Cassian paced outside his plane while Kay bumped against the door with a set of strident beeps, "I know they should be back by now and they will be."
The plan had made sense at the time, he would be the in and out while Eliot, Parker and Hardison finished the job to get the records that would take down a major player in Ecorp that was financing domestic terrorism. Parker's plan made more sense than others he'd heard but he wished he was there but the three of them were a team. He'd just get in the way, that was how good teams worked, they had some give but they fit each other. A car roared up as he heard his phone ping from Eliot then Cassian turned to get the plane going.
Before he could get in, men pulled out of the car and he cursed, this wasn't part of the plan. Four men, he couldn't see guns but they might be waiting on them. As they came up, he held up his hands and said in his heaviest accent, "Hello, okay if I land here? I got lost."
"Search the plane," As the first man came towards him, Cassian grabbed his arm and with a quick move almost knocked him out but he wasn't fast enough. Soon he was fighting off two men as Kay beeped and he heard another car which he hoped was Eliot.
There was the zap of a taser as Parker took down someone and then Eliot at his side while he rolled with a punch that probably cracked a rib.
"Andor, get us out of here!" Eliot yelled as he thought he saw more men, but he wasn't leaving Eliot to fight on his own.
A gun went flying and he had an opening to duck get himself back and into the plane, Kay had already started pre-flight which he continued while licking blood off his lips, "Get in and go!"
He heard them enter and the slam of the door as they started to take off and now there were gunshots.
"I know they're shooting, Andor, but we're clear," Eliot said as they finally lifted off and he heard Parker laugh. "I like having a plane around. I want to jump out of it later. Can we do that?"
Cassian smiled and nodded at her as Eliot put a hand on his shoulder and said, "Another time. We got it."
"Just putting the last pieces in place and tomorrow they'll fall down," Hardison said with a smile.
The rest of the flight went smoothly and as he landed at the airport near their headquarters, Eliot nodded at him, it was good to see Eliot content, "We should be clear. Give things some space and I'll send you a cut."
As he watched Hardison marvel at Kay then leave with Parker, he saw the warmth in Eliot's face and shrugged, "Take them down then send enough to cover fuel and bullet holes and we'll be even."
Eliot gave him one of his far too perceptive looks and said, "Get yourself a team, Andor."
"I have Kay, we do fine," Cassian said.
“A plane with a rickety robot whatever that is, ain’t a team, that’s you being lonely,” There was that annoying patient sound in Eliot’s voice.
“You should go, they’re waiting for you,” He could see Parker and Hardison leaning on each other and talking.
“You’ll see I’m right, get yourself a crazy ass girl to chase the fire and a hacker who plays data and is smarter than you.”
“No, you’re in love,” Cassian said as Eliot shook his head with a satisfied smile then walked back to his team. Eliot was lucky, teams came apart, people left or died. They were never built on anything strong enough to last, not in this business.
The other man, Hardison, who had been the contact somehow, he was folded in a chair and their eyes met, she wondered what passed between them as the fighter gave an almost invisible shake of his head. She was good with codes and finding the truth but they were helpful ghosts.
“Not just find, take me to my father and get him out of where he is,” She hated him for being weak enough to go but he was out there and she was going to find him. Even if it meant facing her past, Saw who sent her out thinking she’d be safer in the legal world and her father who let Ecorp use him.
The fighter smiled to himself as he said, “Yes, he’ll do that. His name’s Cassian Andor. I’ll give you his info and let him know you’ll be in touch.”
Jyn nodded, if they weren’t going to help her then at least there was a way for her to control it all. She stood up with the information and watched them, as Parker said, “You know what you’re looking to find, that helps. Hold onto to that.”
“Yes, you read the same rumor I did. He’s alive, he knows something and no one else cares enough to go find him,” She felt like she was going to keep on arguing this with nothing happening, she hated it.
“That’s not fair. You know how the government and military work and now, it’s hard to get anything done and ECorp has every protection possible,” And Leia was good with finding and making loopholes but this was beyond her.
“I know and I’m going straight, trying to do things the right way, but I can’t let this go. This is a chance,” It was hard, she knew how to cause destruction and this wasn't one of those times. Now she had to be patient and search.
“So you work with an ally you don’t know, that’s not like you.”
“It’s safer this way, fewer connections and they say he knows how to find people. I use him and that’s it,” She hated admitting that she couldn’t do this but she’d always been better at adjusting information, destroying than searching out. This Captain Andor, he could do that and that would be it.
“That never works, but I’ll get you the records you need. I won’t have you going in blind,” Leia was firm, Jyn appreciated knowing she cared.
“Thank you, Leia and you’ll see. This will be an opening, a way to get to them,” Jyn said and she believed it, she had to.
“I hope so,” Leia said.
His record and all her connections said he could find her father without any strings, which was what she needed. Leia had even joked with her that they might understand each other, he and his father had barely escaped Mexico after speaking out against the cartels. In the end, they’d found his father, his mother had been killed before they left and the army gave him a home and turned him into a spy. That didn’t mean anything, to be broken was the state of the world.
She sat down at his table and noted the way he looked her over, not an ogle, a check for weapons and she felt an odd shiver, she’d missed being evaluated as a danger. Being underestimated in a classroom, in a faculty meeting was one thing, seeing the surprise when she brought a man to a ground with a well aimed truncheon or punch, that felt right, “Ms Erso.”
“Captain Andor, I’ve been told that you can find my father.”
“I might, but tell me why. He was last known building weapons for ECorp, they’ll work for anyone. And they don’t give anyone up without a fight,” His voice was neutral, almost bland but he’d done his research.
“Yes, but he’ll know how to work against them, know all their secrets,” It hurt to hope in her father but he was a scientist first not a killer.
“So you want to redeem him, a happy ending for everyone?” Now she could hear the skepticism in his voice. She wondered if he believed in happy endings.
“He has information about what’s being worked on, you know the same rumors I do. There’s a way in. Change the playing field and an ending,” This was an opening and those had to be taken.
“What will you do with him once he’s out? A lot of people want him dead or locked up so he can’t go telling their secrets,” He said as he watched her.
“I want my father and anyone else who wants him will go through me,” Jyn knew her anger came through her voice, she wasn’t sure if she still loved her father but she would find him.
