Her wedding is nothing like she had always imagined it to be.
For one, it's a whole lot less fancy— no three-tier cake with buttercream frosting or delicate flutes of bubbling champagne, no elaborate flower arrangements or gold-gilded invitations, no candle-lit ballrooms reverberating with the gentle cadence of a waltz. And the venue is not the opulent palace of Alderaan, with its soaring marble turrets and honeyed mahogany doors, but the canteen of the New Republic's capital building, still smelling faintly of the military ration boiled potatoes they have been subsisting on for the past few months.
It is not her father who walks her down the aisle, but Luke, beaming down at her, the grip of his prosthetic hand tight but comforting on her arm. And it is not the members of the high Alderaanian court who surround her on this day, lords and ladies and dukes and duchesses in their richest finery, but a ragtag band of former rebels, all looking a little worse for wear, bearing some sort of memento of wars past— a jagged scar, a missing limb, the weight of their loss.
Most peculiarly of all, it is not a dashing prince who sweeps her off her feet, but a roguish Corellian scoundrel, his hair disheveled, the bowtie Chewbacca wrestled him into crooked on his collar. Grinning at her like he can't quite believe his luck.
No, it is not the wedding she had hoped for.
But when he takes her hand, she can't bring herself to mind.
They gradually settle into a semblance of normalcy, clumsily reassemble the fragments of their lives into a shared consciousness— a vague approximation of what they assume married life to be.
Leia finds herself pulled into the political juggernaut, assumes the position of senator, tasked with reconstructing the Republic from its tattered remnants. She drafts new accords until her wrists are sore, grits her teeth into forced smiles through relentless negotiations, and bites back retorts aimed at her numb-skulled colleagues, because do any of these people actually have any idea what they're doing?
All in the name of democracy, she thinks bitterly. But she does not complain, because she is a princess and a leader and this is her duty. The one thing she can think to do now that there is no rebellion to plan, no schemes to orchestrate, no blaster to fire. Now that there is nothing but peace and order and the tedium of diplomacy.
But she feels that Han is growing restless. For the first year of their marriage, he accompanied her patiently, aiding the fledgling army of the New Republic in pilot training, more mythos than man. But lately, he has been distracted, fidgety, spending a disproportionate amount of time with Chewbacca on the Falcon. Barely paying attention to her when she vents about her day's frustrations, pushing his portion of vegetables around and around his plate. Nodding hurriedly and averting his eyes when she asks him if he's fine.
On a day she has off from work, she catches him just as he's about to walk out the door, slipping into his leather jacket and slinging a small duffel bag over his shoulder. Travel clothes, signs he'd be gone for who knows how long. The sight of it wounds her more than she'd like to admit. "Going somewhere?"
Han freezes. "Leia, it's not what it looks like—"
Then what is it? She swallows back a gulp, tries to keep the tears from spilling out of her eyes. Breathe. "Tell me the truth, Han. Are you tired of being here?" With me?
Han opens his mouth, then closes it, exhaling shakily. He gives a shrug of his shoulder. "I don't know what you want me to say, sweetheart. Staying here for so long...it just isn't like me, you know that."
She knows she shouldn't be surprised; she knows all too well who she married. He is a smuggler, a scavenger, a nomad at heart and profession, never dwelling in one place too long before drifting away: a deep-seated wanderlust, a longing for adventure, that she will never be able to fully comprehend. Unfettered, unbound by anything in the universe.
Except for that little piece of paper they had signed, the promise they had made one another. In sickness and health, to love and to cherish, til death do us part.
"Then what are we supposed to do?" Leia demands. "Go traipsing around the galaxy without a care in the world? Smuggle until we have billion credit bounties on our heads?"
She knows she's being unreasonable, but he's always brought that out in her, needles relentlessly at her until she snaps.
Han grows red in the face. "Well, obviously not that, but- well, you know, something better than this."
His words are a slap in her face, mocking everything she's worked so tirelessly for. "Oh, I'm sorry," she says scathingl. "I didn't realize that rebuilding a galaxy was too trivial for you."
"Don't you think we've done enough?" Han retorts. "We don't have to spend our entire lives doing this, you know; we don't owe them anything. What's the harm in putting ourselves first once in awhile?" He looks at her with uncharacteristic tenderness, lays a hand on her arm.
