Luke. She reaches for him but doesn’t find him.
The dark, now lit with stars. One by one, like eyes opening. Comforting at first, then sinister as she worries. Who is out there, who is watching us? Hands reach for her, hands of shadow, lifting her up, reaching for her throat, her wrists, her stomach -
Inside, the child kicks. She feels her baby turning inside, right-side, up and down, struggling to find his bearings, trying so hard to find his way free of her. It’s not time, she thinks. Just a little longer.
Luke, she wants to cry out. But her words don’t come. Her mouth is sealed, a hand pressed over it. One by one, stars go dark again, winking out of existence as if by a hand slowly closing over them -
She gasps and wakes. Han. It’s just Han. He’s by her side of the bed, rousing her, gently shaking her shoulder.
The dream recedes like a wave going back to sea.
Hi, she says, her mouth tacky, her eyes full of sleep. Her middle twists too - it’s not the baby. It’s some unseen fear uncoiling. The remnants of the dream haunt her - but they break apart like a sand castle as she sits up and clears her head, doing as Luke taught her to do.
Breathe in breathe out. Be mindful of the world, the galaxy, your place within it. Everything will be OK. The Force will be your guide.
He is less a human shaped thing and more a pulsing, living band of light. Light that sometimes dims, that sometimes is thrust with a vein of darkness. She tells herself that it’s normal - Luke said to her, Leia, we all have that. He explained that the brighter the light, the darker the shadow.
Right now, her son is upset, tumbling inside her as if he can’t get comfortable. His light, flickering with dark. She centers herself and concentrates. The walls of the room fall away. Everything is white and then it’s black. Then she’s in the calm, airless void. As Leia finds her peace, so does her son. He stops turning…
Then he gets the hiccups.
She sighs and it brings her out of it. But she laughs, too. Because the hiccups tickle her. They are like bubbles inside - a curious effervescence like nothing Leia ever felt before.
My son is alive. The future is bright.
The baby turns inside her again, troubled by something she cannot feel and cannot yet understand.