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In Every Universe

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 Jyn tried to be quiet, she really did. Of course, Cassian woke up anyway as she tried to slip back into their bed. “It’s three in the morning, Jyn. Where have you been?”

“Thought of something I forgot to pick up from the quartermaster before I ship out tonight.”

“So you went to get it now?”

“Nobody there, short lines.”

That had to be one of the worst lies she had ever come up with. Hopefully Cassian was still half asleep and would accept it. She had been surprised she was able to leave without waking him, he was clearly exhausted. Their last mission together had been a mess and Cassian’s mid weight jacket along with his holster were ruined. He had been stuck on medical leave after aggravating his spinal implants. In the meantime, Jyn had gone on a few missions with a Pathfinder squad. In a Lothal market Jyn had found near perfect replacements for Cassian. He had of course gone to the quartermaster and had new equipment issued, but Jyn could tell he didn’t like it. The coat was a dark purple wool that would hit around his knees. It had needed some extra pockets, and a little tailoring. Jyn loved sleeping in his shirts, and stealing his uniform jacket when she was cold so she knew exactly what needed to be done. It was a surprise though, so she had stashed it in Baze and Chirrut’s room and was sneaking there to work on them both. The holster needed a couple of extra pockets for his lock pick kit and a vibroblade. She had noticed his old one was lacking that. The new one the Rebellion had issued wasn’t even the right size for his blaster. He was having to carry his ankle piece there and that wasn’t acceptable. She was almost done with both. When Cassian left for Intel in the morning she would sneak them into his go bag. She couldn’t wait to see the look on his face. She had brought back little trinkets for Bodhi, and a few things for Baze and Chirrut but since she and Cassian were usually together she hadn’t been able to surprise him yet. She had a suspicion his surprised expression would be utterly adorable. He had few people that would even try to do such a thing for him, and even fewer who could pull it off. If she spent a few nights getting very little sleep, he was worth it. Admittedly her interests were a touch selfish- the coat would look amazing on him and the better holster would keep him safe. Verbal affection was difficult for Jyn, but she loved giving gifts. Even if they were apart, a little part of her would be with him.

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" Tell me again ."

 

"Erso, I've told you everything I can about Captain Andor's mission."

 

“Except where he went or how to find him, Sir”  she returned bitterly.

 

Draven gave her a blank spy’s face in response.

 

She turned on her heel and barreled out of Draven’s office. Cassian was 72 standard hours overdue on his check-in. Too long for Jyn’s taste. Bodhi had tried to pacify her by reminding her of the time Cassian was delayed for 2 weeks because of a meteor shower, but Jyn knew in her heart something was wrong. Her mother’s kyber crystal seemed to glow with an unnatural heat. That only happened when something was wrong. Maybe Leia would be more forthcoming with details.

 

Unfortunately Leia was off base on a diplomatic negotiation with some Alderaanian refugees. Jyn paced in the empty briefing room. Her gut was churning, she knew Cassian was running out of time. A throat cleared behind her, she spun around to see Mon Mothma.

 

“Sergeant Erso, I think I can be of assistance. If you would follow me,”

Jyn nodded and the always serene redhead turned and led them towards her office. Once the door was sealed, she pulled a file off of her desk and handed it to Jyn saying “You didn’t get this from me.”

 

“Of course not, Senator.”

 

Jyn left Mothma’s office and headed for the hangar. Cassian had taken a small freighter, so Rogue One the Second was still in the hangar. Bodhi would likely be on board tinkering with something, always sure there was room for improvement.

 

She commed Baze and requested that be bring Chirrut and meet them. If Cassian couldn’t get home, they would go and find him.

 

She waited until the team was assembled before she cracked open the file. Cassian had been headed to the Imperial Academy on Carida. His last check-in before he lost contact indicated that his mission had been a success and he would be leaving the planet soon. So where is he?

 

Suddenly there was a commotion in the hangar. A heavily damaged imperial shuttle had landed. Jyn took off sprinting. The cargo door opened to reveal Kay, carrying Cassian. A medical team swarmed past Jyn, moving Cassian from Kay’s arms onto a stretcher and then rushing to Medbay. All she saw was the dark blood on Cassian’s stolen imperial uniform. She followed them, almost in a trance. Chirrut caught her hand and Baze rested his large palm on her shoulder, the weight reassuring. Bodhi tried to engage Kay in a conversation but the droid remained uncharacteristically silent. He looked garish with Cassian’s blood on his dark frame.

