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give me a reason to love you

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Hera has never had sex with a human.

Hera, in fairness, has not had a lot of sex. Her entire life, she's been engaged in active rebellion. She can remember running information when she was only six years old, and it hasn't stopped since. There was a man once, another Twi'lek, another child of revolution; it was quick but intense, as these things so often go, and she hasn't seen him in years.

She's married to the rebellion now. There is no time for entanglements. How do people meet, anyway, when they want to fall in love?

--

And then Kanan happens, and everything changes.

Kanan has a story about her. Hera has never heard it, but she knows the shape of it. Kanan is a romantic, whether he admits that about himself or not; Hera knows that he has some story about how she changed his life, how from the moment he saw her he was a new man, how he knew he loved her from the first instant.

Hera did not love him from the first instant. Hera is not a romantic. Hera is a realist. Hera assessed his strategic value, slotted him into the schematic in her head, and went from there. Kanan knows how to do that, but it's not in his nature; maybe he learned it from her.

Maybe it's a fair trade. There's something romantic in her now, something that's not her own doing.

--

When Kanan and Hera finally have sex-

That makes it seem like there is a linear progression, an element of inevitability. There is not. It masks heated words, quiet moments where hands brushed, a few nights where Hera locked her door not out of concern but so that Kanan could see the evidence of her anger clearly on the cockpit indicators. It hides the way they went forward and back, seemed like they were so close only to fall away again. It does not come close to telling the story that there is to be told, which is chiefly about heads being pulled out of asses and love creeping up slowly and uncertainly.

Nevertheless, Kanan and Hera do have sex eventually, and it is good.

It's good enough that they do it again, and again, and a number of times after that; they're adults, and once Kanan has proven he can focus on the mission even when what he really wants is to go back to the Ghost and get laid, there's not a good enough reason to stop.

This time is not hugely different from the others, except in its length, though there seems to be something about it that Hera can't put her finger on, no matter how much she reaches for it. Kanan is on the floor, on his knees, and he's had his face buried between her thighs for what must have been an hour at this point. Hera's forgotten how many times she's come, forgotten everything except the wet heat of his mouth and the way his hair feels between her fingers as she holds him against her. She can't bear the thought of letting him go, so he stays, as steadfast as if she commanded him to do it.

She knows he must be hard enough to hurt, but when she looks down at him, he's not touching himself. He looks so focused, like there isn't another thing in the universe, nothing but her, nothing but pleasing her, nothing but pushing her forward, up to dizzying heights. And suddenly it's not enough, not nearly enough; she needs more of him, every bit of him, can't deal with having him here and so far removed at the same time.

"Stop," she says, more gasp than word, but Kanan stops, looking up at her, his eyes unclouded even when it seems like they should be fogged with lust. She feels like she should have something to say, something for this moment, something practiced and coy.

She doesn't.

She just has to be there with him, instantly; she doesn't even have the presence of mind to pull him onto the bunk with her. She slides down heavily, her thighs on either side of his, and pins him to the floor, his back smacking hard against the cold surface. He doesn't have a question, a complaint, just lets her bend down over him and kiss him wildly, as she desperately searches for a link between them, a way to get closer.

She just kisses and kisses, for long moments; he runs his hands up her lekku, and that, the sudden punch of desire it sends through her, somehow that breaks the spell. She reaches between them, fumbling for his cock, fumbling as she tries to line them up so she can take him down. She manages it, and the first push of his cock inside of her is so good, exactly what she needed; she reaches for his hands, twining their fingers together as she starts to ride him.

Kanan is looking up at her, and how much he worships her is written all over his face. In that moment, he has no secrets, no artifice; in that moment, she can see everything he is, in his rawest, truest form. She wants to close her eyes to get away from that look, unable to bear the weight of it, unable to parse the thrill of power that goes through her when she sees it, but somehow she can't. Somehow, it would be throwing it in his face, rejecting him when he's ready to give her so much, and she can't bear the thought of doing that, of what it would make her if she would do something like this in bad faith, what it would make her if she would let him crack himself open for her and give him nothing in return.

"Love," she sighs, squeezing his hands. "Oh love, please-"

She doesn't know what she's asking for, but he nods like he knows; he pushes up into her, meeting her as she thrusts down onto him. She doesn't know if it's what she meant, but it's so good that she'll take it without question. She needs this, needs him with her, to push up and up and up and stall out and freefall and somehow, improbably, like always, come out safe on the other side.

"With me," she pants.

"Always," Kanan says, which is not what she meant and just like him. Before she can draw another breath, she's right there, coming hard around him, and it's only heartbeats before he joins her, his fingers clenching hers as he spills into her.

It's a long time before they move, before they do more than stare at each other and breathe heavily. Hera would like to say that she does something other than list to the side and flop onto the floor next to him, but that really is the most accurate way to put it. Kanan turns toward her, putting his hand on her hip, his fingers playing over the scar there.

"Is this what humans do?" Hera asks, unable to help it.

"Is what 'what humans do'?" Kanan says, sounding confused.

"Never mind," she says, because that in itself is a kind of answer.

"Now I'm curious," Kanan says, propping his head up on his hand. "Is this a Twi'lek thing?"

Hera frowns. "Is what a Twi'lek thing?"

"I know Twi'leks aren't treated fairly everywhere," he says, which is one of the most massive understatements she has heard in a very long time, "but I'm not that kind of guy. I would never use you like that."

"That much is obvious, love," Hera says, trying for flippant but obviously missing the mark.

"What's that supposed to mean?" he asks warily.

"You're very-" She doesn't know what to put there that doesn't sound accusatory or strange. You act like you worship me, she doesn't say. You overwhelm me, and I like it too much.

Kanan is still staring, waiting for an answer, and the silence is growing uncomfortable.

"You're very generous," Hera says finally, unable to find something stronger.

Kanan's brow furrows. "Do you not want me to be?"

"Don't you dare stop," she says, before she can think better of it, and Kanan smiles smugly. "I just worry about whether you're satisfied."

Kanan chuckles. "Don't worry about me."

"No," Hera says stubbornly. "I want to know, Kanan. This doesn't work if you don't talk to me."

"Satisfying you is what satisfies me," Kanan says, and there's something odd about it; it sounds like the truth, but he doesn't sound happy to admit it. "That's what I want. Honestly."

"I see why you were so popular with the cantina girls," she says lightly, but before she's even done saying it, she realizes she's screwed up somehow.

"Right," Kanan says. He makes to sit up, but he doesn't protest when she pulls him back down.

"Sorry," she says, "That was petty of me."

"I deserved it," he says, shrugging.

"No, you didn't," Hera says.

"I've never felt about somebody the way I feel about you," Kanan says, not looking at her. "When we make love, it's almost like meditation. I feel-" He pauses for a long moment, and Hera doesn't even dare to breathe. He sighs. "Clear."

She puts her fingers under his chin, turning him to face her. She kisses him softly, gently, resting her forehead against his when they part.

"Then don't stop on my account," Hera tells him. Kanan pulls him to her, kissing her again.

--

Life is not the same with Kanan.

Life would not be the same without Kanan.

Both of these things are equally true, but by now, Hera knows which one matters to her more. Now, she knows what she would be missing, what it feels like to have a partner, to have someone who is more than that. She knows what it is not to be alone, even in the depths of the night, her support a shout or a reach or a hair's breadth away. She can get by without any of those things, but she wonders now if she was ever doing anything but getting by.

The rebellion can learn to share, because she's not giving this one up.