Chirrut’s face is blank when he’s told the news. Baze can’t detect any hint of emotion on his usually mobile features. Irreversible. Permanent blindness within six months. No known cure. The healer trails awkwardly to a stop and hesitates, glancing at Baze for his cue.
Baze shifts his weight. “Chirrut?”
“All is as the Force wills it,” Chirrut says, and rises. “Thank you, Master T’ron.”
He turns and is gone before the healer can reply, robes swishing in finality.
Baze gives the healer an awkward nod and scrambles to catch up. “Chirrut, wait.”
Chirrut glances at him when Baze falls in step beside him. His eyes are cloudier these days, the cataracts advancing ever more rapidly, it seems, but Chirrut’s feet are still quick and unhesitating, his stride as confident as ever.
“We have lessons,” he says when Baze can’t think of anything to fill the silence.
“But—don’t you want to—” Baze hesitates. Grieve? Mourn your loss? You’re going blind, Chirrut!
Chirrut’s face shutters. “I want to go to class.”
He quickens his steps and Baze gets the message.
He is woken from sleep a week later by Chirrut’s hands on his face. Baze snaps to awareness but doesn’t move as Chirrut’s fingers explore every inch of Baze’s face, from the worry lines on his forehead, over his eyebrows, down his nose, to trace the outline of his lips.
“When you smile,” Chirrut whispers, “there’s a line in your left cheek, a curve. It’s only there with a real smile though, the one that makes your eyes squeeze shut and your cheeks bunch up.”
Baze’s eyes prickle and he swallows hard, turning his head to press a kiss to Chirrut’s palm.
“I will miss your face most of all,” Chirrut manages, and tears spill from his clouded blue eyes, scalding Baze’s skin where they land.
Time passes, and Chirrut adapts. He’s still top of their classes, Baze right on his heels, and he refuses to accept any accommodations for his blindness from anyone but Baze, who is never separated from him.
After that night, Chirrut never mentions his loss again. If anyone tries to offer condolences, Chirrut tilts his head and smiles. “It is as the Force wills,” he says simply, and changes the subject.
Baze is not so sanguine. He watches Chirrut, the way he hesitates sometimes when before he’d hurl himself headlong into things, and his heart breaks. He takes his grief and fury out on the dummies in the dojos, pummeling them until their seams split and sand spills over the mats.
Chirrut doesn’t mention Baze’s bruised knuckles. He just kisses them gently, lips lingering, and then pulls Baze down onto their bed and distracts him with mouth and tongue and hands, until they’re both spent and sheened with sweat, lying in an exhausted, tangled heap.
“Let’s go up on the balcony,” Chirrut says one night after dinner. They’re full-fledged Guardians now, no longer acolytes in training, and their movements are no longer curtailed and strictly monitored.
Baze is surprised by this request, but it never occurs to him to say no. He grabs cloaks for them and they climb the stairs through the temple as its inhabitants settle in for the night.
He takes them to Chirrut’s favorite balcony, in a secluded, almost forgotten part of the huge temple. Chirrut had always liked it here because it had a great view of Jedha City, sprawled at the foot of the temple, but they haven’t been up here since Chirrut lost his sight.
Baze wraps Chirrut’s cloak around his shoulders before pulling his own on. Chirrut moves to the stone parapet and tilts his face up to the night sky.
“What does it look like?” he asks quietly.
“The sun is down,” Baze says, joining him. The stone is cool under his hands. “The stars are coming out. The sky is… a dark blue bowl inverted above us, with the stars splashed across it.”
Chirrut hums and leans into Baze’s frame. “And the city?”
Baze looks out over the buildings. “The lights are on and glowing. It’s like a brown quilt with gold stars spangled on it, all patchwork and mismatched. The streets are… the thread, sewing the squares of the buildings together.”
He glances down at Chirrut’s face in time to see the smile flicker across it.
“Heavy weapons expert and wordsmith,” Chirrut teases gently.
Guilt surges sickly in Baze’s stomach. “I’m sorry,” he whispers.
Chirrut cocks his head, a line appearing between his brows. “Why?”
“It’s… it’s not right,” Baze says, taking a step away and running his hands through his hair. “It’s not right that you lost your sight. You. You’re the best of us, Chirrut, why did it have to be you? Why couldn’t it have been me?”
Chirrut hasn’t moved except to turn in the direction of Baze’s voice. He opens his mouth but Baze cuts him off.
“Don’t say ‘all is as the Force wills’, don’t you dare.”
Chirrut closes his mouth and stands silently, and Baze drops to his knees, landing on the hard stone with a thud. He buries his face in his hands as he fights the grief.
After a minute, Chirrut takes a step toward him, then another, until he’s directly in front of Baze’s kneeling form, and Baze reaches out, blinded by his tears, to gather him closer. He presses his face to Chirrut’s stomach, clutching the back of his robes, and feels Chirrut’s hands settle, soft as a prayer, in his hair.
Chirrut cups Baze’s face in one hand, thumbing away a tear. “Do you think because I’m blind that I can no longer see you?”
