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Ancient Airs and dances

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“Alright class, let’s take it from 25 until the dal segno, good?” the groaning of the musicians rang around the stage.

 

It was the new semester at Yavin IV University for Music, and our Jyn Erso was currently sitting in her first seat from the second violins at the Rogue One orchestra from professor Chirrut. Said chinese professor had decided giving such name because this was his favorite class and so it was deemed to be named. The monk dressing man had his baton raised, and conducted his students to the music of Ancient Airs and Dances by Respighi. For this session, this was the only classical piece out of the rest, now that apparently the maestro thought it would be the best to get some arrangements from covers and scores from movies. On their first day of classes, they all received their musics and prepared to get them in their folders, which was a Beatles medley, The Girl with the Flaxen Hair by Debussy, Robin Hood and his Merry Men from “The Adventures of Robin Hood” by Korngold, the theme song for Galaxy Wars by John Williams, and finally, the one the danish woman was disliking greatly… I knew I loved you by Ennio Morricone. This last piece was one that came out too emotional for the green eyed mostly because of her own issues.



Today was light, and it was only early February. Winter was at it’s hardest and was going to leave them soon, but in such a humid south place, the benefits of not having snow was something Jyn was loving very much.

 

The one more time had finished, and this being the end of the class already, the violinist quickly cleared her stuff, said her goodbyes to Bodhi, and off she went to her apartment she shared with her godfather Saw Guerrera. She did hear Cassian calling out to her but she really wasn’t ready to deal with him yet.

 

It has been already a month and so, that she has been evading him. That first day of class they had currently been rotating around each other, and Leia actually joked that they were probably already dating, to which Cassian had cleared it by saying she was only her friend and saw her as a sister, to which she stiffened, and excused herself, checking that indeed her salvation of the awkwardness was her class with her favorite professor Malbus. And since that day, the danish woman really didn’t want to face him and talk only if it was really needed with him, not knowing why this “sisterzone” (as Bodhi named it) really affected her in such way. The half pakistani man knew about this issue, since he and Jyn really had a sibling relationship because he had been hanging out with her during the winter break and actually cared of each other in such manner.

 

Back with the present, the danish woman was coming up the stairs to her second floor living quarters when she found the door open. Hesitantly, she entered to find the smell of something being burned. Panicking, she placed her instrument by the door, to find her godfather with a fire extinguisher, calming a fire that had occurred. Said man, was now wide eyed, having been caught by his “daughter”.

 

“What were you trying to cook, Saw?” she smirked as she rested against the wall.

He tried to smile. “Roast chicken. But it’s now charred carbon.” he laughed. “Take out?”

“Take-out.” she affirmed.

 

No less than 15 minutes, the two came back with chinese food in hand and Saw took a seat in the sofa, placing the food in the coffee table until he found a channel he was interested in (which was always in the news) and Jyn sat on the floor to be closer to the table. She had brought her pad thai towards her mouth using the chopsticks while the older man, who ate with a fork his rice and roasted duck. He glanced at Jyn, and saw something he felt he hadn’t seen in her green eyes for a while now.

 

“Jyn… is something bothering you, my child?”

She tensed up slightly. “What do you mean, Saw?”

“Well… has anything happened at Yavin? I know double colleges must be stressful, especially with how advanced you have been going and even probably finishing within two more semesters…”

“Nothing’s wrong, Saw.” She tried smiling. “Just, lot’s of things in the head.”

He nodded, even if he wasn’t fully trusting her words.

 

On the next day, Jyn was walking around the inner courtyard, after taking her theory and reading class, when she found an electric guitar playing. Curious because she hadn’t heard before an electric guitar in the university, she walked over to the classroom she found where the sound came from. There, she found a light brown haired man, wearing a black vest over his white shirt and blue jeans playing guitar. He was accompanied by a tall hairy man who played the bass, and were with two other people, one was man in the drums, and a woman in vocals. The danish woman silently entered, and listened to them play. The guitarist saw her, and smirked.

 

“Well if it isn’t the one and only Jyn Erso.”

“You know me?” she frowned slightly.

The woman scoffed. “He always wants to know who hangs out with Leia so he would know you from afar.”

“Hey! I’m also in the clarinets of the orchestra, sweetcakes! Of course I’ll know her from there too!”

Now that he mentioned this, Jyn has an idea of who he is. “Han Solo! And Chewie right?” she smiled.

