Chirrut didn't expect to wake up. The last thing he remembered was Baze holding his hand, praying over him, praying with him, and then gray fog had rolled through his mind.
When he woke, Baze was still holding his hand. Chirrut knew the fingers that gripped his more intimately than he knew his own. He'd had them all over his body, after all, touching him in ways Chirrut himself hadn't known he needed to be touched. Baze had held him when they grieved after the fall of the Temple, had kissed him hard in the first dizzying rush of new love, had pushed and pulled and fought and adored him for so many years.
Chirrut turned his head on the pillow, wincing as his temples throbbed.
"He's awake," Jyn said, voice faint like she was looking over her shoulder.
Someone joined them, rustle of crisp linen and smell of antiseptic. Cool fingers touched Chirrut's free wrist, turning it to take his pulse. Clicks and sibilant hisses, a language Chirrut didn't know.
"Baze," Chirrut said, turning his head on the pillow.
"I'm here," Baze rumbled, squeezing his hand.
"Chirrut," Cassian said. He was standing beside Baze, leaning over the bed, his voice coming from above and to Chirrut's right.
"Did we do it?" Chirrut whispered.
"Yeah," Baze said. Joy and sorrow mingled in his voice.
"We did it," Cassian said. "Jyn got the plans through."
Chirrut moved his left hand and Jyn took it, small fingers nestled in his palm. He smiled in her direction and Jyn squeezed his hand gently.
"Bodhi?" Chirrut asked.
"He's unconscious," Cassian said. Worry bled into his voice and he shifted his weight. “He hasn't woken up since the grenade—”
"The healer says he will," Jyn said. It had the sound of words oft-repeated, patience and forbearance heavy in her tone.
Chirrut tried to sit up. Several hands pressed him back against the mattress and he scowled but didn’t fight. “Tell me what happened.”
They took turns filling him in as Baze stroked his knuckles, not saying much.
“Jyn got the plans out,” Cassian said. “We made it back to the beach just in time to see the Death Star appearing.” His voice tightened with remembered terror. “I don’t know everything that happened next—all I know is there was a huge blast, something hit the Death Star at high speed.”
“Biggest ship in the Rebel fleet,” Baze murmured. “Nosedived into the Death Star’s firing module.”
“It was Admiral Raddus’s ship,” Jyn said. “He basically rammed it, took out the Death Star’s firing capacitors, lit up the sky with fireworks. It won’t stop Vader for long—Mon Mothma says this is a temporary setback at best, but at least it stopped him from blowing up Scarif. Gave us the chance to find a ship and get everyone—everyone we could—off that damned beach.”
Baze’s hand tightened briefly on Chirrut’s.
“Injuries?” Chirrut asked.
“Cassian’s got a handful of broken ribs and a busted leg,” Jyn said. “Bodhi—” Her voice faded briefly again. “He’s going to wake up.”
“And you?” Chirrut asked.
“I’m fine,” Jyn said, patting his wrist. “You sustained a severe concussion and your right shoulder blade is broken.”
Chirrut winced. “That sounds painful.”
“They’re going to put you in a bacta tank,” Baze rumbled. “Wanted you to wake up first.”
The healer came back, broad, flat feet slapping against the stone floor. They clicked and hissed and warbled until slowly, reluctantly, Chirrut’s visitors left him, promising to come see him again soon.
That left Baze, still clutching Chirrut’s hand, but the healer didn’t throw him out too.
Chirrut turned toward him as the healer checked his vitals, but didn’t say anything until they were alone. Then he closed his eyes and waited until Baze leaned forward to press their foreheads together.
“I know,” Baze whispered. “Me too.” There was a hitch in his voice when he continued. “I saw you—walking toward the master switch, and I—there was this one crazy, wild moment when you turned around and I thought—I thought, ‘he’s done it, it’s going to be okay’ and then t-the grenade, and y-you—”
“Hush,” Chirrut said, reaching for him. The red-hot spike of pain in his shoulder made him think better of that, but he leaned forward, trying to get closer. “Oh, my love. Hush, I’m here. See? I’m alright. So are you.”
