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i reached across the dawn, you reached across the dusk (we clasped our hands tight)

Chapter Text

A long, long, loooooooong time ago, the sun and the moon rose and fell in the sky because of two families.

The family that controlled the sun was made up of eight brothers and sisters, all with gold shining under their skin and limbs coiled with the strength and muscle to carry warmth and light to the people on Earth. They traveled across the globe so the crops could grow, the people could work, and the children could enjoy the rays of the sun and play. The brothers and sisters did their work with pride, save for the youngest, named Chirrut, whose role was to always stay with the sun itself. Some people may think this is because he was sightless, his eyes as blue as the sky he lived in, and his siblings didn’t believe him capable enough to fly around the world and bring sunbeams to those who needed them. This couldn’t be farther from the truth for he was the brightest and strongest of them all; however, Chirrut was a wild and irrepressible boy, just as likely to run and jump and laugh with the children as he was to actually deliver the light the people needed on time. And so his siblings delegated the role of keeping the sun on its course to him in hopes that he would learn discipline.

The family that controlled the moon was also made up of eight brothers and sisters, all with silver woven through their hair and gentleness glowing from their eyes that inspired and touched the hearts of the people on Earth. They turned the moon through its cycle so the people could mark the passage of the months. They directed the tides of the ocean so the people could sail across the sea. They provided a softer light that allowed the more sensitive creatures on Earth to come out and make merry. The brothers and sisters did their work with pride, save for the youngest, named Baze, whose role was to always stay with the moon itself. Some people may think this is because he was hard of hearing, though his ears were quite prominent under the dark waves of his hair, and his siblings didn’t believe him capable enough to fulfill their various duties and to keep the peace of the night. This couldn’t be farther from the truth for he was the most stalwart and devoted of them all; however, Baze was a shy and solemn boy, more inclined to working or recording the stories his siblings heard and then shared with him than socializing with the people who fawned over his brothers and sisters. And so his siblings delegated the role of keeping the moon on its course to him for he was the most responsible.

The two families worked in harmony, but did not interact. Not out of any enmity mind you, there was simply no need. When the solar guardians rose above the horizon to do their work, on occasion they would hear the people telling romantic tales about the moon, reciting poetry on its mystery, rhapsodizing upon its beauty, and especially that of its virtuous retinue. When the lunar guardians rose above the horizon to do their work, on occasion they would hear the people telling their children exciting bedtime stories about the sun, sharing anecdotes on its vitality, praising its glory, and especially that of its noble retinue. It’s true there were moments where the sun and the moon shared the sky, but this was when one family awoke while the other would be turning in to sleep. And so the two families lived apart, but nevertheless respected each other immensely. If they were ever curious about meeting each other, their work kept them much too busy to act upon their curiosity.

Save for Chirrut and Baze, whose roles were important of course, but not particularly stimulating. Baze heard the children when they would talk to the moon, either because they were lonely or too pent up with energy to sleep. He listened to them, sometimes straining to do so, and when he couldn’t hear them clearly enough, he would guide the moon to hang as low as he could without getting in trouble. The children were delighted and told him everything, about their day, their friends, and their favorite solar guardian, Chirrut. Chirrut would often swing down from the sun to shirk his post and chase after the children in games of tag, or help them catch frogs in the river, or pick them up and sing silly songs to make them smile when they tripped and scrapped their knees. And unbeknownst to Baze, he listened to the children as they told him stories about their favorite lunar guardian, Baze! Baze always treated them like everything they had to say was worthy of respect. He would give them comfort and advice after they spilled their woes to him. And sometimes he would sprinkle stardust on their eyes so they would have the sweetest dreams. Baze heard these stories about Chirrut and Chirrut heard these stories about Baze, and the two were enchanted with each other despite having never seen each other, let alone met.

But they wanted to. Independently yet concurrently, Baze and Chirrut would fantasize about how they would introduce themselves to one another, how they would capture the other’s attention, and then hopefully, their affection. One day, Baze vowed to himself that he would get up earlier than usual so he could catch a glimpse of the solar guardian. He arose before his brothers and sisters and clambered onto the moon to begin its ascent into the sky. If his siblings woke up and noticed that he had woken up earlier, had pushed the moon a little quicker than normal, he would just say he was eager to start the night, which was true if not the whole truth. He urged the moon into the sky that was still more blue than black and looked down over the Earth. He saw the fishermen pulling up their nets and sailing back to shore. He saw the shepherds leading their flocks back to their shelter. He saw the children frolicking in the very last of the day’s light, and one radiant figure amongst them.

Chirrut was determined to meet Baze and to know more about him. Every story the children told him about the lunar guardian stoked his interest higher and higher, and if he didn’t at the very least get to exchange hello’s with Baze, he was going to lose his mind. He had already hatched a million and one plans to engineer a first meeting with Baze; the first step of course, was to recruit the children into helping him. The children drove a hard bargain though—he had to beat them in a cartwheeling contest before they would help him! Chirrut wasn’t concerned, he was the king of cartwheels, the king of somersaults, and the king of backflips too. He was easily in the lead by a dozen points when he decided to start adding fancy flourishes to each cartwheel. Leaping, twisting, and jackknifing through the air, he dazzled the children, as well as one secret admirer in the sky. That is, until he went too far and tumbled down a hill right into a pond!

“Chirrut!” the children cried, running down the hill after him.

Chirrut poked his head up and spouted a stream of water at the children. They shrieked with laughter and he smiled so brilliantly the boy on the moon lost his breath.

“I think I just won that contest swimmingly!”

The children giggled and gawked and groaned, “Chirruuuuuuuut,” and above it all, the sweetest laugh Chirrut had ever heard in his life echoed through the air. He froze, sinking in the water a little, before noisily splashing his way to shore so he could pull himself out of the water and turn towards the direction it had come from. "From above?,” he thought to himself.

“Baze!” the children cheered, “Hello, Baze!”

