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Silk on Your Skin

Chapter Text

“Be nice,” Cassian said under his breath as the ship descended toward the forest floor.

Chirrut resettled his grip on his staff and resisted the urge to point out that he was always nice. Beside him, Baze snorted quietly and Chirrut grinned to himself. When he turned his head, he could see the faint glow of Baze’s outline, the Force flowing like smudged iridescence around and through his form. It was comforting, those inky rainbows in constant movement, telling him where Baze was at all times.

It was harder to see the others, his connection with them not as strong, but his other senses were still in play. He could hear Cassian shifting his feet on his left, Jyn on Cassian’s far side muttering something under her breath. Bodhi was a warm presence at Chirrut’s back, smelling like engine grease and cinnamon, and Kaytoo was just a few feet away in the pilot’s chair, metal fingers punching buttons on the console.

“Remember to let me do the talking,” Cassian said.

“Right, we need them to like us,” Chirrut said, nodding.

The ship settled with a crunch of metal and Chirrut heard the door whoosh open. He took a deep breath—it smelled like green, growing things and warm wetness in the air, rich and fertile. He tipped his face into the breeze and smiled.

“We should stay a while after our business is concluded,” he said to Baze. “We need a vacation.”

Cassian shushed him harshly. “They’re coming.” He stepped out of the ship, Jyn on his heels, and Chirrut followed, Baze and Bodhi flanking him.

“If it comes to fighting,” Chirrut said to Bodhi in a low voice, “make sure you give me room. I don’t want to hit you accidentally.”

Bodhi swallowed and Chirrut resisted the urge to pat his arm.

“It’s a peacekeeping mission,” he reminded him instead. “Not likely to get violent—” He cut off as his feet hit the forest floor.

“Chirrut?” Baze sounded worried.

Chirrut couldn’t speak. He held out a hand and Baze took it, concern rippling off him in waves.

“What is it?” Baze asked.

“Oh,” Chirrut sighed. “Oh Baze, it’s beautiful.”

What is?”

“The Force—” Chirrut didn’t miss Baze’s derisive snort, but he kept going. “The Force is particularly strong on this planet. It’s like—” He searched for words. “Everything glows. You’re… limned in colors, my love. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Bodhi leaned forward and Chirrut turned his head toward him, delighted to find that Bodhi glowed too, his slim frame a multi-hued kaleidoscope.

“The delegates are coming,” Bodhi said.

Chirrut nodded and let go of Baze’s hand. “I’ll be quiet.”

He couldn’t stop taking it all in, though, the vibrant colors that surrounded every living thing in his vicinity, as Cassian spoke to the lead delegate, his voice polite and subdued.

There were twelve Dathomirians in front of them—outnumbered 2 to 1, Chirrut noted absently, still busy cataloguing his environment. He hadn’t realized there were so many colors, all of them swirling in and around and through each other in dizzying swirls that made his head hurt if he tried to follow the movement.

He was so focused on his new sense that he wasn’t listening to what the lead Dathomirian said, until Baze stiffened, beside him, and Bodhi sucked in air.

“No,” Cassian said flatly. “That’s impossible. Ask for something else.”

Baze was utterly still, like he’d been carved from marble. Chirrut frowned, cocking his head. What had been said to cause that level of alarm from his usually unflappable husband?

The Dathomirian spoke again, her voice soft but leaden with menace. “Them, or there will be no deal.”

Them? Chirrut didn’t like where this was going.

“In fact,” the Dathomirian continued, “we want them no matter what. If we can do this peacefully, that would be the best solution. However, we are not above killing you and taking what we desire.”

Jyn went for her gun and Cassian caught her wrist.

Bodhi stepped in front of Baze and Chirrut. “You’re not taking them,” he said.

Us. She wants us. Chirrut sank into a fighting stance as Baze shifted his weight.

“Back to the ship,” Cassian said urgently, but it was too late.

Chirrut moved on instinct, lunging forward and pushing Bodhi to the side, out of the way of the blaster fire that erupted in a searing flare that singed Chirrut’s senses. It narrowly missed Bodhi, who stumbled and went down.

That was fine by Chirrut. He couldn’t fight and worry about Bodhi’s safety at the same time. He swept his staff up. It caught the charging Dathomirian under the chin and dropped her in a heap. Chirrut was already in motion again. He spun under another’s wild swing, sliding in past her defenses and taking her feet out from under her. He brought his staff down against her skull with a bone-shattering thud and sprang over her limp body.

Baze hadn’t brought his gun. That was all Chirrut could think about. He had a blaster but not his heavy gun, and there were more Dathomirians emerging from the trees on the far end of the clearing. They were more than outnumbered.

“Back to the ship!” Cassian roared. His blaster spat fire and Chirrut turned to grab Baze, but Baze wasn’t there.

Chirrut faltered and Cassian caught his arm and dragged him backward, away from the blade that whistled within an inch of Chirrut’s face.

Baze,” Chirrut said. He couldn’t feel him, couldn’t sense him anywhere—it was like he’d been erased completely from Chirrut’s senses. He twisted out of Cassian’s grip and spun in a circle. “Baze!

“We have to go!” Cassian shouted, grabbing at him again. They were almost to the ship, driven backward by the fighting.

Chirrut punched him in the face. Cassian went down and Chirrut vaulted him. The Dathomirians were retreating on the far side of the clearing, a clump of darkly glowing energies concentrated together. They had to have Baze, it was the only explanation.

He lunged after them.

Jyn flung herself in his path and Chirrut knocked her flying with a quick swing of his staff. He would regret that, later. If he survived this. If Baze was dead—he banished that thought and took two quick steps just as Bodhi stepped in front of him.

Chirrut, stop,” he said.

Chirrut stopped. “Move.” There was harsh steel in his voice, steel and anguish and the prospect of bitter loss yawning beneath his feet, and he felt Bodhi’s flinch, but Bodhi didn’t move. Every second they wasted was another second Baze was carried farther from him. Chirrut tensed but Cassian was suddenly there, gripping his arms again.

“We just need a plan,” Cassian said, low and urgent. “I swear to you by everything I hold dear, we will get him back.”

Chirrut sagged in Cassian’s hands and Bodhi slipped an arm around his waist.

“We have to go,” he said softly. He turned Chirrut toward the ship and Chirrut struggled to make his feet cooperate. Each step felt like he was being torn apart, leaving a piece of himself behind in the forest clearing.

On the ship, he collapsed on the bench and covered his face.

“Let’s go, Kaytoo!” Jyn shouted.

Chirrut reached for her hand as the door clanged shut. “Jyn—”

She squeezed his hand before pulling away. “We’re going to get him back.”

 

As soon as they were in the air, Cassian told Chirrut what he’d missed.

“You gathered they wanted you,” he said.

Chirrut nodded. His grip on his staff was the only thing keeping him grounded.

“The leader said something about the Force being strong in you both. She asked for you, I said no. When the fighting started, they disabled Baze somehow and took him. I guess they figured one was better than none.”

Chirrut closed his eyes. Baze was—he could always sense Baze, no matter what, turn to him like filing to a magnet. He didn’t need sight to see him, to know when he was scowling or smiling, to gauge his moods so he knew what approach was called for. Did Baze need him to be light and teasing, or comforting and gentle? Chirrut always knew.

But now—he was adrift, cut loose from his moorings and bobbing helplessly on the open waves like the seas Baze had described to him once, during a drought on Jedha.

“The water is steel gray, blue, or green, depending what lives in it,” he’d said, running his palm over the arm Chirrut had draped across his chest. “Sometimes you can see right to the ocean floor—other times, you can’t even get a foot deep without it being black as pitch.”

“What’s it feel like?”

