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However much we describe and explain love (when we fall in love we are ashamed of our words)

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Only Jyn of the members of Rogue One was awake to experience the destruction of the Death Star. After the battle station was destroyed, the Rebel Alliance had built upon the desperate foothold it had scraped out, gaining momentum as its efforts turned from an impossible endeavour to merely a colossal one. The struggle had been hard and the months following the explosion of the space station were characterised by a desperate race across the stars, the alliance just managing to stay one step ahead of the empire's resources; mostly through the expertise of former separatist guerrillas long since used to evading legions of white armour.

But the months of scrambling had seemingly paid off. The alliance had never had so many recruits, never been so well supplied, and the current base had been home for nearly three months.

Baze and Chirrut were slowly settling into their places within the alliance, the decision to stay difficult enough. It had been the rebellion’s promise to help support the network of Jedhan survivors - to share the knowledge and art and culture salvaged from the empire’s destruction - that had swayed Baze in the end. And for all that they told other people, Chirrut followed Baze just as much as the other woman followed her.

But that had always been their way. Soulmarks, as they were commonly called - or the cultural equivalent across species and planets of all descriptions – had showed them their whole life they were connected. Not bound, that wasn’t how the marks worked, but influential in each other’s lives nonetheless.

It was relatively rare for people to find a romantic relationship within the marks, just as it was often unusual to share a mark for a lifetime, or near enough. But, as Chirrut would say, usually whilst slyly groping Baze’s breasts, they weren’t exactly average.

They’d had other marks apart from each others of course, ones that came and went and some that stayed, as was the way of the marks. The shifting nature of the marks as sentients grew up and were shaped by life - much the same as the (often unknown) matching partners who also learned and changed - was as an accepted part of life as the inevitable wrinkles and grey hair of humans, the lengthening of togrutas’ montrals and headtails, the hardening of weequay skin with maturity.

Even the marks themselves often changed, whilst still being for the same person. In this Baze and Chirrut were no different. Waking up with the knowledge that the last of her sight had gone, Chirrut had reached out with trembling fingers – now her eyes, her way of seeing many things – to feel where the mark she shared with Baze was, seeing it in her mind. She had cried when she’d traced raised lines on her ribs that followed the familiar shape of her mark, traced the matching lines on Baze’s calf. The Force might have seen fit to take away her sight, but it was not so cruel as to deprive her of Baze.

It never had. Throughout their lives Baze and Chirrut had always had matching marks.

Since they’d met as children and started a rivalry that was the most disruptive two hours ever seen in the Temple crèche. Since they became best friends and virtually inseparable. Since they’d giggled and discussed their first crushes with each other, since they vetted each other’s relationships because no matter what, they had each other. Since they’d settled into a romantic relationship with each other in their mid-twenties, realising that oh, this is what we want for the rest of our lives, their marriage feeling just as right as the years of friendship that had preceded the shift in their relationship.

Even after Scarif, when Baze’s mark should’ve been burning up in the ruins of the planet surface along with the rest of her left leg below the knee, even when Chirrut's scarred torso was swirls of red and rippled skin instead of the clean black lines of her mark, they’d still matched.

Their marks had simply swapped, Chirrut rediscovering the raised lines of her mark on her calf, in the same place she had previously spent countless hours worshipping on the strong muscles of Baze’s leg, her head pulling back from licking at Baze’s cunt to nuzzle at the mark as it lay over her shoulder.

Baze herself found her own mark along her ribs, grown strong and whole again after the explosion had shattered them. It was in the same place she used to put her hand on Chirrut to feel her breathe when she’d woken from a nightmare as a child, and crawled into her bed for comfort; the same place she kissed as they lay in their pallet after another day fighting to stop the Empire from destroying Jedha’s people. The same place she hadn’t dared to touch as she propped herself up awkwardly by Chirrut’s bedside after Scarif, not with the swathes of bacta bandages covering the burn scars across Chirrut’s chest and side. Instead of her usual reassurance she’d had to hold Chirrut’s wrist, the thready pulse beneath her fingers relaxing her enough to let her sleep.