Baze ducked his head behind the dark side of the moon, but realized it was futile since the children had already called out to him. He peeked around and saw the children waving their arms at him, and Chirrut sitting on the edge of the pond. His face was tilted back towards the moon, sparkling with drops of water and an excited smile.

“Hello,” Baze called back with a small wave of his hand, “Are you having fun?”

“Yes!” the children chorused and he smiled at their joyous faces.

“Hello, Baze! You must be the lunar guardian the children have told me so much about!” Chirrut greeted gaily.

Baze felt his ears warm and he rubbed his neck before responding, “Hello, you must be Chirrut. The children tell me you’re their favorite solar guardian. I can see why.”

Chirrut grinned widely, his teeth gleaming whiter than pearls, and asked, “Won’t you come down and join us, Baze?”

It must have been Baze’s imagination, but he thought Chirrut’s tongue had curled around his name, savoring it in his mouth as though it were the last bite of a honey cake. His blush intensified and he demurred, “I cannot, for I must stay with the moon. But I enjoyed your acrobatics. They were most impressive.”

“Thank you! That you enjoyed them gratifies me greatly. But surely it couldn’t hurt if you joined us for a few measly minutes,” Chirrut cajoled.

“A few measly minutes is long enough for the moon to rise and the sun to set,” Baze said wryly.

“True!” Chirrut laughed, “Perhaps I could fly up and join you on the moon instead?”

Baze snorted at the idea, though he couldn’t deny it held much appeal, and replied, “And what would your brothers and sisters say? That I have stolen you away from your duties?”

“I certainly wouldn’t mind, my friend” Chirrut singsonged and Baze was startled by how charming he found it. He rallied himself and decided to humor the solar guardian.

“Well, if you flew up here,” he drawled, “you could hold the moon on its course, and then I could fly down and play with the children. For a few measly minutes of course.”

Chirrut threw his head back and laughed as the children voiced their enthusiasm for this idea. “He’s delightful!” Chirrut gleefully thought.

“No, I’m sorry children, I actually cannot come down no matter what,” Baze backtracked hastily, “I’m very sorry.”

The children protested vociferously and Chirrut jumped in, “It’s quite alright children, Baze can tell us a story instead! He has the perfect voice for narration doesn’t he?” He flashed a cheeky grin up at the sky and heard Baze clear his throat in surprise.

The children clamored, “Yes! Tell us a story, Baze!” and the lunar guardian conceded. As Chirrut leaned forward to listen, the children suddenly yelped as a pillar of light flared upon the hill and a voice boomed,

“CHIRRUT.”

“Eep.”

“YOU SHOULD BE—oh there are children, hello children. I’m angry at Chirrut not you, I apologize for the loudness—you should be helming the sun right now, not lollygagging about! Go back to the sun! We are going to have words, mister!”

The pillar of light flared once more and then disappeared. Chirrut knew there was no arguing with his eldest sister, so he sadly said his good-byes to the children. He stood and called out to the moon, “Farewell, Baze! I would’ve dearly liked to listen to your story, but I’m sure we’ll meet again.”

“Farewell, Chirrut. I’ll save a story for you.”

Chirrut floated back up to the sun, buoyed by a giddy anticipation of the future so heady that being lectured for an hour on his irresponsibility did nothing to dim it. He fell asleep with a smile on his face, imagining ways he could further impress Baze.

Baze entertained the children until they had to go to bed and if they noticed his wonderstruck manner, they made no mention of it. When it came time for slumber, he sprinkled as much stardust as he could upon every child in the village and they were graced with the most pleasant dreams they’d ever had. Years later, the children would remember this first meeting and unanimously agree.

That was the day the sun and the moon fell in love.

Chapter Text

The next morning, Chirrut sprang up out of bed positively vibrating with energy. He steered the sun into the sky punctually and performed his duties exactly as required, and so his siblings left him to his own devices. He kept this up all the way til afternoon, and then he abandoned his post and dove down to meet with the children. The children swarmed him affectionately; some grasping his legs and babbling about making mud patties, some climbing onto his shoulders and announcing they wanted to wrestle, and others clinging to his arms and insisting that Chirrut should show them how to whistle.

Chirrut leaned down and said, “Now children, children! That all sounds quite fun, but I have something different planned today. Can you help me?”

“Yes!” the children clamored.

He told them his plan and they sallied forth to comb through the village and the surrounding area for colors. Chirrut and the children collected red from the clay of the river banks. They visited the meadows and harvested yellow from the wildflowers. They borrowed orange from the butterflies. They gathered pink from the insides of shells on the beach. They begged indigo from the cloth dyers. They asked the sailors who pointed Chirrut towards the west to glean purple from the wine dark sea.

Arms overflowing with color, Chirrut flew up into the sky and began to paint. With his hands, he streaked the horizon with warm hues. He threw vibrant pigments across the celestial firmament. He danced in the air and filled the sky with what he felt. He prayed fiercely that Baze would see it and understand.

When he heard a deep gasp behind him, he smiled.

Chirrut splattered paint in wide arcs as he did an elaborate hop, skip, and twirl. He let the colors fly into the air until he ran out, and then he spun around and flung his arms out.

“What do you think, Baze?” he crowed.

Baze didn’t know what to think—he had never seen the sky so dramatically altered before. For as long as he’d known, the sky had only ever been blue, then black, then blue again. But now there were ochres, crimsons, violets, and every shade in between spilling across his vision. And in the center of it all, Chirrut beaming proudly with a smudge of lavender accentuating the sharp angle of his cheekbone that Baze was certain would fit perfectly in his palm. Baze couldn’t tear his eyes away if he wanted to.

“Is it to your liking?”

“You’re—it’s beautiful,” Baze stammered out past his heart caught in his throat.

Chirrut glowed with the praise, literally as well as metaphorically, the burnished gold of his skin deepening and making the smudge of lavender on his cheekbone rich as confectioner's icing, and then his mouth curled into a fox-like smirk. “I suppose you could say I have an exceptional eye for color.”