Baze had hummed thoughtfully. Chirrut knew he was pushing him, asking him to use words, but he was so curious

“Warm water is like silk on your skin. When you’re in it, you’re weightless. Cradled, suspended. You can sleep on it, even, if you know how to float.”

“Surely not,” Chirrut protested.

He could feel the amusement in Baze’s voice when he answered. “Would I lie to you? I’ve napped on the surface of a lake more than once.”

“What about cold water?”

Baze shivered as if recalling an unpleasant memory. “Cold water is like ice held to your skin. It saps your strength, robs your lungs of air, tries to pull you down below the surface. It wears you out very quickly.”

Chirrut rubbed his face against Baze’s chest. “Maybe someday you can take me to a warm water.”

Baze had just laughed and pulled him closer.

“I can’t find him,” Chirrut said abruptly. “Cassian, it’s like he’s—” Dead. He kept the word locked behind his teeth with a monumental effort. “I always know where he is, but this time I—”

“There aren’t many places he could be,” Cassian said soothingly. “We’ll find him.”

He stood to go speak to Kaytoo, and Chirrut resettled his grip on the staff, fingers aching, and prayed.

I’m one with the Force and the Force is with me. Baze’s laugh, so rarely heard by anyone but Chirrut. I’m one with the Force and the Force is with me. The soft touch of his callused fingers on Chirrut’s skin. I’m one with the Force and the Force is with me. The way he complained in a sleep-roughened voice when Chirrut rose early for prayers.

I fear nothing, for all is as the Force wills it.

Chirrut’s breath splintered in his throat and he curled forward around the ache in his chest. Baze.

He was dimly aware of Bodhi beside him, but Chirrut didn’t acknowledge him, focused on counting his breaths and finding his center again.

Finally, though, he straightened.

Bodhi was silent, offering nothing but his presence.

“If you hadn’t stopped me,” Chirrut said, “I would probably be dead. Possibly Baze would be too.” If he isn’t already—he cut that thought off sharply.

Bodhi shifted his weight.

“Thank you, little one,” Chirrut said. He took Bodhi’s hand and squeezed it as Cassian’s footsteps rang on the hull.

“Kay’s putting the ship down in a safe location far enough away that we won’t be traced,” Cassian said. “I’ve requested backup rendezvous with us there. It won’t be long.”

Jyn put a hand on Chirrut’s shoulder and Chirrut covered it with his own.

“There’s a 73% chance of—”

Not the time, Kay,” Cassian interrupted.

 

Their backup was waiting when Kaytoo set the ship down and the crew gathered by the door. Without Baze, Chirrut was having a harder time than usual scoping his surroundings. With the added sensory input of the Force flowing so strongly through the living things all around, he felt worn thin, scraped raw and stretched to snapping.

“We’re in a big field,” Bodhi said quietly from Chirrut’s left. “General Draven sent us two ships with a cadre of fifteen men in each. The ships are positioned at ten and two o’clock relative to our position, and the soldiers are waiting in the holds.”

Chirrut nodded, unable to shape words out of the gratitude in his throat. Bodhi pressed cold metal against his palm and Chirrut recognized his lightbow, running his fingers over the familiar grooves and runnels.

“Their camp is on the other side of the ridge, but they’ll see us coming if we approach by air,” Cassian said. “We’ll have to go in on foot. Fast and quiet, take them by surprise. Chirrut—”

“I can keep up,” Chirrut said flatly.

Cassian didn’t challenge that. “You’re to find Baze and get him out. Leave the fighting to us if you can, but use force if necessary. They violated the peace treaty, and the Alliance does not forgive that lightly.”

Bodhi touched Chirrut’s sleeve. “I’ll stay with you.”

 

They moved through the forest in pairs, Bodhi on Chirrut’s left. Without Baze and his triangulation device that amplified Chirrut’s echo-locator, Chirrut had to be more careful about where he put his feet, listen harder, clock and catalog every noise he heard. Even with the Force amplifying his senses, he was twitchy, feeling like a spring wound too tight. 

Bodhi stayed close but didn’t cramp Chirrut’s movement, off to the side far enough that he’d be out of Chirrut’s way when the fighting started.

Chirrut stepped over a log and brushed a hanging creeper off his face. All he could think about was getting to Baze. What if he’d been hurt? What if he was lying somewhere, alone and injured, unable to get away or stop the Dathomirians from whatever they had planned?

Chirrut squared his shoulders and firmed his jaw. Fretting would do neither of them any good. Better to pray.

In darkness, cold. In light, cold.

He trailed his fingers across a tree, the bark cool and wet under his touch.

The old sun brings no heat.

But there is heat in breath and life.

Chirrut ducked another creeper.

In life, there is the Force.

In the Force, there is life.

And the Force is eternal.

Somehow, the sunset prayer of the Guardians seemed apt for their surroundings. Already, Chirrut felt a measure of peace stealing across his soul, easing the terror that clutched his heart with cruel claws.

I’m coming, Baze.

Chapter Text

They regrouped at the ridge, lying flat on their bellies to peer over the edge. Chirrut took the opportunity to re-center himself, doing his breathing exercises while Cassian scanned the area and then rejoined them.

“Early count and intel puts their numbers at about forty,” he said quietly. “We’re outnumbered but we have surprise on our side—they won’t be expecting us so soon. Remember, they’re Force-users, so be careful. Chirrut—they wanted you too, so don’t get separated from us, alright? If they can disable and kidnap you, I don’t think they’ll hesitate.”

Chirrut grinned, knowing it was bright and feral. “Let them try.”

“I’ll stay with him,” Bodhi said. “I know I’m not much, but—”

“You’re plenty,” Cassian interrupted, his voice fierce, and Chirrut’s eyebrows went up. Like that, is it?

“I’ll go with them too,” Jyn said quietly as Bodhi stammered to a stop.

“Good,” Cassian said. “We move out in five.”

 

They swept down the ridge through the trees in a fanned-out formation, moving fast and silent. Chirrut heard a muffled grunt and a boneless thud as Jyn took out the sentry posted at the edge of the trees, and then the ground leveled under his feet as the forest thinned.

“Tents up ahead, ten meters,” Bodhi said as they ran.

Chirrut cocked his head. “Down.” He tackled Bodhi around the waist and the missile intended for his chest sailed over their heads. Chirrut rolled off and lunged forward, between the canvas sheeting. His staff was unerring as he struck, fast and merciless. Bone crunched and gurgled screams clogged in a bloody throat. Chirrut didn’t slow.

Bodhi was close behind him, picking off Dathomirians with his blaster and staying out of Chirrut’s way. Jyn stuck to Chirrut’s other side, using her baton with lethal precision.

Chirrut dodged a stream of blaster fire. He slid in under the Dathomirian’s guard and his wrist shot out. The heel of his hand drove the bridge of his enemy’s nose up into her brain and she collapsed.

Baze, where are you? Chirrut stopped to orient himself as Bodhi fired, swore, and fired again. Toward the center of the encampment, a flicker, Baze’s rainbow iridescence there and gone again.

Chirrut bolted in that direction. Rounding a tent, he came upon a cluster of Dathomirians. Fifteen seconds later, he was the only one standing as Bodhi and Jyn stumbled up. Chirrut didn’t bother waiting for them to catch their breath.

He ducked around another tent and dropped the Dathomirian emerging from it with a neat blow to the sternum.

Baze, tell me where you are. Chirrut lifted his head, holding his breath. They were close to the middle of the camp by now, the sounds of fighting all around them, blood and smoke and bile mingled on the air.

