Hello, readers! I hope you enjoy the latest story in Warm Hearts 'verse! Although it follows Cold Hands, Warm Hearts and Second Time Around, all stories in this 'verse can be read as stand-alones as well.

For those of you who don't know me, please take note that I do not adhere to Disney Canon or sad parts of Legends. This story is an AU rooted in the OT, with Legends characters and my own timeline. In a future chapter, you will meet a very tiny OC.

I have to say that I had such fun writing this fic! The first chapter was submitted for the June 2020 Han/Leia anonymous challenge. A boatload of thanks to JCBS, my fabulous beta-reader and good friend, for all her support and suggestions. (Be sure to check out her submission too! It's a good one!)

Finally, reviews not only are welcome, but are treasured! Even the short ones make me so very happy.

And now I present to you…

New Arrival

Chapter 1: Expecting

On the stone bank of a natural spring, Han sat, his gaze transfixed by the beautiful view. With her back to him, Leia stretched her arms, then ran her fingers through damp hair as she rose to stand in the waist-deep natural pool. Her moonlit curves and glistening skin drew him into the water, and he reached out to caress her shoulders. Pulling her into a loose embrace, he felt her smooth back against his chest. Leia stirred at his touch, and, unable to resist his growing desire, he lowered his head to kiss her neck.

"Han..." she mumbled as his lips met the sensitive spot under her ear, and he wanted more, slowly trailing a hand from her shoulder to a full breast.

"Han…" Leia's strained voice cut into the haze of his dream state. "... time…"

Time… Confused, yet dimly aware that something had changed, her tone seemed too tense for a romantic interlude, Han opened bleary eyes to a darkened room. Oh, we're home.

A small hand nudged his shoulder. "It's time."

Time? Time for what? Still groggy, Han rolled over and squinted at the chronometer on his bedside table. "It's 3:17." Plenty of time to sleep.

No sooner had he closed his eyes and laid his head back on the eigan-down pillow, when Leia's sharp voice rang out again, this time filled with urgency. "Han! It's time!"

He sat bolt upright. The damp sheets confirmed what he already knew.

"Don't worry, Sweetheart! We're old pros!" Han jumped up from the bed and dashed to the fresher, returning with a large towel and a robe - his own-, which he tossed on the mattress.

"Old? Speak for yourself, Hotshot!" Even in her current state of exhaustion and discomfort, Leia managed a small grin. Rubbing her protruding belly, she now sat on the edge of the bed, topless, with her legs dangling and a messy braid hanging over her shoulder and onto the rumpled sheets at her side.

Heartened to hear her strong spirit, Han was reminded of her determination in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles, and this was birth, a natural process. A painful one, not without risk… Can't let 'er think about that. He swallowed, then placed a hand on her cheek. "Aw, Sweetheart. What I'm saying is, you got this. You've done it before. An' this time, it's only one kid!"

Han moved to her side, then slipped his arm under hers and across her back. Placing a hand on his shoulder, Leia leaned on him as she bent forward and pulled herself to a standing position. He steadied her as she manoeuvred out of her soaked pajama pants and into the calf-length nightshirt he'd purchased more than a decade ago when she was pregnant with the twins. She'd also worn it when Anakin was born, "for luck," she'd told Han at the time.

Han picked up the robe and held it behind her. "Gonna hafta settle for mine today. Yours is still drenched in tangelina juice." He hoped to distract her with a reminder of last night's incident involving their frequently underfoot pitten and her inability to see her feet. Although he'd never admit it to anyone but Leia, their well-established rapid-fire repartee was good for both of them.

But now was not the time for banter.

Leia stretched one arm through a sleeve, then suddenly stopped, slumped forward, and put her hands on her thighs. A grimace flashed across her face before she inhaled deeply, then spoke. "I hope you're ready for number four, because this one's coming fast!"

Han's stomach dropped. Kriff. How fast? He knew that labor often was shorter for later babies, "That's 'cause you're so good at this," he remarked casually, his calm tone anachronistic to the rising chaos in his brain. He kissed the top of his wife's head and pulled the robe to her hunched shoulders. Then, with one arm across her back, he bent down and slid his other arm behind her knees in an attempt to carry her.

"Han, stop!" Leia exclaimed through clenched teeth. "Just… I can walk."

"Just tryin'a help," he grumbled, his confidence eroding under a wave of anxiety.

Han ran a hand through his hair. He had to get her out of their home and into his speeder! Was she just being stubborn? "This ain't worth an argument," he thought to himself. Leia was under enough duress with the difficult task ahead. Han didn't want to make the choice for her unless absolutely necessary. If it was clear that she couldn't manage the path, he figured he'd scoop her up and run, and deal with any consequences later.

"You are helping me, and the best thing you can do right now is to get my hospital bag."

Encouraged by her clarity of speech, Han knew the contraction was over. Time to move. "I'm on it!"

He scanned the room and spotted her purple backpack in the corner by their closet. In four quick strides, he'd grabbed it and slung it over a shoulder.

Turning to face his wife, Han caught her raised eyebrow and answered her question before she could speak. "No, it ain't filled with Falcon parts this time."

Leia smiled. "You're sure about that?" When Anakin was born, Han had accidentally grabbed the wrong bag to bring to the hospital. Hydrospanners, hammers, and a mess of wires did not make for comfortable pajamas, so she'd spent two days in hospital gowns, which were poor substitutes for her sleep pants and Han's soft shirts.

He shook the bag. "No clinking!"

Straightening to her full height, Leia reached her other arm through the remaining sleeve, pulled the robe closed, squared her shoulders, and lifted her chin. Her determined gaze met Han's.

"Let's do this, Flyboy."

Gods, he loved this woman.