Author: Findswoman Title: Outer Rim’s Best Après-Snowball Era: Beyond—Legends Characters: Han, Leia, Jaina, Jacen, and Anakin Solo Genre: Fluff, humor, winter fun; two chapters Summary: Assorted hiemal highjinks with the Solo family, in a location that will be familiar to us… Contents: One | Two Notes: At long last, here is @Mira_Jade ’s fic-gift for the 12th Annual Non-Denominational Winter Holiday Fic-Gift Exchange. Spoiler: Her request was... A story in Beyond- Legends 1. A snowball fight 2. Siblings bickering 3. Lots of Solo/Skywalker family winter-themed happiness I don’t want: (unreasonable) quantities of angst Characters: Han/Leia, and the Solo kids (can be just H/L since that’s more than three) Let me begin by saying that I have zilch experience with either this era or these characters, so I have no idea how I’m going to do with this. I’m also sorry that it took so long. But I hope it will at very least bring a smile to the face of one of the luminaries of JCF Fanfic, and a writer whom I admire quite a bit! This is looking like it will be in two chapters, and the snowball fight will be in the second, as will further sibling bickering. Thanks again to my wonderful friend and beta @Raissa Baiard for looking this over on short notice! One “Snowsnowsnow SNOW SNOW, snowsnowsnow SNOOOOOOOW SNOW, snowsnowsnow SNOOOOOOOW SNOW, snowsnowsnow SNOOOOOOOOOOW…!” (The twins, in exuberant unison, dancing through the corridors of the Millennium Falcon.) “Will you two knock it off?! I’m trying to concentrate here!” (Anakin, seated at the dejarik table with some light vacation reading: Principles of Hypermatter Physics, 17th edition.) “PHBBBBBBT!” (Jaina, in her little brother’s face.) “I’ve always wanted to come back here.” (Leia, in the copilot’s seat, gazing out the window at the blue-white orb below.) That utterance was the only one of the four that made Han spin around in his pilot’s seat aboard the Falcon. They now were in orbit over Hoth and had just received docking clearance from that year’s family vacation spot. Han still couldn’t quite process that the massive military installation once known as Echo Base had since, in the years since the founding of the new Republic, been fully restored, renovated, and transformed into the Echo Basin Resort and Ski Lodge. Yes, the Echo Basin Resort and Ski Lodge. The name still boggled Han’s mind. Nine Hells, why anyone would want to turn that barren iceball into a vacation spot was beyond him. And yet it had somehow had managed to become a galactically acclaimed destination for skiing, snowboarding, and various other wintertime recreations. And it was widely reputed to have the Outer Rim’s best après-ski. Han was pretty sure, however, that he was going to spend much more time après-skiing than actual skiing. So his question to his wife was a simple one: “Why?” “Oh, the memories, mostly,” she replied, still in a sigh. “We went through a lot here, you and I. It’s where we got our start.” Han leaned back and shrugged. That much was true. “Well, yeah.” “And back on Alderaan my parents used to take us skiing in the Juran Mountains each winter.” She laughed a little in reminiscence. “Ironically, Winter was the only one who hated it.” Han just smiled in reply. He didn’t blame Winter one bit. “So I figured, now that it’s open to the public, and now that the younglings are old enough, why not?” Just then a series of sounds arose from the common area: a succession of loud PHBBBBBBTs, followed by a BIFF, followed by a THUD, followed by a blood-curdling “OWWWWW!! HEY!!” Jaina and Anakin’s impromptu zoochberry-blowing competition had apparently been broken up by a large stuffed bantha that had just been Force-hurled in their direction by Jacen. He was now zoochberrying his sister and younger brother simultaneously as they lay crumpled in a heap on the edge of the acceleration couch. Han chuckled. Whatever his own feelings about winter and snow and skiing, one thing was for sure: snow-covered slopes were probably a better place for absorbing large quantities of youthful energy than the Falcon’s common area. “Yeah, indeed,” he chuckled. “Why not?” * * * The first several days at Echo Basin Resort passed happily and without problems. Thanks to the weather modification net now installed over the compound, atmospheric conditions were perfect the entire time: cold enough to keep everything snowy but not so cold as to be unbearable. The younglings took well to skiing, or at least two of the three of them; Jacen wiped out several times after trying to depend solely on the Force (and not also his ski poles) to propel him down the slope. He declined to try snowboarding the day after and was much happier the day they visited the tauntaun corral. There Jaina, in turn, spent the entire time complaining about the smell (and threw her father a