There wasn’t much to remember from that terrible day, the day that Jyn knew she should have died, but by some miracle from the Force she didn’t, and neither did Cassian. They found a ship just outside the tower as the blast from the Death Star shook the entire ground and the blast was as bright as the sun. The great wave of destruction followed right on their tails just as the blast on Jedha had been. They had made it - barely - Cassian in the worse shape between the two of them, needing to be submerged in a bacta tank for almost a week before he was stable enough to be out and operated on. It was another week before he was let out under someone’s watch, and Jyn volunteered to do so.
She didn’t know when exactly they decided to leave the Rebellion together; she didn’t think Cassian would ever leave, honestly, but she plead with him to leave with her, to get far as away from all of this death and destruction as possible. For some reason he followed - for all intents and purposes keeping to his word of never leaving her side, something he whispered to her when he first woke from surgery.
The two were honorably discharged for their bravery on Scarif, and their friends who lost their lives that day were honored, even Kaytoo. They fought their fights, they had given the Rebellion hope and the power to destroy the Death Star. Its remnants were scattered across the galaxy by the time she and Cassian left, so Jyn figured its demise also contributed to Cassian agreeing to leave with her. There was enough hope without them.
They didn’t know where to go after the Rebellion, all they knew was they were going to stick together, and somehow they had ended up back on Lahmu where Jyn and her family had lived in hiding from the Empire so many years ago.
Eventually they had found a place to settle, a little home in the countryside that was all too familiar to Jyn, and it’s state of disrepair gave them something to do in their free time other than farming. And so they built a home together.
But Jyn always had a lingering feeling in the back of her mind that this was all too good, that Cassian being at her side was too good, that him admitting his feelings and that she was happy for them was too good to be true. So Jyn kept things at a distance within herself and him (she was never very good at romance and happiness anyway).
Cassian was a close friend in the day and a warm body above her at night - it worked for the most part, though Jyn didn’t quite understand why he stayed with her when he deserved so much more than what she gave him.
But he stayed, never making a hint about leaving, although Jyn knew that he was too good for someone like her as she washed the blood off her hands one morning from a loss that Cassian would never know, and could never know, a pain she would carry alone. She wasn’t sure about the idea of being a mother anyway, and she kept that to herself, too.
Yet this morning the Force had made that choice for her, and all she wanted to was be as far away from Cassian as possible right now, she didn’t want his sad and questioning eyes on her, asking her why she was so upset. She didn’t want him worrying over her of all people. So she did her best to creep out of the bathroom and leave the house without disturbing Cassian, still fast asleep, back in their bedroom.
Jyn still remembered Lahmu, she remembered the best places to go and hide or just walk for a while to forget about everything. As soon as she made it out the door she headed for the beach, she remembered playing in it’s mud as a child and letting the water creep up her feet while her toes were buried in the dirt; she also remembered coming home and her father smiling indulgently at the sight of her while her mother hurried her to the ‘fresher to wash the filth from her.
When she reached her destination, Jyn plopped down onto the ground in the mud, the wet substance between her fingers inspiring a slight grin despite what she processed in her thoughts.
It had only been seven weeks, it wasn’t much of a thing in so short a time either way, but her heart still ached in a way she thought only a mother's heart could, or an almost mother at least.
It could have given her courage to say what she had so long thought of since she first laid eyes on Cassian. It could have brought them together finally and truly, it could have made things...happy...instead of causing these silent tears to fall while the cool breeze off the ocean blew against her cheeks.
She didn’t know quite how long she had been out there, clasping onto the kyber crystal her mother had given her ages ago, when she heard Cassian’s voice cut through the rolling waves of Lahmu. It made her heart race in that sweet way, but it only made the pain she was trying to conceal that much worse.
“Jyn!” He called, his voice panicked, (though it was always filled with worry whenever it came to her, she caused him so much grief). Yet he felt something almost like love for her, a mystery she was sure she would never solve in a million lifetimes.
Jyn rose from her place in the muddy dirt, trying to brush as much of it off as she could before starting to make the trek back home.
“I’m here!” She called back, there wasn’t any need for him to worry more just because she didn’t answer him right away.
The beach wasn’t far from home, still in sight of the beach sitting atop its hill, and Jyn could see a figure in the distance at the edge of their home - Cassian - waiting for her to return to him. Jyn figured it was both a habit of being a part of the Rebellion for so long, and from that she took so many risks during their missions together.
Cassian was impatient, always had been in the months Jyn knew him, though it was funny to think they had only known each other for months instead of the years it now felt like. He managed to meet her halfway back to the house, wrapping his arms around her and letting out a little sigh of relief, something he must not have known himself that he was holding in. Jyn felt the stubble from his beard brush against her forehead as he placed a light kiss there before pulling apart, putting the distance between them that she knew he didn’t want, but knew Jyn preferred.