Baze hiccupped and turned his head to press a kiss to Chirrut’s palm.
“Ch-Chirrut?” Bodhi sounded very young, his voice slurred with pain.
He was in the next bed over, Chirrut realized, on Baze’s other side. He opened his mouth to ask him how he was feeling but Bodhi spoke again before he could.
“W-who are you talking to, Chirrut?”
Chirrut went very still.
“I didn’t know how to tell you,” Baze whispered, grief in his voice thick enough to choke on.
Chirrut shook his head. “No.”
“I’m sorry,” Baze said, but Chirrut just shook his head again. He couldn’t breathe, couldn’t think, couldn’t move—
“This is a trick,” he said.
Bodhi made a pained noise as he struggled to sit up. “Chirrut, what—it’s not a trick.”
Chirrut ignored him, reaching for Baze. His groping hand fell through empty air.
He realized suddenly that he couldn’t sense Baze’s presence, that it wasn’t the warm, comforting glow in the back of his mind that it had been since the first time they touched.
“No,” he repeated, and pushed himself upright. His shoulder screamed in protest but Chirrut didn’t slow. Throwing the blankets off, he swung his legs over the side of the bed, cradling his useless arm in his good one. “Baze, talk to me. Talk to me.”
“He’s not here,” Bodhi said as a door crashed open and the sound of running footsteps neared them. “Chirrut, I’m sorry, but he’s not—”
“Chirrut—” Cassian sounded out of breath. He reached Chirrut’s side and put a hand on his good shoulder. “Please, don’t get out of bed, you’re still too weak.”
Chirrut shoved his hand away. He had to—he had to find—he’d been right there, he hadn’t dreamed Baze holding his hand, or touching their foreheads together. His bare feet hit the floor and he flinched as his ribs protested.
“Answer me,” he demanded, but there was only silence where Baze had been.
Chirrut wavered, blood loss and exhaustion and pain crashing over him in huge waves. Uncertainty gnawed at him. He hadn’t imagined it. Had he?
“Where is he?” he asked, turning to Cassian.
“He—I’m sorry, Chirrut. He died on Scarif.”
Chirrut shook his head and took a step forward, hand out in front of him. “No. No. Baze! Baze!” Baze had been there, he’d been right there, why wasn’t he answering Chirrut, why couldn’t Chirrut sense his presence, feel that reassuring light in his mind that always told Chirrut where he was and how he was feeling?
His legs gave out and Chirrut sagged sideways into Cassian’s arms as the gray fog rolled back through, wiping him clean.
When he woke again, he was back in bed. Someone was holding his hand. It wasn’t Baze. Chirrut pulled until the person let go, working moisture into his dry mouth.
“Here,” Cassian said, and a straw touched Chirrut’s lips.
He sucked at it, the cool water sliding down his throat and soothing his shredded vocal cords. When the cup was empty, Cassian set it aside and touched Chirrut’s knee.
“How are you feeling?”
Chirrut didn’t dignify that with a response. “Tell me what happened.”
Cassian sighed and a chair was dragged across the floor, fetching up between Chirrut’s and Bodhi’s beds. He sat down with a stifled noise.
“I’m alright,” he said, clearly not to Chirrut. Bodhi, then, who hadn’t spoken since Chirrut woke the second time.
Chirrut waited, jaw tight.
Cassian blew out a tired breath and fabric rustled like he was shifting to get comfortable. “Bodhi should probably tell it, he actually saw it happening, I was still up in the data vaults.”
Silently, Chirrut turned toward Bodhi’s bed.
Bodhi cleared his throat. “I—didn’t see all of it. After you threw the switch, there was an explosion. Baze went after you. I don’t know what happened, because that was about when the grenade hit the ship.” He faltered, then resumed. “I woke up in the sand. Thought for a minute I was dead.”
