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I.

Cassian Andor did not have separation anxiety.

But as he watched Jyn pack up what little possessions she had, a cold fist of dread squeezed his throat tight, cutting off the air to his lungs, and he tried to fight down the surge of panic cresting in his chest.

Jyn cast a glance at him where he still lingered by the door despite her offer for him to sit, give his bad leg a rest.

“Cassian,” she said, softly.

She knew, he could tell. She read his thoughts more accurately than anyone he had ever met, no matter how neutral he kept his expression, despite the practiced calm stance of his body language. She knew what he was thinking. She knew he didn’t like this.

“It’s only for a few months,” Cassian replied, forcing his tone lighter than he felt. He shifted his weight onto his good leg, making his way—awkward and rigid—towards the chair on the opposite wall. He gritted his teeth, rubbing his aching thigh as he settled into the chair, fingers clutched tight to his cane.

“Exactly,” Jyn said, though there was cautiousness in her voice. She didn’t believe his act, the façade he was putting up. Was he doing it for her benefit or his? Either way, it wasn’t working. “You’ll hardly even notice I’m gone,” she added.

That got Cassian’s composure to crack. He bowed his head with the short huff of a laugh breathed quietly enough that anyone else would have missed it. Except Jyn.

Jyn crossed the room to stand in front of him. She placed her hand on top of his head, smoothing down his hair. He leaned forward, his forehead resting on her stomach as he slid an arm around her waist.

“I’ll notice,” he muttered against the fabric of her shirt. “Believe me, I’ll notice that you’re not here.”

Jyn framed his face with her hands, tilting his head up until he looked at her.

“Are you okay?” she whispered, searching his eyes.

Cassian snorted and turned his head to kiss the inside of her wrist. “Disappointed in myself more than anything. I don’t like being left behind.”

He glanced down at his leg stretched out stiff in front of him. He still couldn’t walk properly without a cane for balance.

That was the whole problem. Jyn had been given an off-world assignment for six months—six months—and he couldn’t go with her. He wasn’t fully healed and likely never would be. He needed his body to work, to keep up with Jyn. But his body wasn’t cooperating. It had effectively given out on him, unreliable and broken.

“If I could take you with me,” Jyn said, “I would do it in a heartbeat, you know that.”

Cassian pressed his lips shut. He hated himself for it but he couldn’t ignore the squirm of doubt in his stomach.

After Scarif, while Cassian lay in the intensive care ward week after week, Jyn would sneak into his room every night, tuck herself so carefully into the bed beside him and he would lace his fingers with her. Once he was out of the ward and sleeping in his own quarters, he left the door unlocked for her and she slipped in, silent as a shadow. They were rarely apart for any length of time, gravitating towards each other, fingers linked together, in constant contact.

There were the occasional assignments where Jyn was sent off and Cassian stayed on base. But that was different. She was only gone for a few hours, a week at most. Not six months.

At the time, Cassian had comforted himself with the excuse that he was healing, that eventually he would be back on his feet in no time, right by her side when she inevitably ran head long into trouble.

That excuse had gradually diminished lately until it was non-existent and Cassian was left to face the fact that he probably wouldn’t regain his old position in the field again, whether his wounded pride accepted it or not.

Six months was a long time. Six months on a planet riddled with conflict. Jyn would be in the line of fire. Without him. Without any of her team she had become so familiar with. She was heading into brand new territory, and while Cassian didn’t have any trouble believing she could handle herself, there was something else nagging at him, insistent.

Would she keep moving like she always had before?

Nearly two years ago, Jyn had been in a position frighteningly similar to this one. Lost in the vast expanse of the galaxy. No ties to hold her down. Jyn was good—too good—at disappearing, taking on a different name, a fake identity, a new shell to protect herself against discarded memories of her past.

Once Jyn stepped on that ship waiting for her in the docking bay, waiting to take her away from him for six months to a new Rebel outpost…would Cassian become yet another part of Jyn’s past that she did her best to forget?

Cassian refused to say those words out loud, certainly not to Jyn. And if she was thinking the same thing?

Well. He didn’t want to know.

Jyn frowned slightly as she studied him, her thumbs smoothing over his cheekbones. Then she tore herself away, turned to fetch her pack. Cassian swayed forward into the empty space where she had been before, his hand just short of reaching for her to hold her in place, to keep her here with him.

Jyn hoisted her pack over her shoulder and tipped her head towards the door.

“Walk me to the hangar?” she said.

Cassian pushed himself to his feet. No matter how much his leg bothered him, no matter how tired he was from the effort it took to stay upright, he wouldn’t sit here in Jyn’s room with only the echo of her for company.

As Jyn and Cassian headed down the hallway, she didn’t help him or offer assistance despite his slow pace and the clench of his jaw against the pain of movement. She had learned a long time ago that he needed whatever scraps of independence he could salvage with his ruined body.

Jyn’s shoulder brushed against his, purposefully light. She didn’t look at him. He didn’t look at her. Cassian’s hand skimmed the back of hers, knuckles slotted together. Jyn curled her little finger around his. She was holding onto him just as much as he was holding on to her.

There would be no goodbye kiss once they reached the bay. Jyn didn’t like them.

“It feels…final,” she had said once. “Permanent.”

And then there was the fact that they hadn’t actually told anyone. It felt strange to publicize their affection for each other when it had always been tucked into stolen moments, barely spoken of between them with hushed whispers.

“Do they really need to know?” Cassian had said.

“They’ll figure it out eventually,” Jyn had said, chin resting atop her folded hands across his chest. His fingers had skated down her bare back in the dark, memorizing the rise and fall of her spine. “Chirrut probably already has. Baze, too.”

We’re not even sure what we are, Jyn. How can we tell other people?”

Although Cassian knew exactly what they were. His heart was gone. And Jyn knew, somewhere in the back of her mind, but she suppressed it, refused to face it and give it a name.

She had shrugged. “I think you’re just shy.”

He had hummed a sleepy, tired laugh at that. “Or maybe I prefer things the way they are. Right here.”

He had turned, stubble rasping against her hair, and when he kissed her temple, she nuzzled a little deeper into his arms with a pleasant noise of contentment.

So they kept this—whatever they didn’t call it—to themselves. Safe and unspoken.

Now, as Jyn and Cassian stepped into the docking bay, Cassian reluctantly released Jyn’s hand. Bodhi, K-2SO, Baze, and Chirrut were waiting at the ship to see her off. As much as it pained Cassian to put any amount of distance—even a few spare inches—between himself and Jyn when six months of untold miles would separate them soon, he couldn’t keep Jyn all to himself anymore.

A thin sheen of sweat slicked Cassian’s shoulder blades from the strain of walking to the bay but he didn’t let it show. Minutes were left with Jyn, closer to seconds now, counting down, dwindling too fast. He wouldn’t waste it by letting her see how weak he was.