Han smiled. “See? I knew she remembered me. We also met when you entered the college but newbies here take a time adjusting.” he chuckled while Chewie just spoke something in a language only the guitarist knew. “Anyways, Drummer is Greedo. He plays the bassoon too in the orchestra. And the woman here is Hera, she plays the viola in the orchestra too.”

“Oh, sorry for not properly meeting you guys before…” Jyn excused herself.

“Don’t sweat it. We’re a lot in the class and not much time to get to know each other. But it’s a pleasure to meet you now.” she smiled. “Thanks for helping Ezra and Sabine in the second violins, by the way. They’ve been telling me how Bodhi and you have taken them under your wing with the annotations and all.”

Jyn smiled. “I try my best.”

“So, Jyn. Want to join us?” Han smirked.

“What?” she frowned again slightly.

“Join. With your violin.” he made a gesture of playing the violin. “We’ve been meaning on making Yellowcard covers. If you feel up for it…”

“Han, this is pretty sudden. We haven’t even talked about getting a violinist in the band.” Greedo spoke from the back, frowning more marked.

“So? We pretty much do everything on the whim. Even in our concerts. So--”

“Greedo’s right… I do have to think about it, and you guys gotta talk about it.” the danish woman took the excuse. “I can… let you guys know after you sort it out.” she glanced at Hera with the green hair and fair skin.

The woman smiled. “Yeah… we’ll be talking about it now. We’ll see you in class?”

Jyn nodded and left.

 

The violinist, even with her hesitation, really did like the idea. She had been lately feeling like she needed a new challenge, a new distraction even. Smiling, she went to her violin class, walking by the crowded hallways. The danish woman got to Professor Malbus’ classroom, and took out her violin and music sheets, and began playing since she knew that was his first order. She turned to the asian man, confused by his silence, seeing him massaging his temple and with a sour face. Before she could ask what’s wrong with him, a knock at the door began, and she saw the shift in him from groaning to a fake smiling man when they both looked at the door that opened slightly, revealing a ginger headed woman.

 

“Um… hello professor Malbus,” she began. “I, um got this card…” he presented a heart shaped red card to him, Jyn almost, almost, gasped. “It’s for Luke. Um, Luke Skywalker. Would you give it to him?”

The danish woman’s head moved harder than a changing sprinkler towards her professor and noticed his forced smile. “Sure. I’ll give it to him.” he took it from her, barely moving from his chair.

The woman’s smile beamed. “Really? Oh thank you!” she ran out the door but came back “Please don’t tell him it’s from me!”

“Not a word.” he did the zipping the lips mimic still with the forced smile and waved goodbye as she left.

 

The burly man’s fake smile turned into a serious face once again. With a sigh, he opened a cabinet in his desk, and threw the card into it, which really didn’t go down, and stayed almost outside of it, since it was filled with many other cards of similar way. With wide eyes, Jyn looked at her professor, who now was fully glaring at her.

 

“Not a word. And what happened here stays here. This is every year.” he commented. “Now, begin from the top.” Jyn just groaned and kept playing, now finding out it was a day before St. Valentine's, and being Thursday, it was the day most students came to the college and decided to celebrate it today.

 

The danish woman finished her class with no errors in her pieces, and she left the classroom, promising the secret to be left in those four walls, and walked towards the amphitheatre. On her way, she was met with Bodhi, who waved at her and asked her to seat in the outer courtyard with her, and talked. He told her about how Luke, his now boyfriend, was currently getting a lot of valentine’s day cards, and she just chuckled, feigning not knowing anything about it. The half pakistani man then asked her if she was planning on having any valentines, when they saw Shara and Kes walking over them, holding hands and carrying their instruments plus other stuff.

 

“I’ve never had a valentine in my life…” she muttered as she waved back to the smiling couple.

“What!?” Bodhi almost yelled.

With a quick shrug to her best friend and after seeing what’s in the brazilian woman’s hands she smiled, “Shara, did Kes gift you the cute brown plush?”

The brunette chuckled, now close to them. “ Não menina ! It’s for you!” she grinned.

This left the green eyed one in shock. “What?”

“Yeah. You’ve been a pretty good friend to us and Cassian, so we wanted to give you a little something as Valentine’s for friends and loved ones.” Kes explained.

