A Change in Plans
I owe a fellow fan fic writer a debt of gratitude for this one. Quite a while ago, I read a fan fic with a similar theme relating to carbonite poisoning, but with a different outcome (as you can see, I’m trying not to give away too much). I can’t remember who wrote it, but I wanted to thank her for the inspiration.
Arriving back at the Solo home on Corbis after a quick trip to check in on the New Republic regional capital being constructed on Kentu, Leia Solo quickly showered and changed into the ridiculously skimpy fuchsia monstrosity-masquerading-as-lingerie that Han had bought at a cheap bazaar on Corellia as a joke gift for her last birthday. It was barely more than a few triangles of fabric held together by a few strings, and he’d bought it just to see the consternation on her face when she opened the gift, because he was confident she’d never wear it. She’d show him, she thought, as she tied the last string. She did, however, cover it with a delicate pale yellow shimmersilk robe before hurrying into their bedroom.
She checked again to make sure that the two gifts she’d bought for Han were perfectly wrapped and placed – one on the dresser, one under the bed – and that the scapio petals she’d strewn across the bed looked artistic and not ridiculous. Sighing as she rearranged a few petals, she acknowledged to herself that Han had always been better than she at planning romance. He’d always been the one to make their Khieu Dahm plans. After all, it was a Corellian holiday. Leave it to the Corellians to come up with a holiday celebrating erotic love.
But this year would be different. This year, she had made plans, as Han had been out on a three-week mission to test a new design for a long-haul freighter. This, year, she was going to give her husband the best night of his life in every possible way.
Of that much, she was absolutely sure.
Han landed the Falcon at Landing Field Six, only a few kilometres from their home. He’d briefly considered comming Leia yesterday from the Selashni checkpoint and telling her that the ship he was testing needed repairs, just to avoid Khieu Dahm. He didn’t quite know if he could face it this year, given everything.
But Han Solo was not the kind of man who’d run away from his wife, no matter what. Besides, none of this was her fault. It was all on him. All on his past. He probably deserved it.
She didn’t, he thought. Yet again, Leia was going to be forced to confront the impact of his past on their marriage. At the moment, she seemed less bothered than he was. Bothered…that wasn’t at all the right word. Humiliated. Heartsick. Feeling like Leia had chosen a giant, worthless pile of bantha kest for a husband – THAT started to describe how he felt.
He picked up the Khieu Dahm gift he’d bought for Leia; a delicate Alderaanian floral bracelet he’d found a few months ago on one of the mid-levels on Coruscant. Even the gift – rare and expensive though it was – seemed to fall short.
Han sighed and passed on the opportunity to take a shuttle home. Maybe he’d feel better after a walk. Maybe he’d be able to battle this mood that he’d managed to hidden while home before the test flight, but which had descended on him like a dark cloud once he was gone and he didn’t have to try to keep up appearances so his Jedi wife wouldn’t pick up on his unhappines. He doubted it, but it was worth a try.
Half a kilometer into his walk, it started raining.
Leia heard the monitor beep to warn her that someone approached the home from the front lane. That was odd; if Han had taken the shuttle, he’d arrive from the back gate. But she looked out the window and there he was, looking cold, soaked, and miserable has he trudged through the rain.
She sighed. His appearance now matched the mood he’d been trying to hide from her – unsuccessfully - before he left. He was probably trying to hide it from her Jedi skills, but she hadn’t needed them – only her wifely senses -- to pick up his unhappiness. She would have needed her Jedi skills to suss out why he was so blue, and she’d long ago promised not to use them to unlevel the playing field with her husband. So she was still in the dark. Waving her hand over the door’s sensor, she unlocked the front door for her husband.
“Stupid, kreffing, rain---“ Han started but didn’t manage to finish as Leia threw herself into his arms.
“Happy Khieu Dahm, flyboy,” she purred, finding his lips and kissing him hungrily.
“Hey, sweetheart,” he said quietly, returning the kiss, then holding her tight to him. He knew that, given she was in lingerie and he was in soaking wet bloodstripes, he should let go before her robe was ruined, but he found he couldn’t. He was so in love with her, and he couldn’t stand that he was letting her down.