 

The medical team had already prepped Cassian for a bacta immersion by the time they arrived. “Three blaster shots to the chest. One caused a hemothorax and collapsed his right lung. We drained the blood to relieve the pressure. Bacta should help prevent infection and speed his healing. He’s lucky they all missed his spine. He’ll make a full recovery.” Jyn could feel herself shaking. Every member of Rogue One pulled up a chair.

 

The team stayed in the Medbay until Cassian’s treatment was over. The medteam scanned him after he was removed and placed in a bed.

“He won’t need another treatment, just a couple of days of observation. “ Jyn grimaced, wondering if those could be supervised in his quarters. He would pitch a fit if they made him stay.

 

Soon his eyelids fluttered open and his hand thumb traced her knuckles where she had woven their fingers together.

 

He looked at her worried gaze and said “I’m sorry, I’m okay Jyn.”

 

Tell me again , Cassian.” So he did. Then she kissed his forehead and continued her watch as he drifted off to sleep again.

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Jyn woke up to the feeling that someone was watching her. Along with a feeling of safety that she cherished. That meant only one thing, “You’re staring again Cass, staring is not sleeping.”

 

Sorry Jyn, I was just thinking about something.”

 

“Can I help?” She asked, sounding concerned. Her mind racing through what could be the problem. The team’s last op had gone off without a hitch so it had nothing to do with that.

 

He was silent for a few moments before, “I know this sounds absurd, but I feel like when I met you, I finally saw colors . You have brought the light back to my life.”

 

Jyn’s heart spasmed in her chest and her breath caught in her throat. She couldn’t stop herself from reaching out and tracing along his jawline though she struggled for a moment to meet his gaze. It had been a long time since anyone had cared so deeply for her.  

 

Cassian had told her after Scarif, in the medbay, while everything still felt new and safe that he often felt that his world was a haze of gray. Fest had been snowy and gray, the weak light rarely causing full bright day. Then his experiences in the way had left him floudering in a moral gray area. He commented then that it must be nice to see the galaxy in bright beautiful colors.

 

She met his gaze to find it warm and open, as it so often was when they were alone and she couldn’t stop herself from capturing his lips in a gentle kiss before burying her head in his chest.

 

“I know exactly how you feel Cassian. I feel it too.”  She whispered from her hiding place. “Now, go to sleep it’s early still.” She kissed him once more, right above his pounding heart before drifting off to sleep to the rhythm of his gentle breaths.

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Cassian was seated in the galley, the small freighter in hyperspace for the next 16 standard hours, going over the mission briefing again. This time he seemed to be taking notes, eyes never lifting from the datapad in front of him. He had been at this for nearly 4 hours at this point. Jyn was pretty sure he hadn’t moved a muscle since the last time she had checked on him. He started in on this after he drilled her on the mission particulars before they left base, and again after they entered hyperspace. She knew he was worried about the mission but she couldn’t stand it anymore. She was bored and she was not going to watch him do this until they reached Naboo. She would go out of her mind. They had a solid plan, it would work. In the meantime, she would suggest other things they could do. “Cassian, do you want some caf?”

“I’m fine, Jyn.”

“What about one of these delicious protein packs?”

“I’m not hungry, thank you.”

“We could go to bed.”

“I need to finish this, Jyn. I can sleep later.”

 

She walked over, pulled the datapad out of his hand, tipped his chin up to face her and kissed him firmly. “Who said anything about sleeping?” She winked and turned away, walking down the hall towards their small quarters. The sound of her holster hitting the durasteel floor had Cassian following in a hurry.

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Another Imperial spectacle. Jyn wanted to scream. It was all so wasteful- the extravagant displays, the exotic dishes, expensive dresses. Meanwhile, her people were starving. She willed herself to keep her affected smile in place, to make trivial small talk and not let her true feelings show. She was making progress towards bringing her people into the Rebel Alliance. She was learning which Senators were truly Imperial sympathizers and which only played a role while working behind the scenes to facilitate it's destruction. She didn't dare risk those secrets. Strengthened with the knowledge that she was taking an active role in freeing the galaxy, she cemented her smile in place. Just in time, as Director Krennic and her father had entered the ballroom. Having to see her father was difficult enough, knowing that he had seemingly drifted so far beyond her reach and away from the beliefs he espoused while she was a child. Seeing him with the man responsible for that was almost too much. She glanced around discretely, searching for a familiar face to engage in a conversation so that she could look busy.