 

Jyn took the brown teddy bear, and held it at staring distance, still processing what just happened. Shara and Kes animatedly spoke with Bodhi besides her, but the danish held on to her gift, and slightly hugged it, before standing up and embracing Shara and Kes at the same time, grinning. The half pakistani man checked the hour in his phone, and claimed they were going to be late if they didn’t move. Nodding and checking to clear any tears she might have, the green eyed moved with the brazilian and puertorrican towards their classroom. Once they got in, they went to their seats to place their instruments. Kay and Cassian came over, waving, alongside the twin brothers. Hera and Han were already there, alongside Chewie and Greedo, and another man that held the green haired woman by her waist. Said woman called for Jyn over, and she went to meet the band.

 

“So, did you give it any thoughts?” Han asked, smirking.

“...Not really.” she answered truthfully.

Hera sighed. “Look, we really need a violinist. It’s for this competition we’ll be participating. Will help the university to cover some money and recognition against Empire University.”

“Oh, you mean…”

“Yes, Battle of the bands, college edition. We’re actually on the last round, they’re permitting us to add a new member.”

The man besides Hera, a blind one, spoke “They already got a new one. They got someone to play the keys.”

“And our violinist is already better.” Han threw an arm around her arms. “Whaddya say?” the brown haired man grinned widely at her.

 

She glanced over her friends, who stood by the first violin’s section, talking and giving each other chocolates and presents. There were only two, that were watching over her, and those were two pairs of brown eyes and brunettes, one had a slight shadow of his beard and moustache, while the other one had her hair with a slight braid crossing her straight long hair. Leia turned her back, but Cassian lingered partially, still frowning but hiding whatever his eyes did not want to show her.

 

“...You know what? I’ll join.”

Greedo made a fist raised to his shoulder and lowered by the elbow, while Hera crossed her arms and gave a warm smile as her boyfriend did the same.

Han seemed like he just received Chewie’s bass and was the best thing in the world. “Do you have an electric violin?”

“Better.” Jyn smirked now. “I got some cables to turn my violin into an electric. I also have my own amp. A Laney amp.”

“Perfect!” Hera began. “We usually have practice on fridays. We’ll make an original piece and a cover. We’re still debating on which cover it will be, if Mägo de Oz’s la posada de los muertos , Alestorm’s Keelhauled but violin instead of a keyboard, or simply Yellowcard’s Believe. We’ll debate on it. Hear them out. Study them.”

“Wait… La posada de los muertos ?” the danish woman noticing the metal influences in these songs. And she did like it but… “Isn’t this one really hard to find?”

The other woman smiled again, and noticing Chirrut urging them to take their positions, she spoke, while holding her shoulder, “I trust you can pull the songs by ear.”

 

The group disbanded to their places, and so, the danish woman went to her group of friends. There were still people settling in. Noticing the twins, Cassian, Kay, Shara, Kes, and Bodhi all staring at her as she came over. Ezra and Sabine sat already in their chairs. Leia was glaring, but she could see it wasn’t aimed at her, but just at Han behind her. The mexican man, was still with the same expression.

 

“What was that, Jyn?” Leia asked.

“What was what?” she was confused.

That .” she spat, gesturing with her hand as Luke said her name trying to calm her.

“They offered me a gig. I took it.” She shrugged.

Han offering you a gig?” the brunette scoffed. “Good luck surviving that with Hera and her crew.”

“Hey, what’s your problem?” Ezra spoke up behind Jyn

My problem, is that--”

“Alright, students! Let’s start with our music for today!” Chirrut spoke loudly, to call for attention.

 

Leia huffed and left to her seat, Luke seating besides her while Cassian and Kay sat behind. Bodhi took the seat besides Jyn, giving a worried glance, but still let her be, knowing she would prefer the silence over. The danish woman ignored everybody, not wanting to face whatever judgement they were bringing out towards her, not wanting to relive her high school time in the Empire’s education, in which judgement and facades ruled daily. Sniffing slightly, she began to order today’s music. There was a collective dread, as they found out the piece for today was “I knew I loved you” by Morricone. The musicians took to their positions, and waited for the direction of the professor, to start with the bass players.

 

The violins followed after the bass’s bars were done, and the melody began. It was a contrast from gravely background start towards the hopeful tones. There was a pause, and the turn for the violas with cello came. Flutes and horns accompanied for the melody. The piece was one peaceful, that transmitted a hopeful emotion towards love, or at least that’s how Jyn interpreted the play. She couldn’t help but glance towards Cassian, once they finished playing the shot piece, only to find he was doing the same, but from the corner of his eyes. He was still unreadable, yet, the danish woman saw something in his eyes, something that if she had blinked, would’ve missed it, something that made her unsure of why he have it…

 

Hope.