Baze belly-laughed and bought the moon a bit closer. “I would say you have a fine mind for terrible jokes.”

“Well you seem to have a discerning taste for them!” Chirrut gloated.

“I wouldn’t say I have a discerning taste,” he shot back, “more a strong stomach.”

“And a humble heart to boot!”

“You have a flattering tongue,” Baze chuckled.

Chirrut’s smile threatened to split his face. He delicately placed a hand over his heart and said, “I, my dear Baze, have—”

“Chirrut, what have you done to the sky, you clod!”

“An interfering sibling,” Chirrut finished under his breath.

“You are in big trouble, young man. Go back to the sun!” commanded his second eldest sibling. They vanished in a puff of smoke as quickly as they had appeared, leaving behind only their admonishment.

“Farewell, Baze,” Chirrut said forlornly, before bouncing back and teasing, “I’m thrilled we could meet again, I’m sure next time you’ll be the one to provoke a sibling’s ire.”

“Farewell, Chirrut.”

With a flourishing bow, Chirrut took to the air and disappeared behind the sun. Baze stared after him until he could no longer see the other boy’s back, going so far as to move the moon ever so slightly forward to follow him with his eyes.

---

After Chirrut left, Baze pondered seriously while gazing at the kaleidoscopic horizon. This was a gift, a gift of significant magnitude that Chirrut had unmistakably given to him. As he deliberated, his thoughts would keep cycling back to the fact Chirrut had painted the sky for him and he would have to hide his face in his hands, for he was certain his blushing was bright enough to be seen on Earth. He pressed his face against the cold surface of the moon and furrowed his brow. What could he do for Chirrut in return?

An idea emerged; Chirrut was a splendid dancer, perhaps he would like music? But Baze could not carry a tune to save his life, and he didn’t think he could summon up the nerve to sing to Chirrut across the sky, no matter how thunderously he made his heart beat. Baze considered and worried and mulled over possible solutions, until his second youngest sister took a break from flying amongst the birds in the gathering twilight to check on him. Baze had an epiphany.

“Sister!” he exclaimed.

“Hello, Baze. Why are you so agitated?”

“You are the bosom friend of every bird in the land.”

“I am. So?” she inquired with one raised brow.

“Please, please help me convince the birds to sing at the darkest hour before dawn, please.”

“At darkest hour? Whatever for?”

Baze felt his face burn with embarrassment, but he soldiered on, “As a gift in return for one received.”

“A gift? From whom?”

“I would…prefer not to say,” Baze hedged.

Both her brows shot up and she said, “Are you keeping secrets, Baze?”

“It’s not that. I just, I mean,” Baze switched tactics and looked at his sister with doleful doe eyes. “Please help me. You’re my only hope.”

She cursed and turned away. Baze stepped back into her line of sight. His lower lip wibbled.

“Fine! Fine, fine, I will help you, you ridiculous creature,” she snapped.

Baze grinned so hard his cheeks hurt and he bundled his sister up into a hug that knocked her off her feet. “Thank you!” he cried.

“You better be thankful,” she muttered darkly, “Ugh, I’ll tell the birds to come up here and you can give them the sad puppy eyes until they give in too.”

Baze nodded vigorously, “Yes, that sounds perfect.”

“What do you want them to sing?”

Baze coughed. “Do you know the Song of Serenity and Passion?”

“Of course I do, the villagers sing it at nearly every special occasion,” she looked at him askance, “You are being very suspicious, little brother.”

“Plea—”

“I already agreed, don’t subject me to any more emotional coercion.”

---

When Chirrut awoke earlier than he was wont to (a near impossible feat in the past) and snuck out before first light (something he had never done before), he was in no way prepared to be met with a choir of singing birds. They warbled joyously in pitch perfect harmony; however, Baze had taught them something in addition to the Song of Serenity and Passion. Unfortunately, he hadn’t taken into account that most birds are very simple-minded, and so they mispronounced “Chirrut” as “chirp.”

Nonetheless, Chirrut was elated when the birds finished their twittering and trilled, “This song is from Baze to chirp! This song is from Baze to chirp!”

Chirrut bit his fist to hold back a squeal. He launched himself forward to wheel through the sky with the birds. They fluttered around him in a cacophony, yet it was nowhere close to the unrestrained exhilaration racing inside his ribcage. The birds caroled, “This song is from Baze to chirp!” again and again, though one bird lost the melody and began to chant, “You’re lucky I’m your sister, Baze!” in a high, feminine voice—Chirrut burst out laughing. So Baze had indeed incurred a sibling’s ire for him! He was about to fly towards the moon, it followed the same track as the sun (although perhaps the sun followed the same track as the moon?), so he knew where it would be, but he heard the men and women and otherfolk in the village begin to awake and complain. Somebody groused, “Why are the birds so noisy when it’s still dark!”

Off in the distance, Chirrut heard his brothers and sisters stirring awake, and he had the sudden, unhappy realization he wouldn’t be able to meet with Baze as well as rush back to raise the sun on time. He hung in the air frozen with indecision. He’d already been upbraided twice this week; a third time would be grounds for punishment. If his siblings decided he needed a monitor as though he were an infant, he wouldn’t be allowed to slip away and spend time with anyone! He had to go back, but before he did, he caught one of the birds between his hands and told it, “Tell Baze, ‘Chirrut thanks Baze,’” he bit his lip and added, “Tell Baze, ‘Chirrut adores Baze.” He coached the bird until it repeated what he’d said correctly, and then he released it and rocketed back to the sun before he could rethink it.

Chapter Text

Chirrut made it back to the sun just in time and thankfully his siblings didn’t notice he was windswept and out of breath. He slumped atop the sun in relief. Now he needed to settle on a plan of action for his next grand display of affection. He daydreamed about sculpting the clouds to spell out an ardent declaration across the sky, or sweet-talking the wind to carry the golden pendant he wore around his neck to Baze. Perhaps if Baze saw him while he just so happened to be in the middle of disrobing… (He dismissed the idea. Reluctantly.) Chirrut sighed in frustration. None of his ideas were feasible, nor did they hold a candle to Baze persuading the birds to sing for him.