Jyn hugged each of them in turn until she came to Cassian. He looked down at her, held his hand out, palm up. Jyn placed her hand in his with a crushing squeeze.

She hesitated a moment longer and Cassian could have sworn she tipped towards him on her toes. A flicker of doubt shadowed her eyes. Did he want her to break that one rule? If she kissed him good-bye, it would be final, permanent, and he would know right then that she wasn’t coming back. She would forget him, bury him in her past.

Jyn’s hand slid from his grasp. She climbed onto the ship and the door closed behind her.

Cassian stood in the docking bay long after Jyn’s ship had pulled out and disappeared among the stars.

 

II.

One week passed in silence. Then two weeks.

Cassian tried to hold out hope, despite how fruitless of an effort it felt. He knew from experience that communication in the middle of a war was spotty at best and dangerous. Any messages could be intercepted, stolen, destroyed, and sensitive information had to be handled with the utmost care.

But he didn’t want sensitive information. He wanted to hear that Jyn had arrived at her assigned planet safely. He wanted to hear that she was okay. He wanted to hear something. Anything.

Instead, there was nothing.

It was late when he dropped into bed at the end of the third week without Jyn. On her side of the bed, the indent of her body still lingered, a slight dip in the mattress and pillow. His hand smoothed over the empty space, the sheets cold.

A notification beeped from his datapad, resting on his nightstand.

Cassian closed his eyes and sighed. He couldn’t do field work but there were new, young recruits coming in nearly every day and Cassian had been appointed their official mentor and trainer. He didn’t mind the work—he appreciated being useful again, having something to do instead of spending endless days in bleak boredom—but it never ceased to amaze him how much trouble those young recruits could get into at all odd hours of the day and night.

Cassian picked up his datapad, tapped the red notification. An audio log popped onto the screen, blue bar stretched the width of his datapad. At the top it read: From Jyn.

His heart hiccupped. After all this time, there hadn’t been any word from her. He had kept an eye out for any news from the moon she was stationed on, monitored reports of fighting that came within a hair’s breadth of her, analyzed every missing or killed in action list that he could get his hands on, searching for her name and sagging with relief when it wasn’t there.

One month, sixteen days, seven hours, and twenty-two minutes of no communication.

He’d been counting. Meticulously.

Cassian tapped the log to play.

Jyn: [clears throat] It’s Jyn, reporting from Senali. Fair, warm weather. [Pause.] Sleeping arrangements are a shit hole and nothing like Yavin.

A smile broke across Cassian’s face, illuminated by the faint blue light from his datapad. Force, he missed her.

Jyn: Supplies are holding so far. Recruits are few and far between though. And um…yeah, I think that’s it.

Was that all? Cassian could hear her breathing, faint in the background. The message had been so painfully brief but he couldn’t complain. She was alive, unhurt, bored more than anything else judging by her tone. Not particularly generous with details, though she never was.

But she was still granting him a window into her life. She hadn’t left him behind.

Jyn: P.S.

Cassian waited.

Jyn: End log.

 

III.

When Jyn received Cassian’s log, she was waiting for her team. Even after being posted at Senali for over a month, she didn’t trust the five stony, indifferent faces who kept her at arm’s length.

Although it wasn’t like she was doing her best to make friends. But she wasn’t here to make friends. She was here as back up, extra man power. That’s all.

Jyn sighed and leaned against her pack as she sat on the ground. A warm, humid breeze picked up, cooling her sweat-drenched shirt against her skin. Days like this, when she closed her eyes, she could imagine she was back on Yavin IV and Cassian was only a short walk away instead of thousands—millions—of miles away on the other side of the galaxy.

Her datapad beeped somewhere in the depths of her pack. She glanced at the outpost but her team was still no where in sight. Running late. Again.

Jyn scrubbed the palms of her hands on the tops of her thighs, deliberating. She fished out her datapad, balanced it on her knees, just to check if there were any briefs she might have missed. For all she knew, her mission had been cancelled and she was the last one to know about it.

A message popped up.

From: Cassian

There were other notifications but nothing urgent and she quickly dismissed those. She stared at Cassian’s message, her thumb stroking the edge of the datapad.

When Jyn had sent that ridiculous audio log before, she hadn’t really expected an answer, although she wasn’t sure why. It was just a short note to say she was fine, to reassure him that she wasn’t hurt. He would worry, she knew that. The day she had left, Cassian had looked so tortured, so…frustrated to the point of silent seething. Being sidelined was getting to him more and more with every assignment Jyn received and Cassian didn’t.

Maybe Jyn hadn’t expected an answer because she was used to being brushed aside or forgotten, out of sight out of mind. But Cassian had stayed. And he showed no inclination of going anywhere any time soon. Despite the countless times Cassian had proven otherwise, Jyn still couldn’t shake the feeling that he might get tired of her, decide she wasn’t worth the effort after all.

What did she think Cassian could possibly say to her brief, impersonal log? What did she want him to say?

Jyn blew out a breath and passed a hand over her face. “I don’t know.”

The outpost shifted and hummed around her, pilots and soldiers, mechanics and droids, but it was an island of stillness where Jyn sat with the promise of Cassian’s unopened message waiting for her.

Any second now, her team would be along and she would be swept off to pick up supplies, ammunition, and map the surrounding landscape for possible scout hideouts. She might not get another private moment like this for…days. Weeks even.

Before Jyn could lose her nerve, her thumb drifted across the datapad’s screen.

Cassian: Hey, hi, Jyn. It’s Cassian—I mean, of course it is. You knew that. [Mutters] Kriffing shit. [Coughs] I got your log. Glad to hear you’ve settled in all right.

There. Jyn leaned towards the datapad as if she could draw out the beautiful sound she ached for. The faintest smile lifted Cassian’s words. She clung to that sound, gripped it like a lifeline.

Jyn drew the datapad a little closer, practically hugging it to her chest at the welcome familiarity of Cassian’s voice.

Cassian: Bodhi has been asking about you every day since you left. He’s doing better lately. Can’t hear a damn thing out of his right ear though. The damage seems to be permanent at this point. But he can walk on his own which is more than anyone can say for me. He’s still a little…you know…lost. [Pause. Sigh.] I wish I could do more for him.

Jyn held perfectly still. She had never heard Cassian talk so much at once and certainly not about things like this. He kept it compartmentalized, stowed away, shoved it down and smothered it, the same way she did.

But he was showing it to her now. Trusting her with a glimpse into the thoughts he didn’t share with anyone else.

Cassian: Anyway. [Rustling.] I’m finally useful again. Mentoring new cadets. Don’t laugh.

A smile blossomed across Jyn’s face and she bit the inside of her cheek.

Cassian: They’re not much older than you or me but, hell, Jyn, were we ever that young? I can’t remember.

