Cassian was a man of few words, he didn’t like the drama people could and would bring when they opened their mouths. The sea was his friend, it was calming, soothing and above all, quiet.
His crew knew better than to disturb him and so it was that Captain Andor quite often found himself up in the mast, watching nothing but the endless horizon. There was little that bothered him usually when he was up there, but today most things seemed to be wrong. The blasted storm and that was followed by a lull had cost him men he couldn’t spare and now his crew and ship was running on its last reserve. If they were lucky they would make port within the week, they had to.
“Cap’n!” The voice of the former deckie and now second mate woke him from his sinister thoughts. ¨ Starting his climbed down Cassian felt to his relief that the wind started to rise in strength. If all where to go well they could be in port even sooner.
“What?” Cassian said as his feet’s touched the deck, meeting the nervous looking second mates gaze.
“Tivik is getting worse.” Of course he was, why should he get better on a journey like this. Everything had gone bad and then even worse, form the job itself, with them being sold out to that blasted Krennic to that infernal storm that they couldn’t shake off. With a stern face Cassian gave his gun to the scrawny former deckie and made his way down to where all the sick lay. As it turns out, Bodhi was right, there was no way that Tivik could fight this. Had it only been the infection in his arm, or the one in his leg and they had been on shore, fine. But right now none of them had the luxury of a second chance or even as much as the benefit of a doubt.
“Tivik, up with you.” The man woke from his feverish dream, his eyes lost in the dark.
“What’s the matter captain, another storm?” Cassian pressed a weak smile, that he knew was so unconvincing had it been any other in front of him, they would have laughed, but lucky for him this crew member was far too gone.
“Follow me up Tivik, I have something to show you.” With that, the young captain Andor left and made his way up above where the air didn’t stink of death.
It took the sick man far too long to climb up above, and the rest of the crew saw it too. The last walk of a man doomed. Cassian gestured for him to get closer. He leaned on the rail, gazing out over the ever calming waves, cascading down on itself.
“What do you see Tivik?” Cassian asked without looking away from the mesmerizing view.
“The ocean cap’n.”
“And does that make you feel better?” Cassian said, his eyes falling to the deck, tracing every imperfection with his eyes.
“Cap’n?” The man made the few syllables sound so much more than just a short slur.
“The ocean, doesn’t it help you relax?” He said, finally meeting the dying man’s eyes, taking a step back.
“If I were to say yes, would that make it better?” Ever the good soldier Cassian thought as he took the gun Bodhi held forward, reloaded. Without aiming he pulled the trigger, knowing full well it would hit its mark. It always did. The body crumbled down on the deck. Only Bodhi stopped to watch, the rest were all familiar with it, knowing that it was always a possibility of their journey ending like that. Cassian tucked in his pistol in his belt, nodding to Bodhi to help him with the body.
They hadn’t any linen or cloth to spare to bind the body. Even though Tivik had been a big man, it wasn’t a problem for the two of them to lift him over the rail and dumb then lifeless body overboard. As the sound of him hitting the water died out and the bloody dripping out in the water, not much remind of the man that had served Cassian well for over two years, and in this day and ager, that was an eternity.
“Mop that up will you.” He said to Bodhi as he walked to his cabin, referring to the remaining blood. He didn’t even bother to listen for a response.
In his cabin he found Kenneth Tuesso, commonly raftered to as Kay, his second in command and oldest friend.
“Tell me Kay, how much further?” The first mate looked up and Cassian groaned at the look he was giving. There wasn’t much that you could even try to call hope in his eyes.
“Would you like me to give you the good answer of the honest one?” Draping his hands over his face Cassian sat down with a heavy sigh.
“You know I have to know Kay, just give it to me.”
“Right.” The answer was followed with a rustling of far too much paperwork in Cassian’s taste. They were privateers, pirates, there shouldn’t be any paper involved except for may in their case. As Kay sat down beside him Cassian looked up, eyeing the humbug of papers that he understood exactly zero off.
“Right, so we’ve lost a total of 72 crew members, including the ones we’ve lost on shore.”
“Christ.” Cassian mumbled. “How is that even possible?”
“I’m assuming that is a rhetorical question and that you do not want it answered?” Cassian looked up and glared at his first mate.
“How is it that during the years, of all the people that have died, you’re still here?”
“Someone got to look after you.” He huffed and nodded to Kay to continue.
“Despite that we have picked up some wind we should at least have a few days before we will reach land, the water will last but the food on the oth…” As Kay continued to list all the thing that were wrong with his ship Cassian felt his mind wander to a time where all had been easy and things like the weather couldn’t even dampen his mood. To a time where green eyes would meet his and joyful laughter could be heard on deck as she would tease him relentless for his actions.
To a time before he had mucked it up.
They made port, somehow. They had too little of everything and it showed. The men where all bleak, the strength that once had been found in them had been lost at sea. Cassian knew he needed a bigger crew if he wanted to find his revenge to Krennic, and that’s why he now was in a pub where even the most drunken sailor would agree to anything, even something as bunkers as joining his crew. The few men that had survived and decided to stay with the Andromeda had all been sent out through the town to recruit. Cassian himself found himself at the side, watching Kay argue quite wildly with a man that clearly had done at least something to get the first mate all agitated like that. Not that that was that hard, all ot took was a look in the wrong way and Kay would try to rip someone’s mustache off.
Cassian had always found places like these similar to the sea. Unpredictable and ever changing. The face you saw would forever be lost in the crowd of the many, a drunken word whispered drowned in the void.
He saw her sometimes, or at least thought he did. Every time he dubbed checked it would be someone else or simply nothing at all. In a way he cherished those moments, the pain that came with it. It meant it all and happened and not been a drunken story. Cassian’s focus was once again drawn to his first mate and the man that now had a full on fight. Bottles where chattered and the room stopped to watch. With a tired smile Cassian drew his pistol, aiming for the man that now was talking far too loud. He pulled the trigger and stepped out into the light, holding the fired weapon up for anyone to see. If the room had gone silent before, it was nothing compared to how it was now.
“Anyone else that either wants to pick a fight with me and my crew or join us?” Eyes fell to the floor and mumbles of excuses where made. Cassian smirked, the alcohol buzzing through him making his temper a bit more fluent.
“Didn’t think so.” He said with a mocking curtsey. The room and all its thugs went back to whatever bad business they were dealing with before. Cassian gave his first mate a glare few could complete with.
“What?!” Kay exclaimed, looking ever a bit a s innocent as he wasn’t.
“You know exactly what.” He ushered his friend out of the crowded place. “We were here to recruit potential crew. Not kill it.” Cassian didn’t stop and wait for the now quitter Kay as he began to walk to the Andromeda.
“Captain?” Cassian frowned, it wasn’t Kays voice, but a young one. He turned around, eyeing the person coming up to them. From what he could make out it was a lad, not more than sixteen winters.
“I’d like to join your crew.” A thin hand was reached out and Cassian looked at it with suspicion and then to the boy. Sixteen winters was too old; he couldn’t be more than fourteen. Cassian shook his head.
“We don’t hire children boy.” Something flashed in the dark eyes, something Cassian thought to be familiar but couldn’t place.
“I’m old enough.” Crossing his arms in an unimpressed gestured Cassian urged the boy to go on.
“I… I don’t have any one. My family is gone and I swear I will work as hard as any other, and you don’t need to pay me much. In fact, I’ll work for food and a way off here.” Cassian felt Kay’s suspicion and did his best at not rolling his eyes, failing.
“We don’t do charity work boy, move on.” He was about to continue when Cassian held up his hand to silence him. Which earned Cassian a heavy sigh from his first mate.
“We need the numbers Kay.” Cassian said as he turned ´to face Kay that now had a very bitter expression on his face. With his eyes narrowed the first mate let out a sigh that sounded awfully a lot like fine. Cassian turned back to the boy.
“You know how to swab a deck boy?”
The lad hadn’t been lying when he had said he’d work as hard as anyone else, in fact he made the rest of the crew they had managed to gather look lazy. Probably because they were. Cassian found himself watching the young boy quite often. There was something about him that was so familiar it made his head dizzy trying to place it. And yet there was something off with him. Something in the way he moved and talked that made Cassian doubt the boy. So when Kay came to him at the ruder with the same feeling, Cassian didn’t really find it a surprise.
“What do you say Kay?” Cassian asked, without looking away from the boy. Beside him Kay huffed.
“He is too scrawny for any decent work, that’s for sure.” Cassian barley could stop the laughter bubbling in his chest.
“Really?” He got out. “He works twice as hard as we ever did when we had such a low position.”
“The lad is an idiot, so what? He hasn’t figured out that one never should do anything for free yet.” His eyes wandered to the blue waves surrounding them.
“Or perhaps he’s just raised like a gentleman.” Cassian could have sworn he heard Kay roll his eyes.
“Shall I bring him here?” Cassian turned to his first mate with a frown on his face.
“Why would I want that?” He asked, receiving a meaning look.
“I know you don’t trust him, there is something off with him.” Cassian shrugged, waving it off.
“So what, the lad is what, fifteen at the most?” Kay nodded. “I’d say it’s not very likely that he will overthrow us and stand us on a faraway shore.” With a clap on his friend’s shoulder, Cassian left for his quarters, knowing that there was always something in there that would need his attention. Right now he thought it would be a good idea to pay that good ol’ rum bottle a visit.
It took two more weeks and five raids before Cassian had enough of the you deckie. He knew there was something that the young boy withheld. Not to say that wasn’t uncommon, but there was something about that boy. His head flew up as Kay entered the captain’s quarters with the young boy in front of him. The eyes that in day light were green were filled with both anger and fear. He knew those eyes, only he knew it couldn’t be.
“Have I done something wrong cap’n?” He asked and Cassian gestured for him to sit down. Remaining silent, Cassian inspected the boy. Here, in the surroundings of real furniture he looked so much smaller, like a bird. Dirt covered the face in a way that wasn’t natural. That only confirmed to Cassian what he already was suspecting.
“What’s your name?”
“Timmy sir.” When Kay coughed behind him he corrected himself “Captain.” Cassian eyed him, knowing that it was a lie.
“So you wouldn’t mind to take a bath?” A puzzled expression spread over the young face and Cassian thought himself to see what he was looking for, a crack in the façade.
“That is not for a deckie captain.” With a smile Cassian stood up and walked closer and leaned on the table beside the teen.
“I’m offering you the chance, you don’t want it?” Silence filled the room, and he could see those green eyes calculation the possibilities.
“Sure.” Green eyes meet his, same fire in them he thought he’d never see again. The smile on his lips didn’t want to give in.
“Then strip.” Neither moved, they were fighting a silent war. It wasn’t until Kay cleared his throat Cassian remembered that he was there. The green eyes fell to the floor and the deckie remained silent.
“Didn’t think so. Now tell me who you are.” Cassian said, knowing that at least a small part of the battle was won. The boy, girl, pulled of the head band that had held her hair and whipped away the dirt she clearly had placed there to hide the more feminine features of her face. Cassian looked to Kay with a meaning look. The young girl was a splitting image of Jyn Erso. She looked so much like her it hurt.
“Ara Krennic.” Both Cassian and Kay chocked on air at the same time.
“Krennic” Cassian spat out the name, as if was poison. Jyn nodded beside him.
