Title: Cloudshape Falls Author: devilinthedetails Characters: Han Solo; Leia Organa Genre: Romance, Mush, Family Timeline: Set after ROTJ. Compatible with either a Legends or Canon timeline. Summary: Han has a special gift for Leia. Cloudshape Falls “Happy Life Day!” Han coaxed Leia onto the couch beside him and planted a kiss on her lips. “You don’t look a day older than when we first met.” “We met on a Death Star where we had to leap into a trash compactor to escape a detention block.” Leia’s nose wrinkled with the memory of the stench of the rotting garbage and creepy monster that had almost drowned Luke in the trash compactor of the Death Star so many years ago. Unimpressed with Han’s attempt at a charming compliment, she added, “Was a reminder of the Death Star supposed to be romantic, honey?” “Not at all, sweetheart. I’m a rogue, not a romantic.” Han winked at her as he reached behind his back, withdrawing a present wrapped in golden paper with a bow that could only have been tied by the deft fingers of a sales clerk as Han would never in a million years have possessed the patience required to tie a bow so perfectly. “This rogue does have a gift he hopes you’ll find romantic, though.” “You scoundrel.” Leia laughed as she opened the present Han had handed her. As she tore the paper away to reveal a beautiful watercolor of bright blue cascading waterfalls topped with foam white as a cloud, her breath was stolen from her lungs. Gazing down at the painting, she could hear the music of the water as it raced down the rocks and feel the silvery mist moist on her cheeks, filling her nose with the forever reviving scent of fresh water. Through a throat that felt dammed, she choked out, “Is that...” “Cloudshape Falls?” Han drew her tight against his chest, so she could hear his heartbeat echoing like the rhythm of moving water in her ears. Speaking of a gorgeous waterfall that could now only flow in Leia’s memories and paintings like the one she held, Han went on, proving that he had listened to all those times she had whispered to him of the natural beauty of this place she could only revisit in memory after Alderaan’s destruction, “You bet your bottom credit it is. Mind you, that’s nearly what this painting cost, and it took some tracking down from antiques dealers to find it too.” “It’s a splendid watercolor, and I appreciate everything you did to track it down for me.” Leia rested her head against Han’s chest as if it were her personal pillow, soft but always strong enough to support her. “Thank you. I only wish you could have seen Cloudshape Falls before Alderaan was destroyed. It was even more spectacular in person.” Leia shut her eyes, imagining a scene that could never become reality because of the cruelty of a ruthless Empire and the implacable agents of its tyranny who had stood stony in the face of all her pleading on behalf of her pacifistic planet. She and Han could have hiked up to the Cloudshape Falls on a sunny afternoon and picnicked there, their laughter and conversation reflecting off rocks and water, as so many happy couples had before Alderaan was reduced to nothing more than memory and space dust that maybe one day could coalesce into a star. “I wish I could’ve seen it too, princess.” Han stroked fingers through her hair, beckoning her back to the present–to what she did have and what the Empire had never been able to take away from her. “I’m happy I have you.” Leia tilted her mouth up to meet Han’s. “Thank you for the watercolor. I’ll have to hang it up in the living room. It’ll match the sofa perfectly.” “I’m sorry.” Han’s lips tickled hers as he spoke. “I forgot to buy nails for you to hang the painting.” “I forgive you because you got me such a beautiful painting.” Leia deepened the kiss until she forgot all words and all memory of sorrow in the simple, eternal bliss of being with Han.