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“Well, well, well, Kestrel Dawn. Didn’t expect to find you hanging around the Rebellion.”

The hairs on the back of Jyn’s neck stood on end at the sound of the voice. She should have suspected, really, when she saw the Millennium Falcon in the hanger and heard the roars of a Wookiee. There’s only one smuggler in the entire universe bold enough to travel with two such conspicuous companions.

Jyn glanced over her shoulder, nonchalant, to see the cocky grin come into view.

“Han Solo,” she nodded. “I could say the same to you.”

Cassian, who had been standing next to her, examining the evacuation plan the Rebellion had issued, looked up at the exchange. His face was too blank for the average rebel walking past to read him – but after the Battle of Scarif, Jyn was much more than an average rebel. His eyes tightened and his lips were pressed thin; Han Solo’s presence – or that the smuggler who returned the Alderaanian princess to the Alliance was addressing Jyn by an old alias, like they were friends from days gone by – confused him.

Jyn refused to look towards Cassian, choosing instead to focus on the smuggler. An arrogant smile stretched across his face and even standing still Jyn sensed his signature swagger hadn’t changed. If she had to wager a guess, the amount of money and supplies currently being transferred into the Falcon was the cause of the smug satisfaction flowing off him right now.

“Don’t be so cold, kid,” he said. Jyn’s hands clenched into fists at the nickname. “After all we’ve been through together?”

He walked off with a clap on her shoulder, laughing as he went. Jyn willed her heartbeat to slow and her muscles to unclench. She didn’t owe Han Solo anything, she reminded herself, not even admitting that they had a past together.

Don’t go down that path, she told herself. Don’t go down that path.

Cassian’s gaze shifted to her as Solo sauntered away. “You know him?”

Jyn shrugged, turning her attention back to the escape plan. “Knew him, I suppose.”

Cassian didn’t turn back to the plans as she hoped he would. Instead, his eyes stayed on her, drilling small holes into her focus with his intense gaze.

“He called you Kestrel.”

Jyn didn’t answer.

“You didn’t correct him.”

“He doesn’t need to know my real name.”

Cassian turned his head, watching the smuggler once again, and Jyn risked a glance at his face to gauge his expression. His eyes flickered to hers again, before she looked away.

“That could be helpful, you know,” he said and Jyn raised an eyebrow at him.

“My knowing Han Solo could be useful? How?”

Cassian shrugged. “High Command tends to be cautious about who comes and goes from base. Vouching for his character could get him off base quicker.”

Jyn’s ears perked at that. The less time she needed to spend around Han Solo and the less time she needed to confront her past the better. “What would I need to do?”

“Explain to High Command how you know him. Tell them that he’s trustworthy,” Cassian explained. “Just so they have something to go on.”

Explain how you know him.

Jyn shook her head before Cassian finished his sentence. The High Command of the Rebel Alliance knew enough about her background as it was; the last thing they needed was another access point to her turbulent past.

“Never mind then,” Jyn said, her voice clipped. “He can find his own way to make the Alliance trust him.”

Cassian shot her a confused glance, but didn’t ask about their history, for which Jyn was grateful. 

The thought nagged at the back of her mind as Han Solo returned to Base One for a glorious reception, as the princess he saved awarded him a medal for his assistance in blowing up the Death Star, and as Jyn assisted the Rogue One crew in evacuating off Yavin. She avoided him – avoided his boisterous laugh and his ship and his seven-foot shadow – wherever possible. If their paths did cross, phantom pains shot through her ribs and hunger clawed at her insides: the memories of her history with Han Solo, creeping through the cracks in her mind’s cave.

 


 

 

“Jyn Erso, huh?”

Jyn, half hidden by the belly of a damaged X-Wing, flinched at the words, slamming her forehead into one of the ship’s exhaust ports. She released a string of curses under her breath - both at the ship and at the man speaking.

Sliding out from underneath the ship still clutching her forehead ( that was going to bruise), Jyn asked, “What do you want, Solo?”

“Nothing,” the man shrugged, making himself comfortable leaning against a nearby crate, his arms crossed over his chest. “Did you get in much trouble?”

“Trouble for what?” Jyn asked absentmindedly while touching her hand to the new bump on her forehead. No blood came away so she dropped her worries.

“For me blowing whatever identity you’ve got going here.”

“You didn’t blow any identity,” Jyn replied, nonchalant, turning away from Han to grab a rag, wiping grease off her hands.

