Since I've already eaten at least a pound of Halloween candy already, I thought it would be fun for the Solo family to have their version of Trick or Treat in a galaxy far, far, away. Sorry, this hasn't been beta'ed, so expect plenty of grammar issues and typos. Oh, and since the slate is wide open in AU, I'm starting to create my own version of a large and still growing, frenetic family for them (I'm speaking from experience, here ;) ) Happy Halloween!
The Solo residence's typical state of organized chaos was amplified from the growing anticipation of Surprises and Sweets Night; a night filled with parties, costumes, and candy for the young and the young at heart.
Han scrambled to clear off the dining table, shoving plates unceremoniously into the sonic washer while Leia did her best to encourage eighteen month old Joakim to actually eat his cheesy noodles, instead of tossing them off the high chair tray.
"You gotta put your costume on first, Junior, before your boots," Han chuckled over his shoulder to their oldest son, catching another glimpse of the six year old currently running around the table wearing nothing but his underwear and "spacer boots – just like daddy's," his hazel eyes flashing with excitement.
The exact image of his father, Han Jr. stopped and screwed up his face in what was a very familiar mannerism to his parents. "I don't wanna wait - let's just go Sweeting now! And call me Little Cub," he insisted with a small stomp, zooming around the table one last time before Chewbacca caught him in his furry arms.
*I'll help Little Cub get into his Space Ranger costume. Bailey is all set with his Super StarMan outfit, and is currently practicing his 'hero moves' in the mirror,* Chewbacca guffawed loudly.
The princess did her best to wipe Joakim's cheese-smeared face and hands clean despite his vocal protests. "I can't thank you enough, Chewie, for coming over tonight," she said to him with a grateful, albeit slightly fatigued smile. With five children and another on the way in less than two months, Leia appreciated his willingness to help out.
*No problem Little Princess. Plus, Cub promised me first dibs on any Caramel Mallow Bars brought home,* he woofed while putting the finishing touches on Han junior's Space Ranger outfit.
Just then, five year old Bailey sprinted into the kitchen with his too-large cape trailing behind him. He adjusted his mask before posing in front of his parents with one arm extended in the air and the other clenching an 'indestructible' shield. "I'm here to save the universe!" the boy declared triumphantly.
"Finally...my hero is here to rescue me!" Leia exclaimed with dramatic finesse, wrapping her arms around Bailey and hugging him tightly before giving him a peck on the cheek.
Han struggled to muffle the laugh that was threatening to escape his mouth. "I really like your cape and mask, champ – can I borrow them sometime?" Han asked as seriously as possible, cramming in one final plate into the washer.
The little boy's crooked grin grew, pushing his chubby cheeks up impossibly higher. "Sure, daddy," Bailey puffed his chest out proudly before deciding to chase his older brother around the family room and up the stairs. "Let's find our Surprises and Sweets bags and get ready," the two chattered excitedly, increasing the volume in the already boisterous household.
"Make sure you go pee before we leave, boys," Han hollered to their disappearing forms, their echoing "OK's" bouncing off the walls.
Leia glanced around before peeking into the adjoining family room. The noticeable absence of the twins, now three years old, was setting warning bells off in her mind. "Han, can you keep an eye on Joakim? I already dressed the twins, but they are being waaaay too quiet – I better find out what they're getting into."
"Good luck with that, Sweetheart," he chuckled, then turned to rescue his youngest son from the high chair. "C'mere, big guy," Han grinned while lifting the plump boy up, his chubby legs kicking excitedly for some attention from daddy. He deposited a raspberry on Joakim's tummy, eliciting more hearty giggles from the easy-going toddler that was now grabbing fistfuls of his father's hair.
Leia returned to the kitchen with the twins in tow, shaking her head and sporting a frustrated, yet also amused countenance. Jacen was wearing his "Scruffy the Bantha" costume, but had his eyes downturned to the floor, and Jaina was in her "Little Princess Mewsk" outfit, complete with sparkly tutu, and pink lipstick smeared all over her face.
Judging by the guilty look on Jacen's face, Han had a pretty good idea who the responsible party was. Busted. "Oh Oh. What did you do, Jacen?" Han began with furrowed eyebrows, the obvious evidence all over his sister's lips, cheeks and chin, anyway.
A little round face peeked out from amidst layers and layers of fake fur. "I tol' mommie I just hep'ing sissy," Jacen pleaded with a protruding lower lip and big brown eyes filling with tears.
"I pretty, right daddy?" Jaina inquired while wiping some of the pink off her nose with the palm of her hand, smearing it on her dress before adding a curtsy.
