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Through the fleeting hours of morning

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The door to Cassian’s quarters slide open and shut and he hears her footsteps - one soft. one with a slight clink - making their way towards his bed. He shifts to the edge of the bed without hesitation and holds out the blanket for Jyn to crawl under. He watches her draw the long white tunic she's wearing over her head and drop it off to the floor before she joins him, moving like a dark shadow in the cover of the night. Then they’re lying on their sides, facing each other.

Her arms are icy where she wraps them around his body, the chill getting through his cotton sleepshirt onto his skin (and by gods, he hates cold, and hates this bloody frozen piece of nowhere). He draws her closer to him so that she can soak in his body heat. His hands find the naked skin of her back in slow, rhythmic caresses, trying to create heat.

Her lips find his throat, a scalding contrast to the iciness of the tip of her nose. Her teeth scratch at his stubble and she moves upward, to his jaw, his cheek, his mouth. Her hands catch on the linen of his shirt and shift it up, skin seeking out skin, and her lower legs (one flesh, one metal) slide tenderly up his calves, his knees, and his one hand is gripping her shoulder now and the other slides below her waist to grip on her buttock.

She’s plastered to him front to front, pushing his face into her shoulder and with a hint of teeth he kisses the soft of her ear, her neck, her clavicle. She has freed him off his shirt now, pulling it over his head and throwing it to the far corner of the room (he wants to complain about that, say you’ll fetch it for me in the morning or I’ll freeze , but doesn’t, favoring to draw a gasp out of her by sucking on the pulse point on her throat instead). Her arms are back, one around his shoulders and the other circling his waist in a steel embrace and then she’s pulling him with her as she pivots onto her back (she’s never allowed anyone else to get her on her back, never, but has come to love feeling Cassian’s weight on her hip bones and his elbows framing her chest on both sides; it makes her feel safe, not caged, like it would before). She moves to unlace the strings of his pants and his hand meets hers there, helping her along. Their breaths come in short, rapid gulps, impatient and needy as it brushes the other’s sweaty skin. His wrist suddenly flips around and finds her heat, the ridge of his palm sliding along her folds and his fingers curling inside, making her breathe out a broken keen into his ear and to him it sounds like a symphony. Her hand pushes past the now loosened semi-elastic band of his pants and takes him in her hand. She moves - one, two, three times - and his head drops over her shoulder, forehead touching the thin, hard mattress under them, mouth open as feelings clog up his throat and he has to wrench out a gasp-sob just to draw breath in. Jyn’s fingers caress his hair, turn his head to face her and she drinks all sound from him with her kiss.

She’s pulling on his pants with her legs, drawing the obstructing article of clothing down to his ankles and out of the way and he’s more than happy to wriggle out of it, kicks it somewhere far away, out of mind. Their bodies are flush against one another like it’s glue connecting them instead of eagerness  that borders on need, and one’s heartbeat (rapid, profound, dizzying) is felt by the other through everywhere their skin touches. She shifts her legs (one flesh, one flesh-metal) up his body, finding the spot at the top of his hips where her thighs fit just so, and crosses her ankles behind him. Her flesh heel settles on his skin, under her metal heel for so many reason - she wants to feel him in full where her artificial leg cannot provide sensations, she wants to keep him warm where the metal cools down quickly, she’s mindful of his frail spine that bothers him constantly on this sodding frozen planet even if he rarely complains, and her bionic part is so much stronger than her own meat and bones and could cause him so much damage of she got out of control (with him, she tends to).

She guides him in, hissing in pleasure when he follows her lead and sinks in. She feels the shudder run through his entire body and into her. Such unity and abandon is a rare experience for her - she’s slept with people before but rarely enjoyed it, and never made love to any of them. Sex, for most of her life till now, was a simple transaction bringing her what she wanted at the moment - forgetfulness, loyalty, food, guns - anything she needed to survive, if she was out of other ways of payment. With Cassian, the dominating factor is passion and affection and she didn’t know she lacked it before he entered her life. Sharing her body with him is the closest she’s ever come to a religious experience; the high, the altered state of mind, the look on Cassian’s face when he makes love to her not dissimilar to the devotion of Chirrut when he prays to the Force and the Force answers his adorations. Like this, completely surrendered and victorious at the same time, Jyn feels like she’s touching the foundations of the galaxy itself. Her veins flooding with endorphins, her brain bathing of dopamine. She feels, at the same time, weak and unbreakable and completely united with another living, breathing being, in a way that has never seemed possible before. She’s carved Cassian’s name around her heart long ago and now feels the letters as the pound of flesh gallops in her chest, beating raindrops of her love for him into every cell of her body.

(She hopes, prays to the Force, that he feels the same, that she’s not alone; deep down, she knows she’s not. Underneath the surface, they are the same - they both were brought up to be killers, having slaughtered long before they kissed someone for the first time. They have lived and loved and then lost it all and somewhere along the way they met there and then.)

She feels like falling into an abyss and it's only Cassian closeness to her holding her in the moment - they are each other’s anchor and the tether between them expands across star systems and nebulas. He will always come back for her and she'll always find her way to him and their bodies are one now and everything else (“You went there to kill my father!” “You’re in shock.”) stays past the point they never mention, a point that looks and feels like a brightly lit, sandy beach, like a gentle was warm breeze on torn skin picking up speed and strength, like the golden glow on the horizon comes and burns skin and eyes alike. Little of what happened before that matters to who they are to one another - the beach means the border between they and we.

(It’s almost like he cave and the broken hatch but this time, she’s not alone. When her memories wander to the beach he’s always there with her, and that has to count for something.)

She's falling apart and he's right on her heels, knowing how to get her off quickly and effectively,  the considerate lover that he is. One day they will have it in them to take their the time and draw this out, when they are not tired and raw and awaiting new orders in mere hours. For now, this - hurried be and desperate and the most tender they can do will just have to be enough.

A howl forces its way from her throat before she hides her face in his shoulder to muffle it and she's faintly aware that she's pulling his hair with more might than she would want to, but then the world whites out and the only sound around is her own racing heart. For this particular moment there is no worry, no pain, no loss, no cold, only the overwhelming transcendence of being alive - being, as the Guardians chant, one with the Force. I am, she whispers into the quiet peace, I am one with the Force, and the Force is one with me.

Gradually Jyn descends back into her body, back into Cassian's arms, back to his scent and bed. She becomes aware or the tremor that runs up his arms, down his spine, shakes in his breath, and she wraps her limbs around him as tight as she dares, pulls him into her, buries her nose into his pulse point and whispers let go into his ear. He follows her request, as he always does, heaving a gasp as his muscles seem to lock in place. His forehead touches her clavicle then and his sides expand and contract above her in breakneck tempo. Her arms caress his back soothingly, tripping over the crossties of his ribs, and when she says “I love you,” he repeats it and it feels like coming home.

He kisses her, long and soft and with his hair tickling her face, and moves down her body to place his ear between her breasts right where her heart is slowing down to its normal rhythm, still beating away his name that’s written all over it. She puts her chin to the crown of his head, tugs the blanket over them both so that he's almost completely covered by it (he really, really hates the cold) and puts her arms over his heated shoulders again. She can't keep him there forever, not even till the morning comes, no matter how much they both want to but for a few hours more they will belong only to each other.