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Stardust Stories

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In the cargo ship evacuating the injured from Yavin IV where the Death Star looms in orbit, Jyn and Cassian listen to the comms from the battle they've left behind. They started this fight, made it possible, but neither of them is in a position to take part in its end. Even without their injuries, they're ground troops, not X-wing pilots. They sit side by side on the edge of Cassian's bed, which is one of a dozen in the cargo hold. No one else is listening though, the beds not occupied by anyone else as fortunate or upright as them.

Jyn's face is pale and tired and she keeps holding her breath, exhaling loudly when her lungs burn and she can't take it anymore. Her eyes are shining when the first shot misses, her jaw tight. Cassian reaches his hand out and grasps hers where it grips the edge of the bed, feels her tremble echoed in the pounding of his heart, sending ripples through his bruised body. Her hand turns up, fingers twining with his, gripping just as tightly to him as she did the bed. Cassian doesn't mind, he'll take the pain for her, and it's nothing compared to the internal bleeding and broken ribs of the last few days.

When the farm boy finally gets his shot in, when it's finished, she laughs and sobs, and he pulls their joined hands to his heart as she drops her forehead to his shoulder. He doesn't let go of her hand for a long time after that, even as they collapse back into the sleep they deserve.

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1. A cluster of stars too distant to be seen individually, resembling a dimly luminous cloud of dust. Not in scientific use. 2. a naively romantic quality.

When Cassian was still small enough to sit in his father's lap - not long before the war came - his father had taken him to camp in the mountains above their home. The sky was clear and dark, a black canvas with a million crystals spread across it, untouched by the lights of the city below. Cassian laid his head against Jeron's chest, his father's voice feeling like a rumble beneath his ear as he pointed out constellations.

In the distance, to the east, a cloud shimmered brightly. To his young eyes it looked like a glistening lake in the sky and his father had laughed when he had asked if that was what it could be.

"Stardust," Jeron had said. "A million stars, so close together that they look like a cloud." Cassian had wondered at that. He doesn't remember the constellations over Fest, but he remembers the cloud of stars, and his own amazement at just how many there could be in the universe.

He's seeing them again, now. Except instead of the dark of night, it's on a beach in the day, glaring sun and roaring waves nearby.

He sees them in the freckles that cross her cheeks. He sees it in the glimmer in her eyes, shining with unshed tears. He understands then, what Galen saw to inspire the nickname. He runs his thumbs across her cheekbones as if he could touch the stars themselves through her skin. Stardust, he thinks, will be the last thing he sees, and he is content with that.

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The medal ceremony is scheduled to be as brief as it can be, out of necessity. Yavin IV is nearly fully evacuated; the crowd that remains are those who are fighting fit and able to stand. The injured and untrained - the young, the crew that work behind the scenes to support the cause without a weapon - all have been evacuated already. There is urgent work still to be done once the celebration is finished.

Mon Mothma stands in the front row, watching the figures on stage. Leia, radiant in white, smiles at her rescuers as she places medals around their necks. This is what the Rebellion has come to, she thinks. This is what it should always have been - ordinary people taking chances and throwing themselves in to the fight, not senators sitting around a table. She grimaces, and thinks of the fallen of Scarif. If only we politicians had been as brave as them. If only we'd had as much hope, if only we'd sent them with our support.

She thinks of the skill and sacrifice of Cassian Andor, the fire of Jyn Erso, the bravery of Bodhi Rook, and wonders at the legends they would have become. They were martyrs now, all of them. She dips her head and closes her eyes in respect, and to hide the tears that are threatening to spill. The celebration is meant to lift the spirits of the survivors but she doesn't ever want to forget those who gave their lives, because if she does then she might yet see the Alliance make the same mistakes again.

Fast footsteps break her from her thoughts just as the Princess places a medal around the neck of the rogueish smuggler who saved the day. Glancing back, she sees a young private walk-running up the centre aisle, red-faced and trying desperately to not notice just how many people are now looking at him.

"Ma'am - ma'am, it's urgent." His whisper is harsh, breathless, and the words are out before he's finished his rushed salute.

"Yes, private, what is it?"

He glances at those nearest the senator - Draven is keeping his eyes carefully forwards but she knows the spymaster doesn't miss a thing - and his voice rises with an excited hitch as he answers.

"It's Rogue One, ma'am. They've landed. They survived."

It's just loud enough for those closest to her to hear, and the whispers ripple all the way to the back of the hall like a breeze through trees in seconds. On the platform, Leia turns, eyebrows knitted, at the noise.

Mon Mothma ushers the private away and follows him. She doesn't need to turn her head to know that the footsteps behind her are Draven's.

She bites the inside of her cheek to maintain some sort of neutral expression as she walks past the rows of soldiers down the aisle.

"How many?" She asks once they're clear of the ceremony.

"Five, ma'am." Answers the private. His excitement at being somehow involved in all of this is bubbling over, his words too light. "And a droid. They're still in the hangar, under guard. We didn't recognise their ship but their clearance codes checked out with Intelligence."

"Why under guard?" She asks.

"Common sense, surely." Draven answers. "They could be anyone, now that the Empire knows where we are."

The private beams as if it was all his idea. "Exactly, sir."

And then there they are, five survivors huddled together on the floor of the hangar. Mon Mothma doesn't think her heart felt so light even when the Death Star disintegrated into stardust above them. They're battered and broken but alive, surrounded by rebel soldiers who have their blasters raised. Other soldiers are aboard the battered looking unfamiliar ship, hunting for trackers or bombs.

The Guardians of the Whills lean against each other, robes torn. Bodhi Rook rests his chin on his knees, eyes darting nervously at the soldiers around them. Cassian Andor sits with his back against a crate, one arm around his ribs, the other behind Jyn Erso, who is tucked into his side. K2-SO is scraped and scored and towers over them all, with its own personal guard.

They're all exhausted, shoulders drooping and eyes dark. Even Cassian, always a good soldier, can't bring himself to do anything more than nod when he sees Mothma and Draven. Jyn's eyes are wide, and she looks like a cornered wolf ready to attack in spite of the paleness of her face, the heaviness apparent in her limbs.

"Stand down. Let them be." Says Mothma, as she steps forward with her arms open in a gesture of peace. The soldiers obey, lowering their weapons and stepping away. There's room to breathe, now.

She watches them stand, notes the shining burns on Bodhi's arms, how Baze struggles to stand straight and Chirrut clings to him. How Cassian, who she worried had no room in his heart for anything but war, looks at Jyn with tenderness as she helps him to rise, as she carries his weight.

Mon Mothma smiles. She wants to hear their story, to find out how they survived Scarif and the Death Star, how they survived a week and found a new ship and stayed alive with their wounds. She wants everyone to know, for the entire Alliance - no, the galaxy - to hear that hope exists.

"Welcome home, Rogue One."

 

 

 

 

 

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He would pretend that he wasn't tempted.

Cassian was very good at pretending, at lying to others and himself. Pretending to be someone else, pretending to be a friend, pretending that the blood on his hands was worth it for the cause.

So he would keep up the pretence that he wasn't tempted at all by Jyn Erso. No, he wasn't tempted by her lips or her soft hands or the thought of having her warm and naked in his bed for the rest of their days. He wasn't tempted to reach out and comfort her or tell her all his darkest secrets.

He would keep telling himself that he wasn't tempted, because he had to, to save them both.

Here is the truth: Cassian wanted to reach out and touch Jyn every time she was near. He stared at her lips during quiet moments, and imagined kissing her senseless. His hands would touch her - graze her arm, gently rest on her lower back as they walked - without his permission. A glimpse of bare flesh - the column of her neck or bare shoulders or the smooth skin of her belly when she stretched her arms overhead - made him toss and turn in his bunk at thoughts of her above him, underneath him. When Jyn cried out from nightmares he gripped his sheets to stop himself from running to her. When she told him stories of her past, ones that made her grip the kyber around her neck and curl into herself, he wanted to pull her into his arms and make all the hurt go away.

But he didn't. He would keep up the lie that he didn't want any of those things.

He would tell himself that not having her at all would make it easier when the day inevitably came that he lost her. He would tell himself that giving in to the temptation of opening his heart and giving himself to her would only make things hurt more when the war that had owned his life took something else from him.

He would pretend that he didn't see the hurt in her eyes every time he drew back from what may have become a kiss, from a touch that lingered too long. He would keep telling himself that not giving in to temptation was a bigger favour for her than letting her have him completely.

He would keep telling himself that he wasn't tempted, and Cassian Andor was a very good liar.

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They're sitting on the cool grass of Endor, far from the celebrations and with the Death Star nothing more than glittering debris above them. Jyn leans back against his chest, nestled between his legs. His hands are over hers on the slight swell of her belly - not enough to have held her back from joining this battle no matter how much they had argued about it, not enough for anyone else to know about it just yet - and Jyn's voice is soft when she speaks.

"What are you thinking about?"

"Just enjoying the moment." He presses his lips to her temple.

"You?" She snorts, but her tone is playful. "I find that hard to believe."

"The war is over, the Emperor is dead, I have a beautiful woman in my arms, carrying my child who will now be born into peacetime. I can't enjoy that?"

"You can, but I know you. You're always planning ahead, that's why you're so good at what you do." Jyn turns her head, and nuzzles under his chin. They're both tired, from war, from waiting for weeks for this battle to start and end.

He hums at that, because it's always been true until now. Cassian has never believed in luck as a tool for accomplishing anything - always too used to having to work for every inch he could take in the rebellion and in life. Missions succeeded because of planning and preparation. Luck wasn't something someone as pragmatic as him could ever put faith in, so he always had a plan. Every time they survived against the odds, he had analysed the circumstances and found the causes and effects and stored them away to be learned from next time.

But when he looks at their past, at how they were thrown together in the vastness of the universe in order to save it twice over, he can't deny that something - luck, destiny, the Force - has maybe had a role to play. And because of it, he can't help but think that no matter what they would be alright from now on without a plan.

"Actually," he says, pulling her a little tighter. "I was just thinking about how lucky I am."

She smiles as he lowers his lips to hers and whispers, "Me, too."

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They throw themselves up the ramp of the ship and crash to the floor, Jyn screaming to Bodhi to get them out of there, get them home (or to the nearest base that would count as home).

Cassian’s blood is hot and thick on her fingers, twined with his against the knife wound to his gut. He falls from his knees to his back as Jyn scrambles for the nearest med kit, her hands slipping and fumbling with the latch because of the blood making her skin slick.

He’s pale and shivering, blood loss and hyperspace making him cold. Bodhi’s shouting back, what happened, how’s he doing, and all Jyn can do is shout back at him to fly, faster. She pulls Cassian’s shirt up and out of the way, the wound red and black and deep. His hand rests on her thigh where she kneels beside him, fingers squeezing, his eyes scrunched close.

“This will hurt, I’m sorry.” She says as she presses the bacta patch over and into the wound. Cassian growls through gritted teeth, his hand claws her thigh. Jyn presses the patch hard, forcing the life to stay in him, and he shouts a curse before he blacks out. The patch is soaked through already, and her hands are trembling and his eyes are closed. She calls his name, desperate, but he doesn’t stir and she can’t keep the blood in him. She ducks her forehead to his, he’s so cold when he’s normally so warm, so full of fire. It’s only been two months since Scarif, two months of falling hard for him and not knowing what to do about it and you don’t get to go now not when I haven’t even kissed you yet and I should have told you, I’m sorry I never told you, it just scared me so much.

The journey to base is the longest she’s ever known, and in that time Jyn discovers that losing someone without having let them get close is every bit as agonising as losing the ones she had loved openly, because with Cassian there’s the added bitter taste of regret for everything that went unsaid and unshared and of what could have been.

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Two weeks later and it’s her turn to shiver; she’s the one on her back with him above her. His fingers are tracing every inch of exposed skin, a soldier’s rough calluses leaving fire and goosebumps in their wake. He’s looking at her like he’s never seen anything so beautiful, and his dark eyes are hypnotic. He’s teasing, touching her everywhere except where she wants him the most and the ache in her belly is an agony that has her hips rolling towards him in a way that makes his mouth quirk at one side.

Jyn bites her lip, pulls her eyes away from his face to run her own hands down his bare torso, smiling as his stomach muscles twitch, and she traces her fingers over the angry, red scar that mars his lower belly. She’s lost for a moment, remembering blood on her hands and his cold, cold skin - until Cassian takes her hand in his and lifts it to his face, kisses her palm and then holds it against his heart.

The bitter taste of regret and what if and what could we have been hadn’t left her until he had woken in the med bay two days after they'd landed, and there had been tears in both their eyes as they confessed. I’m sorry and it’s worth it, we would be so worth it and I want you.

She tangles her fingers in his hair and pulls him down to her, presses their foreheads together and loses herself in the heat of his skin and his mouth on her body and his heart in her hands.

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The mission lasts three times longer than planned as his contact gets spooked by Imperial checkpoints. By the time Cassian makes it back to Home One, his back aches from sitting around waiting (Scarif has never left him in mind or body) and his brain is fuzzy from lack of sleep and boredom.

Naps seem to be the best he can manage on long journeys through space, when he is away from home. At some point his body had become so accustomed to sleeping beside Jyn that her absence makes him wake frequently. He keys the code to open the door and steps into the darkness, hands going up as a blaster is pointed in his direction.

"Jyn," he slumps against the door as it closes behind him, "it's me."

She grumbles, sleepy and soft, and sets the blaster on the bedside table before switching on the small lamp which glows yellow. "You're late."

He huffs a laugh, and pulls off his jacket and kicks off his boots. He's too tired for neatness and instead creates a pile of discarded clothing on the floor. "Did you really expect me to only be exactly two days?"

She shrugs, and leans back on one hand while she rubs her eyes with the other. Her hair is mussed and loose around her face and one strap of her vest has slipped down over her shoulder. Jyn smiles at him as he strips to his underwear, and even four years and many scars since the war room on Yavin IV she's still the most beautiful thing he's ever seen. Her eyes travel up and down, from his head to his toes, checking for injury.

"I'm fine, unless you count lack of sleep." He assures her as he pulls back the sheets. She shifts from where she was sprawled in the middle to make room for him. "Something you don't seem to have had a problem with."

Jyn snorts as she turns to her side to wrap herself around him and pillow her head on his chest. She nuzzles into his neck and he feels her lips move when she says, "And who's fault is that?"

