New Beginnings

By Monique Robertson


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This story is rated NC-17. Please stop now if you're under 17 or sensative to adult-themed material.

It was sunset on Raiella Prime, and a soft, warm wind blew gently around the figure of a man and the small bundle he held in his arms. The breeze circled and played with strands of his chestnut hair and softly glanced past the downy cheek of the newborn life that he cradled so carefully. Han Solo looked in wonder at his firstborn son, noting the shape of his forehead, mouth and chin. He saw himself reflected in the blurry eyes that tried with fierce concentration to focus on him. Smiling to himself, he noted that his lifemate's traits of sheer determination and persistence of will were also quite readily apparent. He shook his head as a lump formed in his throat. 'Gods! This little scrap of life is part of me,' he thought. 'I'm a father!'

Who would have thought (certainly not he!) that in the span of five standard years his role in life would have gone from a mercenary space pirate to a respected leader in the New Alliance, a husband to a member of royalty and now a father! If someone had told him at Mos Eisley what drastic turns his life would take after meeting a young boy and crazy old man, he would have laughed in their face. 'Or ran for the nearest door,' he thought with a grin. At that point in his life, any claims on his "freedom" would have repelled him faster than a pulse blaster. It seemed now that the very commitment that he had spent his life running from had become the foundation of a whole new life. A life he was proud of. A life he was finally ready to live. A life full of love.

He still couldn't believe that it had only been two years since the battle of Endor had been won. He smiled in remembrance. 'Now that was a party!' Rebels dancing with abandon and joy long forgotten. Ewoks passing out their version of "home-brew", guaranteed to promote an incredible hangover by the next morning. And best of all, the sight of the beautiful woman standing by his side, her small, strong arms wrapped around his waist, the very intensity of her embrace testifying her joy in his presence. He remembered the way she looked at him with those vast, dark eyes of hers. The sound of her husky voice as she shyly yet determinedly asked if he would take her back to the Falconso that they could start their own private celebration. He couldn't have wished for a more perfect night to complete the bond between them.

Over a year prior to that time he had been given the opportunity and the pleasure of showing her the physical release that her body was capable of, and he had eagerly looked forward to furthering her "education" in that particular area. His patience had been well rewarded. The memory was still capable of bringing a shuddering breath from him as he recalled the sweetness and passion of the union. He remembered the incredible amount of willpower he had tried to exert over himself, and how Leia had stunned him by practically undressing them both before he could gather his wits. He closed his eyes and visualized again the look on her face when they became one, the incredible feeling of homecoming, of finding something he had no idea had been lost. He again heard her low cries of wonder and surprise as he showed her yet more steps to this particular dance; the feel of her body as she shuddered with release, sending him over an edge that had no basis for comparison. He recalled the sense of pure contentment as they lay together tracing hands over each other's faces, tears of joy intermingling without shame or embarrassment, both of them reveling in the newfound sense of peace that had been so desperately missing in their lives.

It had been another new beginning for him that night. Never again would he doubt the power or the strength of their love for each other. It would be tested, he knew. It was in their nature to be aggressive and quick tempered. He remembered thinking that they would probably still fight. Now that was an understatement! He grinned at the memory of an argument that had rapidly escalated to outright war over which surname their children would bear. 'Gods!' he thought laughing at himself. He could still remember the look of glee on Luke's face as his expression exclaimed 'You asked for it, buddy!' and then the easiness with which his close friend had redeemed himself by suggesting that Organa-Solo sounded perfectly fine to him, but that they should probably consider getting officially bonded first before talking about children.

It is the generally accepted way to do things," Luke informed them loftily, enjoying his new status of "older" brother and Jedi Knight.

Han looked down into Leia's still mutinous face and asked in a soft voice: "Would you?"

"Would I what?" she asked with a surprised and uncertain look on her face. He hesitated, and then for the first time since he'd been a very young man, he completely opened himself to another being. His defenses down and everything that he was and all of the what he could ever be in his eyes and in his voice, he quietly asked: "Would you be my lifemate, Leia? Would you share the rest of your days with me? Would you love me and fight with me and have little Organa-Solos with me?" He grinned at the last, but all the time realizing he was gambling on the highest stakes game he would ever play.

Leia looked at him for a long moment, her very hesitance sending a wave of fear and desolation through him, but then, a lone tear stole its way down her cheek and the most beautiful smile he had ever seen lit her face.

"I will," she replied, winding her arms around his waist. "I love you, Han Solo. You fill all of the places in my heart that were ever taken from me. You make me whole."

He gathered her close, emotion overcoming him as he realized what an incredibly precious gift he had just received. He lowered his head to hers and they completed their pledge to each other.

A not-so-discreet cough reminded them of their audience, and Han looked up to see not only his brother to be but his kinsman Chewbacca, grinning ear to ear.

*This has been a hope of mine for a long time!* Chewie growled, gently wrapping his long arms around the couple. *It is a good thing that you both finally opened your eyes!*

Han laughed. "Thanks a lot, pal!"