“Apparently he saw the Andromeda last time we made port.” He let out a groan and sat down, draping his hand over his face. Of kriffing course that hoity toity officer had seen them. Jyn sat down beside him, taking his hand into her own. He looked up, into her green eyes. Just as the sea, they were his home, the safe haven in the storm. In the corner Kay cleared his throat, drawing the captain’s attention to himself.
“What now Cap’n?” Cassian shook his head, knowing that there was no answer he could give that would be good enough. He had slipped up and now they all would pay for it.
“I’d say two days before the have caught up to us, maybe less.” Cassian looked to Jyn, her eyes speaking of everything he knew to be true, of all the mistakes he had made.
“we only have one option then.” He felt the eyes on him, awaiting his verdict. A sad smile crept up on him.
-A little over fifteen years later-
Cassian starred at the girl in front of him, his mind unable to process what she just had said.
“Daughter of Orson Krennic?” Kay asked, clearly having gathered his thought faster that Cassian had. He could see the same fire light in her eyes as he had seen in Jyn.
“You know of him?” Cassian couldn’t stop the dry laughter at that.
“Know of him?” He stepped closer, eyeing the girl that he now despised. The girl that represented all that he had lost and done wrong in this life. “Your father is the singular most hatful person to ever walk this earth and I would gladly kill you right here and now if that meant it would bring him pain. The girl, Ara, didn’t even flinch.
“I would give you the knife myself if I knew it would work.” Cassian frowned, and a sad smile crept upon the girl.
“He has as much love for me as he has for any other, he despises the world around him and makes it his personal business to make it a living hell for us.” Before Cassian could respond kay did.
“What do you mean child?” Ara turned to the first mate with fire in her eyes and hatred in her voice.
“He cares for only himself and his empire. He would see me hang before he would spend a thought on my wellbeing.” The young girl didn’t even reach Kays shoulders which made her posture even more impressive as Cassian saw twigs of fear in Kays eyes. At least she’s got her mother’s spirit. Ara turned back to Cassian.
“So Captain Andor, there will be no ransom paid for me nor can you use me as leverage against him.”> Silence filled the cabin, the squeaking of the old wood screaming in the empty air. Cassian tried desperately to fight the lump in his throat without success.
“Why are you here?” The young girl clenched her jaw, eyes falling to the floor. “Answer me!” He demanded when she remained silent. With two long strides he stepped closer, her tiny frame pressed against him, familiar and yet strange. Cassian knew his temper had risen because not of what the girl was withholding from him, but due to his own secrets and past.
“Tell me or I’ll throw you off this ship right now.” He got out through gritted teeth. Green eyes found his.
“He hits her, my mother.” She said and the world slowed down. Cassian thanked his many years in a business where one never showed emotions, because he began to waver. Abuse wasn’t uncommon between wife and husband, but if Jyn Erso was involved it surely meant that the end was near. She was not a person to go down without a fight. Trying to gather his thoughts Cassian looked away, drawing a shallow breath to calm his racing heart. She is lying. That was the only solution he could provide.
“I’m looking for a man she has spoken of years ago, and I thought he might be able to help.” Cassian looked back at Jyn Erso’s daughter, not wanting to believe a single word of it.
“You are telling us that Jyn Erso lets that man take advantage of her?” Kay asked and Cassian saw doubt flicker across the young girls face.
“Why do you sound so surprised? How do you even know about her?” She asked and there was something about the way she spoke Cassian didn’t like, something about the matter of fact tone that didn’t bode well.
“How we know her matters little, but we know that she is without doubt the strongest, bravest woman we’ll ever have had the pleasure to have met.” Cassian said, watching Ara closly and feel his heart sink as the girl laughed.
“Jyn Erso, brave?” She asked looking to Cassian, the surprise in her voice genuine. “Strong?” She turned to Kay. Both nodded, and another chuckle escaped the young girl.
“I don’t know who you knew, but that certainly doesn’t sound like my mother.” She shook her head and Cassian backed to the wall, leaning on it with his eyes closed and jaw clenched. Ara continued.
“She never puts up a fight, just takes it, lets him do whatever he wants to her or the servants. To anyone really. I have never seen her do something that at least resembles courage or strength. She’s the weakest person I know.” Every word she said was a dagger in Cassian’s side, for he knew it to be the truth, how ever impossible it sounded. This girl was without doubt the daughter of the person he had loved, still loved, and she spoke nothing but the absolute truth. Cassian could think of only a few reasons for Jyn to given up like that and he suspected the main reason was the girl in front of him. A truth about her that she didn’t want anyone else to know. He watched her, and saw nothing of Krennic. He had to know.
“How old are you child?” He saw in the corner of his eye that Kay was on the same track as himself, they both had been idiots to not think it before. Her hair was too dark for matching Jyns, her skin too tanned. She hesitated before she answered, and Cassian couldn’t’ blame her.
“I’ll turn fifteen in a few months.” A smile crept up on his lips as his head fell back to the wall. A storm of emotions raged inside of him, letting her words sink in. Soon fifteen. Cassian didn’t know what to feel, relief? Anger? Joy? Hatred? He took a deep breath, the air filling his lungs felt like poison as everything inside of him stood on its very edge. So much time had passed since he last had seen her, so many battles had been fought and lost and yet she still changed his life. Even if she wasn’t even here.
“Captain?” Ara asked, but Cassian couldn’t open his eyes to look at her. He just shook his head.
“Fifteen years.” He let out in a mumble, knowing hat neither of the two persons in the cabin couldn’ hear him. A daughter. Just the very thought of it scared the fierce full Captain Andor to his very bone, and yet here he was, with her in front of him. Cassian opened his eyes, swallowing the lump in his throat that that finally gave in.
“And who are you looking for?” Kay asked, once again being the person out of the tow of them to recover the fastest. Ara shook her head, defat shining in her eyes.
“All I have is one name.” Kay tried to keep his chuckle in, one name could make all the difference. Cassian gave her a nod to continue.
-Years ago -
“We could do it you know.” Jyn said, her hand trailing the same pattern over and over on his chest. He grabbed her slim fingers and kissed them before he looked up, meeting a gaze that constantly took his breath away.
“Do what?” He asked, knowing full well what she meant. She hit him in the chest, erring a chuckle.
“We could commandeer this damn sulk and make the world our own.” Cassian pulled her closer, his arm draped over her waist. His lips found her neck and the sensitive area he just loved.
“Look at you, Jyn Erso ready to take on the whole world.” He continues the trail of kisses to her collarbone, earning him the most pleasurable sounds.
“Cassian, stop it.” She got out in a moan which only made him laugh against her soft skin. She placed her hands beside his head, pushing her as far up the small bunk allowed her to. She had one of those looks on her that made Cassian snap out of anything.
“Okay, tell me.” He said, knowing he’d get nowhere before they had talked this though.
“We can’t do this out entire lives Cassian. There is a life out there for us that is worth so much more.” She grabbed his hand that had snuck up on his waist and starred him down. He gave her a deep sigh to which her smile only grew, knowing full well that she had him wrapped around her little finger.
“A life worth living Cassian.” This time she let him draw her in, and he pressed her as hard as he could against his chest, their naked bodies fitting perfectly against each other. He began to play with her hair, and felt how she relaxed against him.
“Just imagine it.” And he did, he really did.
so i wanted to play with the father of Ara a little longer, but couldn't bring myself to do it when I saw you reactions. AH well, we still have to get Jyn on board (not so punny intended).
Also I feel like I should add, the knowledge about the ships and its interiors comes from my own childhood when i used to sail in the Baltic sea so bare with me if it all seems a little off.
okay so I've always been bad with warnings and I realize that probably should have put in a some before. So, in this chapter there is mentions once again of abuse. Also concerning Jyn's personality changes, it will all have its explanation, i promise you that.
Cassian had left the cabin with a curse, and really there wasn’t much else he could do. What was he supposed to say? That whatever person the girl in there knew was but a shadow of the woman he known? That he was her father? There was little that appealed to him about that thought. He walked over to the stern, his eyes trailing the cascading waves. Trailing the silent storm that was raging beneath them. He thought he heard someone exit the captain cabin and wasn’t surprised when he saw Kay coming towards him. Cassian shook his head, the look on Kays face enough for him to know the question.
“I’m not going to tell her.” Kay stopped in front of him, narrowing his eyes at the captain.
“And what on god’s green earth have made you to make such a decision?” Kays voice was filled with what only could be described as sarcasm in its purest form.
“What difference would it make?” Cassian heard Kay repeating his word as the first mate draped his hand over his face, clearly not pleased with his captain’s words. Kay sat down beside him on the rail, glaring at him.
“You can be really thick headed sometimes, you know that right?” A dry laughter escaped Cassian.
“That’s rich coming from you.” Cassian still refused to look up from the enchanting sea, that right now was his only constant. Until today he had been at peace. Happy? No, but at peace. He had been fine with not knowing where and with who Jyn had run off with. Who had taken her in after his royal muck up. Ignorance is bliss. He refused it, what that girl had said. Jyn wasn’t weak, nor was she a coward. For kriffs sake, he had known her almost her entire life and without fail, she would always make him feel like the coward out of the two of them. It had always been Jyn who would suggest the crazy ideas, never him. Gone along with them, sure. Taking command and leading, of course, but act on impulse like that, to follow every instinct, that was all her. And the very thought of Jyn being abused, that she has given up made his heart ache in a way it hadn’t in a long time. But the truth in Ara’s eyes had been genuine, she hadn’t been lying. In the eyes of her daughter, their daughter, Jyn Erso was a coward. And that was the single scariest thing Cassian Andor have heard in a long, long time.
“She is looking for you Cassian.” Kay woke him from his thoughts, drawing him back to the reality that he no longer wanted a part in. He shook his head with a faint smile.
“She is looking for Fulcrum.” The answer earned him a bitter stare to which Cassian narrowed his eyes.
“That man do not exist anymore, and it’s better for all of us if he don’t.” Cassian stood up and moved his focus from the mess he called his life to the sails that could use a little trimming. Ignoring his first mate and his protest, Cassian left to see to his ship. Those personal matters would just have to wait. They’ve waited for fifteen years, surely a few more days would hurt that much.
- On shore, many miles away –
“What do you mean, she just left?” Jyn asked the poor servant, who seemed to think she was worse than her husband. Too be fair, the servant was right, when it came to her daughter, there wasn’t a thing scarier or more frightening on earth than Jyn.
“She said to give you this when you noticed that she no longer was in the cabin.” The stammering servant got out, holding out a letter. Jyn tore it from his hands, recognising the writing. Cursing under her breath she opened it.
I’m sorry, but I had to leave. I couldn’t take it anymore. You say he doesn’t hurt you, but I’m not a child any more. I can hear you cry and begging him not to and I see the bruises he leaves on you. If you won’t do anything about it, then I will. I’m going to find the man you always spoke of when I was little, Fulcrum. He sounded like a man that would help, even if its been years.
I don’t know how I will find him, but I won’t stop until I have. Please don’t be mad, but I had to do something.
Jyn closed her eyes, drawing a deep breath. You stupid precious child. Was all she could think. Fulcrum. The won’t be a fulcrum to find, that man died many years ago. Jyn realised the servant still stood beside her and she dismissed him quickly, ordering him to get her horse.
