1. Baze Malbus
Baze is the first one to wake, and before he knows what he's doing, he's being asked a thousand questions by strangers, members of the Rebellion watching him in awe, asking how he survived, how they all survived, how they beamed the plans off Scarif and still managed to come out with their crew intact.
“The Force was with us,” says Baze, because Chirrut isn't awake to say it and it sounds prettier than “I don't know,” which is the truth.
Eventually, they leave him alone with the others, or as alone as they can be with the whir of medical droids all around them, and as many of the others as can be there, since K2 will need care he can't get in the medical bay. He sits next to Chirrut's bed, because it's instinct now, to be next to Chirrut.
He nods off next to the bed and wakes to the sound of whispering.
“You're alive,” someone is saying, breath thick with tears, and Baze slits his eyes open to see who is awake.
Jyn is on the edge of Cassian's bed, against advice if the hovering medical droid over her shoulder is any indication, clutching his hand in hers. He's still asleep, but Baze sees the look on her face and knows he can't break this moment.
“I don't know how we—” She looks wildly around the room, and Baze keeps breathing steady and slow and lets his eyes slip shut. “We all survived. Cassian, we're all alive.”
The gasping sobs that follow are almost enough to make him go to her, but she's crying to Cassian Andor, a man Baze would have said she almost hated before they all went to Scarif. The change to this, to reaching for him in the night as surely as Baze is doing to Chirrut, that's part of this story they're all in that Baze may never know and will never ask for.
“Jyn,” Cassian says quietly after a while. Just that, like he's dreaming or waking up from a dream.
The crying doesn't stop, but when Baze looks again, Jyn has climbed into bed with Cassian and the medical droid has subsided into the background. Cassian is staring at his own hand on Jyn's shoulder like it's a miracle he still has hands. It probably is. Life still feels like a miracle to Baze, after escaping the planet-killer first on Jedha and now on Scarif.
Chirrut's hand squeezes around Baze's, and he drops all pretense of being asleep to sit up, open his eyes, and look at him. Chirrut's eyes aren't open, but there's a smile on his face that changes it completely from the blankness of a healing coma. “I told you that the Force was with us,” Chirrut whispers, hoarse and smug.
When Baze looks at the other bed, both of them are watching, solemn, eyes sparkling. In another bed, Bodhi is starting to stir, crying out like he's coming out of a nightmare.
Jyn lifts herself away from Cassian, frowning like it hurts her. Baze thinks about telling her not to bother, that there's no shame in reaching out in the night, but Cassian does it for him with a spasm of his hand on her shoulder, with a brief look of panic before his face smooths out.
Jyn stays, and Baze turns to Bodhi Rook to welcome him back to the land of the living.
2. Mon Mothma
Mon Mothma has been letting the crew of Rogue One rest, or so she tells herself. Mostly, she doesn't know what to do with them, this group who left against express orders and saved the whole galaxy in the process, this group led by those with barely any connection to the Rebellion who are now its heroes.
But Cassian Andor is still one of her leading experts in intelligence, and the situation is more urgent now than it has been before, now that they have more to lose than their lives, now that this so-called Death Star looms with the power to take the main part of their force out in one blow. Mon Mothma sends for him.
When he comes, Jyn Erso is at his heels. Cassian doesn't explain or apologize for her presence, but Mon Mothma has heard about the team's debrief, and how none of them has been alone since they all woke up and went to the mechanics to make sure their droid was being taken care of well.
“Are you ready for a job, Captain Andor?” she asks. If he isn't going to acknowledge Jyn Erso, she won't either. The Rebellion is going to have to reckon with her sooner rather than later, but not yet.
She's known Cassian since he was a child. He's never turned down work before, never been anything but determined to do his best for the cause, no matter what it might force him to do. This time, he slides a look to his side, where Jyn Erso is waiting with her chin tilted up and her jaw tight like she's expecting some kind of punishment. “What kind of job?” he asks.
“The operative who had the plans has been captured,” she says, and watches Jyn go pale and Cassian go still. “We have no reason to believe that the plans are still with her, or that she would give up the base, but the question is still where the plans have gone. I need you to find them for me.”
They exchange a look, and as a commander it worries her even as it makes her happy as someone who's known just how lonely he must be for years now, even if he's had K-2SO for the past few years. Cassian has something a little more than a team now, and Jyn Erso is at the center of that, somehow, even though by Mon Mothma's count they've known each other for barely a week. They still look at each other like the look is a wealth of conversations. “Brief me,” says Cassian, and Mon Mothma knows without asking that he means “us.”
She briefs them, and she doesn't forbid Jyn from going with Cassian and K2 even though, as a commander, she should. She was at the debrief. She doesn't want to have to reprimand them for disobeying orders that she should have known better than to give.
The rest of the Rebellion's leaders may not agree, but they don't have to know yet.