 

It was hard to distinguish faces, as most of the attendees, herself included, had gone with the theme, shades of gray. Her silk dress draped across body, many varying shades in a dramatic monochromatic contrast. She spotted Senator Organa and his daughter Leia, Senator Amidala her own mentor, and Mon Mothma, in a rather forced looking conversation with Grand Moff Tarkin, but no one else she was familiar with was within a reasonable distance. Galen was glancing around, searching for her no doubt and she could not handle this right now. She gave up on subtlety and openly started searching for an exit.

 

“May I be of assistance, Senator?” The unfamiliar voice held a hint of amusement along with a touch of challenge. She turned to face the speaker and was momentarily stunned. He was striking with a sharp jawline and cheekbones that looked as though they could cut. His eyes held secrets though. Be careful, this one is trouble. A voice that sounded like her mother whispered. Seeing  a chance to look engaged and put off her father and Director Krennic and their clumsy attempts at concern and suggestions of suitors, she grabbed it with both hands.

“I’m not entirely certain sir, but I’m willing to let you try.” Her own voice held a challenge.

 

“A dance, perhaps. Most will not disturb a couple on the floor.” She nodded, took his offered hand and let him lead her away from the corner she had been slinking towards. Normally she tried to network, find allies and hunt out hints of the Rebellion at these events, but she was so exhausted. She had just returned from Aria Prime, the famine had reached new heights and she was so very lost. Her heart ached and her stomach clenched with anger as they passed the buffet table overflowing with delicacies. A fraction of this could feed her people. Instead they died by the hundreds. Not here. She told herself again.

 

Despite never having met before, something about this man called to her. He seemed familiar in a way, that fit with her. She imagined they made a striking couple, the shades of blue he wore blending with the silvers and grays of her own gown.

 

“What should I call my rescuer?” She asked playfully, voice barely above a whisper. Though the music and other couples gossiping would keep them from being overheard.

 

Her companion seemed to take her measure, as if weighing how to answer. The song finished before he finally decided. “Jyn, you may call me Fulcrum.” Her mind raced and a spectrum of colors burst in her heart. Her gray mood dissolved immediately. She hadn’t given him her name, and Fulcrum, she had desperately searched for them for months. When she looked up again, he had vanished.

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Jyn makes a mental note when Cassian admits he has never had nuna tikka masala. The team had been in the mess, discussing the especially tasteless rations the Rebellion had gotten on their last supply shipment. They all started daydreaming about what they wished they were eating instead of the powdery, congealing protein mixture. Jyn mentioned loving Nuna tikka masala. Cassian had tilted his head curiously, face otherwise blank while the Jedhans agreed with her. The spices made the dish deeply flavorful but not overwhelming. Next opportunity that arose, she would make sure Cassian got to try the dish. With all the places they ended up traveling for missions it should be totally feasible.

It seemed a little silly, she supposed, but she had such strong memories of eating that dish with her parents on Lah’mu and then again with Saw and the Partisans. Eating it always felt a little like home to her. She wanted to share that part of herself with Cassian. She felt a warmth in her chest everytime he let some small detail slip about Fest and it’s customs, or even when he spoke his native Festian under his breath while they were each performing their various duties for the Alliance.

What had seemed like such an easy task, turned out be ridiculously difficult. Every time Jyn was on a planet where the dish was common, she was with the Pathfinders. She refused to bring back leftovers and have him possibly get sick. When she was with Cassian, they ended up infiltrating posh Imperial parties, or visiting Imperial Academies. All the food was absurdly fancy and bland and a dish as comparatively loud as masala would draw far too much attention. Still, time went on and she had been trying to share this part of herself with him for seven standard months. She was very close to giving up when something struck her.

Each time Cassian shared Festian food with her, or other cuisines he enjoyed, he made it himself. Not waiting on chance or fate or the Force to grant him the opportunity. The only problem was Jyn couldn’t cook. She could do the old standard of reheating canned foods or rehydrating powdered military rations, but she had never had the chance to make something from scratch before, with real ingredients. Maybe Baze could help her. She wasn’t sure she could handle Chirrut’s knowing bemusement. Bodhi might be able to at least give her directions. This in mind, she set about exploring the market near the rendezvous point for her pathfinder squadron. It seemed almost too good to be true, but she was able to get everything she needed. Kes Dameron looked at her a little funny when she climbed onboard with her purchases, but wisely kept silent. She sent him a back off glare just in case. This was a private matter.