The first hectic months following their frantic mission and the destruction of Alderaan, and then the Death Star itself, were taken up by rehabilitation. Jyn was the least physically injured of the members of their group, but the shadows in her eyes took the longest to lighten. She’d turned down the commission the Alliance had tried to offer her but decided to work as a smuggler for the rebellion, seizing desperately the offer of a ship and freedom; that she knew she had somewhere to return to, people to return to had only just began to sink in, but seemed to loosen something in her.

Cassian would wear a back brace for most of his life, and was still struggling with re-learning to walk, but the medics had assured him he would regain a great deal of his mobility, even if he wouldn’t be cleared for field work anymore. He had been distant for a few days after hearing that, retreating into himself and focusing entirely on recoding K2-SO’s latest backup to allow it to be uploaded into a new body. But his devotion to the alliance had brought him back. Throwing himself into strategy and logistics as hard as he pushed himself in physical therapy, he’d clawed out a new role for himself, K2-SO his constant companion, snark conveyed through text as easily as by the regulated voice modulators of his temporary chassis.

Chirrut and Baze were thankful for Bohdi. Thankful that there was another Jedhan on base, thankful for his kindness and humour and the way he didn’t flinch from Chirrut’s jagged edges and how Baze often retreated into silence. His experiences with Bor Gullet had only exacerbated his anxiety and PTSD, had left him with gaps in his memory and a tendency for flashbacks that had all the members of rogue one hovering over him, trying to look after him without infantilising him. He would never be the same again, but focused on adjusting to how his brain worked now with a determination that Chirrut insisted was entirely Jedhan. He and Baze passed their physical therapy lessons exchanging language lessons to distract themselves, Chirrut chipping in with her usual sharp humour, three survivors trying to share their culture amongst themselves.

There was the Jedhan enclave of course. Located near the moons of Iego, it was a colony of Jedhans established before the Clone Wars that had accepted refugees moving away from Jedha during the Imperial occupation, and those who were off-world during the destruction. It was small, but there was even a Temple there, preserving the traditions of the guardians; without the kyber it was difficult to see how they would continue, but Guardians Rizari and Ahaashlaa were two of the most stubborn people Chirrut had ever met –“of course they are,” Baze had snorted when Chirrut voiced that thought, “they’ve been friends with you for decades.”

“Friends with you too,” Chirrut had reminded her, poking at the spot on Baze’s shoulder that held Rizari and Ahaashlaa’s mark. Her wife had simply smiled, taking Chirrut’s hand to dance her fingers across Chirrut’s own mark that she shared with them.

“You’re just annoyed that they got together without your help.”

“Lies. Slander. I should divorce you.” To be quite honest, Chirrut had lost count of the times she had used that particular threat. Enough that Baze only rolled her eyes – or so Bodhi told her – and turned to Bodhi to tell him about the Zabrak and Togruta that had taken the Temple younglings away from Jedha when the Empire came. Having someone from Jedha, even if he’d spent years away from it, to share stories with was a comfort.

But Chirrut found the greatest comfort in Baze. They could actually share quarters, share a bed and sleep in each other’s arms; there was no need to set up shifts in case of attack by the empire, not when they had the whole of the rebellion to do so.

They had not been slow to resume their sex life, but neither had they rushed into it. They’d spent several nights just holding each other, kissing for hours like teenagers, rediscovering each other’s bodies and all their changes before slipping back into their routine. For all their differences now, sex was much the same.