“So the great military institution that is the Rebel Alliance,” Han’s voice colored the phrase with sarcasm, “doesn’t care that you haven’t given them your real name?”

Jyn sighed. “Did it ever occur to you that I gave you a false name?”

Han snorted in response. “You can call me a lot of things, sister, but stupid ain’t one of them. Kestrel Dawn isn’t your real name. No one going by their real name winds up in the hell I found you.”

Jyn’s teeth ground together in frustration, turning back to the ship. Maybe if she ignored him, he’d get bored and go bother the Princess instead...

“Really, what is it with women in this rebellion hating you for saving their lives?”

But of course he wouldn’t leave - why waste the effort to finding someone new to bother when she was perfectly available?

“Maybe,” Jyn muttered, rummaging through her tool bag and refusing to look at Han, “the women of this rebellion don’t owe you anything and don’t appreciate you sticking around.”

Han snorted, shifting to lean against the X-Wing, right in Jyn’s line of vision. “That’s cold, kid.”

“Don’t call me ‘kid,’” Jyn warned. She stood, wishing her full height was more intimidating, praying she didn’t remind him of the scarred and broken child she’d been the last time they met. “Stay out of my way, Solo.”

“Whatever you say.” Han raised his hands in surrender and stepped back slightly. Just as Jyn thought he was leaving, however, he spoke once more: “Just answer me this. Jyn Erso… Is that your real name?”

Jyn glanced back over her shoulder at him. The name Erso didn’t seem to mean anything to him - most smugglers don’t keep up with high ranking Imperial science officers, it seems - but the name still felt like a precious secret, something she needed to keep close to her chest, hidden deep inside the clandestine cave inside her mind. The idea that the Alliance knew the name still rubbed her the wrong direction.

But…

With her father gone, her mother long reduced to a memory, no one else remained to bear the Erso name. If she wouldn’t claim it, no one else ever would.

“Yeah,” she told Han and gave a small, sarcastic salute. “Sergeant Jyn Erso of Rebel Alliance, at your service.” 

“Jyn Erso,” Han repeated back with a nod and a half-formed smile. “Nice to meet you.”

 


 

 

“I wish that smuggler wasn’t so damn useful,” Draven muttered so that only Cassian heard him. “And that I wouldn’t get a fight from the princess if I kicked him off base.”

Cassian eyed the smuggler in question from across the half-constructed War Room of Echo Base. Settling into the base proved to be more difficult than originally expected – and the original expectations were far from pleasant – but the extra assistance from Han Solo, his Wookiee, and the Millennium Falcon eased more burdens than many wanted to admit. Like General Draven, many members of the high command didn’t trust Solo, Cassian among that number. Cassian had relied on too many men like Solo as double-crossing informants over the years to ever be at ease around him.

But, like it or not, the captain seemed to have made the Rebel Alliance – or was it Princess Leia? – his new home.

“Sergeant Erso knew him,” Cassian commented. He hesitated at the general’s urgent glance. “Years ago. I’m not sure the full story.”

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen them interact,” Draven said, a clear question in his voice.

Cassian had. Not often, and never intentionally, but he’d seen Solo and Jyn interact. Despite all the other details Cassian had learned of Jyn’s past, she never explained how she knew Solo. Since the smuggler knew her as “Kestrel,” Cassian knew their history fell somewhere in the blurry zone right after Saw abandoned her, a section of her life Jyn never wished to speak about.

They weren’t old lovers; of that much Cassian was certain. The envious thought had crossed his mind in those first hesitant days where he and Jyn tip-toed around their feelings for each other before falling headfirst into each other’s hearts and beds, but Jyn never minded discussing flings from days gone by, tended to think the brief connections she made were amusing rather than embarrassing.

Cassian worried that Solo had hurt her somehow, that a desperate sixteen-year old Jyn had depended on the smuggler for something essential – food, shelter, passage off whatever rock she was stuck on – and he’d failed her. The way her shoulders tensed and her hands curled into fists around him, defensive rather than combative, suggested as much.

“If you don’t trust him,then you should tell command.” Cassian had told her when the sight of Solo and the Wookiee entering the hanger made Jyn’s shoulders slouch forward, making her already small frame tinier than normal. If the smuggler scared Jyn then Cassian had a duty to keep him far away from the Rebellion – and from Princess Leia who’s shouting matches with the Corellian were already legendary, only a few standard weeks after the Battle of Yavin.

“That’s not it,” Jyn had sighed, refusing to meet his eyes. “I think he’s trustworthy. I just don’t like him.”