Cassian made a quiet noise but didn’t interrupt.
“Baze was—he was walking toward the deathtroopers, firing. I saw him go down—” Bodhi’s breath hitched and Chirrut fisted his hands in the blanket covering his legs. “But he got back up. He looked over his shoulder—I think he was trying to see you one more time.”
Sentimental old fool. Chirrut focused on keeping his breathing steady.
“Then he went over the dune and—it exploded.”
“Did you see his body?”
Bodhi hesitated, but there was no anger in Chirrut’s voice, no harsh accusation. “No,” he said, “but Melshi—he went right past where Baze was on his way to get me and Tonc. He—saw him. He said—I’m sorry, Chirrut—he said no one could have survived that blast.”
Chirrut didn’t answer. He turned his head away and closed his eyes. Awkward silence fell, and Cassian cleared his throat.
“We’ll let you rest.” The chair scraped as he stood, and then he murmured something to Bodhi, too low to be overheard. His voice was gentle, intimate, and it hurt deep in Chirrut’s gut.
He reached for Baze’s presence again as Cassian’s footsteps receded and quiet cloaked them. He’d felt it, he had, he hadn’t been imagining it—Baze had held his hand, pressed their foreheads together, spoken to him—
There was nothing. Blackness surrounded him, no respite to the yawning void on all sides. No spark of life, exasperated affection warming his voice, heartbeat steady and strong and faithful as he followed Chirrut on yet another mad adventure.
The first hot tear slid down his cheek but Chirrut didn’t bother to wipe it away. Instead he folded his hands in his lap and prayed.
In darkness, cold.
In light, cold.
The old sun brings no heat.
But there is heat in breath and life.
In life, there is the Force.
In the Force, there is life.
And the Force is eternal.
Baze was alive. The alternative was unthinkable.
“I’m not,” Baze said, and Chirrut nearly jumped out of his skin.
“Baze,” he said. Bodhi stirred, pulled from his doze, but Chirrut ignored him, focused on finding Baze’s light, the steady radiance that showed him where Baze was at all times. It wasn’t there, he couldn’t feel it, and he sat up, orienting himself to where the voice had come from.
“I know you’re there.”
Chirrut made a frustrated noise and swung his legs over the side of the bed. “Answer me,” he demanded.
“Chirrut—” Bodhi sounded worried, and Chirrut flung out a hand behind him to hush him.
“Where are you?” he asked the empty air.
“I’m here,” Baze said, and something brushed Chirrut’s cheek.
Chirrut turned his face into it and Baze cupped his jaw, thumbing gently over his cheekbone.
“I knew it,” Chirrut whispered. “Why can’t I sense you?”
“You know why,” Baze said, just as quietly.
“No,” Chirrut said. He would have shaken his head, but that would dislodge Baze’s hand, so he stayed very still. “You’re not dead.”
“Yes I am,” Baze said, barely audible. His touch was fading, dissipating like fog on a sunny day, and Chirrut reached for him, grasping at air.
“Baze, no, come back, Baze—”
Chirrut caught his breath on a sob. His shoulder was a solid scream of agony, nearly drowning out the rest of his body’s complaints, but Chirrut ignored it. He pulled his IV line out, hissing at the pain, and fumbled for the edge of the blanket to staunch the bleeding. He was wearing a simple linen shirt and soft trousers, he noted distantly. That made it easier—at least he wouldn’t have to hunt for clothes. He stood, the duracrete floor cold under his bare feet, and felt around on the floor.
“What are you doing?” Bodhi asked.
“Shoes,” Chirrut said through his teeth.
“To your left,” Bodhi said.
Chirrut’s hand fell on them and he nodded in thanks before stepping into them. “Is my staff—”
“It’s against the wall by the head of the bed. Chirrut—”
Chirrut found the staff and exhaled gratefully. He felt steadier, more himself, with his bo staff grounding him. “I have to go,” he said.