She felt the wave of sad resignation roll over him, and it chilled her more than the rainwater that had dampened her robe and was doing odd things to her lingerie underneath. She looked at her husband and realized she couldn’t go through the wild, erotic night she’d planned, culminating in the second gift she’d hidden under the bed, when he was so clearly unhappy. She stepped away from him.
“Han, what is it?” she said, quietly but firmly. “You were very down before you left, and you’re even further down now.”
He shook his head. “It’s nothin’—“
“Is it me, Han?” Leia asked, swallowing the fear in her throat. She hadn’t sensed that his feelings for her had wavered, but what if they had?
“Gods, no, it’s not you,” Han said, his voice turning hoarse. “I’m crazy in love with you, Leia, and I always will be. It’s me. It’s that we’re never gonna escape my past, are we?”
She looked at him quizzically. He hadn’t so much as mentioned any nefarious characters from his past in ages. He’d treated the rise of the New Republic as a chance for a do-over of sorts, a chance to reclaim the life he’d intended when he talked his way into the Imperial Academy as a teen. He was proud of his position overseeing new military construction at the Corellian shipyards and test piloting the new ships they built. He loved test piloting more than Leia wished he did, but she knew all about the adventurous man she’d married, and the position was perfect for him. Plus, it allowed enough flexibility for him to accompany her as pilot, security, and military attaché on any diplomatic missions that looked like they may be trouble…or romantic.
Until this very moment, Leia had been sure that his past was long behind him, and she’d personally see to it that her lightsaber sliced clear through any gangster who wanted to change that.
“Who is it?” Leia asked.
“It’s not a someone.” Han shook his head and looked at his wife, wearing a pained expression. “It’s been almost ten months…so I guess we know our answer, huh? I’m sorry.”
He turned away and walked into the kitchen. Suddenly he needed a shot or six of Corellian ale.
It took Leia a moment to understand what he was saying. Then she understood – it had been ten months since they both let their pregnancy inhibitors expire. The medic had told them to give it at least a year before they underwent any testing, since Han had suffered from carbonite poisoning and it could take six months of more for his body “to decide if it would come fully back on-line” as the medic put it.
Leia had taken it all in stride. They’d known all along about the possibility of the carbonite poisoning making it impossible for Han to have children. Quite honestly, Leia had enjoyed the last ten months immensely, with the new home on Corbis, her Jedi training and reduced obligations to the Republic, and many romantic interludes with her husband occupying her time and her thoughts. She’d long been convinced that whatever the medical evidence said, Han Solo would be able to father children because, she snorted, come on: Han Solo. But on the outside chance that he couldn’t, they’d also agreed that adoption was a viable option, and one they might pursue even if they did have biological children, given their own childhood histories.
She followed him into the kitchen. “Is this what’s been troubling you lately?”
Han nodded, offering her a tumbler of Corellian ale. She shook her head.
“Han, it’s not a year yet. We’re barely at ten months.”
"Close enough,” he shrugged.
“Have you been feeling like this for the last ten months?”
He shook his head. “They said it would take six months to know.”
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
“Humiliated. Embarrassed. The more the months rolled on, the more I wanted a little version of us.”
“Follow me,” Leia said firmly. Her plans for the night had been completely upended, but they’d been replaced in a nanosecond by an even better one.
She led Han into their bedroom, where he saw the scapio petals she’d artfully scattered. He sighed. Leia had done everything in her power to make this a memorable Khieu Dahm – his holiday – and he’d screwed up this too.
“Sit down,” Leia said, and he obeyed, sitting on the edge of the bed as she reached down and picked up a small, wrapped gift that she handed to her husband.
“Open it,” she said softly, standing close to him. “Open it. I promise you’ll like it.”
Han quickly unwrapped the present and opened the box, pushing back a few layers of white flimpaper. He saw something pink and feminine. He thought it might be lingerie until he felt the nubby fabric. He pulled whatever it was out of the box and let it unroll.
In his grip was a small, fuzzy, pink onesie.
Stunned, he looked up at his wife, then down at the onesie. Leia tucked her hand under his chin and tilted his head toward her, looking deep into his eyes.
