Actions

Work Header

Heat Transfer

Work Text:

Jyn hates Hoth. She knows she should be more grateful - her father's alive, her new friends are alive, and for the moment they all have a place to live outside the reach of the Empire. It's still not enough to make her appreciate Hoth. When they first arrived she'd assumed she'd get used to the temperature soon enough, but it's been weeks and she's no more used to the numb, frozen feeling in her limbs than she was on the first day. The lower-level hallways of the base are even colder than the upper-levels, but they're also less crowded, so she tends to stay in them anyway.

She hears Bodhi call her name from behind her, and as she turns around to face him he throws his arms around her. "I've been looking for you," he says.

"Someone's feeling affectionate today," says Jyn. Her face is pressed into Bodhi's jacket, muffling her words.

"I know," he says, holding her tightly to his chest. "I'm cold. I was looking for you to leech away your body heat."

At first she's not sure if she should pull away or stay put. She isn't sure she's ready for this kind of physical affection, this easy camaraderie. But after a second's hesitation she relaxes, letting her need for warmth override her reluctance. She lets her head rest on his chest, and the warmth radiating off him is even more pleasant than she'd expected.

"Me too," she says. She slides her hands up his back, letting them rest in the warm space between his jumpsuit and his jacket. "This place is too cold for human life. I want to murder whatever scout suggested they build the new base here."

Her attempt to drain Bodhi of every last bit of his body heat is interrupted by an unfamiliar voice. "Sergeant Erso?" asks a rebel she doesn't think she's ever seen before.

It's always a small shock how much things have changed in such little time. Having a rank is strange enough, but having strangers know her real name is worse. It still sends a ripple of panic through her. It's no longer her first instinct to deny it, to cling to the lie that she is really someone else, but she still wishes she weren't so well known around the base.

"Yes, that's me," she says.

"Your dad is looking for you," he says, and that's disquieting too. Everyone on the base knows who she is, and they also know who her father is.

It feels raw, being so exposed after years of careful hiding.

"Thanks," she says. "I can find him."

There's a small hitch to her voice she doesn't quite manage to hide, and she would have preferred it to go unnoticed, but when she turns back to Bodhi he's looking down at her with concern.

"Are you okay?" he asks.

"I'm fine," she says. It's an old, familiar lie and it comes to her lips easily.

Bodhi looks unconvinced, but he's not the type to call her out on it. That's one of the things she likes about him.

"Okay," he says, letting it go. "Tell Galen I said hi."

/

She finds her father where he always is these days, in the small workshop off to the side of the hangar bay. There are others in the room, but they're minding their own business. The rebellion's outdated equipment always needs more repairs than there are people who know how to perform them, and so Galen has plenty of work.

"Some guy in the hall said you were looking for me?"

"Yes," says Galen, pulling her into a tight hug. Somewhat sheepishly, he adds, "I hope you weren't in the middle of anything important. It's just that I hadn't seen you yet today."

He had actually already seen her twice today, once at breakfast and then again about an hour later when she'd dropped of some spare parts Cassian had given her, but she doesn't mind. He always seems nervous any time she's out of his sight for too long, as if she'll disappear again if he looks away.

Jyn's an adult, and she should find the attention stifling, but there's a part of her that's far too happy to be missed for once.

"It's fine," she says. "I wasn't busy. I was just talking to Bodhi."

Galen smiles at the mention of his friend. "How is he?"

"He's fine, he said hi. He's cold, but who here isn't cold?"

"It's not that bad," says Galen. He never seems affected by the frigid Hoth climate, which is why she never bothers complaining to him about it. It's unsatisfying venting to someone who doesn't understand the problem. She edges in a little closer to him, because if he's going to act unbothered by the temperature he can at least warm her up.

"You like Bodhi, don't you?" he asks.

She looks up at her father, considering for a moment what exactly he means by the question, and decides that he doesn't mean anything other than what he asked. "Yes," she says. "He's a good friend to have."

Galen nods and pats her on the shoulder. "I always thought you'd get along," he says. "I just never thought I'd get the chance to see it."

/

She doesn't exactly mean to end up with Bodhi. But she somehow stills finds herself tangled up in the sheets of his bed, their clothes still mostly on but only because it's far too cold to even consider stripping full naked.

She knows full well that things are moving too fast, especially after years of deliberately closing herself off, but she likes it too much to stop. She likes the feeling of him inside her, of being in his arms. She maybe even loves him a little, even though it's way too soon to even be thinking that kind of thing.

