Actions

Work Header

bells

Work Text:

“Tell me again,” Jyn struggled up a particularly sloped step, “why we have to be at the top of the mountain?”

Cassian reached out a hand, which she ignored. Her legs were shorter, so it wasn’t like he thought she couldn’t make it, but the mere implication of that already propelled her four steps above him. He smiled at her back as she tore past. She cradled her left hand in her elbow, having torn it up pretty badly on a nail that came loose on a railing. She waved off his offer to fetch the medkit from his bag, saying it could wait. She was tired of stopping and wanted to be there already.

“Because we’re here as ambassadors, not spies.”

“Is this really the best place to house people in hiding if they can’t even get up the-”

Cassian hauled her up the final step by the elbow, turning to face their progress. The temple was in view, built into the side of a cliff and very hard to access any other way than on foot. He placed his hands on his knees and caught his breath. The location was ideal to house rebel soldiers, specifically intelligence officers with too many close calls, out of the eyes of the empire. Jyn and Cassian were sent to negotiate with the monks and see if they’d be open to the idea. The order had had rumors circulating of anti-Empire sentiments, strong ones. K2 was back with the ship, waiting. Probably pouting about being left behind.

Jyn laughed at the vista surrounding them; breathless and impressed with the climb they’d made. She cupped her hands around her mouth and yelled out into the bowl of the mountain. The echo cracked through the sky like thunder.

Cassian’s hand fell to her shoulder, always afraid of attracting attention, but she turned to him and laughed even louder, her shout echoing through the hills. With a sigh, she pressed her face against his neck. Just because. The sound of her voice still halved itself the farther it traveled. He smiled in spite of himself. It was pretty magnificent.

Jyn pushed herself off of him in her abrupt way, smiling over her shoulder as she made her way up the final set of stairs. He shouldered his pack back on, watching her go.

 

She was wild, unexpectedly fun when she wasn’t sulking. A heavy drinker, a woman of many vices that he was discovering one by one. It was a wonderful and terrible time, the early days when they became more than just partners in their field. He had never regretted it, just sometimes wished it would slow down.

She was mischievous about sex. He’d never seen someone like that before. Sex was a biological instinct first; often pleasurable, sometimes emotional. But he’d never seen a sly, sneaky look like hers, pulling him behind the crates in a cargo bay, or to the roof of the barracks, or stripping her clothes off while he was conferring with his superiors from his datapad, unseen to the faces onscreen but very much visible to him.

She once convinced him to pretend that their secret identities, on a mission that in no way required secret identities, were a married couple from Naboo. She proposed it as he checked his weapon at their shared pilot’s seats. She straddled hers backwards, arms hugging the back. The sun warmed the cockpit and she had a casual, challenging look in her eyes.

“And why would we do that?” he didn’t look up from his blaster, suspecting her attempt to get a rise out of him.

“I’m a botanist trying to scope out the plants I’ve only seen before on a datapad. You’re my dashing and romantic husband that arranged the trip. Go on. Be dashing.”

He rolled his eyes, kissing her briefly as he got up to inspect the ship before leaving. They spent the trip arm in arm, him shuttling her around the terrain with her making teasing, adoring glances at him, coming up with drippier and drippier pet names for him. He took the game well, even pinning her against the wall of their decrepit motel when a day of actual work was over, taking her hint to be dashing.

“I suppose this is where I would kiss my wife,” he said, voice gravelly and sweet at the same time. That internal light illuminated his face in that way that was starting to make her heart race every time she saw it. They did more than kiss up against that gritty wall.

While she was liberal and always game about how they had sex in a sense of setting and situation, she seemed less enthused, in those beginning days, about how they had sex in terms of being together. Talk of putting his mouth on her in an empty conference room or elevator had her eyes gleaming with possessive force, but just saying that the act would be good...she shied away, like she didn’t trust him. She was controlling, and didn’t seem to give him the time to prove that sort of thing, barrelling into him with a wicked look on her face, hands grasping for him. She shied away from gentle touches, almost reflexively.

Of course it would take an accidental meeting to change that. They had to be forced into it.

A mission of his ran too long, his return blurred into a hopeful promise of “soon” repeated back and forth over comm links. He couldn’t give her a day, which she deserved so much more than just that, and they were both aching for different reasons, missing and guilt.

Cassian did return after far too long at an hour no person should be awake. He didn’t want to wake her with his return, shuffling in a trance like state to his bunk to rest off the exhaustion and see her in the morning with fresh eyes. That had been the initial plan. Then the door slid open.

Jyn stretched across his bed, her hand working lazily between her legs. There was a softness to her body, a relaxed nature, that seemed like she’d already gotten herself off a few times already.

She pushed herself up, wide-eyed and breathless. Cassian released the breath he had been holding, pulling his jacket off his shoulders.

“By all means,” he motioned for her to keep going. A whimper choked her. It had been too long to be teased.

