Hera sat down beside Kanan and wordlessly slipped her fingers into his.
“I had a feeling I’d find you here.”
He ran his thumb up and down the back of her hand, feeling the smoothness of her bare skin, the warmth of it.
“I know my way around here,” he said, shrugging.
She’d been steady and strong over the last few days, even though he could tell it was taking all of her effort. He knew there was little he could offer her in return; when he squeezed her hand, it was as much for his own sake as for hers. It helped to anchor him, so he didn’t drift away in this darkness.
“Tell me,” he said, “what am I missing?”
She raised her hand, still entwined in his own, and directed it to the right. “Chopper’s over there, trying to reach something off the counter. Either a meiloorun or a - hold on.”
He heard her stomp across the room. “What did I tell you about scorching my floors?”
The droid responded innocuously.
“Yes, you. You could ask for help, you know.”
Chopper took on a defensive tone.
Hera sighed. “What do you want with a piece of fruit anyway?”
He responded with a question.
“You’re right,” said Hera. “I don’t.”
Kanan was still laughing when Hera sat back down beside him.
“Now that’s a nice sight,” she said, slipping her hand back into his. “I’ve missed your smile.”
I’ll miss yours, he thought, but what he said was, “Keep going.”
She pointed his arm in the other direction. “Sabine and Zeb are playing cards back in the corner. It’s a rapid-fire game, you hear the cards slapping the table?”
He zeroed in on the sound until it was sharp and clear in his mind, then nodded.
“They’re worried, though,” Hera continued. “About you and Ezra. They look focused, but Sabine keeps bouncing her leg, and Zeb’s-”
“Drumming his fingers.”
“You’ve noticed how he does that?”
“I can hear it.”
“They’re getting stronger, then?” asked Hera. “Your senses?”
“Only when I focus,” Kanan replied.
He felt Hera lean her head against his shoulder, her lekku brushing his back. “What’s it like?” she asked him.
He paused to think. “Right now everything feels...solid. Like a big block of color. I couldn’t tell you what color, but it’s a bright one, a strong one. “
Solid. Ironic for a ship with a name like the Ghost. It flitted in and out of the Empire’s radar, slid between the cracks in the galaxy; but Kanan’s feet were rooted to its floors. He himself had drifted through empty space for so long that for a while he’d forgotten what solid felt like. But right then, when he tightened his grip on Hera’s hand, he knew his fingers wouldn’t slip through it.
He heard Ezra gasp behind him when Hera came through the door.
“Kanan, she looks beautiful,” he whispered, “...and happy.”
And he could sense joy radiating from her as she half walked, half danced down their little makeshift aisle. Or maybe what he felt was his own. His happiness and hers mingled in the air between them, creating something that effervesced, something...purple was how he would describe it to her later, but he knew that wasn’t quite right. He saw no colors in his mind’s eye, but somehow it felt that way.
Later, during the celebration, they slipped away to a corner. They knew it wouldn’t be long until someone found them and pulled them back into the room for another dance, another photograph, another handshake and hug. But this little moment was their own.
“You look beautiful,” Kanan told her, playing gently with the fingers on her left hand.
Hera laughed. “Who told you that?”
He laughed, too, and kissed her, feeling the contour of her lips against his own. “They don’t have to.”
People had been saying it to Kanan all night: I wish you could see her. He knew that he could sense something they couldn’t, but all the same, tonight was one of those nights when he would have given anything to have his sight back.
“Tell me what you look like tonight,” he said. “Tell me what I’m missing.”
“Here,” she said, smiling as she took his hand up in hers, “let me show you my dress.”
She played with his fingers as she spoke, just as he had been playing with hers. “Traditionally,” she said, “the women in the bride’s family embroider her dress in purple. That’s the color we use for weddings - red for passionate love, blue for steadfast love. Now, none of us can embroider, but Sabine can paint.
“Right here-” Hera placed Kanan’s hand on her right shoulder - “she painted a design along the sides, like flames moving downward.” She guided his fingers down her shoulder, along her side and to her waist. “They run in a pattern along the side of the dress,” she said, “and all the way down the skirt.”
“The rest of it’s painted with scenes and stories,” Hera continued. “This” -she lay his hand just below her right knee- “is when we found Sabine. “Here” -she guided it to the left- “is when we found Ezra. And here” -she pulled at his hand, but before she could move it, they heard a knock on the wall.
“Uh, guys?” Said a timid voice around the corner. “Can I, uh, come in?”
Kanan blushed deeply, causing Hera to stifle a laugh. “Yes, Ezra,” he grumbled, “what is it?”
“Someone’s looking for you,” said Ezra. “Docker or Decker…”
“Lieutenant Dakkor?” Hera asked.
Hera sighed. “Come on, love” she said, pulling Kanan to his feet. “It’s an old friend of my father’s, he’ll want to meet you.”
They rounded the corner and made their way back into the celebration. Kanan laid his hand across Hera’s shoulders as they walked, and he felt the texture of the paint against his arm. He couldn’t make them out, but he knew there were stories there, stories in purple. And in between the ridges of paint there was room for more stories to be made.
“She has pale blue skin,” Hera said, “like my mother.” She spoke softly, in awe of what she held in her arms. “Big smile,” she continued, “tiny fingers…” Kanan extended a finger and felt a little hand wrap around it with a fragile grip. “And,” said Hera, “she has your eyes, Kanan.”
He felt her trace a finger across the scars on his face. It was bare now; the glasses he wore in public lay folded on the bedside table.
“I’ve missed those eyes,” Hera whispered. “Now I get to fall in love with them all over again.”
He took her hand and pressed it to his lips. He felt tears on the left side of his face, the only side that could make them now. With nothing to catch them, they flowed freely down his cheek. Hera wiped them away with a gentle stroke of her thumb.
After a moment, Kanan chuckled.
“What is it?” Hera asked.
“They’re getting restless out there. They’re all waiting by the door to meet her.”
“Well,” she said, “they can wait a little longer. It’s your turn.”
“To tell me what I’m missing. What’s she look like to you?”
“She looks…” Purple, Kanan wanted to say. Red because he felt his heart would burst, blue because he wouldn’t leave her for all the worlds. But it wasn’t enough. Purple didn’t cover the light coming off of her, the warmth, gathered and packed so tight into this tiny little thing that you wouldn’t think she could hold it, but the more he looked at her, the more light he found. She was purple and orange and green and gold, she was black and white and gray.
“Bright,” he said, and he knew that Hera understood.