A fitful flash. Chirrut spun and dove through the tangle of tents again. There were guards posted all the way around this tent, he realized, cries of alarm rising from them as Chirrut appeared, blood in his mouth and fury wreathing him like smoke.

Demon,” someone screamed, and fired.

Chirrut ducked. Two steps forward, one to the side. The first body fell. Blood in his mouth, terror and fury driving him. The next two fell. Bodhi fired, Jyn shouted.

Silence rang in Chirrut’s ears suddenly. He stopped, half-crouched over his kill, and cocked his head to listen. Blaster fire still came from the outskirts of the camp, but all was still from where he stood.

Bodhi’s footsteps came nearer. “Chirrut, it’s me. The area’s clear.”

“I know,” Chirrut said, and straightened. “Watch the entrance, I’m going inside.”

He didn’t wait for Bodhi’s acknowledgement as he ducked through the flap and then stopped to listen.

It was a big tent, an echoey open space under the heavy canvas walls. Indigo and purple rainbows, sullen and dark, but Baze. Breathing, harsh and ragged, and Chirrut tried not to sag under the relief.

Incense clogged the air in a heavy miasma, and Chirrut breathed shallowly.

“Baze,” he said. “Baze, it’s me.”

Silence. Then, slow and wavering, “Ch-Chirrut?” Rustling as Baze pushed himself to his feet. “You have to go, Chirrut.”

Chirrut ignored that. He crossed the tent in three long strides and touched Baze’s face. He hissed through his teeth at the swollen lump around Baze’s eye, running his fingers down his cheeks. “Are you hurt?” he asked.

Baze shook his head, swaying, as Chirrut continued to examine him with his hands. He was wearing a simple linen shift and trousers, his heavy armor nowhere to be found.

“Can you walk?”

Instead of answering, Baze wrapped his arms around Chirrut’s waist and jerked him close. “They gave me something,” Baze bit out. “You have to go.”

“Not without you,” Chirrut said flatly, but when he tried to step back, Baze didn’t release him. His arms were bands of iron, keeping Chirrut close, and he buried his face in the crook of Chirrut’s neck, desperate breath hot on his skin.

“I won’t—I can’t hurt you,” Baze managed. “Please, Chirrut, if you l-love me—” His voice was raw, pleading, and Chirrut slipped his hands into Baze’s wild mane.

“Can you walk?” he repeated.

Baze gulped in air and nodded.

Chirrut tugged lightly on Baze’s braids. “Let me go, beloved. We have to run now.”

Baze made a noise, deep in his chest. “I don’t—Chirrut, I c-can’t.”

Every second they wasted was more time for the Dathomirians to call in reinforcements. Chirrut made a judgment call and punched Baze in the ribs.

Baze let him go and staggered back with a wheeze, but Chirrut didn’t wait. He lunged and caught Baze in the midsection with his shoulder, one arm going around Baze’s legs. Baze folded forward with an oof and Chirrut straightened, picking him up as Baze flailed. He turned for the entrance and burst out into the open, taking a grateful breath of slightly cleaner air.

“Let’s go,” he snapped to Bodhi and Jyn.

It didn’t take long to reach the edge of the encampment, and the knot of Dathomirians running toward them. Bodhi and Jyn fired at the same time, searing death into their enemies’ flesh as Chirrut gripped his staff with one hand and Baze’s legs with the other.

Baze was trembling under Chirrut’s fingers, muscles rock-hard with tension. Unease crawled across Chirrut’s skin with tiny, tickling feet. Something was very wrong, but he didn’t have time to figure out what it was.

“Now,” Jyn ordered, and they broke from the line of tents.

They crossed the open space between the encampment and the forest at a flat run, and barely slowed once they were under the trees’ cover.

“Cassian’s withdrawing,” Bodhi panted as they wove through the trees. “The ship’s coming to us.”

“How many are following?” Chirrut asked, ducking a branch.

“Not many,” Jyn said from his right.

“One of them had some kind of big gun, though,” Bodhi added. “I couldn’t see what kind.”

“Keep moving,” Chirrut said. Baze was heavy across his shoulders, strung taut and shivering. Worry stretched sharp elbows in Chirrut’s chest. They had to get to the ship.

Chapter Text

The climb to the top of the ridge and the cut they’d come through didn’t take long. Slip-sliding down the other side took even less time, and then they were out of the trees and in long grass to their knees. Chirrut could hear the engines of Cassian’s ship as it set down on the other side of the field.

“Ground is flat,” Bodhi said. “Run.”

Chirrut resettled his grip on Baze’s legs and arm, and they dashed through the tall grass, catching and pulling on their clothes as they ran.

They were almost to the ship when something—a feeling, a whisper—brushed against Chirrut’s mind. He hurled himself forward, bearing Baze to the ground. They sprawled and the missile hit the ship instead.

Cursing and shouts rose, and the ship fired its thrusters, spinning midair as soon as it was off the ground.

Gunfire erupted from its nose and Chirrut curved himself over Baze’s body, holding him still as he reached for Bodhi with his other hand.

“Kaytoo just wiped out the Dathomirians who followed us,” Bodhi shouted over the noise, belly-crawling to Chirrut’s side. “And oh—” He sagged with what felt like relief. “There’s Cassian and the men.”

“Jyn?”

“She’s fine,” Bodhi said, voice fading as he turned to look over his shoulder. “Ship’s setting down again, come on.”

Chirrut scrambled upright and pulled Baze to his feet.

Up the gangplank into the ship’s hold, Chirrut could hear the other ships setting down and the shouting of soldiers as they boarded.

“We’re all here, let’s go!” Cassian said.

Kaytoo fired the thrusters and the ship rose, lurching unsteadily before it straightened out. Chirrut barely noticed, focused on Baze, who had found a corner of the hold and curled up in it.

“Baze?” Chirrut knelt in front of him, one hand out. “Beloved, tell me what’s wrong. You said you weren’t hurt.”

Baze flinched away from Chirrut’s hand. “Don’t—Chirrut, if I—”

“Captain,” Kaytoo called. “Something’s wrong with the thrusters.”

Chirrut lifted his head as Cassian brushed past. He could hear them talking in low voices but not what they were saying. After a minute, Cassian came back.

“The right thruster was damaged by the artillery when we came over the ridge,” he said, his voice tight with worry. “We won’t even break atmo until it’s fixed, let alone reach lightspeed. Kay’s going to find a safe place to put us down so he, Bodhi, and I can work on it.”

Baze moaned, muffled like his face was buried in his hands.

“Cassian,” Chirrut called. He waited for Cassian’s footsteps to approach. “Something’s wrong with him. I can’t figure out what. He said they gave him something. Can you—”

He waited as Cassian knelt beside them.

“Baze,” he said in his soft voice, “can I examine you?”

No,” Baze said, jerking back. “Don’t touch me.”

“He’s flushed, his heart rate is elevated, and he’s sweating,” Cassian said to Chirrut. “But from what I can see, he does not appear to be physically injured. My guess is they drugged him with something.”

Baze moaned again. “It hurts,” he whispered.

“I found a place that appears safe,” Kaytoo called from the cockpit. “Shall I set the ship down, Cassian?”

Baze caught Chirrut’s sleeve as Cassian stood. He seemed careful not to touch his skin. “Don’t leave,” he begged.

“They must have drugged you,” Chirrut said, shifting on his knees so he was closer. “That’s the only explanation for you thinking I would leave you now. What do you need from me, beloved?”

Baze’s swallow was audible. “My skin—” he whispered. “It feels… hot. Tight. Hurts.”

“We have to let the drugs work their way through your system,” Chirrut said.

Baze caught Chirrut’s wrist, fingers gripping almost cruelly tight, and pulled him forward to press Chirrut’s hand to his groin. Chirrut caught his breath as he felt the outline of Baze’s erection, straining against the soft linen.