“Come here,” she whined, struggling on unsteady legs to crawl to the end of the bed, her knee nearly giving when her foot touched the floor.

He was on her in a instant, lying her back, brushing the sweaty hair off her brow, kissing her deeply. His fingers replaced hers inside her.

“You still need it, don’t you?” he whispered, making soft sympathetic sounds in response to her whines.

“Yes,” she hissed.

“How many times did you cum tonight, Jyn, waiting for me?”

“T-three,” her eyes scrunched tight.

“And that wasn’t enough?”

“N-no.”

“Hmm,” he slid down her body, placing his mouth on her. She felt so soft and tender, she’d been rough on herself, frustrated. He licked gently, and her legs were kicking around him.

“Why wasn’t it enough, Jyn?”

He couldn’t even think about how tired her was. He was back to her, and she so clearly needed him. She couldn’t have planned this even if she wanted to, her eyes wide and vulnerable, wearing -and this is what got him- one of his shirts over her naked body.

“It’s not you,” she admitted in a soft voice, looking away from him.

“Sometimes,” he admitted in return, in a reserved, controlled way, “I pretend I’m only coming home to you. That it’s just you I’m coming back to, and it helps.”

Her whole body seemed to clench at the words, something so terrifying to admit, but it was true, it had been true for a while for both of them.

He decided to be merciful, finally having gotten what he wanted. She came with a scream, her voice hoarse. He held her as she immediately fell asleep afterwards, clinging to him. There was a vulnerability she had never shown before, and he finally was able to see how much it scared her. Knowing what he was scaling made it so much easier to coax her, bit by bit.

The next night, rested and bathed and fed enough to have the patience, Cassian pleasured her with just his mouth for what felt like hours, her body lonely and overwhelmed by the separation.

“I missed you,” she said to his ceiling, unable to face him with the confession.

He lifted his mouth from between her legs, kissing her inner thighs, a free hand stroking her belly. “I know. I missed you too. So much Jyn. Missed this. Thought about it for hours.”

“Show me,” she said, her mind having been thoroughly changed.

 

“So how long did you say it would take them?”

Jyn threw open the shutters of their shared room, upsetting a layer of dust. She glanced around the high eaves of the room, spacious in a way their bunks had not been. It really felt like an idyllic little place. The monks there, with their surprisingly friendly eyes the size of Cassian’s fist, made them feel welcome immediately. There had to be no more than ten of them, and they all gathered to hear the rebellion’s proposal. The proposition went over well enough, positively received. At least they felt welcome.

They were offered two separate rooms by their hosts, but Cassian waved off the offer. They hadn’t needed separate rooms in years, excluding his one reckless encounter on Tatooine leading to a near-death experience that made her so angry with him he fully believed she’d never let him back in her bed.

 

She eventually did let him back in, though technically it took three times in the hull of a ship and once in a supply closet before she softened to him again.

He didn’t try to speak to her; that just made her leave. But his hands, his hands would make her stay.

Her spine was all tense muscle when he’d sneak up to her and put his hands on her, the obvious need for a decent apology locking her skeleton into something he could never, never melt into his sated Jyn. Maybe never again.

She couldn’t look at him, but that didn’t stop them in indulging their needs, her jaw clenched, him gripping her tight from behind. They were silent but for all the necessary noises, grunts and harsh breaths. Clothes returned to their proper places, she’d sneak away without even looking at him. Like it didn’t even happen.

Fucking her from behind always meant getting creative with leverage because of the height difference, and with this, her arms crossed defensively over her chest and she rose on her toes to be level with his hips. He wrapped his arms around her, pinning her crossed arms to her chest, eventually leaning her forward so her entire balance was based around his. Not even she had the resolve to deprive their bodies of what they needed. Just how right it felt had a major role in how willing she was to forgive. A million apologies rained onto her hair as he came inside her. Eventually, she had accepted one, sobs racking through her, quivering and struggling on tiptoe with his cock still inside her, feeling everything all at once and much too much.  

That night, being allowed back in her bed was a victory unlike any other, and he never wanted to be cast out of it again.

She rode him mercilessly, his hands tied to her headboard. She couldn’t let it happen any other way, after how badly he’d scared her.

She bent over him to whisper in his ear after she’d used him for as many orgasms she could get without his help. Her hands reached up to untie him, taking a moment to sloppily pull the restraints away.

“Your life isn’t just yours anymore, and I want you to respect what’s mine.”

It was his turn to be overwhelmed, clutching her hips and whining and agreeing to anything she had to say.

Jyn still grimaced when she saw the knife wound knotted up the length of his thigh, the one that caused their fight.

 

He noticed her still tucking her hand in her elbow. He unzipped his pack, swiping the small medkit where he’d left it, stacked on top for easy access.

“The monks will give us an answer in three days. It’s how they work. They need to meditate on our offer that whole time. Enjoy the vacation. Maybe get some work done by buttering them up with that Jyn Erso charm.”

