anghraine: jyn erso and cassian andor unnecessarily cooperating to bypass security with an imperial officer's hand (jyn and cassian [one-person job])
[personal profile] anghraine
I regularly get sucked into the headiness of Tumblr's level of activity (and ... I couldn't find good RO icons at the time, which is an absurd reason not to post but ... icons!!!), but still. Eep. Sorry to anyone who actually reads over here.

title: per ardua ad astra (10/?)
verse: Death Star
characters: Jyn Erso, Cassian Andor, Bodhi Rook; OCs—Dr Esten and a nameless Imperial; shameless Jyn/Cassian, as magnificently illustrated by[personal profile] sqbr.
stuff that happens: Jyn and Cassian plan for gathering information and deepening their covers; Cassian's recovery continues, not as quickly as they want; and in the meanwhile, emotions and coping mechanisms!
previous chapters: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine

“How much pain have you been in?” she asked. “On a scale of one to ten.”

Frowning, Cassian said, “I don’t know. Five, perhaps.”

Esten glared at him.


“Eleven,” said Jyn.

He shot her a look of betrayal. “Thank you for your contribution, Lyr.”

Minutes passed in the amicable silence Jyn had come to associate with—not just Cassian. With them, here.

When they weren’t having nonsense arguments about nothing. And even that had been more snide venting than a real fight.

It occurred to her that, for perhaps the first time in years, she didn’t want to fight. Not him, though she itched to do something, something more than the interminable waiting. But neither did she want to fight Esten or Brakas or Efrah. Even that idiot Zekheret.

She didn’t want to think, either. Even as she craved action, she felt a deep weariness in her mind, some reservoir drained out. Bodhi, Princess Leia, the Rebellion, her father, Alderaan, Kay’s head, Baze and Chirrut scattered and reunited in the Force: they all spun orbits through her head, together and separately, and she was tired.

“We got you assigned a commanding officer,” Jyn said, sitting up. “Commander Tor—he’s in cryptanalysis, I think. Esten’s reports were on your record and sent through, so hopefully he won’t need any justifications.”

“Good,” said Cassian. She couldn’t tell if he shared her exhaustion or not. Probably, since he’d been sleeping when she woke him, but he didn’t look it. Not more than usual. “Did you learn anything else?”

“Not much. There’s some dissent in the ranks, apparently. It seems like a small minority, but runs up to some general called Tagge. Efrah and her superiors don’t agree with how the Empire is fighting us.” She rubbed her face. “Fighting the Rebellion. They think Starfleet is too overconfident and too passive. Can’t disagree, really.”

“No,” he said, and then— “Did you agree with her out loud?”

“More or less. I tried to stay out of it at first, but I backed her up when she was arguing with Zekheret about it.” Under her breath, she gave a short laugh. “Pretended to regret the Imperial mistakes on Scarif.”


Oh. She’d forgotten to tell him, forgotten that Cassian couldn’t know anything she didn’t tell him. Even now, Jyn wasn’t quite used to that.

“He’s a friend of hers,” she told him, “a corporal. Apparently they’ve served together for years. He’s a sort of pleasant fool—they’re very brains-and-brawn. I figured that she’d be a better target.”

The word felt dirty on her tongue. In a fight, she might lump people into back-up and bystanders and targets, but it seemed a very different thing with those she knew by name, talked with, ate with. She’d never thought of Efrah that way. Still, if she hadn’t used the term with herself, she couldn’t take it back, either. It wasn’t wrong.

“Hm.” With his face wiped clean of anything like an expression, Jyn couldn’t tell if the sound meant approval, disapproval, or something else altogether. Regardless, she shrugged it off.

“It’s harder to get Zekheret to stop talking than to start,” she said. “I could focus on him, but …”

“No, you made the right call,” he replied, and now she could hear the approval. It didn’t matter, she told herself. Much. “Just be careful.”

“I am.” She rested her palms against her back, pressing her spine straight. The series of cracks sounded loud in the room, more painful than they were. At least that particular discomfort faded, while the panic she’d marinated in for her hour in the elevator subsided to … she hardly knew. One more problem to be solved or survived. “Efrah said she’s helping me because women in Starfleet have to stick together. I don’t know if it’s true. I can believe Starfleet is rough enough, but she’s difficult to read.”

“You don’t need to know,” said Cassian.

On the face of it, that sounded insane, but she supposed it didn’t make much difference pragmatically. Jyn checked the chronometer on her comlink again. She felt grimy; she’d much rather shower before they left on another multi-hour odyssey through the bowels of the Death Star.

I should have done it before, she thought, feeling rather ridiculous for caring at all in the circumstances. But she’d had no clean clothes in the fresher, which would be one thing with Cassian in a drugged sleep, and quite another with him awake and half-recovered. In fact, he was sitting up again now.

She asked him, “Either way, act as if she’s trustworthy and assume she’s not?”

“Something like that,” he said, glancing at her as she headed over to the drawers, mind made up. “You don’t need to act too credulous. Lyr isn’t, unless you’ve changed her.”

Jyn shook her head. “I—she’s been pleasanter, outside the med-bay. But not exactly warm and approachable.”

Cassian looked at her again, his mouth tucked into the usual flat line. But his eyes crinkled up, alight where they stayed cold through so many of his smiles.

She added, “I’m sure that’s a shock.” A week and a half ago, it would have been bitter. Now, Jyn felt a peculiar quiet amusement, something peaceable and friendly.

“I will live through it,” said Cassian. He did smile, then, if only for a moment. “In this case, some doubt will be suitable. Efrah probably expects it.”