Leia is transported back to that fateful moment, when Darth Vader (she refuses to see him as her father), with his invisible grip on her throat, his mechanical breathing in her ear, had obliterated her home planet, everyone and everything she had ever known and loved, right before her very eyes. The agonizing helplessness she had vowed never to feel again.
She can't allow the Empire to rise again. And she won't.
"Oh, grow up, Han," Leia scoffs, shrugging him off of her. "If you wanted to go on adventures, maybe you shouldn't have married me."
The moment the words leave her lips, she immediately regrets them, knows that they are indelible. That nothing she can say or do now will ever redeem them. She chokes back a sob when she hears his loud, stomping footsteps, winces as the door slams behind him with an echoing finality.
The bed is cold without him.
Leia finds herself tossing and turning all night, unable to fall asleep without the familiar rumble of his snoring, the warm, comforting weight of his body beside her, taking up more than his fair share of the bed. Finally admitting defeat, she flicks on the lamp and stares at the pale golden light casting flickering shadows across the ceiling.
What if he never comes back? The mere idea of it is so repellent, she thrusts it from her mind.
She misses the stupid, arrogant nerfherder, and she has no one to blame but herself.
When Leia opens the front door to fetch the morning paper, she gives a start, unable to restrain her gasp. Because lying sprawled on her porch is none other than Han, looking like an utter mess: bags under his eyes, wearing the same crumpled outfit from yesterday.
He slowly wakes up, rubbing the sleep from his eyes as he focuses groggily on her. "Morning, sweetheart."
Torn between sheer relief and the urge to throttle him, all she can coherently manage is, "What happened?"
"Chewie kicked me out when he realized what had happened with you. Turns out Wookiees are really damn perceptive." He grins sheepishly, running his fingers through his matted hair. "So I decided to freeze my ass off out here. Mind letting me in?"
"Um, yes, of course," Leia stammers. Even after all these years, he still has an uncanny ability to fluster her. She hurries to pour him a cup of coffee, shoves it in his hands and pointedly looks away.
"So I had a lot of time to think about what we were talking about last night," he begins, sitting her down next to him at the table. "And you're right, you need to help the Republic: I can't be the person who takes that away from you. But the thing that I want, what I've been missing: it just hit me, all of a sudden." His eyes are shining, and Leia feels a great sense of foreboding, the ache of dread behind her temples.
He takes her hand, and says, breathlessly, "Leia, let's have a baby."
All of the air is sucked out of her body in that single instant, and all she can register is the pounding of her heart, the inexorable terror that consumes her, turns her blood to ice. A baby, of all things— he made it sound so easy, so simple, when it is the most he could have asked of her.
But then Han is looking expectantly at her, and she can feel the hope practically radiating off every part of him: the twitch of his hands, the quiver of his lips, the glimmer in his eyes. How badly he wants, how much it would crush him if she refused, if she denied him this great and terrible thing.
And besides, when has she ever been able to say no to him?
The next nine months are absolute torture.
First, there's the chore of getting pregnant in the first place, tracking her cycles and taking revolting fertility treatments and the aching weight of him over her after they've finished for what seems like the millionth time that month.
(She never thought she'd say this, but she's sick of having sex with him.)
Once there's an actual child growing inside of her, though, that's when the whole affair devolves into a festering pool of doubt.
She can no longer stomach her favorite foods without feeling queasy, racing to the nearest bathrooms, and retching into the toilet bowl, can no longer drink her favorite Corellian whiskey or eat soft cheeses or fit her favorite dresses over the swell of her belly, heavy with the life stirring inside of her. During work, when nausea and dizziness threaten to consume her, she tilts her head back and gazes at the ceiling, the white plaster swimming in the haze of her vision. It is in these moments that she feels cold with dread, the unbearable weight of what they have done— what they can never take back, the fluttering of half-formed lungs and a tiny, inaudible heartbeat.
But when she comes home, Han is there waiting for her, day after day, to hold her tightly to him and kiss the part in her hair, to bring her glasses of frosty iced tea and hot packs and race off to the convenience store when she complains about her latest cravings. To babble on and on about the latest magazine article or holofilm he's dug up about parenting, to show up one dreary afternoon with an armful of rattles and stuffed teddy bears and paint the spare bedroom lime green, to tack up stickers of stars and moons and rocket ships, so deliriously giddy that every sliver of doubt in her body melts away.