“Are you okay?” Cassian asked right away, falling into step beside Jyn now as they continued their walk back home.
“Yeah, I just had to get some air this morning.” Jyn lied, although it wasn’t entirely untrue. She’d always been good at lying, but it didn’t make it any less painful to lie to Cassian. Her partner, her friend, her lover. “Bad dream.”
“You could have woken me up.” Cassian tossed the idea out with a mumble.
“I know, but you were fast asleep, that’s about as rare as me actually getting sleep.” She sighed, looking down at her dirt covered hands, fiddling with the bracelet that Cassian had given her not that long ago - something simple but something to remember him with.
“I don’t think I’ll be getting much sleep for a while anyway.” Cassian groaned, his features grim and perhaps a bit more sullen than usual, his eyes brimming with tears.
“...Are you alright?” Jyn questioned hesitantly.
When he looked at her, there was a flash of horrible pain in his eyes that he quickly tried to hide and look away from her again.
“It’s, uh…” He sighed. “I’ll show you at the house.”
There was a rebel transmission interceptor on the table. They’d been here for months and Jyn had never seen it before, never seen Cassian bring it into the house. Where had he hidden it all this time?
There was another thing that worried her however: the sheets were stripped off the bed and lying in a pile in the hallway. Cassian never stripped the sheets so early in the morning and Jyn couldn’t help but wonder if it had to do with what happened to her. It very likely did, and it made her stomach drop. But Cassian seemed focused on the interceptor for the moment, and Jyn was relieved for the time.
“Where did you get that?” Jyn couldn’t help but ask.
“I’ve had it for a while.” Cassian admitted quietly, his eyes still averting hers, though she didn’t know if it was to avoid the anger in her gaze from being lied to, or if it was because he was angry at her for her own secret.
“And you’ve been listening to it, then.” It was pointless to ask why he had it. She knew why: the Rebellion was still a part of him, despite their vow to keep their distance.
“I have.” He stated, unwaveringly.
“I’m guessing you found something worth listening to.” Jyn huffed. She was angry for concealing such a thing from her, but the awareness of her hypocrisy did little to dampen her anger. They had never discussed children. But they had agreed on the Rebellion, and he was breaking his word.
Cassian glanced over at her for a moment before looking away again, her body language must have told him everything. She was rigid; her arms pulled in and folded to her chest, her jaw was clenched and there was a slight furrow in her brow.
But Jyn could read Cassian’s own stiff posture as well, the way his fingers moved robotically over the interceptor to get the playback, his jaw clenched possibly tighter than hers. Cassian was a master of the silent anger, and he only exploded after Jyn would lash out. Otherwise he would grind his teeth and keep it to himself, only muttering under his breath in a language Jyn still didn’t understand.
The playback was short and barely understandable at best, the voices corrupted by static and unpleasant feedback, but there were three words that Jyn could hear perfectly clear throughout the whole transmission: another Death Star .
Jyn felt her stomach turn and she felt a bit lightheaded in that moment, taking a seat at their breakfast bar before she could fall. Another Death Star, how was it possible? Such a short span of time, how could they build another one so quickly? More than likely without the same flaws that her father had built into it.
She needed to breathe, but it felt impossible with the panic setting in, the very thing her friends, her father, had fought and died for defeating, one that Jyn and Cassian had almost given their own lives for, was returned. Cassian reached over and gently rested one of his hands on her shoulder, grasping onto her tightly to let her know he was there, but for once Jyn wanted him to hold her. When she looked up at him and he saw the tears brimming in her eyes, he circumvented the bar and wrapped his arms around her. In that warm pressure, Jyn was finally able to take some shaky breaths to calm herself.
“They made another one.” She said, her voice barely a whisper and cracking as the tears started to release. “They can’t have made another one.”
“They did.” Cassian confirmed for her, he was never one to talk around things. “We have to go back.”
Those words pierced through her sadness and brought back her anger. Go back?
“No.” Jyn harshly stated, pushing herself away from him and wiping the tears from her eyes. “We’re not going back.”
“No!” She shouted this time. “We almost died for the last one to be destroyed, we should have died if it hadn’t been for that ship! Our friends are gave up their lives for a chance, even Kaytoo! We left to be able to have a life, a normal life, one that neither of us ever got to have, and now you want to go back!”
Cassian didn’t reply to that, he just looked at her and Jyn just knew what he was thinking.
“You’re going back.” Jyn began with a whisper. “You’re going back!” A stray tear fell as Jyn pushed him even further away, not wanting to be close to him in any sense at the moment. “You’re kriffing going back to the place that almost killed us!”
“I have to!” Cassian shouted back now. “I can’t just stand here and do nothing!”
“Living isn’t nothing!” Jyn hissed.
“I heard it last night, I wasn’t going to go.” Cassian tried to calmly state now, but Jyn could still see the anger in his dark brown eyes.