Luke came forward and added to the embrace. "We both witness your pledge to each other," he said, smiling at both of them. His expression then changed to a sly grin and he added in a voice innocently reminiscent of his farmboy days, "Oh, and by the way, Mon Mothma said she'd perform the bonding ceremony for you anytime you're ready."

Leia sputtered, but Han just pulled her closer, laughing.

"That lady always was two steps ahead of our relationship. I remember the looks I used to get when I gave her my not-so-brilliant excuses to shuttle Leia around for the Rebellion."

Leia pounced. "So you did make excuses to ferry me around! I had always wondered what kind of business you could have possibly had on a textile planet!"

He groaned at the memory. "Don't remind me! I think you were in that dressing room for most of the fardin' day!"

She laughed. "Yes, but you haven't seen everything that I bought that day. There are one or two 'little items' that I've been saving for a special occasion." A very mischievous look crossed her face.

It took Han three tries to swallow. Luke and Chewie exchanged 'I think it's time to make ourselves scarce' looks. Suddenly, Han found himself alone with his lifemate-to-be.

"Well, now how often has that happened?" he leered. "How's about you show me these little outfits you've been saving and I'll let you know what I think?"

She did.

He definitely approved.

The bundle in his arms cooed, bringing him back to the present. Han smiled gently as he rocked his son, and recalled that it had been one of those very outfits that had prompted the conception of the child he held in his arms.

Leia had been away on another 'diplomatic feather smoothing' mission, as she called them, working to introduce a less invasive government and promote democracy on the many planets that had been all but crippled by the Empire's rule. It had been six long weeks since they had seen each other, and after coordinating tactical missions for ten hours, he had finally called it a day. Weary and lonesome for her, he'd fallen asleep almost immediately after reaching the temporary quarters they were sharing.

His next conscious thought was to wonder if he was dreaming. Leia was suddenly by his side, wearing a scrap of maroon lace that was a personal favorite of his and kissing him in a way that brought him fully alert. He wrapped his arms around her and called her name softly.

"I've missed you, love," Leia responded in that husky voice that he so loved, and then smiled mischievously. "Just how tired are you, anyway?"

"Never that tired," he grinned.

Her body was a source of fascination to him; so small and yet possessing a strength that belied her size. Graceful and slim, yet curved in ways that aroused him to a fevered pitch. They had been married for over a year now and he still learned something new about her every time they made love. He knew that she loved it when he massaged her feet and that she all but purred when he ran his mouth down the side of her graceful neck. He had learned that her breasts were sensitive to the lightest touch and that he could almost bring her to fulfillment when he caressed them with his mouth. He loved the taste of her; the way she would initially protest and then hold his head to her in desperation; the way she would shudder and scream when she finally came. Her responsiveness never ceased to amaze him, and as he looked into her eyes, he realized that he would be completely content with her for the rest of his life. The lure of flying off to the next life-endangering adventure was rapidly fading; it was being replaced by the desire to create something permanent and stable with the woman in his arms. For the first time since his childhood, he yearned for a stable home that he could call his own, and someone to be there to welcome him home.

That someone was smiling at the expression on his face. Stroking her hands through his hair she asked what his thoughts were to bring such a serious expression to his face.

He brushed his lips over hers and replied "Just thinking about making us a real home. Maybe a couple of clicks out of town or so. I've had some ideas about the architectural design in my head for a while now."

She looked surprised. "You want to build a house?"

"Why not?" he asked. "The provisional government is settling here on Rakell. You've been permanently stationed here in the New Senate. I think it's time we both got rid of our revolving quarters." He grinned. "Don't try and tell me you haven't thought of it. I saw the way you were ogling Rieekan's new home when we had dinner with him and Jenna a couple of months ago. I had to practically drag you out of that stadium-size bathing room of theirs!" He gathered her closer. "Now that room had possibilities."

"Oh really?" She ran her hands over his chest and nipped his jaw. "What exactly did you have in mind?"

He gave her a lascivious look. "Welllll, as it just so happens, I was visualizing both of us in that pool of a bathtub." He pulled the lace nightgown over her head. Turning her over on her stomach, he started to run his hands slowly up and down her back.

Leia rose to her elbows and knees, stretching with delight as Han's large hands kneaded the tired muscles of her back. "And then?"

He moved to wrap his body around her smaller one, planting gentle kisses down the side of her neck. "I get to scrub your back." He entered her slowly, dragging a gasping breath from her. Leia arched up, reveling in their joining, crying out as his hands found and explored achingly sensitive flesh. She raised her head and caught their reflection in a mirrored shelf above the headboard.

Han's eyes locked with hers and they both went over the edge. They ceased to be two and become one; all that they were blended into each other.

Precisely one month later, Han came into their shared quarters and found Leia sitting on the bed with a datapad dangling from her fingers. He leaned on the edge of the bed with growing concern and tilted her chin up so that he could look into her dazed eyes.

