She was very sure her neighbor must think she had a kid that was watching 24/7 Galactic Wars movies.
But it wasn’t her fault that she just enjoyed greatly the political adventures the movies presented. Jyn Erso had taken over her father’s studies as a NASA engineer and space movies always interested the both of them. His dad always tried to have time for her to sit on the living room with popcorn in hand every time they had to watch from Star Trekks to Galactic Wars and when a teenager it was Battlestar Gallacticus and The Matris. At first it was because of the stories and amazing creativity, but as she got older, it was more about spending time with her dad.
The last movies they watched together was Galactic Wars for who knows what time they did, and it was from a portable dvd player in his hospital bed a day before he died, on a Sunday. His death marked her, him being the last living relative she had. His belongings passed down on her, even the house she was living now was once the one they lived together, now hers alone, and after weeks of mourning, her solace was to put on Sundays the Galactic Wars movies, that were his favorite. Sometimes she changed them,but the stories of the twin brothers saving the galaxy alongside the smuggler and his best friend against an empire. It was political yet fantasy. It had everything in one genre, which made her love it too. She would often raise the volume so loud that she would walk around the house listening to it as she cleaned it, or did the dishes, or even took a bath. If people came to visit, it was to come on Saturdays, Sundays were for her, and the memory of her dad.
So one day she came out of the house, to take out the thrash with the movie on high volume (you could hear the pew pews outside), she met her neighbor. She had never seen him, and all she thought was how could a hot man live besides her all her life. The brown haired man with tan skin was cleaning his car, and his shirt was nowhere to be found, and she noticed the marked muscles that adorned his body. His five-o-clock beard didn’t hid the smile that formed on him as he waved at her, as in greeting. She froze, her hair in a bun and her pijama navy blue shorts and brown tank top, and flip flops demonstrating she was in full home style. She waved softly at him, crooked smile by her embarrassment.
“ Do or do not, there is no try. ” she heard it from the family room, that was the farthest room.
Now she was cursing at the movie.
“Enjoying the classics, once again?” he asked in an accent she noticed was foreign, most likely from some part in Central or South America.
“Erm, nephew. Yes. He comes visit. Galen,”she flinched, using her dad as an excuse was bad. “Em, he loves it yeah.”
‘Great, I’m sounding like Bodhi now ’ she thought.
He nodded. “Alright. I’ll leave you to it.” A smirk came. “May the force be with you.” he snickered and went back to spraying his Nissan Navara with the hose.
“Always.” she answered back unconsciously as she climbed the entrance stairs and froze midstep. He laughed at her answer and smiled again.
She closed the door quickly. Preventing whatever transcurred outside. She made a note to have the television low.
Days passed and in came Taco Friday, the day her friends came to her house. She had forgotten all about her neighbor and her friends coming over with the big project she had been trying to form, it was a follow up of her dad’s works, one of finding more livable planets and a defense force around their own planet earth, one that doesn’t let any asteroids to crash against it or in case of other life forms wanting to attack back. It sounded fantastical, but it was realistic under science. But her work was almost taking over her life, especially the planning and preparing for the last submission. She was still working on the papers she was going to hand in next Monday, when the doorbell rang to her house and she answered, very much not ready for all her friends to come over.
“Oh, Jyn. Did you seriously forget about us?” Chirrut spoke laughing. He was blind but he just had a way of knowing .
“Auntie Jyn! Auntie Jyn! Can we watch the Galactic Wars movies?” A young Ben Solo chirped from Han’s arms.
“ Fuck . I forgot we got Taco Friday.”
“Jyn! Language!” it was Bodhi nagging instead of the parents of the kid as they all looked back.
Chirrut with his husband Baze came inside first, with Han’s dog Chewbacca, and after them followed Bodhi with his boyfriend Luke and Han Solo with Leia and their son Ben Solo. They had all brought over food for all of them and more. It was a small tradition they had started sometime after Galen’s death to cheer her up, and once a month on a friday, they prepared Jyn’s favorite food. Her friends didn’t know how to cheer her up unless it was with things to eat. Leia and Bodhi took to the kitchen to prepare the meat for the tacos and she sat at the family room with whom she liked to call her nephew Ben and watched the original trilogy of Galactic Wars which she had ensured he liked. He had brought the action figures she had gifted him for his fifth birthday, and she played with him as the smuggler and him as the twin brother that would battle the dark side with his powers. The black haired boy often fantasized about having those powers and how he would use them for good. She felt proud.
“Oh! Jyn!” Leia called from the kitchen. “Can you bring the sauce? I think I left it in the car, the keys are on the table.”
“Alright!” She answered and with a soft kiss on her nephew’s head, she got up and walked out with the keys in hand towards her friend’s car.