“Cassian, she is extraneous to this mission,” K-2SO says as soon as the two of them walk on the ship together.
Cassian already knows it, but he rolls his eyes. K-2SO liked it much better when he disliked and mistrusted Jyn. “We're going to Tatooine, and nobody will trust me with you along there. It's Outer Rim, and they don't want more imperial presence around if they can help it.”
“You've done missions alone before. There is a seventy-eight percent probability that she will be more of a distraction than a help in these circumstances.”
“Glad you learned to trust me on Scarif.” Sarcasm. The ability to understand and provide it is one of the more senseless of the changes Cassian and the Rebellion made to K-2SO's programming. It's also one of the ones K-2SO likes best. “I want to help.”
“I trust her,” says Cassian. K-2SO knows that.
They say, even Cassian says, that the reprogramming means that K-2SO will say anything out loud, anything that logical thought processes spit out. Maybe Cassian knows it's not true, and that K-2SO is holding back words now, about how it seems to be less a matter of trust and more a matter of need. Cassian has never needed anyone before, except maybe K-2SO, and he seems confused by it. He's not the only one.
“Fourteen percent chance someone shoots us in Mos Eisley and it has nothing to do with me,” says K-2SO, and Cassian laughs and starts discussing the mission, listening to Jyn, deferring to her sometimes.
K-2SO listens, and on the journey when Cassian goes to check on their weapons stores, he waits and isn't surprised when Jyn joins him in the cockpit instead of joining Cassian. They haven't spoken alone since K-2SO was brought back to functionality with only a few holes in his chassis. “I know you don't like me,” she says.
“You're an aberration in the pattern,” says K-2SO. Perhaps she doesn't realize, perhaps no one told her. “Cassian worked alone, and then Cassian worked with me. You changed that.”
“And you don't like the change.” She frowns. “No, you're jealous.”
“I do not feel jealousy. You are an unpredictable and unknown element and you raise our chances of mission failure by being here.”
“Ah.” K-2SO will never under human leaps of logic and emotion, how their synapses instantly take them on paths that it would take a droid seconds or minutes to reach. “You think I'm going to hurt him.”
“Cassian could disarm you, and I could easily restrain you before you did any damage.”
“Leave him and make him lonely, I mean. Or you worry that he'll try to protect me and get killed.” She frowns. “I won't. I can't remember what happened down there very well, but I know I wouldn't have survived without him. I'm not going to leave him unless he asks me to.”
Cassian comes back. K-2SO might not understand humans sometimes, especially not outside the strictures of the Empire, but he knows what it means when Cassian reaches for Jyn right away and Jyn reaches back.
He returns to plotting their course. On re-calculation, it looks like there's only a seventy-one percent chance that Jyn will be a distraction instead of a help on the mission.
4. Bodhi Rook
Bodhi is trying to convince the leader of Yellow Squadron that he can fly with them the next time there's a mission to fill out the ranks that were depleted over Scarif when Cassian, Jyn, and K-2SO come back from their mission to Tatooine.
Bodhi tries not to show how relieved he is when all three of them walk out of the ship unbruised and unhurt, even if Jyn and Cassian aren't smiling, and the pilot he's talking to sighs at his sudden distraction and sends him over. “Did it go well?”
Cassian grips his shoulder in reassurance. “We didn't find the plans. There was a trail from Mos Eisley, a dead bounty hunter and a hired ship, and we tracked the ones back to a burned moisture farm and some droid traders with familiar descriptions, but we couldn't find where they'd gone from Mos Eisley, or why they would have the plans.”
“We got the message about Alderaan on our way back, and we think the plans may have been in transit there.” Jyn gives him an awkward nod. Someday, Bodhi knows, the two of them will have to talk about Galen Erso, come to some kind of reckoning about the man who was her father and who was the reason Bodhi left the Empire. Today, he's just glad to see her back safe.
“We can only hope they hadn't reached Alderaan before it was destroyed.”
Bodhi looks away from them both. “If I'd gotten the plans away sooner—I waited before I defected, but if I'd left as soon as Galen gave me the plans, you would have them by now, and Alderaan would still be—”
“Or they would have done everything the same, but faster.” Cassian squeezes his shoulder and lets go. It's a strange kind of cameraderie, what he has with these people. The Imperial pilots weren't like this. “You saved the Rebellion.”
“You're the reason we have a chance,” says Jyn, and Cassian is immediately looking at her. The way they are is a little like the way Chirrut and Baze are, Bodhi thinks, only instead of years of learning each other inside out they have a few days, or a few minutes. A few minutes in the archives on Scarif where no one knows what happened because they aren't saying. All Bodhi knows is that when one turns to look at the other, they're almost always looking back. He wonders if they realize.