“Wait.” Bodhi struggled with his own IV line and blankets, but Chirrut was orienting himself, listening for sounds of activity and feeling for a cross-draft.
There. Chirrut strode for the door, staff tapping in front of him, as Bodhi swore and scrambled after him.
In the hall, Chirrut stopped to orient himself again. He needed to find the hangar bay, but he’d never been in this part of the base before.
Bodhi caught up to him, breath ragged.
“Go back to bed,” Chirrut told him.
“Not fucking likely,” Bodhi snapped.
Chirrut’s eyebrows rose but he didn’t argue. “Which way’s the hangar bay?”
“Why?” Bodhi parried.
“You know why.” Echo of Baze’s voice drifting through his mind. Chirrut shook it off. He’s not dead.
“Just tell me.”
Bodhi sighed and took Chirrut’s elbow, turning him. Chirrut immediately strode off in that direction, leaving Bodhi to swear again and dash after him.
The few people they passed in the hallways didn’t challenge them, and Chirrut paused in the open, cavernous space of the hangar bay, letting the sounds and smells wash over him. He needed a small ship, something easily maneuverable. He turned in a half-circle, extending his senses in an effort to feel what was around him. Non-sentient things were always more difficult for him to gauge—at least living beings had the Force flowing through them, letting him get a sense of who and what was around him.
“Chirrut, I can’t let you do this,” Bodhi said.
“How exactly do you plan on stopping me?” Chirrut inquired.
Bodhi didn’t answer and Chirrut went back to inspecting his surroundings. Large masses showed as voids in his perceptions, empty holes that blocked out the life signatures of the people working in and around them.
He fixed on one, smaller than the others, and moved toward it without hesitation. People tended not to challenge someone who walked like they had every right to be where they were, Chirrut had found, so he walked briskly across the hangar floor and circled the small ship.
It was perfect, he decided. Quick and nimble, built for speed and able to hold only four to five people, it also seemed unoccupied.
Chirrut bent to re-tie the soft laces of his slipper as a pair of deckhands hurried past, then straightened and climbed up the gangplank.
“Chirrut, stop,” Bodhi said, sounding desperate. “Why are you—what are you doing? Please… just tell me, maybe I can help.”
Chirrut turned toward the sound of his voice. “He’s alive, Bodhi.”
“How do you know?”
Chirrut lifted a shoulder. “I just do.”
“B-but—” Bodhi sounded young and out of his depth, and Chirrut reached out and gripped his shoulder, careful not to squeeze too hard.
“I have to trust the Force,” he said quietly. “And the Force says he’s still alive.” He let go and turned back to climb the rest of the gangplank into the hold of the tiny ship.
Settling at the controls, he spread his hands over the panels, feeling where each switch and toggle was.
“Move over,” Bodhi said from behind him, his voice thin with determination and fear.
“You heard me,” Bodhi said. “You’re not doing this alone, and you’re sure as shit not flying a ship, you lunatic, and since I can’t stop you, I guess I’m going to help you, so move. Over.”
Chirrut swallowed hard and felt for the co-pilot’s chair. When he found it, he slid into it and listened as Bodhi settled himself in the captain’s chair with soft, pained noises.
“How badly are you hurt?” Chirrut asked, guilt washing through him.
“I’m fine,” Bodhi said. “Just banged and bruised. Shut up and let me concentrate.”
Chirrut obeyed, setting his staff on the floor at his feet and then folding his hands in his lap.
“You can’t do this,” Baze said from his left.
Chirrut turned toward his voice. “Why not?”
“Because I’m dead,” Baze shouted, but he sounded faint, like he was far away. “All you’ll find is my rotting corpse, Chirrut, why are you torturing yourself like this?”
Chirrut snorted. “It’s been a day,” he said. “Even if you were dead, you wouldn’t have started to rot. But you’re not, so shut up.”