All the way up to her chamber she cursed herself and the reasons and lies she had told herself these past years. Of course, her daughter would have enough and go her own way, it wasn’t exactly like she had the calmest most rational parents. She walked to her wardrobe, and opened the drawer she thought she had closed for good. The clothes she pulled out were all a painful reminder of all she had done wrong in this life. One item at the time, she became more and more the person she had vowed to never again be. When she was finished and looked herself in the mirror, it caught her breath. Minus her aged face, it was as if not a day had pasted since she had left him. She could almost taste his tears, the memory form all those years ago still so fresh in her mind.
She shook of thoughts and sat down at her desk, comprising a quick letter to the man she now made a vow to see dead before the next year would begin. Krennic would pay for his sins, just as she would. But first she would find her daughter and give her the scold of her life.
“Captain?” Cassian closed his eyes with a deep sigh and turned to face his daughter.
“Yes?” The young girl seemed much less certain of her way now, the soul that had been Jyn, replace with an insecurity that he knew all too well.
“Can I talk to you for a second?” Cassian played out with his arms, showing that the wasn’t busy right now, even though if he desperately wished he was. She swallowed and joined him, leaning on the rail on her elbows.
“You knew him, didn’t you?” Cassian lifted his eyebrows in question.
“Care to be a little more specific? You’ve spoken of several persons.” The look he got was far too familiar with Jyn’s if-you-don’t-get-serious-right-now-I’ll-kick-your-ass-back-to-hell-and-back. Cassian had a nagging feeling that this girl would be ten times more trouble than her mother had ever been, and he also imagined Kay saying that it serves them right.
“Fulcrum, you knew who my mother was talking about.” Cassian tried to stop the flinch, but failed. That name was nothing but a reminder of the life he once had, how easy they’ve had it. Before mutinies and broken promises. Ara was waiting for her answer.
“I knew off him.” It wasn’t a lie, not directly. It might not just be the truth, but it was enough to get her eyes sparkling with hope.
“So you’d know if he’s alive? Where he is?” Cassian shook his head before she even finished, stopping her rambling.
“Listen kid, the man I knew, that was years ago. I don’t know why you are looking for him, but I sincerely doubt that he’s going to fix your problems.” The seagulls screeching filled the silence.
“But you knew him?” Cassian groaned and let his head fall to the rail.
“Ara, please. Just leave it.” Despite him being the captain and he wasn’t often disobeyed, he had the nagging feeling of that Ara would not leave it alone. When Cassian was meet with silence he looked up, he was meet by a stare he didn’t want to cross. There was so much about this girl that screamed Jyn it wasn’t even fun. Cassian sighed.
“Fulcrum wasn’t one person. It was a group.” The young girl shook her head.
“No, she always spoke of one person, one man named fulcrum.” Cassian turned to her crossing his arms.
“You want me to tell you or you want go back to swabbing the deck?” Ara shut her mouth and remained quiet. Cassian had no plan what so ever to admit that it had been him Jyn had referred to, but some truth was in order to tell the child that he never had known.
“Fulcrum was a…” What had they been? Restless youths seeking power? A band of criminals? “A collection of people that thought they could change the world.” That wasn’t a lie at least.
“And did they?” Cassian gave his daughter a pained laugh.
“Considering you haven’t heard anything about them, do you really think they did?” The young girl looked down, defeat beginning to show.
“What happened to them?” At this Cassian couldn’t help but to flinch.
“Someone made a mistake and they all had to pay the price.”
- III -
There was a few things that bother Cassian this particular morning, and it wasn’t solemnly the unsolved problem with his daughter on board, but that his crew had a lack of knowledge how to defend themselves. Cassian tried, he really did, but some of them were a challenge to say the least.
“Once more.” He demanded, as the newest recruits had failed again. He knew he shouldn’t be too hard on them, most never had held a sword or a pistol before they stepped on the Andromeda, but right now Cassian’s patient was wearing thin. On a better day he would train them, but given the recent events he hadn’t found it in him, so it was Kay that stood against them. And of course, the poor chaps didn’t have a chance. All it took was one small opening and Kay would have disarmed them and pressed a blade to their throats. Cassian was also painfully aware that Ara was watching him, something that Cassian had caught her doing a lot since they had confronted her. He didn’t think she had picked up on the lies, or well, half-truths he had told. But considering how much she was like her mother, he wouldn’t be surprised if the young girl could read him like an open book. She made her way over to him, a smirk on her lips that Cassian didn’t think boded well.
“What can I do for you Ara?” He asked, not taking his eyes of the duel in front of him for a second.
“You used to train us before.” Cassian lifted an eyebrow.
“I didn’t hear a question.” He was earned with a light huff.
“No, the question is why don’t you now?” Cassian made a face as the opponent of Kay parried to slow and lost, a rookie mistake that clearly had to be fixed.
“You miss getting beaten up by your Captain?” He asked, now trueing his attention to the girl beside him.
“If you are the best, shouldn’t you teach us?” Cassian felt a treacherous smile spread on his lips.
“Who said anything about me being the best?” it’s your mother that was the best of us all. Ara nodded to Kay, who now had begun another duel against some other less talented crewmember. Kays tall feature would make anyone seemed like a midget beside him, but next to all these young sailors it was as if they were different spices.
“Considering how your first mate moves and given that you always beat him, I think it’s safe to say that you are the best fighter on board.” Cassian shrugged and turned back to the duel, wanting to stay quiet, but knew he wouldn’t. There was something about Ara that made him want to teach her, be a part in her life, even if he had missed the first fifteen years.
“It’s not that simple.” He said, gathering his thoughts. Ara waited patiently for him to continue.
“Everyone have to find their strength and weakness, and take use of that.” He nodded toward Kay. “Take Kay for an instance. Someone of your size would not benefit of attacking first, it would only give him the leverage. Instead of blocking his blows, you should doge, tire him out until he opens. Short strong blows to more sensitive areas like the troth would knock him off long enough for you to at least get on e or two good punches in. Patients is you friend. If you get restless you’ll make mistakes that would be your undoing.”
“Patience and I don’t really go together.” She mumbled and Cassian laughed.
“That doesn’t surprise me at all.” When he realised he said that out loud he cleared his troth and nodded once again to Kay, continuing on with the improvised lesson he was giving his daughter.
“A smaller body like yours gives you the advantage of speed, and that’s what you should focus on. As you see, the person he is fighting now doesn’t’ move, at least not enough.” Beside him, the young girl nodded understanding. The young sailor lost and once again Kay was victorious.
“Most importantly, you should never underestimate your opponent.” He turned back to her with a stern look on his face. “Do you understand?”
“Believe me, if I were to go up against a giant like Kay, there would be no underestimating him.” Ara said with a smile on her lips. He couldn’t let the opportunity slide. Cassian acted on impulse, wanting to test the limits of his daughter, how well trained she was. She was a second to slow, failing to doge his punch that landed on her shoulder. But that had woken her up and she spun to the side, fire in her eyes glowing.
“WHAT TH-?” She began before he advanced again, not pulling his punches the least. She was just as he had expected, trained but like a bird that never had flown, uncertain of every move. Instead of dodging his blows she tried to block them, giving him the advantage, He wasn’t that much taller than her, she probably was about Jyn’s height. Cassian saw in the corner of his eye that the others had stopped with their practise, watching them instead. He made a mental note to scold them for that later. As his punch made her double over circled around her.
“You’re too slow.” He said, and her head flew up, sparks of anger glowing in her gaze.
“I’ll show you slow.” She said before advancing, making so many mistakes Cassian didn’t even bother to count them all. He easily blocked her blow and grabbed her arm in a grip and twisted it until she fell to her knees.
“You are letting your temper get to you.” He said as he released her from his grip. Ara made a noise combined of pain and anger. This whole situation was too familiar to him, the frustration of not being good enough, everyone watching your every mistake. It only fuelled the anger that was the problem. Cassian let her get up, smirking as she turned to him. He waited for her to lash out, for her fury to spill out and give him the final victory, but he saw how it changed within her. How his words had begun to find their way to her mind. Neither moved, both calculating the move the other would lead with and how to make the best out of that scenario. Cassian couldn’t fight the smile now, she was a quick learner. He opened his mouth to remark on her change of heart, but got his air punched out of him by her hand over his throat. Even though the blow had surprised him, and probably momentarily made him mute, he quickly got back on track. Grabbing the arm she had attacked with, he pulled her in closer, pressing her body against him, forcing her arms behind her back, knowing she had two ways out of this situation, but only one which would be a smart move. As his daughter tried to pull him down with her own wait he felt a twig of disappointment for he had expected her to choose differently. But, as he always said to everyone else, don’t let yourself get distracted, he did. And of course, she noticed. Bracing herself against the mast she pushed them backwards, the tiny moment of his forgetfulness making it work. Cassian stumbled backwards, towards to rail. His grip around her tightened, trying to get her above the ground so that she couldn’t use it to her advantage. It was in this moment Cassian realised that he had lost, that his balance was to of for him not fall for her trap. All it took was a few kicks and she sent them overboard, into the cold water.
The second they hit the icy surface he let go, making his way up. He broke the water with a curse, looking around to see where his blasted daughter had gone. She resurfaced a second later and broke into laughter. Cassian tried his best at keeping his death glare, but failed and joined in as ropes were cast to them.
“What was it you said?” She asked and they began to climb the hull. Cassian fought the urge to throw her back in. “Never underestimate your opponent?” He heard chuckles above and narrowed his eyes as he gripped the rail, heaving himself back on deck. His treacherous crew all stood and watched with huge grins plastered on their faces.
“Aren’t you supposed to be training?” He barked out and was rewarded with another chorus of laughter.
“But captain, this is so much better.” Kay said, and the others joined in, nodding in agreement. Traitors. Cassian accepted the blankets someone had gotten for them and gave one to Ara as well. She took it with a smile filled with more joy he had ever seen on her before.
“Thanks for a good lesson Captain.” She said, making his blood boil and his heart ache. He had missed it all and yet he hadn’t even gathered the courage to tell her who he was. He bowed his head as a thank you and looked to Kay, who was as transparent as ever, with a huge grin and a look to say what else did you expect? He shook his head, still smiling.
“Oaky everyone, show’s over. Back to whatever work you were doing.” He turned back to Ara. “And you should find some new clothes before you catch pneumonia.” She looked down on her wet clothes and shrugged. “These are the only ones I’ve got.” Of course. He sighed and took her by her arm, leading her to his cabin. He knew he had some clothes that would fit her, and they weren’t exactly overly used.
yay, another late night update. it would seem like that's the only time I'm able to update, ah well.
first I'd just like to give an unnecessary explication for the names I've chosen
Andromeda (the ship) – Greek mythology (bear with me, I’m not in any way well educated in these matters), the daughter of Cassiopeia and Kefus. I originally wanted to have the name Cassiopeia in this story but it hit way to close to Cassian so Andromeda it was.
Ara – Greek mythology, the altar where offering to the gods were made. And the reason I chose it is because a star constellation also bear that name, and because obvious reasons stars seems to be a running theme in this fandom.
secondly, I'd like to thank everyone that pointed out my error in the last chapter, much appreciated. Love you guys!
