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"I thought you were dead"

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Jyn Erso’s head was spinning. She pushed herself up and coughed, gasping for air and spit sand and bile out of her mouth. She blinked tears and blaster smoke out of her vision and reached to to adjust her scarf with shaking hands.

He had shoved her out of the way when they saw the bomb, and she was too slow to stop him or to grab him or to tell him that she never would have wanted to be shoved out of the way if it meant he was in the way.

Jyn pushed herself to her feet and blinked a few times, taking a few deep breath and trying not to gag on the smell of seawater and burned trees. She surveyed the remains on the beach side town, once thriving, and looked for Cassian’s body. He must have gotten caught in something, under something, with something, she didn’t know and she didn’t care all she could think of was how Cassian had died alone and how if she hadn’t been so kriffing careless with her own life, he might still be here. She stumbled along a few steps to where she found her comm in the sand and picked it up.

“Bodhi?” He voice was shaking and low and she closed her eyes, trying to keep herself from crying. “Bodhi, it’s Jyn.” Loud static and she could tell that the comm had been damaged in the explosion. White noise filled her ear and caused her head to pound even harder.

“Jyn!” Bodhi Rook nervous voice filled her ear and she clutched the comm harder and tighter until her knuckles were a pale white against the dirty silver of the metal. “Jy, what happened? Are you okay? All I heard was the explosion. Are you hurt?” Jyn shook her head and then remembered that he couldn’t hear that.

“I’m fine. I need an evac.”

“An evac? Jyn, what happened? Talk to me! Where’s Cass? Jyn!”

“I’ll meet you at the rendezvous point, Bodhi,” Jyn said, ice creeping into her voice as she took a tentative step forward, combat boots sinking into the sand a little deeper, as she struggled to find her footing.

“Jyn, is Cassian okay? Are you? I just heard the bomb and screaming and then the comms cut out and I-”

“Bodhi, I’ll see you at the rendezvous point!” It took all of her strength to raise her voice and all she wanted to do after was collapse into the sand and sink and just lie there, because there was nothing for her back at base. Jyn wondered if there was anything for her left in the galaxy. She was about to take another step towards the dunes on the beach when she picked the comm up again.

“Promise me you’ll be there, Bodhi,” she said. It was quiet and low and less sharp than anything she could remember saying ever to anyone and her words dripped with fear and loneliness and Jyn couldn’t stop them from sounding weak. There was silence and all she could hear for a minute was the crackle of static and finally Bodhi’s voice.

“I’ll be there, Jyn. I promise. I’m not leaving you here. Not ever.” She was glad that he heard the unasked question in her tone and it was that, that gave her the energy to take another step in the sand.

Her feet sunk and her boots sunk and all she could think about was how kriffing unfair it was he survived Scariff only to die on another kriffing beach. Jyn took a few steps and felt her leg give out and she collapsed onto the edge of the beach.

He was gone. He was actually gone. After everything they’d been though, after everything it took her to let him in, he was gone. Her chest clamped up and she couldn’t be there for another second. It was all too familiar. The salty air, the golden sand, and the blinding sunset that melted into a too blue sky.

Only this time, collapsing on the beach, she was alone. Jyn let out a strangled sob and pressed her gloved fingers into the sand. It was hot and it scorched her already burned and calloused hands.

“Jyn?” She knew that the hallucinations would start. They always did. After Lah'mu, she’d smelled the Trillium soap that mam used to wash her hands after digging in the dirt for weeks after. After Jedha and Edue, she’d heard Saw screaming her name and papa’s death gurgles when she was awake and asleep for months after. Scariff had been the worst. She could still see faces of fallen comrades and hear screams. None of that was worse than hearing her name from behind her in a voice thick with emotion and heavy with a Festian accent. She knew her name was only start. He’d start blaming her soon. Ask her why she didn’t stop this from happening, ask her why she let him go, why she let him die.

Jyn was about to turn around and scream at the hallucination. Yell at it, to leave her alone, that it would never be able to hate her more than she hated herself in that moment, but her words caught in her throat when she felt a hand on her shoulder and she reached up to drip it before she turned around. Her vision started to blur and she closed her hand around the one on her shoulder.

“I thought you were dead,” she choked out through something that sounded suspiciously like a sob. She whipped around and threw her arms around him. He caught her as her knees buckled again and he pulled her close, pressing a kiss to the top of her head.

“I got out in time,” he said softly, pulling her closer. “I got out in time.”

She held him just like she did that day on a beach, like this one.