"Prettiest little mewsk ever," Han chuckled at his adorable daughter, his grin widening from the knowledge that she had him wrapped around her finger, just like her mother. He glanced back at Jacen, then bent down in front of his son and placed a soft hand on his shoulder. "I think you owe your sister and your mother an apology, and we'll have to think about a punishment; you know better than to get into mommies makeup," he added gently, but firmly.
Leia moved closer to her husband and interceded on her son's behalf. "He already said he was sorry, and I told him to never play at my dressing table again. At least he didn't try to cut her hair, like last month," she whispered, looking at him with persuasive eyes.
Han's lips curled upward. "You're getting soft," he muttered near her ear. "But, it is Surprises and Sweets Night," he conceded, giving Jacen a playful hug and a few gentle words indicating that all was forgiven. "Alright, four down, one to go. Let's get you in your Pershey chocolate bar costume, Joakim – you're never too young to impress the ladies," Han said, winking at Leia while pulling the outfit over the fidgety toddler's head.
The princess huffed and rolled her eyes at her husband's comment, returning to work feverishly at removing the sticky pink lipstick off of Jaina's face. The window of opportunity was shrinking rapidly before she would protest and beg to run off with her brothers. Sure enough, within seconds her cherub-faced daughter piped up, "Is that good enough Mommy? I wanna go play." With Leia's agreeable nod, Jaina grabbed her little brother's hand and trailed away in search of their siblings.
Standing up, Leia eyed her approaching husband with an incredulous sigh at his never ending teasing. Some things never changed.
"What?" Han responded with his best innocent expression.
Leia began to laugh, placing one hand on her sore lower back, the other on her enlarged belly while shaking her head. "What am I going to do with you, Nerfherder?"
He wrapped his arms around her in a tender embrace and waggled his eyebrows provocatively. "Later? Whatever you want, Sweetheart," Han encouraged with a low voice, his fingers working their magic on her back and hips before searching out other curves.
"Are costumes required?" Leia teased in a sultry tone, placing a few feather-light kisses to his neck, enjoying the few moments of quiet banter they were sharing.
"Nope – that is, unless you've already bought the handcuffs," Han added with a devilish smile, pleased that after all their years together, he could still elicit a blush on his wife's pretty face.
The playful moment was interrupted by Chewbacca's lumbering entrance and a good-natured jibe. *If you two keep this up, you'll have to build a bigger residence to fit all your offspring,* he guffawed, grabbing an ale from the refrigeration unit.
"Nothin' wrong with that, fuzz ball. And anyways, the kids can share bedrooms - keeps 'em from getting spoiled," Han retorted, resting his chin on the top of Leia's head while rubbing his hands proprietarily over her belly.
Maybe it was because Han and Leia had witnessed the wholesale slaughter brought on by war, but they had a heightened appreciation for the gift of life, and gladly welcomed every baby they were blessed with.
Han's face grew more serious as he shifted in front of Leia, gently brushing a few stray hairs out of her eyes. "You only have seven weeks until you're due - why don't you just stay here and rest? Chewie and I can handle the kids tonight. No sense in going into labor over a few candy bars."
Leia's lower back was starting to protest more, but she certainly wasn't going to admit to it to her husband, who would demand she plant herself on the couch for the rest of the evening with her feet propped up on a pillow. "You're overreacting again -I'm pregnant, not an invalid!" she declared. "Surprises and Sweets Night comes once a year and I'm not missing it!"
A soft tug on her leggings drew Leia's attention downward to find Joakim raising his chunky hands in supplication for some extra loving. She picked him up with an adoring smile, smothering his rosy cheeks with kisses. The content toddler happily babbled while tangling his fingers in her long hair, cuddling close against his mother's chest.
"You probably shouldn't be picking him up as much, either." Han warned her with an accusing finger and a raised eyebrow. He offered to hold Joakim, but the toddler balked and instead pressed his face further into Leia's breasts. Han grinned, stroking his son's wispy hair, then cupped the back of his head in his large hand. "Yeah, buddy, I understand; I'm partial to those, too."
Han caught 'the look' his wife was shooting at him. With pregnancy hormones making Leia even more feisty than usual, he knew well enough to not argue his point about her staying home to rest further. "How about sitting down and taking it easy for a few minutes while I find my "costume," he suggested with a mischievous smirk.
The princess blinked, her mouth falling open as his intentions dawned on her. Over the course of almost seven years of marriage, certain aspects of their relationship had changed for the better, or at least mellowed; however, his ability to set her off in a millisecond was not one of them. "Han Solo...if you put that Wampa creature mask on again, I swear you'll be sleeping on the couch for the next month. You scared the daylights out of little Han and Bailey when you strolled in wearing that thing after your last shipping run."
He looked mildly crestfallen. "Awww, c'mon Leia. They weren't really all that scared of the mask, were they? I remember the boys taking turns playing with it later," he added hopefully.