Wait. Candles. Candles were romantic.

Chirrut stretched his senses out and detected none of his brothers and sisters nearby. He’d have to be mindful of how long he stayed away from the sun, but he was sure he could make it work. He snuck down to Earth to meet with the children who were skipping rocks at the pond. He took a moment to show them how it was really done by skipping a rock clear across the pond to the other side, and then he asked them for their help once more. The children were more eager than ever to assist him, and after Chirrut pulled them into a huddle to delineate his new plan, he set them to the task of mustering together as many candles as possible by any means necessary.

As they raced off, Chirrut scoured through the village for a chandler or someone else who made candles. He questioned every person he met til the blacksmith pointed him towards the temple at the edge of the village where the monks made their own candles. When he found the ancient yet tidy and well-kept edifice, he was greeted jovially right as he stepped in the door.

“Good morning, youngest solar guardian.”

Chirrut bowed deeply. “Oh! Hello, Master Monk. I’ve—”

“Or is it just before noon? Perhaps I should say good afternoon? What position is the sun in currently?”

“Ah, you see, it’s a funny story,” he floundered.

The monk slapped him on the shoulder and guffawed fit to make the high stained glass dome of the temple rattle in its frame.

“I jest, I jest,” the elderly monk assured him, “I know why you’re here. I’ve heard all about your courting of the youngest lunar guardian, and of his reciprocation.”

“You have?” Chirrut squawked as his eyes widened in the fledgling panic of a chick being shoved unceremoniously out of the nest.

The monk chortled and walloped him on the back, “Monks are inveterate gossips, my boy. We see and hear everything. We need something to do in between waking up hideously early and working absurdly late into the night by only the light of candles.”

“Please don’t tell my siblings,” Chirrut pleaded.

The monk patted him on the cheek, “My lips are sealed.”

“You have my eternal gratitude. About those candles...”

“Say no more. I’ve always wanted to be a part of an epic romantic prophecy. I’ll take even a minor role gladly.” The monk rubbed his hands together.

“Oh, wonderful. Thank you.” Chirrut was flummoxed, but he wasn’t going to look a gift-horse in the mouth.

“There’s a catch, thou—,”

“I’ll do it,” Chirrut cut in fervently.

“I like your chutzpah, youngest solar guardian, but that’s a dangerous and foolhardy thing to say without knowing what I’m going to ask.”

Chirrut jutted his chin out with an expression of resolve, “I’ll do it.”

“Alright, your mission, which you’ve already accepted, is to traverse down into the lowest depths hidden below this temple and find the chest that smells of brine. When you find it, you must not open it. Do you understand?”

“Yes.”

“Good, now listen to this part closely. In the same room, you will also find thin lengths of braided cotton. Take one, just one!, of the coils with you. Bring these items to me. Carefully. I’ll be sitting outside in the back garden. Have I made myself clear?”

“Yes,” Chirrut hesitated before gingerly inquiring, “What happens after that?”

“We’re going to make some candles. The basement is where we keep the whale fat and wicks. Don’t worry, it’s only one floor down.”

The monk erupted into raucous laughter and Chirrut couldn’t help but join in.

“I like your sense of humor, Master Monk.”

“Thank you, I used to be a royal jester.”

“Reall—wait.”

The monk kicked him gently in the rear. “Go get the whale fat and wicks! Daylight’s wasting! You should know that better than anyone else!”

Chirrut retrieved the items with alacrity and he spent several hours with the elderly monk dipping candles and listening to his tales of true love and high adventure (and side-splitting comedy too). As it approached the golden hour, they packed the candles into the largest basket they could find and the monk sent Chirrut off on his quest.

“Thank you again, Master Monk!”

“You’re welcome! Now go woo his pants off!”

Chirrut rendezvoused with the children at the beach. They’d somehow acquired close to a hundred candles and were ready for the next phase of the plan. Chirrut organized them into teams, and putting his faith into the children, instructed them to place the candles in formation. With one little girl sitting on his lap to keep an eye on the sun, Chirrut handed out candles to the children as they scuttled across the sand like sandpipers poking their beaks into the sand.

The little girl pulled on his sleeve and whispered, “Chirrut, it’s almost the end of the golden hour.”

Chirrut clapped his hands together and shouted, “Children, I must leave soon! But remember phase three! And remember that phase three can only be done by the older children! I must leave now, but thank you everyone!”

He ruffled the little girl’s hair and told her, “Be good.” before zipping up to the sun and pretending he’d been there the entire day. Because of sunset and the scrutiny of this brothers and sisters, staying on the Earth simply wasn’t an option, but he believed in the children and they would report to him in the morning. Also he was going to sneak out once his siblings went to sleep. When one of his sisters asked him warily why he kept smiling like a loon, all he said was, “I’ve just had an enlightening day.” (This did nothing to alleviate his sister’s apprehension.) As his siblings turned in for the night, Chirrut laid wide awake in his bed and waited.

---

Baze rose early for the second night in a row, though this time he awoke from a most pleasant dream about Chirrut that made me question whether he had sprinkled stardust upon himself before he’d gone to bed. But no, Baze remembered the night before; just as he had been turning in for bed, a bird had perched on his shoulder and sang, “Chirp thanks Baze! Chirp adores Baze!” His heart had nearly broken free of his ribcage to join the bird flying around his head, and it had taken him half an hour of deep breathing exercises to calm down enough to attempt sleep. It may have been presumptuous to think that Chirrut would give him another gift so soon after the first, but Baze had a strong feeling that something, and hopefully a special someone, would be waiting for him tonight.