He pulls her close and presses his lips to her hair, inhaling the scent of her and letting the warmth of her body wash away the tension of the last week. Cassian's hands roam over her, reassuring himself of her safety as he traces down her arms to the swell of her belly where their hope for the future grows.

"I think we're both to blame, amor."

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Cassian jolted awake at the feeling of his head falling to the side. He blinked, taking in the blanket of stars surrounded by blackness through the viewport ahead of him, and his brain restarted as he stretched his aching back.

He was not supposed to be sleeping, he was supposed to be monitoring transmissions while Jyn took her turn in the single bunk at the back of the cabin. He had even insisted that he was fine, he wasn't tired and she should sleep first, but then the silence and stillness of space and nothingness and the comfort of just the two of them together for days lulled him into a doze.

So he was surprised to see that Jyn wasn't in the bunk, she was curled up in the co-pilot's seat less than an arm’s length away from him, wrapped around herself and turned towards him as if she had been watching him sleep before joining him in dreams. His heart fluttered at the thought before he trampled it down.

Cassian hadn't seen her sleep before. Exhausted rest during missions or the tense, trauma-induced unconsciousness after Scarif weren't the same. Now her brow was relaxed and there was a hint of a smile on her parted lips, her breathing slow and steady.

Jyn Erso - even when she was still and quiet in sleep - exuded a vibrant energy, drawing all eyes to her as if there was a star burning beneath her skin.

Or maybe that was just him.

Her brown hair was loose and swept around and over one shoulder in a wave, longer than he had ever dreamed it would be out of its usual tie. Strands curled against her cheek and he reached out to brush them away in an action so gentle and unfamiliar it felt as if he were watching someone else do it. She sighed, her head leaning into his touch and she mumbled his name.

“Jyn,” he responded quietly as her eyes fluttered open, “what are you doing out here?” He couldn’t seem to move his hand away no matter how much he begged himself to do so. He was sure it was too much, a step too far ahead on the road they seem doomed to follow. Cassian couldn’t bear the thought of breaking her trust in him.

“I couldn’t sleep, in the bunk.” She watched him through her lashes and her voice was a whisper even though there was no one else there to hear. He ached for how vulnerable she was.

“It had to be more comfortable than that chair.”

“Yeah, it was.” she sighed sleepily and closed her eyes. “But it was lonely, too.”

His heart thundered in his ears as she twined her fingers in his and brought their hands to rest on her lap. Within moments her breathing slowed again, and he swallowed past the lump in his throat to whisper, “Ok. I’m here. I’m not going anywhere.”

The promise of watching over her as she slept and that she trusted him enough to do so was enough to keep him awake no matter how soothed he was by her peaceful face and the warmth of her hand holding his.

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“In here!” Cassian pulls her by the arm down the steps and the hatch drops shut behind them. She stumbles, blind in the darkness, on the steps and falls into Cassian’s back. There’s no space down here, just enough for the two of them to stand close as the sound of ‘trooper footsteps thunders above them. Greeya, their lovely Twi’lek informant and owner of the bar above this hatch, laughs and purrs loud enough for Jyn to hear.

Jyn can’t see a thing. She knows Cassian is in front of her because she can hear his breathing, feels his presence only inches away, but there isn’t even a crack of light around the edges of the hatch when she looks up. Time makes no difference, her eyes don’t adjust to the pitch blackness, and she can feel the walls closing in around her.

Her chest goes tight and her stomach drops, a cold sweat dancing up her spine. She curls her fingers and digs her short nails into the leather of her gloves. It’s Lahmu, it’s the bunker Saw left her in, it’s Wobani at lights out.

Jyn Erso, hero of the Rebellion who can take out a dozen Stormtroopers with a pair of truncheons, has a fear of being trapped in the dark.

The sound of her own fast breathing fills the small cell and her pulse sounds like blaster fire, and then it’s not just the small dark space that’s making her panic, it’s the thought of her panic giving them away that makes it even harder to breath. Her mind goes in circles and the more she tells it to calm down the more it resists.

“Jyn,” Cassian whispers, nearly inaudible above the sound of her own blood thundering in her ears. “What is it?”

Jyn tries to get some sort of explanation out but her throat has seized up with her rasping breath. When she doesn’t answer his hands reach out and grasp her arms, thumbs pressing hard into the flesh. It helps, provides a counter point to the chaos in her own body, but it’s not enough, so she throws herself forward against him. The warmth of him and the beat of his heart - fluttering and panicked in it’s own way - makes her chest ease. Jyn wraps her arms around his waist and holds her hands to the hardness of his spine. She feels him tense up, as hard as steel for a brief moment, and then he exhales heavily against the top of her head, and his arms relax and slip around her. One hand runs soothingly up and down her spine, the other cradles the back of her head and his fingers tickle her neck.

Everything - the feel and smell of him, the sound of his heart and breathing - brings her back to herself. She can breathe again, and breathes in time with him. There was no warm body to hold her on Lahmu or Onderon or Wobani, and she knows Cassian won’t leave her here alone in the dark.

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She’s not really sure what she’s supposed to do now.

Cassian has rolled off her, and they have been lying side by side for minutes recovering their breaths as the sweat dries on their bare skin. He doesn’t seem to be in any rush to leave. Shouldn’t he be up and dressed now? If they were in his quarters instead of hers, Jyn thinks she would have dragged herself away from him and returned to her own bed.

Isn’t that how it’s supposed to work, once you had got what you wanted in bed?

Isn’t that why you fought this thing for so long, because you didn’t want to face the moment where he gets up and walks away after getting what he wanted, leaving you with that awful emptiness and regret like the rest of them?

Jyn sits up and looks down at him. There’s a flush of embarrassment that makes her chest go hollow as his eyes meet hers, the kind of awkwardness that only comes from letting someone see you in the throes of passion. His eyes are dark and heavy-lidded and the low light does all kinds of favours for the hard lines of his jaw and cheekbones.

“Aren’t you going to go?” She asks bluntly because she doesn’t want to prolong something that’s going to hurt her.

“Do you want me to go?” His brows crease together and something that might be hurt flashes across his features.

“No,” she really, really doesn’t. She wants him to be here, by her side where he has belonged since day one, and she very much wants to repeat what they just did sooner rather than later. “But I… I’ve never stayed. And no one else has ever stayed.”

He walks his fingers up her bare spine and she shivers. His throat works as if the words are stuck there, until he forces them out. “I didn’t want… this wasn’t just about sex, Jyn.” His hand stills at the top of her spine and cups the back of her head. “I would like to stay with you, if you will have me.”

Something glows hot and bright behind her ribs. She nods, and sucks her tongue behind her teeth to keep the unexpected joy from spilling out of her mouth like sunlight. He’s waiting, she can tell from his stillness, for her to decide the next step. Always so patient, her Cassian, always giving her the space she needs.

She lays back down alongside him, tangles her leg between his and wraps her arms around him. As he wraps his arms around her and pulls her close against his chest, Jyn lies and waits for the post-coital emptiness she is so used to.

It never comes.

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There are bad days and not so bad days in war.

Today is one of the worst that Cassian can remember.

He limps into his quarters, filthy and exhausted and it’s taken him more hours to get back here than he cared for. His rank demands debriefs and reports, even if he wasn’t leading the mission, he’s responsible for the Intelligence they managed to secure.

He wasn’t responsible for the number of soldiers who lost their lives today, but that doesn’t mean he can’t feel their ghosts at his back.

Cassian drops his jacket in a heap on the floor as the door closes behind him. The sound of the shower running in the fresher explains where Jyn is. She had slipped away from him when they landed, the soldiers in the hangar and halls parting as she passed. When she is angry, it radiates from her like heat from a sun.

He long ago learned to give her space to burn, until her rage becomes embers, safe to approach.

Jyn’s clothes are a trail leading from the bed to the bathroom, and he copies her by sitting on the bed to remove his boots and stripping the rest of his clothes as he crosses the room. Not all of her influences on him have been good.

The air in the fresher is thick with steam, the base’s water rations be damned.

Her hands are pressed against the wall and her shoulders are shaking.

He says her name softly, only to announce himself. She doesn’t turn or stop her trembling, the trust she gives him is unbreakable because he’s never given her any reason to doubt it, and doesn’t intend to.

Cassian slips his arms around her and Jyn pushes away from the wall to lean back against him. He gathers her dark, dripping hair away from one shoulder and presses his lips to her neck as she shakes and sniffles in his embrace. This, just this, is all he needs to feel safe.

They lost a lot of people today. Some friends, some acquaintances, men and women who fought for the same dream as them.

He hates himself for thinking that he is happy that they are the ones who came home in one piece.

When her trembling subsides, Jyn turns and snakes her arms around his neck and buries her face in his chest. Her tears mix with the warm water of the shower, and join his own.

Chapter Text

He’s holding her at the end of the world again. Cassian doesn’t think they’ll escape the Death Star a third time, and it’s not even because he doesn’t believe in luck - it’s just that he can hear Kay’s voice telling him the odds of how improbable it is.

His body is only half-healed and the effort it takes to hold Jyn in his arms - and the strength she is putting into clinging to his aching ribs - is exhausting and painful. Above them the battle rages, flecks of light against the black sky of Yavin IV, and it’s narrated by the comm device he stole from command. He wanted to be outside for it so they could face the planet killer head on as they did on Scarif before they were plucked from the sand.

Cassian can’t explain why Jyn would look to him for comfort. His hands are made for death and sabotage, not gentleness. But her face is buried in the crook of his neck and her hands are fisted in the back of his shirt as if he is the only thing keeping her alive and upright.

And then it happens. There’s a lot of chatter over the comms, the Skywalker boy saves the day, and the Death Star is glitter in the sky.

They pull apart to look up at it, arms still around each other and bodies still pressed close.

If he never accomplishes anything for the Rebellion again, it won’t matter because this will surely be enough. The look on Jyn’s face - a smile of pure joy and tears of grief shining - is everything he has fought for.

She throws herself against him again and he forgets the pain he is in as she sobs and laughs into his shirt.

When Jyn pulls back and looks up at him, those green eyes shining and cheeks pink, and her body such a perfect fit in his arms, he can’t remember ever seeing something so beautiful.

Oh, he thinks, so this is what being in love feels like.

Chapter Text

Jyn catches the other rebels stealing glances at them - the heroes of Scarif, the Spy and the Partisan curled up like lovers giving proof to all the rumours - but can’t bring herself to care what they might be thinking. There are dozens of soldiers of all shapes and sizes and genders and species huddled in the hangar of the Alliance freighter with barely even room to lay down, and privacy is a luxury they can all only dream of for now.

Her head is on Cassian’s chest where he sits against the wall, his arms are wrapped around her where she is curled up between his legs and it feels like home. Jyn is a private person not prone to public displays of affection, but she has missed him too damn much to keep her distance.

It has been two months since the second rebel base she has known, the tiny dusty moon that came after Yavin IV, was discovered by the Empire. Somewhere in the chaos of evacuation they were pulled in different directions by their duties and before they were separated he had grabbed her close among the crowds and kissed her hard in a way that had left her dazed and breathless. It had been their first kiss, and she didn’t want it to ever be their last. “I’ll find you,” he had promised.

For two months she dreamed of him, and swore that if she ever found him again she would kiss him back and steal the breath from his lungs the way he had done with her.

An hour ago she had done just that, when he appeared on the ship sent to collect the shipwrecked shuttles at their rendezvous points. When they parted he had looked at her as if she was the most precious treasure in the universe and she had no doubt he had missed her in the same way.

The past was telling her to stay away and keep her distance, but her heart and body scream the opposite. She tilts her head up to nuzzle against his neck and breathes in the warm scent of him, blaster oil and carbon and Cassian,sending lightning into her belly and making her hips shift where she sits. He smiles and drops his head down, captures her lips with his in something soft and tender that she’s never had before.

Jyn has ideas of a different kind of reunion, something else she has been dreaming of since before they were separated. Taking him into her bed and into her body would have to wait just a little longer until they had a room to call their own. For now she is relieved to be cuddled up against him, his heartbeat against her proof that sometimes the universe was on her side.

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18: Secret

Everyone on the base likes to think that they know everything about the infamous heroes of Scarif. After all, there's so little joy in war that gossip and invented drama become currency, a distraction and a bonding ritual. At first Jyn reacted to it as if it were a personal attack; it had been so long since she lived in a community. In a group as small as the Partisans, rumours could fracture and divide rather than unite and there was little interest in who slept with who.

They know that she and Cassian are sleeping together. That particular rumour started long before it was actually true, back when they were both still fragile and healing from Scarif. It was this whispered gossip in particular that had earned her ire the most. Jyn had felt vulnerable and exposed already as she adjusted to her new home. She didn't understand the interest in something so intimately personal, and didn't like how it made her think about how much she wanted it to be true when neither of them were quite ready.

The gossips say it’s a battlefield romance, purely physical and a convenient arrangement given how often they are assigned together. Jyn has heard them: surely the feral Partisan can't be capable of affection, and the decorated spy must be cold as ice. Who else would have her, they say, and who else would trust him.

But now a year on, the chatter doesn't bother her quite so much, because there is still so much that they will never know.

Only she knows the look on his face when he comes, the scratch of his beard and teeth against her neck and thighs, how complete she feels when he is inside her. How they like to hold each other close in the aftermath with limbs tangled together as they talk softly and openly. No one else knows the quiet confessions they share and how they talk of a future without war as if they may live to see it.

No one else knows that he has broken through the cage around her heart and that she is happy for the first time since she was a child. They don’t see that he has the warmest, sweetest soul that longs for peace and the family he lost.

They don't know that she loves him, and he loves her. The gossip will never bother her as long as they still have their secrets.

Chapter Text

They’ve made it, somehow, to a place of trust.

When they first met, he was Jeron Willix, Imperial programmer assigned to assist in Galen Erso’s lab on Eadu. Just another walking uniform, to she who treats them all to the same blank stare.

To him she was untouchable, Galen’s daughter, a hostage to the success of the Death Star. A useful surprise, he hadn’t been expecting there to be any leverage he could use against the scientist.

They passed in the halls, forced polite conversation at her father’s insistence when she visited his lab. Her boredom made her mischievous; his stoic quietness a challenge to her. She wanted to play with him because he was new and young and handsome, she wanted to see if she could break him.

