Impossibly, they live.
Bodhi suffers from burns, but a couple of soldiers pick him up off the ground from where he lands. They run. They are lucky enough to find one of their own ships still flying.
Chirrut is barely hanging on, cradled in Baze’s arms when they are picked up. It takes a bit of yelling for Baze to let go enough for them to apply the bare minimum of treatment to keep Chirrut going.
Jyn threads her fingers through Cassian’s, waiting for the impact. Waiting for death.
The ship barely makes it out of the atmosphere, the tail end nearly catching the Death Star, only for them to hit into enemy fire.
Impossibly, they live.
Jyn limps into the room where Cassian is being held. She finds him, staring at the cold metal of the ceiling. Her leg still bothers her, but it’s the mental strain that’s really weighing down on her. One look at him, she can see it’s weighing down on him, too.
He lost like she lost.
They could save everyone except for Kaytoo.
“Hey.” Her words get choked up, caught in her throat. She clears it, tries again. “Hey.”
His gaze flickers in her direction, a slight smile tugging at his mouth. He struggles to sit up, finally manages it. “Hey.”
She wants to run to him and help him, but this is better for him. To be able to do things on his own. To feel his own strength. She waits until he’s up before she takes the three strides it requires to get to his cot, and then she’s sitting down on it, her knee pressed against his.
“I thought you would want to know that Chirrut woke up today.” Jyn pressed her lips together to keep from smiling too much. “His first words were, ‘I can’t see.’”
But Cassian laughs for the first time in - has she ever heard him actually laugh? “I’m sorry that I missed it.”
Her hand slips into his. She squeezes his fingers, staring at him. “How are you feeling today?”
He’s quiet for a few moments. “Better.”
She wants to say more, but she’s never been great at words. Decent, sure, but not great. And she’s never been great at comforting anyone else, either. She’s never had friends besides Saw. She’s never cared the way she does now. So she stays quiet, holding his hand.
Cassian leans in then, taking advantage of the quiet, of her nearness. His mouth is soft, his beard isn’t. It scratches at her skin, but she doesn’t care. Jyn leans back into him, tilting her head to kiss him.
Something nags at her, in the back of her mind. Before she can let herself enjoy the moment, she ruins it by backing away from him. She expects to see maybe hurt, anger, but there’s nothing but patience in his gaze and the weight of the galaxy that’s always been there. With her free hand, she touches the tips of her fingers to his face, tracing the line of skin that meets the beard.
“This isn’t the best time,” she says.
“We almost died. We face a million more deaths.” He leans back from her touch, and her hand touches space instead. “Unless you are done with the rebellion?”
The word is out of her mouth before she can even think about it. She remembers Saw’s words. Remembers that he wanted to stop running. So maybe she can, too. Maybe she can be Jyn now. She can be with her friends.
“But I don’t want this if it’s because there’s a million more deaths out there for us.”
Cassian winces, and maybe it’s because she hit it on the nose. Or maybe it’s because he didn’t mean it that way at all. Maybe he means he doesn’t want to waste another second when they could lose each other.
And when has it become that, anyway? Where was the shift in their relationship where she cared about what happened to him?
She leans forward, pressing her forehead to his. He presses back. This is enough. She could have this forever, and that would be all that matters. They would have each other.
Because she realizes she started caring after he yelled at her that she wasn’t the only one who had lost everything.
“It’s not because of that,” he whispers, his words brushing over her cheeks. “There will never be a best time, Jyn. So I will take any time.” His lips touch her forehead, as soft as they had touched her mouth. “But also maybe I had been thinking of that for a bit.”
“About kissing me?”
She snorts. “Before or after the Death Star?”
“Before, after, now.” He pulls away from her now, and she sorely misses the contact of his skin against hers when he does. “You don’t trust me?”
“Without hesitation, with my life.” Her lips purse, her shoulders hunching as she leans back. She doesn’t know why she keeps putting up a protest when she wants this. Him. She wants him however she can take him, and he’s offering…
Jyn rolls her eyes and scoots back on the mattress until her back hits the wall of the small room. “We’re not very good at this.”
Cassian stays where he is. “I’ve never had a reason to be good at this.”
It’s a layered conversation, and Jyn doesn’t need him to tell her that for her to already know. They’re not good with their feelings, with expressing them, with other people.
“I want you,” Jyn tells him, feeling the heat of a blush crawl up her neck. The room is suddenly smaller and hotter. If she ignores it, maybe he will too. But his eyes seems to follow the length of it, up the curvature of her neck to the lines of her face, and it makes it all that much worse.
She is a soldier, a liar, a rebel. They don’t blush because a man is looking at the way they change colors like it’s the most erotic thing they’ve ever seen. And yet here she sits, in that exact position.
“I’m going to kiss you again,” Cassian declares. He moves with the slow grace of his training, fluid and easy but with the hesitation of a man waiting for a denial.