"And woke up with nightmares for the next couple of days, though."
"I guess you're right," he conceded in resignation before a flash of genius sparked in his eyes. "How about I wait until late tonight and scare the older neighbor kids that come around, like the J'tler triplets; those 'tweens are always raising hell."
Leia lifted her eyes to the volume ceiling above her before taking a deep breath and exhaling. "You're just as bad as them," she admonished while an almost imperceptible grin curled her lips upward. "The kids are going to explode if we don't get going soon," she hinted, squeezing his hand and trying to pull her husband's focus away from practical jokes.
Han helped her to her feet before pressing a soft kiss to her temple. "I'll grab the holocam. C'mon Solos – time for some surprises and sweets," Han bellowed in the general vicinity of the family room, a clamoring of tiny footsteps and high-pitched squeals quickly approaching.
"Make sure we don't forget to go to the Filopovic and El-Shaveck residences. They hand out full size Breanut Butter bars," Leia said with child-like enthusiasm painted on her face.
He gave her an affectionate pat on the behind, along with a lopsided grin. "That's my girl."
The house was quiet and dark, save for the flickering Surprises and Sweets decorations adorning the family room, along with a few mildly-scented candles on the mantel, per Leia's request. Han placed another log on the old-fashioned fireplace that he had insisted upon when building their residence, despite the extra effort to clean and maintain it.
After filling the auto valet with the kids' candy-stained clothing, Han set his soft stride toward the nursery. He peered around the door with a lopsided smile already spreading across his face. It was a familiar sight over the years, yet one he never seemed to grow tired of; their youngest child, now contentedly limp and suckling on Leia's breast as she rocked him to sleep with a soft lullaby.
After a few minutes of studying Joakim's cherub-like face, Han helped lower him into the crib with a final goodnight kiss placed on his tiny forehead.
With fingers intertwined, they made their way toward the oversized chaise adjacent to the fireplace which was a favorite spot to unwind.
Han plopped into the cushions with a grateful sigh, welcoming Leia to sit in between his long legs and encouraging her to recline against his chest. They sat there in silence, enjoying each others warm touch as shadows danced across the wall from the crackling fire. "I'm surprised they all went to sleep so fast, considering all of the sweets they had earlier," she eventually whispered sideways into his shirt.
"They crashed from their sugar-high, though the kids couldn't compete with how much Chewie ate," Han rumbled with a grin, running his hands in slow circles over Leia's firm, rounded abdomen. His smile grew with joy at the feel of their baby daughter shifting and rolling inside his wife.
As their little girl eventually settled down, Leia relaxed further and mumbled, "I wonder if he'll have a hard time getting that sticky caramel and marshmallow out of his fur," sinking into Han's warm embrace with a snicker that was overshadowed by Han's deeper, masculine chuckle.
"I think it was a stellar night. Nobody got hurt, and we got some great holos of the kids too." Han stretched out an arm to reach the wisteria water on the nearby table. He offered it to Leia who took a sip then shared it with him.
She agreed happily with his assessment. "I think one of the best holos was of Jaina, doing a pirouette before she grabbed Bailey's supergun and pretended to blast him to smithereens."
"Just like her mother," Han boasted proudly, squeezing Leia's hand in his.
"And Han Jr. and Bailey remembered to say "thank you" to everyone," Leia continued with a relieved smile. "Well, except at that one house that handed out toothbrushes."
"The twins made up for that, though. They were so pumped up about free candy that they thanked everyone two or three times, no matter what they were handing out," He chuckled into Leia's hair, his hands slipping underneath the bottom edge of her tunic and ghosting over her silky skin.
"Manners are very important," Leia reminded Han softly, a shot of adrenaline tingling through her from his sensual caresses and the feel of him hardening against her lower back.
"How would you generally rate my conduct, Princess?" He inquired huskily against the tender skin just behind Leia's ear, his palms teasing the outer swell of her pregnancy-engorged curves.
"I would say your behavior is always ...exceedingly captivating, arousing, satisfying," Leia whispered, her fingers stroking up and down Han's thighs before lifting herself off the chaise and smiling at him invitingly. Despite all of the demands made on them in their busy lives, they somehow always found the time for each other. "Surprises and Sweets Night isn't just for children," she hinted cheekily while running fingers through Han's disheveled hair.
He was standing next to her in an instant. "This is no surprise - I'm hungry for a treat tonight, Sweetheart," he responded with a wicked grin before pulling her into a slow, hot kiss that deepened and intensified. Leia eventually broke away to catch her breath, tugging him toward their bedroom intent on some grown-up fun with her husband.
They barely made it past the threshold before intertwining again in a playful embrace that turned more sensual by the passing seconds. As they began undressing each other Han promised against her welcoming lips, "I'll remember to say thank you."