“You’re an ass,” she grinned as she said it, sitting cross-legged on the bed and staring out the window into the sunshine. She’d never been so high up before, at least, still on ground.

Her love-language of mild insults was interrupted with the clear, high tones of bells echoing through the mountain. The air felt clean, not dusty, or frozen like on Hoth. Just pleasantly crisp. Fresh.

“Oh,” he tilted his head up, the lofty ceiling lit with dust swirling through sunlight; dancing likes stars, “I didn’t think they’d still be doing that.”

She too had her head tilted up, as though the sound could be seen.

“Doing what?”

He motioned vaguely, implying the sound filling the room.

“Campanas?” he asked in Festian.

“Bells,” she supplied.

“Bells,” he formed the word back at her, like he always did when he was checking. He was by no means lost in translation, he knew most languages better than her survival guide called for. Still, she found it infinitely endearing when a word evaded him, and they had to connect two thoughts in different languages. Or when there was a simpler word for something, but he didn’t know it and used a phrase or two to describe it. Nothing he said was wrong, exactly, just different. She didn’t know how to tell him that without embarrassing him, so she kept it quiet, a private love.

He bent over her palm with a bacta wipe poised in his hand. She spread open her fingers, despite all the pain she’d been through in her life she still winced at the disinfecting sting. He let the air dry the clean wound and the alcohol left her skin feeling cool as it dissolved. He pressed his lips to it, smiling at her. Sunlit dust danced into his hair. Her thumb found his cheek, stroking it once gently before withdrawing her hand to bandage it.

“This used to be a pilgrimage spot for weddings. Apparently once very sacred. Because of the... bells and how they echoed through the mountains. I knew some monks stayed to upkeep the temple, but I didn’t know people still came here to get married.”

“Nice place to get married,” she glanced out the window, the green winding up the rocks, the chime echoing infinitely smaller as it sounded off surface after surface. It was like living inside a bell.

Cassian returned the medkit to his pack, digging for what she assumed was his datapad.

“It is,” he agreed mildly.

“Side pocket,” she informed him. He shot her an incredulous look, but the side pocket yielded a datapad. He tried to ignore her smug expression.

“You ever think about us?”

“Too often for my own good, but you’re usually less clothed.”

She kicked a foot at him, nudging his hip. “No, kriffing idiot, marrying me.”

Cassian stared at her, her sunny, relaxed expression; a challenge in her eyes.

“Weren’t we already married for three days on D’Qar?”

“I don’t remember you complaining about our three-day fake marriage.”

“I was married to Botanist Elza Storm if I remember correctly.”

She giggled, pleased that he remembered, a carefree sound if he ever heard one. Cassian moved closer to her. Jyn seemed to shift as he drew closer, like her body was trying to reel him in.

“If we ever did get married, this would be the place to do it,” he said, neutral. Even smiling a little, as though they were playing a game.

“Private, remote, beautiful. Secret.”

He grabbed her ankle, unlacing her boot thoughtfully. He often needed to find something to do with idle hands, especially when his mind was racing.

When he was quiet, Jyn continued: “Probably won’t get the chance again.”

He shook his head “I can’t tell if you’re fucking with me.”

She leaned back on her hands, flinching when she unwittingly placed her weight on her cut. She drew the wounded hand into the right one, rubbing the sting away. It straightened up her posture, made it less cocky, more open.

“You haven’t asked me, but I don’t think...on base, no one gets married.”

She lay back, beckoning him to lay alongside her.

He obeyed, wordless. She kicked off her other boot, getting comfortable. Her eyes were bright, alive. This was a casual sort of conversation for her. He tried to keep his own tone calm.  

Their relationship had progressed very slowly over the course of their years together. He proposed anything they both already knew they could do. It wasn’t until they were sure that they could handle it. He was cautious, she was skittish.

 

It started with Cassian helping her with repairs to the ship, six months after Scarif, smirking as she cursed a blue streak and threw a few tools across the room in frustration. She looked so perfect to him, smeared with grease, hair a mess, hands braced on her knees as she stared up at the engine like it bit her. He wiped the grease off his hands with a rag as he walked towards her. She raised her eyebrows. He took her chin in his hand. His thumb brushed the smudge of grease on her cheek.

“I’d like to kiss you,” he had offered, a gentle suggestion. She pretended she even had to think it over.

“Just get down here.”

They knew they could handle that, his hands on her hips, her arms around his shoulders, both of them dangerously close to smacking their heads on the open hood of the engine.

Eventually, she tried to continue repairs, but every time she knelt back under the engine, Cassian would be on his knees behind her, getting to know the freckled skin of her neck, humming that he was helping when she ordered him to make himself useful. He draped himself over her shoulders and back. She grunted at the weight, pushing back, which only brought them closer. His hands skimmed up and down her waist and hips, taking advantage of the fact her hands were busy and couldn’t cover her sides. She wriggled, ticklish, and he was so happy this started, so happy he was learning. Telling her she was beautiful, pressing his face in her hair, it was all the things he had been ready for for so long.