The ship’s engines fired with a roar and it lifted off the deck, wobbling slightly as Bodhi muttered to himself.
“Stabilizers are touchy as fuck,” he said. He didn’t seem aware of Chirrut having a conversation with someone who wasn’t there. “Get out of the way, move, move—thank you. Okay, hang on, here we go.”
Chirrut gripped the arms of the seat and prayed. “I’m one with the Force and the Force is with me. I’m one with the Force—”
“Damn your stubborn hide, Chirrut!” Baze said. He sounded suddenly close again. “I’m dead, you fool, you have to let me go!”
“If you’re dead, how am I talking to you?” Chirrut asked.
Bodhi fired the thrusters and flung Chirrut back against his seat as outraged squawking erupted over the radio.
Chirrut hung on, still praying, as Bodhi hurled them out of the hangar and into the sky above Yavin 4.
“We’re going to be in so much trouble,” Bodhi said, sounding equal parts terrified and delighted.
They broke atmosphere and all ambient noise ceased, making Chirrut draw a relieved breath. He reached over, feeling for the switch to turn off the radio, and flipped it.
The silence made them both sigh, and Chirrut settled back in his seat.
“How long will it take?”
“Not long.” Bodhi’s voice was distracted. He was clearly busy, so Chirrut turned back to where Baze’s voice had been.
“You didn’t answer my question.” He put out a hand to forestall Bodhi’s response, making it clear he wasn’t talking to him.
“Because—” Baze sounded furious and stymied, a combination Chirrut was intimately familiar with. Usually when Baze got to that point, Chirrut was able to defuse his frustration with hands and mouth, drawing him down onto their bed and letting Baze vent his emotions in the form of sex that left them both limp and panting and covered in bite marks and bruises.
That wasn’t possible now. Chirrut sent a quick prayer up that it would be again, and waited for Baze’s answer.
“You told me to look for you in the Force,” Baze finally said. “I did. I must have. There’s no other explanation for how I found you.”
“Even though you don’t even believe in the Force?”
“I believe in you,” Baze whispered, and Chirrut caught his breath at the pain in those simple words.
“Hold on,” he said. “Please, Baze, just—hold on. I’m coming.”
“There’s nothing for you to—” Baze’s voice cut off abruptly and Chirrut gasped at the loss, flinging a futile hand out.
“You’re really talking to him,” Bodhi said. It wasn’t a question.
“I was,” Chirrut said. “Can we go any faster?” We’re almost out of time. He didn’t know how he knew, but it didn’t matter.
“I’ve got it pushed to the max,” Bodhi said. “It won’t be much longer, I promise.”
He’d been telling the truth. Within the hour, as near as Chirrut could reckon it, they’d entered the space above the now deserted Scarif base.
“Imperial forces evacuated in a hurry,” Bodhi said as he prepared for entry. “No one’s there now, and we’re going to claim the planet for the Alliance, Cassian says.”
Chirrut nodded, only half-hearing him. All his attention was focused on willing the tiny ship to go faster, reach the surface already.
“Baze?” he said. “Baze, can you hear me?”
Bodhi stayed very quiet, beside him, as the ship broke atmosphere, jostling them about in their seats.
Chirrut listened hard but he couldn’t hear Baze’s voice.
“Can you…” Bodhi hesitated as if searching for words. “You always seemed to know where he was, in a room. Not that you were often apart, but—can you sense him, somehow?”
Chirrut nodded, swallowing around the stone in his throat. “Always,” he rasped. “Ever since we were children in the temple. I’ve always been able to find him.”
“Have you ever spoken across a long distance before?” Bodhi asked. “I mean, you’re so close, I guess you’ve probably never been apart for that long.”
“We have, actually,” Chirrut whispered. “We—fought. The temple fell and Baze lost his faith—he took jobs offworld. Mercenary. Assassin. He was gone several years.”
