This is going to be a very AU story, starting from the Falcon's escape of the space slug (Empires Strikes Back)….What if Han and Leia decided on a different sanctuary, instead of Bespin? Beginning chapters will be mostly fluff, setting up for some darker issues in later chapters…taking their story down a slightly angsty, less than perfect path. Oh, and JJ Abrams? Han and Leia forever!

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The captain of the Millenium Falcon ghosted his fingers slowly over the myriad buttons, switches, and levers on the nearest control panel of his beloved ship. Double checking the coordinates, everything set as the ailing freighter limped towards its destination, Corellia.

With the harrowing escape from the space slug's innards fresh in his mind, and the Imperials who had been in hot pursuit long gone now, chasing shadows, Han hoped his homeworld would serve as the safe sanctuary they desperately needed.

Turning in the well-worn pilot's chair and leaning back slightly, getting another read on the deflector shields, Han suddenly winced, growling a few choice Corellian curses aloud at the pain radiating from the side of his torso and back.

The shards of ice that had pummeled his body while escaping Hoth reminding him, again, of the damage they had done, but not nearly as bad as the twisted alloy beams that had punctured his side. "She's worth it," his hissed aloud without any hesitation, recalling how he had shielded the Princess from the avalanche of ice and rusted metal.

Just getting the feisty young woman out of the command center had been challenging enough, he mused. Leia seemed especially annoyed and upset, but not necessarily at him, which was unusual. He could tell – there was something else; something, he couldn't put a finger on. Leia had exhibited a sense of resignation in that crumbling command center; it almost seemed as if she planned to stay, to meet her fate on that frozen rock of a planet. Han had no intentions of letting the Princess sacrifice herself, forcefully shuffling them to the Falcon…

The Princess…

His thoughts swirled around and returned to the diminutive spitfire yet again; images of their tender kiss they had shared quickening his pulse, fanning long suppressed emotions and desires. From the moment they met two standard years ago, in the Death Star's detention block, sparks immediately flew between them, intensifying over time.

In the past, the smuggler lived up to his name - enjoying the pursuit of his latest conquest, then eventually moving on; having no interest in a long-term relationship and emotional entanglements; too costly and risky, in his self-centered opinion.

So it was no surprise his attraction to the Princess began in a similar fashion; primally driven by lustful desires. He'd quickly began spending too many moments wondering what Leia looked like naked, finding himself fantasizing more and more about touching, tasting every fiery, young inch of her…

Han had attempted all of his 'tried and true' moves, but the composed girl always had a quick-witted retort ready for him; her resistance to his offers fueling his determination to have her. The scoundrel in him craved release, finding a little in teasing and taunting Leia, delighting in the flush that would appear on her cheeks after his latest comment laced with some proposition or innuendo, which would always lead to a fiery verbal battle between the two.

But as the months and missions passed, Han had grown to appreciate Leia for more than just carnal reasons. She could be so haughty, argumentative, stubborn...but undeniably beautiful, intelligent, witty, and could handle a blaster like one of the boys. She carried herself with incredible poise and decorum, but also, albeit rarely, she would show her youth and vulnerability. His fascination in the enigmatic Princess grew to more than just wanting to bed her; much to his own dismay, Han found himself developing a sincere, deep desire to protect her, defend her; Leia's contact and presence stirring unfamiliar emotions in the seasoned pirate.

Their sparring matches grew in frequency and intensity - two stubborn souls battling, he secretly hoped, from a longing, a desire, neither was willing yet to acknowledge. But there were encouraging moments (his years of experience with the opposite sex had taught him that much) a shy glance, the way her eyes would light up when he approached, the embraces she showered on him from returning from a mission, told Han his instincts were correct; she was attracted to him, as well as perhaps, feeling more…

And, finally, that kiss!

Like a spice addict, the first taste of Leia's sweet lips fueled Han's desire for her exponentially, occupying his thoughts. Kreth! I'm behaving like some teenager – not a 32 year old man!, silently chastising himself. The realist in him poked his conscience, ushering in conflicting thoughts that tempered Han's excitement. A massive bounty hung over him like a dark cloud, threatening to consume him and possibly anyone else nearby. The thought of Leia getting injured or worse, because of the price on his head , because of him, made Han's chest tighten and stomach turn. Heaving out a deep sigh, slowly standing and stretching, he found himself exiting the cockpit in search of a petite princess…