Dead of night did little to quench the heat from the summer sun. There was only one inn located on the far-flung Galactic outpost that had been set as their rendezvous point. It offered little in way of cooling save a large window. They decided that it would have to do.
They each sat at the far edges of the window. "It's the middle of nowhere. But if we're coming here, you can assume that they're here too," she had explained. Cassian did not complain. He sat in the shadow, dressed down to a sleeveless t-shirt and thin pants. He sat straight, desperate to steal whatever chill stuck to the walls and floor.
He sat, quiet, and listened as she spoke softly. The words spilled forth from her quickly but never so fast that she tripped over them. He occasionally glanced over, watching Leia's careful movements that meant that not even the edge of her braid could be seen peeking beside the window. It was controlled animation. He would look away just as quickly. There was no reason to stare.
Finally, she she smiled and let forth a little laugh. "This isn't what you were looking for was it, Captain?"
"It is...known information, but not to the degree you were able to confirm."
"Of course. Still, I'm…"
"That's not to say it's not important."
"Why? The rebellion is crawling with Senate informers. Why one more?" she asked.
Cassian looked over and met a steady gaze. "It's important to know how far the information has disseminated. It's important to know you're all being told the same story. And it was, to be honest, easy for us to meet."
"Oh yes, this 'diplomatic mission,'" she said, smiling.
"I'm sure it was a success," he replied, unable to not return the smile.
"Oh yes." Leia paused and turned away from. "I suppose this is considered my first 'official' bit of business."
"It's not like you haven't been our friend for years."
"But that was all through obscured channels. This is real." She turned back to him and asked, "Will it always be with you?"
"Who knows? There are so many like me that…"
"Oh, I doubt it."
He laughed despite himself. "You will find that I am not unique."
She could only shake her head. Leia leaned forward and gave a quick glance out the window. She turned back and said, "I'm going to take a little chance."
"And do what?"
The question had no sooner left his mouth than she had already fled her post and arrived at his side of the window. She crouched down next to him, careful to keep a slight distance between them. "You looked lonely," she said with a shrug.
"I'm used to being lonely."
"That's a shame. No one should be." She looked away, adding, "Or maybe I'm just not used to being alone."
"But should anyone get used to it?"
"It's the life I lead." Cassian watched as her brows furrowed. "And someone has to," he added.
"That won't be true one day."
"I hope I live to see it."
Leia nodded. She seemed to swallow hard before turning to face him. He felt her hand slip around his neck and give a little push forward. "You don't have to do anything like this. I don't expect anything like this from...well, anyone."
"If you'll let me, I'd like to give you something that's true and, as you've indicated, you may not have received recently. Given the less than stellar state of my intelligence I think…"
"You don't owe me anything, Princess."
"Don't call me that, not now. It's not that I owe it to you. I want to give it. Still, will you?"
Cassian closed his eyes and leaned forward. Their lips met and, for the first time all day, he was glad to be greeted with warmth. His hands reached out and found her shoulders, his fingers digging into the thin fabric of her shirt as he pull her closer. It had been awhile since he had last touched another in such a manner. He would drink her in if her could.
She was the one to pull away, slipping away from his mouth with a contented sigh before sinking down and placing her head on his shoulder. "Is it ok if I stay like this?"
Cassian wrapped his arm around her shoulders and pulled her near. "Stay as long as you like."
She wrapped an arm around his waist, saying, "You're so warm."
"You are too." To his surprise, he wouldn't have it any other way.
They sat there on the floor until the sun began to stream into the room.