“I’m sorry,” Bodhi said. “I didn’t mean to bring up painful memories.”
Chirrut half-smiled, thinking back. “It wasn’t a good time for either of us, no. But we healed from it. And no, when we were apart then, we were never able to communicate like this.”
“Are you—” Bodhi paused. “Are you sure, Chirrut—”
“Sure he’s not dead?” Chirrut said. “I am, Bodhi. I’ve never been more sure of anything. He’s alive.”
“Alright,” Bodhi said. “We’re coming in to the landing pad we were on before, okay? What do you want me to do?”
“Show me where you saw him last,” Chirrut said. “And if he’s not there, then we’ll separate and look for him. We don’t have much time.”
Bodhi set the ship down neatly and Chirrut was out of his seat and waiting by the door before he’d finished the landing checklist.
He let the gangplank swing down and Chirrut rode it to the sand as Bodhi followed close on his heels. Chirrut could smell charcoal, blood, and explosives in the air, the foul mixture clogging his nostrils and making him gag.
“It was right over here,” Bodhi said.
Chirrut went after him, footing uncertain in the soft, shifting sand.
“Body,” Bodhi warned, and Chirrut stiffened. “It’s a stormtrooper,” Bodhi clarified. “I’m sorry, I didn’t want you to trip on him—”
“It’s alright,” Chirrut said as he stepped around the corpse. “Are we nearly there?”
“Just over this ridge.”
They climbed the short, steep hill and slid down the other side. Bodhi hesitated when they’d reached the bottom.
“He’s not here,” Chirrut said.
“He was,” Bodhi said. “I swear, this is where I saw him, he went over the ridge and he would have been right about here—”
Chirrut touched his arm. “It’s alright,” he repeated. “I’ll go this way—” He pointed. “You go that way. Shout if you find him, I’ll do the same.”
They struck out and Chirrut found himself in underbrush quickly, pushing heavy leaves aside as he made his way through the tall grass. They were alone, the still emptiness of the air told him that.
“Baze!” There was no answer, but he hadn’t expected one. He kept going, ducking foliage and stepping over the occasional body in the grass. If he could tell by touch that it was a rebel soldier, he said a quick prayer for them as he passed. The Imperial corpses did not receive the same treatment.
Chirrut was halfway down the path formed by the carefully planted trees before he realized he hadn’t thought it through. Baze was injured, probably quite badly. He wouldn’t have gotten this far.
Chirrut turned, retraced his steps, and stopped for a moment at the edge of the blast zone. Where would a seriously injured Baze Malbus go? He’d seek cover, Chirrut realized. Go to ground.
He took a step forward, then another, staff out to help him map the surroundings, and at the tree line, he stopped. Baze, please, he thought desperately, tell me where you are.
Chirrut closed his eyes and prayed, surrendering himself to the Force, letting it flow through him, taking him over. His feet moved. He dropped the staff and found himself turning, moving, walking in a sure, steady line across the line of the trees to the next row over. He put his hands out and touched a downed trunk, slanted sideways across its fellows.
Chirrut went to his knees, feeling with his hands. The tree had fallen across a shelled area, forming a cover for the shallow ditch beneath it.
He took a deep breath. “Bodhi! I found him!” Then he leaned forward and pushed the big, flat leaves aside to take Baze’s limp hand.
Bodhi came running, footsteps muffled in the sand, and fell to his knees beside Chirrut, who was half in the dugout.
“We have to get him out,” Chirrut panted. “My shoulder—help me get his arms—”
Together, they heaved until Baze was lying on the sand, limp and unresisting.
“Is he—” Bodhi didn’t finish.
“There’s a pulse,” Chirrut said. “Let’s get him to the ship.”
It took some shuffling, but they finally managed it, Bodhi taking Baze’s shoulders and Chirrut carrying his legs in his good arm. They staggered across the sand and up the gangplank, nearly dropping Baze on the floor before they could set him down gently.