Jyn covered her mouth with one hand to stifle the noise of sheer delight at the thought of Cassian suffering through a barrage of starry-eyed pilots, hanging on his every word. It wasn’t the field work he was used to but he needed it, to get him moving again, to get his mind off of his dysfunctional body.

Cassian: I’m walking more these days too. And for longer distances. Might even be running by the time you get back.

Jyn’s eyes flew open.

By the time you get back…

He said it so casually, smoothly, no tell-tale hitch in his voice to give away the lie. He really believed it this time, unlike when she had left Yavin IV.

A small part of Jyn had harbored that itch that developed out of old habit. Wanderlust. Restlessness. Things might be good now, between her and Cassian—whatever “good” might mean—but eventually things would go sour. They always did. And she knew better than to stay in one place for too long.

Then again, if she truly wanted to run, she wouldn’t have sent Cassian a log just to say hello. And she certainly wouldn’t have opened his response. That was considered “looking back,” a fatal move for someone who was supposed to keep moving forward.

Cassian: I should probably get going. Look, thank you again for the log. You—well, you’re busy, I get that. And I realize you didn’t have to do it. Not that I didn’t want your message. Because I did. I just—kriff. Force, Jyn, what I’m trying to say is—that I’m—

He broke off, mumbling incoherently under his breath.

Cassian: What I meant was that it’s good to hear from you.

There was still ten seconds left on the log. Ten interminable, long, seconds. Jyn could tell Cassian wasn’t finished. Merely thinking, piecing his words together, choosing carefully.

Cassian: P.S.

Jyn waited.

Cassian: Be careful out there.

 

IV.

Sometimes weeks would pass between Jyn’s logs. Cassian always responded right away as soon as he received her message. It wasn’t the same for her. She was on-call at any hour of the day and he knew he couldn’t hold her lack of messages against her when she probably didn’t have the time for things like proper sleep and rest, let alone recording logs for him.

Regardless, Cassian couldn’t stop checking his datapad. And if more than two weeks passed without hearing anything from Jyn, he would check the casualties list over and over, searching for Jyn’s name.

He felt as if he was standing on the edge of a chasm, a black gaping void and Jyn was out there somewhere, floating, but he couldn’t get to her, couldn’t see her. All he had was the knowledge that she was alive and he had to be content with the little comfort that realization carried with it.

Then, at dinner with his food untouched, Cassian’s datapad beeped. He scrambled to pick it up and relief flooded through him when a log from Jyn appeared.

Jyn: Played hooky today. Used a little elbow grease and shamelessly pulled strings to get what I wanted. I have watch for the next two days on what we use for a landing strip around here. It’s a completely empty beach.

The hiss and rush of waves whispered in the background.

Jyn: I have to admit, it’s much better than the last beach you took me to, Cassian.

And the way she laughed, oh. Cassian knew he would be listening to those few precious seconds over and over, committing that sound to memory.

Jyn: Usually, someplace like this makes me antsy. Gotta do something. Too quiet. Too lonely. But it’s not like that now. It’s…yeah, I like it. The water is so clear and pure. The sand is soft. Shoes…are…[grunts] coming off. That’s better. Stars, yes, that’s really nice. Hope I’m making you jealous.

Cassian smiled. She could badger him all she wanted to. He would never get tired of it.

Jyn: Oh, there’s a breeze. [Deep breath] Smells like fruits and flowers, coming from the trees behind me. The suns will probably roast me to a crisp pretty quickly though. I suppose you think that’s some form of payback. I don’t care. And if you can spare any sunburn treatment you have over there, it would be greatly appreciated it. Don’t even think about holding out on me in my time of dire need. That’s mean.

Silence settled as Jyn left the log running for Cassian to listen to the beach. There were no engines roaring in the distance, no orders shouted at the last minute, no chaos of war. It was quiet and calm.

Safe.

Jyn: So, I just…I wanted to say that you don’t have to worry about me, Cassian. I know you do. But I’m okay. I am. I’m…I’m good. I promise.

Jyn: P.S.

Jyn: I hope you are, too.

 

V.

Three months down. Three more to go and Jyn would be home again. It felt as if a lifetime had passed already and there was still a lifetime left to go.

Cassian sat in his quarters, refusing to go to sleep despite nearing midnight. The recruits had left him exhausted, his body sore from assessing crisis after crisis, and more than one case of homesickness.

But Jyn hadn’t sent her log yet. She didn’t miss a single day now. And it felt wrong if Cassian allowed himself to drift off without hearing from her, as if his day wasn’t complete without the sound of her voice. Just a few words. Something to let him know she was all right. That’s all he needed.

Cassian’s datapad pinged. He picked it up from where it lay on the bed beside him. There was Jyn’s log, waiting for him.

He opened it.

Jyn: Cassian.

Cassian’s blood rushed blazing hot at the keening breathlessness of Jyn’s voice. He knew that tone by heart, knew exactly what she looked like when she sounded that way, too. An image came to his mind, clear and bold.

Jyn in his bed—their bed—hair splayed across the pillow, fingers twisted into the sheets, a pretty pink flush blossoming up her arched neck.

Jyn: Fuck, Cassian, I need you inside me damn it.

Oh. Oh.

All at once, Cassian shut off the datapad, tossed it to the foot of his bed and stood. The sudden movement nearly sent him off balance and he braced a hand against the wall to steady himself.

But Jyn’s voice was in his head already.

Cassian.

Desperate. Not pleading. Jyn never begged or pleaded. That was the sound of someone very close to an orgasm, trembling at the edge, waiting to break if you just kissed right here, touched there.

Cassian ran his hands through his hair but ended up holding his head instead. It wasn’t like sex hadn’t happened between them before. It just wasn’t very often. Most of the time, simply walking around base would wear him out. When Jyn climbed into his bed every night and he threaded his fingers with hers, he was asleep in seconds.

It was different, hearing Jyn like that without actually seeing her. It was different, hearing Jyn like that because it was completely unexpected.

Her first message, months ago, was so brief and impersonal, and now she was…sending that.

Cassian attempted to pace the short width of his quarters to cool himself off, get his blood racing to other parts of his body instead of just south. He stopped beside the door, pressed his forehead to the chilled durasteel of the wall.

Fuck, Cassian, I need you inside me damn it.

Cassian blew out a breath, scrubbed his hand over his face. “Kriffing shit.”

He glanced at the datapad resting on his bed, the echo of Jyn’s voice replaying in his mind over and over. Slowly, he crossed the room, rested the very tips of his fingers against the screen. Cool to the touch, despite the way his blood burned beneath his skin.

Why was he acting like this?