K2 finally disembarks from the ship. “Now that we have landed and completed the mission,” he says, mostly to Jyn, “I can say that we bested the odds. There was only a thirty-nine percent chance that you wouldn't cause a disaster on the mission.”
Jyn laughs, and Bodhi finds himself startled. She looks younger when she laughs, and she looks more like Galen, though Bodhi doesn't think he ever saw Galen laugh. “When we left, there was only a twenty-two percent chance that I wouldn't cause a disaster. You're softening up on me.”
“You are mistaken. I did re-calculations on the journey.”
Cassian is smiling at the two of them, but he turns away to put his arm around Bodhi's shoulders. “Come on, come to the debrief with us. They'll probably send you away, but you might be able to get a word in about getting the clearance to join the pilots. We need them, and they should trust you.”
Bodhi expects to feel unwanted, or at the least extraneous, when he falls into step with Cassian and Jyn, Cassian's arm falling away from his shoulders, but their new ease with each other doesn't exclude him, just extends to bring him in.
Mon Mothma doesn't commit to allowing him in an X-wing, gives a political answer that says she doesn't trust him, but Bodhi doesn't mind.
Cassian and Jyn are healing, coming together in ways he couldn't have expected. K2 is coming to trust Jyn, and maybe sometime soon he'll trust the rest of them too. Chirrut and Baze don't let him go a day on this strange base without eating a meal together. If they're all healing, maybe Bodhi is too, without realizing it.
He hopes so.
5. Leia Organa
Leia doesn't know Cassian Andor, but it's in the pointed way that people who are the faces of the Rebellion can't know the people who do its most difficult work. She knows his face, but she's never met him, not until she puts the medallion around his neck.
Luke, Han, and Chewie are already standing by, and the crowd has hushed for this moment. They know what the crew of Rogue One almost gave up, and what they did give up, and that without them, there would have been no way to strike this blow against the Empire. Leia's friends were all smiles and winks, but Captain Andor is solemn, and so are the people behind him, who are letting the people of the Rebellion look at them but don't seem to be very comfortable with it.
There's a party after that, the kind of party only a group of desperate people who just won a fight can throw, and Leia ducks away from her friends (Luke all broad gestures and enthusiasm, telling a story to one of the pilots; Han and Chewie, teaching half the communications officers some kind of gambling game Leia already knows they'll cheat on) to find the crew of Rogue One, huddled together in one corner, passing a bottle between them.
It's Jyn Erso who stands up to greet her, the leader of the group even if it was Cassian Andor on paper, however hastily fabricated the paper was to make the mission look sanctioned in the aftermath. “I heard about your family. I'm sorry.”
Leia swallows. She's feeling her grief for Alderaan and her family a second at a time, and a second only. She doesn't have time for more. “I heard about yours.”
Jyn nods slowly, and they stand in a moment of perfect understanding about lives ripped away without warning until Cassian slips his hand into Jyn's, bringing her focus to him, and Leia looks at the rest of the team, all of them exhausted and lost. None of them were in the battle for Yavin, but they're still recovering from their own battle. There's only so much bacta can do, and Jyn isn't the only one who lost people. Leia heard about Jedha City.
“Do you plan to stay with the Rebellion?” She means the question for all of them, but her eyes land on Cassian. “You've all more than earned a quiet retirement, if you want it.”
Cassian looks to Jyn like it's instinct to do it already. Leia understands that. It didn't take her long to anticipate Luke's movements, to check on Han in the middle of battle. Some people don't have to know each other long to know each other well. “The fight isn't over,” says Jyn. “We're not going to leave the job half-done.”
Before the award ceremony, Leia looked at as much of the reports about the team as Intelligence would let her see. On paper, she didn't think she would like Jyn Erso, from the life she led, from the cynicism and desire to be left alone Cassian reported at first. She likes the woman standing in front of her now. “Then I'll look forward to seeing you on the new base. As many of you as want to come.”
“We'll see you there,” says Cassian. He's not the man she knows through reports and careful implications either.
Leia doesn't think anyone has come out of the last few weeks the same. It's almost comforting that everyone else is as different as she is.
Luke's pilot friend has wandered off by the time she makes it back to him, and now he's laughing at Han and Chewie while the communications staff beat them at their own game. Beat Han, anyway. Leia's pretty sure Chewbacca is helping them somehow. Luke ignores them the second she sits down next to him. “You were talking to the team from Rogue One? What are they like?”
“You could go talk to them. You're a hero of the Rebellion too, after all.”
Luke looks over at them and frowns, and Leia looks too. Most of them are laughing, even the droid's head tilted in the way that Leia knows means amusement. A few feet away, Jyn and Cassian are talking, probably whispering from how close they're leaned together. There's a space between the whole team and the rest of the gathering, and a space between those two and the rest of their team. Leia hopes all those spaces shrink. “I think I'll try tomorrow,” says Luke.