“The head witch,” Baze ground out, flinging Chirrut’s hand away, “said if I don’t—then my heart will give out. She had women—little more than girls waiting—I told her I wouldn’t.” He sucked in a breath. “Chirrut—”

The ship set down with a crunch of abused metal, and Chirrut made up his mind.

“Come with me.”

“What?”

Chirrut was already on his feet, straightening his robes. He slanted a smile toward Baze’s hunched figure. “Well, we can’t exactly have sex on the ship with everyone around, can we?”

Baze scrambled upright. “I’m not having sex with you, Chirrut!”

Chirrut arched a brow. “Why, did you have someone else in mind?”

“What? No! Chirrut, if I start—” He stepped closer. “I’m not sure I’ll be able to stop.”

Chirrut hummed. “Still preferable to you dying. Do I need to carry you?”

“I’m—I can walk, I think,” Baze said, sounding disgruntled.

Cassian opened the door for them.

“Don’t follow,” Chirrut said. “I don’t know how long we’ll be.”

“Wasn’t planning on it,” Cassian muttered. He cleared his throat and Chirrut stopped. Cassian pressed something—a small tube—into Chirrut’s hand. “All-purpose lubricant,” he said, and coughed.

Chirrut closed his fingers over the vial and inclined his head gravely, not letting the amusement show. Baze followed him out of the ship and Chirrut turned to him.

“Can you lead the way, or does the blind man need to do it?”

Baze growled and struck out at an angle to the ship, plunging in among foliage that drooped almost to the ground. Chirrut followed, touching the hip-high ferns lining the narrow game-trail with one careful finger as he stayed on Baze’s heels.

They walked in silence, but Chirrut could hear the way Baze’s breath was beginning to rattle in his chest, could feel the tension radiating off him, and the worry grew in Chirrut’s chest.

Finally, they stepped into a clear area, smelling of nectar and unfamiliar blossoms. Chirrut sniffed the air.

“Is that water?”

Baze reached for him, hands unsteady, and didn’t answer. He jerked Chirrut in and buried his face in the crook of Chirrut’s neck, breath puffing hotly across his skin as he fumbled with Chirrut’s robes.

“I need—please, Chirrut—”

Chirrut cupped Baze’s face, feeling the unnatural heat radiating off his skin. “You have me, love.”

Baze swallowed hard. He managed to get Chirrut’s belt unbuckled and pushed his robes off his shoulders to puddle around his feet.

“I don’t want to hurt you,” he rasped.

Chirrut pulled his tunic off over his head and stepped out of his trousers. Over Baze’s audible intake of breath, he reached for Baze’s shirt and tugged it up and off.

“You won’t,” he said when Baze was naked. “You can’t.” He ran a hand down Baze’s chest, beaded with sweat, and Baze twitched but still he didn’t move, as if waiting for something. Chirrut tilted his head. “Have you ever done something I didn’t like?”

“Yes,” Baze said instantly. He pulled away from Chirrut’s touch, taking a step back. “The calarantrum root, remember?”

Chirrut couldn’t help his laugh. “And how did I react?”

“You punched me.” There were the beginnings of amusement in Baze’s voice, threading through the lust and fear.

Chirrut spread his hands, letting the silence speak for him.

Baze groaned and charged him, dropping Chirrut to the soft grass to swarm up his body. “I need—I need to be inside you, Chirrut,” he said, and kissed him, teeth and tongue and desperation. He tasted like fruity wine, and Chirrut twined his fingers through Baze’s hair again to pull him closer before letting him go to fumble for the clothes.

Baze made a lost noise as Chirrut twisted to find the pocket he’d put the lubricant in, fingers digging into Chirrut’s hips to prevent him from going too far.

It didn’t take long, thankfully, before Chirrut rolled onto his back and pressed the vial into Baze’s hand.

“I love you more than anything in the galaxy,” Chirrut said, “but you’re not fucking me dry.”

Baze fumbled and nearly dropped the vial, but then his weight was gone as he rolled to his knees between Chirrut’s splayed legs.

Chirrut canted his hips as he heard the lid click open. “I don’t need much,” he said, more breathless than he cared to admit. Baze didn’t answer, but two slick fingers touched Chirrut’s entrance and then pressed inside.

Chirrut gasped, the old, familiar stretch and burn awakening the nerves under his skin in skittering falls of sparks. He clutched at the grass, grinding down on Baze’s hand as he pushed farther in.

It wasn’t long before Baze pulled out, his other hand on Chirrut’s thigh trembling with his need. He scooped Chirrut’s legs up and over his arms and Chirrut didn’t have time to take a breath before Baze entered him, sliding all the way home in one smooth thrust.

Chirrut clenched around him, choking back a noise. Baze didn’t pause. Pulling out, he slammed back in and set up a steady rhythm immediately, bending forward to plant his hands on either side of Chirrut’s body and folding him in half so he could get deeper.

Baze’s movements were rough, uncoordinated, and he pounded home over and over in unsteady thrusts, growling low in his chest. Chirrut didn’t try to slow him down. Baze needed this, to work through the drugs in his system at his own pace.

Besides, it felt good. The head of Baze’s cock dragged over the bundle of nerves at Chirrut’s core every few thrusts, and the pressure was already building at the base of Chirrut’s spine. He was close, but he didn’t want to come yet—

Baze thumbed Chirrut’s cock, pressing a nail against the slit, and Chirrut cried out as he came in desperate pulses over Baze’s hand, spilling hot and slick between them.

When he settled back into himself, Baze hadn’t even slowed. Chirrut reached up and scraped a fingernail across Baze’s bare chest, flicking his nipple. Baze jerked, rhythm faltering, and then resumed. Chirrut smiled and did it again.

 Baze stiffened with a groan as he emptied deep in Chirrut’s welcoming body.

Chirrut stretched and sighed. “So good.”

Baze pulled out and rolled Chirrut onto his stomach. He was heavy and warm when he settled himself on top, grinding his hips against Chirrut’s ass.

“Oh,” Chirrut said.

“I can’t—” Baze’s voice was raw with desperation.

Chirrut rolled his hips backward. “Take what you need, love.”

Baze’s knee pushed Chirrut’s thighs apart and he lifted Chirrut’s hips so Chirrut was on knees and elbows. More lubricant landed on Chirrut’s ass, and Baze spread it around briefly. Then the blunt head of his cock was there, spearing Chirrut open.

Chirrut gasped as Baze sank deep, clutching at the grass again. The sweet smell of the torn blades filled his nose and Chirrut pressed his face to the ground as Baze pumped his hips, stretching Chirrut wide.

Every nerve in his body was awake and protesting. Chirrut felt like a layer of skin had been seared off his body, leaving him raw and sensitive. Coupled with the overload of the Force flowing through and around him, it was almost too much for him to take.

But Baze needed him. And Chirrut would not let him down. He pushed back against Baze’s body, fingers scrabbling in the dirt and grass, and was rewarded by Baze freezing in place, hips jerking in tiny, minute motions as he spilled inside Chirrut again.

Finally, he pulled out, stroking an unsteady hand down Chirrut’s flank. “Are you okay?” he whispered.

Chirrut hummed. Baze lifted him, turning Chirrut around so they were facing each other.

“Are you sure?” Baze asked.

Chirrut smiled and cupped Baze’s face. “I’ve sustained worse damage in practice, love. Are you okay?”

Baze turned his head into Chirrut’s hand. “I still—I need—”

Chirrut dropped his hand between them to find Baze’s cock still hard, slick with lube and come. “Dear gods,” he murmured. “Your heart may give out yet.” He closed a fist around Baze’s length and stroked. Baze jerked, his breath stuttering, and folded Chirrut close.

