The old freighter was in its usual spot in the hangar when Leia spoke again.
'Han, this is ridiculous. Can you answer at least two questions?'
'What did I say, Your Worship?
Leia huffed. He had picked her up earlier at the Senate building instead of waiting for her at home. 'Got you a wedding gift. Come to the Falcon with me, will ya? No questions,' Han had added as soon as Leia had opened her mouth.
'I know what you said, but I can't help wondering why this gift is in the Falcon.'
'Can't answer that,' Han said. He'd had the same smug grin since he'd come for her, which made the whole thing more infuriating because he was clearly enjoying keeping her in the dark, knowing something she didn't. Leia was sure she'd appreciate it, too, in hindsight. Now, she needed to know. She'd never been very good with surprises. The only reason why she hadn't managed to wheedle this out from Han was because she had been so strenuously busy lately, with the arrangements for their upcoming marriage added to her already tight schedule, that she hadn't paid much attention to the fact that Han had spent more time than usual in his ship during the past week. And she had to give him some credit: he hadn't said a single word about this present until now. He was good with surprises.
'I mean, if you couldn't just bring it with you, it means it's either too heavy for you to carry, or it's illegal,' Leia wondered aloud as they came closer. 'I'm leaning towards illegal.'
Han's smile widened, but he kept his mouth shut. 'You had a second question, Princess?'
'Yes.' Leia looked a bit embarrassed now. 'Was I supposed to get you a wedding gift, too?'
Her husband-to-be laughed. 'Nah. Consider this a gift to both of us.'
They were boarding now; Han gently disengaged her arm from his and took the lead.
'This isn't some new… sex venture you want to try, is it?' Leia asked, inflecting her voice with danger. If he'd put on all this show for that—
Han stopped to face her with an outraged scowl. 'Why d'you think the only kind of gift I'm capable of comin' up with would be illegal or sex-related?'
'Do you really want me to answer that?'
He twisted his mouth and continued down the curved corridor. 'Well, you're wrong.'
'All right, but admit you're being awfully mysterious for someone who claims not to be transporting illegal goods or entertaining debauched ideas.'
'I didn't say I wasn't doin' any of those things; they're just not your wedding gift,' Han said, flashing her a grin over his shoulder before he stopped in front of the closed hatch that led to the crew quarters.
When he didn't move, Leia raised an eyebrow. 'And it's in there? Convenient.'
'You know, sweetheart, wouldn't hurt to show some trust in the man you're gonna marry.'
'Fine, I trust you. Now show me.'
'Han, I swear—'
With a long suffering sigh, he finally palmed open the hatch to reveal the interiors of the cabin she knew so well. Except that part of it was very different from what she remembered. He moved aside so she could step forwards. Mouth slightly agape, Leia walked towards the small but comfortably equipped kitchenette nestled in the corner between the 'fresher and Han's bunk. Unlike many of the mismatched parts Han had added to his ship over the years, this one was clearly not scavenged, but brand-new: every durasteel surface shone in blunt contrast with the rest of the cabin. There was a refrigerator unit, a stove, a dishwasher and a couple of compartments holding an assortment of mugs, plates and cutlery.
The lack of a galley aboard the Falcon was something Leia had come to regret deeply during the weeks it took for them to arrive to Cloud City, with no possibility of making stops, almost two years ago. She had never been a picky eater, and she'd become used to living off small rations and questionable meals during her time with the Alliance, but surviving on cold, dry spacer food alone for over a month had added some extra strain to the medley of emotions she had experienced during that trip.
'Told you I'd build you one, didn't I?' Han said, draping an arm around her shoulders and bracing the other on his hip as he joined her in contemplating the new addition. Leia recalled then his words from a conversation they'd had on the subject, early during the aforementioned trip: at the time, it had been only a way of deceiving themselves into thinking they'd see each other again, as Han had been bound to settle his debt with Jabba. She couldn't appreciate enough the fact that, despite the many hardships they had encountered on the way, it had all turned out to be so different from what they had believed back then. 'So whaddya think?'
'It looks good.' Leia reached out a hand to pat the gleaming coffee maker, set between the 'fresher and the stove. 'This is my favourite part.' She looked up at Han. 'What about your closet? And the med bunk?'
'I can put my stuff in any of the other lockers. I'll move the med bunk somewhere else.'
'I never thought I'd see the day, hotshot. If I remember correctly, you told me you'd never had a good reason to have a galley in here.'
'That's right.' Han withdrew his arm and stepped forward, turning to face her as he leaned back against the appliances. 'Now I do. See, I was thinkin', if I got us stranded in realspace with nothing but spacer food and instant caf again, you'd divorce me. Better not to take any chances.'
'Oh, absolutely,' Leia joked, nodding vigorously. 'Good call. Now we just need to learn how to cook.'
Han raised an eyebrow at her. 'We need to learn? I already know how to cook.'
'Not much more than breakfast food, nerf-herder.'
'Hey, I'm gettin' there, sweetheart.' He stretched out his arms to place his hands on her hips and gently pulled her closer. Leia lifted up a finger to fiddle with the flap of one of Han's jacket's front pockets.
'You know,' she started slowly, 'getting stranded in realspace for a couple of weeks with you doesn't sound so bad now.'
'Good.' Han's mouth quirked up. 'I might have to arrange something, then. After the wedding.'
He dipped his head to kiss her, when Leia said, 'I don't know, you know my work keeps me busy. Not enough time to traipse across the galaxy with scoundrels.'
'Then I'll have to get you on board by force.' His smirk deepened. 'Wouldn't be the first time.'
'That's what you think happened?' Leia managed to say before he finally closed the space between them and captured her lips in a deep kiss.
Recreating that memorable escape from Hoth and subsequent journey, only in so much more favourable conditions sounded like a really good start for their marriage.
'The galley's not the only thing I changed around here, you know,' Han said, breaking the kiss as he fixed her with a look she knew well. His hands slid down to the curve of her bottom and pressed her closer.
'Yeah. The pallets in the bunks are new. How 'bout we test those first?'
Leia gave him a wry smile. 'You sure know how to make a girl feel at home.'
But despite the sarcastic intent of her comment, it was true—they were home. And she had every good reason to believe it.