Jyn hand never liked the port that was the closest to the place she had called home the last couple of years. It didn’t feel real or genuine. Only men with wigs so expensive they could have worn money instead on their head walked the docks and the ships where all to squeaky clean it made her skin itch.
She had thought she would have to make this trip alone, that she could sneak off without anyone seeing her. Of course, she had been wrong. When she had entered the stable she had been meet by Baze and Chirrut’s friendly eyes and that was the moment she had realized what a fool she had been. IT would take more than one woman to find her daughter. She doubted three would do it either, but the odds where greater now than before.
Right now the three of them were hiding under the pier, discussing their course of action.
“The logical solution would be just to commandeer a ship.” Baze said. Jyn glared at him.
“Yeah, the three of us, one blind, a woman and a man with delusions of grand shall commandeer a ship. Wonderful idea Baze.”
“It would make for a good story.” He muttered and looked back to the ships docked. Jyn looked to Chirrut.
“You’ve got any bright ideas?” She asked and immediately regretted doing so, for she knew his answer.
“All is as it should be Jyn. A solution will present itself when the time is right.” Pressing her lips together she looked to Baze who seemed to share her enthusiasm for his husband’s vague answer.
“I’d say that it’s the right time now.” She said, pointing to the small schooner. She hunched over and walked closer to the water, gesturing for the others to follow her.
“That will do nicely.” Baze said as he dragged his husband with him. Jyn swore she would punch the blind man when they had a quiet moment when he said, “I told you the right moment would appear.”
Cassian heard steps approaching and wasn’t surprised when he saw his first mate and daughter enter the cabin. He shoot Kay an irritated look.
“What do the two of you want now?” It had come as a supreme to Cassian to find that they gotten along so well. Seeing it as Ara was the splitting image of the woman who got on Kays nerves even just opening her moth, it was a bloody wonder that he hadn’t already shoot this mini Jyn version. It was even more of an wonder that they actually seemed to enjoy each other companies. If the wanted they could overthrow me in a second Cassian caught himself thinking, and realizing that it was very true.
“The men, not us that is…” Ara began and Casa9n closed his eyes and groaned. That phrasing always meant that the whole crew thought something and it seldom was something good.
“well they, we, think that we perhaps should ready our self for anther raid of some kind.” Cassian played out with his arms in question.
“And why should we do that?” he asked, knowing full well that the crew was as restless as they came, and it probably wouldn’t be more than a few days before there would be an accident. He saw Kay eyeing the almost empty bottle in front of him and Cassian tried his best at giving his first mat e a look to say I dare you but probably failed. The abnormally tall man laid a hand on the in comparison abnormally short girl’s shoulder.
“Ara, why don’t you go and check on that they are keeping the sails. I think I need to have a moment alone with our captain. Before the young girl could protest she was ushered out of the cabin by kay and left the first mate alone with his captain.
“You’ve been drinking.” He said and Cassian gave him a dead smile.
“And we’re pirates, I think it comes with the description.” When he looked up and meet Kays eyes he was stuck to the bone with how much hatred there was.
“Im going ot give you a minute to think about what youre doing and then tou re agoing to act like captain of this ship again.” Cassain narrowed his eyes.
“I’m fully aware of what I’m doing.” The first mate gave a short dry laughter.
“Really? I find that hard to believe, since you haven’t been acting like yourself the past week one bit, and I’m not the only one that have noticed it.” The words didn’t sting, little could really get to Cassian right now, but he did know that his old friend was right. He sighed and looked down on the charts in front of him. He found what he was looking for, a bay that he knew always had circulation ships, with far too much cargo that they easily could take down.
“A raid you said?” He didn’t need to look up to see that Kay was nodding in approval.
“The sooner the better.” Cassian put down a marker on the bay and stood up with a smirk, a bit unsteady on his footing. The alcohol had blunted his senses, but he was going to pretend like it didn’t, like he always did.
“Let’s get the crew ready then.” As Cassian past his friend he didn’t see the worry in his eyes. There was a worry there that hadn’t left Kay’s eyes since the day Jyn Erso had left.
Cassian thanked his lucky star that it was a day’s sail to the shore they were seeking, for he really needed to wake up before then, needed to get his head back in the game. He knew Kay worried, and really Cassian couldn’t blame his first mate, for he knew he was slipping, and Cassian hated it. He hated how she still got to him, even after all these years, even when she wasn’t here with him. Of course, it didn’t help to have a miniature of her walking the deck, bossing him around just like she had. He wondered if how Jyn had dealt with Ara for fifteen years all by herself. Not by herself a voice bit back at him. With Krennic. He clenched his jaw and gripped the rail harder, his eyes falling to the water. It didn’t help this time. The sea had always calmed him, even all those years ago, but now it was nothing more than just a blue infinity.
If he could, Cassian probably would have stayed like that for a long time, but was woken from his thought by the bell, alerting the presence of an oncoming vessel. Before all hell broke loose the only thing Cassian could think was Kriffing hell.
“Jyn, under what flag should we sail under, the British or the Spanish?” Baze asked, hodling up one in each hand. Jyn frowned, what schooner would carry both? In answer she shook her head.
“We’ll be as wanted with either of them as we would without.”
“So, no one then?” Jyn nodded and turend her focus back to the charts in front of her. They had at least a few days before they would even come close to any place her daughter would have gone to. The expression needle in a haystack seemed very accurate here. She sighed and looked up to the horizon.
“Why so troubled?” Chirrut asked and for what probably was the sixth time that day Jyn rolled her eyes at the blind man.
“Chirrut, if you want to play mind games, play with your husband. He was the one that promised to love you through thick and thin, whereas I have made no promise of any kind.” AS she walked down to the deck she heard him mutter killerjoy, but ignored it. She walked to the cargohatch and looked down, finding Baze going through some probably unusable leftover cargo.
“Help me raise the last side sail, will you?” She asked and received what she assumed was a nod.
She didn’t want to admit it, but she had missed this. Of course she had. All those years on shore had done little to still her lust for the sea, making every task on the ship a delight. Well it would have been a delight if it weren’t for the fact that she was chasing her runaway daughter that could be literary anywhere and that she probably had her husband on her tail, seeing as Orson was scheduled to have returned to their home two days ago. And neither of those things were exactly things Jyn found delightful. As they pulled the rope and saw the last sail set, she found herself thinking of him, of Cassian. Was he even alive? She could lie to herself and say that she didn’t think of him often, that he wasn’t the first thing that popped into her mind when she woke up or the last thing when she fell asleep. That she hadn’t tried to find him, even if she had been stranded on land, but she knew better than to treat herself like that. She owed it to herself to remember their time together, remember the time when it had seemed like there wasn’t a thing in the world they couldn’t overcome. Then after it all had come crashing down, even the smallest things would get to her. Like Orson’s words, his threats. Jyn knew she wasn’t a weak woman, but having played that part for so long had begun to spread a black doubt in her chest. What if she couldn’t find her daughter or protect her anymore? What if all the years of abuse had been for nothing and Ara would end up dead anyway? There were too many what ifs for it to be alright. Too many uncertainties. All Jyn wanted was to hold her little girl once more, be sure she was safe. But she couldn’t. Her little girl had grown up, and seeing as how terrible youths she and Cassian had been, it only was fair that their daughter should be just as bad.
But Jyn couldn’t ignore the fact that when they had acted reckless or stupidly, there hadn’t been a mother to worry about them. They never had anyone but themselves to care for each other, someone to worry about them. Ara on the other hand, had just that, and Jyn would be damned if something would happen to her little girl.
They had lost much in the surprise attack, but as Kay had said At least they were still floating. Unlike the ship that had attack them. It was a rather fitting iron, they were looking for a ship to raid and got attack themselves. It’s easy to say in the aftermath that they should have seen it coming, but really, they should have seen it coming.
If Cassian had been in a bad mood before, it was nothing compared to now. Loosing what was a third of their crew and more than half of their supplies does that to a captain. They had too many leaks to fix them all, so what crew that wasn’t desperately needed or too injured, was put on heaving duty.
And it defiantly hadn’t helped the way Ara had put herself in danger, in fact, it had only made Cassian’s day about ten times worse. Captain Cassian Andor had always prided himself with being able to disconnect his feelings in a fight, focusing solely on the task before him. But this time, the only thing he could see or hear, was his daughter in danger, and for some forsaken reason, she kept putting herself in even more danger as the attack had progressed. Like mother, like daughter.
She had insisted that the opponent only had grazed her arm and that the kick to her ribs really wasn’t that bad. Cassian knew better, he knew broken ribs when he saw them. But as he had tried to explain to the young girl why she was put on bedrest for at least the next day, the conversation had turned into an argument that ended with screams and accusations that echoed throughout the entire ship. Kay had to separate them and Cassian now sat in his cabin with a deep frown on his face. Daughters.
“You should tell her.” Cassian shook his head, not even looking up as Bodhi entered the cabin.
“If I wanted your opinion Rook, I’d ask for it.” Cassian heard Bodhi take a deep breath and how he turned on his heals to make his way out again, but stopped.
“I just think, that considering how much she is alike her mother, I would not want to be there when this whole hiding it from her blows up in your face.” Before Cassian could respond the door had opened and closed, leaving him alone again.
Bodhi did have a very valid point.
Another week later
“Kay, I do not care what you think or say. I will not be talked into this.” Cassian said for what probably was the tenth time that morning.
“I really don’t understand you sometimes.” His first mate said, shaking his head. Cassian looked down on the charts and ignored the comment.
“It’s at least three days until we enter friendlier waters again, and after that last hit, we cannot afford any more risks.” The attack last week had done more damage than they first initially had thought. The day after the attack, the crewmembers that had been hurt all had begun to die rapidly. So rapidly Cassian realised that the only explanation was poison. It wasn’t common, but not unheard of that missioners dipped their swords in poison to guarantee more deaths, and it would seem like these had. It wasn’t until he had seen Ara stumble up on deck he remembered that she had been nicked, and rushed to her.
“I don’t feel too good captain.” She said and Cassian believed her. She was white as a ghost and her voice thin and weak. “I can see that.” He said and steadied her as she stumbled.
“Were did they get you?” He asked, and tried to make eye contact, but her eyes where flailing around.
“The arm.” She said and held it out. Ignoring her protests, he ripped the fabric and revealed the wound that smelled of a bad infection, no, of the poison. Cassian took a deep breath, more to calm his own nerves.
“We need to fix that.” He said, gripping her arm harder to inspect the wound. It wasn’t big, so she had been right to fight him on it, but it did look bad though. It was probably the small size of it that had helped with it not progressing as fast as it had done for the others.
“Sure.” She mumbled before her eyes rolled back into her head and Cassian caught her before she fell to the wooden deck.
“KAY!” He called out as he headed for his cabin and heard him answer coming.
He laid her down on his bed, turning to his drawer. He knew he had something for situations like this. An ointment that helped with poisoning, he only hoped it wasn’t to late, and by the look of the young girl Cassian would say he didn’t have very long. He searched for it, and muttered a curse in relief as he found it. Kay came in and took one look at her and turned to Cassian.
“Save her.” Cassian rolled his eyes.