Chirrut tucked his face against Baze’s throat, tasting the desperation on his skin, and kept his strokes steady and sure, his other arm going around Baze’s neck.

Nothing mattered more than this, Baze in his arms, trembling with need and want that must surely be driving him mad but still so careful of Chirrut, as if afraid he’d break.

Love swelled in Chirrut’s chest and he kissed the hollow of Baze’s throat. “I have you,” he crooned. “I have you.”

Baze’s arms tightened, and the noise he made when he came sounded almost pained, fractured and jagged. Chirrut eased him through it in gentling sweeps, whispering love against Baze’s skin.

Finally, Baze’s embrace loosened and he dragged in air.

“You’re covered in blood,” he said, as if noticing for the first time.

Chirrut’s laugh pealed out of him. “The witches didn’t want to give you back. I had to convince them.”

Baze huffed amusement. “Well, let’s get you cleaned up, at least.”

There was water, Chirrut discovered when Baze led him to it, warm on his skin as they stepped into the shallows.

“It’s not deep, looks like,” Baze said. “If you’ll get on your knees, I can wash your face for you.”

“I’m capable of washing my own face,” Chirrut pointed out, amused.

“But I want to,” Baze said.

Guilt sliced through Chirrut at that. Of course Baze wanted to take care of him, especially now. He sank to his knees and swept his fingers through the water that lapped at his skin. Baze moved around in front of him and knelt too.

Chirrut closed his eyes as Baze poured water over his face in a warm flood. “Feels good,” he murmured.

Baze thumbed his cheekbone briefly. “Looks good,” he rumbled. “Naked on your knees for me, dripping wet—should have taken you to a lake much sooner.”

He kept dipping water, scooping it over Chirrut’s skin and wiping away the bloody smears. Finally, he grunted approval and leaned forward, fitting their lips together.

Chirrut kissed him back willingly, arms going around Baze’s neck. This was all he wanted—all he needed. Baze’s mouth on his, warm and wet and gentle. His arms around Chirrut’s waist, the soft noises he didn’t appear to be aware he was making, and—

Chirrut pulled away and cupped Baze’s erection. “Really?”

“Sorry,” Baze muttered.

“It’s alright,” Chirrut said, and pulled him into another kiss. “I’d really like you to fuck my mouth.”

Baze shivered and followed him out of the pond, back to their clothes. Chirrut sank gracefully to his knees in the grass and beckoned. Baze stepped nearer, close enough that Chirrut could feel the unnatural heat radiating off his skin.

He leaned forward and pressed his face to the cut of Baze’s hip with an appreciative noise. Baze groaned, one hand coming up to cup Chirrut’s skull.

“Chirrut—”

“No time for foreplay, right,” Chirrut said, and took Baze’s length deep.

Baze’s other hand came up, curving over the back of Chirrut’s head as he hunched forward. Chirrut set a punishing pace from the beginning, sinking all the way down every time, until the head of Baze’s cock bumped Chirrut’s soft palate.

Years of practice kept him from gagging as Baze’s hands tightened, holding Chirrut’s head still.

“I’m—Chirrut, can I—”

Chirrut patted his thigh in silent invitation. They hadn’t done forceful face-fucking often, especially in their later years, but Chirrut had always secretly enjoyed it when Baze had let slip the leash on his self-control and taken him, rough and desperate.

Baze began to pump his hips harder, his girth stretching Chirrut’s throat. He wasn’t going to be able to speak later, Chirrut knew. His cock twitched.

There were tears in Chirrut’s eyes from the force of Baze’s thrusts. He sucked air down when Baze pulled far enough out to allow oxygen in, his head spinning. He was half-hard again, his body stirring with interest despite his exhaustion.

He was only dimly aware when Baze pressed deep, down his throat until Chirrut’s nose was brushing the soft curls at his groin, and folded forward with a shattered noise.

Chirrut swallowed around his length, making Baze jerk, gasping a half-laugh, and withdraw. There were tears on Chirrut’s cheeks and saliva on his chin, and Baze thudded to his knees in front of him.

“Talk to me,” he pleaded, guilt and self-recrimination clogging his voice.

Swallowing hurt. Speaking was nearly impossible, Chirrut discovered. He lifted a wavering hand to Baze’s face and brought him down for a kiss. Baze tasted like salt and wine, and Chirrut pulled him closer, leaning backward until they both toppled into the grass, Baze bracing himself above Chirrut’s body.

Chirrut traced the lines of Baze’s face, running his fingers over Baze’s cheekbones and down, over his drooping mouth. He made a mighty effort to speak.

“I’m—alright,” he rasped.

Baze dropped his head into the crook of Chirrut’s neck, hard length pressing against Chirrut’s thigh. He kissed his collarbone and then set his teeth into the skin, scraping lightly and making Chirrut jerk.

“I still—gods, Chirrut, how am I still going? I’m going to hurt you—”

Chirrut patted his shoulder and pushed, gently. Thank the Force, they’d been together long enough to develop a non-verbal pattern of communication. Baze obeyed Chirrut’s unspoken request and rolled onto his back, and Chirrut straddled him in one smooth motion.

“Lube,” he husked.

Baze groped for it with one hand, the other biting into Chirrut’s thigh. He pressed it into Chirrut’s palm, and Chirrut ran his free hand along Baze’s chest.

Chirrut took pity on him and opened the vial. He coated Baze’s cock with the ease of long familiarity, feeling the tenseness in Baze’s frame and frowning.

“I’m okay,” Baze said, quivering under Chirrut’s touch. “I will be, I feel better already, I promise, I just—”

Chirrut cut him off by sinking down onto Baze’s cock. His head fell back with a choked noise as Baze filled him to the hilt and Chirrut’s body woke, a forest fire flaring under his skin.

He came to rest in the cradle of Baze’s hips, the only sound in the clearing their harsh breathing. Baze’s fingers dug cruelly into Chirrut’s thighs and Chirrut welcomed the pain, letting it ground him. He didn’t fight the smile that curved his mouth as he rolled his shoulders.

“So beautiful,” Baze whispered. He let go of Chirrut’s legs and splayed his hands across Chirrut’s chest. “I wish you could see yourself. You look like some eldritch god come to life, ancient and terrible. You glow, and gods—” He rolled upward, into Chirrut’s core. “You feel so good, beloved,” he managed.

Chirrut’s smile widened and he lifted his hips experimentally and slid back down. He could feel how Baze was fighting to keep from thrusting into him, and he frowned. That wouldn’t do. He quickened his pace despite his body’s protests, catching Baze’s hands to pull him into a sitting position.

There. Now Chirrut could loop his arms around Baze’s shoulders, could bend to kiss him, nip at his lower lip and feel the way Baze shuddered against him as Chirrut set a steady pace.

His own cock had slowly woken as Baze’s length filled him, rubbing against that knot at his core, and his thickening shaft caught on Baze’s abdomen as Chirrut rolled his hips.

A noise forced itself from Chirrut’s throat, scraping his abused vocal cords. Baze rocked up into him again, tearing another noise free.

Baze caught Chirrut’s hips suddenly, freezing him in place over Baze’s lap. “Don’t move,” he ordered. “Hold onto my shoulders and be still.”

Chirrut shivered and obeyed as Baze leaned back just enough to brace himself on his hands. Still, he wasn’t prepared for Baze to hammer home, hips thrusting upward hard and fast, skin smacking together with obscene noises, and he choked on a scream as Baze tilted him forward and drove punishingly deep.

