The horizon glows a blinding white and green, the terrible fury of the weapon raising the ocean waves high in the sky.
Held between the circle of Cassian’s arms, Jyn brings her right hand to her necklace, closing it around the kyber pendant. She puts her other arm around Cassian, holds tight.
Mama, she thinks. Papa. I’ve done it.
She concentrates on Cassian’s warm presence around her, buries her nose against the side of his neck.
He smells of sweat and smoke. His skin is very soft.
He’s too human, too breakable in her arms and Jyn desperately wants to protect him, this man who followed her here, followed her here to die.
She closes her eyes, waits for the pain.
Nothing comes. Only eery silence.
Slowly, Jyn opens her eyes again.
The beach has disappeared. She and Cassian are standing in the middle of a lunar landscape, a wide valley made of dark smooth volcanic rocks and surrounded by a ring of rocky hills.
“Cassian,” she whispers, “Cassian!”
“Fuck!” he jerks back, his eyes wide, “What-”
“Is this-” Jyn turns to look back at him.
Is this real, she wants to ask.
Cass winces, holding his side gingerly.
“Pain’s real enough,” he says, as if reading her thoughts.
Jyn takes a breath.
“Let's go,” she says, helping him up, getting him to walk.
“Where are we going?” he asks.
Jyn shakes her head. She has no idea.
Cassian’s arm over her shoulder and holding him by the waist, she lurches forward.
By the time they reach high ground Jyn is drenched in sweat and Cassian is a silent, dead weight against her side.
From the top, Jyn looks down over the other side of the hill.
“That’s- that’s not possible,” Cassian says, panting.
On the other side there’s… palms, sand, the ocean.
“What- what does this mean?” Cassian asks, collapsing on the ground. “Where are we?”
“More like when, maybe,” Jyn replies, a slow realization coming to her, her fingers raising to brush against her kyber pendant.
She looks back at Cassian. Cassian’s eyes widen in response, fixing themselves on the pendant at her neck.
Above them the sky is striped purple and pink. There are no ships, no Shield Gate. It’s like the Empire never happened.
Except for the wide, open plain behind their shoulders. It stands up against the surrounding landscape like the raised surface of a scar on unmarked skin: a valley shaped like a crater, the high hills keeping the ocean water away. What can only have been the results of the Death Star firing on the planet. Just like on Jedha.
Suddenly, Jyn’s vision has become blurred, her cheeks wet. She kneels on the ground and takes Cassian’s face between her hands.
“It means… it means we still have a chance,” she says, looking into Cassian’s beautiful brown eyes.
She moves forward. Lips, teeth and tongue, Jyn kisses Cassian with all the aching desperation she’s been holding inside.
Cassian kisses her back, just as fiercely.
Then, she lets go for a moment, her forehead pressed against his.
They stay like that, sharing a breath, two.
Against the tips of her fingers, Jyn can feel the quick, steady pulse on Cassian’s throat.
Cassian. Breathing, alive. The both of them, so impossibility alive.
Cassian gives her a slow, sweet smile.
Jyn smiles back.