Cassian met the transport when they landed on base. No time to hide her purchases either. He waited until they reached their shared quarters to bring it up.

“What have you got there, Jyn?”

She weighed trying to hide them, but then decided he seemed to enjoy cooking, so maybe he would like making this with her. A new favorite memory for her favorite dish. She smiled a little and told him. His smile was a little wider, and his eyes crinkled gorgeously at the corners.

She was right. He loved the dish. She, was pretty sure she loved him.

Chapter Text

Lt Cassian Andor was 13 the first time he killed a man for the Rebel Alliance. As the life left that man’s eyes, Cassian realized that he was giving up his life as well. Someday, someone would snuff out his future as easily as he had pulled the blaster trigger. Major Draven could tell something had changed as Cassian debriefed. The boy was younger than he preferred in his division, but no one could dispute his talent. He also suspected that the Lt had finally learned what this was was going to cost him. The future wasn’t for men like them, it was for who they fought for. Men like them, they were for now, for the war, for the fight. They wouldn’t know what to do with peace anyway. Nevertheless, he made sure to add a note to the boy’s file. Needs a partner. Cassian would last longer if he wasn’t alone. Perhaps a small chance that the war wouldn’t take all the boy had to give. It was the best he could do, he was the boy’s XO not his father.

 

Cassian’s dedication to the cause was the one thing that never burned out. His heart and souls had large scars carved into them and Mon Mothma and Senator Organa often wondered how much he would have left for the  future. Cassian himself knew better than to plan for that. He focused on giving all of himself to the now. So, even though it hurt, he left that contact behind, found that perfect sniper hideout and lied his way through Imperial bases. Without people like him, people who could live in the dark, there would be no light in the future.

Chapter Text

It had been several days since Jyn had seen Cassian. He was avoiding her. Much to her annoyance, her awareness of that fact didn't make it any easier to find him. For all intents and purposes he had turned into a shadow. She would catch a glimpse of his profile, turn to talk to him and he had vanished. For all he, and the rest of Rogue One had encouraged her to speak with them if something was bothering her, because burdens were lighter when shared; he was proving to be better at giving advice then following it.

 

Their last mission had gone more than a little sideways. They had gotten separated early on, and been forced to fight their way out and back to one another. Cassian's cover had nearly been blown by a contact who decided the Empire paid better. Jyn had tried to get him to elaborate on the details of the botched meeting, but he just clammed up and looked haunted.

 

On their way back to the shuttle they had been intercepted by an old contact of Jyn's. She had run a couple of small jobs with them before she had been caught and sent to Wobani. Their easy manner and warm humor had sent Cassian retreating even further.

 

Jyn hadn't been happy to see her old ally. They had been interested in more of a relationship than Jyn wanted. They seemed to think now was as good a time as any to come onto her again. Jyn was sure that it wasn't. She knew who she wanted- and it wasn't them.

 

Back on the shuttle she had caught Cassian watching her before glancing down at his hands and then looking away. His demons were chasing him again. She needed to catch him before they did. He would spiral and she couldn't be sure that General Draven wouldn't take advantage of Cassian's doubts. Not with the intention of hurting Cassian, but just seeing an opportunity to send his favorite asset on a deep cover op. Many of his established covers left no easy explanation for a partner, much less a team and so they were in danger of falling apart. Every so often Cassian would take a solo mission to help keep them established, but Jyn knew Draven wanted more.

 

She left the training room, having beaten out some of her frustrations on some unsuspecting new recruits, deciding today would be the day she caught her ghost and helped pull him back into the light. She ran through a list of likely places to find him. The repair bay was one of his favorites. He loved messing with old tech, usually saying that at least machines acted in predictable ways. Though she found Kay down there, the towering droid informed her that he hadn't seen Cassian, though if she didn't know better, she would think the droid was a bit worried about his friend. If she called Kay on it, he would just remind her that he wasn't programmed for emotions.