Chirrut’s throat was shredded, noise almost impossible, but Baze didn’t slow and Chirrut couldn’t stop the sobs that ripped from him as he clutched Baze’s shoulders and Baze pounded in, over and over.

He was begging in a thick, unintelligible voice, Chirrut realized dimly. He needed to come, needed to rest, needed—

Baze freed a hand and wrapped it around Chirrut’s length, stroking in rough counterpoint, and Chirrut was done. He cried out in Jedhan as he came in thick spurts all over Baze’s belly, only vaguely aware of Baze’s teeth meeting in his shoulder as he followed him over the edge.

They fell in a loose-limbed sprawl onto the grass, Chirrut draped across Baze’s chest, Baze’s breath stirring Chirrut’s hair.

Chirrut wasn’t sure his muscles would ever obey him again. Everything hurt, but it was a good hurt, a pleasant ache that reminded him that not only was his lover alive, but he was here, he was with him, he was whole. Chirrut would take a thousand years of agony far worse than this for that knowledge.

He made an effort to cooperate when Baze gently maneuvered him off his chest, but his movements were clumsy, uncoordinated, and finally Baze huffed almost-amusement deep in his throat.

“Be still,” he whispered, and laid Chirrut in the grass on his back.

Chirrut obeyed placidly, at peace with the world. He could feel Baze above him, leaning over, and Chirrut lifted a wobbly hand and caught Baze’s braid to pull him down into a clumsy kiss. He tasted his own blood on Baze’s tongue, blood and wine and salty tears, and Chirrut frowned, struggling for thoughts that slithered away when he reached for them.

Why was Baze upset? But Baze pulled back before Chirrut could speak, and kissed along his collarbones, paying special attention to the bite mark, then moved down Chirrut’s body to press kisses to every bruise, every rough scrape, bite, and finger mark he’d left.

He was whispering something, Chirrut realized after a minute, and he lifted his head to listen.

“I’m sorry,” Baze said, a hitch in his voice, and kissed another bruise. “I’m so sorry, Chirrut.” He kept moving, whispering remorse and shame into Chirrut’s skin, begging forgiveness with each touch, each caress. “I love you so much. I love you, Chirrut.”

Gentle hands turned him over and Chirrut felt silky blades of grass on his cheek, cool on his chest and stomach as Baze continued his penance, his lips soft.

He got to Chirrut’s ass and hesitated briefly before carefully spreading Chirrut’s cheeks. His breath was warm, his fingers careful as he leaned in and tenderly kissed Chirrut’s abused hole.

“So beautiful,” he said as Chirrut squirmed beneath him. “It’s all pink and puffy and my come is dripping down your thighs—the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.”

Chirrut shivered. Baze sometimes said wonderfully filthy things, but only when they were alone, and usually only when he was so exhausted he’d dropped his guard.

Considering how tired Chirrut was, he could only imagine how Baze must be feeling, but when he half-turned and reached for him, Baze batted his hand away.

“Let me do this,” he said, his voice thick and pleading, and Chirrut hesitated but turned back to pillow his head on his arms.

Baze peppered Chirrut’s buttocks with soft kisses, thumbs kneading the muscles gently, and then moved down his thighs, mouth warm and wet. He nipped lightly at Chirrut’s hamstring, making him twitch. Baze’s lips curved on Chirrut’s skin but his voice was full of shame when he spoke.

“I failed you,” he whispered. His hands kept Chirrut’s hips in place when Chirrut tried to turn, to argue with his non-existent voice. “You’re—gods, Chirrut, you’re covered in bruises, in scratches and bite marks. You can’t even speak, because of what I did to you. I’m—I’m not fit to touch you, now. I’m so sorry, Chirrut. How can you ever forgive me?”

Frustration bubbled over and Chirrut bucked, dislodging Baze’s grip on him, and rolled. His aim was unerring as ever when he lunged upright and bore Baze over backward. They landed with a grunt from Baze that Chirrut cut off when he bent to kiss him, hard and almost angry.

Baze hesitated but then he kissed him back, begging for absolution with every sweep of his tongue, every soft breath that caressed Chirrut’s skin, the hands he brought up to cradle Chirrut’s face, and Chirrut gave it to him gladly, burrowing against Baze’s broad chest to get as close as possible.

When they finally broke, they were both panting and Chirrut gripped Baze’s chin in one hand.

“I love you,” he rasped, feeling Baze’s flinch at the timbre of his voice. “Dressed. Ship.” The rest would have to wait until he had his voice back at the very least.

Baze helped him get his tunic and trousers on with wobbly, careful hands, and then dressed himself. But when Chirrut tried to stand, his legs refused to cooperate, and he toppled right back over in a heap.

“I’ll carry you,” Baze said, still clearly miserable. He handed Chirrut his over-robes and staff and then scooped him up into his arms.

Despite his own exhaustion, his stride was steady and smooth as he made his way through the jungle, and Chirrut rested his head on Baze’s chest, over his heart, which was thumping at a regular pace instead of the frenetic beat it had been before.

He dozed off halfway there and frantic voices woke him.

“What happened?” That was Cassian. “No, don’t tell me. Are you okay? Is he okay?”

A gentle, tentative hand touched Chirrut’s arm. “Chirrut?” It was Bodhi, anxiety vibrating through him.

Chirrut made a mighty effort and managed a thumb’s up. Silence fell, and Chirrut smiled and fell asleep again.

Chapter Text

He woke briefly an indeterminate time later. He was clean, dry, and in fresh clothes, Baze tucked up behind him with one arm around Chirrut’s waist.

The rumble of the ship’s engines vibrated through the floor, a comforting purr. Chirrut was sore all over, but it was a pleasant ache, although—he winced as he moved his left arm. That bite on his shoulder was probably going to scar.

Chirrut touched Baze’s arm, the crisp, curling hairs and weathered skin, and let sleep drag him back under.

 

When he woke again, it was to the engines running smoothly and Baze stirring behind him. Chirrut sat up and yawned. He stifled a groan as he stretched and turned toward Baze, who had sat up against the bulkhead.

“They got the hyperdrive working again?”

Baze grunted affirmation. His hands were warm when he cupped Chirrut’s face, turning his head back and forth to examine him.

“How are you feeling?”

Chirrut batted his hand away. “I’m fine, you worrywart. The others okay?”

“They’re fine.” Baze’s tone said the others weren’t his concern. He pulled the collar of Chirrut’s shirt to the side and touched the edge of the bandage that covered the bite mark.

Chirrut tilted his head and let him inspect it, knowing he wouldn’t be satisfied until he’d assured himself that Chirrut was whole.

“I’m alright,” he said gently after a few minutes, but Baze ignored him, lifting the shirt and checking all the scrapes and bruises on Chirrut’s torso. Finally, Chirrut caught his hand. “Baze. I said I’m fine.”

Baze folded forward until his forehead was pressed against Chirrut’s unharmed shoulder. His breath was ragged in his throat, and alarm surged through Chirrut as he raised his hand and stroked Baze’s hair, soft tangles catching his fingers.

“Are you still feeling guilty, old man?” Chirrut asked. He stroked a knuckle down Baze’s cheek, tracing his smile lines and wrinkles.

“You’ve been asleep for two days,” Baze said, voice muffled against Chirrut’s shirt.

Chirrut’s eyebrows went up and Baze lifted his head.

“Two days, Chirrut. You needed two full days to recover from what I did to you. How can you even let me near you now?”

“Well… I suppose I am getting up there,” Chirrut said. “Not as old as you, but it takes me longer than it used to to recover these days. Speaking of, how are you feeling?”

Baze huffed, no humor in it. “I’m fine. I slept too—but only for about one day.”

Chirrut swung his feet off the bed and Baze caught his arm.