“What changed your mind then?” Jyn felt hurt, like a gash had been slice across her heart, something changed his mind and she had a feeling she knew what it was.
“I saw this a few weeks ago.” He pulled out the test she’d taken when she first suspected almost two months ago now, the blood test that read she was pregnant. “You didn’t even tell me, and then that.” He gestured towards the pile of sheets - he knew, of course he knew, Cassian always had a way of finding things out.
She felt cold. “Don’t.” Jyn stated. “I know you. You would have gone anyway at some point, you wouldn’t sleep at night, or bring a child into this world with another Death Star out there. And do you know something? I’m glad the Force decided not to bring a life into this mess! Between the Death Star and what we are...maybe the Force did something good for us for once!”
She knew that did it, that she drove the final nail into their argument that cut him just as deep as it had cut her to say it.
“Just go.” Her voice cracking at the end while she turned on her heels as quickly as she could, locking herself in the ‘fresher and stipping to get in the shower as quickly as she could so the water would hide her tears.
Jyn didn’t know how long she was in the ‘fresher, at some point she’d just decided to sit on the cold tiled floor and let the water wash over her, her knees pulled to her chest while she let all her tears out. She hadn’t meant what she’d said about their unborn child that would never be. Her initial reaction had been relief, but now the sadness settled in. How could she ever be happy over another death, especially of something as innocent as an unborn baby? Surely he knew her better than that. But she knew it would hurt him, and it hurt her as well. But she was trying her best to push him away, to let him go fight in his war and become a ghost just like everyone else in her life.
She was better off on her own. There was nothing left to lose. All she needed now was a sharp stick and Saw Gerrera would have been proud.
A knock on the door finally came, tearing Jyn from her thoughts as she tried to listen through the rushing water.
“Jyn, please, I want to talk.” Cassian plead from the other side. He wasn’t angry, at least not anymore, she couldn’t quite identify the tone in his voice, which usually meant he’d had a drink or two. She couldn’t blame him for getting into drink after that fight that had cut so deep.
“Go away.” Jyn croaked out, her voice hoarse from crying.
“Jyn, please.” Cassian replied again. He knew the code to get in of course, but he respected her wishes, and perhaps that's what made Jyn finally relent.
“Okay.” Jyn finally said, listening to Cassian enter the code and the doors hiss open, letting in a flood of cold air before they closed behind him, causing Jyn to shiver under the now lukewarm water.
Cassian opened the door to her shower and sat down in front of her, the water now starting to hit him though he didn’t seem to care.
“I’m sorry.” He spoke first, the redness in his eyes telling Jyn he’d shed some tears of his own after their fight, and the alcohol on his breath only confirmed that he’d had a drink or two to calm himself, but his words were sincere as always.
“I’m sorry too.” Jyn mumbled. “I didn’t mean it...what I said about the baby.”
“I know.” Was all he replied with, reaching out to take one of her hands and squeezed it tightly.
“Are you still going to go?” She asked hesitantly.
“Let’s talk about that tomorrow, I promised you when we left that we would stick together. I was angry, but I’m not going to do anything without you.” Cassian promised her. “But your fingers are getting pruny, you should probably get out of there.” He offered up a small smirk that Jyn returned.
“Yeah, I suppose I should.” She mumbled.
Cassian got up and grabbed one of the towels from the closet, holding it up for her modesty. She climbed to her feet and shut off the water, and let Cassian wrap the towel around her body. They just stood there for a minute, eyes locked and bodies close in the small room, his hands on her toweled waist.
Jyn rose to her tiptoes and kissed him deeply, wrapping her arms around his neck. Sometimes sex between them was just a release, like whenever they’d had a big fight - more of a frenzied and rushed effort. Other times they had their slow nights or lazy mornings together that burned with a steady flame.
For a moment Jyn thought that was where this day would end, them starting off here in the ‘fresher and ending up tangled together covered in layers of sweat, and a part of her wanted that.
But Cassian pulled away, his hands on her waist now holding her down, although he still held her close. She knew it wasn’t from lack of desire; she could tell from the hardness pressing up against her body that he was very much ready to take her to bed, but he stopped nonetheless. He must have noticed the questioning in her eyes, knowing that this was how they always made up. Sometimes it was just to lick their own wounds, but it was what Jyn was used to.
“I’ll go make us something to eat, it’s lunchtime.” He mumbled, stealing a quick kiss from her. “I brought you some new clothes so you don’t have to put those muddy ones back on.” He added before letting go of her and exiting the ‘fresher.
Jyn knew now that this argument wasn’t something to be screwed away like their usual petty arguments. It was something that would last, and while they weren’t going to go anywhere without the other, this was an argument that truly meant something, a real impasse between them, and Jyn didn’t know how they were going to mend it.