“Then we’ll get him,” She watched his hand tighten for a moment on his coffee, no promises but a beginning.
The older woman behind the counter who was shorter than Jyn said, “You’re on the right road if you’re looking for the captain.”
“The captain? I didn’t know he was that known.”
“He is here, when he’s here,” She shrugged and Jyn could see years of knowledge within it and wished she knew the right questions to ask. Her mother would have, her mother had always been good at seeing the openings to friendship. Jyn had always done better finding the weaknesses.
“He’s not often here?” Which would fit, he was a pilot and hired out for every kind of job.
“He works, we all work and he flies and does what he does. He’s going to work for you?”
“Yes, he is, he’s going to find my father,” It was more than she’d normally say but it could be a fair trade for information, some truth about this man more than the bare records Leia found and the recommendation of the Leverage team.
The owner nodded and said before handing Jyn a small packet of far too sugary baked sweets, “If he’s out there then the captain will find him. Here, for you and him, he never has enough good food in that plane. For a man who can cook, he never does.”
“Thank you, I’ll see what I can do,” Jyn smiled as she got back in her car, touching the gun under the dash as she finally saw the silhouette of a barn no hangar. When she reached the gate that looked rusty enough that it wouldn’t hold off anything, he was there, unlatching it, “You’re late.”
“I had to stop for gas.”
“Park there,” He gestured toward where an old truck was parked and she drew up beside it. As she stepped out, she put her gun in her pocket as he reached her, the robot beeping and bumping over rocks.
She pulled her bag out and then leaned against the car and asked, “What’s that?”
“Kay, he helps me out. He likes to bump shins,” He had some softness in his voice.
“The owner of the shop gave me these for you. How long before we can get to Jedha?” She handed him the pastry bag which he opened and smiled. It was the first smile Jyn had seen from him, a little curving of his mouth but it lightened his face.
“Maz insists that I can’t take care of myself, but she’s a wonderful baker. My plane’s almost ready to go. Do you have all you need? Once we get going, there won’t be time to stop.”
“I know and when we find Saw, he’ll tell me what he knows.”
The look he gave her was deeply skeptical, “When did you last work with him?”
“I know Saw and my father would send someone to him,” Yes, their leaving was complicated but she would have had to be on her own soon anyway.
Cassian met her gaze, she couldn’t read it as he said, “Then we’ll see what’s there.”
She followed him to his plane as he held the bag of pastries and the robot beeped, keeping pace with him as she lengthened her strides. The plane was smaller than she’d expected, it almost looked like it was from World War II, “Will that get us there?”
The robot tried to trip her as Cassian gave her a disdainful look, “Of course it will fly. It’s my plane. Kay, this is her job. If you’re bringing the gun, find a better place to put it.”
Jyn glared at him, she knew how to handle her gun and went in the open plane door as the robot somehow got in before her. Inside she saw pull down seats, a metal cabinet, she could even tell which seat in the cockpit was his with a colorful rug on it, it felt comfortable. She hadn’t expected that, planes were a way to get someplace not a home.
“Why? We’re almost there and we can’t waste any time,” They were so close and she knew that no one had any idea that they were here.
“This isn’t wasting time, this is using it as well as we can. If we go in and try to spend the night then we’ll be known and can’t control who sees us. Going in as pilgrims with the plane here means we have a way out. We’ll be fine, there’s a space heater and you can have the bed.” Kay tugged down a cot as he went and pulled blankets, they were a good team.
“Why because I’m a woman?” Jyn glared at his back, she thought he was smarter than to be a sexist idiot.
“No, you hired me, that means you get the bed,” He wasn’t even looking at her, it was annoying, she couldn’t figure out what he thought of her.
That actually made sense and she sat down on the bed which creaked, “Fine, but if you’re not up for tomorrow then you won’t blame me.”
“I’ve slept on worse than the floor of my plane.” Jyn got ready for bed as quickly as she could, keeping most of her clothes on as the cold seeped in and tried not to watch the tension in his shoulders as he curled up on the floor. Somewhere in the night, she woke up to chattering teeth and realized it was Cassian, “If you freeze, you can’t finish the job. Get in here and stay on your side.”
He muttered something in Spanish, she caught enough words to say, “You should be so lucky.” When he sat down, she was suddenly aware of how close they were and turned to face the hull of the plane. She just felt the warmth of him behind her and nodded before she fell back asleep.
He woke up feeling cozy, when had he ever felt that way and opened his eyes to realize that he was holding her, she looked almost peaceful asleep and her loose hair smelled of rosemary. As gently as he could, he moved her bangs from his nose, he wasn’t going to wake her up. If they’d been dating, this would be nice, her mouth was close and she seemed to be almost smiling in her sleep. He wasn’t going to think about how long ago it was that he woke up next to someone after a night together, that wasn’t for him. This wasn’t good and didn’t mean anything, it had been cold, it was a natural reaction to search out warmth. She hired him to find her father, considered him a spy and a mercenary, useful but not her type. Kay knocked against the bed support with a complex series of observations, “Be quiet, you’ll wake her and thank you. I’m glad to know that I slept well.”
As carefully as he could, he moved his arm from under her, he’d slipped out of tight spaces before, this was only awkward. Then she opened her eyes and for a moment her gaze was soft and confused before she realized how close he was and glared, that was how she was meant to look, “What are you doing?”
“Getting up,” And there, he just had to roll once she stopped staring at him, which of course she wasn’t going to do.
“Good, I can’t move,” Then she started to shift, he realized that she actually had her leg in between his and pulled himself backward. He almost fell off the bed but was able to just catch himself with a roll and stand up as Kay kept observing and he knew when she spotted Kay’s readout, “How does he know how we slept?”
“He’s always done that, it’s his way of keeping track of how things are going,” And according to Kay, he had slept peacefully for the first time in a few years.
“Tell him that I don’t care if we both slept well,” He could hear her sitting as the chain holding the bed creaked and he started folding the blanket he’d tried to sleep on last night, “You’ve just told him.”
She stood up and ended beside him at the cupboard, he was far too aware of her warmth and presence but this was a job. Her voice was crisp as she said, “I’ll make the coffee and then we’re leaving since we need to make the opening of the market.”