Cassian had grunted in response. Jyn didn’t like many people, and those people traditionally ended up with her fist in their face. Whatever it was with Solo, it was personal .

“If the Sergeant has information on Han Solo’s past, it would be imperative that she shares it with the Rebellion,” Draven reminded Cassian before snorting lightly. “Though if you didn’t get the full story out of her, I imagine it’s unlikely we would.”

Cassian kept his face neutral, as was often necessary when General Draven made less than subtle comments on his relationship with Jyn. “She’d inform High Command if she thought she had pertinent information, sir. I think their interactions were much more trivial. Some form of smuggling activities years ago.”

“Sounds likely.” Draven nodded. He turned to Cassian after a moment, a serious expression on his face. “Do keep me informed if the matters turn out to be less trivial, Captain.”

“Sir.”

At dinner that evening, Cassian found Jyn and Bodhi sitting at a table with Kes Dameron, Wedge Antilles, and Luke Skywalker, all of whom were ignoring their quickly cooling dinners while talking animatedly. Jyn smiled at him as he slid into the seat next to her.

“What did I miss?” Cassian asked, glancing down the table at their smiling faces. “Last I heard, you were assigned to spend the day clearing ice away from the hallways.”

“Oh, we were,” Jyn said.

Cassian raised an eyebrow. “Nothing about that activity is enjoyable.”

“Nothing about any activity on this planet is enjoyable, in case you haven’t noticed,” Kes pointed out. He grinned at Cassian. “But we rebels are resourceful.”

“Imaginative!” Bodhi threw in.

“Truly ingenious,” Luke added.

Before the group spent the next hour naming other adjectives, Cassian broke in. “And you’re certain none of you have been drinking?”

The group laughed.

“Nope,” Jyn assured him, holding out her warm mug of caf – or whatever passed for caf in the rebellion – as proof. “We had a little too much fun clearing that ice away. Made it into a bit of a competition. See who could clear the ice away the fastest.”

“You’ll be shocked to learn that was Jyn’s idea,” Kes laughed. He pointed his fork in her direction.

“I still can’t get over how much power you pack behind your tiny punch.”

Cassian laughed into his own mug of caf. “Just you wait until you see her with truncheons, Dameron. Then you’ll really be amazed.”

Jyn’s grin vanished from her face as another person sat down at the table.

“She’s got a strong set of fists on her, that one,” Han Solo smirked. “You don’t want to get on the wrong end of those, Dameron.”

Kes snorted in response. “I take it you have, then?”

“Nah, not me,” Solo said. “But I’ve seen the unlucky once.”

Jyn scowled. Cassian glanced between the pair, noting Solo’s smirk locked on Jyn. He wasn’t sure what to make of her reaction. In most situations, Jyn’s scowls would be right in line with her confrontational nature, but her reactions around Han had been far from normal. Whatever Solo was hinting at must be deeply personal.

Jyn had reassured him her history with Solo was nothing to worry about, but Cassian was becoming less and less sure with each interaction. Solo had such an effect on Jyn’s personality, a kind of change Cassian hadn’t seen since Jyn had confronted Saw Gerrera on their first mission to Jedha, that he couldn’t help but tense alongside Jyn every time the smuggler came near.

For now, he ran his hand over Jyn’s back and switched the topic of conversation, asking Bodhi about their progress during the day, in hopes of defusing the sudden tension that had come over the table. Later, he’d press Jyn for more answers.

 


 

 

“Are you ever going to tell me the story of you and Solo?” Cassian asked once they were back in their quarters for the evening. His voice was casual, but the memories his question evoked caused Jyn’s spine to straighten.

The torrential rainfall soaking her to the bone. The dust of the street slowly turning to mud beneath her. She needed to move, but forcing her aching joints forward required effort she didn’t have. She couldn’t think past her roaring stomach and broken arm.

She wanted the protection of the Partisans, wanted the warm fire in Saw’s tent and the comforting boom of his voice filling the room. She wanted her mother’s cooking and her father’s reassuring arms.

“Hey, kid,” someone called from above her. Jyn urged her heavy eyelids to open, to assess whether the unfamiliar male voice would be a threat. A human in his young twenties knelt next to her, most of his face blocked by a hood. Rain water ran off it in rivets, splashing onto Jyn. “Need a place to stay tonight?”

Jyn forced herself away from the memories to deflect Cassian’s question.

“I don’t know what you mean,” Jyn said, shrugging on her sleep shirt and resisting the urge to wipe water from her arms when she did so. The memories are all in the past, she reminded herself. Nothing about them can hurt her now. “There’s not much to tell.”