After three months apart, Cassian had closed his eyes countless times at night, imagining the feel of Jyn beneath his hands, her fingers buried in his hair with a firm tug to guide his mouth where she wanted—needed—him to be. He had wrapped his fingers around his cock in the ‘fresher more than once, pretending it was her hand working up and down his shaft, teasing him, denying him ruthlessly until he trembled at the mere ghost of her breath across his sensitive skin.

That log was nothing new.

Cassian eased himself down on the edge of the bed. Settled the datapad across his knee. Stared at it, his heart pounding hard against his sternum as he silently cursed the millions of miles between them.

He wished, not for the first time, that he could see Jyn’s face. But holovids could get scrambled if they were sent over longer distances and he certainly didn’t want a holovid to glitch out on him now.

An audio log. Nothing but her voice, her breath, her gasp in the dark. No holo image to watch the way Jyn shivered so perfectly when she reached her climax.

He wasn’t complaining though. There was something intimate about the audio logs that he had come to embrace. At first, it frustrated him to be unable to see Jyn’s face and the cues picked up from her expression—or lack thereof.

But at night, when the lights had been turned off, sheets pooled around Cassian warm and soft, he could almost pretend she was here with him, her voice tucked close to her empty pillow where she used to lay.  

Cassian turned on the datapad. The log was where he had left off, thirteen seconds into the message.

He moved the little blue bar back to the beginning, pressed play. And he listened. To every single second of it.

Jyn: Cassian.

Jyn: Fuck, Cassian, I need you inside me damn it.

Cassian could hear the slick sounds of her fingers as she worked herself higher and higher. His mouth went dry, wishing he could be the one to render her a flushed, babbling mess with his tongue and his hands.

Jyn: So kriffing frustrated that you’re not—shit—that you’re not here.

She stopped and the rustle of fabric drowned a long, drawn out growl of tightly wound tension. Probably burying her face in her pillow to muffle herself.

Or shedding the restriction of clothing.

Cassian muffled his own growl at that thought.

Jyn: I miss having your mouth on me. Everywhere. You’re so good with your mouth, Cassian. I never say that, I know—Force, this is taking too long.

Jyn wasn’t patient with her body, not the way Cassian was. She always wanted to hurry up, get it over with, move on.

When Jyn got like this, annoyed and impatient, Cassian would take his time. Trace his fingertips up her sides, tripping along the swells and dips of her ribs. Cradle her hips so lightly before skimming his hands over the tops of her thighs and behind her knees, guiding her legs over his shoulders. And no matter how many times she told him, through gritted teeth, Cassian just do it and stop teasing me, he would continue to kiss and nip along the inside of her thighs minute after minute until finally, finally closing his mouth over her clit with a low, pleased hum.

But he couldn’t do that now. And he wouldn’t be able to do a damn thing for another three long, torturous months.

Jyn: You’re probably thinking I should slow down. Of course you would tell me that. You hate it when I rush things. But the last thing I want right now is slow.

Cassian huffed a laugh. “You never do.”

More sweep and rustle of fabric. The slick sounds of her fingers had stopped and Cassian did his best to quell a noise of disappointment at that realization. Was she really going to abandon him now after making him listen to her like that?

Jyn: What I want is to strip you down until there are no more barriers—no miles, no galaxies, no fucking clothing, nothing—because this long-distance bullshit is getting really old really fast. I want to kiss that spot on your neck—you know exactly what I’m talking about—where your eyes flutter and you moan my name so sinful and filthy. That’s what would get me wet in a heartbeat.

She paused. Cassian hunched over his datapad. Waiting. Not breathing. He was pretty sure he would never breathe again.

Jyn: I want to run my tongue along that vein on the left side of your cock, feel you surge in my hand. You always get so flushed when I do that and then you bite your lip—stars, Cassian, I know you’re fully aware of what that does to me.

For a long time, Cassian had no idea what kind of effect it had on Jyn. Until he caught her watching his mouth one day. Her gaze had flicked up to meet his gaze, her lips slightly parted, her pupils blown wide with desire.

He’d tried to say something, ask if she was all right, if something was bothering her. But he never got the words out.

Jyn had taken his face in her hands and kissed him, hard, all teeth at first. Then his hand came to rest against the small of her back and she softened—melted, sighing into his mouth when she nipped at his bottom lip.

Now Jyn’s voice dropped an octave lower to a husky tone, as if she had shifted towards the datapad, as close as she could get to whispering in his ear.

Jyn: I want to suck you off so hard that you’re shaking. I want to pin your hands to the pillow as I straddle you and you’re squirming beneath him. I love it when you squirm, Cassian. I can feel every shift of you beneath me, feel your heartrate climbing sky high.

Cassian braced his hands on either side of the bed. His pants had grown unbearably, painfully tight within the past few minutes. He was entirely at Jyn’s mercy whether she was here with him or millions of miles away.

Jyn: And when I sank down onto your poor, throbbing, aching cock at last, you’d grit your teeth, the tendons in your neck straining to maintain control. That’s the only time I intend to go slow, Cassian. Very, very slow.

Jyn: P.S.

And Cassian could hear the grin in her voice.

Jyn: Thinking of you.

 

VI.

No answer.

At the time, Jyn hadn’t hesitated to send her log.

But as the days passed without a response from Cassian, her doubts began to grow by leaps and bounds. Had she crossed a line somewhere? It was obvious the separation was getting to both of them. And it wasn’t like she never said things of that nature to him before.

Then why was he being so quiet?

When it came to Cassian’s responses, he was punctual down to the minute. Jyn knew the exact time of day his log would arrive.

Five days had passed with nothing.

Unless…something had happened.

Jyn rolled over, buried her face in her pillow as if she could shut out that highly unpleasant, worrisome thought.

Once the thought had been introduced though, it wouldn’t leave her alone all night and she didn’t get a wink of sleep. She was out of bed, dressed, and checking reports of Yavin IV before the sun was up.

Then Jyn’s datapad beeped a notification, right at the same time Cassian usually sent a message over breakfast to start her day. She scrambled to pick it up.

From: Cassian

Jyn bowed her head, releasing a trembling exhale. She didn’t even realize she was shaking slightly until her hand came to rest against the datapad’s screen, as if she could touch Cassian’s face through the datapad, through the millions of miles.

Jyn folded the datapad to her chest and slipped off to a more private portion of the base. Whatever Cassian’s messages contained, she had taken to listening to them alone rather than in public. She wanted his voice for herself only, not for anyone else within hearing range.

After settling into a storage closet, Jyn sat on the ground cross-legged, the datapad resting in her lap, and she pressed play.

Bodhi: [whispered] What do you want me to do again?

Cassian: Say hello. It’s for Jyn.

Bodhi: Why don’t you send a holo instead? Then she could see us.

Cassian: I know. But this is…it’s different. Just say something.

Bodhi: Fine. Uhm. [Pause.]

Cassian: Bodhi.

Bodhi: I’m thinking.