Jyn and Cassian make it to Jedha where their plans shift as they interact with the reality on the ground. They soon find that they've acquired a team.
Thank you to dodger_sister and Don for betaing.
Jedha had gotten worse since the last time he’d been here, more destroyed buildings and fear that sat like a cloud over everything. Jyn kept bumping up against him as they walked, he appreciated her closeness, it meant he didn’t have to search for her. He’d been afraid she would have darted ahead but the atmosphere was getting to her too.
“Blessings on you this fine day,” A monk sitting on what was once a temple, Cassian couldn’t tell what it had been a temple to, called out to them. Now Jyn walked forward, he didn’t think she was religious, “Blessings, thank you.”
“You’re welcome, sister. I wish I had your drive,” As he got closer, Cassian saw the monk leaning on maybe a cane or a staff, he couldn’t figure it out.
Jyn smiled, it didn’t go to her eyes, which was reassuring, he didn’t want to think she’d just believe, “My drive, how kind of you.”
“We should keep moving,” He got closer to them and saw the large man with what looked like a cannon barrel behind the monk. The way he was eyed made Cassian rest his hand near his weapon, this wasn’t safe and he wasn’t wanted here.
She turned to him and he saw a familiar look in her eyes, he was the soldier hurrying past and not understanding. It was up to him to keep her safe and find her father, these men, he didn’t know what they wanted. Something rattled on a roof and he did a sweep, spotting a sniper and he heard the stomp of a patrol’s boots, “Jyn.”
Now Cassian fought at her back and he fit in well with her dance, never getting in her way as he took down guards in riot gear. At the edge of her awareness she heard a clank and saw the monk and his partner joining the fight. The world shook and Cassian pressed her to the ground, his beard tickled her neck and for a moment she felt safe.
A voice that sounded almost familiar yelled, “Take all that fought to Saw!”
She stood up, knowing Cassian would be at her back as faces hidden by bandannas came towards them and she said, “Tell Saw, Jyn Erso is here and these are my friends! They are not to be hurt.”
Pale blue eyes met hers, she didn’t know them but knew the calculation, her name was enough and she gave up her weapon. The zip ties and bag were insulting but she would put up with them for Saw and heard a grunt as they took Cassian.
The ground started to shake and she heard footsteps behind her and watched Saw lock eyes with whoever was behind her, “I’m not leaving you.”
He smiled, Jyn couldn’t remember when she’d ever seen Saw smile as she felt a hand on her shoulder and Cassian said, “Jyn.”
“Go,” Saw’s voice had command in it as she let Cassian pull her up from where she’d been kneeling. Then they were running, his plane was closer than she’d expected and fuller. He’d saved the monk and his companion and there was a co-pilot.
As she tried to think, Cassian shut the door and they began to take off as she realized what she’d heard and that it hadn’t stopped. Someone was bombing Jedha.
“We’re not gone," There was certainty in that voice, faith, some of Jedha was on the plane.
He shook his head, which still felt wrong, but he was alive and free, “Where are we going?”
“You’ve flown to Eadu?” The question was quiet as if Cassian didn’t know how he would react.
It was nice to be thought of and he was safe, “Yes, but I don’t have the newest codes. They change them too often.”
“I know where we can go and find them,” Cassian seemed to be looking beyond the plane, he must be a planner.
“Why?” Bodhi kind of knew why, it was why he’d left, to do something.
“For Jyn, so she can find her father. Now we’re going close enough to plan and rest,” That was said with a gesture backward, the woman must be Jyn, Galen’s daughter. He was going to be able to do something good.
Bodhi had forgotten how good relief felt and he actually paid attention to the plane he was in, it was loved, “Thank you. Is this a Rogue? I’ve only ever seen them in history books.”
“Yes, it was owned by the man who taught me to fly. He flew cropdusters and had this in his barn. He let me have it for a song when I got out of the service. She gets me where I need to be. For now that means a way to those codes,” As Cassian spoke, Bodhi noticed that he slightly smiled, which he understood. To own your own plane was to have freedom.
“How are we going to get the codes for Eadu?” Jyn asked, Bodhi looked at her, she seemed as tired as he was. Then he saw the robot rolling around with granola bars.
“We steal them from Krennic’s office. His Ecorp office has a party planned in a few days and I have a cover to get in the door,” Cassian sounded like a soldier as he talked, Bodhi wondered how often he’d led teams.
“I’ve been known to listen to locks when they belong to Ecorp,” The monk said and his friend grumbled, “While I guard the door. These codes will make them pay for Jedha?”
“They’ll get us to my father who knows all their secrets and then we’ll bring them down,” Bodhi felt his mouth open as he watched Jyn, she had such conviction. She would know the way to right things.
“What, no? He’s not the right sort for it,” She knew that, Cassian was too intense, this wasn’t a line of thinking she wanted to go near.
Baze laughed as he straightened the maintenance jumpsuit he had on, “Of course he is. Job’s over and he flies off and you have nice memories and can find someone who actually suits you.”
Bodhi came in dressed as a waiter and sighed at his tie, “I hate dressing like this and she’s right, it wouldn’t help like you think it would.”
Baze and Chirrut shared a look as Cassian came out in a suit that transformed him into clean lines and Jyn sat up.
“Are we ready? We’ll put in the earbuds when we’re closer and this should go quickly,” He adjusted his tie and glanced around them as Jyn stood up.
“Yes, let’s get this over with,” She didn’t want to talk to any of these people but without the information in Krennic’s office, they couldn’t find Eadu and her father.
She knew her lace dress gave the right look of intriguing and no one could see the knife in her garter, “Mara, I wouldn’t miss this. You haven’t met Jeroth, we found each other on the border. The way he dances.”
Cassian smiled at them both, running a hand through his hair while giving her a sideways look, when he spoke his accent was heavier, “You’re too kind to me, but Liana’s passion draws me. I’m a moth to her.”
Mara laughed, leaning on Jyn and whispering in her ear, “My god, I need to go to Mexico. Enjoy the party, take a spin around the floor and give all of us a show.”
In her earbud, Baze sighed and said, “I told you, Chirrut, we wouldn’t last ten minutes without hitting someone. We get the fun job.”