She let him hold her, because she was ready to be held. That wasn’t anything new.

 

Jyn wouldn’t have said it now if she wasn’t ready to.

She lifted his hand to her lips, running kisses along the knuckles.

“Do you want to?”

“Do you?”

“It’s not like I have this grand romantic notion,” she rolled her eyes to the ceiling, “But we’re here and we can and the idea sounds nice. I don’t think it’ll change anything between us.”

They were already inseparable, even with galaxies between them. Already loyal. Already devoted. Cassian stared at their entwined hands. They’d been doing the hard part without question for years now.

“On base…” everyone was waiting. Not while the war was going on. No one wanted to make a widow or widower out of the person they loved.

She rolled him onto his back, playfully straddling him. Though usually this was a rough tactic to get his attention, she was sweet with her touch.

“Secret marriages,” she proposed softly, “those feel like a wartime kind of thing. More appropriate for a Spy Captain.”

“Jyn,” he took her chin gently in his hand, “You know you don’t have to convince me to want it, you just have to convince me you want it.”

Her green eyes flickered to his; confident, clear.

“Do you see me ever choosing anyone else?”

 

In the early days, after Scarif, they had tried. They’d gone to the end of their tether to each other and reached for what else they could get. Jyn had to watch Cassian finally return the looks he received in the mess hall, hear stories of him engaged in flirtatious touches in private rooms: Cassian had to leave her behind on base with a writhing pack of admirers waiting for him to leave her unsupervised. To be the ones to break unbreakable Jyn Erso: to be the only woman to see the softer side of the hardened Captain Andor. Many tried, none succeeded.

Before that first kiss, they’d had a clear few weeks where the dust of their entanglements settled. Jealousy was an agonizing feeling to have towards the person who almost died in your arms. To have some part of yourself left in them to never be removed, and have them hold it inside themselves carelessly. Tossed amongst the useless junk of one-night-stands.

Breakfasts were harder than the proceeding walk-of-shame, because facing each other was harder than facing themselves. Trying to hide bite marks, smooth hair that had been tangled in another person’s fingers. Cassian once parted her collar from her skin with a worried gasp because of some purple discoloration, asking what happened to her during her early training, if a sparring partner got too rough. Jyn chewed, unmoving and only aware of his hand on the unmarked side of her neck, exposing her collarbone to him.

Awkwardly, she informed him it was nothing. Just...nothing.

“It looks like someone’s been strangling you.”

His eyes cut into her, agonized, a steady rage building. He was incredibly protective of the body he wouldn’t touch, much to Jyn’s increasing bitterness.

“I won’t be seeing him again,” she muttered into her breakfast tray.

He withdrew his hand. He was at her side, but not really with her. She longed for a knife to tear through the fabric of the universe right between them. She saw his hands draw into fists at his sides.

“I don’t like that anyone would treat you so…”

“I like it rough,” she hedged, flatly shoveling food into her mouth.

His mouth opened, then closed. He lifted his jacket off the empty seat next to him, rising from the table.

“There are better ways to do that, Jyn, that don’t make you look like you barely escaped with your life.”

She shrugged, because it wasn’t like he’d show her.

Cassian found out who it was -how, she’d never know, he was a spy - and beat him to a bloody pulp.

They didn’t talk about it.

This all stopped, never to continue onward, during a brutal sparring match. Cassian had goaded her into it, absolutely livid she’d had the nerve to even consider accepting a General’s indecent proposition. She hadn’t. But it was one of his superiors, and she was angrier he made it seem like a professional betrayal and not what it was; complete and total jealousy. Maybe she let him agitate her because of the bright eyed, slightly dumb recruit he’d been ‘showing the ropes’. Jyn went to his room the night before, half choked with a nightmare, and he wasn’t alone. She could hear from the other side of the door. The kind of rough that made it sound like the recruit was fighting for her life. It sounded...good, which made the ache in her chest worse. Jyn didn’t bother to knock, waiting outside for too long to torture herself, and wondered why she was even there anymore.

Cassian was a skilled fighter. Jyn was all raw power. They were both clever, so they had the same secret weapon, which made for interesting fisticuffs. Jyn threw a few good punches, he made some good pins, nothing unfair yet. His body over hers seemed to be making a point to her, but what, she didn’t know. He had the intention of warming her to the feel of his body, maybe selfishly even substituting one touch for the kind he was longing for. She read it as a means to make her submit, and she swung to evade. It was a fair fight, internal and external. But when that recruit appeared in the doorway, tucking a strand of sunny blonde hair behind her ear, Cassian winking at her in the doorway before taking position, and something seemed to burn inside Jyn. And that’s where they were two different fighters; Cassian was resigned to life, Jyn violently fought for it.