 

Maybe Cassian had convinced Bodhi to let him tinker with the ship a little. A thorough search of the hangar showed that he wasn't there either and all the techs denied seeing him. He hadn't checked out an climbing equipment or talked with control about taking a hike through the jungles surrounding the base. She was seriously drawing a blank, while her concern ratcheted up.  

 

Then she overheard some ground troopers talking about a guy in the shooting range who was terrifyingly good. Hitting targets with a short range weapon that should be impossible and she immediately knew who it was. He almost never went to the range, said it was a waste of cartridges and he didn't need the practice.

 

She found him towards the back, half in shadow, concentrating hard on whatever he was seeing in his sniper scope.

 

"Cassian, " she started softly, "what are you doing?"

 

"Leave me be, Jyn."

 

"No, I won't. You can't be alone right now Cass, you've already been alone too long."

 

"I'm always alone, Jyn. Even when I'm with others. Have you heard what they say about me? Spy, spook, untrustworthy. Incapable of friendship. Heart of stone. Icewater veins. If I try to talk to anyone about what happened it only gets worse."

 

Jyn wasn't sure where he had gone in his mind. Swallowed in he past somewhere. Reliving a time where asking for help had resulted in a painful rejection. She would never treat him that way, none of Rogue One would.

 

"Cassian, trust goes both ways."

 

He glanced sharply at her.

 

" I trust you, it's time for you to trust me. Trust us. I know you trust us on ops, now trust us with yourself. With your past, your demons. Take a shot in the dark."

 

He was silent for several moments, but Jyn was determined to wait him out.

 

"Well, I'm a bit damned if I do and damned if I don't." He said finally.

 

"Is this about Carida?"

 

"Yes. My contact tried to turn on me. I had to kill him. He was trying to run through the warehouse district, to get to the 'trooper depot. I was shooting blind. All I could think was what if I hit someone by accident. I have enough blood on my hands, I don't need to add innocent blood to it." his words came fast now, almost tripping over themselves in the rush.

 

Oh Cassian, Jyn thought, her heart aching. Always so afraid we will reject you, see you as a demon. Never. She swore to herself. She wasn't good at giving comfort and he was even worse at accepting it, but she would try. His mission to Carida, sideways as it had gone, had been a success. His traitorous contact had brought the requested information, they just never intended to hand it over. Cassian had gotten it anyway. Names, plans, locations for a new fighter craft. This would save thousands of lives.

 

"Cassian, come on, lets go to the cantina. The team is waiting on us."

 

He looked a bit like a rebooting droid for a moment, before he nodded.

 

She even managed to get him to shake his gloom long enough to dance with her later when most of the rebels had called it a morning. His soft smile as they swayed on the floor was all the thanks she needed. 

Chapter Text

**Burn-

For as long as Jyn could remember, she had burned with emotions. When she was with her parens on Lah'mu it had been the warm glow of a hearth. Safe, loved, knowing she had a place in the universe. Then, Krennic had come with his Deathtroopers and her family was lost forever. The flame inside of her flickered in time with the dying lantern she had held inside the hatch. She had been young, alone and terrified. With Saw and his Partisan's she had burned with a righteous anger. The Empire had destroyed so much and she was going to destroy them in return. They would never hurt anyone else like they had hurt her. Her fire came to life in her fighting as her blaster tore through 'trooper armor and her truncheons sent them crashing to the ground, where they lay limp. The bombs she built brought down their structures in a dazzling explosion and blew their supply lines into smithereens. Her passion flared and she had been strong, wild and alive. After Saw left her behind, her fire grew cold. Her icy gaze burned anyone it touched as she made her way through the galaxy, fighting to survive. Grifting and smuggling didn't feed the fire and it had smoldered down to near embers. Wobani had very nearly smothered it completely. It was hard to burn bright in a place so soul crushing. Only her anger and fierce desire to outlive her truly despicable roommate kept any of her alive. The rebel rescue brought her fire to life again, it gave her a purpose and she burned bright and fierce. She still had a fire that could consume the Empire. Her passion ignited others and somehow, they stole the plans. She wasn't conscious when the Deathstar was destroyed, but it seemed poetic that her father's other child died a fiery death. That death gave her fire even more life. It was not as wild and destructive as it was with Saw though. Here, in the Rebellion it felt more like the small, homey glow of Lah'mu. It flared on missions, but as she glanced at Cassian intently studying his datapad sitting next to her, her chest glowed with the comforting warmth of home. For her it had always been the people, not the place. This home wasn't going anywhere. She wouldn't let him.