“Yes, yes, we do and the floor’s noisy, we’ve found our way in. Have a good time, little sister, make the good Captain blush at least once,” Chirrut’s voice was full of laughter.
Cassian moved his arm around her waist and leaned down to whisper in her ear though it looked like he was kissing her, it felt like he was and Jyn got goosebumps, “Keep to the schedule. Let me know if you need back up.”
She wasn’t going to think about how his stubble would feel on her thighs, it was too late for a one night stand and nothing else was possible. They’d saved each other’s lives and that always shifted the balance of a relationship. Bodhi, who was being a waiter said, “We’re all clear on this end.”
“Oh come on,” Baze muttered, “The lock’s not what was in the plans.”
“Patience, patience, we’ll get through, be distracting,” Chirrut said and Jyn felt Cassian tense beside her.
Mara watched them and Jyn leaned into Cassian and said, “Yes, Jeroth, mi amor, let’s dance.”
He turned her with a smile that spoke of secrets between them as he took her hand, “Of course, it’s a samba, Liana. I know how you love them.”
Jyn let him lead her as he found the rhythm and for a moment her eyes were drawn to his hips as he pulled her close and said in her ear, “Think of it like a knife fight.”
She laughed and looked into his eyes and saw him truly smiling as she moved with him then away. Dancing was something she’d learned to pretend that she was a lady, this wasn’t ladylike dancing. It was heat and as she turned, she saw the crowd watch them as her gaze kept being caught by his intense eyes and the feel of his hands on her hips.
In her ear, Baze asked, “Bodhi, you’re to share the show with us later. Chirrut’s almost got it.”
Bodhi whispered, “Get off the floor, Krennic.”
Cassian turned her with a smoldering smile so they ended up on the edge of the dance floor and she saw Krennic coming toward them. Would he remember her face? She couldn’t take that risk.
She kissed Cassian, pressing herself up against him and felt the knife at his waist as he gasped. Then he kissed her back and she sighed, she hadn’t meant to, but that gasp had done something to her knees. When had he last been kissed? When had she last kissed someone like this? He kissed her gently but with all of him, she felt wanted.
This wasn’t what was supposed to happen, the kiss was a distraction to hide their faces, yes, she might have wondered about kissing him since hiring him but he wasn’t her type. He hid in the shadows, chasing information, never having his face known and always lying. She wanted an equal like her parents had been, yelling at the world and finding the pieces to change it. She broke away and noticed how his hair was messier and his lips red, he looked younger, he was only a few years older than her.
From her ear bud, she heard Baze say, “Good idea, unresolved sexual tension will only get in the way of our mission. Time to leave.”
“He’s not my type,” She and Cassian said it at almost the same time and Baze laughed long and loud while Bodhi smirked at them and Jyn asked, “What do you think my type is?”
Cassian sighed and looked at all of them before saying, “You want someone political, passionate and intellectual who will challenge you. You want what your parents had and I’m not that.”
“You don’t challenge me?” It seemed like they constantly pushed at each other.
“That’s not the same, you know it’s not. I’ll concede there’s an attraction but not like you think it is,” He gestured at everyone else and sipped his coffee with an almost glare.
She nodded, he was good at finding the right word and while yes, he was handsome, that was all, “Exactly, you’re not my type though you are passionate and intellectual, but you want someone to teach you how to be normal or be normal or something like that.”
“No, I don’t,” His eyes had an odd look that she couldn’t interpret, not insulted almost sad.
Jyn considered him, she’d read his history and he hadn’t ever settled, “Maybe not, but we wouldn’t suit.”
Bodhi laughed as he drank his coffee, “No, of course not, just because you fight and work well together. That doesn’t mean anything.”
Kay whirred and Cassian sighed down at him and muttered in Spanish, “That’s not helping.”
“What did he say?” Chirrut asked as he leaned on Baze who was grinning, Jyn wanted to toss something at their smug and content faces, they had their partner, she didn’t need them meddling in her life.
“Nothing important,” Then he turned towards his room with Kay at his heels probably mentioning that night on the plane and nothing had really happened. All they’d done was sleep well and woken up close together, no one needed to know that she could find him by the spicy smell that clung to his hair. Now the focus had to be using their codes and Bodhi’s knowledge to get to Eadu and safely out.
Chirrut poked her with his cane, “Have the last wonton, he’s good at finding ways in and out.”
“I know that, that’s why we’re here,” It was only that she’d heard him gasp at her kiss and seen the haunted look in his eyes when he rescued her, kept rescuing her. She knew that look, she’d seen it in her mirror, though it wasn’t the same, she kept realizing it wasn’t. Her mother had taught her to be selfish with herself, to save something for herself, she didn’t think anyone had done that with him.
His bedroom door opened and his face was drawn as if all the years he’d earned fighting had come down, “We’ve got a way in and confirmation that he’s there.”
Bodhi nodded and met her gaze, maybe they could get her father back and more, keep Ecorp from destroying anyone else, “I told you he was.”
“And you were right,” Cassian’s voice was neutral and tired as he reached down for the lo mein he’d been eating before. He sat down neatly on the floor taking up as small amount of space as possible.
Baze who was sprawled on the couch with Chirrut in his arms nudged Cassian with his foot with a hopeful voice, “That means we have a clever plan that involves some explosions and a proper escape, Captain?”
“Oh yes, air support if we need it, couldn’t ask for better,” Then he focused on eating to stop the questions and Bodhi began to talk about her father. She almost didn’t notice Cassian getting up when Baze and Chirrut started describing scientists they’d known when everyone seemed to pass through Jedha.
“Where are you going?” Jyn asked, because she hated how he was trying to disappear. During the party, he’d been at her side and eyes followed him, because he was worth following. She wished she could have heard that call, because he’d closed down and no one else seemed to care.
He flashed a there and you miss it smile at all of them as he said, “Having an early night. Don’t worry about bothering me whenever you come in.”
Then he was gone into one of the rooms and she realized she wasn’t sure if that was to her or Bodhi, they had figured out the beds at some point. Bodhi stretched and tossed a fortune cookie her way, “I don’t think you’ll bother him by going in, Jyn.”