Because Han is here with her, on Coruscant, and not some faraway system, chased by wild, strange men. Because Han is here, pressing gentle kisses to her swollen belly and rubbing soothing circles into her aching feet, and not gazing forlornly at the night sky, yearning for a galaxy without her in it.
When Han's holding her hand and begging her to push, all she can do is squeeze her eyes shut and clutch at him tighter and curse him for doing this to her, because she's been showered with rainstorms of bullets and slashed with serrated blades and rubbed raw by rusted chains, but fuck if this isn't the most painful thing she's ever done.
But then, it's over, and the medical droid's placing her baby in her arms, and the mind-numbing pain is replaced by something equally searing when she gazes into her son's eyes. He's wriggling pink, with a downy tuft of damp, inky black hair on the top of his head, and so incredibly filthy, drenched in blood and mucus and Force-knows-what. Bawling and waving his fists in her face. So light and tiny and fragile in her arms.
And yet, she's never seen anything more lovely.
Leia has been so many things in her life— daughter, sister, princess, rebel, commander, wife, and now, a mother. But all of that, everything she's ever been proud or ashamed of— it all feels so inconsequential, so meaningless compared to this, like it's all been a humdrum of a prologue, a mere prerequisite for this very moment. Like all of the circumstances of the universe have coalesced to form this tiny, beautiful thing.
Han presses his forehead to hers, and whispers, "Look what we made."
Leia nods, and pulls the three of them close together.
(Because maybe if she holds them tight enough, this moment won't have to end. Maybe she won't ever have to let them go.)
Luke stops by the hospital to visit them later, when the baby's been fed and is sleeping peacefully in her arms. She's barely seen him since her wedding; from what she's been able to glean from his infrequent calls, he's been busy rebuilding the Jedi Order, training a new generation of Force-sensitive younglings to protect the galaxy. Seeing him now, the wide, boyish smile, the familiar twinkle in his eyes, she feels an overwhelming sense of relief: he's a little more weathered now, with a bushy beard and gray streaks in his hair to prove it, but nonetheless, the same Luke she's always known.
Han grins when he sees him, clasping his shoulder in a one-armed hug. "Look who decided to drop by!"
Luke smiles sheepishly in return. "Well, I wasn't gonna miss the birth of my nephew, was I?"
"So I've already been replaced as the favorite family member?" Leia quips. As long as they've been apart, as exhausted as she is, they can't help but fall back into their usual rapport.
"Don't take personally, sis. He's pretty charming." Luke reaches out for her, before hesitating. "Can I hold him?"
Leia hands her son to him, and Luke cradles him, achingly gentle, and lays a finger on his forehead. He snuffles in his sleep, but does not stir. Luke nods sagely, and smiles. "The Force is strong with this one."
They decide to name him Ben, only because Han refuses to name him after her brother ("Like that space brat needs an even bigger ego") and Obi-Wan feels a tad too dramatic to them, even for a future Jedi Knight.
"Why am I even surprised?" Han had scoffed. "Skywalker genes. Always ruining everything."
Leia had swatted him on the shoulder, grinning. "At least he inherited your roguish good looks."
"Yes," he had huffed, barely repressing a smirk, "thank Force for that."
The first month is hard, admittedly: sleepless nights spent coaxing him to sleep with a bottle of formula and off-key lullabies, arguing with one another over the din of his cries, fingers plugged into their ears, screaming themselves hoarse and hopeless.
But then come the little victories. The first time he sleeps through the night. The first time he cranes his neck up at her or gargles after his noontime meal, his mouth smeared with green pea mush, his eyes alight and laughing. And the first time he smiles at her, sending a coil of warmth unfurling in her chest, she knows she's never been so wholly, fully, uncompromisingly in love.
"I told you so," Han says to her, triumphant, and she bats him playfully on the arm.
After all, she's never been good at conceding defeat.
The night before he starts his Jedi training, Leia has a nightmare.
She sees Ben standing before her— older, yes, but unmistakably him, the mop of inky black hair and his dark, dark eyes. But something is wrong: she senses a turmoil within him that she does not recognize. A darkness.
He advances towards a child, a little freckled girl who quakes at the sight of him, and pulls the lightsaber from its hilt, stark crimson against the night sky. Without a flicker of remorse, without a beat of hesitation, he raises the weapon above his head, a streak of light, and—
Leia wakes in a cold sweat, her shrieks barely muffled into her pillow.