“Go, go,” Chirrut said. “Get us back to Yavin, hurry.”
He heard the gangplank rising as Bodhi scrambled for the pilot’s seat and grabbed the controls, but Chirrut stayed where he was, on his knees beside Baze’s still form.
So still. Too still. Chirrut prayed harder than he ever had before, hands on Baze’s chest as it rose and fell in shallow breaths. You didn’t bring me so far just to let him die now, he thought fiercely.
“I’m here,” he said aloud. “Baze, beloved, I’m here.” He felt for the catch on Baze’s chestpiece and flicked it open. Lifting the armor off carefully, Chirrut cupped Baze’s face in both hands. “Wake up,” he whispered. “Please, my love. Please.”
The ship broke atmosphere as Chirrut moved back down Baze’s shoulders and chest, taking stock as best he could of the injuries Baze had sustained. One arm was broken badly, bone piercing the skin of Baze’s forearm. Chirrut thought the wrist on that arm was probably broken as well, but the whole limb had swollen so much, it was hard to be sure.
Broken ribs, bruises, burns all along his left side—Chirrut was to Baze’s hips when he heard his breathing change. Chirrut nearly fell getting back up to his head.
“Baze, can you hear me?” He spread his fingers across Baze’s face, resting them lightly on the skin and ignoring the tackiness of the blood coating them.
Baze groaned and his eyelashes fluttered. “Ch-Chirrut?”
Chirrut choked on a laughing sob. “I told you,” he managed as tears fell in scalding rivulets down his cheeks.
Baze closed his eyes. “I thought—I dreamed it. Thought—I was dead.”
“Shh,” Chirrut said. He folded forward and kissed him, still cradling Baze’s face, tasting blood and his own tears on Baze’s lips. “I’m here,” he whispered. “It’s going to be okay.”
As expected, they reentered Yavin 4’s atmosphere to a very angry voice telling them to land the ship immediately and prepare to be detained.
Everything was chaos for the next few minutes after Bodhi set the ship down, pounding feet and raised voices, but the shouting stopped abruptly at the sight of Baze’s limp form.
“Medic!” someone roared.
Baze was taken gently from Chirrut’s hands and carried away. When Chirrut tried to follow, a hand caught his bad shoulder and pushed him back to his knees.
“Let him go!” Bodhi shouted from the cockpit as Chirrut struggled to breathe through the pain. “He didn’t do anything wrong, he was just—”
“That’ll do, Lieutenant.” Mon Mothma’s voice was as cool as ever, her footsteps sharp and precise. “You may go.”
The rough hand left Chirrut’s shoulder and he bent forward, touching his forehead to his knees and cradling his useless arm to his chest. When he’d composed himself, he rose and gave a shallow bow.
“My apologies,” he said formally. “Time was of the essence.”
“So I see,” Mon Mothma said. “We shall speak of this later. You should go be with your husband. Bodhi, you shouldn’t be out of bed either. Cassian’s worried sick.”
Cassian caught up to them outside the door to the medbay. “Bodhi, what the hell?” he panted. “I thought—”
Chirrut stepped around them and into the medbay. He could hear the medics talking over Baze’s body, and his knees went weak as he realized he could sense him again, feel the faint glow that surrounded Baze’s form.
He stumbled forward, suddenly exhausted.
“Look, here he is,” one of the medics said, and to Chirrut, “he’s been asking for you.”
“I’m here,” Chirrut said, and found Baze’s hand stretched out to him.
Much, much later, when Baze was out of the bacta tanks and Chirrut’s shoulder blade had been set, they lay in the narrow bed in their newly assigned quarters, Chirrut’s head on Baze’s chest and an arm draped over his waist.
“I still don’t understand how it was you were with me here when I woke up,” Chirrut murmured.
Baze hummed, finger idly stroking the fine hairs on Chirrut’s forearm, and pressed a kiss to the top of his head. “Don’t you know?” he whispered. “I go where you go.”