She sighed at him and opened the cookie, maybe it would give her some ideas other than Chirrut’s suggestion to just sleep with him. There was no time to just sleep with him and that wasn’t what she wanted, and she wasn’t going down that path. It was too late anyway, she’d woken up safe in his arms and going from that, from the kiss before, from fighting together to just sex didn’t feel right. She wouldn’t insult him by suggesting that, they’d find her father and there would be more options for everyone.
“Your way lies in shadow. Thank you, Bodhi, a dark omen was all I was hoping for tonight,” She sighed and stood up to find something to read but she’d put her bag with her books into the bedroom, “I’m going to get a book.”
Baze waved at her, she hated how they all thought what, that all it would take would be a kiss or more and then they’d get a happy ending. Jyn shook her head, their stories weren’t the ones that led to ever afters, they led to lonely nights and too many secrets. She was overthinking this, too many conversations with Leia about what genres their lives fit into. They’d both agreed something political and while romance was nice to read and visit, not for them.
He was on the bed, the same way he’d slept on the plane, curled up and he’d ended up on her side. That wasn’t true, that was where she’d put her bag, well tossed it on the floor. She walked over and sat down on the footrest hitting the bedside lamp as she pulled out her book and started reading. Right at her favorite moment, she heard a choked off scream and looked at Cassian, she reached out to touch his arm, “Cassian, Cassian, wake up.”
He flinched away from her touch and she moved to the bed, putting a hand on his face, he was cold, she made her voice loud and safe, “Cassian, I need you to wake up, you’re safe.”
Something in her voice did it and his eyes opened, staring at her, she didn’t think about it, just kept close, never breaking eye contact, “That’s it. You’re here with me.”
He opened his mouth then shook his head before sitting up, she could see him trying to be together. His hair was mussed and he ran a hand through it before saying, “Did I wake you?”
“No, I was reading.”
“Oh, I’m going to get some water,” As he stood up, she saw that he was clutching his hands and she almost reached out but would that help? She couldn’t fix him, he wouldn’t want that. Better to keep moving forward towards her father.
This is the chapter where I get to take advantage of one of my favorite aspects of Leverage, the time the team has together to talk over meals. I also adore how Leverage has fun with tropes.
I found trying to find a way to write but not rewrite Jedha and the plot tricky but found my way.
Thank you for reading this as I navigate the plot to provide the characters more time to figure out how to be a team.
Getting to and leaving Eadu changes the balance of everything with anger and pain coming to the surface.
Jyn could still feel the explosion in her feet of the lab as she stared at Cassian taking apart a gun while Bodhi got the plane ready to fly.
“Draven ordered you to kill my father,” She wanted to destroy him with her anger as he stood there, everything about him was wrong.
“And I didn’t. I didn’t when I had the chance,” The emotion in his voice made her stare at him, but it didn’t matter.
“You took the order, you would have. Might as well put you in one of their uniforms,” Jyn knew he’d worn a uniform and the idea behind them is all the same.
“What do you know of uniforms! Of keeping a promise that’s made. You can go and play professor like your father, play at violence and leave it behind when you’re done,” His face was tight with anger but she wouldn’t look away.
“Don’t you say his name. You can’t twist this to be about me,” She’d never betrayed anyone. She was left behind.
“No, of course not. It has to be my fault.”
“You lied to us. You don’t lie to your team,” That was the worst of it, he’d used them for Draven’s needs.
“My team, your team, I’m just the hired gun. Go back to your world where you don’t look unless you care,” He loomed over her and for a second she thought she heard something breaking in his voice.
“How dare you?” She met him toe to toe, she wouldn’t give an inch, not to him.
“I’ve been fighting since I could. But I’m the soldier, my loyalty bought and paid for citizenship. I don’t matter except when I can do something for you,” He turned away and sat in the co-pilot’s seat.
She turned her back and went to sit with Baze and Chirrut, as soon as she was near enough, Chirrut held her hand. Her father was dead and he’d helped build a weapon. Kay rolled across the plane to sit at Cassian’s feet. Bodhi turned to see her, his eyes wide and worried before he turned and then there was the only noise of the plane.
After they were safe, everyone was quiet, Jyn looked ready to punch someone but Cassian had gone off while Baze and Chirrut were discussing teas. He didn’t know how they could be so calm when they’d seemed to care about how Cassian and Jyn fit and made each other better. Now everything was falling apart and Cassian thought he wasn’t wanted. He'd been ordered to do something horrible but he hadn't. Bodhi hated this, it all felt wrong, “Where is he?”
“Gone, and I don’t care where he is,” Jyn almost spat out as she perched on the hotel couch.
“Well, I do. He did save us,” He stood up and left as he heard Jyn grumble something as he walked out of the room and looked up. Cassian was a pilot like him, he’d want to see everything, not too far away, he could just see a silhouette walking. The hotel was fairly open so he was able to get up to the roof deck and stopped when he heard Cassian on the phone, he didn’t mean to listen in but they were talking loudly, “Can you get me that meeting, Spencer?”
“Yeah, I can, but what’s happened?” Through the phone, Bodhi could almost hear concern.
“Nothing,” Cassian’s voice was sharp.
“Don’t give me that, Andor. I thought you’d found a team.”
“They found out who I was and that was it,” Bodhi knew he should turn away when he heard Cassian’s resignation.
“Bull, you’re made for teams, no one better,” His friend’s conviction surprised Bodhi but maybe it was true. Cassian was good at watching over everyone.
“Don’t be an idiot. You got lucky, teams die or end, that’s how it goes. Just get the meeting and I’ll talk to you tomorrow,” Bodhi wished he’d learned better how to hide because he’d heard naked pain in Cassian’s voice as he spoke. Then Cassian glanced down and saw him. “Bodhi, everything okay?”
“Oh yes, I was wondering what you wanted for dinner?” He tried to keep his voice light.
“Dinner, I can get it. Tell Jyn she’ll have her chance, you’ll all be able to tell some people who might be able to do something,” As Cassian talked, he came down and Bodhi looked into a face that was friendly and hiding. Now that he knew where to look, he could see how Cassian schooled his eyes. That took skill to learn and a need to, Bodhi knew his emotions were always on the surface and Cassian almost patted him on the arm then stopped before continuing down the stairs. He would liked that touch, because he knew about orders and trying to do the right thing even though no one sees and it never balances out.