Han bolts up, fumbling to turn the light on. "Leia, what's wrong? Did you have a nightmare?"
As much as she does not want to tell him, as much as she wants to say she's fine and tell him to go back to sleep, she knows she can never lie to him, not about this. "I...I saw a Sith Lord. Killing a child."
His brow furrows. "Darth Vader?"
"No," she whispers, before exhaling shakily. "It was Ben."
Han inhales sharply, an entire kaleidoscope of emotions passing across his face. Finally, he reaches for her, gently closing his hand over hers. "It was just a nightmare, Leia. It wasn't real."
How can he be so dismissive? Leia pulls her hand away. "Luke says the Force can show visions of the future," she says urgently.
"Oh, come on," Han scoffs. "You know that's just a bunch of hooey."
She wets her lips, looks skeptically at him. "Do you really think that Luke was only saying that to pull my leg? He was serious, Han."
They lapse into terse silence.
"But seriously, Leia," Han continues. "Our kid, a Sith Lord? Your son? Luke's nephew?"
"It's not like my family exactly has a great track record," Leia retorts. She knows she'll suffer forever with the legacy of Darth Vader, the knowledge that his blood, the potential for such darkness, flows through her veins. Her son's veins.
(While Luke has forgiven him, insists that Anakin Skywalker had repented in his final moments, she can only think of that unforgiving black mask and the mechanical rasp of his voice. His hands, stained irrevocably with the blood of her comrades.)
But Han refuses to let it go. "You and Luke turned out alright, didn't you? You can't all be bad," he assures her, easing her back down onto her pillows. "We're fine, sweetheart. Go back to sleep."
Leia is still not convinced. Exasperated with his dismissiveness, she sits back up. "And what if we're not? What if Ben- what if he turns?"
"Then we fight it," he tells her, lacing his fingers through hers. "You and me— we've gotta be the two most stubborn idiots in the galaxy. No matter what happens...we'll stop it. Together. It's what we've always done, right?"
And because she loves him, she chooses to believe it.
"Look, Mommy, look what I can do!" Ben exclaims, tugging her out of the kitchen and into the living room.
Though her mind is on the new trade regulations she has to pass by the end of the week, dinner cooking in the other room, Leia kneels to the ground and smiles wearily at him. "What is it, sweetie?"
"Look what Uncle Luke taught me how to do!" Ben holds out his hand, and a metallic sphere zooms into the air, performing a loop-de-loop around the room before returning to rest in his palm. He looks expectantly at her. "What do you think?"
She gathers him in his arms, plants a kiss on his forehead. "You're amazing, Ben. I bet Uncle Luke hasn't ever had a student as smart as you."
"He says I get it from you." Ben draws away from her, gazes at her with eyes as wide as saucers. "Mommy...is it true that you can do it, too? Use the Force?"
She tucks a loose strand of hair behind his ear. "That's right, sweetie."
"Then how come you're not a Jedi?"
"I can't move things with my mind like you and Uncle Luke can. I'm just not that powerful," Leia says gently. "But there is something else I can do."
"What is it?"
Leia presses her forehead to his and takes his hand, presses it to her heart. "I can feel you. Here. Whenever, wherever. So, Ben: if you're ever sad, or scared, just remember that I'll always be with you, even if I'm far away. Even if you feel like you're alone. Can you do that for me?"
He nods. "Yes, Mommy. I promise."
She smiles, and tousles her hair. "That's my boy."
Before they know it, Ben has made it his life's mission to tear their house apart with his mind, practicing his newfound abilities anything he can find, clocks and staplers and one time, even Chewie's Wookiee bowcaster, much to their collective chagrin.
"Let's hope Luke doesn't teach him how to Jedi mind-trick us into getting out of his chores," Han grumbles.
Leia rubs her temples. "I think we have a few years til then."
While Leia usually finds his antics charming, today, when he returns home at 3 am from training without calling her and telling her that he'd be late, she's had enough of it. When he trudges to his room, completely spent, she's perched on his bed waiting for him, silently fuming.
"Nice of you to finally come back," she says, feigning nonchalance. "Care to tell me where you've been?
Ben raises an eyebrow at her— a habit inherited from Han that she finds especially infuriating. "Training. Uncle Luke wanted me to stay late."