 

 

 

*** Escape- Jyn's life had been a series of near misses and frantic escapes. Escaping from the Empire, leaving Coruscant for Lah'mu. Then running from them again, into the hatch. Wih the Partisans, she worked to deal as much damage to the Empire as possible, and then escape again. After Saw had left her, she tried had been forced to escape again and again. First from untrustworthy partners, then she found herself running from bad deals and blown aliases. It had all fallen apart when she was sent to Wobani. The Imperial prison from which there was no escape. The whole plane was a prison. The Rebel Alliance had freed her anyway. Though their offer came with a price. She knew they would never waste the manpower to return her if she refused. Though she hadn't been sure at the time that General Draven wouldn't just take her out into the jungles somewhere and shoot her. Or perhaps he would have ordered Cassian to do it. It was all irrelevant as she had agreed to their price for her freedom. The Death Star mission, Operation Fracture as it was technically called, was just one escape after the other. Getting off of Jedha before they were crushed in the falling catacombs, leaving Eadu in the wake of the X-Wing assault, then the truly death defying last minute escape from Scarif. She had been so sure death was coming for her in that moment- that all her luck had run out and her time in the galaxy was done. She had clung tightly to Cassian, wanting to give him the same comfort she was getting from his embrace and then suddenly arms were pulling them both into a transport and then the silence of hyperspace. Impossibly her mission was complete, and her path to freedom was so very clear. Yet, as she sat on one of the old temples, watching the sun slowly disappear behind the lush green jungle, she had no desire to run. She didn't feel each heartbeat screaming survive, you have to get out, run, go, as she had for so long. She felt safe, content, at home. No need to escape from that. She heard Chirrut's gentle laughter and Baze's harrumph from the landing pad, K2's metal footsteps clunked as he tried to convince Cassian to go to medbay and Bodhi tittered a little nervously. She climbed down from the temple, her family was looking for her.

Chapter Text

Jyn could feel the chill of the moors settling in her bones as she paused at the end of the road leading to her abandoned family home. She had sworn to herself she would never return to this cursed place after the attack but she had run out of options. Her father was dying and all her searches for a cure, both natural and supernatural had been fruitless. Her mother’s texts were here and Lyra had far more research and knowledge than Jyn had even been able to collect. Duke Krennic insisted that is why Lyra was killed during the attack. Her craft had brought something evil, something seeking revenge. Jyn personally felt that if anyone’s craft would bring the devil- it was Krennic’s. It hadn’t been demons that had killed her mother, it had been wolves. Shapeshifters were on the outskirts of the demimonde, considered too violent and erratic for any type of polite society.

She needed more than just her mother’s texts though, she needed to speak with her mother. Jyn tugged her shawl tighter, picked up her traveling bag and made her way through the mists towards the manor. Her heavy velvet skirt swished gently and her heeled boots crunched on the gravel. The house was dark, of course, no one had visited in years. All the furniture would be covered in white cloth, but the floor would be coated in dust. The staff had of course cleaned everything up first. Jyn fished the gilded key out of her bag, and the lock turned almost silently. She steeled herself and pushed the door open, half expecting a snarling monster to lunge through the newly opened door. Instead a suffocating silence and darkness that her lantern seemed unable to penetrate. She made her way slowly and carefully through the hall, lighting the wall sconces as she went. The more lights, the more warning she would have if anything or anyone entered the house. Dark spirits would be forced to stick to the shadows or smother the lamps. She ignored the parlor, and the sitting rooms, avoided the stairs to the bedrooms and focused on her mother’s workroom.

A lady having any such space had been uncommon, but Galen loved his wife dearly and knew she needed a private space to work. Lyra had practiced her craft in the attic and Jyn knew her best chance was there. It had been a long day, she should rest before attempting this, but she refused. She had waited long enough already. Her father hadn’t wanted her to leave London and had repeatedly delayed her journey. In the end, Jyn had been forced to sneak away. Krennic would know where to look for her though, her father told him everything, so time was of the essence.

 

Lamps lit in the room, Jyn set to work purifying the space. No telling what foul taint may have settled as a result of Lyra’s death. Even those simple spells had her energy flagging. This is dangerous. You know better. She ruthlessly silenced the more rational part of her mind. She could rest when she was finished. That way, even if Krennic’s men came to haul her back to London, she would have gotten what she came for. She needed answers.