In the room, he sat down next to Chirrut and rubbed at his arm, “He’s got us a meeting to tell what happened with people who might be able to do something and he’s getting dinner. What did you mean when you said he carried his prison with him?”
Chirrut turned, following the sound of his voice and Bodhi heard Chirrut slow as he explained, “I know soldiers like him, no judgement anyone passes on him will be harder than what he does on himself.”
“And we made it clear that even if he tries to do the right thing, that doesn’t matter because…,” When it came down to his own choice to leave, Bodhi had needed Galen to push him.
“Because that was my father back there and I don’t care. I’m not going to feel sorry for him,” Jyn’s anger was intense.
“I’m not saying that,” He didn’t know how to say it, Cassian should still matter.
Baze snorted, it seemed to encompass everyone, “I won’t glare as much when he comes back but he’s still a fool who should have told us.”
“Men like him don’t change. They get told who to be and that’s who they are,” Chirrut said with so much certainty in his voice it scared Bodhi, because there was barely any compassion in it. They’d tried and didn’t care anymore. Cassian was just another soldier to them.
“Maybe,” Bodhi looked at Jyn who’d ended up beside him and turned his head so she could rebraid his hair.
“Why do you keep being so nice?” She said to him.
“Because we’re alive and we have a chance and he’s a pilot,” That didn’t really say it but he didn’t know the words.
She gave his hair a friendly tug as she smoothed out a knot, “A pilot, why does that matter?”
“It just does,” He closed his eyes and leaned back as she worked on his hair and Baze found a silly movie. In twenty minutes, there was the prearranged knock and Cassian came in with dinner, grabbing his own and heading to the desk to give everyone space.
Jyn stirred from where she’d rested her shoulder on him after doing his hair and said, “Thank you for getting the meeting.”
“I don’t know if they’ll do anything but they need to know,” Cassian’s voice was neutral, Bodhi could almost hear him giving a report instead of talking to Jyn.
“What happens if they don’t do anything?” Jyn didn’t turn but he could almost feel her vibrating with emotion, he hoped it wasn’t anger anymore.
“Then w..use another plan,” Now something slipped into Cassian’s voice, Bodhi couldn’t figure out what it was, “I have a few ideas.”
“Fine,” Jyn said and the only noise was the grunts of the fighters in the movie.
Bodhi had trouble getting to sleep, he kept seeing Cassian’s face when they'd talked on Eadu, Cassian was good at listening, no matter what he said. Also that part of being a pilot is being alone in the sky, controlling what you can and finding some peace where no one can touch you. He’d wanted to try and explain that tonight, but couldn’t.
Jyn shifted next to him and asked, “Will he leave?”
“No, he won’t. He’s not the kind that leaves,” Her hair tickled his nose as she squeezed his arm, not a hug, those didn’t come easily to Jyn.
“Everyone leaves,” Jyn’s voice was so soft that he almost missed what she said.
“He’ll go if we tell him to,” Bodhi remembered the faces of soldiers from when he was younger, trying to help but told to go. They left because they didn’t think they were helping or wanted, “I don’t think he wants to go.”
She curled into him and didn’t say anything, he wished he knew what to say but he didn’t know what would happen tomorrow.
Out in the hall, she saw the bathroom door was open and inside was Cassian with his shirt off and a spreading bruise on his torso and so many scars and red bleeding through a bandage on his arm. He met her eyes in the mirror and then quickly glanced away, she hated that, he kept providing ways out. Her anger at him had disappeared in the night, she wanted it back, if she didn’t have her anger then she’d have to think about what she actually felt when she looked at him.
“That’s new?” There, short, sharp and he would have to answer her.
“A fight in the hallway before I found you,” His voice was his reporting voice, she’d never known someone so good at taking all the emotion out of their words but then she’d seen him come apart yelling at her.
She tried to think back to that, holding her dead father, hearing something and then being in Cassian’s arms as they ran before the building blew. Had that only been yesterday? The bandage was in an odd place, she could see it wasn’t helping, “Sit down, I’ll take care of that for you.”
He gave her a cautious look as he got a chair from the living room and sat down while she found the first aid kit that he’d laid out. Jyn focused on the wound, that was easy, she’d been patching up wounds most of her life and this was fairly clean, a bullet graze and he’d been able to clean it, “When did you have time to take care of this?”
They’d argued and then they’d come back and then she’d only been aware of his absence which she wanted. He said to the floor, “Before I went to bed.”
She tried to think if she’d heard him but she’d been listening for him to leave not stay. As she was adjusting the final turn, her hand rested on a thin line of a scar on his shoulder. “How did this happen?”
He turned to see what she was doing, reaching his hand back and their hands almost touched then he quickly ran his hand through his hair until a few strands fell across his eyes. There was something awkward about it and Jyn moved her finger along the scar, the last time he’d looked like that was after they’d kissed.
“When I was a boy, I worked picking oranges, the foreman liked to hit us with a branch. That was from the day I protected a friend,” He wasn’t looking at her as he talked, his gaze was in the past.
She meant to move her hand but focusing on the definition of the scar gave her time to think and she asked a question she was afraid of what the answer would be, “What would you have done if you’d followed orders?”
“Jyn?” From his shoulder, she could feel that he’d turned to look at her and there was pain and confusion in his voice.
“Tell me. I know you had a plan, you always do,” He shouldn’t have lied to her, not about her father and she wanted to know his plan.
He sighed and she glanced up as he began to move his head down but she caught his eyes, she wanted to look into his eyes. They’d last held gazes when they’d argued, spat truth at each other. Before he spoke, he took a breath then said, trying for his reporting voice but his tiredness came through, “You would have killed me before leaving Eadu and Bodhi would fly all of you to safety.”
“It’s not a good plan if you’re dead,” Cassian had planned for his death? She would have killed him, yes, but they would have fought.
“It’s always a risk and it would have been a fair death,” Jyn didn’t know what to do with that and how accepting he sounded.
“Deserved. Death is always a possibility, at least this way, I knew I would have died as a punishment for something I did,” She could feel him shrugging and moved down to be eye level with him.