She got outside and with the quick beep of the car, she opened the trunk compartment and began to rummage under all of Ben’s toys. She was going to need to talk with her almost sister about this. A car pulled besides her house and she looked out. She saw the neighbor coming out of a black mercedes, and wave goodbye to the person in the car. Still mesmerized at the man that had suddenly blanked her mind, the danish woman didn’t notice when the mysterious man turned around and waved at her. With a bit of a shuffle she waved back.
“You have friends today?” he asked casually.
“Um. Party. Taco Friday.” she answered quickly. ‘ Need to think coherently in his presence .’ she thought.
“ Taco Friday ?” he looked at her quizzically.
“Oh Force. No ! It’s just they like to come over once in awhile and cook my favorite food.”
“Oh.” he smiled. She now could notice he was mexican and that must’ve been an offense.
“Um… would you like to come? I promise, it’s not like we’re going to make a pinata or pin the donkey things.”
“...Sure.” he chuckled. “But one second. I’ll be bringing some stuff, wouldn’t want to go to a house without anything in hand.”
“Alright. Door’s open if you want to come in.” she said smiling.
They both went to their respective houses. She actually thought he wasn’t going to come since she got nervous about inviting a perfect stranger to her family, but when the doorbell rang, and he was in the entrance with a bag full of ingredients and tortillas, and a sheepish smile as a greeting, she noticed she hadn’t imagined what she had spoken with her hot neighbor with brown hair. The man asked if he could come inside and she agreed, standing aside holding the door. He had a bottle of tequila on his other hand and muttered he also brought some corona beer in case people prefered that. Once inside, he settled his belongings on the table and noticed little Ben playing with the action figures as the movie progressed. The boy saw him and with a wide grin he yelled.
“Ma! Uncle Cassian’s here! Jyn brought him!” he ran towards the mexican with a hug.
“You know them?” Jyn asked, taking note of his name not knowing he did the same with her.
“I thought your nephew was Galen.”
She winced softly. “I spurted the first name that came.”
“I wonder why…” he smirked quickly that if she blinked she wouldn’t have noticed it. Han came over.
“Cassian! What’re you doing here?” He said giving a bro hug.
“Jyn invited me. I live next door.”
“Ah. You never told me you had a hot neighbor, little sister.” Chirrut spoke from the living room also watching the movies.”
“Is he..?” Cassian muttered to the brunette besides him.
“Yes. Just roll with it.” she answered with a slight chuckle quickly. Ben was quickly climbing her to be close to his mexican uncle.
“Well, I’ll be doing some mean chilaquiles and tacos. Go ahead and enjoy some tequila and beer I brought.” He commented and walked over to the kitchen, Jyn following with her eyes his behind.
“Jyn, is it alright if I invite Cassian’s best friend Kay so it can be the whole group? He might bring some friends.” She nodded, to whoever spoke as she stared at her neighbor in the kitchen cooking.
It was all of a sudden extremely crowded in her living room and family room. In came Kay the six feet tall with many inches blonde british man, with Arthur the black haired with blue shirt and pants, and Cassey the golden boy. Kay and Cassian worked together at the Senator’s office, which is how they knew Leia, being the Senator’s daughter. Han studied with the mexican back in college and Bodhi and Luke met the other three men in their engineering and piloting school. She was now wondering how she never met Kay at least, since he was the closest to Bodhi. Ben was playing with a boy that was bought over by Kes Dameron and Shara Bey, who were invited by Cassian to bring a little play friend for his nephew. Poe Dameron was also the mexican’s nephew, but this one was blood direct unlike Ben, which was more sentimental. Poe Dameron had two friends visiting him at his house, Finn and Rey, it was soon three kids running around creating their own galactic adventures with helmets and lightsabers and staffs.
Jy stood against a wall, looking at the huge group around her house. She was blessing the force for permitting her to have such a big house even if it’s for her alone. Food had been distributed around, Cassian got help from his half brother Kes and his wife and then it was all in the dining table, quickly devoured by the invited people. From a small family tradition, it became a friendly tradition. And she was secretly enjoying it. Her neighbor came close to her, and leaned against the wall besides the danish woman, to stare at the scene in front of them.
“Sorry if it became a mess.” He crossed his arms, she could almost feel her shoulder touching his upper arm.
She shook her head. “Nah. It’s alright. I’m highly enjoying this. I think I needed something to shock me once again.”
“Shock you?” he averted his brown eyes towards her and she had to look away.
“That’s a story for another time Captain Andor.” she answered, now knowing his position in Bail Organa’s work.
“Oh, Miss Erso, thank goodness then that I’m your neighbor.” He answered bringing the bottle of tequila to two shot cups for them both and toast.
She was glad he was toasting to that. She was already looking forward to having him around.
The party ended soon with everybody leaving, but Cassian stayed back, claiming it was him that cooked and so he had to do the dishes before leaving. She thanked him for his help as she cleaned the rest of the house, episode 7 running in the background. The four children had went to sleep while watching it in their parents arms and they had been the first to leave. Before the mexican man left, they exchanged phone numbers and walked out the entrance.