“You’re going to be a father, Han. I’m four weeks pregnant.”
He was instantly in her arms, his head burrowed against her neck. She realized with a start that he was crying -- no, not crying. Her strong, courageous, loving husband was sobbing like a child in her embrace.
“I never doubted you, Solo,” Leia teased, before becoming serious and looking down at him. “But you’ve been suffering, Han. Please, when you’re hurting, I need to know why. Don’t suffer alone.”
He nodded. “I just felt like I was failing you. All because of my past…”
“No,” said Leia, more sharply than she intended. “t wasn’t your past that landed you in carbonite: it was Vader.”
She unconsciously put her hand to her pelvis and the tiny life growing inside her. Han knew what his wife was thinking; Vader had kept them both from even considering getting their pregnancy inhibitors removed for over a year of their marriage because, Han’s carbonite poisoning or not, Leia wasn’t willing to risk an accident before she was ready to risk having biological children. Han also knew that he was not worried about this child’s potential for evil.
“The baby is Force-sensitive,” Leia said quietly. “I’m sure of it. I felt it within a week of her conception…I felt her presence, out of nowhere, really. A small, gentle presence. Defenseless. Not entirely self-aware, but it wasn’t only me reaching out with the Force. Something where there had been nothing was reaching out with the Force…and it felt female and then the presence felt,” she shrugged, “like us.”
“Leia,” Han murmured. “We considered this, and we talked about this, and we planned, and we studied, and we promised each other when we decided to go for this that we’d do whatever we had to, and give up whatever we have to, to keep our children safe. I’m pretty sure we know more than anyone in the galaxy about raising a Force-sensitive child. And our child is going to be loved so completely and protected so totally that the Dark Side won’t stand a chance,” he laid his hand over hers on her stomach. “Our little princess will be fine.”
Leia saw his eyes well up again. She gently brushed a finger along his cheek as they held each other silently for a long while, thinking about the momentous journey on which they’d just embarked.
“I really ruined your plans for tonight, didn’t I?” Han smirked after a while, feeling himself slide a little on the shimmersilk sheets.
Leia laughed. “I learn a lot of new moves smutty digimags over the last two weeks. Hope I didn’t accidentally send Mon the wrong datapad…but yes, General, I was going to give you a scorchingly passionate night and then hand you this gift, while telling you that these incredibly erotic nights were going to be few and far between when we’re both covered in spit-up.”
“I can live with that,” Han laughed, “for a while.”
“Me too,” Leia said, before twisting uncomfortably. “Ouch.”
Han looked at her, alarmed. “You ok?”
“Han,” Leia said, “do you remember that insanely tawdry lingerie you bought me on Corellia last year?”
“The thing I knew you’d never wear?”
“Yes, that one,” Leia said. “Were you aware, when you bought it, that it was made of very cheap candy floss?”
“No,” he snorted with laughter. “Why, did you have some pregnancy craving for candy floss?”
“No, but I hope you do.” Leia dropped the shimmersilk robe, revealing the Corellian lingerie in all its cheap glory. Han was thunderstruck. He hadn’t expected his wife to ever entertain actually putting it on – especially not if it was edible. “Because, Han, your clothes are soaking wet, and your candy floss lingerie is now sticking to me everywhere. I guess you’re just going to have to find a way to get it off.”
“I think I can manage that,” his voice rumbled in her ear as he pulled her closer. “I love you, Princess.”
“I know. I love you back.”
“I kno—“ He felt his hand stick to her side. She was right; this was some cheap candy floss. “Uh, I think I might break my teeth on this stuff...”
Leia giggled as he scooped her up in his arms. “That would be a little awkward to explain to a medic.”
“I say we start our Khieu Dahm in the shower,” Han murmured, scooping Leia into his arms. He wondered if he was going to be able to lift his tiny wife into his arms even when she was nine months pregnant. He hoped so.
“Works for me,” Leia whispered as she planted kisses along his jawline. “And I’m so glad a modified version of my plan is back in effect.”
Thanks for the submission! To the rest of you, the stories you've read are the only submissions we've received so far, so get to writing if you want to see your story here!