She invited him to give his mind a rest from his work and come spar with her, and he saw it as a chance to groom a new source.

The first session ended up with him underneath her, his hips pinned by her thighs and the ice-maiden suddenly seemed more like a goddess above him that would burn him alive. She stared down at him as if he was something new, something untainted by the bleakness of Imperial upbringing. She ground her hips into his, seeking dominance and control, but found that she melted right along with him, sparks shooting up each of their spines, something that felt like the Force alive between them. Frightened, she had pulled back and darted off like a wounded animal, but they couldn’t seem to stop falling into each other's orbit.

There was no where to run on Eadu. She pulled him into her room, her bed, only a few weeks after he arrived on the base.

Four months later, Jyn Erso knows who Cassian Andor is and what he’s doing on Eadu, and he stops listening to the voice in the back of his mind that tells him maybe she’s as much a spy as he is. His heart is running the show for the first time in his life.

Right now they’re stripped bare and he has her pressed against the wall of her gilded cage; late at night when duty won’t come calling. She whispers his name, his real name, against his neck as her fingers claw at his back. He’s lost in the warmth of her; the catch of her breath each time he thrusts. He sees stars when he falls over the edge with her. She kisses him, lush and tender, and uncrosses her legs from around his waist, but doesn’t unwrap her arms from around his neck.

They stand there, breathing each other in. Jyn smiles into his chest, Cassian kisses the top of her head. She dreams of freedom, she says, of any life at all outside these walls. He tells her there’s a home for her, with the Alliance.

I don’t care where, she says when she looks up at him, stardust in her eyes, and strokes a hand over his cheek. Wherever you are, that’s home.

The Death Star is nearing completion. The order will come soon, Cassian knows.

Earn his trust. Find the weakness. Kill Galen.

Destroy the facility.

Leave no one alive.

He has never disobeyed an order before.

He’s already planned exactly how he’s going to get both father and daughter out of there alive.

Chapter Text


Jyn is sure she’s taken a wrong turn somewhere when she first steps into the locker room, before it occurs to her that this is exactly where you would send someone drenched and in need of getting changed. Some private in the chaotic hangar had handed her a towel and some fresh clothes and gave her quick directions (the ziggurat is a kriffing maze) and now she’s standing there, heart in her mouth, with Cassian in front of her drenched and half stripped. His top half is bare and his hair still shines, mussed and curling, with Eadu’s rain.

He freezes where he’s towelling his face. It’s not out of any sense of embarrassment, she thinks, because they’re soldiers after all and bared torsos are no more scandalous than an exposed wrist. His cheeks flush none the less, probably because she stares at him longer than is proper and lets her gaze travel. Behind him, around a corner, she can hear showers running and feels the steam in the air (at least she hopes that’s why her cheeks feel hot).

She’s supposed to be mad at him, after all. Furious and grieving because of him. And there are more pressing issues than the sudden stab of lust that feels like an electric shock in her gut. His eyes are dark, skin tanned and damp, dark hair across his chest and down, down his slender belly. He’s skinny and lean and she wants to feel the stomach muscles she can see with her fingertips. It’s been a long time since she has looked at a man and wanted, since something other than survival and anger has driven her.

Jyn thinks of what she must look like - hair plastered to her head, kohl smudged around eyes that are red from crying no matter how hard she had tried not to - but he’s looking at her with a desire that mirrors her own. Eyes that roam up and down, his throat bobs as he swallows.

He breaks the eye contact, and her other senses come flooding back. She takes up a spot on the bench opposite to him, her back turned, and tries to draw her mind back to hating him, but truth be told that anger lost it’s fuel halfway back from Eadu. She takes a deep breath, tries to wipe the image of Cassian from her mind when she closes her eyes as she pulls her shirt over her head, and thinks about the Council.

Suddenly she’s nervous, and the fluttering in her stomach is echoed in the rustling of his clothing behind her. Jyn buries her face in her towel, inhales the clean chemical scent, and reaches back and pulls her hair from it’s tie and feels the water drip from the ends down her bare back.

“Jyn.”

Her breath leaves her in a shudder and she turns her head, glancing over her shoulder, holds the towel against her chest as if it were armour. There’s something about the way he says her name that hits her right in the heart and she can’t admit to herself why, can’t dare to think how alike they are and how drawn to him she is. If she looks at him directly, into his eyes again, she thinks she’ll fall apart. It’s easier to just keep him in the corner of her vision. He’s close, she can feel his breath against her skin, warm contrasting with the coldness of the drops of water that run down her spine.

“Good luck.” Cassian says, soft and hoarse and she closes her eyes and nods.

Jyn stands, listens to the door close behind him, as anger and lust and fear and something wonderful and terrifying flutters behind her ribs.

She takes three deep breaths and slips Cassian and Eadu and all the complicated emotions they conjure separately and together into little boxes in her mind.

The Council is waiting.

Chapter Text

Here, in the little house on Yavin IV they have claimed as their own, time has stopped.

There are no orders, no missions, unless they choose to go out and look for them, and Jyn knows that when the novelty of peace has worn off there is every chance that they will go back out there and help rebuild the galaxy. But for now, the war is over, and there is nothing to do but live.

Nothing to do but take their time enjoying each other; enjoying love for the first time without the shadow of death hanging over it.

So she kisses Cassian, and it feels like a dream to just kiss the man she loves without thinking what next. In their bed, in soft sleep clothes with sheets pooled around their legs and the morning light warming their skin, their hands roam as they kiss languidly.

Before Cassian, she had never just kissed someone, never just made out for the joy of it, and it had been a rare indulgence even with him over the years as they stole what time together they could from the cause; their lovemaking always driven by a hint of desperation and fear as the clock ticked.

Jyn sighs as his tongue slides deeply against hers and his hand is a welcome weight on her breast. She can’t deny the heat that radiates through her as his thumb circles her nipple, as her hips press into his and feel his hardness, but they aren’t racing to completion. They’re enjoying the journey instead of thinking about the destination. She takes her time to rediscover him as a man rather than a soldier: the shape of his lips, the taste of him, the feel of his breath against her cheek. He will sigh and pull her tighter when she slips her tongue into his mouth, and his hand will clutch at her breast or ass (she in kind will feel herself grow wetter when he teases his tongue along her lips). Little things so easily lost in the frenzy of a life lived in war.

But they have time, now, and nothing to do but love each other.

Chapter Text

“What’s that you’re drawing, Arix?”

Arix glanced up from his sketch pad only briefly, taking in the form of the pretty nurse (the nice young one, he thought, the one with the sweet little body who made all the males on the ward sit up a little). He returned to his drawing: as much as the image of the pair was burned into his mind’s eye, he was having trouble replicating it exactly. The curve of her cheek, the thin line of his mouth. Arix wasn’t completely happy, didn’t think he had captured the intensity of the scene that replayed in his head over and over.

Every time he closed his eyes he would hear the blaster fire as if it was right beside him, and he would feel his leg trapped under rubble and his heart would start to hammer in his chest, so thinking of the pair of rebels who had saved him was a welcome distraction.

“Wow,” breathed the young nurse, her breast a lovely weight against his shoulder where she leaned in to look at his sketch. “That’s beautiful. Who are they?”

Arix flushed a little, it had been a long time since he had had the attention of a lovely young woman. She was young enough to be his granddaughter, and he could feel the eyes of the men across from him giving him death stares.

“They’re the rebels who fought against the Empire in the city,” he cleared his throat. “Would you like me to tell you the story?”

Her eyes widened. “Oh, yes please!” She wiggled herself on to the edge of his bed, body flush against his.

He felt his skin grow hot and the increased blood flow caused his leg to throb. “Well, there I was, just at my stall in the market selling my paintings - I am an artist, you know.”

“I can tell, you’re very talented.” She pinched his cheek and it would have been condescending were he not so enamoured.

“You could feel it in the air, that trouble was coming. There were more ‘troopers than usual, their radios were louder. And just as the first blaster shot rang out, I spotted them. These two,” he pointed to his drawing. “They ran through the crowd, and then I heard them: Stormtroopers, dozens of them, their boots pounding through the streets. There must have been other rebel soldiers, because there was fire on the troopers from all sides. I watched these two take shelter in the alley across from me. I should have ran, but I haven't left my stall unattended in a decade.”

This wasn’t strictly true, but he didn’t see the harm in the lie.

“And then one of the ‘troopers threw a grenade, and everything went crazy! The noise, I’ve never heard anything like it before, and then everything went dark for a moment. When I opened my eyes again, the wall behind me had disintegrated and I was stuck under rubble. That’s when I caught sight of these two, still using the alley for cover. All I could do was lie there and watch.”

Her breath caught with a squeak. “That was so brave of you! What did they do?”

“They took down so many ‘troopers. It was like they didn’t even need to look, like they had been shooting all of their lives. And then they looked at me, and I could see them talking to each other but I couldn’t hear them.”

“What did they do?”

“It was the strangest thing: they seemed to argue for a minute, and then… they kissed.”

The nurse let out a little gasp, and she looked at the drawing again with a dreamy gaze, her eyes glossy. “They kissed?”

“Yes, he pulled her close and kissed her hard, as if he was afraid he would never see her again. They pressed their foreheads together and whispered something, something only for each other.”

She sighed and her breasts were distractingly soft and warm against him.

“And then he ran out from the alley towards me, and she covered him, and he dug me out from under the rubble. He took my hand and squeezed it, and told me he would get me out of there, and I must have blacked out because the next time I woke up I was here.”

A shiver ran through the nurse and it vibrated through Arix pleasantly. He glanced up to see a pleasant flush on her cheeks. She was staring at the picture, and her fingers traced over her lips as if she was imagining a sweet kiss in the middle of the battleground.

Arix looked over at the man in the bed across from him, and grinned as the nurse leaned her head against his.

“How romantic,” her hand reached out to trace the drawing. “Do you think - do you think they were in love?”

He chuckled. How easily the young could be swept away by the sweetness of romance. “They certainly seemed that way. I can only guess at what they said to each other, but I’ve never seen a connection like it before.”

“Could I… Could I take a copy of this? Please? I mean,” she leaned in close to his ear and whispered, “for those of us who are happy to see those bastard ‘troopers blown to pieces?”

Her breath on his ear made him tremble, and Arix didn’t even mind the pain that shot through his leg.

He hadn’t sold any of his art in a long time.

“Of course, dear,” he said, the faraway look in her eye and sweet smile on her face was payment enough. “But only if you tell the story that goes with it: the rebels are just like us, normal people who feel love and fear but fight anyway.”

The nurse leaned in close, and pressed a kiss to his cheek. “Thank you,” she whispered as she folded the drawing and tucked it away in her pocket. “I feel hopeful again.”

Arix took in the view as she walked off and felt younger than he had in years despite his injuries.

He felt hopeful again, too.

http://fitzsimmonsy.tumblr.com/post/163299444963/ahhhhhh-look-what-the-rogue-one-coloring-book-has

Chapter Text

They get a month's reprieve after Scarif, as the Rebels scrabble to transport everything from Yavin IV to another forsaken moon out of the Empire's sight. They circle each other, each wanting to be close but too afraid to admit why. Still they seek each other out in quiet moments, look for the other when they enter a room.

Despite being the most injured of Scarif’s survivors, Cassian is the first to be sent back out into the field because his network of whisperers and potential recruits is more important than ever. Jyn is left behind, awaiting orders in her strange new cadre.

"I shouldn't be any longer than a week," Cassian tells her in the hangar before he boards. It's a strange thing to have someone to say goodbye to, someone to miss.

"I know," Her jaw is set tight so that she's almost pouting, her drawn brow evidence that she's trying to hide how bothered she is by being left. "It's just a week."

Her gaze meets his, and the blush on her cheeks match the heat he feels on his own. He wants to kiss her.

He doesn't, and regrets it the instant he steals a glance back to her and catches her sad eyes as the ramp closes.

 

Cassian is back in ten days, and Jyn is in the hangar - not to greet him (he hadn't dared hope), but preparing to leave for her first mission with the Pathfinders.

His heart does a strange sort of flutter hard against his ribs when she meets his eyes and smiles.

"You came back," she breathes when she comes within an inch of him. "I'm just about to -"

"To leave," he finishes for her, and her sudden sadness reflects his own. "How long?"

She swallows hard enough for him to notice. "A few weeks. Maybe a month."

Cassian tries not to flinch from how his gut twists at the thought of being apart from her for so long.

"Will you be here when I get back?"

"If I can be, I will." It's as much of a promise as he can give.

She nods, eyes to the ground. He won't ask her to promise to come back because neither of them can promise that.

Across the hangar Dameron whistles to her, and Cassian's heart pounds hard because this is the last time he'll see her for maybe a month and it wasn't enough, there is so much he wanted to tell her. Jyn looks up at him, and he sees her make the decision at the same time he reaches it.

He ducks down, she presses up on her toes, and their lips meet in the middle. Their hands pull each other close, each gripping tight enough to leave bruises.

It's everything he has wanted since the moment he laid eyes on her and it's over far too soon.

Dameron whistles again, salaciously this time, but he's serious when he calls for Jyn to hurry.

She pulls back, lips and chin red from his stubble.

All they can do is let each other go.

He watches as the ship takes off.


He isn't there, when Jyn makes it back three weeks later, and the techs in Intelligence can only tell her his location is classified. The ghost of his kiss kept her warm as the Pathfinders crawled their way through the cold, damp wastelands of a distant planet. Time had made her miss him too much to deny how she felt, and had given her too much time to dream of him.

Cassian doesn't have permanent quarters, just a small locker, and she stares at the piece of paper in her hand like it’s a puzzle. Her handwriting is blocky and she thinks it’s too ugly and unpracticed for such a soft declaration.

All she has to do is slide it through the gap in the locker door, and it will be as close as she will get to talking to him for Force knows how long.

The words are hard to say, even in writing, and if she doesn’t leave the note then it’s like not saying them at all.

I miss you.

Jyn rolls her eyes and chuckles at herself. If Saw could see her now, what would he say? Maybe he would be glad to see her acting like the love-struck teenager she never had the chance to be. She scrunches up the paper and puts it in her pocket, and checks her own locker.

A small piece of paper falls out as she opens the door, and her heart hammers in her throat as she picks it up.

His handwriting is clean, and the paper looks crumpled as if he had folded it and unfolded it a hundred times.

