Here's a little holiday fic (which will have a few chapters or so) that hopefully, will put a few smiles on your faces, especially after TFA.
This story takes place roughly four standard months following my story An Unexpected Journey, which is still a work in progress, btw...
Please review after you read. It makes me soooo happy!
FINDING THE RIGHT ONE...
The princess' breath, visible in the frigid air, curled upward and intermingled with the snowflakes floating in the early dusk sky. She smiled, wryly noting that Han was exhibiting more patience than usual, despite the fact that they'd circled the evergreen tree lot five or six times, politely disagreeing – at least up until this point - which was the best specimen to purchase for the upcoming Winter Solstice festivities.
Leia pulled the scarf around her neck higher in the hopes of offsetting the latest gust of swirling wind. She blinked a few snowflakes from her eyelashes as Han backtracked and came to a halt in front of a large balsama fir. Her eyes grew wider, observing her husband whip the safety off the vibrosaw clutched in his hand without any hesitation - and with far too casual an attitude - in her opinion. "Careful! Do you know what you're doing?" she suddenly questioned.
"Theoretically, yes," Han answered with a low chuckle, detecting some wariness intermixing with amusement in his wife's voice. He continued studying the base of the evergreen victim before him, a grin crawling up half his face from Leia's concern for his wellbeing. Four standard months into marriage, they were still enjoying the honeymoon stage - notwithstanding the stresses of war and a few other issues, some self-inflicted, causing a few bumps along the way. "Don't worry - you can only cut off one digit before the emergency sensor automatically powers the saw off."
The princess glanced briefly at Chewbacca's hulking form, then stared back at Han, shaking her head and snorting, "Well, that makes me feel so much better." Leia dismissed her skittishness with a tiny laugh; her scoundrel had survived well over a decade of smuggling and three years of war - it was doubtful a tree would cause him much trouble.
"This is the best one on the lot, Sweetheart...perfect for our first Winter Solstice together," Han drawled satisfactorily. He had no idea how General Rieekan pulled off assigning the princess and himself a generic supply run to Corellia during the holiday season, but he certainly wasn't going to argue the task. They were back in Pragada and staying at his godfather Kief's house during the height of the season; one couldn't ask for much more than that. And the wily old general even managed to pad extra days into the assignment, giving him and Leia the opportunity to devote plenty of time to each other. I owe Carlist a case of Corellian Select for this...
Just as he was ready to trigger the blade and go to work on the trunk, Leia's doubtful tone brought him out of his reverie. "I'm not sure about that one, Han. It looks too big."
"Nah. It'll fit," he asserted without looking at her.
"I'll be surprised if it fits through the front door. And besides, it's too tall for Kief's sitting room, anyway."
Still crouched down in the snow, Han twisted his neck around, gaping at Leia with a curious half-grin. "Look – I'm an expert at this. I helped my 'Old man cut down and set up our family's Winter Solstice tree for years, babe. Trust me, I've got everything covered."
"Where have I heard that before...let me try to jog my memory," the princess offered innocently with one palm pressed into her hip, the other running across the top curve of her expanding pregnancy belly of six months, their son shifting inside her almost in response.
"Ha Ha – very funny, Sweetheart," Han grumbled, snapping the safety back onto the vibrosaw and coming to a full stand. Even though she was just being cheeky, Han shot his wife a perturbed look as his small supply of patience began to wear thin. The tips of his toes were matching the numbness spreading through his fingers, and they'd been trudging around in the snow for far longer than necessary; after all, he had spotted the perfect specimen within two minutes of arriving at the tree farm. Sure, Leia had a right to voice her opinion – she just happened to be wrong in this particular instance. Before he could defend his choice, Chewbacca barked his feelings on the subject.
*The Little Princess has a point, Cub. We probably should measure the tree, just to be sure.*
"Whose side are you on anyway? You're supposed to back me up, fuzzball," Han clipped in a short voice, his irritability growing while catching a glimpse of Leia's smirk as she patted Chewie's hairy forearm in apparent triumph.
Upon closer inspection, the balsama fir might be a little wider and taller than the captain initially thought, but he was too stubborn to admit it. Han silently determined to make the tree fit in Kief's house, no matter what he had to do - even hacking off part of the bottom if necessary – without his wife looking, of course. "The snow is really picking up and it's getting colder out here. Why don't you wait for us in the speeder? That is, unless you have any more pressing advice for us, Your Highness."
She rubbed her mitten-covered hands together, then softly squeezed his bicep and teased, "What? And miss the opportunity of witnessing an "expert" at work? Not a chance. This is getting me more into the holiday mood with each passing minute."
Han rumbled another growl at her before his lips began curling upward. This was the playful side of the Rebel leader that no one else got to see... but him; and for that he was infinitely grateful. "You're putting me in a mood right now. I'm glad I provide you with so much entertainment, Sweetheart," he said, crouching back down again to return to work on the tree.
"You consistently do, Hotshot." The princess pulled a velvet Father Winter cap, complete with fake gray fur trim and pompom, out of her coat pocket and replaced his snow-dusted hood with the oversized hat. "Ooh, you look so good in burgundy," she cooed, "so much in fact that I'll have to try and find you the matching pants and coat as well."
With Chewbacca warbling something about taking a holo to show the Rogue Squadron, a diabolical threat popped into Han's mind - guaranteed to strike fear in the hearts of anyone within earshot. He gave her a wide, devilish grin. "Keep this up, Honey. When we get back to Kief's, I'll make sure to tie you up with a string of lights and force you to listen to me sing holiday songs."
Leia batted the pompom bobbing on his hat with a few fingers, then gasped as the ramifications of his threat registered. Her husband had many talents, however, singing wasn't one of them. "Now there's no need to get nasty, Han," she snickered while leaning closer and whispering dulcetly into his ear. "Besides, I thought you might like to play Father Winter later. I could sit on your lap and you could ask me anything that comes to mind."
His eyes met hers, flickering in recognition of the little game she was suggesting. "Damn, woman, don't distract me with fantasies while I'm holding a saw in my hand," Han drawled, a wicked smile growing on his face from a variety of scenario's that would likely land them both on the naughty list. "Let's get this tree cut down and head back to the house. I have a feeling this is going to be the best Winter Solstice I've ever had."
The princess gave him a soft peck and grinned against his scratchy cheek. "I wholeheartedly agree with that."