Saturday came, to nurse her hangover from all the tequila and beer they drank. Cassian was texting her almost the whole day. About how he was already used to it since he drank a lot of it back when he was 16 with friends. The danish girl just chuckled at his smartassness and continued working in her office room at her house. She had it full decorated with the blueprints and plans for her work. The engineer worked until it was already Sunday and she was already about to go to sleep when she received a call.
“Yeah.” there was a bit of silence. “I need your help.”
“Really? Cassian Andor needs my help?” she joked sleepily.
“Wait, where you going to sleep? Forget I was going to ask. I’ll um…”
“Hold on. What is it you need?”
She heard him cursing on the other line. “I… Poe is coming over with his friends. I was hoping you could help me with them.”
She chuckled. “Have me some coffee and I’ll go.”
She hung up, and called Leia and asked to send her Ben with someone. She told her about the three friends going to Cassian’s house. The Senator’s daughter was excited she was spending time with her husband’s friend and that Ben got to have friends, something she was always worried since he was usually a loner, often just wanting to spend time with the family and auntie Jyn. Ben came soon, they lived close by, and she took him walking towards her neighbor’s door, which was different to hers, since her’s was first with an iron fence and then you got to the balcony and finally her house. His was just the dark wooden door and in was the house with marble floor. The mexican man opened the door and smiled.
“Welcome young Earthflyer. I have been expecting you.” the emperor in the movie said as she entered Cassian’s house. She eyed the caramel skinned man.
“They had fallen asleep and wanted to continue watching it.” he looked away sheepishly.
“Ben! You’re here! Come let’s play!” Rey shouted from the family room and brought her princess doll to play with the boys. The girl was in jeans with a cream long shirt.
She sat in the family room with the boys watching the movies intently, explaining whenever the children had questions (“Auntie Jyn, why is the emperor so evil?” an innocent Finn asked as his dark hands touched her legs and she brought him to her lap and narrated what happened). Ben had brought his lightsaber and was battling with Poe’s gun, and Rey took Jyn’s lightsaber to battle whom she called cousin Ben. Cassian came soon, enjoying how Jyn was holding on to Finn as the other three friends jumped around his family room and into the living room with lightsabers and fake guns. He handed the coffee, taking Finn into his lap, whom watched the others play. He had gone and taken side with Poe with another fake gun and made it a turret from Cassian’s lap.
Jyn was back to watching the movie intently.
“You seem to enjoy the movies more than your nephew.”
She tried to keep her surprise and gulped the coffee fast.
It was with sudden realization, that she had left Sunday from her house to spend time with Cassian, to watch Galactic Wars at his house. She felt first like she betrayed her father, but the memory of him saying it was best to share with others the good, and that he might be happy to have gotten out of a sad routine of shelling herself up to the memory of her dad on sundays. Maybe spending Sundays with her nephew at her neighbor’s house would be a nice change.
On a side note, that was the best fucking coffee she had ever had before. And she was silently craving more of that coffee and the neighbor sitting besides her.
“Yeah… My dad loved the movies. It’s what made me want to follow his footsteps in NASA…”
He stared at her, reading her. A look of understanding graced his face and a small smile slipped to him, making her a bit nervous. “Your father would’ve been proud, Jyn.”
That was all she needed to break in crying.
Cassian settled Finn on the floor as he embraced the brunette. The worried kids looked at the mexican wondering what to do and he told them if they could give them a minute. Nodding, the four small children ran towards Poe’s room in the house, where it was decorated as a plane with a small robot with orange and white colors. Jyn kept sobbing against Cassian’s cream shirt, full with memories of the man she loved for as long as she could remember. When she got to look up, she saw it was when the twin son unravels his dad to be one of the pawn of the emperor, and the father redeems himself by his son.
“Sorry, I didn’t meant for you to feel sad.”
“It’s alright…” she sniffed, composing herself by cleaning her face with her shirt. The man lent her a piece of cloth to better clean herself. “... It has been long since someone said something like that.” she smiled back.
And in a split second, his lips were in her forehead, just by the time the twin sister kissed the smuggler. Scene changed far sooner to the fire burning in the background when the twin brother made the cremation started, and that's when Cassian separated his face from hers, to look at her. A small smile shared by the both of them. Slowly, the four children creeped into the family room, and looked at the tv.
“Awww! Auntie Jyn! We missed the end!” Ben spoke.
“Don’t worry, muchacho , do you want to start episode 7?” Cassian answered smiling to the boy that loved the movies.
“Yaay!” the four heads jumped excitedly. It was their favorite.
Jyn chuckled, wiping the remaining tears from her eyes and cheeks. The foreign man stood and changed the movie to put on the sequel, and went back to sit besides his neighbor, throwing an arm at her shoulders, as they gathered all to watch Galactic Wars Episode 7. Jyn had forgotten how happy she could be gathered like a family. Both with kids in lap.