I miss you.

 

Chapter Text

 

As he followed down the grand corridor of the stately home - walking the expected ten paces behind Jyn and the Lady Chancellor - Jyn turned her head over her shoulder and winked at him with a grin.

Oh, she was definitely having fun with this. He supposed that after their last cover - where he had been the dashing merchant Joreth Sward and she had been reduced to playing his vapid arm candy in order to gain access to the Imperial wives - turnabout was fair play. She had had a mischievous sparkle in her eye ever since they started researching the Lady Chancellor of the planet Venusia. The words ‘matriarchal society’ had caused a wide grin to split her face, and Force that made it worth it.

“Please, Ms Dawn,” spoke Lady Janus as they approached the room at the end of the hall, “Join me in the library for a drink and we can talk business?”

“That would be lovely,” she nodded back towards Cassian. “And my husband - do you have a place for him? I fear he finds talk of business terribly boring, you know how easily distracted their little minds can be.” Jyn rolled her eyes, and Lady Janus smirked conspiratorially. It was a good thing Cassian had so much practice keeping a blank face.

“Of course - troublesome creatures, eh? I do wonder why we keep them around but I suppose they’re useful for keeping the bed warm if you get my drift! And you’ve picked such a handsome one - good for breeding, I’ll bet.”

Jyn chuckled, and Cassian knew from how she bit the inside of her lip that she was trying not to smile too wide.

“Tell him to run along, he can wander the gardens and entertain himself while we women talk.”

Jyn arched an eyebrow at him. “Go on, dear, you heard our lovely host. Why don’t you go look at the pretty gardens?”

Cassian nodded mutely, and gave a small bow as the two ladies disappeared into the library.

He was free to wander unescorted, and found the exact security codes he was looking for in Lady Janus’ study while Jyn plied their host with brandy until her tongue was loose and her secrets flowed, and a few hours later they left with everything they had came for leaving behind a tipsy Lady Chancellor.

Later that night, back on their ship, Cassian came out of the fresher as Jyn grumbled while stripping out of the restrictive, expensive dress she had been wearing. He helped her pull it over head first before trapping her wrists above her head with a twist of the fabric.

“Had enough of me being in control, dear?” Jyn fluttered her eyelashes sweetly and pressed her hips forward in a way that didn’t match the innocence of her expression.

“No,” Cassian whispered as he ran his hands down her arms, down her chest, following them down until he was on his knees before her and could press a kiss to her hipbone. “Keep telling me what to do.”

Jyn smiled in a way that told him she had plenty of orders she wanted him to follow.

 

Chapter Text

“I’m fine,” Jyn growled as Cassian looked back over his shoulder at her for what felt like the millionth time.

He shook his head with a half-smile and carried on walking, his stupid long legs walking at a stupid pace through the stupid forest that they had to be in because they had run away from stupid Stormtroopers, which was when she had tripped over a stupid rock. Jyn bit back a gasp as her traitorous ankle twinged with her next step. Pain shot up through her calf, bounced off her knee and went right back down to her ankle with a painful throb. This time Cassian didn’t look back, and though she had snapped at him a dozen times that she was fine and didn’t need his help she suddenly wished he would offer.

Jyn knew she was being stubborn, and felt a touch petulant. It was Saw who had taught her to never ask for help no matter what - first through his training, then his abandonment. I’ve made it through worse on my own, no point in getting used to having someone there.

She recovered and walked on, making it a few more steps before her full weight landed on an uneven lump of ground causing her ankle to wobble in a way that wouldn’t have hurt were it not already injured, but whichever ligament she had pulled or torn screamed at the motion and she stumbled.

This time she did cry out, and Cassian did turn. His concern turned to amusement when he saw that she was alright. Jyn didn’t find it quite so funny as she sat on the damp ground holding her ankle and waiting for the pain to pass. She scowled up at him.

“I’m - ” she snapped.

“Don’t even say it,” Cassian said as he held out his hand. She took it with reluctance and let him pull her up to stand on her one good foot. “I’m going to help you.”

“I can do this myself,” and it felt like a stupid thing to say as she clung to his shirt for balance rather than risk putting her injured foot on the ground.

“I know you can,” Cassian said, and Jyn squawked as he slipped one arm around her shoulders and the other behind her knees. Jyn felt her cheeks flush hot with anger and embarrassment and something else that made her heart pound a little faster as he lifted her against him. He started walking and she had no choice but the wrap her arms around his neck to stop herself from tumbling to the ground. “But as long as I’m here you don’t have to.”

Jyn - tired and with both wounded pride and ankle - huffed against his chest. He smelled like blaster oil and rain, and she was in a perfect position to press her face into his neck. “Fine,” she muttered but could not longer put any heat into the words. “But only so we can get out of here faster.”

Cassian chuckled, and it sent tremors through her body. Maybe needing help isn’t so bad after all.

Chapter Text

“What are you doing?”

Jyn cursed under her breath and turned around. Who knew a Princess could be so stealthy? Leia stood with her hands folded primly in front of her, dressed in a white jumpsuit and padded vest, her hair intricately braided around her head.

“What do you think?” Jyn growled, turning back to the ship she was trying to break into. It was night on the Alliance base, and she had chosen a ship in the far corner of the hangar where she could sneak onboard and be in the air before anyone would notice.

“Command agreed there would be no retrieval mission for Captain Andor.”

Jyn whirled around, vibroblade in hand. The anger that had been burning inside her since she had left the meeting felt like it would consume her whole if she didn’t unleash it. “Command can go fuck themselves. And so can you, if you’re planning to stop me.”

Her voice shook more than she wanted it to, but this was Cassian they were talking about, his identity burned in enemy territory, and the Alliance were willing to write off his life as if he were a lost ship. He had never left her behind, and she didn’t plan on betraying him.

Command didn’t understand that Jyn had felt like she was drowning, little by little with each passing day since he was supposed to return. They didn’t know that she would rather die trying to bring him home than spend another minute doing nothing.

Her screaming at Draven and Mothma might have given them that hint. Leia had argued Jyn’s case with Jedi-like calmness, but had given up when they were outnumbered and called the meeting to a close with disappointment etched in her features.

Now Leia raised her hands diplomatically, her expression almost amused. “I’m not going to stop you.”

“Then what do you want?” Jyn asked, her jaw set tight and her fingers wrapped hard around the knife. She had never known how to interact with Leia - Leia who smiled so easily, who could charm a roomful of soldiers, who could make small talk with anyone anywhere, who grew up with two loving parents as a Princess. She was smaller and younger than Jyn, and yet felt so much bigger, and prettier, and just better. Cassian had told her more than once that they were similar, and Jyn had rolled her eyes at him, and felt a little stab of jealousy at his admiration of the other woman.

Her heart ached at the thought of never having him around to say something so stupid again.

Leia sighed heavily, as if her presence was obvious. “To help. First of all, you’re not going to get very far in that thing - it’s too slow. Can you even pilot?”

Jyn stood a little taller. “Enough to manage.”

“Give me an hour, and I’ll get you a pilot and a faster ship. It’s a pile of junk and he’s an asshole, but he’ll get us there in one piece.”

“Us?”

Leia rolled her eyes but there was a fondness to her smile. “You, me, Han, Chewie, I can probably get Luke to agree - and the Guardians too.”

Jyn swallowed. “Why are you doing this?”

Leia stepped closer, arms open as if approaching a wild animal. “Because it’s the right thing to do. I don’t want to be part of something that lets good men die because it’s the easy option.” She shrugged. “And because the Alliance needs you, both of you, as much as you need Cassian. None of us would be here if the two of you hadn’t rebelled against authority.”

Jyn eyed Leia and suspicion lingered around the edges of her thoughts in Saw’s voice. She still wasn’t used to people wanting to help, but this was for Cassian, who had made her believe in family again. She nodded.

“Ok, an hour.”

Leia grinned. “You get Luke and the Guardians - I’ll go persuade our pilot.”

Jyn watched her turn and go, and thought maybe what Cassian had said wasn’t so stupid after all.

Chapter Text

“Your move, Captain.”

Cassian glanced up at her through his lashes as something dark flashed across his eyes at the use of his rank and Jyn chewed her lip to fight her smirk. A little voice in the back of her mind, something that sounded like Saw and abandoment, told her to stop playing with him and back away.

Another voice, something fuelled by hormones and loneliness and the fact that she was pretty sure she was already in love with him, encouraged her. A game of dejarik should not have made her feel so warm and unfocused, not when there wasn’t even money involved.

Cassian held her gaze for another moment, before glancing down at the old wooden dejarik board between them. His tongue slipped out to rest on his bottom lip for a second and Jyn cursed her traitorous heart for picking up speed at the sight.

His hand hovered over a piece on the board and she thought he had her beat, finally. The others - Bodhi, Chirrut and Baze - had tired over their endless stalemate (and their flirting, if Bodhi’s grumbling was anything to go by) - and had retired to their bunks long ago.

Cassian changed his mind and moved a different piece, one that would effectively block her without letting him win.

Had it been anyone else, she would have been offended.

Jyn chuckled, and ran her fingertip in circles on the table top along the edges of the board. “Cassian, what was that?”

He shrugged, and gave her a lopsided smile that could charm the robes off a Jedi. “It was a good move.”

“Bantha crap, the move you were going to make was a good move.” She leaned forward and couldn’t help but smile as he mimicked her body language. “You could have ended it.”

He ducked his head briefly with a huff of amusement, and when he looked at her again his cheeks were darkened. “I could have, but maybe I didn’t want to.” His hand crept across the table to hers and he carefully - with a slight tremble - ran his fingertips over her hand to draw circles on her wrist, and Jyn’s chest burned. “Maybe I wanted this to last a little longer.”

“Do you want to keep me up all night?” Jyn asked, surprising herself with her boldness. Saw’s voice was drowned out by the pounding of her pulse in her ears.

Cassian merely tilted his head and traced his fingertip further up the soft skin of her inner arm leaving goosebumps in its wake. “There’s no fun in winning if it means we have to say good night.”

Jyn thought her heart would burst out of her chest with how hard it was beating, and she hoped her cheeks didn’t look as burning red as they felt. She copied him, letting her fingers tease along his arm. “What if there was a prize?” Her voice sounded husky to her ears and she resisted the urge to clear her throat.

“What kind of prize?”

“Maybe if you win, I’ll kiss you goodnight?” She stared at the board, until she heard him exhale loudly.

Cassian blushed properly, and smiled a shy smile that crinkled at the corners of his eyes. “That’s a good incentive to win.”

Jyn made her next move, then Cassian, then Jyn again. He only needed to move one last piece and their game would be over. Jyn was hyper aware of her chest heaving as if she had run a race, and how her hands trembled as she reached for her pieces. Cassian couldn’t seem to hide behind his spy mask - his eyes were too bright, he licked his lips too often.

He reached for his piece to make the winning move, and his eyes met hers. Jyn didn’t think she had ever felt so nervous or happy or terrified in her life.

Before he could set down his piece and claim victory, Jyn stood and reached across the table to grab him by the collar and pull his lips to hers.

Technically the game wasn’t finished, but as the board clattered to the ground neither of them cared.

Chapter Text

Well, this started as a non-sexual act of intimacy but then Jyn got a little carried away (so many Diego pics on my feed today.. I may be projecting myself on to Jyn a little!)

 

Jyn woke to see Cassian sitting on the edge of the bed with his back to her, the blue glow of the datapad the only light in the room. Shadows shifted across his body and the wall around the bed as he switched screens.

“Cass,” she whined, her voice thick. “You should be asleep.”

“Sorry, didn’t mean to wake you.” He sighed, eyes still glued to the datapad. “I couldn’t sleep, thought I’d go over the reports again.”

He reached up to rub at the back of his own neck and stretched his head back with a groan before resuming his reading.

Jyn huffed and rolled her eyes. With Draven on sick leave, a lot of responsibility had fallen on to Cassian’s shoulders, and while she couldn’t be prouder she wished he wasn’t so hard on himself.

The war didn’t stop, and neither did the intel, and it was up to him to sift through it and make decisions. And he did, as urgently as he could, even if it meant sleepless nights and missing meals.

No wonder Draven had got sick.

She rolled up to her knees behind him and pressed a kiss to the top of his head and stroked her hands over his bare shoulders. His neck pain had started about the same time he had started taking on some of Draven’s workload, and she could feel the muscles as tight as steel beneath his skin. Jyn swept her hands more firmly across his shoulders and down his back, up to his neck and out to his ribs. It saddened her that he was so coiled and on edge here, with her, and if she hadn’t so far been able to convince him to slow down and rest, she could at least do this for him.

“Jyn - ”

“Shh. You need this.” She dug in hard to a knot alongside his shoulder blade with her thumb. His spine arched and he moaned in pain, head thrown back. “See?”

As she made another sweep of his back, Cassian sighed and tossed the datapad on to the bed. He leaned back into her touch.

“I’m sorry I’ve been so busy.”

“Don’t be. Just relax.”

 

Jyn lost herself in the moment as Cassian softened under her hands, and pressed herself closer to him as she kneaded his shoulders. The soft noises of pleasure he made, and the louder groans when she hit a particularly tight spot, made her thighs tighten in reflex. She nuzzled the side of his neck, inhaled his scent and shifted her hips against him.

She slipped her hands under his arms and let her fingertips dance across the planes of his chest. His breath hitched as she teased over his stomach and the creases of his hips.

“Jyn, you don’t - ”

“You need this,” she repeated in a whisper in his ear. Heat flooded her belly as she reached under his sleep pants and found that despite his attempt at protest his body was more than happy with her touch.

His head dropped back with a groan of pleasure as she took him in both hands, massaging him slowly from base to tip and back again. He reached back to touch her but could only grab at her thighs. Jyn pressed her mouth along his shoulder blades and nipped at him. Her own arousal built into an ache, but she wanted to take care of him first, knowing he would put her pleasure before his own if given the choice.

She dropped her forehead to his back and her breath quickened, matching his and the movement of her hands until Cassian’s body tightened, his hands clutched at the sheets, and he growled out her name as he spilled hot and sticky over her hands. Jyn pushed up on to her knees so she could pull his head back to kiss him deeply until his body sagged back against her. His muscles were soft and his arms were limp, a sharp contrast to how rigid and stiff he had been when she had first woke. The lines in his brow had faded leaving him looking peaceful.