“I stopped believing that a while ago, Jyn,” Cassian told her, arms crossed and leaning against the wardrobe Jyn shoved her parka into. “Every time Solo’s in the room…” His hands waved in the air, searching for the right word. “You’re just so different.”

Jyn glanced sideways at him. “I didn’t sleep with him, if that’s what you wanted to know.”

“No, it wasn’t.” Cassian shifted closer to her, reach out to touch her arm. Jyn forced herself not to flinch away from it and to meet his eyes. “Jyn, I wouldn’t care about that, but I care about you.” His eyes were intent on her face. “I know you say you trust him, but you don’t act like you do.”

“Solo’s fine,” Jyn insisted, her voice short.

“Then what’s the problem?”

“There’s no problem.”

“With the way you act around him?” Cassian raised his eyebrows. “It doesn’t seem like that at all.”

“It is,” Jyn hissed through her teeth. Her eyes flashed and she ripped her arm away from his hand. “Cassian, can’t you drop it?”

“No,” he shook his head, stepping closer to her as she backed away. “Because I need a reason to trust him and you cowering every time he walks into a room is not going to do it.”

“I do not cower,” Jyn scowled. The walls around her mind – the ones that kept her safe in the past, the ones Cassian had so painstakingly torn down since Scarif – growing, forcing distance between her and Cassian, though neither moved. She wanted to lash out at him, she wanted to yell and scream, she wanted to run .

“Exactly,” Cassian said, reaching out to place his hands on her shoulders, keeping her from moving away. “Jyn, you don’t cower. But you do around him, and I don’t want to picture what makes that your reaction.”

She understood, logically, why Cassian wanted the story. Han Solo was becoming an integral part of the Rebellion. If he had a history of assault or rape – thievery was practically guaranteed for anyone carrying the title of “smuggler,” but that was a lesser crime – then Han needed to be removed before he wormed his way to the center of the operation. But nothing of the story painted Han as a character the Rebellion wouldn’t want around. If anything, the story may make the smuggler even more attractive to the rebellion he’d adopted, would likely even make Princess Leia’s heart flutter, to hear of the selfless good deeds Han had undertaken for Jyn.

And since the story didn’t affect anyone else, didn’t hold the key to unlocking the mysterious Corellian, Jyn kept the story to herself.

Jyn had even wanted to tell Cassian the story behind her meeting the smuggler, on nights they were curled up together, but the words would die on her tongue every time she opened her mouth. Cassian had learned so much of her past and had told her so much of his. He never judged, never condemned, just listened and, in ways that most people never would be able to, understood .

But this story sounded too much like failure for Jyn. Murder, sabotage, robberies – those Jyn could forgive, because they were, at the time, necessary for survival. The story of how she met Han Solo was the exact opposite.

Jyn shook her head in response to Cassian. He sighed and dropped his hands from her shoulders, holding them up as he backed away. “Alright. If you don’t want to tell me, that’s fine.”

“Cassian, I…” But Jyn didn’t know how to finish that statement. Watching him walk away – it was only to their bed, but it was still away – brought back the chill of Ord Mantell, made the sound of rain grow louder in her memory, obstructing reality and beginning to drown her.

“Jyn, it’s fine,” Cassian said, his voice calm as he pulled back the blankets on their bed, no doubt trying to give her space. “I trust your judgement. If you say Solo’s fine, then he’s fine.”

She nodded. She was relieved in the same way she always felt when Cassian said I trust you , but the story lodged in her throat. Protective instincts warred with the desire to share this with Cassian. Her brain screamed while her throat shut down the words trying to escape.

Cassian had climbed into bed by the time the words broke through her mouth. “We met on Ord Mantell.”

Cassian’s eyes shot to her face and, though he was clearly interested, his face neutral when he nodded for her to continue.

“I was sixteen. I’d only been on my own for a few weeks.” She shook her head slightly and laughed without humor. “Saw hadn’t thought to leave me with food or credits to buy any, and any I’d gotten from pawning my weapons was gone. I needed work, but most people didn’t seem to ready to take a scrawny sixteen-year-old without scan docs for any respectable job or on any smuggling missions. But I stumbled across an underground fighting ring. And, well, that I knew how to do.”

Cassian sat up at that but stayed quiet.