Cassian: It’s recording, Bo.

Bodhi: Now!?

Cassian: Yes.

Bodhi: Oh. [louder] Hi Jyn! It’s boring around here without you.

Cassian: Hey.

Bodhi: What? It’s the truth.

Cassian: [Sighs]

Bodhi: Cassian and I have been working out some bugs in Kay’s new programming. He doesn’t glitch as much anymore but, uh…he swears. Like all the time. I think it’s an improvement. Chirrut can’t stop laughing about it. Cassian is not pleased. But I keep telling him that you’ll get a kick out of it.

Cassian: I’m right here you know.

Bodhi: Yep.

Cassian: Is that all? Do you want to say anything else?

Bodhi: [hums] Can’t wait for you to come home, Jyn, and stay safe out there.

A pause settled over the log, punctuated by footsteps, the low drone of the base in the background.

Baze: No. I’ll see her when she gets back.

A muffled thwack.

Chirrut: Yesterday, you were pining for our little sister’s company. Say it again.

Baze: I told you that in confidence.

Cassian: Jyn would really like to hear something from you, Baze. I’m sure she would.

Baze: [grumbles]

Chirrut: Go on.

Baze: Hit me again and you can stumble around here without that staff.

Chirrut: Your threats do not frighten me.

Cassian: Baze. Chirrut. It’s recording.

Baze: [mutters] Kriffing…[clears throat] Little sister, we hope to see you soon. Chirrut is insufferable and Cassian is sullen without you.

Cassian: I am not sullen.

Chirrut: Cranky then.

Baze: Agreed. Sullen and cranky.

Cassian: Okay, I think that’s enough from either of you. I’m going now.

Chirrut: [shouts] May the Force be with you, Jyn!

More footsteps. The clatter and roar of the base grew louder, accompanied by the hoarse scream of the wind rushing through leaves.

Cassian: Kay, be nice. Try not to swear. It’s Jyn.

K-2SO: I still don’t understand the fucking need for this fucking thing, Cassian. It’s blasted ridiculous.

Cassian: What did I just say?

K-2SO: You’ll have to take it up with my goddamn programmers.

Cassian: [mumbles]…can’t believe…thought this would go smoother if I kept it short…nightmare. [Firmly] Bodhi and I are working on it, Kay. For now, pretend to be polite. For me.

K-2SO: Happy fucking birthday, Jyn. There. Is that better, Captain?

Cassian: Good enough.

Footsteps. The hiss and swish of a door opening and closing. The crinkling of clothes and the thud of discarded boots on the floor.

Cassian: [sighs] Don’t frown at me like that, Jyn. I’m not abusing my authority to check your file just to find out when your birthday is. It’s called gathering information. Also, there should be a care package coming your way soon. It’s…well, it’s not much. But there’s sunscreen. And a hat Bodhi made for some shade on that beach.

Jyn was smiling so big, she didn’t even care that Cassian hadn’t mentioned her previous log. She wondered, of course, how he had responded to it. But listening to the voices she hadn’t heard in months—familiar and comforting—she couldn’t ask for more.

Cassian: It’s just you and me now, Jyn. I’m not—not nervous exactly. But it’s…strange. I’ll never know how the kriff you managed your last log, but…this…this is for you.

Another pause. Longer this time. Too long. Jyn was torn between dragging that blue bar forward to jump the silence or wait Cassian out. She didn’t want to miss a single second.

Then she heard it.

The low, deep growl Cassian made when he was growing hard. She craved that sound like water in thousands of miles of endless desert.

Cassian: I…want…

He started haltingly through his uneven breathing.

Cassian: Shit, Jyn. Three months and I need to taste you. I need to curl my fingers inside you until you’re—

He broke off and the frustrated moan he made was indistinct, stifled by…something. His voice was close to the datapad, audible between the sweep of sheets—not clothing. Clothing was heavier. Sheets were lighter, airy and thin.

Cassian: I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought about you—your knees locked around my head, your hips at just the right angle to give me—Force—a perfect view of your gorgeous cunt. Jyn—Jyn, fuck, I could kiss you there all day.

He took in a shuddering breath and released it. Faintly, barely there, were the sounds of his hand sliding up and down his cock, the shivery gasp he made as he grew closer and closer to orgasm. It wasn’t taking him much time at all and Jyn made a mental note that he wouldn’t last long when she got back.

Cassian: You’re so far away, Jyn, but kriffing shit…just thinking about you and your last—last—log, I came—so hard. You aren’t even here and that’s how badly I need you right—

Cassian swore again but this time it wasn’t in English. He had fallen into spouting gibberish—a mixture of half a dozen languages and Jyn couldn’t decipher any of them.

This was the part she loved more anything else. When Cassian was no longer aware, no longer holding back. He just talked endless nonsense but the reverence in his voice, the adoration she saw in his eyes—what she was deprived of now—was enough to convey the meaning from the words she couldn’t understand.

His voice faded into one depraved moan and Jyn knew Cassian had spilled over his hand. He continued to work himself through with slow, wet noises, gradually tapering off into a satisfied sigh.

Cassian: P.S.

Cassian: I…

Jyn waited, white knuckling her datapad. Say it, she prompted. Say what I can’t. Say what I should have told you before.

Cassian: End log.

 

VII.

Home.

Jyn never thought six months could drag by so horrifically slowly.

But Yavin IV’s landing pad was finally in sight, with a handful of small figures scattered across the surface, milling around in the golden light emanating from the docking bay’s entrance. It must be after midnight by now and Jyn knew she shouldn’t hold out hope that any of the figures below might be recognizable, familiar. If no one was there to greet her, it would sting more than she cared to admit. Six months away and she might have been forgotten…

And yet she found herself searching anyway. Hoping.

Yes. There.

To the right of the landing pad was Chirrut with his staff and Baze by his side. K-2SO towering above them, a curve of light illuminating his smooth round head. Bodhi standing a little crooked, a little hunched over, but standing nonetheless.

And…

Cassian.

Jyn pressed her palm flat to the window, her gaze settled solely on him. As the ship flew closer, details became sharper, clearer—the rough dark brown leather of Cassian’s jacket, the way his hair swept off of his forehead from the gusts of the ship’s thrusters. His shoulder still dipped slightly towards his bad leg, but there was no cane, no assistance of any kind in sight.

The ship hovered a few feet off of the landing pad but Jyn had waited long enough and she wasn’t about to wait a second more. She yanked the door open, jumped down, and as soon as her boots hit the tarmac, she was on the move.

Baze was the first to reach Jyn in only a few strides, enveloping her in a hug so crushingly tight that her toes came off the ground.

Bodhi was next and Jyn wrapped her arms around his middle as he kissed the top of her head.

“It’s so good to see you again, Jyn,” he said.