“Now will you come back to bed?” Jyn asked as she ran her fingers along his scalp, enjoying how he melted further.

“Yes,” he sighed, but then he moved and Jyn yelped as he turned and pulled her legs from under her so that she was on her back on the bed. He knelt above her and kissed her neck in a way that mad her shiver. “But I’m still not going to get any sleep.”

Chapter Text

The party isn’t really a celebration, but the Rebels never did get the chance to blow off any steam after the battle of Yavin. Command have turned a blind eye to what is an open secret: smuggled booze, music, a night of soldiers who know nothing but war just being civilians for a change. The caverns of this dusty moon where they’ve made their temporary base after Yavin are decorated with strings of yellow lights that remind her of the fireflies of Lahmu and the sweet alcohol warms all the way down to her stomach.

Jyn stands at the edges of it all, watching and taking it all in, still unused to being part of something again. Watching Cassian, something she hasn’t been able to stop doing since Scarif. His sleeves are rolled up and his collar is open and he is smiling as he talks to Kes. Her heart flutters hard against her ribs. Home, she thinks, I’m home wherever you are.

Cassian must feel her gaze because he turns and his dark eyes catch the lights, and he doesn’t even react when Kes slaps him on the shoulder and walks off chuckling and shaking his head. Jyn has to chew her lip to keep from smiling as he makes his way towards her, and wonders if this inexplicable and overwhelming happiness is love or lust or both. Whatever it is, she wants more, wants to pull it close with both hands and not let go.

She wants him. The look he is giving her says that it’s mutual, that this wonderful aching tension between them is going to burn them both alive if they don’t move forwards.

He seems shy, suddenly, even as he steps into her space and leans his forearm against the wall beside her, facing her.

He has to lean down a little to talk to her over the noise of the party and his nose bumps against her cheek as he speaks close to her ear.

“Are you alright?” He asks, and Jyn chuckles because he’s always so concerned for her. She can’t help but be honest in response.

“I’m happy,” she presses up close to him so he will hear, finds herself putting her hands on him for balance. “I’m happy I stayed here.” With you. With the cause.

He pulls back, and his smile in response is surprised, but blinding in its joy. He’s beautiful, she thinks, and maybe he’s in love with me too.

Her hands are still on his chest and she can feel his heart beat beneath her palms and his voice rumbles in his chest.

“I’m happy you stayed too, Jyn.”

Maybe it’s the alcohol that makes him brave and her pliant, but she lets him come to her, lets him make the move and she wonders how they can even kiss at all with the smiles on their faces.

A kiss. Soft and sweet and oh she feels like she has waited so long for this; she’s been drowning in the thought of him and now it’s finally real and she can breathe. She’s never had anything sweet or anything hers. His lips are soft, his stubble scratches her chin and his hand winds into her hair to keep her close.

Around them there are whistles, catcalls that make her blush but also make her fist her hands in his shirt to pull him closer to spite them, and then -

- an alarm. Sirens. Shouting, then screaming, and then the entire moon shakes under her feet.

Cassian tears himself from her, his lips red. “It’s an attack,” he says over the chaos. “They’ve found us.”

Glasses and bottles crash to the ground. The music squawks to a stop. The drunk are sobered by what’s happening, and the dancers run for their lives.

They run. Jyn lets the steps of the protocol soothe and focus her. Evacuate. Relocate. Rendezvous. Get to the ships in the hangar at the other end of the base. Getting as many people out alive as possible is the priority. There are people everywhere, and the comms buzz with voices. Attack. Imperials. Stormtroopers. In orbit. West section destroyed. Evacuate.

They’re almost at the hangar when the something hits nearby with a deafening boom and she is thrown backwards off her feet as if a Wookie had grabbed her and slammed her into the wall. All breath explodes out of her body, and the last thing Jyn sees is the ceiling caving in above her, as Cassian shouts her name.

When she wakes, Jyn has no idea how long it’s been. Her ears are ringing, but she knows she isn’t deaf because she can hear something thumping steadily beneath whatever her left ear is pressed against. Beyond that there is the hum of something - a ship? It’s soothing, the thumping noise, and she focuses on it until her other senses kick in.

Smell first, as she burrows closer to the sound she smells sweat and blaster oil and carbon. Cassian, she thinks. It makes her feel safe, but her brain can’t yet process why.

Pain, next. Her head begins to throb in time with the thumping noise - an ache at the back of her skull and something sharp along her forehead. Her body hurts all over, as if she’s been trampled by a herd of wampas. She groans and feels dust and sand in her throat. There’s the faint taste of copper in her mouth.

She’s being held, she realises. Breath ghosts along her forehead, something soft presses against her skin there. A kiss. Warm hands soothe up her arms and back, and there’s a soft rumble beneath her as she hears her name and it vibrates through her.

“Jyn, are you awake?”

Her brain pauses at that. Something warm and soft but firm rests on the side of her face, and her eyes flutter open. She squints against her blurred vision and tries again, lifts her head carefully and sees Cassian looking down at her, and it’s his hand she can feel on her face, his thumb caressing back and forth over her cheekbone.

Oh, she thinks, and it’s a good thing her voice won’t work at that moment. You’re holding me. That’s new.

And then he smiles down at her and she forgets her name for a moment.

“Do you remember what happened?”

There’s dust and loud noises, and music and the taste of something sweet. Music. Sirens.

Jyn looks around, flinching at the pain and stiffness in her neck. Dozens and dozens of people are on the floor of the ship they are on. Some are alone, others are cuddled up together, some are bandaged.

“…an attack?”

“Yeah,” Cassian sighs and cards his fingers through her hair. He looks exhausted, she thinks. “The base was compromised. Most of us got out.”

Most wasn’t all, and she squeezes her eyes shut as the room spins against the thought of the loss of life. She grabs the front of his shirt as if it would stop the room from spinning.

“You have a concussion, but the medics are overwhelmed with the seriously injured. I told them I would watch over you.”

“You always do,” her voice sounds slurred to her ears, and his chuckle vibrates through her. “I’m fine, I think. Just don’t move, ok?”

His lips press softly to her forehead again, and she doesn’t resist the urge to bury her face against his neck and inhale his scent, to feel the warmth and solidness of his body against hers. He feels like home.

“You don’t remember anything else?” His lips move against her hairline and he feels tense beneath her.

Jyn tries against the pounding of her head and it’s like swimming against the tide. Solo and the Princess arguing in front of an audience that whooped and cheered in response as if it were a play. Baze laughing loudly and often, and everyone seeming so surprised by it. Bodhi’s big grin as the X-wing pilots pulled him into their circle. Cassian smiling, and her breath being taken away by the beauty of it.

Cassian standing close to her, his heartbeat beneath her palm. The smell of him as she leaned in close to speak into his ear.

And his lips on hers.

Oh. OH. The memory of his kiss rushes through her hazy brain and her toes curl in happiness despite the pain in her body. How could the Empire almost take this from her, the only sweet and pure moment in her adult life?

She hums against his neck, nuzzles in close before pulling back to look at him, waits for her vision to clear.

“Kiss me again?”

He smiles, and pulls her close and kisses her softly, and it’s just as perfect as the first time.

Chapter Text

It takes her far too long to answer the door to her house and his heart is in his throat, pounding in time with his fist on the wood.

Jyn swings the door open and stands there, wide eyed and dressed for bed.

“Detective Andor? What are you doing here - hey!” She squawks as he pushes past her into the house. Cassian locks the door behind him and peeks out through the curtain. He catches the flash of headlights but whoever it is has parked down the street, which means they’re approaching on foot. This nice quiet suburb is about to get very messy. He left the the force in Mexico to get away from life or death and it’s followed him to this quiet little town.

“Detective - Cassian - what’s going on?” Jyn grips his arm and stands close. It’s only the third time they’ve met and he’s not used to someone always standing so near to him, not used the the somersault his stomach does when he looks at those big green eyes.

“I found him, your father.” Cassian pulls away and takes the measure of the house. Two exits. Three if you count the upstairs bedroom window that overlooks the porch. He grabs her arm where she’s stood frozen in shock and pulls her along to the kitchen. “You need to get out of here, now.”

“But - Cassian what are you saying?” Jyn stumbles and almost falls into his arms as he turns, and his hands frame her face as if she were a lover and not a client.

“Your father works for Palpatine,” Her jaw goes tight and her eyes turn to steel, and he sees the beautiful woman carved out of marble he met in his office only a week ago; the sullen daughter hoping to find a long lost parent. “The industrialist, the druglord, the arms dealer - call him what you will. I went to one of his offices asking questions about Galen Erso yesterday and since then three people have tried to kill me. And then someone broke into my office but the only thing missing was your file with your address. I don’t think any of this is coincidence, do you?”

To Jyn’s credit, she doesn’t argue. Her eyes meet his - a virtual stranger barging into her home in the middle of the night, dragging her out into the streets - and something tightens in his gut at the trust it takes for her to nod and follow him.

“Wait!” She calls as she scrambles back to the hallway. She grabs her purse from the bottom of the stairs and from it pulls an impressive handgun. “We might need this.”

It shouldn’t turn him on when she turns the safety off and primes it, but it does.

As they disappear into the shadows outside together, hand in hand, he thinks that if they make it through this he’s definitely going to ask her out.

Chapter Text

It takes some fairly spectacular and illegal manoeuvres on Cassian’s part, but eventually they lose their tail and make it out of town and onto the desert highway. If it weren’t for the shots that had been fired at them as they ran from her house to his car, he wouldn’t blame Jyn for thinking she was being kidnapped.

“Where did you get that gun?” He asks when there’s only the silence of the road and the stars between them. The rear view mirrors shows nothing, no headlights behind them.

“My foster father,” Jyn runs her hand over the outline of the gun in her purse on her lap. She looks tired now, and perhaps a little less confident than earlier. “He was a veteran, and somewhat paranoid. He made sure I knew how to protect myself.”

“And can you?”

Her head drops back against the headrest, and he catches a glint in her eye in the mirror and wishes he could see it under different circumstances. “Let’s hope you never have to find out.”

He does hope, hopes that someday they can drive through the desert with a blanket of stars above them and smiles on their faces. She shivers and crosses her arms over her chest, and it brings him back to the present. She’s still dressed in just cotton pyjamas. Cassian stretches his arm behind him to the back seat, gropes around until he feels something fluffy beneath his hand.

“Here, take this.” He pulls the parka through to the front seat. It’s heavy as he holds it in one hand, the other on the steering wheel. “You’re cold, take it.”

There’s a beat before he feels the weight of the coat transfer to her, and it rustles as she wraps it around her. He steals a glance, feels warmth in his chest at the sight of her bundled up in the puffy blue coat with fur haloed around her head. “Thanks,” her breath puffs out in a small cloud. “And I’m sorry that you’ve been dragged into this. I mean, I thought my father was dead or living with a secret family or something, maybe he was just a dirtbag who never recovered after my mum, I never thought he would be working for the biggest criminal in America.”

“You couldn’t have known, Jyn.” And I should have turned around and walked away the moment Palpatine’s name came up, but the need in your eyes... how could I let something that burned so bright extinguish?

“I should have. My family is cursed.” Out of the corner of his eye he sees her hands pluck at a loose thread near the zipper of his coat. “Saw - my foster father - I always thought he knew more than he let on and he told me not to go digging. Guess now I know why.”

“Maybe he just wanted to protect you.”

“Yeah,” she sighs, and chuckles. “I never was great at doing what I was told.”

Cassian smiles, not in the least bit surprised. “There’s a motel about an hour north from here. We can hide out there tonight, and figure out a plan.”

He feels her eyes on him, measuring. “I would say you’re just trying to get into my pants, but hiring someone to shoot at us seems a bit elaborate.”

He chuckles. “I am not trying to get into your pants, I promise.”

She’s quiet for a moment, head tilted back and eyes a heavy weight on him like a caress. “Hmm. There’s still time.”

Cassian’s heart jumps into his throat and he stares at her for too long, as she bites her lip against a smile and looks up at him through her lashes. He clears his throat as he snaps back to the present and refocuses on the road, hears her yawn.

“Get some sleep,” he reaches out and squeezes her hand, driven by some strange force to just touch her. “I’ll wake you when we get there.”

Jyn shuffles in her seat, squeezes his hand and closes her eyes. “I trust you.”

Should you? he thinks as he looks at her lashes that are long and dark against her pale cheek. If you knew the things I had done... Cassian sighs and rubs his left hand against his forehead to ease the tension building there, loneliness sitting like ice in his chest as Jyn sleeps.

I wish I could promise that I could keep you safe.

Chapter Text

The newest base after Yavin IV is small and ill-equipped for the number of people living on it. What it does have, though, is a small room full of sonics especially for cleaning clothes. Cassian, finding himself with a rare bit of downtime on base and a bag full of clothes needing cleaned, opens the door to find Jyn already in there.

She turns, smiles and bites her bottom lip and his heart skips a beat.

She fills her arms with clean laundry from the machine and walks towards the door. “Hey, I was just finishing up. See you at dinner?”

“Yeah,” he breathes in the scent of her as she passes, the smell of clean clothes and Jyn. “See you there.”

She looks back over her shoulder at him with pink cheeks and smile.

As soon as the door closes he heaves a sigh and tries to gather his senses back to the present. How could such a brief encounter leave him so breathless?

He opens the lid of the sonic and sees something at the bottom. He reaches in and pulls out a small piece of black fabric, unfolds it, and -

Oh.

Simple, standard issue briefs, black and modestly cut, should not have this much of an effect on him, but in his defence it’s been a long time since he’s been that close to anyone else and these are Jyn’s.

Cassian takes a deep breath, closes his eyes, and tries his best not to picture Jyn wearing nothing but this scrap of fabric, and fails miserably. He groans, pinches the bridge of his nose and shoves the briefs into his pocket and out of sight.

As he does his laundry he charts flight paths, calculates hyperspace jumps, and desperately thinks of anything else.

After dinner, he walks Jyn back to her quarters, distracted all the while and wondering if he could simply slip the briefs into her pocket without her noticing, but as they reach her door he panics.

“Here, you - you left these behind earlier.” His skin feels hot all the way up to the tips of his ears as he glances up and down the corridor to make sure no one sees, before pushing the fabric into her hands as if it were a drug deal.