As he propelled the moonrise, he looked across the horizon to the part of the sky that Chirrut had painted for him and blushed, though he didn’t hide his face this time. It was still as colorful as before and he bit down on what would’ve been an undignified giggle. He surveyed the Earth below him and it seemed that everything was as it should be. He continued to helm the moon through the gloaming until it became a gleaming starry night, and nothing disturbed the peace. Baze felt a pang of sadness in his chest, but stayed on his heavenly course.

Until a handful of small figures caught his attention. They were older children, on the cusp of adulthood, and sneaking furtively to the beach. Baze frowned and watched them as they stopped by a mysterious clump upon the beach and knelt down around it. Were they up to mischief?

Baze was staring at them so intently, he didn’t notice the warmth and light that was growing at his back until someone blew a hot puff of air at his ear. He startled, clapping a hand to his ear, and whirled around to find none other but Chirrut hovering behind him, his smiling face a miniature sunrise in the middle of the dark sky; Baze couldn’t resist mirroring his smile.

Chirrut’s smile broadened and he folded his hands together in front of him to bow deeply in the formal style. “Lunar Guardian Baze,” he greeted, his dignified tone belied by his silly expression.

“Solar Guardian Chirrut,” he returned, his bow equally formal, his tone equally dignified, and his smile equally silly.

“Now that we are face to face, I must personally thank you for this morning. I’ve never expected nor experienced such fanfare before!”

“You’re welcome,” Baze was pleased to say, “and I know. A little bird told me.”

Chirrut drifted closer til they were an arms-length apart. “Did it tell you anything else?” Chirrut asked coquettishly.

“It told me something about doors if I recall correctly.”

Chirrut laughed and reached out to clasp his arm, his hand lingering on Baze’s bicep. “Don’t play coy, Baze.”

“That’s rich coming from you,” Baze teased back, and then a smidgen of sense came back to him. “What are you doing here? Not that I don’t appreciate your company, but...”

“I snuck out,” Chirrut answered cheerily and put a finger to his pursed lips, “Shush! Promise you won’t tell anyone.”

Baze smothered a snort and gravely responded, “Your secret is safe with me.”

“Good! I’m trusting you with my life, you know.”

“Is that so?”

“Verily. My brothers and sisters would have my head if they found out.”

“I’ll make sure your trust isn’t misplaced then.”

The two celestial guardians could barely hold back from snickering as they spoke, and as Baze opened his mouth to say something else (he didn’t know what he would say precisely, but he felt it in his bones that Chirrut would enjoy anything he had to say), Chirrut abruptly brightened. Gold limning his silhouette and blue illuminating his eyes, he took both of Baze’s hands in his own and canted his head up. Baze stilled, all of his breath stuttering out of his lungs and stealing all the moisture in his mouth with it. He swallowed as Chirrut husked, “Baze, I must confess something.”

“What?” Baze managed to eke out of his desert dry throat.

“I’ve been stalling for time for the children on the beach.”

“What?” Baze muttered flatly. Chirrut squeezed his hands when he tried to pull away.

“Look down and tell me what you see.”

With their hands still linked, he rotated them until they were parallel to the shore. Baze looked down—his heart jolted.

“Oh.”

“Tell me what you see, Baze.” Chirrut repeated and Baze struggled to corral the words that had escaped from his mind and stampeded over all his thought processes.

“There’s,” he paused to lick his lips and swallow again, “There’s a giant heart made of candlelight on the beach.” He stopped to get his thoughts back in order as they attempted to break ranks once more.

“And?”

“The heart is a bit lopsided.”

“Shoot,” Chirrut whispered to himself.

“It’s still beautiful, if anything it adds to the charm. And, um, in the middle, there’s a big capital B plus C. The children are waving at us.” Baze waved back with his hand still folded in Chirrut’s as Chirrut laughed and called out softly, “Thank you and good night children!” They scattered back into the village. Baze and Chirrut were alone on the moon in the midnight sky, and Chirrut floated closer til they were a hand-breadth apart. Baze could’ve counted each of his ink-dark eyelashes if he wanted to; he was strangely unsurprised to find that he did.

“The children have helped me tremendously lately. Do you like it?”

“I do,” he exhaled the words and reoriented himself towards Chirrut.

“Do you like it a loooot?” Chirrut playfully needled.

“Yes.”

“How much do you like it?”

“Not as much as I like you,” he rumbled and the rosy glow that overtook Chirrut’s face was so captivating Baze swayed forward til they were a hair-breadth apart.

“Do you like me as much as I like you?”

“Even more.” Baze brought a silver-limned hand up to Chirrut’s cheek.

“I hate to tell you this, but that’s impossible,” Chirrut murmured.

“I hate to tell you this, but that’s impossible.”

“I can prove you wrong.” Chirrut held Baze’s face between his hands.

“How do you plan to do that?”

“Like this,” and he tipped forward til their lips met.

Suspended in a moment that lasted seconds but felt like millennia, they melded together so there was no space for even light to separate them. Their bodies, their breaths, and their hearts intertwined, leaving the two dizzy when they pulled apart for air. Chirrut nuzzled Baze’s nose with his own and smiled beatifically. Baze traced under his eye with his thumb, the blue of Chirrut’s eyes reflecting mercury from Baze’s own inner light, and hummed.

“I’m beginning to see your point, but I remain unconvinced.”

Chirrut grinned and the crown of light surrounding him flickered and shimmered.

“That was just the opening of my argument,” he lilted and the two pressed their mouths together again.

Unbeknownst to the youngest solar and lunar guardian, the children had been peeking out of their windows the whole time and they’d witnessed everything. Years later, the children would remember this event and they would tell their children, who would tell their children, and so on and so on.

That was the night the sun and the moon kissed.

Chapter Text

The two exchanged kiss after kiss as the moon sailed serenely across the star-studded sky, and as it slowly came upon the witching hour, Chirrut pulled back to set his forehead against Baze’s. He carded his hands through Baze’s hair to cup his ears, and the contented noise it drew from his mouth pierced through Chirrut’s chest. He leaned up to bring their mouths together once more and felt Baze smile against his lips. When he felt the other boy’s ears wiggle against his palms, Chirrut nearly collapsed from a salvo of Eros' arrows straight through his heart. If he could've reached into his chest to present it to Baze, he was certain it would've been indistinguishable from a pincushion. He never wanted to leave Baze’s arms, but he knew he needed to return for sunrise.