“What do you think I’m doing?” He mumbled as he mixed the thick syrup with water and kneeled beside his daughter. He held her head up and pressed the bottle to her lips. She coughed up about half and Cassian hoped what amount she got would be enough. Soon she slipped back into unconsciousness. Kay stared at the wound.
“I think we need to cut it away.” Cassian let the words sink in. It wasn’t like he hadn’t done it before, when infections gone too bad. But this was different, this was on someone that was innocent and someone that deserves better. It was his daughter for kriffs sake. He leaned closer, inspecting it, knowing that Kay was right. He stood up and walked over to the table, lighten the candle and pulled out his knife. Kay took of his belt and folded it in half. Cassian clenched his jaw as the flame burned his knife, waiting for it to be sterilized.
“Okay.” He nodded to Kay that moved to Ara’s head and put his belt between her teeth and pushed down her shoulders. Cassian kneeled and took a deep breath, eyeing the area he needed to cut away. Mapping it out, he steeled himself.
“Ready?” He asked, earning a nod in response. The knife dug into her soft skin and her entire body jolted and a muffled sound escaped though her gritted teeth. Kay did his best to press the girl down, but adrenalin was a bitch which made it a task for him. But it was over. Taking the bandage and wrapping the wound that now had clean fresh blood pooling out, Cassian felt at least a little better. She hadn’t screamed.
“What was that for?” A thin voice asked. Cassian smiled.
“Saving your life kiddo. You can thank me later.” He said, and saw how she slipped further into the fog they had awoken her from.
“Whatever…” She mumbled and Cassian looked up to Kay, who had the same look on his face Cassian knew he had. A combination of pride and relief. They had made it for now, this time.
Not many miles away, there was a schooner without a flag that desperately searched for the young girl, with Jyn Erso at the helm. Little did she know just how soon she would see her daughter again.
“This thing is not built for three people sailing it Jyn.” Baze called to her. She didn’t even bother to give him a glare, and that was probably for the best, seeing as the two of them were up in the rig pulling the sail in. She felt t Chirrut’s stare, but ignored the blind man. She knew in the back of her head that this wasn’t a good idea to sail with this little crew, but they had little to no choice. As they had secured the last rope Jyn gave their worked a skeptical look. It was far from perfect, but being stranded on shore for fifteen years didn’t come without consequences. She climbed done and headed for the helm and the nailed down charts.
Sailors talked, and they talked even better if you’d offer them money. So it hadn’t been that hard to find someone e that had seen Ara, in fact they had found too many. It wasn’t a surprise really, if someone would offer them money, those scums would say anything. And the description of her daughter did fit in on most young girls at sea. She was looking for Cassian, Jyn knew that much, and logically the first thing she should do was to find him. Only problem was that wasn’t easy. The andromeda made port almost anywhere and everywhere, making it impossible to find her if it wasn’t just for pure luck. All those years ago before she had left, he had been the top of his line, and Jyn could only imagine what kind of captain he was now. If he still is alive that is she thought, knowing that it was an rarity that pirates like them lived for longer than ten years in the business.
“So what are we doing now?” Baze asked as he joined her at the charts. She pointed where they were.
“Right now we are here.” Baze nodded. “And I think that we should try to go…” Jyn scaned the chart, unsure of where they should look next. “Here.” She said as she placed a finger on a random port. Baze gave her an unimpressed look.
“You just pointed at the first port Jyn.” She bit her lip, knowing it made no sense, but she really didn’t have aa better alternative.
“I think we should go there.” Chirrut said, and both Jyn and Baze turned to him. “It will be good for us.” Jyn turned back to Baze with a slug smile.
“At least I’ve got your crazy husbands approval.” Baze muttered something igoligable.
“I am blind Jyn, not deaf.”
When the next day rolled around, Jyn had a peculiar feeling in her chest, it almost made it difficult to breath. Next day might be the wrong way to put it. The sun hadn’t even risen yet, but Jyn was restless so she got up on deck. The schooner was a pretty handy ship, with perhaps just two more crew members it would be a delight to sail, but right now, it was rather the challenge. Chirrut wanted to help, but Jyn was hesitant. He claimed he saw, or felt, but one mistake with this little crew could cost them dearly. And seeing as Baze is a bloody giant, it evened out. Not wanting to disturb her friends, they deserved what sleep they could get, even if Jyn wanted to move on as soon as possible. She grabbed some bread and headed to the bowsprit. Thanks to the bay they had anchored in, the sea was calm. It was like her body remembered every part of this, every step was imprinted in her mind.
There was something about the bowsprit that just put Jyn in a clam state that washed away her troubles. Right now, in this moment, she was just a free woman, ready to take on the world. The second the others would wake, she would become the mother that was in desperate search of her daughter. So for now, Jyn enjoyed her freedom, for she knew it wouldn’t last.
It could have been hours later, and it could have been just a few minutes, when Baze and Chirrut came on deck.
“Ready to find my daughter?” She called out to them. Chirrut turned to her with a smile. She jumbled down on deck and walked over to the mast, gesturing to Baze to join her. She was thankful for the schooners small size, it meant that the sail was raised from deck and that they didn’t need to climb up to untie it. She saw in the corner of her eye that Chirrut walked over to the windlass, and begun to heave. Soon the anchor was up and the sail followed. A light breeze caught it, enough for the ship to get moving.
Cassian sat at the nave at the ship, watching the wind tear through the torn sails, wondering how so much had gone wrong. Sure, they had suffered defeat before, but two hits so close each other? No, that didn’t happen to him, he was the one who would do raids after raids. He draped his hands over his face with a deep sigh. There were about thousand and one things he should do right now, but he could bring himself to even move. They had managed to find a remote place to make port in, quite enough for no-one to raise any alarms. There they had restocked what they could, given the sickest a chance to recover. They had gotten one day, and those who weren’t good enough had been left behind.
They needed the numbers, now more than ever, but a injured or sick sailor would do them little good and only weigh them down. At least that’s what Cassian told himself. Down on deck, he saw a few up and about, not doing anything really. If Cassian was honest, he was beginning to think this journey had broken them. They had nothing left to fight for, his crew. For all they knew, they just lost everything, and somehow Cassian couldn’t find a way to himself out of this mess.
When Ara had asked why they didn’t give them another day, he tried to explain that they never stayed in one port for longer than one night. When she had asked why she didn’t stranded her there, considering she was just as badly hurt as some of the ones they had left behind, Cassian hadn’t answered.
He stood up and walked down to his cabin and groaned when he saw both Kay and Ara waiting for him.
“What do the two of you want now?” He asked, pushing past Kay as he made his way over to the table where the charts were laid out. When he didn’t get an answer, he looked up to see Kay nodding to Ara. Cassian narrowed his eyes. The two of them had really begun to become close friends, and considering how good Kay was with people, that was a really disturbing thought.
“I think I’ve found a place we should go to.” Ara said, her eyes falling to the charts in front of him. Cassian looked down on it and saw a marking and then back to her with doubt in his eyes.
“Why would we go there?” He asked, his voice revealing just how much of a bad idea that was. The marking she had put out wasn’t only in the brit’s territory, it was in the heart of it.
“I know it’s silly, but I think my mother is there.” Cassian tried to not flinch, but failed. Taking another deep breath, he looked up to her.
“I thought you were running away from you mother.” He said, watching how her eyes narrowed and a scowl cover her lips.
“I never said that. I said I’m finding the man that can help us, her.” Cassian couldn’t help but to smile, every breath the young girl took was as painful reminder of Jyn. The way she spoke, held her head, walked, everything was Jyn from top to toe.
“Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think she would let you go again if you were to show up on her doorstep?” That earned him a glare form her.
“I never said anything about staying there either did I? I was thinking that we could bring her, seeing as you all think of her as some courageous woman.” Cassian shot Kay a glance. Cassian hadn’t spoken to Ara about Jyn and that left Bodhi and Kay. The rest of the crew had been replaced over the years and Bodhi had never spoke about Jyn since she had left (granted, neither had Cassian).
Cassian shook his head.
“No. We are not doing that.” He saw the trust he might have eared vanish form Ara’s eyes.
“Why?” Was all she could get out, and Cassian wanted to kick himself for still being this stubborn, but after all that happened, he really really didn’t feel like having to deal with an angered and most likely hellbent on milling him Jyn Erso. Cassian stepped closer, giving her his best stern glare he could.
“Because I said so.” Before Cassian could register what happened, Ara slap burned on his cheek. She spun around on her heels and left the cabin with slamming the door hard enough for the glass to rattle. Cassian turned to Kay who gave him an I-told-you-so look.
“Did she just slap me?” He asked, his hand over his burning cheek. Kay walked over to him, looking at the charts.
“Well, you deserved it.” Cassian huffed.
“I did not. I’m her Captain and that’s reason enough for her to listen to me.” Beside him, Cassian felt Kay sigh.
“She’s also your daughter.” Eyeing the place Ara had suggested Cassian tried to ignore his first mate.
“Yeah, but she doesn’t know that.”
Silence filled the cabin, only the wood’s creaking breaking it. Cassian knew Kay wanted to speak up, and wondered what the bloody kriff had gotten into him, because there hadn’t been a single time Kay had ever hesitated to speak his mind.
“I think she is right.” Cassian closed his eyes and shook his head.
“There is no way you think she is right Kay, just drop the charade and let’s get on with this.” Cassian’s eyes where still locked on the charts.
“You need to consider what you are doing captain, before this blows up in your face.” Measuring the distances, Cassian still refused to look up, knowing that Kay’s stone cold face would only scold him.
“Rethink what exactly Kay? Just how terrible everything is right now? Hmm? Or perhaps just how my first mate has gone from supporting me, to supporting my daughter?”
“You need to tell her, and you need to do that soon. Do you really think that someone that is that much like her mother, will take kindly on someone who have been lying for that long to them?” Cassian wanted to slap his first mate. Of course he knew that Ara was not to be played with. Ara was his daughter for kriffs sake, and call it what you want, parental instinct or something else, Cassian would do anything to keep her safe.
Including lying to her.
“We are not going there to see if her mother might be there.” Cassian bit out and regretted it. Beside him, Kay tensed up as if he prepared for a fight.
“If Ara says there’s a chance that her mother, Jyn bloody Erso, is on that island, I THINK WE SHOULD FIND OUT!” Taking a deep breath Cassian looked up, meeting his first mates gaze with murder in his own eyes.
“I said no, Kay.” It would seem as if his words set of a chain reaction within Kay, as the first mate went on to in rage push down all the fancy china on the floor, making it chatter into dust. Cassian lifted an unimpressed eyebrow.
“Was that really necessary?” With two long strides the tall man stood in front of Cassian, his finger pressed hard against his chest.
“I never liked that woman and I’m not ashamed to admit that.”
“Then I see no problem with…”
“I WAS NOT FINNISHED!” Kay yelled, making Cassian flinch. “YOU will listen to me captain.” Cassian gave a short nod, urging the first mate to continue.
“I may never have liked Jyn Erso, but even I in my most stubborn days knew what an asset she was to us as a team and a crew. She made us into what we were, into Fulcrum. She was the very soul of it, and seeing you like this, repressing every single memory of her is not just wrong, but disgusting.” The cabin went silent as Kay caught his breath.