He pinned her again, quick and easy because of her rage, and hovered over her.

“Holding back, Jyn?” he whispered in her ear, “it’s unlike you.”

She felt herself snap, something irreplaceable fundamentally broken.

This was the first time, in any way, they’d acknowledged it.

Cassian never pressed Jyn on what was going through her mind at that time. She wasn’t certain herself. She just knew she came back to herself when she was crouched over Cassian and her knuckles ached. His face was purple. He looked at her like he dared her to keep throwing punches, like he deserved them. Her chest ached, and she threw herself back, finding Baze’s hand curled in the crook of her arm, having just arrived to try to pull her off. There were people everywhere, and she didn’t know when they arrived, or how long she had been wailing on Cassian.

She felt a phantom weight on her hips, and she realized Cassian had placed his hands there as she struck him, over and over, instead of pushing her away.

Jealousy hurt, but this was worse, especially with Cassian staring at her with one swollen eye, looking proud of her. Pleased with what she’d done to him.

It was too much. Too hard. The tether between them either needed to slacken or snap.

She went to his room to apologize, and he was alone there. He answered the door to her knock. She came, he accepted her in. Took her stuttered apology with grace. Held her face in his hands, very gently. Made her look at his bruises. Her throat swelled shut at the sight of them. It was a stupid, reckless, careless thing to do.

“There has to be a better way for us,” he murmured, and she nodded. He curled her into his arms, and she was home again. It wasn’t a place for anyone else. He knew that, guiltily. It’s why he felt, in that moment, he deserved her wrath, poked at it, disturbed the peace she was fighting for.

The dust around them settled. Hands tentatively feeling each other’s spines.

Three weeks later he was kissing her under the engine of their ship. But even then, from that moment, there would be no one else.

 

“Never.” They would never find anyone else.

She grinned at him, eyes crinkling.

“Campanas?” she whispered softly.

He nodded, swallowing thickly.

“I’m marrying you,” she whispered against his lips, mushing the words into his mouth. He rolled himself on top of her, breathless, trying to calm his thoughts. He buried his face in her neck.

“Say yes,” she growled, even as he abused his advantage of access to a part of her neck that would always have her shuddering underneath him.

He nodded again, gripping her hips so tightly. When he lifted his face, he was smiling, gleeful, pressing his lips to hers. She was struck with how unfair it was that the man with the most radiant smile in the galaxy spent so much time frowning.

“Say yes,” she repeated, her bossiness flaring.

“You didn’t let me ask you,” he pouted slightly, and she bit his lower lip.

“You had plenty of opportunity to,” she chided, easing his jacket playfully off his shoulders. He sat up, shucking his shirt over his head before diving back down to meet her lips.

“Yes,” he breathed against her open mouth.

She gripped his shoulders, squeezing hard.

“You’ll be my wife?”

He felt the shift of her body against his, faintly registering the nodding until it seemed to punch into him. Nodding. Yes. This was forming into a real thing, the next three days, then their lifetime.  

Jyn was trembling underneath him, her eyes bright and excited. The idea of looking across the mess hall table at him and seeing her husband. It was a rich and luxurious word, too luxurious for two soldiers in a war, but they had three days to kill and it wasn’t subtracting anything from the Alliance. Maybe if she only said it out loud in private, it would be allowed. No more than where she bought a little something with her slim wages to wear under her Alliance-Issued trousers, silky and slim-fitting so when Cassian peeled them off his eyes fluttered so sweet and excited.

 

He was kneeling in front of her, the first time she did this, and she was so nervous about how he’d react she almost forgot what she was nervous about. She was just nervous about the act of her trousers being removed, and he was removing them, and she couldn’t remember that she was wearing undergarments cut like silky, fluttery little shorts, exposing the soft curves of her ass at the hem. And that she was waiting for his reaction to them.

He didn’t notice at first, because he was looking up at her, a wry little smile on his face, until she stepped out of her pants, and his hands went to her hips. Sensing a new texture, he glanced down below her stomach, and while she fisted her hands at her slides, there was only the edge of the panties below the hem of her shirt. Nervously, she grabbed the shirt in her hands, drawing it up over her stomach. She raised it to settle below her breasts, her gift on display. Her hips shifted under his scrutiny and he swiped a hand over his mouth and jaw, like he did when he was lost in thought.

“Are these for me?” he asked tentatively.

“I think they’d look a little silly on you…”

He kissed her upper thigh, right under the edge of the fabric. Ignoring the sarcasm.  She shivered, so exposed. They both knew she wasn’t the type to dress up for anyone. That this was for him.

His mouth opened, sucking a harsh mark into her inner thigh. She gasped, back in the moment, unable to hide anywhere. His palms pressed against her ass, gripping a cheek in each hand. The noise that escaped his was nothing less than a purr, and she wove her hands in his hair, whimpering as his fingers slipped under the hem to touch her bare skin.