 

Shaking her head, she faced the professor once again who was beginning to have a slight frown, even with the smile he had. He began to direct the students into making the best version ever. When he came over to the first violins after the bass, violas and cellos, his temple showed more marks of his slight disapproval, and it was more prominent when Leia fussed. The blind man muttered something quick towards her, and that seemed to put her calm. They all began to play, over his conducting, until the green eyed woman heard the phone in her pocket vibrate. Seeming to understand, Chirrut left her leave, to answer. She stood up, walked out to the back of the stage, and slid her thumb in the green button before bringing it to her ear, waiting for the familiar voice oh her caretaker..

 

“Hello, is this a Miss Erso?” a stranger’s voice rang,

“Yes?” she frowned.

“We retrieve the phone from a Mr. Guerra. Told us to call you…” he paused. “I’m sorry Miss, but, a fire erupted in the apartment, something about a gas leak…”

 

Blackness appeared, and then light came as she opened her eyelids. Sirens rang all around her, as she stood still, watching the firefighters pumping water towards her floor’s building. A blanket was covering her, finding it was one of those the EMT hand to shocked patients. Coming to regain her senses, she checked her phone, finding over five missed calls from Bodhi and many other text messages. Jyn decided to not pay attention to it now, and find out about where Saw was. A strange sense of numbness was what kept her going, as silence in her mind kept her without feelings clouding her. She walked, and continued on, finding the person that called her. She found the man, a dark skinned one that glanced over her, instantly guessing who she was.

 

“Miss Erso?” she nodded. “I’m sorry to inform you, umm… your father… he…”

“...he passed away?” now it was the man that nodded. “Where did you find him?”

“I’m sorry?” now he was confused.

“Did he die in the living room or the bedroom?”

Still wondering, he decided to ask her. “In the living room. Since your room was on the other way, not much was destroyed but if you need any--”

“Did his piano burn with him?” the danish woman interrupted him, still unfazzed.

“Um… yes it did, but I don’t believe that has any relevance to…”

“Good.” she nodded. “He died with his baby…”



The man began to drill her on the procedure of what to and to start contacting her next of kin. At that moment, she noticed she was alone, all over again, not having a next of kin or any family left. A sudden darkness was looming to overpower her once again, doubting about where to go and what to do, now that she didn’t even have a house to stay. Just when she was about to crumble, a pressure in her right shoulder came, and she looked up, finding someone she trusted.

 

“Professor Malbus…” she whispered, seeing the burly man give her a small smile.

“Call me Baze, 妹妹, now, let’s get your stuff and finish the process…” he pulled her arm a bit to help her.

 

Jyn silently thank the man, and began through the process. Some dark humor in her joked that Saw got his cremation earlier than he expected to get it, so all that was left was make the small ceremony and finish his wishes. Baze went over to take her belongings, the ones that still worked (mostly it was some violin books and few clothing she had) and claimed he was going to take them towards his home so she could move with him until she could get herself settled out if she needed to do so. She thanked him, and finished talking to the EMT man for the finishing process. Once she did, she went over to the professor, and with a quick nod from him, took the passenger seat, noticing the violin and backpack with the brown teddy bear in the back seat. The green eyed woman glanced at him, and he just shrugged, claimed her friends got worried seeing her dart faster than a bullet away from the university. He continued that Cassian was about to follow her, until Bodhi stopped him, challenging if he even knew where Jyn would be and if she was going to want the help. Chirrut, watching the interaction, had called to his husband who came over to the stage room, having finished with the day’s classes. Baze had taken her stuff from the stage and left to his car, Bodhi texting him Jyn’s address, and so we come back, to the professor and the student, reaching the married couple’s home.

 

The danish woman got down from the car, violin in hand, and studied the house. It was in a quiet suburban place, and the smell of rice wafted outside. A sudden feeling of family, home, and warmth surged in the violinist’s being, almost breaking the walls she constructed around herself. Malbus came around, and told her to go along and enter, since he was going to bring the rest of her stuff at the moment. She nodded, and with his key, she opened the door and left it in the inside lock, and walked towards the kitchen, where speakers played some kind of ensemble or orchestra, but with instruments she hadn’t heard. Chirrut was in the kitchen, smiling as he took out rice from the rice cooker and into a black small bowl.

