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Felt Like Hope

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Jyn leaned against the wall. There was a perfectly good bunk, she was sitting on it. It was much nicer than anything she’d had in awhile, but lying down on it didn’t seem like a good idea. For starters, it wasn’t hers.

The minute Bodhi had put down the Imperial cargo shuttle, Jyn was running to find General Draven or Mon Mothma, desperate to get someone to listen to her.

She'd been brushed off and told to wait for the Council to convene. Irritated and brimming with energy, she had paced the halls of the facility until she started checking open doors and slipped into this room. Someone’s living quarters, but who, it didn't matter. Jyn only wanted to sit instead of pace.

Closing her eyes wasn't going to happen. Every time she did that, she saw her father’s body, wet, crumpled, but losing warmth and he looked exactly the same. She’d become a soldier and he was the same. She got him back just in time to lose him again.

The slide of the door startled her out of her thoughts. “Yes?” she asked, looking up to see Cassian, exactly who she didn’t want to speak to.

Cassian stood there in the doorway and hesitated a second, he looked down at her and then over his shoulder. There might have been someone with him but she didn't see, didn’t care enough to check. He came in, just far enough that the door shut, and stood with his arms folded.

“I thought you’d gone.” HIs voice was gruff, she guessed he wanted to start another fight or maybe just pick at her.

“Me? Gone? Where would I go? You basically kidnapped me and brought me here. Then dragged me away from my dying father.”

“I saved you. Both times.”

“Semantics.” She rolled her eyes. “But why would I run now? I have to tell the council. We have to get the plans from Scarif, if not, my father’s life’s work will have been pointless.”

“His life’s work creating a flaw in a giant, genocidal weapon, sure, he also created the weapon but-”

“Don’t,” she cut him off, unwilling to hear whatever else he might have said. “He helped them to protect me. You of all people should understand doing bad things for good reason.”

She knew it was a low blow, but she was pushing, waiting for him to push back.

“I was coming to apologize,” Cassian ground out, his jaw ticked and she knew she'd hit the right spot.

“You're doing great,” she said, sarcastically, standing up to get in his space.  

Cassian unfolded his arms quickly, if she’d been paying attention, she might have seen his hands flex at his sides like he wanted to touch her. But Jyn was still angry with him from the fight before and she couldn't help but move closer to him. Her skin was humming and maybe if she was closer, it would stop.

It didn't.

Instead, the close proximity made her forget her string of snappy comebacks. She was forced to stand there, inches from him, looking up at him and noticing how long his eyelashes were.

“You were so stupid to climb up to that platform.” It sounded full of concern despite the harsh tone, but she could have been imagining that, until she saw him gulp and give her a once over.

“You came after me, are you in any position to be name calling?” She didn’t mean to almost whisper the question but something was clearly happening to her, she couldn’t help it, it was involuntary. Jyn but the inside of her cheek and caught his eyes on her lips. “I'm sorry.”

“For what?” Cassian breathed out, slowly, unsure and tense, right there, so close to her.

It felt like there were rules against this, like it wasn’t allowed but she didn’t care. It’d been that way in Saw’s band of rebels. Probably because he didn’t want the soldiers messing with her. But she wasn’t a teenager anymore, still she couldn’t shake the feeling that it was something worth apologizing over. Jyn felt herself moving towards him, standing up on her tiptoes.

“For this.”

She reached around his neck and pulled him down, just barely, so she could reach his lips with hers. They’d been fighting a minute ago but now they both were tentative, soft, and Jyn worried maybe he didn’t want to kiss her, so she started to pull away, but felt his hands grasp her hips.

“Nothing to apologize for,” Cassian said, his lips brushing hers again as he spoke, coaxing her back to him.

She laughed against his mouth, tangling her hands in the hair at the nape of his neck, kissing him more fully and enjoying the way his hands hand wound their way under her shirt and how his fingers moved up and down along her spine.

It was hardly the time or the place. But she didn’t have anywhere to be and someone else’s bunk would have to suffice.

“Still really stupid of you to go out on that platform,” he said, after she’d walked him backwards, the back of his knees hitting the bunk so he sat on the edge of it.

Jyn stood between his legs as he looked up at her in awe.

“Really stupid of you to come running after me.”