He moved past her, seating himself on the edge of her bed. He held her wrist in one hand, extending his arm. Motioned for her to twirl. She did, reluctantly, staring at the floor. He hissed at the sight of her ass in those shorts. As a reward, he drew her close to straddle his lap. He pulled aside the crotch of the undergarment, slipping a finger inside her. This was possible the best vantage point, her still modelling them but her arousal and his fingers moving inside her fully on display. His other arm banded around her waist as she lost her balance, head thrown back. He held her steady, and she removed the shirt with shaky hands. Her breastband was the same as always, but it made the panties seems naughtier somehow, and he grinned up at her, nodding as she got rid of that too.

“Did you want me to see them, Jyn? Did you buy them for me to see?”

His fingers curled insistently inside her, and she whimpered. She expected him to tear them off and ravage her, but that just wasn’t Cassian. He was going to examine every inch of this scenario before he attacked it from each angle that led to their mutual satisfaction.

Of course he would do just that. But before all that started, the way he looked up at her eyes, not the silky white boy shorts, made it clear that it wasn’t the purchase, it was her that so thoroughly pleased him. And that’s what made her break apart inside, burrowing her face in his neck as he pulled her back together.

 

While it wasn’t a deeper way to have Cassian, there wasn’t one, there just wasn’t, it was a new way to have Cassian. It wasn’t a way to connect them. It was a secret, exhibitionist act, one they weren’t allowed on base. My husband. My wife. I married you.

They were still possessive, sometimes. She snarked about new recruits that seemed to be more his taste. He never knowingly left her alone in a room with Han Solo. But it was a proud sort of jealousy, a knowing one; you like how I belong to you, let me remind you how you belong to me.

Her hands traced down the bare skin of his torso. She wasn’t sure about the last time she’d seen sunlight on his bare skin, at least on this much of it. He was radiant, the dust from their ancient mattress swirling around him, catching on his lashes.

“Is this going to make me harder to lose?” she blurted out, her only hesitation, “a distraction?”

He was so, so protective, especially in the time surrounding missions they weren’t assigned together. Departures and returns were marked, no matter how much faith he had in her, in ‘could happen’ factors that never really let him relax.

Cassian considered this, hands on her face. “Not enough to make me walk away, or even try to slow this down.”

She grimaced at him, and his thumbs rubbed in gentle circles on her soft skin.

“You can’t ask that like I can quantify how much I need you, as my wife or not.”

 

Jyn was reckless her latest mission. She admitted it, that’s how badly she screwed up. Bodhi helped her down from the cockpit, guiding her limping to the medbay. She had really done a number on her leg, almost bled out two galaxies away. She was made of close calls, and there had certainly been closer.

She’d be fine, but she was in a numb terror because Cassian had worried aloud to her about the delicate situation on the planet she and Bodhi were being sent to, which she snarkily shook off. In a panic when it had all gone wrong, she shot a message across space to him, some shaky words and frantic sentiments she didn’t care to remember.

She paced heavily around her room, when placed back in it, leg wound sealed shut and fluids returned to her. It was all a blur, but she knew he’d be angry. It was a dumb decision to enter that street brawl, but she couldn’t claim the excellence Cassian possessed. She still needed edges filed down.

She didn’t have much time to worry, because the door open and Cassian’s body crashed into hers with a panic she hadn’t felt since...since the hardest part they’d survived.

He went weak at the sight of her standing, breathing; his hands gripping her waist, legs bowing to the crushing fear breaking on the rocks.

“I was in a meeting,” he hissed against her sternum, “I would have been here the minute you were about to land, but they wouldn’t let me go.”

“It’s okay,” she cupped a hand around the nape of his neck.

“No, it’s not,” he hissed, “I couldn’t come to you until it was all over.”

“It’s all over, that’s what we should focus on.”

She stroked her hands through his hair, he was a bigger mess than she was, and that was saying something. He pulled away to look up at her, eyes haunting and wrecked.

“What’s wrong?” she whispered, realizing there was so much more to this than a hurt leg.

“I had a wife once,” he said quietly, wincing at her stunned expression.

Jyn was open about her pain. She fought for her parents. For Saw. For her family. Everyone knew what she fought for, and she fought ferociously.

Cassian was private about grief. Jyn snooped through files to find his background, though she’d never had the heart to dig deeper than his family in his youth. His mother was a pilot, her portrait in the archives a small image on the corner of her profile, smiling proudly, marked ‘terminated’.

Cassian had her smile. It was like being ripped in two, and Jyn hadn’t even met the woman. She hadn’t known anything about a wife.

She stayed silent, because question would just make Cassian shy away.

“We were very young. Both of us in the rebellion. And I couldn’t be there. She died on some other planet, unable to get word to me, and I-”

Jyn dropped her weight to the foot of their bed, bringing him down with her, so he wouldn’t realize he hadn’t been able to hold himself up anymore. She held his brow to her sternum, cradling him.

“I’m here.”