Chirrut bends and kisses him, fleeting satin across Baze’s lips. “My love, every time I touch you, your face takes shape under my hands again. I see you, eyes or not. I know where you are at all times. I could point to you across a crowded room. You’re my lodestone, Baze, my true north.” He kisses him again, deeper and more lingering this time. “You are my eyes, beloved, and as long as I have you, I will never be truly blind.”
He pushes gently until Baze topples backward and catches himself on his hands. Quick as a flash, Chirrut is on him, kneeling to straddle Baze’s waist.
“Let me show you,” Chirrut says.
“Here?” Baze protests, eyes widening.
Chirrut bends to nip gently at Baze’s chin. His breath is hot and it tickles Baze’s skin. “We’re alone. Please?”
Baze never could resist that voice, and Chirrut knows that very well. Baze sighs and lifts a hand to touch Chirrut’s soft hair, shorn close to his scalp. Chirrut arches into his touch like a cat, closing his eyes with a smile. His hands are already working on Baze’s outer tunic, and Baze lets him work, Chirrut’s skin washed to a burnished silver by the moonlight and his eyes glowing almost unearthly blue.
He is beautiful, crouched on top of Baze’s reclining form, fingers deft and unerring as they peel Baze’s clothes off and leave him bare to the night sky.
Baze is hardening as Chirrut moves down his body to pull his pants down and off. Chirrut ignores Baze’s erection though, focused on nibbling his way along Baze’s hip instead, and Baze makes a noise and reaches for himself.
Chirrut slaps his hand away without looking up and Baze freezes as need roars through him in a scalding flood and his cock twitches, blurting out pre-come on his belly.
Chirrut’s smile is wicked when he looks up. “I’m not done with you yet.”
He’s still clothed, although Baze can see a noticeable bulge in his trousers. Baze bites the inside of his cheek as Chirrut bends his head again and returns to his worship.
Because that’s what he’s doing, Baze realizes—he’s worshiping Baze’s body. He places reverent kisses along Baze’s belly, up his chest and along his collarbones, whispering love in several different languages as he goes.
“There’s a mole here,” he murmurs, pressing his lips to it. “And here—that’s my favorite scar.”
This makes Baze laugh, cupping Chirrut’s skull and feeling Chirrut’s mouth curve against his ribs. “You have a favorite of my scars?”
Chirrut makes an agreeable noise and keeps going. “Another mole,” he says, and kisses Baze’s hipbone.
As wonderful as this is, Baze is also so hard he’s aching, his shaft throbbing in time with his pulse, and he can’t help rolling his hips—just a bit—as Chirrut moves farther down.
“Is there anything else you… appreciate about me?” he asks.
Chirrut chokes on laughter, pressing his forehead to Baze’s thigh. “You are many, many things, my love, but subtle is not one of them.”
Baze wants to reach for himself again, do something about this, but something keeps him still. So he tucks his hands under his hips to help stave off temptation and takes a deep breath.
He’s rewarded by Chirrut smiling at him, slow and lazy, and finally, finally, leaning forward to take Baze into his mouth.
Baze’s eyes flutter closed at the first touch, but he forces them open again. He wants to see this, savor every second of Chirrut’s wicked tongue as it wrings pleasure from him.
Chirrut knows Baze inside and out, every telltale tightening of his muscles, the half-hitched breaths as Baze tries to prolong the feelings and not let the orgasm overwhelm him, and he drives him further up the slope with every bob of his head and swallow of his throat. Before he can come, though, Baze catches frantically at Chirrut’s shoulder and pulls.
“I need—please, love—”
Chirrut wipes his mouth and slides up Baze’s body until he’s stretched out on Baze’s chest. Baze can taste himself on Chirrut’s tongue when Chirrut bends to kiss him, sliding his hands into Baze’s hair.
He’s heavy and warm, his tunic sliding against Baze’s flushed erection, and Baze cries out into the kiss as Chirrut rolls his hips down, wedging a knee between Baze’s thighs to give himself better purchase to rock back and forth.
Chirrut breaks the kiss and brushes Baze’s hair aside. His breath is loud in Baze’s ear as he sets his teeth in the lobe. He bites down, almost hard enough to break the skin, and the stinging pain shatters Baze’s self-control. He comes on a choked groan, bucking up against Chirrut’s body, held tight, braced and protected as he empties in shuddering waves.
When he finally sags back to the ground, Chirrut lifts his head.
“I see you, Baze Malbus,” he whispers, and kisses him.
Baze sighs against his mouth, languid and drained. “Your turn.”
“What, out here where anyone could see us, on cold stone to boot?” Chirrut demands, and pretends to shudder. “We’ll go back to our room and finish like civilized people.” He pauses and grins. “Besides, that way you’ll have time to recover. I’d dearly love to be fucked by you tonight.”
Baze rubs his face, fighting his own smile as the weight on his heart lifts a little more. “You’re impossible. Help me get dressed, then.”