“Oh,” she says, caressing the inside of his wrist as she closes her hand around the underwear in his fist. She looks up at him with a wicked grin and a shrug. “Did I?”

As she turns and opens the door to her quarters, Jyn looks back over her shoulder and gives him the same look from the laundry room, pretending at innocence and missing her mark by a mile.

As the door shuts, Cassian thinks he might burst into flames where he stands.

Chapter Text

By the time the battle of Endor is finished, they haven’t seen each other for more than a few minutes at a time in weeks. Stolen kisses and embraces between missions, confirmation that the other was still alive and in once piece all they had to cling to, the only thing to keep them fighting through the final days of the Empire. There were times Jyn thought she was drowning without Cassian on those awful in between days when he was off Force knows where, and then she would see him and it would be like taking a lungful of air; just enough to keep her alive until she started suffocating again.

When they first land on Endor she catches a glimpse of him, standing with his own squadron. She's surprised to see him with the ground troops; he must have just returned to base and her heart warms because there's no way he would have sat this one out. His eyes seek her out, and when they land on her his gaze is as heavy as a caress. They speak without words - are you ok? I'm fine. I miss you, be safe - and then Solo calls for her group to move out.

As she passes, she reaches and links her little finger with his only for a second, and feels alive.

Cassian seeks her out when it's over, after what feels like hours of recovery and regrouping. Jyn doesn't hesitate to throw herself into his arms in front of everyone, protocol be damned, and he catches her and holds on tight as if she's the only thing keeping him alive.

They don't stop touching after that. His hand is on her lower back as they join the celebrations, her head on his shoulder as they sit by the fire. And later as they lie together on the forest floor Jyn marvels at touching him, because it feels like the first time all over again.

With the Death Star’s debris still shimmering above them, she thinks it’s because they’re already not the same people they were a few hours ago.

She straddles his lap, uncaring of who might see (she’s nearly sure some of her fellow soldiers have been up to worse in the shadows of the trees as the celebration has worn on). It’s dark bar the firelight and the stars, and in the flickering light he looks as young as his years for once. His eyes are black and glittering and hooded, and there’s half a smile on his face. Always watching.

Jyn takes Cassian’s hands in hers, places a kiss to each palm and shivers when he slides both hands down her front to her hips, the perfect pressure against her breasts and stomach. She returns the motion in reverse and slides her hands from his hips to his chest. She feels the toll of the last few weeks in the sharpness of his hip bones and ribs as her hands pass over them.

She pauses at his heart and feels it beat under her palm, a rhythm that has soothed her to sleep so many nights. Alive and here and hers, at the end of the war. Tears sting her eyes and for once she doesn’t fight them. Cassian copies her, brings his hand up to her heart and just rests it there.

For a moment, it’s just their heartbeats. She feels her own as much as his, together as one.

His eyes are shining, too. His breath stutters and his body tenses and he surges up to kiss her. He touches her everywhere - hands firm over her back, arms, thighs and chest - and she does the same. Warmth blooms from the pit of her stomach and spreads through every inch of her, and it feels like the burning light on Scarif all over again.

Another end, another new beginning.

Chapter Text

It’s night when they land on Mikel V, and Jyn’s breath catches in her throat when she steps outside of the ship.

Cassian had landed them on high ground, far above the town in the valley below them, putting them close to the blanket of millions of stars surrounding them. The sparkling sky is split with streaks of neon green and tinges of purple pink, and Jyn steps close to the mountain edge as if she could step out into the sky and walk on the borealis.

It reminds her of crystals her mother had on Lahmu, her favourites stored in a wooden box: there was a rainbow quartz that changed colour at every angle, and Jyn used to beg to be allowed to play with it.

Behind her she hears Cassian’s footsteps, and a quiet intake of breath as he approaches. She glances at him, his dark eyes wide and reflecting the lights above them. His mouth is open slightly and in his wonder he looks young and sweet, like the man she wants to know better.

“I though you’d been here before?” Jyn asks, letting her eyes wander back to the sky.

“I have, but I’ve never just stopped and looked before,” he chuckles. “Is that crazy?”

Jyn nudges her shoulder into his arm, fondness blooming in her chest. “No. Saw always used to make me stop and take notice of things like this, something about appreciating the beauty of the galaxy we were fighting for. And then he left, and I couldn’t see beauty anywhere.”

She hears him shift, the fabric of his coat rustling as he steps closer beside her, and his gaze weighs heavy on her profile. “And now?”

Jyn gazes at the stars and the lights, but she’s thinking of Cassian’s face when she says, “I think there are beautiful things worth fighting for.” Her cheeks burn when she glances sideways at him and catches the half-smile that really is one of the most stunning sights in the galaxy.

As his fingers tangle with hers, Cassian leans in close and presses his lips to the top of her head. “Me, too.”

Chapter Text

The Death Star is gone, its ashes glittering in the atmosphere of Yavin IV like falling stars. It’s been hours since Skywalker got his perfect shot, since everyone on base exploded in joy before panic and grief set in.

It’s been hours since Cassian saw Jyn, since she jumped into his arms with tears in her eyes and he breathed her in and held her tight and before he lost her in the crowd of celebrating rebels. Somehow, he knew she would be out here under the stars in quiet solitude.

“Your father would have been proud,” he says softly, not wanting his voice to be so loud as to disturb the beauty of Jyn standing under the sparkling sky. The words feel like a phantom, an echo of something he should have said in another life.

Jyn doesn’t jump, and only turns her head slightly. How is it, Cassian wonders, that they are so attuned to each other? Is this love, or shared trauma? He’s not experienced enough in the former to know the difference.

Her smile is sad. “He was right. He was telling the truth, this whole time.”

Cassian stands close, behind her and to her side, fights the urge to wrap his arms around her. “And now everyone knows that Galen Erso was a rebel all along.”

“I hated him for so long.” Her voice trembles and it stabs at Cassian’s heart. “Even if he was here now, I’d still hate him. But I wish he could have seen this.”

Guilt is a sour taste at the back of his mouth. In his dreams and his nightmares he has wanted to apologise to those he has killed for the cause and the loved ones they left behind, now he has the chance and he has to force the words past the lump in his throat. “Jyn, I’m sorry. It’s my fault he’s gone.”

“You didn’t pull the trigger.”

“No, but it’s still my fault. If I had listened to my gut - to my heart - sooner... the fleet never would have arrived. We could have planned better, worked together to get him out of there.” Galen Erso’s eyes will haunt me for as long as I live, he wants to say, but her shoulders tense and her gaze falls to the ground. Her voice is small when she speaks, nothing like the rallying speech on their journey to Scarif.

“Why didn’t you? Why didn’t you pull the trigger?”

She’s so close, and he wishes he could bury his face in her hair to hide the ache in his voice. “Because I believed you. I believed in you. And I looked at your father and I saw you in him. It shouldn’t have taken the sight of him in my scope to accept that it was true. I’ve followed orders for so long, done awful things for the right reasons, given my soul to the greater good for as long as I can remember,” He stops as the volume of his voice rises, takes a breath to calm himself. “His death is on my conscience. I won’t forget him.”

Jyn is quiet for a long time. Behind them he can hear the noise of their fellow rebels in the temples, the soft sounds of debris falling through the atmosphere and ships landing and taking off. Cassian’s heart pounds in his chest, and he is about to turn and walk away, unworthy of her, when she speaks again.

“I don’t blame you, Cassian.” She turns her head, just enough to look him in the eye. “Krennic would have killed him anyway, you know that. His time was up.”
“Jyn - ”

“Everything you’ve done since I’ve met you has proved that you’re a good man. And I trust you, Cassian.” She looks ahead again and her gaze raises to the stars as she wraps her arms around herself as if it were cold instead of oppressively humid. “I haven’t trusted anyone in a long time.”

His hands curl and stretch at his sides to stop himself from grabbing her, from shaking her and telling her that he’s no good, he is death and poison. His stomach lurches with nerves. There’s been something growing inside of him since Eadu, since the moment he accepted that he couldn’t take that shot - a burning light, just like the one on Scarif, that has burned away some of his shadows. Hope, he thinks, I have hope again. His voice shakes when he speaks. “Me, too.”

He can’t see her face, wishes he could see how the lights in the sky catch in the green of her eyes. Something better happens, when she shifts her weight back slightly to lean against him, the back of her head a welcome weight on his chest. Cassian holds his breath as he registers the warmth of her body against his front, an absolution he never could have dreamed of deserving. She smells of space and soap and Jyn. With a different kind of courage than called for by the battlefield, he wraps his arms over hers and holds her close, and lets peace quiet his guilt for now.

 

.

Chapter Text

“And then...this?” Jyn pulled the lever towards her, and felt the ship respond immediately as it settled into Hoth’s orbit. Cassian’s legs bracketed her where she sat on the edge of the pilot seat with him behind her.

“Perfect,” Cassian spoke close to her ear and Jyn suppressed a shiver that had as much to do with the pitch of his voice as it did with the feeling of his lips so close to her neck. “You’re a natural.” He nuzzled behind her ear, right at the spot that never failed to make her tremble.

Jyn chuckled. “I did learn the basics years ago, enough to make quick getaways at least. Orbiting is new. Can’t say I ever had such a hands-on teacher though.”

Cassian huffed a laugh against her neck. His hands, which had been guiding hers until she gained confidence with the controls, now squeezed her waist and his thumbs drew circles on her lower back. “You barely needed my help, so I got distracted.”

“Cassian, I’m starting to think that you had something other than flying lessons on your mind when you brought me up here.”

“Not initially,” the sharp scruff of his moustache scratched along the top of her spine and Jyn thought she might melt into a puddle on the floor. “But what kind of agent would I be if I didn’t adapt and take advantage of the situation?”

A simple rock of her hips backwards against him would even the playing field, but Jyn was too busy enjoying the delicious torture as Cassian kissed and nibbled every part of her neck in reach, his fingers digging into the front of her hips which only reminded her of other times he had gripped her there hard enough to bruise. Jyn leaned back against him, felt the solid warmth of his chest which was covered by his puffy blue vest, and covered his hands with hers.

“So this wasn’t a grand romantic gesture?” Jyn sighed, and pulled his hands up the front of her body to the zip of her jacket, where she wrapped his fingers around it. Her disappointment was only feigned; for her a romantic gesture was Cassian stealing an extra blanket for them or cleaning her blaster, both of which were enough to melt her heart because they were more than she had ever expected in her life.

“Can we pretend it was, and make the most of it? No bunk mates, no frost bite, no orders...” His voice was a rumble in his chest against her back, and while one of his hands pulled down the zip of her jacket, the other slipped inside to cover her breast and Jyn whined. Below them Hoth was silent and white, and at that moment no one else in the universe even existed.

“Is there even a bunk on this ship?” Jyn asked as she ground her hips backwards. Cassian seemed as taken aback by the question as he was by the pressure of her directly against him.

“...no?”

Grinning, Jyn turned and climbed into his lap, and Cassian looked delighted. “Pilot’s chair it is then, Captain.”

Chapter Text

Jyn gasped as Cassian’s rough hands slipped up her thighs, making the silk of her long, jewel studded dress bunch up at her hips. Her heart began to race, and not just because they were in the office of a Grand Moff who was hosting some of the biggest and richest donors to the Imperial war machine, or because there was a datastick of newly-downloaded valuable data hidden in her bra. Cassian knelt before her dressed in crisp grey and his long boots creaked as he pressed closer to her.

“We’re going to get caught,” she meant to sound authoritative, but instead it came out as a breathy laugh. Cassian’s mouth pressed against her inner thigh and the friction against her clit when he moved her underwear to one side made her legs tremble. Her head thudded back against the wall, her chignon buffering her skull, as he sucked a mark into her flesh.

“We’re supposed to get caught,” his breath was hot against her centre, she was burning and all the blood in her body seemed to rush to her groin. He looked up at her and his dark brown eyes shone with lust and a mischief she was addicted to bringing out in him. “We might as well make it authentic.”

Jyn laughed and sighed and gripped his hair as his tongue reached out to taste her.

Chapter Text

Dawn on Naboo was stunning. Jyn felt like a heroine from a holonovel as she stood on the balcony, dressed in a soft white robe that fluttered in the breeze. She looked out on the green land and sparkling lake, and heard birds singing. The sun was warm on her face and the air felt clean. She had forgotten how good it felt to breathe fresh air and to wake up to natural sounds. The peace and luxury was so alien that when she and Cassian had first arrived here yesterday, she thought she would climb out of her skin at the wrongness of it. They were not the type to sleep on silk sheets when a blanket on the ground would do, or eat fancy food when military rations were sufficient. Looking out over the scenery after a decadent evening of comfort and lovemaking, of being just themselves for a change, Jyn thought that maybe this kind of thing was ok after all.

This had all been Leia's doing, a wedding gift a year to the day after the actual event. While the rest of the galaxy celebrated the first anniversary of the fall of the Empire at Jakku, Jyn and Cassian were hiding away in paradise. Leia hadn't given them much choice. They had barely had a day at rest since the war began, and just as little time to themselves since the war ended. Neither of them were good at sitting still, but Jyn knew that was something they would have to get used to.

In the bedroom behind her Cassian groaned as he woke and stretched in the oversized bed. Jyn smiled, she could imagine the aches in his thighs from their exertions and hoped that his back at least felt rested. He worked so hard, her husband, through exhaustion and old injuries, to rebuild the galaxy as much as he had battled to free it. He had earned his rest and the happiness of peace.

It had been too long since they had this kind of alone time. Well, six weeks at least, according to the medics on Home One, and Jyn smiled at her secret. She could have told Cassian last night, but the thought of a little more time to themselves, even just one night to reconnect as husband and wife, had made her hold her tongue. Everything was about to change in their lives. She sensed more than heard Cassian’s bare feet padding along the marble tiles and hummed in pleasure as his arms came around her and he kissed her neck.

“I take it all back, I could get used to this.” Jyn said and shivered as Cassian’s stubble tickled her skin and his hands pressed low on her hips.

“I suppose it’s not so bad, every once in a while. Maybe we can do this again next year.” His lips trailed along her shoulder, and pulled her back against the solid security of his body.

“Next year,” Jyn exhaled shakily, as excited as she was terrified, and took his hands in hers to place them over her abdomen, “next year, love, it won’t just be us.”