“I could accept your behaviour in the begging, seeing it as a chock to find you daughter amongst our crew, but now you are just mocking the memory of what once was, and it have to stop.” Cassian clenched his jaws, wanting to yell back, to defend himself, but knew it would lead to nothing. OF course Kay was right, it just didn’t mean he had to like it.
“What do you want me to do?” He asked.
“Something, anything. Just stop this charade and start telling the truth.” Cassian gave him a pained expression to which kay only sneard.
“You have to tell that girl the truth, or otherwise I will. You’ve lied to her long enough.” It took Cassian a strength he didn’t knew was necessary to nod, but with that nod he knew he had made the right decision.
“Okay, lets tell her.” Kay gave him an approving nod and gave his captain ha friendly pat on his back at the same time Cassian heard the well familiar sound of canons being fired, from a ship that wasn’t the Andromeda. They looked at each other, both frozen for a second before they sprung into actions, up above deck. As the cannonballs hit his beloved ship Cassian looked for the ship who was firing at them.
What he saw was a schooner without a flag.
also here is the beautiful moodboard that inspired me to write this fic i might also add that the dabble attached to that is so much better than what ive written but right now im going to ignore that because i'd like to have some self-esteem left.
For a second Cassian stared at the schooner in disbelief. It wasn’t by any means a big ship, but right now they had nothing to defend themselves. They were at the mercy of their enemy, even if the ship approaching them was but a small schooner. The second wave of cannons hit them and it sprung Cassian back into action. He began to shout orders for preparations to his crew, what crew that remained and headed for the helm.
Ara and Kay followed.
“What are we going to do?” A slightly shaken Bodhi asked as Cassian pushed him away from the helm.
“We can’t fight them.” Ara said beside him. Cassian nodded as he spun the rudder as fast he could to the right, shifting the ship down wind.
“No, we cannot; we are go to outrun them.” He didn’t need to look up to know that the three of them stared at him.
“That would be highly illogical Captain.” Kay began but Cassian gave his first mate a glare to shut him up.
“Are you really going to do this now?” The first mate backed down.
“But isn’t he right? We can’t outrun a light schooner, not with this little crew.” Ara said and Cassian fought the urge to snark back that she had been on the sea fewer months than he had been years, but as he looked up to the rigs and he saw their small crew trying to scramble their sails out he though better off it.
“Captain?” Cassian turned to Bodhi, whose voice sounded awfully alarming. It could just be Cassian who was imagine things.
“I don’t think they are a full crew.” Cassian’s eyes snapped to the Schooner, Bodhi seemed to be right. He saw no one on deck, so what crew they had must be down below.
“They are firing too slow.” He muttered and saw how Kay nodded beside him.
“You’re right. Even a moderate full crew would have fired by now.” Cassian felt hope rise in his chest.
“How much powder do we have left?” He asked, not taking his eyes from the ship for a second.
“Not enough.” Bodhi answered. Cassian shook his head.
“Not to sink it, to damage it enough.” Before he got an answer he sprung down on deck, making his way to the cargo.
“Turn her around Bodhi, and keep her steady!” He called back, ignoring the brown head following him. Another wave of cannonballs hit them, and Cassian cursed as it rocked the ship and he managed to capture Ara before she fell beside him.
“Go back to Kay Ara, it’s dangerous here.” She huffed and pulled free from his grip.
“We are under attack, everywhere is dangerous.” Not dignifying the comment with an answer, Cassian opened the hatch to the cargo and jumped down.
Yes, that would do nicely.
“Have you ever fired a cannon before Ara? He asked as she got to him. Not thinking it was very probable, seeing as she grew up in a mansion on land, it came as a surprise when she nodded.
“Yes.” He handed her the rammer and smirked.
“JYN!” Chirruts voice called out over the fire. Jyn looked up, and saw him gesturing towards the Andormeda. With horror she saw what Chirrut meant, the ship they so rudely had fired on had turned up against them. This was what we were hoping not to happen. She thought as she swore colorfully. In realty, the chance of them being successful with the insane plan Base had suggested, was slim to none, but until now, the sweet taste of victory had been within reach. Now the taste had turned sour.
“I see, just keep firing!” She called back, knowing that they had less than the bare minimum to survive this. Despite always have being taught to never leave the rudder, that was what she did now. They needed to be prepare for a boarding, and right now she saw lesser and lesser opportunities to make it out of this.
She raced down to where they had the gunpowder stacked and began to take it up on deck. The impact of the hit threw her of balance and knocked her down. Another flood of curses escaped her as she scrambled up, headed for the rudder. They were off course and more wonurable now than before.
“Baze, get ready!” She called out, her gaze locked on the oncoming ship. She saw what she had suspected, that the Andromeda was damaged, and surprisingly few men up on deck. We might stand a chance she thought before the ship she once called home fired again. No, we don’t. The other part of her said and Jyn had to agree with the latter. Chirrut fired, but it would do little good. They had minutes before they would be boarded and they had no way out. Holding up her brass binocular, she cursed. They were aiming for the mast.
She saw a once familiar face fire a cannon, but his face was older, harsher, filled with something Jyn knew to be on her own. The lack of living. Before she could let her feelings get the better of her, before it sunk in that he was there and he was alive, the cannonball hit the side of the mast. Wood splinter flew across the deck. She cursed as the wood creaked and groaned, the mast tipping forward.
What Jyn hadn’t seen, was her daughter next to the man she once had loved.
“Get out of the way!” She screamed to her two companions, seeing them rush up form under the deck just in time as the mast fell and another wave of fire hit them. She saw the anger in Baze eyes as he drew his sword. Beside him, Chirrut stood ready with two pistols. Jyn nodded and looked up again, the ship now near enough for them to use their boarding’s harpoons. And true enough, they did. As jyn watched the iron embed itself in the rail, her eyes fell to the barrel of gunpowder that rolled beside her.
Hope has not abandoned us yet.
“Isn’t it wrong to attack a ship like this?” Ara yelled over the fire from the cannons. Cassian gave a short laughter.
“Would you blame a wounded bull for attacking his butcher?” He saw her nod in somewhat of an understanding, and reloaded the cannon.
“And this isn’t different from the raids we been doing either so…” He let the words die out on his lips as he aimed for the mast, knowing that their best chance was to take it out. They probably didn’t have more powder than this round and one more. Make every shot count.
“Except this time, we were attacked.” Cassian clenched his jaw and fired and looked up at his daughter.
“Thank you, Ara, for pointing that out.” He got a smirk as a response, and it was scary how much she looked like Jyn. Both their heads snapped to the ship that had attacked them as they heard wood creak. As the mast fell, Cassian felt his courage grow and looked out over his ship. Smoke rose from various parts that had been hit, the sails were in ruins, but The Andromeda had yet to fail him. There still was a hope of victory.
“Ready the harpoons!” He yelled to the men that still were down below and turned back to Ara. “Prepare to board.” He didn’t wait for Ara to respond, but headed to the rudder, pushing Bodhi away from it again.
As they got closer and the crew began to fire the harpoons, Cassian saw three figures on deck. A part of him wanted to say that they looked familiar, and it was the same part that denied him to look in the binoculars to find out for sure. If they were going to take the ship down, he rather not knowing who was on board.
He couldn’t make out their faces, but he would know that walk anywhere, just that his heart couldn’t handle and another surprise like this so he told himself it couldn’t be. But his eyes searched for Ara, wondering if she had seen it too, or if Cassian actually was going mad?
Form the looks of it had his daughter not even seen that there was people on board, to focused with helping with the harpoons as well as she could. HE knew that the wound in her arm caused her trouble, but right now, Cassian had so much more to worry about.
Example, the impending doom he was closing up on. He took a deep sigh and turned to his first mate.
“Ready for boarding?” Kay nodded, and Cassian walked up to the rail, gripping the rope he had swung himself over so many time before, only this time the rope felt a thousand times heavier in his hands. He saw his crew follow his lead.
It’s now or never.
Cassian leaped of the rail, and landed on the schooner with a grunt.
It had taken Jyn too long to get the barrels up where she wanted them, too long for her to light the fuse, but now she was climbing down to the dingy they had lowered. The plan wasn’t to escape in it, just to avoid the blast.
Cassian was alive was all she could think. She didn’t hear the people landing on their ship and she didn’t feel Baze hand on hers. She was lost in a moment from so many years ago. The last time she had seen him, he had cursed her. He had thrown her out, and the hate in his eyes had not been an act.
He hated her, and Jyn couldn’t blame him. But right now, she didn’t have a choice. Sure, they could have chosen not to attack the Andromeda, raised white flag and just talked, but what proof had she that it would have been Cassian behind the helm? It had been fifteen years. It’s too long for any captain to stay alive in waters like these. As the explosion from the gunpowder rocked the ship, Jyn snapped out of it, her eyes looking up, as if she half expected him to lean over the rail.
She knew that Baze was watching her, but she didn’t know if her knew what she did. That in fact she might have killed the one man she ever loved.
She hoped not.
Cassian knew his crew wouldn’t follow him directly, he always ordered them to stay behind. That was why he jerked when another body it the deck beside him. A much smaller body.
Ara. Of kriffing course. He took her by the arm, the one she had landed on, and luckily the one that wasn’t hurt.
“Are you out of your kriffing mind?” He hissed, his eyes searched for injury, and then for enemies on the ship. They were too exposed, at the mercy of whoever was here, and Cassian didn’t like it, even if he almost was certain he knew who it was. In fact, that just made him more uneasy.
“No, I’m just protecting my captain.” Cassian’s eyes snapped back to his daughter, flaring with anger.
“This is not a joke, it’s dangerous.” She rolled her eyes and jerked back her arm.
“Duh, you don’t think I know that?” Cassian took a deep breath. How on earth was this kid still alive? She must have pissed off every single person she ever met. Before Cassian said anything he knew he would regret, he pressed his sword in her hand, giving her a stern look.
“Keep your eyes open.” She smiled and nodded.
“Okay, I think they went this way.” He said, pulling the young girl with him, keeping her in front of him. He tried to scan the deck, to see if they were by any chance waiting up above before attacking. But he saw no one.
“Yeah, let’s check under deck.” He muttered before he gestured to the rest of the very small crew to follow. Doing so he felt Ara tense up.
“Cassian, we need to get off.” The panic in her voice made Cassian’s heart skip a beat.
“Why?” He asked, but she had already begun to head toward s the rail, pulling him with her. Cassian looked to where she had looked and saw with horror what she meant. Under a tarpaulin, barrels of gunpowder laid, and the fuse connected to the was lit. Pushing his daughter overboard, and screaming to his crew to not board, Cassian felt the heat from the explosion on his back.
It knocked him down into the brink. His ears were ringing and body protesting at the pain. But he knew he had heard a splash before the explosion, meaning Ara had hit the water and was out of danger, or well out of danger from the explosion. She now had to climb up fast, before being clamped between the two ships.
Cassian counted to three before he stood up. He had to steady himself against the rail to get up, but the important thing was that he could. His lungs were burning form the heat, but they weren’t punctured, if they where he wouldn’t be able to breath.
He lifted his gaze and scanned the deck. No one had made it over yet, and if they had left the Andromeda, they probably just had swung back. He looked up and saw Kay’s worried eyes. He gave his first mate a nod and expected him to give the order to board. Instead Kay pointed to something behind him. Cassian swallowed and looked over to the other side, where three figures stood.