"What's the matter, sweetheart? You look like you just took a stun blast."

Leia's shoulders shook for a moment with what sort of looked like laughter. "Actually, I was just thinking that's how I felt." She looked at the datapad and then back at Han for a moment before silently handing it to him.

It took a full five minutes for Han to register that the letters on the screen spelled PREGNANT. He then did something atypical; he abruptly lost his balance and fell off of the bed and hit the floor with a thud.

Dazed, he looked up at her and uttered the only thing he was capable of at the moment. "Huh?"

Leia couldn't repress a giggle at his reaction. She suddenly fell back on the bed, convulsing in helpless laughter.

Han sprang from the floor to join her, reaching up to cradle her face between his hands. "Leia, we've both been on birth control. How could you possibly be pregnant?"

She sobered and traced her hands over his beloved face. "I asked the doctor the same thing." She bit her lip as a tear found its way down her cheek. "He told me that some things are just meant to be, no matter how much anyone might say otherwise."

Han gulped, realizing the parallel between their union and this new life that they had created. He took a deep breath and chose his next words carefully. "How do you feel about this?"

She shook her head. "I don't know how I feel about this, Han. We've created a life we--" The tears started in earnest. "Oh Han, a baby. How can I possibly be a mother? I don't know how, I don't--"

Han silenced her with a tender kiss and then spoke softly to her. "What I know, Leia, is that you are the most loving, unselfish, beautiful woman I have ever known." He placed his forehead gently against hers and continued. "What I know is that not only have you made me happier than I ever thought possible, you just gave me the second most precious thing I could ever get in this life."

She lifted her head and stared up at him through her tears with a small smile. "And did you ever get the first most precious thing in life?"

He rubbed his lips slowly over hers and then took her mouth in a consuming kiss that left her breathless.

"Yeah, sweetheart. I got you."

Bail once again moved in his arms and brought Han back to the present. He looked up to see his brother-in-law coming forward with Bail's sister, Islya, a weary look on his face. Luke smiled at him and shook his head. "Well, Han, it seems that you've outdone yourself once again!" he teased. He paused and then lightly caressed the foreheads of each of the twins for a moment. "You probably don't want to hear this, buddy, but they're both strong with the--"

"Don't say it! Your right, I don't wanna hear it!" Han paused and then took a deep breath. "I knew what I was getting into when I asked Leia to be my lifemate, but at least give me a couple of years before you start trying to turn them into Jedi, okay?"

Luke grinned. "They won't develop their abilities for several years. But Han, I'm betting that you're in for a few surprises along the way." He shook his head in wonder. "They are very strong with the Force. Especially considering that only one of their parents is supposed to be Force-gifted." Luke fixed Han with a hard stare.

"Pure luck," Han replied, all innocence.

"Pure bunk is more like it," Luke replied, but he smiled nonetheless. "In time, Han."

Han was just about to respond to that direct challenge when Leia's voice came calling from the bedroom. "If you're just going to stand there and argue with each other over Force potential, you can at least bring me my brood."

Han and Luke grinned at each other and chorused, "Yes, your highness," and joined her in the bedroom.

Han caught his breath at the site of her. She was exhausted from labor and yet still managed to look radiant in her receiving gown of burgundy and lace. Han had purchased the traditional Corellian gown for her not long after they had discovered she was pregnant. Giddy with the knowledge that they had created a life from the fires of destruction and death, and scared to death at the thought of actually being responsible for something so precious and dependent on them, Han had given her the wrapped parcel and then cradled her on his lap as she cried against his chest at what she knew was his final and most lasting pledge to their life-bond.

Leia smiled at him, sharing the memories with him and then held her arms out for her son. Han placed him gently in her arms and then scooted behind her so that she rested against him. He wrapped his arms around both of them and watched as she unwrapped his son's swaddling and followed the ancient tradition of counting fingers and toes, smoothing hands over delicate skin and cradling the new life closely to her in awe and wonder. A tear slipped down her cheek and she gazed up to Han with night-dark eyes that brought a sheen to his own eyes for the very intensity of emotion that he saw there.

"Look at him, Han! He's so beautiful. I can't believe I'm finally holding him!"

Han kissed her softly and then grinned down at his son. "Yeah, not bad, if I do say so myself!"

Leia looked up to her brother who was wearing a silly grin plastered on his face. She smiled back at him, raised her arm in request and was rewarded when Luke gently placed her daughter in her arms. She looked up at both her brother and her husband and smiled mistily. "Thank you, both of you. You both rescued me in your own fashion." She glanced around at her family. "You are my happiness."

Luke squeezed her shoulder, telling her that he understood the depth of her meaning.

Han kissed her gently, put his hand over his brothers and then smiled at her with all of the love he had in him. Huskily, he gave his reply. "Well, the thing is, sweetheart, you rescued us right back."


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