He grabbed her, a hand curling around her arm hard enough to bruise, his face pressed furiously into her neck.

“I might not have been there, if you-”

“I didn’t.”

“It’s not over yet, and it could still happen anytime-”

“What do we do about this? Give up? Choose the rebellion, or us?”

“I’d have you on an escape pod, in another planet, another universe. Somewhere safe.”

She shivered. “That sounds an awful lot like prison, Cassian.”

His body shuddered with an anxiety she’d never seen on him before. Jyn lifted his face to meet hers. Her lips fluttered over his cheeks, jaw, brow.

“I can’t lose you.”

She pressed her brow to his.

“Then you just have to be grateful when I get back.”

“Jyn,” he held up a small device in his hand, the one that would have received her recording. She braced herself.

She heard her own voice; “Cassian. I’m sorry. It’s going to be okay. I’m just, I’m just scared because you’re not with me this time. I’m sorry. I love you.”

Jyn’s eyes squeezed shut, and she let out a sob. Cassian took his turn to soothe, lying back on the bed and pulling her to his chest.

“I’m sorry,” he whispered, trying to keep a brave face for her.

“I didn’t know how it would end, or if I’d see you again, and I didn’t know you had a wife before, I’m so sorry-”

“We’ll get through this. We have to.”

He held her fiercely. Like he was trying to ease her body inside his, hold it in the structure of his bones for safekeeping.

“What was she like?” Jyn asked as she went limp against him. He wove his fingers into her hair, touching her scalp the way she liked.

“Beautiful,” Cassian admitted softly, “sweet. Gentle tempered. Efficient. We were both very young; we thought, even though we’d been in the rebellion all our lives, it would be over soon. There’d be time for a home, children…”

She could tell just by the feel of his body that he was devastated by that not coming true.

“I’m sorry, Cassian.”

“It was a long time ago, Jyn.”

Jyn allowed herself to be buried inside him as his arms closed around her. They held each other for a very long time, ignoring knocks on the door, or eventually, outside attempts to override the lock. Only Jyn’s insistence removed them from that room much later, with gentle hands reaching to close the distance between them, to check that the other was still there.

It was hard. It was the hardest thing she’d ever done. But she chose him. She chose him anyway. Always would.

 

“So we do this?” Jyn kissed his hand, clasped in hers.

Cassian smiled, the kind of smile that could peel her open, let him root around in the flesh of herself for whatever he wanted to find. She closed her eyes and smiled giddily, surrendering, and met him in a kiss that would never had lasted long enough.

 

Cassian stripped off his jacket and boots, lifting the covers to hear her hiss of disapproval.

“I hope that’s towards Hoth and not you being unhappy to see me.”

“No, no,” she said sleepily, reaching for him blindly, “Hello. Missed you. Welcome home.”

He cuddled up to her back, and though she accepted his touch, she did grimace.

“Cold,” she complained, still snuggling closer.

He nodded grimly. “Sorry. Missed you.”

“I already said that,” in the dim light, he saw her smile. She must have finally seen his face, because her brow furrowed with concern.

“Are you alright? Was it the mission?”

“I’m scared to lose this,” he said softly, kissing her shoulder. She closed her eyes.

“You won’t,” she said sleepily, not really capable of listening.

But in that moment, he believed her. It felt true. He fell asleep like that, holding her tight, and she was there, and he was with her, and that’s all he could ask for.

 

Jyn almost went to the ceremony in the clothes she wore to climb up the mountain, but the monks had amassed quite a collection of items left behind, many of which being no-longer-needed white dresses. They were able to come up with a simple dress and veil that fit. The lace on it looked ancient, very romantic, nothing she would have picked out for herself. Maybe it was better that way, because Cassian was incredibly gruff at the sight of her, grunting two word sentences like “looks nice,” and “suits you.”

He wore the most formal version of his uniform; his jacket and pants that he had managed to make as clean and pressed as possible. His hair was slicked back. And he stood proudly across from her, attentive like the good soldier he was. He was dearer to her, in a soft, familiar way, than anything else.

An alien language dictated the ceremony, which seemed to be fitting, both wrapped up in private thoughts. Cassian had unconsciously proved on several occasions his thoughts were in Festian, which Jyn was infinitely curious about not speaking the language he thought in. Her eyes glanced over him wonderingly. He seemed nervous. Grave. They had a silly little proposal, a light and pleasant thing. This didn’t match the tone.

Ribbons bound their clasped hands. It was very sunny and pretty all around them, Jyn’s eyes flitted around the room, carved into the mountain itself and open, arched windows to let in the light.

She rose up on her toes to kiss him very gently on the cheek. She was scared he was going to break. Her hand right clutched his, folded into his palm, and the other braced on his wrist. He turned to her, back in her world, back in the real world, no longer lost to his fear of losing what was actually happening.

“Remember, this was my idea,” she reminded him.

He smiled at her. The ribbon binding their hands went at its most taut.