One blind man.
One man with a friendly smile.
And one Jyn Erso.
okay, okay okay. I know i should have let them meet in this chapter. I mean, at least they are on the same ship now, right?
And I'll try to have the next chapter up tonight or tomorrow, so...
don't hate me guys
YOU GUYS ARE SO SWEET! Like, gosh, I can’t handle it, you’re such a lovely bunch I just want to hug you all
Here, have some reunion *sprinkles some angst in there* because have you met me?
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
They acted on an instance. As soon as the shock wave had passed and left them in a moderate okay condition, Jyn, Baze and Chirrut made their way up on deck. Jyn insisted on that she went last, fearing what she would see.
Would it be Cassian’s dead body?
Shaking off the uneasy feeling that had captured her heart, Jyn grabbed hold of the rope that had worked as their way down and now up.
Her fingers shook.
This is stupid she thought, there wasn’t any reason for her to react like this now, not when there was nothing she could do about it. She looked up and saw Baze help Chirrut up on deck. Clenching her jaws, she stretched up and grabbed hold of the rail, swinging herself up. Once her feet landed on the scorched deck, she dared look up and what she saw both broke her heart and made her sigh with relief.
He was alive.
She saw Cassian stand by the rail, probably taking comfort form it. His back was turned to her, and the sight made her stomach turn. His flesh was burnt, splinters from the barrel’s embedder in his muscles. Patches of his back was darkened, burned to the degree of no return. Jyn tried to swallow, but couldn’t get rid of the lump in her troath. She had done this, this was on her. As so much else. Jyn looked up and saw a surprisingly small crew on the deck of Andromeda. Towering above everyone else, was of course Kay. During different circumstances Jyn would have laughed, because of course Kay would have made it all these years, of course that snarky man would stay strong, but right now, not even a smile could reach her lips.
Jyn didn’t need to look at Baze to know he was smiling, Chirrut was probably as well. Chirrut was probably mumbling something about this was the will of the force. She saw Kay nod towards them and tied to brace herself. Tired and failed.
She had seen him though her binoculars, but that wasn’t the same. Not the same as to have him her, living and breathing in front of her. As in a dream he turned, his head bowed down, his eyes trailing the deck until they reached hers.
Jyn couldn’t breathe.
It was too much, his eyes screaming, burning with such intensity it made her world spin. It was as if nothing else exsisted, it was them and the sea, just as they had promised each other so many years ago.
Jyn was vaguely aware of that Baze was saying her name. She took a step closer, her eyes mistrusting her.
Cassian did the same, his mouth open as if he was to say something, but no sound left his lips. Jyn tried to not flinch at the way he walked, staggered across the deck. But most hurtful was the look in his eyes.
That despite all these years, despite all she had done wrong, he still had hope.
The deck seemed to be infinite large, but in the matter of seconds it was crossed. Out of all the things she had thought he would do if they would ever meet again, out of all the thing she thought she would do, it was unexpected.
Their bodies collided, crashed into each other. Arms went around the other and faces were pressed to necks. A sob escaped Jyn as she pressed herself even closer into the arms she never thought she would ever be in again. She drew a shaky breath, breathing in the scent of him and felt him do the same. Even after all these years, they still mirrored each other.
They were shaking, both of them. Cassian murmured words she since long had forgotten in Spanish, his voice dragging her back to the reality she thought was a dream. For this couldn’t be real, she refused to believe it.
She must be hurting him Jyn realised as her fingers trailed across the nape of his neck, traveling over his burnt skin. She pulled her arms to her chest, leaning against him, his arms around her working as a shelter from all that she wanted to forget. Her tears had soaked his shirt, and his; hers.
She didn’t want the moment to end. She didn’t want to have to explain. There was so much she didn’t want to do, and here in the arms of the man she loved, she was safe.
But the illusion began to crack, his body tensing up and his face lifted form her neck. He was pulling away and Jyn knew she had to look up, that she had to meet his eyes.
When his hand cupped her face, forcing it up so that she had to look at him, she didn’t flinch. Just the touch of his hand soothed a part inside of her that had been at war since the day she left him.
“Jyn.” His voice was barley a whisper, but it spoke of so much more. It spoke of all the years, all the pain and all that they had lost in vain.
All the years she had spent under Orson’s eyes, all the tears she had spilt, all for what? A lie she had told herself, that they couldn’t be together.
“You’re alive.” Jyn got out, her eyes locked with his, the simple act speaking off so much more than anything else could have.
She wanted to say more, to let him know that despite all the bad blood between them she still cared, that she didn’t want him to get hurt, that it had been a big mistake, but something stopped her, someone stopped her.
The thought of Jyn had been present with Cassian ever since Ara had come along, every day she had reminded him of her. Btu it was something else entirely to have her living, breathing in front of him. The years had been kinder to her, it didn’t look like fifteen years had passed, more like five. It was only the look in her eyes, underneath what he only assumed was the same shock he felt, there was a pain hardened by the years. She took a step closer, and so did he. A step in the right direction, and yet in the wrong.
How are you here? He wanted to ask. Why are you here?
He wanted to yell at her, scream and curse, for all those years lost forevermore. Rage mixed with joy battled inside of him, every ragged breath came out uneven. His entire body hurt, but that pain seemed to vanish in comparison to all the emotions storming inside of him. Cassian knew that his crew was watching, that Baze and Chirrut was monitoring his every move, but he didn’t care. Right now he only knew one thing, he needed her in his arms.
Their bodies collided, crashed into each other. He pressed himself as close to her small frame as he possible could, needed as much expositor of her as he could get. He felt a sob tear through her, and he drew in shaky breath, the scent of her filling him. Her arms around him hurt, pressed against his burnt flesh, but Cassian couldn’t’ care less. Every breath he took was another breath she was in his arms, another breath she was in his life and there was nothing he could ask for more that in this right now.
Cassian didn’t know how long they stood like that, it could have been seconds and it could have been days.
“You’re alive.” The sound of her voice echoed throughout his body, the once familiar sound snapping him back to the reality that suddenly was real. He didn’t know what Ara had been talking about, because the woman in his arms, was the same one he had promised his life to before she had left. This wasn’t the weak person his daughter had described, this was his Jyn.
If Cassian could, he would try to describe the way he felt, but he had never been one with the words. She looked as if she wanted to say something else, her mouth open in the slightest. Dimly he heard someone shout something, drawing his focus away form the woman in his arms, even if it was for the slightest moment. Then it hit him, harder than the explosion. He had thrown their daughter, Jyn’s daughter overboard, and he didn’t even dare to think of what Jyn would say when she saw her arm. The scaring had begun to format and it wasn’t pretty. He knew he had seconds before the silence would be broken and the illusion cracked. He wanted to tell her, ask for her forgiveness, mend all those broken years, but knew it could not be done.
“Mom?” Jyn turned her head, her body tensing at the sound of their daughter’s voice. About a thousand and one thoughts flooded Cassain, and none where very pleasant. Jyn’s body tensed up and her eyes flashed with a new wave of shock, that was replaced with anger and betrayal.
“Ara?” Cassian turned to face the young girl, who was dripping wet and had a very confused look on her face. It looked as if she tried to speak, but failed, her mouth just opening and closing. Before anything else happened Jyn rushed forward, wrapping her daughter in her arms, her body shaking with relief. Cassian just stood there like he was stuck with lighting, awaiting his doom. He looked up to the Andromeda to see his crew, they had the same confused look on them as Ara.
In all honestly, that was to be expected, it was only Bodhi and Kay who had known Jyn that were still alive, and therefore only those who could make thee connection. He turned his focus back to the reunited mother and daughter, both who were speaking in the mouth of each other, rambling on, question upon question. His crew began to make their way over to the schooner, Bodhi and Kay landing first.
Jyn broke free form the tight embrace and placed at kiss on Ara’s forehead, stroking the brown hair. But Ara wasn’t looking at her mother, she was staring at him. Cassian gulped. There was no way this could end well. As Ara began to make her way to him, fire in her eyes, Jyn grabbed her arm to stop her.
Unfortunately, it was the arm that still hadn’t healed. It made the young girl gasp in pain, jerking back her arm. And here we go Cassian thought as Jyn stepped closer, narrowing her eyes.
“Ara what happened? She asked, her eyes filled with an anger Cassian had seen before, the kind that could take down the entire world. Ara shook her head, trying to disregard it as nothing, with emphasis on trying. Cassian saw how the wound had bleed though her shirt and took a deep breath.
“It’s nothing, really.” Jyn took another step closer, jerking her arm to her, careful not to touch the wound. The majority of his crew had gathered around them, everyone as silent as the grave as Jyn began to roll up Ara’s shirt. She didn’t need to roll it all the way to see what she needed. As if Jyn had burned herself on Ara’s arm, she dropped it and her eyes flew to Cassian’s, and he swore he could see sparks flying out of them. He began to back up, his crew giving him the space he needed. Everyone saw where this was going, and no one wanted to be in her way.
“YOU!” Jyn said and Cassian knew that he was in every way possible screwed. Before he even could react, she had drawn her sword and was headed his way. He tried to block her, but he was too slow, his back slowing and numbing his every move and found himself being pressed against the rail with her sword against his neck. Green eyes filled with fury found his.
“You let this happen you bastard.” As Cassian tried to speak up she only pressed the blade harder against him, the first drops of blood trickling down. He could hear his treacherous friends mumble.
“Should we help him?” Bodhi asked, what Cassian only assumed was Kay. The question as met with a laughter.
“Are you kidding, he has had this coming for fifteen years. I’m only sorry we don’t have anything to eat while watching.” Cassian snapped back to Jyn, ignoring his friends and his back, that burned against the wood of the rail.
“You took my daughter, you let her on board a ship filled with pirates and you let her get hurt. Why you nerfehred…” Jyn’s fury seemed to get the better of her, her words fading out leaving just her glare to speak for her. It did the job.
The blade pressed a little harder against his neck, the sting from it making him flinch. If this was how she wanted to play it, fine. This is how we will play it.
“You are the one to talk, oh you who have done so little wrong in your life Jyn Krennic.” He spat out. She didn’t flinch, but the meatal against his neck loosened its pressure as her eyes filled with something Cassian almost would call regret. Cassian saw his chance and wouldn’t waste it. He took her sword by its hilt, his hands pressed over hers, twisting it out of her grip. It was a fight that was over in the matter of seconds, which ended with the reversed position, with Cassian pressing her blade against her neck, her back pressed up against the remains of the fallen mast. Cassian was a ruthless pirate who had dominated the sea for ten years, he would not break at the sight of the woman he loved, at least that was what he was telling himself.
“So I married Krennic, what’s it to you?” Cassian growled as he stepped closer, their lips nearly touching, all he needed to do was to lean in and they would meet.
“In case you forgot, you married me.” It looked as if Jyn wanted to cry and laugh at the same time, a smirk placed on her lips.
“Yeah, that marriage was really binding, with Chirrut officiating and blood still on our clothes.” Cassian thought he heard Chirrut protest, but he didn’t care enough to even flicker his eyes to find out.
“You left me.” He spat out, the blade now kissing her neck, a few drops of red breaking her skin. Jyn’s face turned sour, anger like before finding its way back. She leaned in despite the blade to her neck. Cassian let her.