She pulled her shirt over her head, tossing it behind her and quickly undoing her pants. When he saw what was happening, he pulled his shirt off as well and leaned back on his elbows to loosen his pants.

“Couldn’t just let you die.” His response was quiet, like he surprised himself with it.

Jyn straddled his hips, they both hissed when she sunk down on him. Then he was kissing her neck and she almost forgot where she was and all the bad things that had happened in the last few days.

“You could have died getting to me,” she said in between gasps and thrusts of hips.

“But I didn’t.”

It was absurd. She shouldn’t care. The words Cassian said didn’t mean anything. People would say anything during sex, Jyn herself had lied to get ahead on a few occasions, but it didn’t feel like that. Every particle in her body felt bright, it felt like the truth.

It felt like hope.

 

--

 

So now she was naked, in someone else’s bunk, on a different moon, in a different system than she’d started her day in.

It was a small space but she didn’t mind being stuck to Cassian’s side. The feel of his warm skin was comforting and Jyn realized that maybe, since she’d met him, this was the place they’d been trying to get to. Not necessarily the sex, but they’d been orbiting each other, invading space, constantly trying to get closer since the beginning. Shoulder to shoulder to him, but tangled limbs and wandering hands. She was content.

His finger traced the line of her collarbone before he lifted up her necklace. “From your father?”

“My mother,” she corrected. “She gave it to me before she left me.”

“Left you?” He sounded surprised.

“We always knew they’d come for my father. There was a plan. We’d grab our things and we’d run, hide in the special place, underground, but that day, she couldn’t do it, she gave this to me.” Jyn fingered the crystal and tried not to be overcome when Cassian put his hand over hers, holding it in support. “Sent me to hide, and went back, I don’t know why, she had know she couldn’t stop it.”

“Stupid,” he said, barely audible, but it wasn’t meant to berate her mother.

It meant something far more upsetting, Jyn knew he was recalling what he’d done for her and what she’d done for her father. Cassian understood her mother but Jyn couldn’t think about that.  

“I never saw home again.”

She thought he might say something. Try to comfort her like he’d been doing all along, but he actually let go of her hand now.

“You should try to sleep. You'll need energy for the Council.” His voice was more detached now, taking her back. “They won’t be easily convinced.”

She felt her stomach drop, reality flooding back in. She saw her father. felt the cold seeping into him. Heard the rain and explosions. “I don’t need to sleep.”

Cassian raised an eyebrow, noting her defiance, and seeing right through her.

“It’s okay to say you don’t want to sleep because you’re scared of what you see when you close your eyes.”

Jyn scoffed but he wasn’t buying it.  

“It happens. I'll stay so you can rest.” It wasn’t patronizing but she wanted it to be, it was easier to be upset that way.

She started to say something but he pulled the blanket around her, lifted himself up, resting his cheek on his hand, and ran his other hand along her hairline, pushing the hair back behind her ear. His touch was so gentle she couldn’t help but close her eyes.

“I’m fine,” she mumbled, but felt herself drifting off.

 

--

 

Someone was calling her name, but she didn’t want to see who. She wanted to keep sleeping, she wanted to stay hovering in this cozy spot, warm, comfortable, but...alone, she realized.

Begrudgingly she opened her eyes. He left. And Bodhi stood at the door, nervously shifting from one foot to his other.

“Jyn,” he said. “They’re going to start, you have to come.”

She looked down and realized that she was still naked under the scratchy blanket so she pulled it up around her a little more.

“Give me a minute,” Jyn said, waving a hand at Bodhi.

When he left, she finally sat up and looked around the room for her discarded clothes. She found them all neatly folded in a pile at the foot of the bunk.

It was better that he was gone. This wasn’t something. And if she convinced the Alliance leaders to take this mission, if they survived it, they’d go their separate ways. Jyn was going to do this for her father, for the galaxy maybe, but that was it. Everyone benefitted from some quick release during a time of stress.

This wasn’t something.

And if she kept telling herself that, she’d believe it.

She felt a little stab of disappointment when he disappeared during her arguments with the Council.

But when he showed up with people behind him, ready to do what needed to be done, councils, leaders, generals be damned, her heart leapt.

When Cassian said, “Welcome home,” Jyn had hope.