“You must return soon,” Baze sighed, echoing his thoughts.

“Soon, but not now.”

“Before you go, I want to show you something.”

“What could be so fascinating it could pull my attention away from you?” Chirrut crooned, tugging at his ears for emphasis.

“Stop,” Baze chided halfheartedly, the upcurl of his voice giving away his amusement, “as you know, it is now the witching hour.”

“Yes,” Chirrut nodded, his innate sense of chronometry always unerringly accurate, “what of it?”

“Magical things happen during this time. My brothers and sisters speak with everyone who comes out during the night. The astrocartographers, the night watchmen, and the lonely souls for whom slumber evades too. They tell me what they learn from their conversations and I write it down. There is a sorceress who resides in a cottage in a copse of poplars who was generous enough to share her knowledge on nocturnal horticulture...”

Chirrut felt Baze crane his head around to search for something, and he released one of his ears to poke the other boy in the cheek. “You’re very cute when you talk about things I don’t understand. Perhaps especially so.” He felt Baze’s face heat up under his hand and he giggled.

“I am trying to show you something special. Though I’m not completely sure it’ll work.”

“I’m completely sure I’ll love it.”

“You have too much faith in me,” Baze half-joked.

Chirrut lifted his chin imperiously and declared, “You must have faith in me who has faith in you.”

“I have faith in you.”

“Well then you must have faith in me who has faith in you who has faith in me who has faith—”

“I’m cutting you off right there,” Baze snorted, “Alright, I see it, let me move the moon a little closer.”

The moon gracefully descended (within the bounds of its celestial course) and Baze rearranged their bodies so he could stand behind Chirrut and wrap his arms around his waist. Chirrut nestled back into his chest while sighing dreamily. Baze hooked his chin over his shoulder and mumbled into his ear, “The sorceress once traded a seeing stone for a moonbeam with my brother. She applied it to a blossom and the results were reportedly spectacular. Let’s give this a go.”

Nothing happened at first, but gradually Chirrut found himself slipping under a wave of calm, soothing energy. His body relaxed into Baze’s sturdy frame, his breathing evened out, and his eyelids drooped heavily; he felt leaden with tranquility. He yawned and as he closed his eyes, Baze shook him back to full wakefulness.

“Stay awake, Chirrut,” he chuckled.

“I’m awake,” Chirrut answered around another yawn.

“Good, because I’ve figured it out. Take a deep breath, darling.”

Chirrut smiled at the endearment and inhaled—his world exploded into a jubilee of aromas. The air was redolent with the fragrance of creamy tuberose and indolic jasmine, layering upon the sweet, powdery scent of immortelle and narcotic datura. The light, earthy perfume of evening primroses rose above the bouquet, yet weaved it all together into what Chirrut could only describe as divinity. He breathed it in, greedy as a king swimming in treasure, and it would’ve overwhelmed him were it not for Baze holding and anchoring him. He was utterly hypnotized and didn’t even realize his mouth had gone slack. Baze gently kissed the corner of his lips, breaking Chirrut out of his trance.

“Do you like it?” Baze asked, calling back to Chirrut’s own words just hours earlier.

“It’s amazing, splendid, marvelous, incredible,” he rambled.

Baze laughed, “Good!” and he sounded so satisfied Chirrut absolutely had to turn around and kiss him dumb.

When Baze pulled back to gasp for breath, Chirrut purred, “You made the flowers bloom at night for me.”

“It was the least I could do.”

“It was much much much more than that. How did you do it?”

“In the past, I would shine the moon directly upon them, but that never worked. This time, you inspired me to try something new. I combined the moon’s beams with my own, and lo and behold, the flowers unfurled.”

“That was you!” Chirrut cried out in shock, “That was your aura that almost lulled me to sleep!”

“I’ve done that a few times in the past to help children go to sleep. I’m surprised it worked on you as well,” Baze chuckled again and Chirrut shook his head from side to side.

“You are phenomenal, Baze.”

“Don't be silly, I am not.”

“Yes, you are. And not only that,” Chirrut skimmed his hands up Baze’s shoulders and neck to hold his face once more, “you are mine. Are you not?”

“If you are mine,” Baze breathed out.

“That’s as undeniable as the revolutions of the Earth and sun and moon,” and Chirrut punctuated his vow with a kiss. Baze kissed back and they lost more hours to the slide of their mouths together. When it came perilously close to the darkest hour, and thus dawn, they could hardly separate themselves from their lip-lock.

“Well,” Baze cleared his throat.

“Well,” Chirrut reiterated with a smirk, though his glassy expression undercut it a bit, “You made the flowers bloom at night for me, and you made the birds sing for me.” He buried a snicker behind Baze’s ear, “and you angered one of your siblings for me.”

“You painted the sky for me, and you created a candlelight declaration for me. You angered one of your siblings for me,” Baze pressed his own smirk against Chirrut’s jaw, “But, you’ve been dodging your duties. I think that puts me at an advantage.”

“Ha! No, we’re two to two, the angry siblings don’t count.”

“You were the one who counted them in the first place.”

“Noooope. They don’t count. We’re tied,” Chirrut retorted with a toothy grin.

Baze raised a brow and leaned in so they were nose to nose, “Then it’s your turn, Chirrut. What’s going to be your next move?”

Chirrut’s face turned deadly serious, “I,” he paused dramatically, “am going to dance for you in the nude.”

Baze tossed Chirrut off the moon. Chirrut howled with laughter as he flew loops around the moon.

“Go back and raise the sun, Chirrut,” Baze deadpanned. He softened just a touch and added, “I’ll see you again soon.”