Her fingers wrap in his shirt before he can think about what she’s doing as she tugs him against her. He loses his balance, half slumped in her lap as she kisses him first. Her mouth is harder than his when they come together, a little more urgent than his first attempt had been. It reminds her that she doesn’t know how to do soft and caring. The few times she’d done this hadn’t been. There hadn’t been feelings. It had been something she thought she should get out of the way, and she had decided that she didn’t like it.
But she wants in a way that consumes her.
He meets her force with equal determination, a hand sliding along her face until his fingers are in the dark tangle of her hair, in the bun she sloppily put it in. She feels the tie come loose. She feels his muscles tighten against her as he tries to gain some control of his body. She feels the soft pant of his breath between kisses. Her fingers dig into the back of his neck, into the dark curls that just barely brush against his skin. Her hands want to devour every part of him. Her mouth wants to taste each scar.
She shifts, pushing him down until he’s on his back, her body half covering his. His thigh rests between her legs. His hands are a whirlwind over her body, out of her hair and down the slope of her back, her ass, up again as his fingers dance over her biceps. One knee presses firmly into the mattress, thigh and hip quivering as they support her entire weight because she has to let her hands wander over his body. His chest, his abs, his hips, back again to trace the lines of his jaw and collarbone.
He breaks from her mouth, and she groans in protest as one hand goes to her chin, tilts her head back to expose her throat. His tongue is hot against her skin, followed by lips and teeth. Her breath catches in her throat, her leg almost giving out on her. Cassian’s thigh saves the day, sliding between her legs until she’s resting against it. But the surprise is almost too much for her, her hips stuttering against it, eliciting a gasp from him.
Jyn laughs first, both knees on the mattress now, her hands cupping his face as she rests her forehead on his.
“Is that all it takes?” She says it in the most teasing tone she can manage, but she can’t help but hear the low timbre of her own voice, the way the breath shakes out of her.
“You surprised me,” comes the glum reply, but there’s the hint of a smile on his face. “Also your knee is in a very delicate place, if you don’t mind.”
“Oh.” Her knee shifts away from him. “Sorry, I guess I hadn’t noticed.”
“It was nice.” It’s hard, but he manages to pull away just enough for him to become a blurry blob in her eyesight. “If you like knees to the crotch, that is.”
There’s been so much horror in her life. There’s been so much horror recently, that she doesn’t know how to react in this moment. Does she laugh? Does she rip his clothes off until they can lose themselves in each other? Does she leave because this is not the proper way to mourn? Does she stay because it feels like a proper celebration?
She plants a kiss on the tip of his nose, not because her body is screaming about wants but because she remembers her mother’s soft voice and soft kisses, because she was once called “Stardust”, because the looks of pride Saw used to give her gave her every validation she’s ever wanted in her life.
She plants a kiss on the tip of the nose Captain Cassian Andor - Rebel spy, murderer, hero - because he makes her feel all of those things. Like she belongs. Like she’s cared for.
Because she loves him.
He raises his eyebrows at her. “You’re a surprising girl, Jyn Erso.”
“Call me a girl again while I’m on top of you, and you’re definitely not going to be able to take my clothes off.”
He grabs her by the hips, and in a show of force that she tries to struggle against, he flips her onto her back instead. “Is that on the table?”
“I want you, remember?”
His answer is his mouth against hers again, long and slow and breathtaking, a clumsy hand groping her breast too hard for a moment before the tension rolls out of him. His fingers drag down her side, her hip, her thigh. She’s wearing entirely too many clothes is what she’s sure he’s trying to tell her. She doesn’t disagree. The fabric bunches up under his touch, until calloused fingers slide against the bare skin of her hip.
“Are you going to take it off?” she asks impatiently against his mouth.
He hovers over, a thoughtful look overtaking his face, brow drawn together. “No.” He shifts until he can kiss that strip of skin, his head ducking her shirt the further he trails up.
Her chest heaves, and she’s not sure if it’s from frustration or desire, but something tells her that it’s both. Teeth scrape against her ribcage, and she suddenly forgets every thought she’s had in her life until they come slamming back at her without warning.
There’s a huff of a laugh against her stomach. “What was that noise again?”
“Shut up.” Her hands find the hem of her shirt, and since she’s perfectly capable of doing whatever she wants, she wriggles her way out of it. Revealing him, revealing her covered breasts.
He creates a path up to the valley between her breasts, gaze flickering up to her, holding hers. “Take it off, and I’ll shut up.”
“Can’t take off a breast band?” It’s a gentle tease, even as she raises herself up on her elbows to find the hooks.
“I never did quite get the process down,” he agrees.
She realizes that she wants it that way. She wants him to be as clumsy as her, as unsure. She wants to figure out what intimacy is with someone who doesn’t quite grasp the concept.
The piece of underwear falls away, and she tries to not think of being exposed to him in such a vulnerable state. This is Cassian. She can trust Cassian. But being vulnerable is new, and taking her time is new, and letting someone look at her like she’s the brightest star in the galaxy is new.