She likes the idea of being in love, even if she's also a little afraid of it.

So she ignores the little voice in the back of her head telling her that all she's doing is setting herself for a fall. That this relationship will fall apart, just like every other relationship in her life has. Instead, she lets herself enjoy it. And it's glorious, having Bodhi slide up against her, his hands in her hair, holding her tightly even as she digs her fingers into his back. She'd stay like this forever if she could.

She's happy right until it's over, and that's when the doubt starts seeping in again, right along with the cold.

"You could stay here for a while," says Bodhi, sprawled out on the bed. He pats the empty space next to him. "Nobody will be back for hours."

"I can't," says Jyn, straightening out her clothes. "I've got a lot of things I promised to get done today."

He doesn't call her out on it, and she leaves, sure that she's made a mistake but not entirely sure when. When she fell into bed with Bodhi? Or when she left instead of staying?

Maybe it was when she came to Hoth with the others. Maybe she's built to be alone.

/

Jyn leans against her father, the movement of his arm jostling her lightly as he screws a bolt into place. He'd agreed to help Cassian put together a new chassis for K-2 after the old one had been thoroughly trashed on Scarif, and it looks to her as if he is making good progress.

They are alone in the workroom, and that kind of privacy is rare on Hoth. The base isn't really big enough for all the people crammed into it, and on top of that people tended to stick together for warmth. She waits in an easy silence for a while, watching her father work, until she decides to ask the question on her mind.

"How long did it take you to know you were in love with mama?" she asks, and Galen's hands go still.

He takes too long to respond and she pulls away from him. "I'm sorry," she says. "I didn't mean-"

"No," says Galen, wrapping his arm around her and pulling her back to her earlier position. "No, it's fine."

He goes silent again, and this time Jyn waits him out.

"A few weeks, I suppose. We got married six months after we met, and people said that was too fast, but at the time it felt like an eternity."

Jyn knew they'd gotten married pretty quickly but she hadn't realized it had been that fast. "Did you ever think it was strange how fast it happened?"  

He takes a while to answer, and it makes her feel better for some reason.  It feels like he's taking her questions seriously. "Yes and no," he says. "I'm probably not the best person to ask these sort of things, because I never really understood how it worked for other people. It did feel strange, but not in an unpleasant way.  I mostly remember being stunned at how quickly my whole life could change."  
 
Jyn nods. She knows just how that feels.

/

The second time she sleeps with Bodhi it happens a little slower, a little more deliberately. Afterwards, when they're getting dressed again, she stops Bodhi from pulling his hair back.

"Let me do it for you," she says, and he looks surprised. In a nice way, though, and he sighs as she runs her hands through his hair, taking more time than she really needs to gather the long, darks strands together.   

"You seem happy," he says, and she nods, even though his back is to her and he can't see her.  "After the last time, I wasn't sure."

Well, he was bound to call her out eventually. "I was happy," she says, smoothing down his already smooth hair.  "I was maybe a little afraid of being happy, I guess."  

He leans back, so that he's looking up at her.  "I get it," he says.  "I'm glad you stayed this time, though." 
 
She smiles. She's been smiling so much recently it's starting to make her face hurt.  "Me too," she says.  

/

"I think I'm in love with Bodhi," she says. The room is quiet, empty except for the two of them, and she may as well admit it now because who knows the next time they'll have any privacy.

Galen looks at her, and she can't read his expression. She thinks he's pleased but she's not entirely sure. "Really?" he says, softly.

"Yes," she says. A sudden urge to lie, to take it back, rises up in her, but she swallows it down. It's nothing real. "I mean, I know I'm in love with him."

Galen takes her hand. "Bodhi's a good man," he says, and now Jyn knows that he is pleased. "He's kind."

Bodhi's got other good qualities, too, but maybe kindness is the most important thing. "Yes," says Jyn. "Yes, he is."

"Have you told him you love him yet?" asks Galen.

Heat rises up in her face. "Not yet, no." For some reason it's easier talking about it with someone else. It's hard to imagine actually saying it to Bodhi, even if it is true.

"That's fine. You should take your time," says Galen. "But don't wait too long. Life goes by faster than you think it will, and you shouldn't have to wait to be happy."

Jyn nods. "I'm not waiting," she says. "I'm happy right now."