He had not turned out a political-savvy, people-pleasing sort, like she'd hoped, or a rugged out outdoorsman, like Han had wanted; at twelve, he's lean and lithe without a noticeable muscle in his body, deeply introverted with a steely calmness that yielded to the occasional outburst of violent anger, shaking Leia to her core.
"And you didn't think to call and tell me?"
He shrugs. "Sorry. Slipped my mind."
Before she can harangue him, however, Han arrives to diffuse the situation, takes her by the arm and practically frog-marches her out the door and down the hall, into the safe haven of their bedroom. "Leia, you have got to calm down."
She tugs herself out of his grasp, hissing and spitting. "You don't get to tell me when to calm down! Don't you know how worried I was?"
"Yes, I do." He takes a deep breath. "I know it's not easy for you, but...Ben's growing up. He's got powers beyond our imagination now, and only Luke can help him with that. You have to loosen up a little: we can't baby him forever, you know."
As difficult it is to admit, he's right, has always been, honestly, when it's mattered the most. Leia heaves a sigh, her shoulders sagging, and leans into him, burying her face into his chest. "But it's so hard," she whispers, into the worn fabric of his shirt. "Knowing he won't just be ours anymore."
"I know, sweetheart," Han murmurs, rocking her back and forth, "I know."
He is fifteen when he discovers the truth of his mother's parentage.
(She never thought that Luke would betray her like this.)
"You've been lying to me this entire time?" Ben snarls.
"Not lying," Leia corrects, "I would never—"
He snorts. "Oh, right, you conveniently forgot to tell me. Like that's so much better," he says scornfully, and his words wound her more than bullets and bruises ever could. "How long were you planning on keeping this from me?"
"It just never seemed like the right time-"
"Of course." Ben shakes his head, laughs darkly. "You're always making excuses, aren't you?"
Without so much as another glance at her, he turns on his heel and storms out of the room.
Over the next few years, he spends increasingly more time with Luke, disappearing off with him for days or weeks at a time, leaving only a hastily scrawled note on her kitchen counter. "Jedi business," he'd always tell her when he returned, looking haggard, scarfing down the nerf steak she'd heated up for him. "Top secret stuff."
(His light saber is crimson, and the mere sight of it is enough to make her shudder.)
However, when she confesses this to Luke, he looks aghast. "You want him to train less?"
"It's just, we hardly get to see him," she begs. "He's just a child, Luke, he needs some rest."
"He's a Jedi padawan, Leia: this is the life he's chosen, what he's meant for," Luke says sternly. "If we stop his training now, leave his power unchecked— he'd only become more and more dangerous. I thought you knew that."
Leia turns her to her husband, and implores him, "Han, you know this is insane!"
But he only shakes his head. "You shouldn't argue with Luke on this, sweetheart. He knows better than anybody-"
"Better than his mother?"
"You're not the Jedi here, Leia," he fires back. "Stop being unreasonable. You know we can't stop him."
Still, she cannot explain to Han the fear that shakes her when she looks at their son and sees somebody she does not know. Her own child is a stranger to her; she has never been able to discern the storm that is brewing behind her son's eyes, the flashbang of brilliance that Luke insists is there, but that she has never been able to find.
A whole galaxy of unknowns, and yet her son, her own flesh and blood and body and soul, is the greatest mystery of them all.
She wakes in the middle of the night to the creak of floorboards and, tiptoeing out of the room as to not disturb Han, slips out of the room to investigate.
Ben is reaching for the doorknob when she catches him. He's become more gaunt in the past few months, milky pale from all the time he spends cooped up in his room, pronounced bags under his eyes.
Looking exactly, she realizes with a start, as he had in her nightmare, more than a decade ago.
"Ben, it's the middle of the night," she admonishes. "You're not leaving now, are you?"
He averts his gaze, ducking his head to stare pointedly at the floor. "Sorry, Mom," he mumbles.
"Well, if you must." Leia heaves a sigh, reaching up to lay a hand on his cheek. "Try to be back soon, okay? Your father and I miss you terribly."
He stiffens at her touch, but does not pull away. "I promise."
(And when Luke tells them what he has done, Leia can only think of him in this way: bathed in moonlight, the calm before the storm.)
Again, the Republic crumbles and the Empire rises, this time in its new incarnation: the First Order and the Knights of Ren. Her son, just a boy, its catalyst, embroiled in it all.