“You got my father killed.” She sneered, tears spilling over her eyes, but Cassian knew those weren’t tears of sorrow, those were tears of anger.
“Deny it.” She said when he didn’t answer, and he shook his head.
“You know I didn’t have a choice.” He said, his voice low. That seemed to be the breaking point for Jyn. She threw herself at him, and in a reflex he pulled away the sword from her, because he could hurt her, despite him right now not exactly being opposed to the thought. Her sword clattered against the wooden deck as he dropped it, trying to fight of the small woman, who did everything in her power to inflict him in pain. It wasn’t that hard, seeing as she had scorched his entire back.
“Stop it Jyn!” he heard Baze call out at the same time he felt someone pull her way from him. He looked up to see Kay having lifted Jyn up.
“LET ME GO KAY! IM GOING TO KILL HIM!” She yelled, and Cassian fought the urge to snap the same thing back at her.
“A pleasure as always Jyn.” Kay said, his voice as ever calm.
“If you don’t let me go, you’ll be next Kenneth.” She sneered and Cassian heard some of the crew chuckle. It was in that moment he once again realised that their fight was very public, and that Ara was watching it all. His head snapped back to Jyn who had gotten out of Kay’s grip and now stood a few feet from Cassian.
“You had no choice Cassian? Is that really what you are going with? Really?” She said as she began to circle him. He mirrored her movements and shrugged.
“It’s the truth.” He said and saw her eyes narrowing.
“You may be a good liar Andor but your eyes betray you. Pity you never quite mastered the skill when we were working as Fulcrum, it could have saved you a lot of explanations and fights.” Before Cassian could reply, Ara stepped into the circle.
“Fulcrum? So you do know who he is.” The young girl said, her eyes locked on Cassian. Really, this as well? Jyn laughed, the anger seemed to have passed into her just being very very emotional instable, her mood shifting every second.
“Know who he is? Oh my dear Ara, he is Fulcrum.” You could have heard aa pin drop on deck. It was the silence before the storm. Both women stepped closer to him, both having the same betrayed look on their faces.
“You lied to me.” Ara said, her voice broken as if she couldn’t believe her words. Beside her, Jyn huffed.
“He’s a pirate and a murderer, I wouldn’t expect anything else Ara.” Cassian narrowed his eyes.
“Coming from you, that is rich Jyn.” He sneered at her, backing up, feeling quite threatened by the two women in front of him. Jyn snickered.
“Are you my father?” Ara asked, and Cassian saw a flicker of sorrow in Jyn’s face before she turned to their daughter. Cassian nodded, and half expected the young girl to say something else, to show more emotions. He didn’t however expect her to launch at him, yelling at the top of her lungs.
“YOU LYING BASTARD! I TURSTED YOU!” Cassian tried to duck, to avid her blows, but of course Jyn decided to join in, it didn’t take long until he once again was trapped against the rail, this time with two brown heads yelling at him. He could have sworn he heard Kay and bodhi laugh. He made a mental note to murder them later.
“… LIED TO ME!”
“…ASKED IF YOU KNEW…”
“…LOOK AT HER AND YOU PUT HER…”
“… WHERE MARRIED? WHERE YOU EVER GOI…”
Cassian put up his hands and covered their mouths.
“One yelling brunette at the time please” Cassian snapped and that shut them both up, at least for a few seconds. Then they both stared with a greater curiosity than before and Cassian bit back a groan. As Cassian took away his hands, he saw too late Jyn’s hand flying in the air. The slap stung, she didn’t hold back, had she ever? Cassian couldn’t help himself, and hit back. Jyn gasped and narrowed her eyes.
“You hit me!” Jyn yelled at him, her entire body filled with so much fire he knew he was fucked, but he couldn’t help the anger that rose in his chest. She had no real reason to be this angry, she had hit him first.
“YOU HIT MY SHIP!” Cassian scream back at her, knowing that the two of them sounded like five years old, but he really didn’t care.
She saw how she drew a deep breath before scolding back, her fist in the air and ready to punch, but before she could another voice echoed though the ship.
“Stow it! The three of you! That's an order, understand!?” Kay yelled, and both Jyn and Ara’s heads snapped up.
“Stay out of this Kay.” Jyn sneered and Ara nodded. Cassian shook his head.
“You should listen to him.” Jyn’s eyes snapped back to his and he felt his breath hitch. Despite her wanting to kill him, he still knew that they both lived each other and that feeling as stronger than anything else.
Before they could start again, the reminace of fulcrum and rogue one had intervened. Baze laid a hand on Jyn and Chirrut on Ara. Behind them both Bodhi and Kay stood, all where wearing an amused look on their faces.
“We aren’t going got get anywhere if you two, you three, are just going to yell at each other.” Chirrut said, and Cassian could kiss him, he was so glad to hear the crazy old man’s voice again. He saw how Jyn laid down her arms, she knew that he was right. Ara on the other hand seemed just as furious as before.
“Ara, let it go.” Baze said and a clam sped over the young girl. Cassian saw how Kay turned to the rest of the crew.
“Go back to the Andromeda and give them they space they need to sort this out.” The reaction was instance. The crew all made it over, and Baze, Chirrut, Bodhi followed with Ara in tow. She did not look happy about it. Kay turned back to him and Jyn.
“Can I leave you two to sort this out without either of you maiming the other?” He saw a smile spread over Jyn, and gave his first mate a nod.
“Despite our previous actions, we are grownups Kay. I think we can handle it.” Cassian didn’t need to look at Kay to know that he was narrowing his eyes in doubt.
“If I hear yelling I’m coming back over, understood?” He said, eyeing them both. Both Jyn and Cassian nodded. “Understood.”
Jyn watched Kay climb back to the Andromeda and saw how he dragged a glaring Ara with him. She knew she had to interrogate her later regarding their relationship, for Jyn refused to believe that Kay was capable of having a functioning friendship with someone other than Cassian, least of all Ara. She turned back to Cassian when he cleared his throat. He gestured to the helm and she nodded, following him there.
He leant on the rail and she joined him, both facing the Andromeda.
“What happened to her?” She asked, nodding with her head to the ship. She saw in the corner of her eye that Cassian gave a faint smile.
“One bad raid and one surprise attack.”
“Ah.” What else could she say?
“Well, and then we were attack by this small schooner. But they didn’t get in any good hits. Amateurs.” He said, nudging his shoulder to hers. A small laughter escaped her, despite her wanting to stay mad at him
She never could, he always found his way into her heart.
“I’m sorry.” He said and she turned to him. He had tears in his eyes, and Jyn’s breath hitched. She shook her head.
“You have no reason to be.” She said, placing her hand on top of his. He huffed.
“That’s a lie and you know it.”
“Eh, what is one more lie.” She said, unable to move. Her eyes locked with him. It was as if the yelling and screaming had put them in this mood, where everything stood still. Where there was nothing but the true naked emotions left.
“I’m sorry too.” She couldn’t bare it, the look he had, filed with so much pain. “For all of it, I’m so sorry Cassian.” She got out, before finally breaking down. He pulled her into his arms, pressing her shaking body against this broken. Her tears burned, and she felt his against her neck.
“It’s all so stupid.” She felt him nod against her. Doing so, she remembered his back and pulled free.
“I’m sorry about your back.” Cassian shrugged, a faith smile plastered on his lips.
“I might have deserved that.” Jyn looked down and moved so that she leaned against the rail.
“As much as I want to agree that you probably did, it wasn’t my intention.” Cassian raised an eyebrow.
“Wasn’t it you who lit the fuse?” Jyn couldn’t keep the smile form her lips.
“Yes, yes it was.” She said, laughter replacing the lump in her throat. The schooner was quiet, only the creaking wood and seagulls screams disturbing them. If it wasn’t for the scorched wood and them being older, this wasn’t that different from all those years ago.
“We never were good with these middle ground feelings.” Jyn lifted her gaze to him, urging him to continue. She got a smile in return.
“It would either be a love to the stars or a war we were fighting.” She felt a small laughter escape her as she took his hand.
“Yeah, pity we never learned that we had to grow up.” Cassian pulled her hand to his lips, kissing it as his eyes locked with hers and Jyn’s heart skipped a beat. After all these years, you still make my knees go weak.
And you still definitely drive me mad.
“Grow up? That seems unnecessary.” With a sigh, she carefully leaned against his shoulder. Their hands still locked, they watched the Andromeda gup up and down with the waves, sligthly of beat from the schooners movments. The ship truly had seen better days.
“What a mess we have gotten ourselves into.” She mumbled, and felt Cassian’s laughter rumble. She turned to him with a smile.
“Do you know you laugh more now than you did when we were young?” She asked, because it was true. Just these few moments she had spent with him, despite all the yelling and shouting they had done, his spirit seemed unbroken in a new way.
“Your daughter might have something to do with that, and with the new wrinkles I’ve gotten just spending these few months with her.” Jyn’s eyes fell to the deck, unsure of what she should say.
“How was she growing up?” He asked her when she didn’t say anything. Jyn shook her head. Not grown up, not yet.
“Shouldn’t we talk over other stuff first?” As the words left her lips, she regretted them, for she felt him tense again. When she looked up, she found that his eyes were on her, filled with that which made her choke on air.
“What is there to talk about Jyn?” He asked, and her mouth fell open, ready to answer but no sound came. He flashed a dazzling smile.
“What’s in the past, should stay there, don’t you think? All of importance I know, Ara is alive and if I’m not being played on a very cruel way, I do believe she is my daughter. You are both alive. So right now, all I need to know is that we are alright, that in this instance at least, you aren’t trying to kill me.” Jyn shook her head, not really believe his words.
“So, you aren’t mad at me?” He huffed at her question but Jyn wanted an answer and remained silent, her eyes locked with his.
“Oh trust me, I’m furious, but seeing as we have lost so many years, I find it unnecessary to spend this time fighting.” Jyn raised an eyebrow in doubt. All we ever did was fight, that and rule the sea.
“Okay, at least no fighting now.” When he pulled her closer to him, his arm draped over her shoulders, she didn’t protest, only leant in further.
“So, we are doing this?” His eyes sparkled with something dangerous, hope.
“If you still want me.” Jyn almost choked on air again, the statement so bizarre. That he could reconsider even after what she had done to him. She didn’t trust her voice, so she nodded, tears once again spilling over. He let out a breath she didn’t know he had held and pressed a kiss to her head.
“Good.” He said as he leaned back, his eyes trailing the ship in front of them, that was royal mess. She couldn’t tear her eyes away from him, drinking in every detail. Then let’s do this. She squeezed his hand before placing her head once again on his shoulder with a smile on her lips.
Okay, so I’m very well aware that there now might be some confusion about what happened all those years ago, who left who, who did what and who stepped over the line. All I can say is I’m going to do my best at explain it in the next chapter, which will be the last I think, plus an epilogue, so if we want to be technical, there probably will be two more chapters (or such alike) after this. But yay me for nearing the end of a multi-chapter *dances alone in my very dark and cold apartment* because I’m a social awkward person
also, reason why Jyn decided to attack the Andromeda should also be included i n the next one. (just so you didn't think id let that slide, that wasn't okay Jyn, really not)