“Where are you going?”

“I have to piss, beloved,” Chirrut said in the most patient voice he could muster. “And then we’re going to talk.”

He heard Bodhi’s breathing as he stepped into the hallway and he smiled.

“How long have you been there?”

Bodhi scrambled to his feet and Chirrut could almost see his shrug. “I heard voices, I wanted to make sure you were okay.”

Chirrut touched his shoulder. “I’m well, little one. Thank you—for your help in recovering Baze.”

Bodhi shifted his feet. “I’m glad you’re both safe.”

“And the captain?”

“I’m—ah… glad he’s safe too?”

Chirrut laughed at the confusion in Bodhi’s voice. “I meant, has he spoken to you yet?”

“No,” Bodhi said. “Why would he?”

Chirrut patted his arm. “I’m sure he will when he finds the words.”

In the ‘fresher, he stripped and inspected himself. As he’d suspected, the only painful spot was the bite on his shoulder. Chirrut prodded the edges with a careful finger, wincing. It would definitely scar.

 

Back in their quarters, he sniffed the air appreciatively. “Breakfast in bed? You spoil me, love.”

Baze grunted. “Have to be in bed to have breakfast in it.”

Chirrut grinned and instead of lying down, bent and plucked the tray neatly off Baze’s lap to set it on the mattress beside him. Then he crawled onto the bed and curled up between Baze’s knees, folding himself into position so he could tuck his head under Baze’s chin.

“There,” he said with satisfaction, and rubbed his cheek against the linen of Baze’s shirt. “Much better.”

Baze took a shaky breath and wrapped his arms around Chirrut’s waist. “I can’t forgive myself,” he whispered.

“I know,” Chirrut murmured, stroking his forearm.

They sat in silence for a while, Chirrut enjoying the peace as Baze held him.

“We haven’t had a quiet minute to ourselves in too long,” he said when he finally stirred and plucked a dumpling off the tray. He hummed around the mouthful. “Did you make these?”

“I taught Jyn while you were asleep,” Baze said. “She’s a natural.”

“You left me all on my own?” Chirrut teased, taking another dumpling.

“Bodhi stayed with you,” Baze said, accepting a morsel from Chirrut’s fingers. His lips were warm on Chirrut’s skin. “One of us was watching you around the clock.”

Chirrut sighed. “I’m not breakable, Baze.”

“Yes, you are.” Baze’s voice was tight.

“Fine,” Chirrut conceded, pressing his cheek to Baze’s throat again. “But do you really think so little of me that a few rounds of rough sex would be enough to do me in?”

Baze didn’t move. “Why else—”

“The Force,” Chirrut interrupted. “Remember how strong it was on the planet? I think… it was like sensory overload. It wore me out, coupled with the sex.”

“The Force,” Baze echoed, voice hollow with disbelief.

Chirrut wriggled around so their chests were pressed together, his head still under Baze’s chin. “The only time I’ve felt it more strongly was in the kyber mines on Jedha, and we never had sex down there.” He lifted his head as a thought struck him but Baze’s hand covered his mouth before he could get it out.

“Blasphemous,” Baze growled, but the shadows in his voice had lightened, his arms loosening their grip somewhat.

Chirrut smiled to himself and kissed Baze’s palm. Baze slid his hand sideways to cup Chirrut’s cheek, running a thumb under his eye.

“So beautiful,” he whispered. “More beautiful than the day I met you.”

“I would hope so,” Chirrut said tartly. “Considering I was all knobby elbows and scraped knees at eight years old.”

Baze laughed quietly and cupped the nape of Chirrut’s neck, his hand warm. “I knew then,” he continued. “I didn’t know how I knew, but our lives were bound together from the first moment I saw you.”

Chirrut lifted his head until their lips were a scant inch apart. “Make love to me, Baze,” he breathed. “Please.”

Baze bent and sealed their mouths together, sweeping inside with quick, gentle touches. Chirrut went to his knees, still kissing him hungrily, and pulled his shirt off before diving back in, cupping Baze’s face and nipping his lower lip, then along his jaw as Baze fumbled with Chirrut’s pants and pushed them down over his hips.

Chirrut cooperated as best he could, busy mapping Baze’s face with hands and lips, unwilling to lose contact with him for even a second.

“I punched Cassian,” he mumbled against Baze’s jaw, and Baze stilled.

“You—what?”

“When I realized you’d been taken.” Chirrut tugged lightly on Baze’s beard. “He tried to stop me going after you.” He lifted a shoulder, grinning. “So I punched him.”

Baze huffed a disbelieving laugh and pulled him in for another kiss.

“I would burn worlds for you,” Chirrut said, sobering suddenly and catching Baze’s face in both hands. “You know that, right?”

Baze nodded. “I know, Chirrut.”

“Good. Where’s the lube?”

Baze snorted and pressed it into his hand, and Chirrut leaned back on the bed. He uncapped the bottle and listened as Baze stood and put the tray on the floor and then took his own clothes off. When he turned back to the bed, Chirrut was ready, legs splayed wide and his erection resting on his stomach, two fingers already pressing deep inside.

Baze’s startled breath was all Chirrut needed. He added a third finger, hips moving restlessly as he stretched himself. He twisted his wrist, gasping as his knuckle caught on the rim.

“Come on then, old man,” he said breathlessly, pulling his hand out.

The bed dipped as Baze got on and lowered himself between Chirrut’s thighs, bracing an elbow on either side of his head. Baze’s hair was soft and smelled like nightflowers as it brushed Chirrut’s face, his body warm and heavy on top of him, and Chirrut smiled, running his hands up Baze’s ribs.

“That’s more like it.”

Baze kissed him, a quick, soft brush of lips before he sat up and pushed Chirrut’s knees farther apart.

Blunt pressure nudged Chirrut’s entrance and he sighed into it, relaxing as Baze rocked inside in slow, careful increments and Chirrut’s body stretched to allow him in.

Baze’s gasps as he thrust mingled with Chirrut’s quiet moans when Baze brushed the knot of nerve endings inside him, Chirrut’s heel hooked around Baze’s hips to pull him in.

Chirrut rolled his pelvis up so Baze could get deeper, feeling the pressure building.

“Make me come,” he whispered. “Please, Baze—”

Baze buried his face in Chirrut’s throat, breath hot on his skin, and reached between them, his hips never slowing.

Chirrut arched up into his touch, fingers scrabbling at Baze’s back, his arms, anything for purchase as lightning sliced through him.

“There, yes, oh—” The pressure snapped and Chirrut laughed, gasping into Baze’s hair as he came, spilling helplessly over Baze’s fist onto his stomach as the pleasure shuddered across his skin. “So good, so good—” He pressed their cheeks together, unable to stop smiling. “Your turn, my love. Come for me, please?”

Baze had slowed when Chirrut came, but he began thrusting again, muscles taut under Chirrut’s hands. He was whispering something against Chirrut’s throat, over and over, and Chirrut turned his head to listen.

“My love, my life—” Baze’s hips lost their rhythm as he neared completion and Chirrut pulled him closer, encouraging him wordlessly. “Love—Chirrut—love—”

He groaned deep in his chest as he came, tremors shaking his braced form. Finally, he collapsed, and Chirrut grunted under his weight. He held him there when Baze tried to move, though, and they lay quietly, Baze’s face tucked into the crook of Chirrut’s neck, Chirrut stroking his back absently.

“You would have done the same for me,” Chirrut murmured after a few minutes.

“Of course,” Baze mumbled against his skin.

Chirrut smiled. “Then let’s hear no more of it.”

Baze kissed his throat and let the silence lapse again.

 

Finally, Chirrut stirred and poked Baze in the ribs. Baze grunted, startled from his half-doze, and lifted his head.