Jyn drew back to look up at him, studying his face. Before she left, his hair had been shaved off to a bristly stubble, his face thin and drawn, his cheekbones too prominent. Now his hair was nearly to his shoulders again, and he had put on enough weight that his coveralls weren’t hanging slack on him like they used to.

A smile burst across Bodhi’s face as he thumbed at her chin—the first, real genuine smile Jyn had seen on him since Scarif.

“Cassian told us you had your own beach over there on Senali,” he said. “I didn’t believe him. But you’re definitely sunburned.”

“You look like hell,” K-2SO said as he approached.

“Missed you, too, Kay,” Jyn said, amused.

Chirrut forged a path between Bodhi and Kay, nudging them aside with his staff.

“Jyn Erso,” he declared, spreading his arms wide. “Returned to us at last.”

He cupped her face in his hands and touched his forehead to hers in greeting.

Jyn’s gaze flicked past Chirrut’s shoulder to where Cassian remained at the edge of the landing pad, half cast in shadow. For days, weeks, months, she had fantasized about this moment, imagined what it would be like when she saw him again. A thousand scenarios had passed through her mind countless times but now that the moment had arrived, she wasn’t crossing the sparse few feet to get to him.

Chirrut stepped back and his hands came to rest on her shoulders. But Jyn wasn’t looking at him. She was looking at Cassian. She never wanted to look anywhere else for a long, long time.

“He hasn’t been cranky all day,” Chirrut said under his breath.

“Or sullen,” Baze put in. “Knowing you were coming home.”

Cassian was the one to step towards her, hand outstretched. Jyn’s heart stuttered. But he merely edged the strap of her pack off of her shoulder.

“I’ll take that for you,” he said softly.

Jyn swayed forward on her toes, aching to reach out and touch him. Then she rocked back on her heels, fighting herself to remain neutral, to not give them away.

“We should have a drink to celebrate,” Chirrut was saying and Jyn forced herself to concentrate.

“Jyn’s probably pretty tired,” Bodhi pointed out.

“As much as I would welcome a drink right now,” Jyn said, latching onto Bodhi’s interference on her behalf. “I’d appreciate a few hours of sleep first.”

“Then we will celebrate your return over breakfast tomorrow,” Baze said, hooking an arm around her shoulder. “And you can tell us everything that happened while you were away. Andor refused to share many details.”

For good reason, Jyn thought.

“It was a matter of security, Baze,” Cassian countered in a tone that signified they’d had this argument more than once. “Nothing personal.”

Baze grunted, unconvinced.

Jyn met Cassian’s gaze and tilted her head towards the docking bay.

“Walk me to my quarters?” she said.

After a few parting words with Baze, Chirrut, Bodhi, and K-2SO, Jyn and Cassian fell into step beside each other, carefully not touching.

Until they were around the corner, out of sight, the hallway barren. Cassian’s knuckles brushed the back of Jyn’s hand. She opened her palm to him and he interlaced his fingers with hers, just like he used to.

By the time they reached her quarters, the door had hardly closed behind them when Jyn slid her arms around Cassian’s shoulders, pulling him flush against her. Cassian released her pack, heedless of where it landed, and it thumped to the floor. He buried his face in the curve of her neck and shoulder, his arms locked around her waist. She cradled the back of his head in her hand, fingers smoothing through his hair, the fabric of his shirt bunched in her fist.

“Hi,” she whispered, a breath away from his mouth.

Cassian let out a feathery laugh, shuddering with disbelief. “You’re finally here,” he whispered back, tucking a lock of hair behind her ear, his thumb trailing along her jawline.

Jyn tightened her fingers in his hair with a tug, angling Cassian’s head back, exposing the length of his neck, pulse fluttering faster and faster beneath his paper-thin skin.

I want to kiss that spot on your neck—you know exactly what I’m talking about—where your eyes flutter and you moan my name so sinful and filthy.

Jyn nudged his earlobe with her nose then dipped her chin to the hollow beneath his ear with the lightest suggestion of a kiss. She grinned at Cassian’s sharp intake of breath, his fingernails biting into her hips.

Jyn flattened her tongue to that spot, closing her mouth over it, scraping with her teeth.

Jyn,” Cassian pleaded, going boneless against her so soon. He put out a hand, bracing himself against the door, pushing his hips against hers.

She smiled against his neck. During the past six months, she was well aware that a number of changes had developed during her absence and it would take a while to get used to them. But it seemed some things would always stay the same regardless of time and distance.

Cassian snaked his fingers beneath the hem of her shirt, palms coasting up her sides, curving around her waist.

“Is there something you want, Captain?” Jyn hummed, coy and teasing.

“You,” he said, hoarse and gravel-rough. “Just—just you.”

She nipped at his bottom lip and shoved his jacket off one shoulder, already growing impatient. Cassian shucked his jacket off, let it fall, forgotten, before he was tugging insistently on Jyn’s shirt, drawing it over her head.

Another barrier gone.

Jyn knew she must look terrible. Her face was cherry red from spending hours in the sun. Her hair was fuzzy and unkempt after months of battering ocean winds. Sometime during the past week, she’d lost her comb and hadn’t bothered to replace it.

All she cared about was getting home.

Cassian didn’t seem to mind what she looked like as he cradled her face so lightly, so carefully, and stared at her for a moment. Despite her best attempts to allay his fears, she still saw them there in his eyes, the worry dark and heavy.

Cassian lowered his mouth and brushed a butterfly soft kiss to her bare shoulder. He inhaled a deep breath and released it once his lips made contact. He peppered a line of kisses up her shoulder and to the curve of her neck one at a time. So slowly it was infuriating.

Jyn dug her fingers beneath his belt clasp and pulled.

“Taking too long,” she grumbled.

Cassian laughed into her mouth when he kissed her. But his laugh quickly broke off into a groan when Jyn pressed his lips open with her tongue, licked across the roof of his mouth.

Clothes suddenly seemed aggravating, chafing. Restrictive. And Jyn couldn’t stand them anymore. Her skin was thrumming with the need to feel Cassian’s skin slide against hers.

Jyn broke away and toed off her boots as she unhooked Cassian’s belt. She pointedly flicked her gaze up to meet Cassian’s eyes as she unzipped his fly and a thrill of triumph rippled through her at the sight of Cassian’s lips slightly parted in anticipation, the shift of his weight towards her.

Jyn knelt before him, peeling his fly open to either side to reveal the arch of his cock. She didn’t touch it, didn’t even allow her breath near it. Instead, she inched his pants down further to kiss the scar at his hip.

After Scarif, he’d had surgery to replace his shattered joint from the fall, replaced with a synthetic joint. Six months ago, he flinched when she merely touched it. Now he didn’t even blink.