She took a deep breath and steeled herself to turn to look at him, prepared to savour the moment. The expression on Cassian’s face - overwhelming joy, undying love, wide-eyed surprise - was the greatest anniversary gift she could have received.

Chapter Text

Jyn has been in the blistering deserts of Tattooine and the sweltering jungles of Onderon, but here, on Hoth of all places, she doesn’t think she has ever felt heat like this. Maybe it’s because she was alone for so long, deprived of the warmth of another human, of touch. She has forgotten what another body could feel like against her own, and how it feels to be alive beyond the basics of surviving.

Cassian’s mouth is a like a brand. He presses against her lips, slides his tongue against hers. All her focus is on the wet heat of him as he traces her lips and licks against her tongue. She wonders if she is like ice to him (she has been told that before, that she is cold, she is frigid, she is stone). She has always imagined that her blood runs cold, cold enough to burn anyone who would dare get so close. Touching her, she thought, was like sticking your bare hand into the snow outside the base. How can this wonderful, warm-hearted man dare to risk frostbite for her?

She gasps as his mouth moves to her jaw, her neck, sucking marks into her skin for all to see. The lower half of her body arches against him seeking more of his warmth. She pulls him close, grips and tears and claws at him. Clothes disappear and her skin pebbles in the cold air in a contrast to where she ignites at his touch and she is pressed down against cool sheets that she wants to writhe away from.

Jyn runs her hands over his skin and he is hot sand under the desert sun. She wonders if he could burn her too, scar her, like scorching sand held too long in her hands. Even his name torches a trail as it slips from her heart, to her throat, out of her mouth. He is a searing sun and she has been a cold dead star for too long. He blazes a path down her body with hands and lips and tongue.

When his mouth is on the juncture of her hip and thigh, so close to where she has felt dead and cold for so long but now feels nothing but a smouldering wetness, he looks up at her. In his dark, shining eyes she sees an affection and tenderness that makes her light up from her heart outwards as if she is going supernova. If loving him and having him like this means being burned alive she will happily let him strike the match.

Chapter Text

Aria Prime isn’t so different from Lahmu, and Jyn realises that her mother’s melancholy during their time there was probably as much to do with missing her homeland as with their situation.

They just happen to be passing the planet after another mission. A year into peacetime, and Jyn knows they’ve been free to come here any time she could have wanted. But she thought she had been content to bury her curiosity, to be satisfied with what few precious memories she had of Lyra. Her body has had other ideas. More and more she has found herself thinking of a family of her own, of a baby growing within her. Whatever you decide, Cassian said when she told him, I’m yours no matter what.

It’s not that she never wanted children, it’s more that she never thought she would live to see a galaxy worth bringing a child into - or someone to love enough to want to raise a child with. Now both of those things have happened, it feels less like her body is betraying her (it seems to scream, daily, with it’s desire to procreate) and more like a natural conclusion.

She can’t resist the call to Aria Prime as they pass, as the conflict wages within her. Between her own research, and that done by Cassian before they had ever even met, the most they have is her mother’s maiden name. Lyra Palas, born and raised on Aria Prime, died on Lahmu, buried on Coruscant. They land close to the small settlement with links to that name. It doesn’t have Lahmu’s black sand, but it does have a grey, rainy coastline that is surrounded by hills and caves. As they make their way from the ship to the town, Jyn can see that the caves and coastline sparkle even in the sunlight that is dulled by heavy cloud. There are crystals within the rocks - how fascinated Lyra must have been as a child by the magical, iridescent shimmering in the hills!

Cassian’s excellent research skills lead them to a distant cousin - distant in blood, but filled with memories of a young Lyra and Jyn’s grandparents. “A wonderful woman,” says Tona as she serves them sweet tea by the peat-fuelled hearth in her home by the sea. “So intense, passionate. Everything she did, she gave her whole heart. I see that in you. You look very much like her.”

Jyn blinks. She has always thought of herself as so much like her father.

Tona talks and talks, as if she has been waiting decades to tell these stories. Jyn absorbs every word, storing them away for further examination. There are paintings created by Lyra’s mother which Tona gifts to them, claiming that Jyn is their rightful owner. Cassian smiles and nods at her side, and looks at her as if she is something precious as he discovers more and more of her history.

“Lyra always wanted children,” says Tona as the evening grows late. “I used to say to her, ‘But why? Every day the galaxy grows more and more dangerous. Even here we are not safe’.” Tona sighs and reaches out, the papery thin skin of her hands covering Jyn’s. “She would say, ‘All the more reason to bring new hope to life. After all, without hope what is worth fighting for?’”

They say their goodbyes. Tona is elderly and needs her rest. Jyn promises to return, exhausted and invigorated by all she has learned. They will spend a night on the ship to rest before returning to the base they cal home. As they curl up in their bunk listening to the gentle rain hitting the hull, Jyn smiles as she presses her lips to Cassian’s neck.

“Yes, Cass,” she says. “Let’s start our family. Let’s find something new to fight for.”

They make a start that very night.

Chapter Text

Thank you for distracting me from my grumpiness! Blame my sleep deprivation for this one, it’s a bit rushed.

 

They’re both so busy arguing that it takes her a moment to realise just how close they are. She can feel Cassian’s breath on her face and has to square her shoulders and tilt up her chin to not show any sign that the extra height he has on her is in any way intimidating. Jyn hears her own voice growing louder as they shout over each other. Her cheeks are burning and her heart is pounding.

“You could have died.”

“You should have stayed put.”

“I saved you!”

“And you put yourself at risk for me!”

When Cassian’s voice changes to a low growl and he’s practically spitting the words out, his accent heavier than usual, nostrils flaring - I’m not worth it, Jyn - she feels her blood turn even hotter and it’s not just from anger.

You’re worth it to me! She thinks, but she can’t voice the words as her throat locks up. She doesn’t know who snaps first, just that one second she was looking at his lips and the next he is kissing her fiercely.

It feels more like a fight than a kiss. She bites at his lip and he tangles his fingers in her hair and pulls, hard enough to sting. She fists her hands in his shirt pulling him hard against her, rising up on her toes to get her hips in line with his. Her skin burns with pleasure and anticipation and it’s almost enough to wipe out the anger she had felt.

He pushes her back into the wall and she grins - not a smile of joy, but something that feels the same as the feral showing of teeth she’s caught herself doing when breaking the bones of her enemies. Cassian is the opposite of intimidated, pressing hard against her and once again yanking her head back by the hair. There’s lava in her veins, sparks lighting where he bites at her neck. He grunts as she shoves his jacket away and pulls his shirt from his pants, fumbles with the fastenings of his fly. The voice of reason in her head is drowned out by the heavy pulsing in her core. She’s angry and scared and fuelled by adrenaline because she almost lost him and he thinks that his death wouldn’t be worth anything but she needs him, can’t breathe without him, doesn’t know how else to show him. She shivers as his hands slide under her shirt and cup her breasts, but it’s not enough, it’s too slow, even as he bites hard on her collarbone. She deals with her own belt and pushes her pants down, turns to face the wall.

Cassian presses up against her, and she trembles at where she can feel him against her, as turned on as she is. His slips his hand around and between her legs, and his hips rock against her as he finds her more than ready. She arches back against him, reaches up and over to grip his hair as he slides into her. The ache intensifies with the stretch of him inside her. She thinks she might die if that ache doesn’t subside, can’t remember what it was like to not want him. He is merciful and grips her hips so hard she knows she’ll feel him there for days and he doesn’t take his time, doesn’t try for gentle. She doesn’t know what to do with gentle or soft or slow, but she almost lost him and needs to feel anything but that horrible fear that had settled in her stomach when his comm went dead. This isn’t about lust, the orgasm that’s building swiftly inside and out as he finds the perfect angle and slips his hand back between her legs isn’t going to end her want for him, but it will wipe out the aftermath of that sickening rush of adrenaline she had felt when she thought she was alone in the galaxy again.

Jyn pushes against the wall, wanting to feel more, wanting to feel nothing at all, wanting Cassian to feel something good because he deserves it, he deserves everything good in the galaxy, deserves better than her. They both drive harder, and harder, and as Cassian groans and stutters Jyn whites out, feels her entire body lock up tight for a long moment before all of her muscles release at once and she collapses against the wall.

The only noise for a long time is the sound of their breathing. Cassian leans his forehead against her shoulder and whispers.

“Jyn, we-”

She can’t. She can’t talk about this, can’t face it. She squeezes her eyes shut and her muscles tense, and he must notice, because he sighs and slips from her, leaving her empty. The ache remains, the one in her core is satisfied but the one in her chest hurts as much as ever. She listens to him, hears him fix his clothes, and when he’s gone from the room she lets herself tremble and sort out her clothes. She turns and leans against the wall and slides down to the floor.

She wants to be gentle, wants to be loving. Saw used to always tell her that anger was only ever a disguise for fear, and she knows now he was right. She’s terrified of loving Cassian, terrified of what losing him would do to her. The only comfort she can find as she wraps her arms around herself is the certainty that his anger comes from the same place.

Chapter Text

Jyn grunted as her knees hit the ground and with her hands tied behind her back she nearly tipped onto her face until she was yanked backwards by someone grabbing her jacket. She took a deep breath as the thick hood was pulled from her head and the cool night air of the desert met the condensation on her skin. She immediately looked beside her to Cassian, the sound of his footsteps and his grunts of pain having been the only thing to keep her sane over the last half-hour as they were marched through the sand. The fire in Jyn’s belly raged at the indignity of being captured, but what really worried her was the expression on Cassian’s face - the fact that he looked at all as angry as she felt meant that he wasn’t in control, and she knew how rare that was. The desert at night was nothing but black in all directions, apart from the torches now lit in a circle around them, held by half a dozen masked attackers and the firelight glinted off the silver metal of their demonic helmets.

"We're on your side, Cloud-Riders," Cassian growled.

"That's for us to decide," one of their attackers replied in Huttese.

Cloud-Riders, Jyn thought in amazement as a memory clicked into place. She felt less afraid, though no less confused. Saw had cut ties with them as part of his descent into paranoia and she had heard little of them since he had cut ties with her, too. She had been so excited a decade ago when he had agreed to bring her along to meet the infamous Enfys Nest, a woman whose words had been carved on Jyn’s heart ever since.

“Take us to Enfys, then,” Jyn spat, “and stop wasting our time.”

The Cloud-Riders murmured. Jyn stole a glance at Cassian. He raised an eyebrow at her and nodded. He had to know Nest, even if her people weren’t currently on the Alliance’s payroll. He would trust her knowledge, and she would trust his, even if they couldn’t communicate. She smiled at him, because they had been reading each other’s minds for the last six months.

“Prisoners don’t usually give orders,” a woman’s voice spoke. She stepped forward from the darkness, her helmet under her arm. Her round face and freckles made her look as young as when Jyn had first met her a decade ago, but age and war showed in the lines around her eyes and the thick scars across her forehead and cheeks. Her hair was clipped close to her skull and was speckled with silver. Still, she commanded attention, and the Cloud-Riders fell reverently silent.

A flicker of confusion passed over Nest’s face and she stepped in close to where Jyn and Cassian knelt, before the corners of her lips rose. “The cub of the Lion of Onderon,” she whispered, “still alive, little one?”

Jyn stared defiantly with her back straight. “Plenty of people underestimated me. I took advantage.”

Enfys smiled, seemingly placated. She nodded to her comrades, and their weapons lowered. “Come. We’ll talk.”

 

They sat on the opposite side of a campfire, alone with Enfys. The rest of the Cloud-Riders busied themselves with setting up shelters for the night nearby.

“You intercepted our contact,” Cassian spoke, his expression neutral and voice even, as if this were just another interrogation.

“We knew what he was selling. We didn’t know who was buying.”

“You didn’t want to risk losing out to other rebels?”

“We didn’t want to risk losing out to someone who was just going to use Imperial access codes for profit,” Enfys growled. “I take it you aren’t here on Saw’s behalf - it’s not his style.”

“Saw is dead. Six months ago.” It surprised Jyn how raw that particular wound was. As with everyone she had lost, there had been so much left unsaid and unfinished and if she thought about it for too long it hurt her heart. Cassian leaned into her side ever so slightly, the smallest increase in pressure of his body against hers to ground her.

Enfys was quiet for a moment, her gaze on Jyn as if they were both lost in the same thought. “I’m sorry. I hadn’t heard from him in so long, I wasn’t sure.”

“Where is our contact?” Jyn asked to change the subject.

Enfys nodded towards the vast darkness of the desert. Above them a million stars twinkled, and animals howled in the distance. “They’re alive. And after a night out there, they’ll probably give us the codes for free,” she opened her hands wide. “Question is, what will the Alliance do with them?”

Cassian leaned forward, elbows on his knees and his voice low but earnest. “We already have plans in place for those codes, with months of planning behind them. And there’s a place for the Cloud-Riders in that plan, now and in the future. We all have the same goal and we are stronger together.”

Enfys sighed. “Rebellion against those who would enslave us was always the dream,” she looked at her hands, scarred and marked. “Yet none of us could ever agree on how to do it. Us, the Alliance, the Partisans... perhaps if we had all worked together from the beginning, it would be over.”

“Saw used to say that the Alliance were happy to take the long road while planets starved, and he wanted the battle for freedom to be brutal and quick,” Jyn closed her eyes to feel the warmth and security of Saw’s presence as she spoke his words. “And that no one could even agree on what we were fighting for, or who would take the Empire’s place.”

“There’s always another Empire,” Cassian added. “There’s always someone wanting to rule the galaxy. All we can do is fight, and hope.”

“Rebellions are built on hope,” Jyn said, and she couldn’t fight back a smile as she looked at Cassian. Her heart flared with warmth from his gaze. She had hope because of him, because of what they had accomplished together. She had hope for some sort of future where they didn’t have to fight anymore.

“My mother used to tell me to never give up on hope,” Enfys said, her voice small. She looked off into the dark distance, the firelight danced against her golden skin. “And there isn’t enough of it in the galaxy.” She sighed, and rose, and extended her hand over the top of the fire. “Perhaps together, we can create more.”

Jyn and Cassian rose, and grasped her hand in theirs.

They stayed with the Cloud-Riders that night, as guests instead of prisoners.

Chapter Text

She wakes to grey.