“What?”

“You’re heavy,” Chirrut pointed out. “And the others will probably want to make sure I’m alright.”

Baze grumbled but maneuvered himself off the bed. He wet a hand towel in the sink and cleaned Chirrut up thoroughly as Chirrut groped at various parts of him, mostly missing.

“Idiot,” Baze said, a smile in his voice.

 

Dressed and presentable, they left their quarters and found the crew in the galley. Chairs scraped as people stood to greet them.

Jyn, smelling like lavender and gun oil, kissed Chirrut’s cheek. Chirrut squeezed her hand, smiling. “Your dumplings are delicious,” he told her.

Cassian cleared his throat and Chirrut’s smile widened. “Have you forgiven me for the punch yet, Captain?”

“Like it never happened,” Cassian said, and took the hand Chirrut held out. “Glad to see you’re both… better.”

“Yes, I imagine you don’t want details,” Chirrut said cheerfully. He sat down beside Bodhi and patted his knee as Baze settled on his other side.

“We’ll arrive on Yavin 4 in approximately three hours,” Kaytoo said.

Bodhi slid a mug of caf along the table to Chirrut, who accepted it with a nod.

“Here’s what I don’t understand,” Cassian said. “The Nightwitches are Force-users. They do sometimes kidnap male Dathomirians in order to—” He hesitated. “Expand their ranks, I suppose.”

Chirrut nodded. “Diversifying their bloodlines, yes.”

“Right. And I can see why they wanted you,” Cassian continued. “Even if you don’t use the Force the way they do, you’re clearly sensitive to it.”

Baze was utterly silent beside him, and Chirrut hid his smile, knowing what was coming.

“But then why take Baze?” Cassian finished.

Chirrut set his mug down, feigning innocence. “You didn’t know?”

“Shut up,” Baze growled.

Chirrut ignored him. “My husband is Force-sensitive too.”

“I am not.”

There was stunned silence before a chorus of voices broke out.

What?”

“He’s never shown any signs—”

“Because I’m not!”

“But he hates the Force,” Bodhi said, under Jyn and Cassian’s louder tones.

Chirrut inclined his head. “He’s seen what it’s capable of. But it’s not like he can shut it off, just because he hates it. So he denies it, instead.”

Baze swiped Chirrut’s mug and drained it. He set it back on the table with a defiant thud. “We never speak of this again.”

“Wouldn’t dream of it,” Cassian assured him.

“Like it never happened,” Jyn said solemnly.

Bodhi snickered under his breath and Chirrut smiled as peace spread through him. His family was together again.

Chapter Text

Bodhi was in the gun turret, humming absently to himself as he filed down the nick in the driveshaft. Mon Mothma had told him, a smile in her voice that didn’t quite reach her face, that the ground crew could take care of it, he didn’t have to do the repairs himself. Bodhi had blinked at her.

He liked ships. Ships made sense. Assemble their component parts and they behaved like they were supposed to, sweet and responsive to hands on the controls.

People were far more complicated.

Bodhi glanced over the side of the turret, a surreptitious peek at the top of Cassian’s dark head as he spoke earnestly to Jyn, below.

Cassian looked up and Bodhi dodged back, cheeks firing with his blush as he crouched and went back to filing.

You’re more than enough.

What had Cassian meant by that? Chirrut seemed to think Cassian felt more for Bodhi than just friendship. Bodhi snorted to himself. Not likely.

Footsteps sounded on the ladder and Cassian appeared, a smile in his tired brown eyes.

“May I join you?”

“It’s, ah—cramped,” Bodhi said, scooting sideways, “but… sure.”

Cassian climbed the rest of the way up and sat on the floor of the turret beside Bodhi, who kept his attention focused on the driveshaft.

“Chirrut and Baze are gone to their quarters,” he said after a minute. “Hopefully not to have more sex.”

Bodhi couldn’t stop the startled snicker at that and Cassian grinned.

“They’re probably going to sleep for several more days,” Bodhi said. “That was hard on both of them.” He realized what he’d said too late and dropped his face into his hands with a groan as Cassian laughed out loud. “Shut up,” Bodhi told him, but the smile wouldn’t leave his mouth.

Cassian drew one knee up and rested his elbow on it, leaning his head back against the turret wall with a sigh.

“You alright?” Bodhi asked before he thought better of it.

Cassian seemed startled. “Yes, of course.” He smiled and Bodhi watched the way his lips curved up. “I’m not used to people asking.”

“Well, they should,” Bodhi said. He could feel the blush crawling up his throat again and he dropped his head to focus once more on the job in front of him.

“You stopped him,” Cassian said.

Bodhi glanced up at that, thrown off-balance. “What? Who?”

“Chirrut. On Dathomir. He was battle-mad, flung me and Jyn aside like toothpicks, but one word from you and he stopped.”

Bodhi hunched his shoulders, avoiding Cassian’s gaze. “I got lucky.”

Cassian touched his arm. “You’re special, Bodhi. Chirrut knows it too.” His hand was warm where it rested on Bodhi’s sleeve, and Cassian didn’t seem inclined to remove it. Instead he scooted a little closer, until their thighs were pressed together.

Bodhi swallowed hard, frozen in place.

At last, Cassian moved his hand, but only to bring it up to Bodhi’s face, slowly enough that Bodhi could deflect if he wanted to, until he was cupping Bodhi’s cheek.

“May I?” Cassian whispered.

Bodhi was helpless, trapped in Cassian’s eyes like a dragonfly in amber. He nodded, a bare fraction, but it was enough. Cassian leaned forward and fitted their mouths together.

His lips were warm, breath sweet, and he brought his other hand up to frame Bodhi’s face, holding him so, so carefully, as though Bodhi was the most priceless thing he’d ever touched.

The file slid from Bodhi’s nerveless fingers and fell out of the turret, clattering with an almighty racket onto the flight deck below, and Bodhi and Cassian both jerked in surprise.

“S-sorry,” Bodhi managed.

Cassian breathed a laugh and drew Bodhi into another kiss. Bodhi managed to reciprocate more this time, parting his lips and pressing forward. He was rewarded with a gasp and Cassian’s hand tightening in his shirt as the kiss suddenly turned hot and wanting, tongues meeting and sliding together.

It was several long minutes before they broke apart, panting for air. Cassian rested his forehead against Bodhi’s and Bodhi closed his eyes, reveling in Cassian’s sweet-spicy smell, like cinnamon and cardamom and engine grease.

“Wanted to do that for a while,” Cassian whispered.

Bodhi smiled, eyes still closed. He was safe, tucked away in their hidey-hole where no one else could see them, Cassian’s hands warm on his skin.

“Let’s stay here forever,” Bodhi murmured.

Cassian laughed quietly and pecked Bodhi’s nose. “And here I was thinking I’d like to get to know you a little better, in an actual bed.”

“Oh.” Bodhi gulped. “Yes, okay, let’s do that.” He caught Cassian’s sleeve before he could pull away though. “What about—” He glanced over the turret. “What about Jyn?”

Cassian’s eyebrows went up. “What about her?”

Bodhi lifted a shoulder. “I sort of… assumed… you and she—”

Cassian tugged Bodhi’s hair lightly, amusement and affection in his eyes. “She and Princess Leia have been seeing each other since not long after we got back from Scarif.”

Oh.”

“It was always you, Bodhi Rook,” Cassian said, suddenly serious. “Always.”

Bodhi smiled at him. “That’s good,” he said, and laughed. “Chirrut was right. He’s never going to let us forget it, either.”

Cassian’s answering smile was slow and sweet as it bloomed on his face. “A price I’m willing to pay.”