"How Far We've Come" by infamousnalani
The crisp night air left Leia chilled as she and Han made their way back to their provided hut amongst the Endor treetops. Nerves coursed their way through her body, further amplified by the light breeze that whisked past them.
“I feel like we should’ve been there by now.” She commented.
“I can’t find the damned place.” The day’s events had only caused Han’s frustration to simmer and he was eager to find himself alone with Leia for the first night since their trip to Cloud City.
“Well should we just turn back?”
“No.” He hadn’t intended the venom that infused his tone and immediately regretted the snap. “I’m sorry.”
“Let’s just find it.”
Nine paces and one right turn later, they’d stumbled upon the empty hut. The hearth was burning serenely, no doubt begun by the hospitality of one of the indigenous creatures. Leia collapsed on the makeshift bed, finding comfort at a surprising rate. Han stood motionless at the closed door and eyed the illuminated insides.
“Come to bed, Han.”
He sighed and rubbed his eyes. “Are you sure you want this?”
The exchange on the bridge flashed in Leia’s mind. “Yes, why wouldn’t I? Come here.”
Han tentatively made his way over and sat next to her. “You seemed upset with me earlier.”
“I wasn’t… I’m,” she paused. “I’m just afraid.” Her eyes glazed over and she clenched them shut to resist the beginning of tears. She exhaled before continuing, “Everything I have might be gone tomorrow.”
Han attempted to soothe her by running his fingers through her hair. “You’re alright, we’re alright. We’ll make it through.”
“It’s not us I’m worried about; it’s Luke.”
Han missed a beat as a result of the sparks of jealousy that flared within him. “He’s a Jedi, he can hold his own.”
Leia shook her head in rebuttal. “Vader’s his father.” She pondered disclosing the other information she had learned while talking to Luke but couldn’t muster enough courage to confront it herself.
Han wrapped his arm around her frame and grabbed her hand, stroking it with his thumb in an effort to ease her tension.
Leia sniffled and rolled over to face him. “Do you remember the New Year’s party on Hoth? You took me back to my quarters and you told me what our kids will be like.”
“Uh, listen here, Princess.” Han gave the hand in his a squeeze. “You asked me to. But yeah, I might remember that.” He smiled softly at her. “The real question is how do you? You were beyond wasted.”
She moved to rest her head on his chest and felt her anxiety melting away. “I’m not sure how. But you got something wrong.”
“Yes. That our daughter’s going to have you wrapped around her pinky finger, you old softie.”
“You’re not much better.” He continued after noticing the curiosity in his beloved’s eyes, not unlike the last time they’d had this conversation. “Your son’s gonna make you late to work every day because he’s not gonna be happy until you give him exactly 17 hugs before you walk out the door.”
“My son?” She laughed.
Leia sighed contentedly and fidgeted with one of the buttons on his shirt. “I want that one day. Babies, I mean.” She stole a glance at Han’s face before continuing. “I want the antics and the babbling and the laughter and the wide-eyed curiosity.” Han chucked at the last part. “What?”
“Nothing.” He placed a kiss at the top of her head. “Soon, sweetheart, I promise. First let’s make it through tomorrow.”
Six standard months had passed since the fall of the Empire and Leia had been met with a newly found exhaustion. Being tasked with developing an intergalactic government tired her out more than partaking in strategies for the rebellion ever did and too worn out to be intimate with Han despite their newly established union.
She had been rearranging and reorganizing her office when she was interrupted by a knock on the door. She pressed the button to allow the visitor in, whom she had recognized as soon as they’d entered the high-rising Coruscant building. Her brother emerged from behind the sliding door and embraced her.
“I’m not bothering you, am I?”
“No. I’ve actually been reorganizing my already organized paperwork.” She motioned to the various color-coded folders and labels sprawled out on her desk. “So it’s nice to have a distraction.”
Luke beamed at her. “You got that from dad.”
“And his anger issues too, apparently.” She deadpanned. “At least this will amount to some good, if we’re lucky.”
“Who needs luck when you have me?” He teased but it quickly lost its comedic value when Leia socked him in the shoulder.
“You’ve been spending too much time around my husband. God, that still feels so weird to say.”
“How are you guys? I’ve been meditating and I felt that you were troubled by something.”
“Not troubled,” she went to sit at her desk. “Just exhausted. This job is taking so much out of me.” Luke pulled out the chair from across from her and sat in it. “Something just feels different.”
“Have you tried meditating?” He looked around at the clutter surrounding them. Based off that alone, he could tell that she hadn’t. “Just take some time for introspection. I’ll walk you through it.”
Leia’s resolve fell and she stood up to sit on the floor next to him. She wasn’t expecting much to come from it because of her inexperience with the Force but decided to try it nonetheless. Following Luke’s directions to retreat her mind into a pleasurable place, she found herself laying next to Han in an early morning. She recognized the scene, it was nearly a month ago and the sun had yet to infiltrate their small apartment. The chronometer read 04:27, two hours before she had to be up. Han had pulled her close to his body and was placing kisses on her jawline.
“Han, it’s so early,” she mumbled into her pillow.
“We can go back to sleep if you want.” His hands squeezed her thigh and the time was ultimately forgotten.
Her rumination then brought her to various other moments following that morning that flagged her conscious until she felt a radiant, youthful energy within her. Her eyes shot open and she struggled to catch her breath.
“What’d you see?” Luke questioned calmly, he evidently already knew.
“I need to go home.” Leia hastily gathered her paperwork and belongings and left Luke alone surrounded by stacks of paperwork.
She had bounded through their front door in record time and kicked off her shoes in a manner unlike herself. Han was in the kitchen carefully following a recipe on a datapad.
“Hey, sweetheart.” He decreased the heat on the stove and moved to embrace her. He placed an affectionate kiss on her forehead. “I didn’t think you’d be home for another hour or so.”
“Something came up.” She dropped her head sheepishly in an attempt to conceal her smile. “You know that game we play, the one where we talk about our future kids?”
Leia wrapped her hands around the base of Han’s neck. “You said soon.”
“How soon is nine months?”
Han’s expression went from incredulous to incandescent before Leia even had time to process his reaction. He had encircled her in his arms and twirled her off the ground. “It’s a little short notice but I think we’ll be alright.”
“You’re so dumb,” she laughed, dangling her feet.
“I love you.” He whispered into her ear and kissed her temple before setting her back on the ground.
Leia’s smile sent electricity down his spine. “We’re starting our family.”
“My own family.” He grabbed both of her hands. “You keep giving me more than I could ever give you.”
“You gave me everything when I gave you nothing.”
He was confused. “When?”
“Every moment up until that first kiss.”
“Look how far we’ve come.”