“Very soon, I promise you,” Chirrut darted in for one last kiss, and returned to the sun in high spirits.

Chapter Text

Chirrut’s high spirits were promptly crushed when the rain spirits decided to send down a colossal deluge upon the Earth. The rain spirits did not come out to bless the people’s crops on a regular basis, so they took precedence over the rising of the sun or the moon. Chirrut’s siblings were gratified to have a rest day and spent it by sleeping in and engaging in leisurely activities. Chirrut spent it by moping and wallowing in misery. He twisted and pulled a sunbeam absentmindedly in his hands as he pouted, tucked within one of the prominences of the sun. He couldn’t meet with the children nor prepare a gift for Baze. And overhead the rain spirits celebrated in the sky, clashing their thunderous cymbals, cracking their lightning streamers, and yowling their unruly joy into the gale—Chirrut wanted to strangle them all. Why couldn’t they go away and come again another day!

He angrily blew out a gust of air and flopped onto his back, thinking up revenge schemes and wringing the sunbeam, until he accidentally ripped it. He bolted straight up and cursed under his breath, feeling out the tear in the sunbeam. It wasn’t a very big tear, but Chirrut noticed something quite peculiar. The two edges of the tear felt different from each other. He didn’t know what to make of it, one side felt finer than the other, like the expensive silk that was woven with more threads that traveling merchants would sell by the bolt in the village market, the other side felt more akin to the cheaper linen the villagers would make from the flax grown by the river. Chirrut ran his fingers along both sides and frowned in bafflement. He eventually remembered that sunbeams were not a pure material, but a composite of different rays of light. He must’ve torn apart wavelengths of color. An idea emerged in his head; what if he rended the sunbeam into its separate parts, and then wove them together again into a scarf? Or a sash?

Yes, yes that just might work. Chirrut tore the sunbeam into long, thin strips and set to work braiding them together. He worked diligently and carefully, smoothing out the pattern after every single stitch. He sang tunelessly to himself as his hands moved, and then his melody morphed into the Song of Serenity and Passion. He grinned and thought of Baze. Thought of his lovely voice, his gentle hands, and his lips, oh his lips, there were too many words and not enough words for Chirrut to praise his lips. He thought of Baze and his comforting presence, the way it had enveloped Chirrut thickly, warm and downy as a duvet. Chirrut would’ve gladly sunk into the deepest fathoms within Baze. His hands moved swiftly and after some hours, Chirrut had a lengthy scarf. Or sash. Whichever. He rolled it up and mentally tripped over how he would give it to Baze. The rain spirits weren’t going to cease their racket any time soon. They were planning on going for as long as there was water in their clouds and from Chirrut had heard from his sister when she’d peeked over the sun earlier, the clouds had been prodigiously swollen with water. He harrumphed—it looked like all he could do was be patient and wait for an opening. But he would deliver his gift to Baze; to wait another day more was intolerable.

---

Baze awoke to thunder and confusion, his mind struggling to work like a watermill churning through mud. He came back to his senses and realized it was raining. Not only was it raining, it was raining fit to drown a fish. He got out of bed and approached his eldest sibling to query whether he should be prepared to raise the moon as quickly as possible once the rain spirits receded, or to not bother raising it at all. His sibling pulled him away to the dark side of the moon and said, “Be prepared, for the rain spirits and their clouds are fickle and inconsistent, but nevermind that. I must speak with you on a most serious matter, Baze.”

“What is it?” Baze asked, his brow furrowing and his mouth forming a moue.

“Brother, I will be blunt. You failed in your duties directing the ocean last night. The tide was low the whole night and some of the mariners complained about their traps catching nothing, not even the most pathetic lobster. Why? What happened?”

Baze reddened and nervously recalled that he had kept the tide low so the sea couldn’t wash away the candlelight heart (it had been so far below the tide line it was a miracle the ocean hadn’t swallowed it earlier). He’d loved it so much, it seemed to him an awful waste to let the sea snuff it out, and so he had reined in the waves and let the candles gutter out naturally. He had no earthly (nor celestial) clue what to say to his eldest sibling as he was a notoriously bad liar, so he kept silent.

“Baze,” they snapped, “answer me.”

“I...didn’t want to ruin something the children had made.”

What? Baze, for the love of the stars, we have roles to fulfill. You have to make choices about what is important, brother,” his sibling reprimanded.

“Of course, I’m sorry,” Baze mumbled to his feet.

“Keep what I said in mind,” they patted him on the shoulder and left him to ruminate.

The eldest lunar guardian didn’t know, but their words had struck a chord with Baze. “You have to make choices about what is important.” Baze knew his duty was important, but he slowly came to the conclusion that his love was important too. The way his sibling had dismissed his reasoning did not sit well with him. Though it had not been the full truth, his love for the children wasn’t something to be brushed off. His love for Chirrut was not something to be ignored. In fact, it was something that should be honored. He turned the thoughts over in his head for so long, the rain spirits exhausted themselves and packed up their thunder and lightning and clouds to fly away. Baze piloted the moon almost clear across the sky in an instant, for the rain spirits had not grown weary til it was so late one could’ve also argued it was early. Deep in his contemplation, Baze was caught fully unaware when Chirrut tackled him.

“Chirrut!” he half-shrieked.

“I missed you,” Chirrut grinned unrepentantly, his eyes wild at the edges.

“I missed you too, comets help me,” he gave in to the urge and kissed Chirrut’s upturned face. He leaned back slightly to thumb at the corners of his eyes. “Did you not sleep?”

“I couldn’t. I was waiting for those blasted rain spirits to leave so I could sneak out and see you again. I’ve passed tired back to energetic again,” he confessed and Baze huffed quietly.

“You didn’t have to do that, sunshine.”

Chirrut wiggled at the (admittedly uncreative) endearment and said, “Speaking of sunshine,” he jumped back to hold out something stretched between his hands. “Tada! I made this for you! It’s a scarf! Or a sash. Or both! You can wear it however you want.”