The dreams were telling her something. At first she had assumed they were from the trauma of her mother’s death, but they were too lasting. The people in them shifted though a wolf was always present.  She thought it was always the same one, but perhaps they all looked the same. None of it would matter if Krennic got his way though, and her father was weakening. Each day he was less himself, more just an empty memory. She had no coven to consult, no connections to anyone, her mother was her only hope.

 

She drew her pentagram in careful, precise lines, checked her symbols against her book and lit the candles. She had never attempted this before. She clutched her crystal tightly and pictured her mother as she intoned the incantation. A breeze rustled the curtains despite the closed windows, but otherwise the room was silent. Do I repeat it? She wondered. Slowly, a shape began to form inside of the pentagram. Jyn reached for the bone knife with her free hand.

The blurry, vaguely human form began to speak, “Peace, sister witch. I mean you no harm.”

 

Warmth flooded through her at the voice, followed by a fierce sadness. It was her mother.

 

“Do you not recognize me?” she asked, her voice tinged with that same sadness.

 

An eternity of moments seemed to pass, and yet also no time at all while Lyra’s form came into focus. She looked the same as in all Jyn’s memories.

 

Then, “Jyn? My child, what are you doing here?”

 

“Mum.” Jyn felt like a little girl again, and all she wanted to do was throw herself into her mother’s arms and know that she was safe. The flickering in the spirit before her reminded her sharply that wasn’t an option.

 

“Father is in trouble, and I fear so am I.”

 

Lyra’s expression turned sharp, “Krennic. Tell me everything.”

 

So Jyn did. How after Lyra’s death Krennic came to heroically collect them. He had cut Jyn off from the witches and warlocks of society, trying to force her to come to him. Galen had resisted at first but then something had changed. Each day he seemed more and more like an automaton or a golem.

 

Lyra nodded, looking thoughtful. “There is something else though, my daughter.”

 

“I dream of wolves. Not nightmares of your death, at least not usually anymore. But each night there is a wolf, I refuse to associate with wolves. Not after what they did to you.”

 

Lyra sighed heavily, “I have much to tell you and very little time. A summoning takes a lot of power and you will need to keep your reserves up. I’m afraid you and your father are in terrible danger. Krennic has been dabbling for years in craft that is banned. I suspect his magics are behind the wolf attack that killed me. That is abnormal behavior for the packs.”

 

Lyra’s form began to waver and her speech gained urgency, “He has your father under his power. He has crushed his will and bound it to his own. To control you. The wolf is not your enemy. You were born with a wolf mark. I kept it hidden and the magic still lasts. I suspect he needs you. I love you, Jyn.” The form flickered once more and was gone.

 

Jyn collapsed to her knees, emotionally overwhelmed and magically drained. Silent tears were rolling down her face and her chest felt empty. She was all alone. Her father unable to help her. Who knew what Krennic wanted for her. The wolf, it was all too much. No. You are not going to sleep on this floor like some swooning maiden. You will at least find a bed.

 

She descended the stairs, heading for her childhood room out of habit when she heard a sound that turned her blood to ice. A wolf howl- but not the usual full moon call, this one was full agony. She knew this voice, it haunted her dreams along with the wolf, and she rushed towards the door. She had to know, and the wolf sounded close, though her childhood on the moors had proven that sound traveled a great distance here. Nonetheless, when she opened the door a fraction she saw him and felt a tingling warmth on her chest. The gray wolf from her dreams, who always seemed to be staring straight at her, was bleeding profusely on her front step. Now what? If I leave him here, he may die, if I bring him inside he could kill me. She wasn’t sure how long she stood there, trying to decide, but he roused enough to start keening and that settled it, she wasn’t leaving him outside.

 

With some liberal use of her exhausted magic she managed to wrangle him onto the chaise, and dressed his wounds. That would have to be enough for now. She went up to her room to remove her blood stained clothes and rest. She slept heavily, and this time instead of a wolf in her dreams it was a man. Dark haired, tan, with a warm accent and kind dark brown eyes that caught amber in the right lighting. He stayed with her as a shadow chased them through the dark. Whenever she was left behind, he came back for her. Her mother’s voice telling her she was wolf marked echoed through the dream as well.  

 

When she came downstairs the next morning, and checked the chaise, the grey wolf was gone and in his place was the man from her dream.