Jyn pressed an open-mouthed kiss to his lower stomach and drew back with an audible pop. She’d intended to make him wait longer, to leave him an incoherent mess before she gave him the release he ached for. But to make him wait meant she had to wait and the only thing she wanted now was to watch him come apart.

She never took her gaze from him as she brought her mouth to the head of his cock and breathed. His cock twitched, growing thicker at the promise—and denial—of contact. Cassian gritted his teeth, his arm beginning to tremble.

“Jyn—kriffing shit,” Cassian muttered, head bowed, leaning on the door for support.

“Don’t you like going slow?” she said in a wry tone.

“Stars, not this time,” he replied without hesitation. “Just please—"

She didn’t let him finish.

I want to suck you off so hard that you’re shaking.

Jyn wrapped her fingers around his cock, closed her mouth over the head. She dragged her tongue underneath his shaft, took him as deep as she could and paused for a moment, holding him there, feeling him shudder. She pulled back, teeth scraping faintly to remind Cassian how much he missed being marked by her.

I want to run my tongue along that vein on the left side of your cock, feel you surge in my hand.

Jyn traced the length of that vein with her tongue—once—twice—but then Cassian angled his hips towards her, desperate for more, and she didn’t do it a third time. His cock was already stiff and red—nearly purple—too close, too soon.

Jyn rose to stand, taking the hem of Cassian’s shirt as she went, pulling it over his head. She nipped at his bottom lip as she stepped forward. Cassian wobbled slightly to catch his balance when he retreated. But he braced his hand at the small of her back, preventing even the most miniscule of distances from sneaking between them again.

“Clothes,” Jyn mumbled against his mouth between a kiss here, a playful bite there. “Off.”

By the time Cassian’s heels hit the bed, they were both bare. Everything that had separated them before was gone now and when Jyn linked her arms around Cassian’s neck, she could feel his heart pounding against her ribs, feel the broad width of his palms settle at her hips, feel every inch of his skin against hers, warm and real.

Cassian hooked his hands behind her knees and lifted her up in one smooth motion. For a split second, a flare of panic ignited in Jyn’s chest.

“Cassian, wait—”

She looped her legs around his waist, inclining her weight forward in the hopes that—should Cassian buckle and fall—at least the bed would cushion the impact.

He hadn’t been able to pick up anything heavier than ten pounds before—the pull in his side was too much, the strain of the movement putting stress on his abused ribs.

But Cassian didn’t show any signs of strain now. He was measured and controlled as one hand stroked up her spine, cupping the nape of her neck. He set her down so carefully against the pillows, mouthing at her collarbone.

Jyn threaded her fingers through his hair, attempting to stifle the icy pool of disappointment and old fears reviving themselves. He had healed without her—regained his strength while she wasn’t there.

What else had changed while she was gone? And was there still a place for her here?

But Cassian must have sensed her mind had wandered when her fingers didn’t tug his hair with command, telling him where to go as usual. He glanced up at her, his gaze searching her face.

“Jyn?” he said with an edge of concern.

He was already backing off, his hand falling from her waist to the mattress, propping himself up. Jyn grabbed his wrist, put his hand back to the slope of her breast, his thumb skimming the sensitive skin underneath. Despite her insistence, he didn’t go any further, didn’t take the hint as she’d hoped.

Cassian shifted forward on his elbow, brushing her hair back from her forehead, the length of his torso pressed to hers.

“What is it?” he said.

Jyn shook her head. “Nothing.”

She arched her hips up, trapping the hot thickness of his cock between them. Cassian hissed a breath and gently pushed her down to the mattress again.

“Jyn,” he said, softer this time with a kiss to the hollow of her throat. “What is it?”

Jyn sighed, putting as much annoyance into the sound as possible.

“I was…” She trailed off as quickly as she had begun.

She wasn’t a coward. But there were…things…she couldn’t bring herself to say, especially face to face. That’s why she chose the audio logs. No matter how hard she schooled her expression, if anyone looked close enough—or knew her inside out the way Cassian did—there would be little hints to betray her. The logs were just her voice and it had been…easier somehow. To open up and start talking without someone looking at her, studying her for what she wasn’t saying.

Cassian waited. He had always waited for her.

Jyn swallowed. How was she supposed to explain? She didn’t need to be needed. But Saw left her behind when she became obsolete, no longer useful. And she couldn’t help but dread it happening again.

“I wasn’t here,” she said. “Like I should have been. For you.”

Cassian frowned. “Yes, you were. You sent logs every day.”

She shrugged, feigning nonchalance she didn’t feel. “Not at first.”

Silence encompassed them like a bubble, a silence so strong that Jyn didn’t dare breathe for fear of what would be said when the bubble burst.

“You mean…” Cassian said cautiously. “You’re upset that I didn’t need you.”

Jyn bristled at how quickly he could read between the lines of what she couldn’t admit to herself. “I’m not upset.”

He didn’t waver at her retort. “You’ve never needed me either, Jyn.”

She blinked, startled at that response she wasn’t expecting.

“But—”

“But I want you.”

Jyn’s throat went dry and her comeback fizzled out, forgotten.

“I want you,” Cassian repeated. “Just like this.”

Cassian swirled his tongue around one nipple until it hardened. Then he pinched it between his teeth. Jyn arched off the bed, holding his head there with both hands.

“Kriff, Cassian,” she gasped.

He skimmed his palms down her stomach as he settled between her knees. He trailed his lips along the inside of her thigh with kisses barely more than a whisper, accompanied by the sandpaper scratch of his stubble. Higher and higher. But not fast enough.

Jyn curved her fingers around the back of his head to coax him forward. A noise was beginning in the back of her throat, somewhere between a whine of frustration and a growl of warning if he dared to make her wait after all this time.

But he didn’t. They’d waited long enough.

The slick heat of his mouth closed over Jyn’s clit, leagues better than she remembered. Cassian guided her legs over his shoulders and she anchored her feet against his back. His gaze flicked up to meet hers and he traced the full length of her with the tip of his tongue, ending with a wet, searing kiss.

I could kiss you there all day.

At any other time, Jyn would lay back against the pillows, close her eyes, and drown herself in the feel of Cassian’s mouth.

She kept her eyes wide open now, soaking up the sight of him, his fingers clasped over the top of her thighs to hold her in place. He stretched out on his stomach, the muscles of his back spread before her, a landscape of skin and shifting muscle, tapering down to the curve of his ass.

Without pausing the sweep and stroke of his tongue, Cassian slipped two fingers inside her and curled upward. Jyn finally let her head drop back to the pillow, gripping fistfuls of the sheets, panting hard. The pressure of his mouth, the prickly burn of his stubble scraping the softness of her thighs, and the relentlessly fast rhythm of his fingers at that one spot she couldn’t reach sent her over the edge, knees clamped tight around Cassian’s ears.