Baze’s breath hitched and he accepted it reverently. It was lighter than air, translucent, and every color Chirrut had painted the sky, with the addition of green nestled between yellow and blue as well. With shaky hands, Baze wrapped it around his waist and tied it off with a bow. He grabbed Chirrut by his cute, elfin ears and kissed him, thanking him all the while in every language he knew (an untold number as he had recorded stories before humans ever glancingly thought of it). Chirrut tittered like a drunken spinster aunt at a family gathering and kissed back.

“I would say you’re welcome and not to mention it, but I’m enjoying this too much.”

“That makes two of us.”

“You could ask me what I want in return,” Chirrut insinuated.

“More kisses?”

“Well I’ll never say no to kisses, but—” Baze stifled his next words with his mouth and Chirrut made a contented sound.

Baze had a stroke of inspiration and gently disentangled himself from Chirrut, who made it a more arduous task than it needed to be as he whined pitifully and grasped at his body.

“Are you leaving already?”

“Shhh, no, just wait a second,” he soothed and took out the ribbon he used to tie back the hair he had never shorn nor trimmed, so he could tie off a smaller section of his hair. He bent down to pick up a sharp moon rock, and with purposefully steady hands, cut off a silver lock of his hair. He spooled it up and took one of Chirrut’s hands to place it in his palm, gently closing his fingers over it.

“You have my heart, and here is piece of me you can always carry with you.”

Chirrut’s breathing went unsteady. He threw himself at Baze, clutching him tightly. Baze clutched back just as tightly, and he felt as though his heart would swell with love until it could replace the moon in the night sky.

Chapter Text

Chirrut and Baze had spent hardly more than an hour holding and kissing each other before Chirrut had raced back to the sun, the lock of Baze’s hair hidden so it would press above his heart. He stumbled upon the sun and pitched face first onto its surface. He groaned lightly, less because of the impact and more because he was more tired than he expected, and of course he already missed Baze dearly. He took out the lock of hair and kissed it, feeling a bubble of warmth rise within him. Yet it was also tinged with a hint of despair. He had Baze’s heart and a piece of him to always carry close to his heart, but what he really wanted was to have Baze himself whenever he wanted. Chirrut sighed, he would be satisfied with what he had. He smiled and kissed the lock of hair again. Perhaps it was nonsensical to have fallen so irrevocably in three days and three nights, but Chirrut knew it was true. He knew it was infinite.

He guided the sun unhurriedly through the sky. He lazily waved down to the children playing. The elderly monk called up a hello and Chirrut grinned and said hello in kind. But he kept to himself up on the sun for the most part. He slipped into a reverie and the sun rose to its apex in the sky without any complications. Out of the blue, Chirrut heard the people in the village shout in excitement and alarm. A great commotion was happening and he stood up and listened to the tumultuous voices below whoop and yell,

“The moon! Look at the moon! It’s blocking out the sun!”

He scrunched his nose in consternation. What was happe—

“Chirrut.”

His jaw plummeted straight through the core of the Earth and popped out of the ground on the other side of the planet.

Baze,” he squeaked, “it’s noon, what are you doing here?”

Baze swallowed and declared, “I’m showing everyone what’s important. Chirrut, I love you. I don’t think I can stay as a lunar guardian.”

“What are you saying?” Chirrut asked, his voice wavering out of his recognition like a desert mirage.

Baze flew towards Chirrut, joining him on the sun, and took one of his hands. Chirrut laced their fingers together in an automatic gesture and Baze brought their hands to his mouth and kissed the seams between their knuckles.

“Run away with me.”

Chirrut’s brain stopped.

“Run away with me. We’ll live like mortals on the Earth. We’ll be with each other every day and night. We’ll get married.”

Chirrut blinked. He could scarcely breathe. He most certainly did not comprehend.

“Chirrut, please say something,” Baze begged, his voice faltering.

Chirrut snapped back and screamed, “YES! YES OF COURSE,” as he leapt into Baze’s arms. He showered Baze’s face with kisses as the other laughed and shook and clung to him with happiness and relief.

“I wrote a letter for my brothers and sisters. Do you want to leave one as well?”

Chirrut laughed for the whole world to hear, “What’s there to say? The youngest lunar guardian is stealing me away to be his husband. Don’t worry, he’ll make an honest man of me. Love, Chirrut. Hugs and kisses, hugs and kisses?”

“Yes?”

“I’m sure they’ll figure it out. And if they have any questions, or just desperately need someone to interrogate, they can find and ask us themselves. Take me away, beloved!”

Baze shook his head, but kissed Chirrut on the forehead and obliged.

And with all the people watching from below, the youngest lunar guardian and the youngest solar guardian took off, leaving behind a perfect corona in the sky. The children cheered, the adults talked in bewilderment and awe, the elderly monk wrote everything down. Eventually the other solar and lunar guardians noticed their celestial bodies hanging together aimlessly in the middle of the sky. They quickly set them back on their heavenly courses, and the second youngest of both families took up the mantles of controlling them. No one would forget this moment. They wrote epics about it, they created magnificent works of art about it, they commemorated it with a festival where they lit candles for the ones they loved. The story became a legend became a myth, but they always remembered.

That was the day the sun and the moon eloped.

---

That, my friends, is the love story of the sun and the moon. So if the timing is right, marry your true love during an eclipse, for you will be blessed with unparalleled happiness and auspicious luck for the rest of your days. What of the youngest solar guardian and the youngest lunar guardian, Chirrut and Baze, you ask? What happened afterwards? Well, the two settled down in a picturesque, little cottage, courtesy of a certain elderly monk. They became mortal yes, but having once lived in the sky they aged so slowly they would witness the village children have children (and were bestowed the title of godfathers for each and every one), and grandchildren (likewise), and great grandchildren (you understand the pattern here), and many, many generations more. They were venerated and lived happily together in domestic wedded bliss. And if they haven’t died since I began this tale, then they still do to this day.

The End