To keep herself from fidgeting and covering up, she’s a little more forceful than she means to be when she tugs at his shirt, pulling him away just as his mouth is about to dip toward a breast. There’s a muffled sigh in the fabric as he crawls out of his shirt, sitting up before her.
She keeps herself propped up on her elbows as her gaze devours the sight of him.
They are both half naked, panting, and as equally uncertain and vulnerable as they can be.
Her lips part, but no words come out of them. He moves closer, until one of his hands covers hers, until his chest touches her, only barely, not enough. She presses them closer together, listening to the soft whistle of his breathing as it elicits a reaction from him. She presses a kiss to his chin, his jaw, down his neck to his shoulder, from his shoulder to his clavicle. Her hand rests on his shoulder blade, feeling him flex into her touch as her tongue finds a particular twisted scar on his pectoral.
“Jyn,” he murmurs, head dipping into the spot where her neck meets her shoulder.
She shudders, feeling every movement he makes, every sound, in her core. “I can’t decide if I want to keep taking it slow or climb on top of you.”
The noise he makes is something of a wheezing moan. “Kaytoo thought you might be the cause of my death, but I’m not sure he meant like this, Jyn.”
Her teeth sink gently into his skin. He shudders against her. “We’ll die together,” she promises.
She lays back, dragging him with her, his body a heavy, wonderful weight against her. His hand finds its way to her breast as he kisses her. Her back arches into his touch, her nipple hard against his touch. His thumb flicks over it, and she moans into his mouth. It starts a chain reaction of hard, hot kisses against her skin, his beard rubbing against her, until his teeth find her nipple. His tongue soothes over the bite, and her hips buck up under him.
Neither of them are going to last at this rate; she knows it. They need it. She needs it. If this is what he wants, and this is definitely what she wants, they will find time to be slow, but that time isn’t right now.
His mouth now occupied with where his hand was, the hand drifts lower, over her waist, her hip. She pants as he grips her thigh, pushing it open. He runs his hand over the inside of her thigh, and she wishes she had ditched her rebellion-issued pants a long time ago so that she could feel his skin on hers.
Her thoughts leave her again with his fingers teasingly light over the center of all her pleasure, all of her aching need. A flash of heat explodes inside of her, and she groans miserably as her hips buck again.
“Off,” Jyn mutters in a breathless voice. “All of it needs to be off.”
Cassian moves to kiss her other breast, sucking the nipple into his mouth and causing her to forget how to string a sentence together. She just knows everything must go. He needs to be inside of her, with her.
“Cassian.” His name is a plea on her lips, a whimper, and he moans against her.
“Off,” he echoes, and they both struggle to remove the rest of their clothes.
Her hands shake as she tugs her pants down her hips, her thumbs hooking into the band of her underwear to pull them down. A breathless laugh escapes her as she watches his own hands shake. He gives her a dirty look.
His underwear just barely make it to his knees before his hand is between her thighs, two fingers running up the slit. She’s wet, soaked, in a way she’s never been before, and his touch, barely there and teasing, is enough to make her fall back to the mattress again, legs opening for him as another whimper tears out of her. He finds her clit, making jerky circles around it, too hard and perfect all at the same time.
A knock at the door.
Her knees slam shut, trapping his hand in the apex of her thighs. Her eyes go wide, and the dark, murderous look that crosses his face should not be the thing that turns her on even more.
They don’t make a sound except for their hard breathing.
Cassian throws the blanket over them in time for the door to whoosh open, and she can see the way he’s about to tear into whoever has decided to barge in on them. She swallows back a shaky laugh until she realizes who it is.
He follows a half second later as the ethereal figure in blinding white stares at them with a look of pure and open amusement. He clutches the blanket so hard to his chest, words dying on his tongue.
“Senator,” Jyn greets with a strained grin.
Mon Mothma clasps her hands in front of her, doing her best to not look at any particular body part except for their faces. Her smile still flickers at the edge of her mouth, but it’s full chaos in her bright eyes.
“I was going to come find you as well, Jyn, but I suppose this works out in my favor to find you both at the same time.”
Part of Jyn wants to die.
“Is there something we could help you with?” Cassian goes from shaking to passion to serious soldier in the blink of an eye. Impressive, considering that Jyn knows he’s as hard as she is wet, his underwear still tangled somewhere around his ankles now.
“A meeting will be held in about ten minutes.” She arches an eyebrow at them both. “Fifteen, maybe? It’s important that you are both there.”
“Yes, ma’am,” Cassian says.
Jyn can barely suppress the grin that takes over her face when the door slams shut behind the senator, but the look Cassian gives her is enough to take her breath away.
“We can’t miss the meeting,” Jyn points out.
The way he kisses her, rough and deep, makes her decide that she doesn’t care if they miss every meeting on this kriffing ship. “We won’t.”