Cassian soothed with his tongue as the last aftershocks of Jyn’s orgasm shivered through her. Her eyes slid open, feeling dazed and satisfied as he crawled up her body. She wrapped her fingers around the back of his neck, pulled him down to her and kissed him, rough and messy, tasting herself on his tongue.

Cassian draped himself over her and the head of his cock bumped against her. But when he shifted in an attempt to find a better angle, he winced. It wasn’t much and he did his best to mask it quickly.

Jyn had already noticed. Ever since she’d spotted him from the air, she’d been watching him for any sign of pain no matter how subtle.

She touched his forearm. He nodded, eyes closed, not looking at her.

“I’m all right,” he said, his voice too tight to be believed.

Jyn sat up, drawing his head to her chest. He sighed with frustration and leaned into her.

In the past, sex was very careful and very rare. The exertion was strenuous on Cassian’s tender body. And yet, for all the progress he had made—walking without a cane, picking up Jyn like she was nothing when ten pounds had been too taxing at one time—he still struggled.

“Lay down,” she murmured in his ear.

“No,” he said. “I’d like to try.”

“That wasn’t a suggestion.” Jyn raised an eyebrow. “Unless you’d rather take care of yourself tonight.”

Cassian didn’t hesitate. He was used to giving orders but he was used to obeying orders, too. He rolled over to lay beside her, fat cock curved against his stomach. Jyn hitched one leg over his hips.

I want to pin your hands to the pillow as I straddle you and you’re squirming beneath me.

Cassian slid his hand up the back of Jyn’s thigh as he offered his other hand to her, palm out in surrender. She entwined her fingers with his.

“I wasn’t sure if…” he fumbled, “you know…Senali was equipped or not. So I renewed my contraceptive shot last week. Not that I was expecting—

Jyn smiled softly at his concern and touched his lips with a finger. “I did, too. I had to make sure I could have you any way I liked.”

Cassian’s eyes widened a fraction of an inch. “Stars,” he muttered under his breath.

The slightest brush of Jyn’s fingers across the head of Cassian’s sensitive cock made him flinch in surprise, teeth clenched. But nothing across any galaxy could compare to the obscene moan he made when Jyn slowly—so, so slowly sank down the full length of him until he was fully sheathed inside her.

Cassian’s eyes fluttered closed and Jyn knew the last sliver of his composure was gone when he bit his lip. She grinned, triumphant, and teased his lip free with her teeth. He throbbed inside her, his breath was in her mouth, and she knew she never wanted to be so far away ever again.

Six months was too long to go without this. Without him.

Jyn drew Cassian’s arms above his head, burying them in the pillow. She kissed his neck, riding him in a steady, even rhythm.

She’d heard him come on those logs. But she wanted to see it this time. She wanted to feel him shake apart.

Cassian managed to work one wrist free, fingers digging into Jyn’s back as he shallowly thrust up into her as much as he could manage. She stopped moving, letting her weight hold him in place. He was so close that he was practically vibrating.

“Jyn,” Cassian ground out. “Honey.”

Still, Jyn didn’t budge. “You’ve been so good for me. Until now.”

“I—”

She bore down on him, squeezing relentlessly to watch him gasp. She leaned over him, peppering kisses along his jawline as she captured his wrist and trapped it against the pillow again.

“You’re going to let me do what I want to you,” she said, low. “You’re going to sit there and take every ounce of pleasure I give you. And you’re going to show me how much you’ve recovered while I’m gone.” She paused then added with a smile. “Show me how much you can take.”

Cassian nodded, words forgotten, shivering where the inside of her thighs rested against his skin. She wasn’t trying to make him wait anymore. She was trying to keep him trembling there at the edge—something he never did on his own, to make up for the countless times she wished she could have done this to him. This and many, many other things.

Jyn flexed her hips and started to move again, that same, even, slow pace. Cassian squirmed, fighting his instincts to chase the release that was right there, within reach. After only a minute or two, her name was falling from his lips like a chant, running together over and over.

Cassian anchored his heels in the mattress, the tendons in his neck straining as he fought to remain motionless. The first tremors of pleasure began winding him tight then seemed to ebb away again. Another tremor but it didn’t take him under.

“Jyn,” Cassian gasped. “I need—"

He pushed his wrists against her grip. Jyn brought her mouth to his and when he chased her lips she drew back.

“What do you need, Cassian?” she said.

Cassian’s hips rose beneath her, not quite a thrust but dangerously close. Jyn licked at his bottom lip.

“You have to tell me,” she said.

It took a moment for his eyes to focus, drawing the shreds of his composure together with effort.

“I need to hold you,” he replied.

The thought of denying him was tempting. But they had both been denied for six months and Jyn didn’t have the heart to do it to him a second time. She would have him tomorrow. And the next day. And every day after that.

Jyn released his hands.

Cassian sat up, arms locked around her, his forehead pressed to her shoulder. Jyn’s fingers smoothed up and down his rigid back, combing through his hair, as her hips gradually continued to draw out his orgasm as much as possible.

Finally, he went limp and his breathing evened out. Jyn didn’t stop moving, maintaining a lazy pace until Cassian flinched and made a noise of discomfort from oversensitivity. She stayed where she was, knees tight around his waist even as he grew soft inside her. Soon he would slip out of her completely and she wasn’t looking forward to that loss of contact.

Cassian nuzzled at her neck, lips airy light, stubble rough and scratchy. He shifted to look up at her and trailed the back of his knuckles along her cheekbone. Jyn touched his chin, traced the dimple in his cheek that he tried so hard to hide from everyone else. Everyone except her.

After six months and countless logs, Jyn could finally say whatever she wanted to without the limitation of distance, without the barrier of a datapad screen.

But she was speechless.

 

VIII.

When Jyn woke the next morning, Cassian was gone. Last night, he had been the first one to fall asleep. She had lain awake for hours, just looking at him, placing soft kisses to his shoulder, his cheek, his lips.

Jyn spread her arm out, running her hand over the sheets. Cold.

A pang of disappointment hit her in the chest. Why hadn’t he woken her? She knew he was probably on base somewhere. If he’d been taken off-world, he would have told her. But his absence was still unpleasant. She wiggled onto his side of the bed, buried her face in his pillow and breathed.

Something stiff and metallic bumped her knee.

Jyn kicked at it and a datapad tumbled to the floor. Tugging the sheets tighter around her against the chill of the room, she retrieved it. A log was left open on the screen at the top it read: For Jyn.

She sat up, pulled the datapad closer.

Cassian: Hey, Jyn. It’s too early in the morning to bother you but there’s a group of rowdy cadets who are itching to burn off some energy. I’ll see you at breakfast though. Unless you’re still asleep. Then I’ll wake you up myself.

Jyn smiled. She sat back against his pillow, fully intending to wait for his return.

Cassian: P.S.

Cassian: Welcome home, love.