There had been adjustments, of course there had. It was Baze’s right leg that Chirrut lifted up to get better access when eating her out, but she still turned her head to the side to mouth at the spot where her mark would’ve been were it her left leg. It wasn’t a way to remind Baze of what she’d lost, but rather a confirmation that the actual mark didn’t matter to her as much as having Baze alive and in her arms.  Baze could no longer leverage her thrusts when fucking Chirrut with the harness wrapped around her hips and thighs, but Chirrut had always preferred riding her anyway. Chirrut’s nipples were still just as sensitive, but the burns that bloomed across her ribs and lower curve of her breast like a bloodstain meant she no longer made the same choked noise when Baze bit gently there, meant that she couldn’t twist and contort herself in the same way to kiss Baze whilst still being fucked from behind.

Mostly though, it was the same. Baze still made the same appreciative noise in the back of her throat as Chirrut undressed for bed, not bothering to put on her sleep clothes. She still cupped the back of Chirrut’s head, lightly scratching her scalp in a way that never failed to make her shiver, and pulled her down into a kiss when Chirrut crawled across the bed to her.

Sinking into the kiss, Chirrut let the tension drain out of her as she relaxed into the familiar softness of Baze’s body, luxuriating in the curl of Baze’s tongue against her own. The smoothness of the sheets under her forearm and the silkiness of Baze’s hair running through her fingers made her hum happily into Baze’s mouth; she loved the wealth of sensation Baze provided, the softness of the skin on her inner thighs, the catch of her calluses, the slight coarseness of her pubic hair. Letting her hands wander down along Baze’s side Chirrut felt for the lightening tree of stretchmarks that spanned Baze’s breasts, enchanted as ever by the way they felt different to the rest of her skin, by the way Baze nipped gently at her lower lip in response.

Baze was utterly gorgeous, and she was Chirrut’s. She let her hands roam all over Baze’s chest and stomach, delighting in its broad expanse and just how much there was of her wife, how her muscle and fat cushioned Chirrut’s body like they were made for each other (like Chirrut sometimes thought the marks meant they were, as silly as that thought was).

“You’re being weird and possessive again, I can tell.” Baze’s voice was a familiar rumble when she pulled back from Chirrut’s lips to speak, even the teasing accusation lazy.

“Hmm.” Chirrut was a little distracted by nuzzling into Baze’s neck now that her mouth was free, but even tired and distracted she was always ready to bicker with Baze. “Are not.”

Even Chirrut would admit that wasn’t her best response, but it had been a long day and she wanted nothing more than to lose herself in Baze.

“Are too,” said Baze but her voice was soft. Soft like the yielding flesh of her stomach and breasts, like the thigh between Chirrut’s legs as she moved slightly to straddle Baze’s right thigh in a lazy, nonchalant way. It gave her something to rub gently against, but more importantly it was the most comfortable position to fall face-first into Baze’s breasts – possibly her favourite place in the universe.

(At least now that Jedha was gone - the hidden rooftop where they’d used to sneak food from the kitchens to, where they’d first kissed, where Chirrut had convinced Baze to make love for their first anniversary gone with it - burned up in the Empire’s imperialism.)

Chirrut pushed that thought away, centring herself in the moment. There was no use dwelling on it now, she had therapy for that, and other countless hours that she spent meditating, dealing with the enormity of her (their) loss.

This was its own form of meditation. Its own form of worship. Now that they had the luxury of time, they were much slower during sex; for all that Chirrut still loved getting absolutely railed to within an inch of her life, there was something soothing and comforting about being able to take their time, racketing up the tension over hours some nights, worshiping each other with all the fervour of newly fledged acolytes. If Baze were still given to chiding Chirrut for blasphemy she would say that comparing sex to prayer was hardly respectful, but to Chirrut it had ever been but another demonstration of the beauty of the force, of its wonders.

The languid way Baze’s hands stroked over her back, dipping down over her ass certainly felt like a gift from the Force to Chirrut. Especially with the noises Baze made at the movements of Chirrut’s mouth, her tongue dancing over Baze’s nipples, her hands playing with the rest of Baze’s breasts. Alternating between biting softly at the underside of Baze’s breast, lifted up – its weight a pleasing heft in Chirrut’s hand, who nonetheless felt a pang of sympathy for Baze’s back, especially with her habit of carrying frankly ridiculous weapons – to give her access, and pushing them together to hum happily, she occupied herself with Baze’s breasts.