Bright lights and the boisterous cheers of the crowd flashed through Jyn’s memories. Fights were pure adrenalin – swift and brutal and bloody. All sorts of species, both sentient and non-sentient found their way into the arena. Learning to fight with the Partisans, whose numbers included more species from more planets than most met in a lifetime, gave Jyn a distinct advantage over others in the ring. But that didn’t give her a perfect record.

“I was good,” Jyn said, picking at her fingernails to ignore Cassian’s presence in the room, “and I quickly became a crowd favorite. Tiny girl against terrifying beasts meant horrible odds, so a lot of smugglers made some good money off my fights. Apparently Han Solo was one of them.”

She took a deep breath. “Management wanted to shake things up and put one of their prize fighters up against one of the natives.”

“You fought a Savrip?” Cassian interjected, his eyebrows shooting up at her words. Jyn wasn’t sure where he’d run into one of the brutes, but anyone who met one of the four-meter-tall reptiles rarely forgot its long arms and lethal claws.

“They’re not nearly as friendly as they are on a dejarik board, either.” Once again, Jyn laughed without humor. “They do a lot more damage when they’re not a hologram.”

Cassian stayed silent, eyes serious, waiting for her to continue. Surely he guessed where the story was going, but he needed Jyn to finish it. She walked over to the bed to sit next to him, leaning against the wall and closing her eyes. She heard Cassian shift, presumably to face her, but he didn’t reach out to touch her, as he had earlier. Jyn wasn’t sure if she was thankful or not.

“I was bleeding pretty badly after the fight. I don’t think my face was recognizable at all,” Jyn explained, skipping over the details of the fight itself, both because Cassian wouldn’t want to hear them and because the memories were fuzzy at best for her. “Had a broken arm, too.”

Jyn reached down to trace one of the scars cluttering her forearm, this one four thin red strips left from the Savrips’ claws. Only the winners were privy to medical treatment and a place to stay after the night of fights ended – with so many organics looking for a way to make some credits, no one questioned or cared if one staggered off into the night, bleeding and infected, to never return – so Jyn was thrown out of the building, onto a dark alleyway during one of the few rainstorms Ord Mantell saw during a year. She’d staggered away from the arena, gripping her wounds trying to stem the flow of blood, but she only made it a few blocks before she collapsed. Her food rations had been minimal in the days before the fight – Jyn had been ignoring how she could count her ribs – and now with her wounds begging to become infected, Jyn felt the world overwhelm her.

No one had been coming for her. No Partisan would apply primitive medical supplies and a shot of something strong to numb the pain around a meager fire. Her mother was not waiting with a comforting hand and a prayer to the Force to keep her safe. Not even a temporary partner waited for her in an agreed upon meeting point.

Jyn Erso was on her own.

“I didn’t make it too far from the arena,” Jyn told Cassian. “And I just … couldn’t make myself keep going.”

I curled into a ball and waited to die , she wanted to say. I’d shrunken from a warrior personally trained by Saw Gerrera to a useless coward who couldn’t fight for myself.

“That’s where Han found me.”

“Hey, kid. Need some place to stay tonight?”

Jyn didn’t trust him, didn’t want to follow him, but her stomach roared with hunger, her muscles were limp with fatigue and her vision swam from a concussion; when Han eased his hand under her shoulder to help her up and covered her with his jacket, she couldn’t do more than feebly push him away and the smuggler easily ignored that. She didn’t remember most of the journey, only small patches of images, but when she’d awoken, she’d been safely tucked under a blanket on a stationary ship, a ration bar and a canteen of water sitting next to the bench she was laying on while the Corellian and his Wookiee partner bantered in the cockpit.

“He took me back to the Falcon , pulled out some bacta patches and other supplies. He and Chewie let me stay for a few days. Put me in contact with a good splicer they knew and charted me off planet.” Jyn opened her eyes to glance at Cassian, who still watched her with a neutral expression. “Gave me what I needed to keep going. I never thought I’d see them again.”

Something about her journey with the odd pair of smugglers relit her fire. Not the fire that Saw had instilled in her – a hatred of the Empire so strong it fought Stormtroopers and attacked military bases – but a different, more necessary fire she had lost while she still fought alongside the Partisans: the ability to fight for herself, her need to live. Seeing the smuggler and his Wookiee, reckless vagabonds who fought for no cause other than themselves and their next paycheck but had still stopped to heal a bleeding nobody on a backwater planet, reminded her prioritizing her survival – a lesson Saw never taught her – wasn’t an unforgivable offense. It might even be something to be embraced.

She paused for a moment, pulling herself out of the story and back into the dark room on Echo Base. “Command doesn’t need to know this story,” Jyn reminded Cassian, her voice full of steel.