“But you would have been dead too,” Which she didn’t want to think about. He lifted a hand up to touch her face and she couldn’t read his expression, she needed to.
She wanted to understand that look. Was it hope or pain? Slowly, so slowly since they were near enough she could feel his breath, he moved his face towards her and kissed her. It was the opposite of the kiss she’d given him, light and gentle before he broke away. She leaned forward as he spoke, “Jyn, go back to bed. This isn’t real. Its some dream of early morning.”
Jyn stared at him before kissing him, pushing herself to be almost in his lap, feeling the warmth of his skin through her tank top and he gasped. When she broke away, his lips were red and now she could read the surprise and disbelief in his eyes, “Come with me.”
He laughed and winced as he twisted a strand of her hair around his finger, “Bodhi needs his sleep.”
“Stubborn man. Go sleep,” She stood up, going for purpose and found her knees were a little weak and his hands were on her arms, steadying her. He wasn’t allowed to leave until she told him to.
“The meeting’s at ten,” His eyes were smiling and Jyn knew she was smiling too, this might not be reality. It might not last past the end of the job, but she wasn’t letting go of him yet.
In the bedroom, she closed the curtains and laid down beside Bodhi who said, “You’re smiling.”
“Go back to sleep,” Jyn said as she closed her eyes and felt safe because he was still there.
During the Eadu chapter of the novelization, there's a quoteThat quote is a huge inspiration for this chapter. I wanted to get these thoughts of his heard and provide some time for this strange group to figure out who they were now. Its also one of the quotes that made me want to write about Cassian's life and journey.
Maybe that wouldn't be such a terrible way go. He'd assassinated better men than Galen-an Imperial collaborator, the man who'd built a planet killer, remorse be damned. And if Jyn came after Cassian, he'd for his crimes. There were worse deaths.
I chose not to write out the action at Eadu, because for me, this fic is about giving more space to the relationships. And in this setting, its what happens after that matters most.
In the morning after the argument, the crew begins to understand each other better. Cassian contacts Draven to arrange a meeting to get the intel about the weapon into the right hands.
He straightened his tie and looked into the mirror, he knew what they had to do. As long as Jyn was heard, there was hope and she was still here. Cassian touched his lips, this morning felt like a dream and one he didn’t dare look too closely at. Now was the time to do what he was good at, use data to back up Jyn’s passion and the truth of what they all saw happen to Jedha and learned on Eadu. He went into the living room and opened his laptop, he hoped that Eliot was able to get everyone. As he was typing in another password, he smelled coffee and Bodhi set down a mug by him, “You look like you need this.”
He turned with a quick pause, he wouldn’t look away from the disappointment and hatred Bodhi felt. When he met Bodhi’s eyes, he found kindness and he said quietly, “Thank you.”
Then there was a ping on the laptop and he turned back as Draven’s face appeared. Automatically he sat up straighter and felt Bodhi’s presence behind him, he could hear Chirrut’s quiet steps, Jyn’s louder ones and knew Baze was settled in a chair. He didn’t want this to just be Draven, not now, Organa and Mothma had to hear this.
“Andor, Spencer told me about this meeting you want. It’s not going to happen like this. If you have something worth saying then I’ll get you coordinates to meet,” Draven as always was crisp.
“Yes, sir, there’s confirmation from Erso of what’s been built and information of where to find the plans,” It was more than enough to move on.
Behind him he heard Jyn make a small sound and he couldn’t turn away, not from Draven, but a chair creaked as Baze moved beside her. Cassian clenched and unclenched one hand as he answered, “Killed during an unexpected raid that also destroyed the lab.”
Draven gave him a questioning look that he’d learned during his first tour and he gave a minute headshake, he didn’t take this shot, “Bring your confirmation and you’ll be heard.”
“Yes, sir, and could you send me authorization for three refugees from Jedha?” He could at least accomplish that, give Bodhi, Baze and Chirrut a new beginning.
“I’ll see what I can do,” Then Draven was gone and he finally took a sip of coffee, it was strong and spicy.
“Does he always treat you like that?” The softness in Chirrut’s voice surprised him and as he turned he prepared to face more disappointment.
“Like what?” Cassian knew that Draven could be harsh but he was the best at what he did.
“Like a tool that’s lucky to be used,” Chirrut said and Cassian shook his head as he drank some coffee, his phone beeping probably with the coordinates.
“No, of course not. This should be where we’re headed, a secure location where the truth can be heard,” Baze was giving him a considering look and he didn’t want to think about what was behind it, pity or contempt? There was work to do, one more step but that was how it always went.
He pulled up a map to see where they were going and Bodhi sat down on the arm of his chair and asked, “How long have you worked for him?”
This wasn’t the conversation he wanted to have and he smelled Jyn’s shampoo as she came over, “Is that an airport?”
“Old base that’s now a rural airport so it can be secured. According to this, they should all be there,” Better question to answer but he didn’t want to not say anything to Bodhi, “I served under him on my first tour.”
“And you enlisted young?” Baze asked, Cassian could hear him being deliberate and curious, he didn’t know why.
Cassian focused on the map and Bodhi beside him pointing to a route he hadn’t seen as he said, “Yes. Why does it..” Then his English decided to slip away and he could only find the word in Spanish, “matter?”
“I don’t know what that means,” Baze rumbled and he heard the clatter of the coffee mugs, which meant he was probably standing.
Chirrut said from closer to Cassian than he’d expected, “It means we should make more coffee.”
Cassian nodded and returned to work, he didn’t want Baze and Chirrut to care now, because they decided he was ill used by Draven and that made him the right kind of broken.
On the plane, Kay bumped his shin and offered him a granola bar that he took and started eating while he prepared for take off. Everyone was back to being quiet and the silence didn’t press on him like before but it wasn’t comfortable. If it was better it was because of Jyn and Bodhi, not him.
Fort Yavin was busier than he’d expected, he could make out planes and helicopters from the the entire Council, that was a good sign. As they got out, he saw Organa’s daughter who gave Jyn a thumbs up and Cassian smiled. This might happen. Jyn went forward, her stride long with Bodhi beside her, Baze and Chirrut took their time as he closed up the plane and left Kay. The airport’s waiting room was full of security guards, he recognized a few faces before he was waved into the conference room.