Leia nods. “Maybe we'll try together.”
+1. Jyn Erso
Jyn's room on Hoth is tiny and cold, but it's hers, and she doesn't mind the cold so much. She's spent time in worse places.
The rest of the team, when she meets them for dinner, seems to disagree. Baze, Chirrut, and Bodhi are sitting in a chilly line at one of the mess hall tables, all of them wrapped up in thick coats. K2 is across the table from them, and when she slides into the seat next to him, tray of food in hand, he's finishing up what must have been one of his grander rants with “—and there's only a nine percent chance that it will be any of you.”
“Is he trying to be comforting or scary?” Jyn asks.
“Your odds of freezing to death are lower than anyone else on the team's,” K2 says grudgingly, the way he always does when she comes out ahead in his statistics. “Where is Cassian?”
“He had a meeting with the princess, I think. He'll probably be along soon.”
“Luke said he was going to have dinner with her,” says Chirrut, tilting his head at the mess door, where Luke and Leia are coming in together. Cassian isn't with them, and Jyn reminds herself that they're safe here, that there was no sign of imperial tracking during the move to Hoth. She still doesn't like to be out of sight of her team for more than a day, but she can trust that he's not in some kind of trouble.
“How's training going?” she asks, because everyone is already gossiping about Chirrut and Luke, so she doesn't feel bad indulging her curiosity.
Chirrut spreads his hands. “I'm no Jedi. But the Force is with him, so I help him as much as I can.”
Baze snorts. “He's better than a Jedi, he means.”
“I wouldn't dare say that.”
“He would just think it,” Cassian says, dropping into the last open spot at the table, on Jyn's other side. “Antilles had a question, sorry,” he adds, excusing himself even though he isn't late, just because he knows it makes Jyn anxious when he's not on time.
She would feel guilty if she didn't catch the relief in his face every time she walks into a room he's in.
Everyone says their hellos, and he teases everyone for their thick coats as though he isn't wearing one himself until K2 starts talking again about how likely it is that someone on the base is going to freeze to death before they have to move. Cassian interrupts him eventually to ask Chirrut about Luke Skywalker, and then ask Bodhi if he's enjoying the training for the new Rogue Squadron they're forming. Luke is going to be at its head, when Bodhi is the one who deserves it, but from Bodhi's enthusiasm he doesn't seem to mind.
When the meal is over, the others peel off one by one—Bodhi first, waved over by another pilot, and then Baze and Chirrut, Chirrut insisting that he's an old man who needs to rest after training all day but twining his hand with Baze's to pull him along behind in a way that Jyn knows means they won't be sleeping.
“You two might as well go off on your own, I know you want to,” says K2 after a few more minutes.
Jyn laughs and nudges him with her elbow, even though his return nudge sends her rocking into Cassian. “As long as you're sure you won't be lonely.”
“I'm not capable of loneliness,” he lies. “And besides, I need to charge.”
“See you in the morning, K2,” says Cassian. “We'll talk about that mission to Bespin to see what support for the Rebellion might be like there.”
K2 sends them away with only a little more grumbling, and Jyn smiles at him. There's peace between them these days, at least for the most part. She's glad of that.
They get nods in the corridors as they walk, too much respect for how little they've been allowed to do since the Death Star was destroyed. Jyn wonders sometimes, when she's bored, what the people of the Rebellion think of them. Cassian they must respect, but Jyn and the others are strangers, most of them criminals, and Bodhi is a defector. What do they look like, sitting there all together? What do she and Cassian look like, always searching each other out?
His room is next to hers. She thinks, as a captain, he's earned bigger quarters, closer to where he'll need to be in case of an emergency, but he's here instead, in an out of the way corridor, with the rest of them. Jyn is almost sure that he asked for it, but she doesn't ask him. “Are you coming in?” he asks. The corridor is empty, and everyone must know that no one from Rogue One has spent a night completely alone since they all woke up, after attempts gave them all nightmares.
“No,” says Jyn, and thinks he looks startled but not panicked. She still kisses him, because they learned somewhere on Tatooine that it's easier to say some things that way. “I need to be sure I can do this. In case we ever need to.”
Cassian nods. It's a slow nod, but not a reluctant one. “I'd rather spend nights together because we want to, not because we think we need to.”
“Exactly.” Jyn kisses him again, and only pulls away when someone from communications coughs, entering the hallway. Another piece of gossip to get passed around the base. “I'll see you in the morning?”
“Breakfast.” She nods in return and goes to her door. He's still watching her when she opens it and shuts it after her, but she thinks they'll both be fine, that they're both ready.
She still presses her hand against the wall they share for a moment, letting herself hope like the foolish teenager she never got to be that on the other side, he might be doing the same thing. One moment just for the two of them. Her room doesn't feel lonely at all, knowing he's a wall away.
Jyn takes a deep breath and smiles.