Cassian nodded and his face turned apologetic. “Just—the way you reacted to him, Jyn. I expected that story to be very different.”

“Yeah,” Jyn said, easing her eyes closed and leaning back against the wall again. “It’s just not a time I’m proud of. I was caught off guard when he showed up here.”

“I understand. I won’t bring it up again,” Cassian promised her.

“Thank you.”

They were silent for a moment. Jyn shifted over, closer to Cassian, resting her head against his chest. His arm snaked around her waist, pulling tight.

“One last question,” Cassian said, his chest vibrating under her ear.

“Yeah?” Jyn asked, hesitant.

“Why did Solo decide to help you? Why not leave you there and forget about you?”

When Jyn laughed this time, it was with honest humor over the memory of Han’s explanation when she had asked the same question. “He said he owed me. The winnings he got from betting on one of my fights paid off the money he owed for the Falcon. "

“I don’t like being in debt, kid, so consider yourself thankful you beat that Mandalorian that day.”

 


 

 

The ceiling of the hastily constructed hallways of Echo Base trembled under the weight of the Imperial Walkers crossing the plain overhead and rebels pushed past Cassian – going the correct way , Kay would tell him, towards the hanger, towards the transports that would carry them to safety or else to fight on the front lines as their orders commanded them, but Cassian needed to find Jyn. If this battled turned deadly, if he didn’t get another chance to see her –

He let that thought end there. They’d faced impossible odds before and come out breathing. He won’t consider the other other option, not while he needed to focus.

“Jyn!” Cassian cried as he entered the command center and spotted Jyn standing at Princess Leia’s shoulder, watching one of the transports blast into hyperspace on a monitor. She turned, the hood of her parka swishing behind her with the hurried movement, when he called his name.

But where Cassian’s heart filled with relief at the sight of her – she’s in the control room, not on the front lines. She’s with the Princess, she’ll be safe – Jyn’s eyes tightened at the sight of him and her lips pursed into a thin line, a sure sign of her lethal anger.

“Your transport is scheduled to depart in a few minutes, Captain, and the Alliance needs you on it,” Jyn informed him, the message short and clipped.

He shook his head as she spoke, moving closer to her. “I needed to see you,” he said and reached out to grab the sleeve of her jacket, keeping her close to him. “I needed to say good-bye.”

Princess Leia glanced at their pair, a slight smirk on her lips, her eyes turning back to the screen as quickly as they had turned to Cassian and Jyn. Cassian knew he had moments – several generals remained in the room, generals who knew Draven’s orders for him and would command him off base as soon as they realized he was here – but seeing Jyn’s face made it worth it.

“Kay won’t leave without me,” he assured her, lowering his voice so only they could hear (not that too many of the panicked rebels in the room were overly concerned with them). “Where’s your transport?”

Jyn inclined her head in Leia’s direction. “I’m at the Princess’s discretion. Where she goes, I follow.”

Cassian didn’t find that overly reassuring (the woman who went rogue to steal the plans to the Death Star and the woman who dared to sass Darth Vader to his face, working together?) until Han Solo stepped into the room and up to the Princess. Inevitably, despite the imminent death and destruction of everything the rebels had worked so hard to build, the pair began bickering – this time about how long they could stay on base. For a moment, Jyn’s attention pulled away from Cassian as she rolled her eyes at the couple.

“I’ll get away,” she assured him, meeting his eyes again. “Even if the princess misses her transport, Han will get us off planet.” She turned towards the smuggler, a challenge in her voice. “If that old ship of yours is up to the task, Solo?”

Han crossed his arms over his chest and smirked. “Are you honestly questioning the Falcon , Erso? Maybe I won’t let you aboard after all.”

Jyn rolled her eyes and turned back to Cassian. Her expression melted in a moment of rare openness. “I trust him.”

Cassian thought back to all the interactions he’d seen between Jyn and Han over the years – how her demeanor had changed from terrified into trusting – and of the story she’d told him – how Han had saved her life before.

Han looked up at him, a serious expression on his face. “She’ll be safe on board the Falcon .”

Cassian gave him a nod. “Thank you.”

“Now go,” Jyn said, giving him a small shove towards the door. “Get away from the Imperials. We’ll meet you at the rendezvous spot.”

“You better.”

Without glancing around the room to take note of any superior officers who might disapprove and ignoring Han’s suggestive whistle, Cassian leaned into kiss Jyn, hard. Just in case.