making the right call and tried to remind her that it didn’t matter anymore, because they were all going to be fine. The last time he’d seen her act so protectively of him was probably just after she’d rescued him from carbonite.
Leaning down, he kissed the hair on top of Leia’s head, lingering for a moment to inhale the sweet, fruity scent. Gods, he had missed this. He gave her hand a gentle squeeze as she continued to sleep. Normally she was far too easy to wake, but she remained still. Han had a feeling that this was the most she’d slept in quite a long time, and he had no intention of interrupting her.
His thoughts were interrupted by the sound of the bedroom door opening and the sight of his youngest son peering in timidly, clutching a stuffed Wookiee against his chest. Han smiled down at Anakin, reminded again of how much he’d missed his children and how much they’d missed him. It had been almost as painful as his injuries when he’d learned that he wouldn’t get to see them right away upon his return. Though he understood that the sight of their father in such a state might be too much for them to handle.
He swore that he started healing faster when they were finally brought to see him, able to lavish him in hugs and kisses. Grinning at the memory of their excited smiles when they learned that their daddy would be coming home, Han pressed his finger to his lips and eyed his wife, attempting to tell his son to be quiet since his mommy was still sleeping.
Anakin nodded slowly, and Han reached with the hand not holding Leia’s to turn down the blankets. The young boy smiled as he quietly approached the bed and climbed in next to his father, gingerly sliding up against him as Han draped the blankets back over their legs. The children had been informed that Daddy wasn’t entirely healed yet and they needed to be a bit careful for a while.
Han draped an arm across his son’s shoulders and hugged him close to his side. Bright blue eyes looked up at him and smiled before he whispered, “I love you, Daddy.”
Gods, he had missed waking up in this house. Leaning down, he kissed his son’s forehead and whispered, “I love you, too.”
At the sound of the words, Han felt Leia stir against his side, her fingers rubbing absently against the fabric of the t-shirt he wore. Before she could even get her bearings, Han leaned down and kissed the top of her head once again. “Good morning, sweetheart.”
Before she could respond, Anakin sat up to look across his father’s body. “Hi, Mommy!”
Leia reached over and mussed her son’s hair. “Hi, sweetie. Did you come in to see Daddy?”
Anakin nodded enthusiastically.
“I’m glad he’s home, too,” Leia said as she looked up at Han, her brown eyes shining with what appeared to be relief.
“Hi, Daddy!” Han heard the familiar and welcome voice of his daughter, Jaina, coming from the doorway as she walked towards the large bed excitedly, her twin brother Jacen following closely behind with an equally large smile on his face.
Jaina climbed right up into the bed to wedge herself between her parents while Jacen climbed in on Leia’s side, leaning up against his mother. After giving her a kiss, Han noticed that Jaina had something in her hand.
“What’s that, honey?”
Jaina glanced at her brothers as though asking silent permission and then held up a folded piece of colored paper. “Happy Father’s Day!”
Han smiled. After being so preoccupied with simply recovering and finally coming home, he’d completely forgotten about Father’s Day. As he unfolded the paper he saw the bright colors of pictures his children had drawn for him, each contributing their own art to the piece. They’d drawn the whole family, big smiles on their faces, holding hands with the house and trees in the background. Han’s heart warmed at the knowledge that this was the image his children thought of when they thought of their family and their home.
Written in various colors in slightly messy children’s handwriting were the words, “To the best Dad ever, Happy Father’s Day. Love, Jacen, Jaina and Anakin.”
Han wasn’t sure that simply being home could’ve gotten any better, but this certainly did it. He looked back and forth into the faces of their three children, reminded of how quickly they’d grown, how proud of them he was and how much he loved them.
“Thank you, guys,” he said before leaning over to kiss Anakin, then Jaina, then giving Jacen a moment to climb over his mother to get his kiss. “I’m gonna keep this forever,” he said sincerely.
Leia looked between their children and said, “All right, why don’t you guys go and give Daddy a few minutes to get ready and we’ll have a nice, big Father’s Day breakfast, sound good?”
The children nodded excitedly and scampered off into the hallway, leaving Han and Leia alone once again. “I totally forgot,” Han said as he held the card up.
“I’m not surprised. There’s been a lot going on these past few weeks. I’m so glad you’re home.”
“Me, too,” Han replied.
“You ready to get up?” Leia asked as she slipped out of bed and walked to his side, holding her hands out to him.
The gesture seemed a bit odd to him until he started swinging his legs to the side, suddenly painfully reminded that while he’d been allowed to wake up in his own bed instead of the med center, he was far from fully healed. He hated being anything less than one hundred percent, but he had to remind himself that while it was irritating to need help in the first place, it was awfully nice to have this woman there for him when he needed her.
Grasping her hands he slowly stood up from the bed, dull pain coming from his stiff joints. He still had some treatments to endure throughout his recovery, but he was assured that he would be back to normal eventually. Leia started to lead him toward the ‘fresher but he kept his feet routed to the floor.
She met his resistance and turned back to see him smirking back at her. “What?” she asked.
Slowly he pulled her back toward him. “Come here.”
Offering no resistance, she let him wrap his arms around her, and she returned the embrace warmly but cautiously. He could tell she was still afraid to hurt him.
“I’m all right, you know,” he said and then felt her nod against his chest in response. “And I’m not goin’ anywhere again.”
She hugged him tighter and he knew that she was trying to remain as unaffected as possible. The past few weeks and even the past few months had been hell for her. And she was finally given a chance to breathe. Everything was going to be fine.
“Happy Father’s Day,” she said, her voice muffled against his chest.
There were a lot of other things he could’ve said to her, but he was never much for a lot of words. Right now he only wanted to be content in the fact that he was home with his family and their lives were getting back to normal.
He leaned away from Leia, tilting her chin up so he could lean down and kiss her gently. “Now, what’s this about a big breakfast?”