She was lucky that Baze enjoyed this as much as she did. Her wife was just starting to properly respond to the attention, her hips moving slowly against the pressure of Chirrut’s thigh between hers, pushing her thigh up into Chirrut. The movement made the muscle tense, providing a firmer surface for Chirrut to grind down on, making her let out an approving noise at the feel of it beneath her. Baze’s leg muscles had always been impressive, covered in a layer of fat that made her legs even bigger in a way that was frankly distracting, and had been since they were fifteen and firmly just friends; the way she compensated for her missing limb with her right leg only increased the muscle in it, both her thighs still looking the same size – or so Chirrut was told – but feeling different.

It was just another detail of Baze that Chirrut adored. That only Chirrut knew.

She moved away from Baze's breasts to kiss her softly but gently, catching Baze's lower lip between hers, letting it go and giggling at the noise it made. Baze made her so happy, always had done, and Chirrut felt almost drunk on it tonight, tiredness and lust and joy a heady mix that made even the light touches of Baze's hands set arousal smouldering under her skin.

If the way Baze was starting to shift beneath her was any indication, Baze was feeling the same. Hands landed on her ass, grabbing in a way that made Chirrut shove her hips forward – Baze was definitely feeling the same then.

The angle was a little awkward, especially with how the burns on her chest and sides limited her movement, but Chirrut could bend enough to lick at Baze's breast again whilst still driving her thigh down against Baze's pussy, riding her wife's thigh in the same movement. She was rewarded by little gasps at the back of Baze's throat that made her squirm. A bit more pressure, the pinch of a nipple between her fingers – there.

Baze came, unexpectedly to her if the soft, shocked noise she let out was any indication, but it wasn’t a surprise to Chirrut. She hadn't always been the most diligent student – she left that to Baze – but she had learned Baze's body, her tells and just how she liked to be touched.

“Come here, sweetheart.” Baze's voice was slurred more than usual, the sounds of her native tongue fitting much better in her mouth than Basic. She pulled Chirrut up to kiss her, her mouth a little slack, pulling their mouths apart to pull Chirrut up further, attempting to wiggle down the bed in the same movement. “Up, up.”

“And you say I’m uncoordinated after an orgasm,” Chirrut chided gently, swinging her leg off to the side to let Baze shift down, the stump of Baze's leg becoming more and more familiar. They still fussed over each other, whilst vehemently denying doing so (or at least Chirrut did, Baze had given up pretending her gruff exterior hid anything but the biggest heart in the universe, especially when most of the rebellion had seen her caring for anything that remained still for long enough). The pillow Chirrut placed under Baze's leg was just in the way, that’s all. It had nothing to do with the minute exhale of slight discomfort Baze had made as she moved, the way Chirrut would do almost anything to make sure Baze was happy and safe.

She’d apparently been silent for too long. Baze's finger landed on her nose, booping her gently. “Weird and possessive, chickadee.”

“Shhh, you love it.” Chirrut was only half teasing. Baze had always liked Chirrut’s possessiveness more than she would admit, the way she liked to mark her territory, not out of jealousy – they had no need for it, knowing how dedicated they were to each other – but some magpie part of her that wanted to collect her treasures close.

She climbed to sit above Baze’s head, bending down to drop a kiss on her forehead, cupping the ear that would never regain its full range of hearing, before shifting to straddle her face, bracing herself with her hands on Baze's stomach.

Forget Baze’s intelligence and knowledge and wit, how good she was with mechanics, the way she could calm even the most rambunctious youngling, eating pussy was what Baze was a fucking master at. She held Chirrut’s thighs in a tight grip, pulling her down harder onto her face, half suffocating herself in her eagerness, only the practised gasps taken with her head twisted to the side allowing her to breathe. No matter how often she did it, Chirrut could never fully prepare herself for Baze’s enthusiasm and skill.