“You just said it out loud first.”

A tension in the room seemed to break, and the monks witnessing the union stopped chanting, and Jyn realized it was over. There was a buzz of ceased noise, and after a pregnant moment the bells began to ring. They were even more massive and wonderful standing underneath them. She turned to Cassian, who smiled at her shyly.

“Are you scared?”

He shook her head. His smile was brave.

“Is this hard because you’ve done this before?”

“Not with you,” he said very softly, as much as vow as needed to be made.

They kept their hands tied, for amusement more than anything else, until they made it to their room. Cassian plucked gently at their bindings, patiently unraveling the knots. If Jyn tried, one of them would lose circulation before they got loose.

Jyn smiled at him, pulling her hand free. “Do you think when everyone back at base looks at you, they’ll know you’re my husband?”

He couldn’t keep his hands off her anymore at that point, holding a hand between her shoulderblades as he peeled off his boots, hoisting her up onto the bed before shedding all of his clothes. He kept her dress on for the first time he dove between her legs, licking and kissing in a way that had her bare thighs quaking around his ears, her skirts thrown over his head. She was kind enough to even leave it on, if rucked up to her waist, when she rolled him onto his back and mounted him, clutching his shoulders as he sat up to prevent her from having all the power. His upset wasn’t completely frowned upon; they were rebels after all. And the feeling of his arms banded around her back was never one she could shake away.

“You married me,” she reminded him, her flushed cheek pressed to his shoulder after they’d managed to make each other cum as many times as possible.

“Someone had to,” he said dryly, his fingers dancing lazily up and down her spine. She slapped blindly at him, and he hissed more for show than from pain. She kissed away the offending slap, which was why he’d acted hurt in the first place.

“That was such a dumb decision.”

“The best dumb decision,” he agreed, and sometime after that they fell asleep.

 

Babies were rare, on base. Jyn was nearly never exposed to their presence.

Everyone was too damn young anyway, with entire families enlisting and offering everything to the cause. Jyn often tried to picture a six-year-old Cassian polishing his blaster the way the adult one did. The same tenacity. The same focus.

Jyn wasn’t sure why her eye was drawn the the small Mon Calamari, limbs barely formed yet, as it was carried past them on a city street. They were outside a bar, drinking off a completed mission. And it was carried away, its large eyes glinting. It could only have been hatched a few weeks prior.

Jyn had very little response to children, most likely from a bottled resentment of everything being taken from her so young. Most children had what she most definitely did not and that stunned her with a shock of bitterness.

She realized things had grown silent between them, and Cassian had stopped talking. He was watching too, the child and its mother.

Ever since Scarif they’d skirted around each other, firmly insisting on their strength as partners but too shy to address what happened on that beach. A tense proximity, but a needed one.

“You fancy yourself the breeding type?” she said casually, kicking a rock across the alley.

He swallowed, she watched his adam’s apple dip down his neck. She had a way of observing the little parts that made up Cassian. She pretended it was to learn about her partner. Grow closer as soldiers.

“I used to,” he said gravely, taking a sip to distract from the silence that followed.

Jyn smiled sadly up at him. It took him a minute to meet her eyes, but when he found understanding there, he couldn’t look away.

“It’s okay to want these things,” she said softly.

“The rebellion needs me. There’s no time for...” he shook his head, looking back down at his drink.

He didn’t know how to tell her. They didn’t know how to tell each other a lot of things. It was hard, that they’d been in each other’s arms, ready to go, and then they didn’t. They were stalled. Nervous. Retreating.

“You would be a good father,” she tried instead, because she knew he hoped. Of all the things she didn’t know, she could see into his soul for that longing he had. Cassian Andor had hopes, just like her.

He smiled at her, shyly. “Thanks.”

 

They still had two days to kill, even though the happiness conveyed in the large eyes of the monks declared the obvious answer that their mission was success. So they explored the mountain for as much time as they spent locked in their little room. Jyn found it very amusing to remind him that he was her husband while his cock was in her mouth, it made him agreeable to nearly anything. Her respectable, honorable Captain husband. Cassian also liked taking his wife on all fours, reminding her of her proud consent to be his, even if it was only publically for three days. His tempestuous, wild rebel wife.

In the more sincere moments that they usually avoided, they sat around and told stories as Cassian played with her hair, which she wore down her back in a rare occasion. They tried to keep their hands to themselves long enough to finish a thought or two, but it proved difficult. The schemes of when they would have to hide their union began seriously but always ended with Jyn plotting explicit public sex where they could very easily get caught, which they already did before getting married, but appreciated more now that they were married. Often Cassian’s stories, always happy ones, ended with him sheathed inside her and Jyn laughing heartily enough to make him cease from thrusting to join in.

Every once in awhile, the bells would start up again, and they would still. In a meditative manner, they would appraise each other, and this impulsive, slightly mad decision.

They’d made the right choice.