She stirred her coffee before saying, “It meant matter. Why does his history matter to you?”
“He could have just said that,” Baze grumbled as Chirrut placed a hand on his arm and turned toward Jyn.
“Why didn’t he?” Chirrut was trying to parse out Cassian as Jyn stared at the door he’d gone through.
“It’s not worth it to share when people leave,” That was one of those truths she’d learned in her time with Saw, trust only went so far. She wondered how early Cassian found it out.
“We’re not going to leave. We’re going to see this through, you know that, Jyn,” Baze’s voice almost boomed and she felt warmed.
“I know,” She didn’t know why they cared like they did but she felt a little safer.
“But who are you staying for and who do you care for? He thinks he knows and your timing feels like a bone,” Bodhi said with a nod to the door, Jyn was surprised at how tired he sounded. He was the most hopeful of all of them though Baze and Chirrut kept going, she’d never seen them falter, but then they had each other.
“It’s a job for him,” Baze said firmly and Jyn watched Bodhi almost glare, it was surprising and nice to see him annoyed and Baze looked slightly uncomfortable.
“If this is how he acts for a job, we’re lucky. I need more coffee,” Bodhi stood up and fiddled with a mug.
Jyn stood up and rested a hand on his arm, “They don’t remember what it feels like.”
Bodhi bumped her shoulder and poured out coffee for her as he nodded, “No, it’s stupid. I mean he has a Death card in his plane. Of course he doesn't expect anything to last."
She started to ask Bodhi what he meant but the door opened and Cassian came through with a straight back and eyes that didn’t show anything. The look on his face made her think of the first picture in his file, newly enlisted with no mustache, he was so young but with old eyes.
“Any news?” She stood as he walked by her and shook his head, he was planning.
“No, they want to hear more information. They want Bodhi next,” He looked over to Bodhi who gripped his mug with a nod.
“What should I say?”
“The truth. Mothma will understand the best, talk to her. She’s a good listener,” Cassian smiled, it was small but she saw that somehow it reassured Bodhi as the door opened.
“Bodhi Rook, we’re ready for you,” Bodhi stood up taller, tucked his hair behind his ear and went in.
Jyn watched him go and sipped her coffee which was too bitter and started adding milk and sugar as Cassian stood beside her. He didn’t seem completely present, “Do you want some coffee?”
“Yes then I need to make some calls,” He poured his coffee and Jyn wished she had been in that room. She would be but not with him and Cassian’s face was hard to read once more. As if he could feel her thinking about him, he glanced up and said, “Just doing what I can.”
Jyn released a breath she hadn’t realized she was holding and nodded, “Yes, we’ll find a plan.”
She ended up sitting near a window and watching him drink coffee and talk outside before she heard her name called. Jyn finished her drink as Chirrut said, “Blast them with your truth, little sister.”
Jyn smiled and went forward into a conference room and met every face equally, Mothma nodded to her, Draven seemed to be considering her while Organa smiled. Then there were other faces that she didn’t know. Bodhi moved to be beside her as she said, “My father designed a weapon for Ecorp, it’s a combination of a chemical weapon and a massive bomb. It destroyed Jedha but there’s a flaw in it and the plans are in the Scarif archives. We can get them and with them have the proof to show what they’re doing and destroy them.”
“What’s the proof?” Draven asked and Jyn stared at him.
“The proof? We saw Jedha destroyed. I heard what my father said, that’s the proof,” What more did they want? Yes, they hadn’t thought to make a recording but they were trying to escape.
“It’s not enough to allow a search,” Mothma sounded sad as she said it.
“A search, don’t play by their rules, steal them, get them,” This was why she hated working within systems, they trapped you.
“We can’t risk that, it would destroy everything we’ve tried to build,” Draven was firm, it wasn’t enough.
“But they’ll never be another moment like this,” She knew it, she’d learned about how opportunitiescan slip away as a girl. When her mother died and her father gave up, when Saw pushed her to a normal life built on knowledge and not guns for her protection, when her father died and now this.
Around the conference table, she watched worry and fear pass over all the faces as Bodhi’s presence reminded her, they weren’t the only way.
“We need to discuss more, thank you, Ms. Erso,” Mothma said with a nod and Jyn turned with a sigh as Bodhi followed her.
At the door, Chirrut reached her first, she said, “They’re not going to do anything. They’re going to talk.”
She heard another door and saw Cassian, he looked vulnerable as he met her gaze, “They won’t. They’re too scared, but we could. I mean if you wanted me. I’ve been finding some help to get an easier way in, but we’d have to move fast.”
Jyn stepped forward to meet him and she said, “You’re good at plans.”
It wasn’t what she meant to say, she didn’t know what she was trying to say.
“Won’t they disapprove, captain?” Chirrut asked and she turned back to him as Bodhi stood closer.
“They’re wrong. Jyn’s right and together we can do it,” He took a step forward towards her.
Jyn walked closer to him as she heard the others move behind her but all she could see was Cassian offering himself against what he knew, “We will.”
“What happens after?” It wasn’t the question Jyn meant to ask but there was a plan. Cassian had begun it but together they would finish it. She didn’t want to think about those flashing odds numbers, imagine success and create it. Bodhi leaned on her shoulder, he understood some of what she was trying to ask.
Cassian stared at her before answering, he looked confused at her asking, “Then your father has his redemption and all of you are able to start the new lives you want.”
“And you?” Why didn’t he get this? Without him none of this would work.
“I keep flying and working,” He rubbed his neck, he only did that when he was nervous and expecting something bad.
“No new life for you?” Baze asked and she heard kindness in his voice, it had taken him long enough.
“I’ve got my plane and Kay. And after this, maybe I’ll have been able to do something truly good, but we have to get through the job first,” His voice was quiet and he rested his hand on that card again but that ‘we’, that made Jyn smile and he smiled back at her.
“And we will and come home,” She met his eyes and the smile, that was the one she wanted, that said he understood how right this all felt.
In this chapter, I'm taking on something that always bothered me. How Baze and Chirrut don't seem to connect with Cassian that much. They have their reasons but I always felt that created an imbalance in the crew. Here, I take advantage of having more time for some of those conversations to happen.