 

“Ah Jyn!” the blind man spoke, turning around smiling, “I see you heard 平湖秋月. I got to say, my time in the chinese orchestra, I got to play the 古筝. I think the 二胡 is a perfect instrument for you to learn. I think I have one lying around you could pick up, alongside my 古筝.”

She nodded, sitting down at the small kitchen table that only had space for three people only.

The professor sat across from her, bringing her food. “Here, eat. It’s beef in it’s beef stock. And some rice. Would you need something to drink? We don’t really drink while we eat, so--”

“老师。。。谢谢。” Jyn answered softly, picking slowly the fork she was presented, and dipped rice into the beef stock before bringing it to her mouth to eat.

 

The older man smiled, and ate alongside her. Baze entered some minutes later, and served his own food, sitting down between Chirrut and Jyn, and discussed about their day with their students and classes, not touching the subject about the danish woman’s guardian getting blown in his own home. Soon, they all finished eating, and the burly man told his student about where her room was going to be, which was in the second floor of the two story building, to the right, across from their room, but besides the hallway bathroom. It was originally a visitor’s room, and besides it was a study room, where they kept their instruments and a keyboard. They offered the woman to leave her violin in that room or in her room, and to feel right at home. When she entered, she found the living quarters to be of cream colors, even the bed, which had fresh new bedsheets. The vanity was of a dark oak wood, and the windows gave way to the warm sunset that already claimed the ending of the long dark day. The couple left her at the door, both retreating to their room after letting her know they share breakfasts at 8 o’clock. And once alone, the danish woman, turned into the once orphaned girl when her parents died. She thought on everything she missed and regretted in life, from even the last text message she shared with Saw, which was about if pizza was good for today, and a quick yes, and no emotion whatsoever of her treasuring his care and love for her.



The warm smell of something being steamed woke Jyn up. She went to sit in the bed, leaving her legs dangling at the edge, as she rubbed her eyes. The violinist felt her eyes hurt, but decided to ignore it and get a quick change of clothing from one of the bags Baze brought up from her old house. Not wanting to think about the day before, she went down the stairs to meet with the two professors, this time, the blind man sat at the table, as his husband cooked, and again, there was music playing in the speakers by the counter. It was a large kitchen, now that she got a good look at it, and it was under her room and the study room, while under her new guardian’s room was the living room and grand piano (she took a quick glance at the area before going towards her professors, she wanted to know the place). Chirrut smiled when she came inside, and ushered her to sit in front of him, the same chair she had taken the previous night. She nodded and did as told, while the taller man brought the breakfast over.

 

“I asked Baze to cook us some dim sum. I’ll have to ask you what you like and also if you have some special food requests for when we do groceries.” he said as he started to give her some dim sums using his chopsticks. “And will teach you how to use these. It’s easier with certain foods.” he laughed.

“For you it might be, and you ordered me to cook dim sum, not ask.” Baze spoke with a scoff.

The other one just smiled wider. “Ah, my words are law with you, but now our 妹妹’s words are going to be law for us under this roof, right?” he directed his sightless gaze at her.

“... I don’t want to intrude, and i believe in equal power to everybody.”

“Good.” the man chuckled. “Now, after we have breakfast, we need to get going to Yavin, you can come with us or stay here to get your bearings. I suggest you call 你的哥哥 Bodhi, he called us last night worried for you.”

 

Jyn held a curse, not wanting to be disrespectful to her patrons. She had forgotten her phone and left it’s battery to die the night before.

 

“I’ll be going with you guys today to the college. Might need to meet up with some of my friends and try to… um… explain…”

Baze placed a hand over hers, “You don’t need to do it. We’ll be taking care of you now.”

“And today you can start your band practice.” Chirrut smiled. “Get to know Hera and Han and the rest. You know, I actually helped them out make that little band of misfits. I’m really curious as to what they are planning.”

“That’s because it will be very different to what we teach, all that rock and noise…” he grunted.

“Ah, don’t hate it ‘cause you don’t know it.” the blind man tried to do some arm gestures.

“Chirrut, no. Just, no.”

 

The morning kept going, with the couple bickering, and making Jyn feel more comfortable than she has been in some time.

 

“Oh! Before we leave! Happy Valentine’s day to us all!” Chirrut smiled widely.