The thick blinds only let in light around the edges of the window and it’s not quite full morning yet. Jyn blinks as her vision adjusts, as the vague shapes around her become clearer. She can’t make out the pattern of the blinds but she can see their outline, and the nightstand beside her, and the chair in the corner where her clothes were thrown last night. Outside, rain patters against every surface. Something drips - heavier, slower than the falling rain - in a steady rhythm against the window.

Jyn listens. There is just the rain, gentle wind, and the breathing of Cassian steady and deep behind her. There’s no ship engine, no distant sounds of dozens of soldiers coming and going from their barracks, no blaster fire or alarms or danger. The little house they are in is entirely theirs and theirs alone.

There’s just this. The warmth of the blankets around her, of Cassian at her back deep in sleep, safe in their home in a galaxy at peace. She stretches and feels the pleasant ache in her hips that reminds her of last night’s lovemaking and smiles at the memory, curls her feet in an echo of that pleasure. The room smells of sleep and sex. The bed seems to become softer pulling her further into the mattress as she arches her back and rolls towards her lover. In the blue grey light his face looks young and free of the lines that usually crinkle around his eyes or between his brows when he is stressed. He doesn’t stir and his breathing remains the same. Twenty five years of fighting are over and he sleeps soundly, safe and sated. He deserves nothing less.

Jyn watches him sleep, and listens to the rain, and thanks the Force for bringing them together.

Chapter Text

Early morning light streamed through a crack in the curtains. From outside, Cassian could hear the steady, reliable whisper of the ocean. The sound held no lingering terror for him anymore, now that he and Jyn had built new memories and associations with the sensations of sand on their skin and saltwater on their lips.

Jyn lay on her belly beside him, lashes long against her cheek and lips slightly parted, sheets gathered around her hips exposing her nakedness. The skin of her back was pale and marked with scars, and beautiful and perfect because of them. They were a map of all she had endured, tattoos of her strength and fierce will.

He loved her, and didn’t feel he deserved her at all, but there was nothing in the galaxy that would make him give her up. Selfishness was just another flaw he would carry on his soul. Jyn and the memories they were creating on this enforced shore leave were something he knew he would need to get him through the darkest parts of the war.

The sunlight lay across her shoulders, and he couldn’t help but lean across and press his lips to taste that light just between her shoulder blades. She sighed and stirred beneath him. It warmed his heart that she didn’t tense or flinch, trusting him completely.

He ran his hands down her sides as his mouth trailed down her spine. She mumbled something about a good morning as a shiver ran through her and he felt her flesh raise in goosebumps. Cassian adored seeing her like this - purring and completely at ease, without a care, safe and loved - it was the peace she deserved. The way her body went pliant made his blood run hot because she trusted him in all of her blind spots and melted under his touch. He moved from her spine to her lower back and trailed his tongue towards her right hip and was rewarded with a loud gasp and was jolted as she pushed herself up to her elbows, her back arched.

“What was that?” He chuckled as he sat back, still stroking her sides. He caught a pink flush on her cheeks as she shook her head.

“Nothing,” she mumbled, burying her face in the pillow. “Just a sensitive spot.”

Her embarrassment was adorable. “I thought I knew all of your sensitive spots,” he kissed close to it again, just near enough that her toes curled. “I need to investigate more thoroughly.”

She groaned, and he returned to the spot and let his teeth graze it. Again she gasped, but this time her hips rolled and her thighs squeezed tight together. Her reactions encouraged him and he pulled the sheets further down her hips as he teased that surprise hot spot. As his hand pushed between her thighs and felt the wetness there, he chuckled against her skin.

“If I had known it was this easy all this time...”

“Shut up,” she growled, before looking back over her shoulder at him, “but don’t stop?”

He grinned. He had no intention of stopping.

Chapter Text

The only noises are the background hum of the Profundity and the beep of the monitor reflecting Cassian's steady heart beat. His hand is warm in hers but he is too still, too silent. He was never loud or brash while conscious, instead he exuded a magnetism that made her want to trust him, to believe him, to forgive him. He has been unconscious for days, through surgeries and bacta immersion, through the disappearance of the plans and destruction of the Death Star. The Mon Cala medics say there is nothing more they can do but wait. Jyn has sat by his side for as long as she can each day, her own minor injuries a distant memory.

She is still getting used to the concept of hope for herself and allowing her thoughts to go in that direction feels strange and unsettling. Without hope she can't see any future for herself. She is so very tired, and the only person left in the galaxy to whom she has any connection is lying still in front of her.

"You make me want things I don't believe in," she whispers even though there is no one around to hear. "I had given up on ever wanting to stay anywhere, on having family, on... on love. And I didn't believe in hope, because all I had been doing for so long was just surviving from one day to the next out of - spite? Anger?" She shook her head, and ran her thumb along the back of Cassian's hand. "And then you stood up for me, and risked everything, and now... well, now you have to come back, because you can't change my whole world and then leave me behind like everyone else."

No response. His long dark lashes still lie along his cheeks, his scruffy hair is brushed back from his forehead and a week of growth has nearly turned his stubble into a beard. Her hope falters - what if he doesn't recover, what if he does and the way he looked her was a lie? A black hole opens in her chest and her eyes burn with tears. But just as she is about to pull her hand away and give up on hope once and for all she feels him move and her heart pounds. He squeezes her hand, albeit weakly, and when she looks at his face those beautiful dark eyes are staring back at her.

Hope flares to life in her heart once more as he whispers her name as if it is sacred.

Chapter Text

The unmistakable rhythmic thunder of Stormtrooper boots matches the hammering of Jyn’s heartbeat as she and Cassian race through the deserted streets. No witnesses, no innocent bystanders, and no crowds to hide among either. The residential streets all look the same - poorly lit, run-down and largely abandoned thanks to the Imperial occupation.

Cassian reaches behind him and takes her hand, telling her without words that he has a plan. She trusts him without question. He banks sharply to the right, jerking her arm and taking them down another near identical street, this one even more dilapidated than the last.

He pulls her over a hip-height wall that was once the perimeter of a small house and the sudden shift in weight causes them to roll and land in a heap in the darkness together. They both huff loudly as the breath is shocked out of them by the landing. Cassian’s full weight is on top of her but Jyn can’t move because the ‘troopers are stomping closer down this same street. If it were anyone else in any other situation she would feel panicked and trapped. But it’s Cassian. Her hips cradle his and their legs are tangled together and she can feel his heart pounding against her ribs. His arms are on either side of her head and his lips are pressed against the exposed skin of her neck, his panting breath hot on her skin. Her hands are still fisted in his jacket from the fall, holding him in place.

The ‘troopers, of course, have chosen to regroup ten feet away, unaware that their prey is hiding so close. Jyn tries to listen to their radio chatter but her mind distracted by Cassian’s full weight pressing between her legs and his heavy breathing in her ear. It’s a life or death situation where making the wrong move could bring the Imperials and she - the rebel who survived Scarif, one of Saw Gerrera’s greatest and most feared legacies - can’t concentrate because she’s embarrassingly turned on by being this close to the man she has been in love with for months.

He shifts his hips and his breath hitches, and she wonders if he’s thinking the same thing she is, if he has thought about it just as many times as she has when the days are long and the nights are lonely. Does he too think about what it would be like to be pressed flesh against flesh, to let hands and mouths and tongues and teeth wander with abandon? He shifts again and she has her answer, because it isn’t a blaster she can feel pressing against her. His breaths become long and slow and deliberately controlled, exactly how Chirrut recommends during his meditations. Jyn’s cheeks burn despite the frosty night air and longing builds to an unbearable ache in her gut knowing she is having this effect on him.

It feels like forever before there’s a squawk of the radio and the ‘troopers stomp off back the way they came. She doesn’t let go of her grip of Cassian’s jacket and he doesn’t move, and she can’t help how her lips graze the stubble of his jaw when she speaks.

“Good?”

“Good,” his lips caress the spot on her neck that makes her shiver, “let’s get out of here.”

With a grunt he pushes himself up and reaches out a hand to pull her from the ground. He doesn’t let go, and she stands close to him and looks into those dark eyes that set her soul on fire. Tension hangs thickly in the air between them. There is a thread that has been pulling tighter and tighter between them since the moment they met.

When they make it back to their ship unharmed, and stand in silence as the door hisses shut, she thinks that this might be the night that thread snaps.

Chapter Text

Cassian grimaced as he knelt on the cold ground of the hangar to fix his boot at the entrance to the U-wing. His thigh holster was almost like a second skin, he had been wearing one since he had been old enough to find one that fit, yet as he moved it pinched uncomfortably on his inner thigh. His belt too, and the inner seam of his underwear... heat rushed up his spine to his cheeks, hot enough to melt the ice walls of the base. He hadn't had time to inspect the damage (nor the inclination to be naked outside of bed on Hoth for long enough) when he had risen that morning but the memory of Jyn's teeth nipping his flesh, bruising the skin, her hot tongue and lips soothing the marks she left the night before flooded back to him. She had taken her sweet time, driving him crazy and blurring the line between pleasure and pain with mouth and hands. "Mine," she had whispered when she had crawled back up his body, and he, delirious with pleasure and possessiveness, had growled in agreement before rolling them over and taking his turn to turn her into a shaking mess.

He rose as he spotted her walking into the hangar with the Pathfinders. Her cheeks were pink from the cold and her hair glittered with frost and she shone as bright as the sun as she smiled and laughed. He knew she would be feeling similar discomfort under her thigh holster, and higher up in the crease where her thigh met her body, her hip bones, her belly, her breasts and it filled him with warmth and lust as he retraced the trail he had left on her.

Jyn glanced over to him, and her cheeks reddened further as she slipped her hand under her scarf, where he knew there was another mark hiding. The rest of the hangar faded away as she smiled at him, and he returned it. No matter how long the next mission would keep them apart, he had no doubt that she was his as much as he was hers. The marks would fade by the time he came back again but his heart would be forever engraved with her name.

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Power cuts on Hoth are common enough that the immediate reaction is eye-rolling and grumbling rather than panic. Still, Jyn does not enjoy being plunged into sudden darkness or the inevitable drop in the already bitter temperature. With a huff she puts away the blaster she had been cleaning and pulls her parka tighter around herself in defeat. Above her the strips of emergency lighting flicker into life, barely providing enough illumination to see her own feet. Still, she shuffles her way from the armoury back to her quarters, feeling weary and balanced on a knife edge.

It's getting to her. Hiding away and rationing supplies isn't new to her, but being stuck on a planet with so little natural light and warmth has already begun to drain her after only a few weeks without a mission. There is a ball of something sharp and dangerous behind her ribs, something that is making her restless and angry. There is just too much time alone in the dark on this kriffing planet and Jyn finds her ghosts and weaknesses rising to the surface because of it. The only bright spots are her friends, when they're here, which seems rare lately. And Cassian, who is not quite a friend and not quite yet more. Draven has him manning communications night and day when he's on planet, and Jyn feels guilty for wishing she could have him to herself. Maybe when this war ends... she huffs again and stops that thought before it can grow into a fantasy, feeling that dangerous lump of anger grow hotter. She jabs her gloved fingers at the keypad to her shared quarters.

Her three bunk mates have been gone for a week. The privacy is both appreciated and strangely unsettling, and she leans against the door once it closes behind her. It's better than the cave, and the bunker, and Wobani, she reminds herself, even if it is miserably cold and lonely and small and barely lit. She's about to give in to the fact that there's nothing more to do than crawl into bed and wait for the power to come back when she both feels and hears the knock at the door.

"Jyn?" Cassian calls softly, "are you there?"

She should hate herself for how quickly she spins around and opens the door, but that horrible lump of irritability that was fuelling her bad mood melts like snow under a hot sun when she sees him. The emergency lighting glints in his dark eyes like starlight and his face is haloed by the furry hood of his parka. He smiles that half smile that always makes her stomach flip.

"I was starting to think you lived in the comms centre."

"I swapped out my shift," he shrugs, his breath misting between them. "I wanted to see you."

Jyn can't deny the spark that ignites in her heart at his words, and can't speak for trying to contain her smile. She steps to the side to give him room to come in, and when she turns to face him finds herself almost pressed against him in the small space. She curses him for being so much taller than her as she looks up into his beautiful face, all sharp angles and shadows in the low light. She wonders if he wants to kiss her as much as she wants to kiss him, and all the loneliness and irritability of the past few weeks disappears just by having him near.

“I’ve...I’ve missed you,” she dares, because it’s true and because she’s tired of not saying what she thinks.

“Me too,” his voice is soft, and he holds her gaze before his nerves get the better of him. He clears his throat and looks down at the flask he is carrying. “I brought some tea, would you like some? We can... we can catch up?”

She reaches for the flask and feels the heat through her bulky gloves, and a different kind of warmth spread out from her chest.

“I’d like that,” she responds, and they both smile.

She's going to kiss him tonight, she decides at that exact moment.

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Early morning light streams through a crack in the curtains. Cassian can hear the steady, reliable whisper of the ocean. It soothes, rather than bringing up bad memories. He has built new ones in the year since Scarif, he no longer sees beautiful blue oceans and thinks death.

Jyn lies on her belly beside him, her lashes long and dark against her cheek, mouth slightly open in sleep. The skin of her back is pale, marked with scars, lit by the stream of golden light from sunrise. He doesn’t deserve her, or this shore leave, but he has both and he will hold tight to both. Memories of moments like this have gotten him through the hardest parts of the last year - times when they have been separated, times when he has had to do things he swore he never would again. He stockpiles what he can, forgoes rest so he can make the most of these precious seconds.

Jyn shifts, the light moves across her skin. Cassian can’t help but lean across and press his lips to taste the sunlight, feel the warmth just between her shoulder blades. She stirs, stretching lazily. It warms his heart that she doesn’t tense or jump. Her trust has been hard earned and he wouldn’t trade it for the world. Happiness makes him bold and his lips wander down her spine.
Her contented groan vibrates through her to him. She twists to her back, and he doesn’t waste the opportunity to press kisses wherever he can reach on her front. Her belly and hips are marked red and pink from his beard and teeth.

Her hand winds in his hair, softly stroking. He looks up and sees the happiness of her gaze, holds it for a long moment as he reaches his hand to join her other where it grips the sheets while his teeth find the bone of her hip, and his heart feels too big for his chest when she moans his name.

Outside, the waves continue, drowned out by their own soft rhythmic sighs.