what-are-you-talking-about look when he reminded her that they smelled much worse on the inside). There was snow-fortress building, snow-being building, snowshoeing through the valley, and an impromptu snow-Diathim competition, judged by Leia and declared a three-way tie. Through it all, Jacen regaled everyone with facts about the local wildlife (“did you know that wampas are matriarchal and form mating cohorts of twelve to fourteen individuals each?”), and Jaina regaled everyone with facts about the latest snowspeeder technology from the Incom Corporation (“Ooh, look, there’s one of the new T-49-Qs! Did you know it’s got a maximum speed of 1250 km/h and is equipped with three forward miniquad cannons and two Ubrikkian Model K harpoon launchers!”). Anakin mostly just let it all wash over him. Han, for his own part, was always glad to return to the lodge to enjoy a nice Whyren’s-and-chocolate in front of a roaring fire. But on the whole he couldn’t deny that the vacation was going well. The younglings were certainly doing a bang-up job getting all that energy out. The more of that happened out here and the less of it on the Falcon, all the better. Then, on the fifth evening or so, they were all warming themselves in the lodge after a long day on the slopes. Anakin was reading his book, the twins were engaged in a lively game of Ecumenopoly, and Leia, sitting beside Han on the large, cushion-covered couch, wondered aloud: “Do you think the underground river is still here?” It was a completely understandable thing for her to wonder about. Han knew exactly which underground river she meant: the one flowing deep beneath the base, nestled in the planet’s bedrock and fed by rich, warm mineral springs, where he had once found her lighting and floating tiny candles in memory of her lost homeworld, in observance of the Alderaanian holiday called the Day of Remembrances. She had let him light and launch a candle of his own, in memory of his adoptive Wookiee mother, Dewlanna, and they had shared a commemorative toast afterward. But— “—wait, didn’t we just celebrate the Day of Remembrances?” Han asked, baffled. “Back at Coruscant Park? Anakin dropped the bag of candles into the pond and the twins had to… levitate them back or whatever?” “Yes, of course,” Leia laughed. “And the angry flock of ducks that Jacen had to calm. How could I forget?” She cast a glance over to where her children were occupying themselves happily in front of the fireplace. “No, I’m just curious to see if it’s still there, what with all the new development at all. The resort management would probably frown on my trying any funny business with candles, anyway.” “Hey, sweetheart, you’re the head of state now. They’ll let you do anything you want.” “Hardly.” Han shrugged (as always). “Well, I guess you could ask at the desk.” “That’s what I shall do.” They were silent for a few minutes. Han sipped his Whyren’s-and-chocolate and nestled closer to his wife, enjoying the warmth of the fire, of her next to him, of the cheer and contentment radiating from his children at their various pursuits and from all the visitors who were enjoying a warm, cozy time in this warm, cozy place. And then he spoke the words he would regret later: “Y’know, if it’s still there and they let you down there, I can watch the younglings.” Leia’s smile lit up the room as she turned to him and kissed him on the cheek. “Thanks, dear, that’s very sweet of you,” she said. “But be careful of what you offer to do. You might have to actually do it.” “Hey,” Han smiled back and returned the kiss. “It’s me.” to be continued Spoiler: Notes “Snowsnowsnow SNOW SNOW….”: See if you can guess what the twins are singing at the start. The transformation of Echo Base into Echo Basin Resort and Ski Lodge is purely fanon. Why shouldn’t skiing and snowboarding exist in the GFFA too? Juran Mountains: https://starwars.fandom.com/wiki/Juran_Mountains. You know there has to be skiing there, because it’s almost the same name as the Jura Mountains in Switzerland. Diathim: https://starwars.fandom.com/wiki/Diathim. Also known as Angels, so a snow-Diathim is… get it? T-49-Q: The snowspeeder we know from ESB is the T-47, so I’m just extrapolating about future models and generally pulling technobabble out of my ear. Ditto with the business about wampas’ mating cohorts. “where he had once found her lighting and floating tiny candles . . . Day of Remembrances”: This location and this custom are from Mira_Jade’s own wonderful fanon, borrowed with gratitude from her poignant and beautiful “we’ll take a cup of kindness yet.” I couldn’t have the Solo family go to Hoth without in some way recalling the events of this gorgeous story. Coruscant Park: https://starwars.fandom.com/wiki/Coruscant_Park. I looked up “parks on Coruscant,” and, well, this one was exactly what it said on the tin.