She and Han barely speak to one another, sit silently at the dinner table until their coffee has grown cold, until the suns have sunk beneath the horizon and it is time to crawl into bed and fall fitfully asleep, facing pointedly away from one another. Trying desperately not to think about the bedroom across the hall, teeming with the ghosts of a life they had shared and loved and failed so wholeheartedly to protect.
One night, she blurts, "I saw him that night. Before he left."
Han rolls over, his eyes wide and glassy. "What?"
"I could have stopped him," Leia stammers, tears welling in her eyes, "if I'd just stopped him, he wouldn't have—"
"Stop it, Leia." Han looks pained, reaches out to grab hold of her hand. "There's nothing you could've done."
"I was always such a goddamn workaholic," she continues. In the wake of recent events, her devotion to the Republic seems laughable now. "I should have been there for him. I should have known."
"Yeah? And what about me?" Han demands. "You knew this was gonna happen, and instead of taking you seriously, I treated it like a fucking joke!" He laughs bitterly, his face twisted into an ugly grimace. A stray tear rolls down his cheek.
Leia can't help but pity him— the both of them, the tired old fools who couldn't even save their son. How the shame of their failure, of his betrayal, has torn them so irrevocably apart.
How, try as they might, they can never be put back together.
He leaves rather unceremoniously, cramming all of his worldly possessions into a small knapsack, as if the thirty years they had spent together had been a mere detour, a pit stop in his great and beautiful adventure. Though she had secretly hoped he would take off in the middle of the night, sparing her the painful finality of it all, he waits until breakfast is over, standing awkwardly by the door as she packs him and Chewbacca a week's worth of sandwiches.
"You really don't have to…" Han trails off.
She shoves the paper bag into his hands. "Just take it. Force knows you're completely incapable of feeding yourself properly."
A smile tugs at the edge of his lips, but he does not retort back.
They fall into silence.
Han clears his throat, and holds a hand out to her. But she can't bear to let it end this way, not after everything they've been through. Not after Yavin and Hoth and Bespin and Endor. Not after memorizing one another so wholly and completely: his morning breath, her post-dinner mug of tea, his arms around her as the last tremor of a nightmare ran through her body. Not after they had birthed and raised and loved and lost a son.
The life they have fought tooth and nail to build, the decades of blood, sweat, and tears— it can't dissipate with a handshake.
(She deserves more than this, dammit. They do.)
So she pushes his hand aside and flings himself into her arms, tries to memorizes the rise and fall of his breathing, the rhythm of his heartbeat. "Take care of yourself, okay?"
Her marriage: another casualty of the war.
After he has left, Leia throws herself into her work, volunteers as the general of the Resistance because Luke is gone, retreating into the recesses of himself, the remotest corner of the galaxy, and there is no one left for them to turn to. So even though she is much too old for this, she picks up her blaster again; it nestles perfectly back into the calluses of her palms, like an old friend.
She catches wind of him now and then: rumor has it that he's taken up smuggling again and has yet another bounty on his head, free-wheeling across the galaxy with Chewie at his side, nothing and no one to encumber him anymore. You got what you wanted, didn't you?
They are never officially divorced; he's never around to sign the papers, anyways. She takes her ring off, eventually, a trinket he had bought and purchased from a street market in the poorest district of Coruscant. Practically worthless, in all honesty.
But still, she does not throw it away, keeps it tucked into her breast pocket like a good luck charm, imbued with the promise they had made one another when they were still idealistic children.
When the First Order infiltrates their systems, searching desperately for the map to Luke, his face is broadcasted onto her computer screen, and she is there to greet him, alone in the control room as their forces clash on the battlefield.
"Hello, Ben," she says quietly. "It's been quite some time. Won't you let your mother see your face?"
"The same mother who's trying to kill me?" he snarls.
"Oh, no, Ben, not you," Leia replies calmly. "This isn't you."
"Why won't you just let me go?" Ben snaps. "I'm with the First Order now. The enemy. Don't you know what I've done?"
Yes: more than anyone, she understands the magnitude of what he has done, what he has ripped away from her: her husband, her brother, her comrades, her Republic. But even after everything, she feels nothing but tenderness for him, remembers only how she'd felt as she held him for the first time.
"You're my son," she tells him, unwavering, unfaltering. "There's nothing you could do that I wouldn't forgive."
Or so she'd thought.
(When Han does not return to her, she isn't so sure.)