Senator Leia Organa opened the door to the apartment looking tired but genuinely pleased to see her colleague, Senator Boreal Crex. He was one of the few Investigative Committee members who didn’t constantly make more work for her. Beside him stood his daughter Hada, a perky little thing the age of her son Ben. She knew the teens had spent time together on field trips and Young Mentors excursions. This was a social call then, despite the lateness of the hour.
“Senator Crex,” she said with a gracious smile. “Hada. It’s good to see you.” And beckoned them in. “May I offer you some refreshments?” She was about to turn toward the kitchen when Crex held up a hand, unsmiling.
“Ah, no, thank you,” he returned in a voice pitched low, absently fingering the gloves in his hands. His eyes darted briefly about the room, trying to see down the hallway behind her. “We won’t take up too much of your time. We’ve come to have a word with you and your husband.”
Leia’s smile faded as she looked from father to daughter. “Han is away on shipping business. He won’t be back for another two weeks.” A knot began to form in the pit of her stomach.
This was about Ben.
Down the opposite hallway, around Crex’s shoulder, she caught a glimpse of her son’s dark eyes peering out from the doorway to his bedroom. She put on her most diplomatic face and tried a little informality to put her colleague at ease. “Is there something I can help you with, Boreal?”
He shook his head when she tried to usher them to couches. “We won’t wait for General Solo’s return then.” He gave Hada an encouraging look, placing a paternal hand in the small of her back. “Hada has something to share that simply cannot wait.”
Leia gave an involuntary swallow, watching the girl’s chin come up in defiance and something akin to triumph.
“I’m pregnant,” Hada announced smugly, meeting Leia’s gaze. “Ben is the father.”
Through the Force, Leia could sense her son stiffening, preparing to spring. She drew in a deep breath. “Has this been confirmed through a paternity test?”
Crex’s eyes immediately narrowed. “Are you suggesting that my daughter sleeps around?”
“Not at all, Senator.” Leia gave him an imploring look. “But if we’re going to plan a course of action, we’re going to need all the facts laid out on the table. Establishing the child’s legal identity is the first step.” She felt her heart racing and inwardly cursed Han for not being there. It seemed he was never there when the tough issues needed to be faced.
“Our religion prohibits us from invading the sanctity of the body for such a test.” He looked down at his darling Hada and laid a hand on her shoulder. “I have my daughter’s word. That’s all the proof I need.”
Leia almost rolled her eyes but stopped herself. “I’ll talk to my son and husband and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.” She closed her eyes for a moment and willed the headache that was starting away. “Perhaps it’s best now if you….” Her voice trailed off as she sensed something. Something bad. Something tragic.
“Threepio!” she called to the protocol droid hovering in the background. “Could you see our guests to the door?” To the Crexes, she added hastily, “I’m sorry. My son needs me.”
She found him in his room standing on the window sill, gazing out at the space lanes 27 levels up, the breeze from the open floor-to-ceiling window gently blowing his dark locks.
“Ben!” She ran to him and managed to get her arms around his trembling legs. He reeled forward, off balanced, then back, before finally toppling backward onto the bed and rolling onto his knees. For a moment, Leia sat there, with her arms around him, breathing hard and rejoicing in every breath her son inhaled. He was alive, safe for the moment, in her arms. She stroked his tousled hair as he knelt with his back to her, face buried in his knees. She laid her cheek against his shoulder.
“It’s all right, sweetie,” she soothed. “We’ll get through this.” She felt him tense again and begin to shake.
“I didn’t do it!” she thought she heard him say, but his voice seemed light-years away. He lifted his head slightly and wiped his face before blubbering a bit louder, “I didn’t get her pregnant.”
She held him a little tighter. “Go on. Tell me.”
“She’s been after me for ages. She won’t leave me alone!” He wiped at his eyes again. “We fell asleep together on a transport once, but nothing happened. There were other kids there.” His fingers balled into fists. “She doesn’t even care about me. All she cares about are my powers! No one gives a shit about me!” He shrugged her off with such vehemence, it startled her. “I don’t want to live anymore!” But she hung on with all her strength, with all her love, as he made a lunge for the window. He struggled, but his heart wasn’t in it and his body went limp against her. He let her cradle him like a little boy again.
“I care,” she said simply. “I know my work takes me far away from you, but you’re always close in my heart.” She suddenly remembered her recent trip to Jedha. “I brought you something,” she told him softly, reaching into her pocket and taking out a pendant of reforged gold — an ancient starbird symbol — the symbol of the Rebel Alliance. When he didn’t look up, she draped the cord around his neck and cupped the pendant to his chest. In a moment, he stirred and folded his hand around hers.
“I’m one with the Force. The Force is with me,” he whispered, almost as if in a trance. “I see the man….I see the monk,” he went on absently, “who wore this….”
She leaned her cheek against his and held him tightly.
@MyKyloRen 11 January 2017