Author's note: This is set during the short story Recovery by Troy Denning. If you haven't read the book, briefly I will say Leia has been recovering from severe leg wounds inflicted by the Yuuzahn Vong in the previous book. In Recovery it talks about her doing her recovery exercises around an empty pool, which seemed like a wasted opportunity to me. The first few spoken lines are from the book, but then I take over.
Leia took his shirt collar, and, unable to rise on her toes, started to pull him down to kiss her.
"Not so fast." Han disengaged himself and walked to the edge of the pool. "If you want to do that, you're going to have to come over here," Han said, holding his arms out for her.
"You're going to make me work for it?"
"Yep. Now c'mere."
She walked towards him, her braces clanked as she walked, echoing in the large room. She made it to him though, her heart melting just a little as he allowed her to kiss him. It had been so long since they'd been alone together and she had missed him. A lot. Too quickly he ended the kiss as he pulled back to look at her.
"How would you like to get out of those braces?"
"I'd love to, but I thought you said I had to finish my exercises." She wasn't sure why she was putting up a fuss! Her legs were shaking from her effort of only a few laps around the edge of the pool. And while she was thrilled to be able to put her arms around him, she also needed to hold on to him to be able to keep herself standing upright.
"You do have to finish. But let's finish in the pool."
She looked at the water. "Han, I can't swim yet. I can hardly walk!"
He picked her up and took her to her chair, setting her down in it. Then he started unstrapping the braces from her legs.
"Han, it's okay, I'll finish my laps."
"Do you trust me?" He stopped working and looked at her.
"Of course. I just-"
"All right then." He dropped the last piece and sat down in front of her. After removing his boots and socks, he rolled up his pant legs then stood up and picked her up again.
"In our clothes?" she said as he headed straight for the pool.
"Well, someone could come in, so I figured you wouldn't want your clothes off. But if you do..."
"No, I don't." Although she wouldn't mind such a scenario... if the doors were locked, that is.
"Good." He chuckled as he stepped down into the water. She felt him take each step carefully as he couldn't see his feet with her in front of him. She held him tightly as he was finally deep enough for her to feel the water.
"Too cold?" he asked.
"No. It feels good. I haven't been in a pool in a long time." She tried to kick her feet, but she couldn't make much of a splash. Finally he was deep enough that she felt like she was floating in his arms. Her legs rejoiced with the temporary reprieve from the pain of gravity.
"There. See? Not too bad. Your husband knows a thing or two." He gently let her legs sink down, while holding her up with his arms around her waist. She put her arms around his neck again as he walked slowly backwards, letting her feel the water flow past them. "Try to move your legs." She did. She put a small effort into making her legs do a swimming motion.
"This feels a lot better than the braces," she said. He raised her up enough to reach her lips and softly kissed her.
"That's your reward for trying."
She smiled up at him. Loving the feeling of his arms holding her up. She pulled against him to give herself enough leverage to wrap her legs around him. It took her a few seconds, and she gave him a satisfied smile when she finished. "I did it! Now I get another reward." He laughed and pulled her close again. Kissing her longer this time, she savored his lips and warm body pressed against her in the cool water. Months of separation and stress seemed to evaporate as they reacquainted themselves with each other. At last he pulled back, smiling down at her.
"Let's try this," he said as he turned her around so her back was against his chest. He held her tightly again. "Kick those legs." She tried, but the muscles needed to bring her legs to the surface were still too weak and her tired legs were starting to burn. After a few more steps he seemed to sense her struggle and stopped. He pulled her close, letting her legs dangle, his arms still around her waist. He gently kissed her neck. She leaned her head to the side, giving him all the access he wanted. His fingers pulled the edge of her shirt up until he could slip his hands underneath. "Hey, that's not fair," she said, pretending to pout.
"What's not?" His hands moved up her sides.
"I can't touch bottom so I'm stuck here while you have your fun." She kept her arms very loose as she held his arms in front of her so he could reach anything he felt like reaching.
"I don't know what you're talking about." One of his hands slipped down to her backside and back up. "I can touch your bottom just fine. Come on now, kick those legs." His hand found the edge of her bra and quickly ducked underneath. He continued to walk slowly backwards, keeping them moving and also keeping them out too deep for her to touch.
"You'd better be careful, hotshot. The doctor hasn't given me clearance for any of your...special exercises yet." But oh how she wished she had...
He turned her around to face him again. His voice low, he said, "so you're saying you'll work hard on your regular exercises and see if you can't get clearance soon?"
"Are you saying you'll take me swimming again?" She would be talking to Cilghal today, for sure.
He kissed her before answering. "You bet I will. Come on now. Back to work. Kick kick kick."