Leia sits up suddenly, her long brown hair finally resting against her shoulders and out of the tedious buns she usually adorns on the sides of her head, her sons cries overwhelming her dreams and following her to the waking world. She hugged the sheet close to her, hands clutched around it and pulling it almost up to her chest as she caught her own shaken up breath.
Surprisingly Leia could not hear her son crying, but instead was struck with an unsettling silence and the soft snores and sounds her husband made settling next to her. She sighed, dropping the sheet and throwing her legs over the side of the bed, settling her bare feet against the floor of her bedroom. Leia could see herself in the mirror that hung parallel to her bed, looking at her still young yet tired face with a warm smile, wondering how much of it Ben would carry with him. She reached a hand up to touch as her cheeks and jaw, lifting at parts she saw forming wrinkles and raising her eyebrows.
But suddenly her peaceful moment of admiration stopped as a horrible scream spread through the house like wild fire. Leia felt the sudden jolt of her husband, not moving from his spot more then to raise his head as Leia reached her hand back, patting his shoulder to assure him that she's "got this" and it was okay for him to fall back asleep. Or atleast get comfortable enough to imagine sleep, Ben's screams followed by loud crying sobs that pierced the sleepy ears of his parents. She stood up quickly and made her way from her room to his, only a half trip down the large hallway, until the sobs got louder.
She assumed the Force had awoken her, sending a fair warning for her to wake up and ready for her sensitive son to be plagued with more dreadful nightmares, but as she opened his door with a worried and heavy heart-- she wondered that instead of the Force at work, her motherly instincts had booted in. Sometimes she hoped it was the former, worried her only connection with the small boy was something not of her own, but a forced bond between her and her force sensitive baby.
Either way, the relief that fell over his face when she ran to comfort him was enough to push Leia to be the first one he always saw, the one he reached his hands up to with his snot drenched pajama top. Tonight Ben had not found his way from bed, sitting up with his blanket glued to his chest, leaning over himself with painful sobs as he buried his face into his small hands. It was hard to watch someone so young express such intense emotions, her Ben being the most horrible to watch. This time was no different then the previous nights, the second his head connected with hers, and his distractions were cleared and he was aware of her presence, he scrambled from his bed to her arms.
And just like the previous nights, she caught Ben with open arms and a ready chest for his strong and surprisingly rough collision, his small arms snaking around her neck and his nails digging into her shoulder blades-- holding on like if he let go, she would melt and fall from his finger tips. The violent protection was also routine for Leia, her neck skin coming back thicker with every claw and rip like quick and sudden evolution. She held him even closer in a warm hug, falling backwards on her butt so he could curl himself into the embrace and she could surround him at all his vulnerable angles. They would sit like this for awhile, letting his horrible sobs finally slow down, Leia feeling dread and tears poke at her own eyes as she sensed and experienced his pain, fear, and loss second hand. She'd sit up at night and think-- what horrible things could he possibly be seeing? Feeling? Hearing? The things all too dreadful that came to mind for her to even imagine her son experiencing them in his night terrors.
Finally she would open her mouth, talking for the first time today, low and scratchy, but still familiar and comforting to her baby-- "Ready to come to bed?" was always her only question. She was always met with a last cry, a violent nod, and a tighter death grip (if even possible) like if he didn't hold on she'd leave him to sleep alone again. Ben never wanted to be away from her, he always wanted to be home, not at school and not with family; he always expressed the most comfort with Leias arms to fall into. As long as she lived she would hold Ben here--until he was holding her.
But for now, he was small enough to lift, placing a hand under his butt for support. He was small enough to carry to her room, his face buried against her neck as his snot and tears wiped on her nightgown and hair. He was small enough for Leia to push open the wavering door and walk back into the familiar bedroom with him still clutched in her arms, her husband lying sleepily as he waited for his son. And right now he was small enough to jump excitedly in his mothers arms as he pulled himself from her and half jumped onto the bouncy mattress, followed by a swallowing hug from his father and then the room was filled with laughter. All three of them laughing, Ben's always the loudest.
His laughing always filled the air a lot better, making his mother smooth over with comfort, her anxieties of tonight washed away as Han tickled their son. She no longer sat awake waiting for his wails, wondering what to do if she couldn't wake up, or how long it would take to calm him down. Tonight was a good night, and for that Leia was incredibly grateful. She let her chuckles die as Han stopped roughhousing with their son, huffing from tiredness as Ben wiped his eyes, and joined her boys in the bed. She pulled the blanket up, letting Ben find his perfect spot between them and cuddle up against his fathers chest, his back waiting to be spooned by his mother. Leia wrapped her arms around him, the blanket falling wistfully on their shoulders as the couple huddled their son.
Maybe tonight would be the only night he slept with them before he insisted on sleeping alone, maybe it would be a few days, or a week. Even if Han complained about many things-- Less room, babying him, sex. Leia still knew that the calm energy and the small nose pressed against his warm and wide chest was better then any feeling Han could ever complain about not feeling; at least that's how Leia felt.
And tonight the small heater laid between them, slowly falling asleep with his parents swaddling him, and Leia had never felt happier or more content.
She could never give this up for the world.