Not for the tongue fucking into her. Not for how Baze sucked her labia into her mouth, releasing them agonisingly slowly. Not for the way Baze traced maddening circles around and around her clit, avoiding all but the lightest of licks against it, until she suddenly buried her face between her legs again to suck hard at her clit, withdrawing with a low laugh at the whine Chirrut’s moans became, the vibrations making Chirrut grind down onto her.

When Baze worked her over like this Chirrut could never even tell how many times she came, riding out the aftershocks in a wave of pleasure, Baze’s hands soothing over her thighs instead of pulling her closer when she twitched with oversensitivity in between. Somewhere between orgasms Chirrut gained enough awareness to remember the position she was in, that she’d purposely chosen, and set her own mouth against Baze, tongue lax and distracted but still ringing gorgeous noises from Baze, even more arousing for the way they were muffled by Chirrut’s own body, the way they felt against her.

Eventually, they stopped. It wasn’t a conscious decision, just a natural conclusion, Baze’s thighs still quivering from her orgasm and the soft licks of her tongue against Chirrut enough to make her flinch slightly.

“Enough,” Chirrut laughed, swatting at Baze’s flank, manoeuvring herself in a clumsy way that most of the rebellion would never believe her capable of to flop down next to Baze.

She attempted to turn into to Baze but was stopped by the hand covering her face and pushing her away, a groan coming from Baze as she tried to squirm closer.

“It’s too warm. Don’t touch me.”

Chirrut turned her head into her shoulder to hide her smile. She could hear the scrunched expression Baze was making, the nose crinkle of disgust at the way sweaty tendrils of her hair were stuck to her.

“I’ll give you five minutes, but then I’m warning you, I want a pillow.” Baze didn’t reply, unless you counted the huffed breath she gave, and the way she continued to lie spread out across the bed in an attempt to cool down. “I’ll bring my cold feet.”

There was a moment of silence, as if Baze was deliberating.

“…Fine,” she said, the bed rustling as she lifted her arms. Chirrut had perpetually cold feet, even in summer (or the humid conditions of the current base, and really what was it with the Alliance and jungle planets?), only exacerbated by her hatred of wearing anything on her feet when it wasn’t absolutely necessary.

Baze at least seemed to appreciate them pressed against her calf as Chirrut snuggled into her.

“Goodnight, chickadee,” she yawned, already half asleep. Chirrut had always envied her ability to sleep quickly and almost anywhere. She didn’t feel particularly tired herself, but she didn’t have any inclination to move either.

Baze’s breaths were beginning to even out when Chirrut spoke next, her voice sounding tiny in the suddenly cavernous-seeming room even to her own ears.

“I…I love you, Baze.”

Chirrut didn’t say that often. Could count on her hands the times she had. Oh, she was always ready to praise Baze, compliment her, give grandiose declarations and use the floweriest of language. But the simplicity of that phrase was difficult for her. Even after all these years.

It had caused Baze a bit of uncertainty when they’d first got together, something Chirrut regretted to this day, but it was something they’d talked over and reassured each of; Baze knew how much Chirrut loved her, understood the way Chirrut placed greater emphasis on touch rather than words – that she used to prevaricate, and cheat, and lie with - when it came to something this important to her.

She seemed to understand now that words weren’t what Chirrut needed. She curled a hand across Chirrut’s calf, over their mark, and kissed her cropped hair, settling back into the bed with a sleepy grumble. Chirrut’s own hand settled, alright possessively, over Baze’s side and her mark, as she wriggled into a more comfortable position, ignoring Baze’s protesting noise, knowing full well she’d be snoring softly within the next minute.

Chirrut wasn’t home. But Jedha hadn’t been the home she remembered for a long time. She had the other members of rogue one, a purpose, the Force. Baze. She had enough. In the middle of what was technically an army camp, in the middle of a war, after everything the empire had done, Chirrut found herself happy.