“So I need to be grateful, yet suspicious,” said Jyn, opening a drawer to extract a fresh uniform. Then she snorted. The drawer was full, all the clothes folded with sharp exactness, divided into piles by type. “Speaking of which—”

He made an indistinct sound in his throat that suggested nothing in itself, but seemed undoubtedly a Cassian sort of laugh.

“You did my laundry?” She looked over her shoulder, narrowing her eyes at the man on the bed. “You’re supposed to be resting.”

“Droids did our laundry,” he said, exuding guileless confusion.

“Droids?” She peered around. “I see so many of them in here.”

“I assume droids,” said Cassian. “The clothes came out of the chute a few hours ago.” With a regretful note, he added, “They only took fifteen minutes to organize.”

Well, everyone had their own ways of going stir-crazy. But her own mood lifted a bit, knowing it wasn’t just her.

“Pity that the Empire is so tediously consistent,” she told him, taking out each article of the uniform and tossing them on her bed. “Otherwise you could have colour-coordinated them, too.”

Though Jyn still had to relegate their multitude of problems to the periphery of her mind, she felt more alive after the shower. Toweling her hair dry and dressed in a fresh shirt and trousers, she wandered out to the common area. Cassian had gotten up and leaned against his dresser, apparently lost in thought.

“There you are. We need to head out in a minute.”

His eyes darted from her face to the towel and back again. It could have meant anything, if not for the same startled look as before stealing onto his face. Again, it only lasted a moment before he withdrew into his usual impassive composure, but long enough. That could have nothing to do with her completely banal remark.

Cassian replied, “Yes, I suppose so.”

Maybe he hadn’t roomed with women much. Odd, but there certainly didn’t seem many in the Rebellion. She herself had spent so much of her life crowded in with strangers that it never even occurred to her to feel self-conscious. At least not about trivialities. Mostly.

She didn’t feel self-conscious now, either—just amused that Cassian did. It was such a little thing; it must be, or he would have concealed it.

Jyn dropped her towel into the laundry chute and moved towards the hoverchair.

“Ah.” He took a decided step back, eyeing the chair with distaste. “I can walk.”

To be fair, she considered it for a full three seconds. He did seem to be walking without trouble. More to the point, while slim and not that much taller than average, Cassian towered over Jyn and heavily outweighed her. Without some sort of assault, she couldn’t move him anywhere.

Instead, Jyn stared him down. “Yes, but you won’t.”


“I didn’t save our skins to get killed by Esten,” she said. “I’m supposed to be supervising your recovery, remember?”

Sure enough, he saw reason; grumbling under his breath, he made his way to the hoverchair and sat down. Cassian in a nutshell, really.

Jyn removed the last nutrient tins from the chair’s compartment and turned the chair around.

“You can say it,” she told him.

He seemed genuinely puzzled as he glanced up at her. “Say what?”

“I wasn’t the only one who saved us.”

After their hours on the Death Star, it took awhile to recognize the edge to her mood, the crawling of her skin and twisting heaviness in her stomach that accompanied it. She’d grown accustomed to dread choking out every other emotion, the shifts between danger and safety making it somehow worse than the prisons she knew, where there was only danger. She forced herself to inhale.

“I couldn’t have done it without Bodhi flying and your codes. I don’t think I’d ever have slipped past without him screaming in his uniform and you—”

“Bleeding?” Cassian said, sober-faced.

“You bled magnificently.” Some of the clanging of her nerves quieted. Striding back to the fresher to comb her hair and recover her clean jacket, she added, “The Alliance should give you a commendation.”

“Make sure you remember that if we get out of here.”

When would have insulted her. From Cassian, anyway.

“I’ll speak for you as long as you speak for me,” she said, trying to replicate his jacket protocols from the morning.

“Of course.” He sounded as light as she’d ever heard him, and then only with Kay, but she didn’t doubt that he meant it. Cassian was all slippery duplicity or blazing sincerity, with none of Jyn’s comfortable in-betweens. Perhaps if they got to know each other better, that would change, but privately she doubted it. She wasn’t sure they could know each other better, just—more.

Jyn scowled at her reflection. The jacket looked … her size, which was an improvement, but not right.

“Oh, fine.” She stalked back to the hoverchair, hat in hand. “Fix it, will you?”

It couldn’t have sounded less like a request. Without so much as a twitch, Cassian managed to look amused.

“Almost right,” he said, reaching out to adjust the jacket at her sides. Every brush of his fingers was brief and careful, even when he smoothed down the fabric with an expression of intense concentration. She tried to think about ... not that.

“You broke half your bones very effectively, too,” she said.

“And I contracted an infection,” said Cassian. “I am a man of many talents, clearly.”

Jyn glanced down at his bent head and ran her tongue over her teeth. “I’ll take care to mention that.”

“Thank you.” He dropped his hands. “There you are.”

She stayed in place as she clapped her hat on her head, not wanting to seem unsettled. She wasn’t—it wasn’t—anyway.

Jyn fled to the back of the hoverchair and steered it out of their quarters. The silence might have been easy enough, stained only by the low murmur of machinery and distant footsteps. But just the act of stepping past the door wound her nerves up again. She wanted out—and maybe she often did, but never so much, like a living thing that fed on her. Desperately, she reached for something to say, anything.

“See? I did know what you were thinking.”

“No,” said Cassian. “That is not at all what I thought.”

“Oh?” A trio of NCOs nodded as they approached. She was tense, not stupid, so she met their eyes and nodded back.

He stayed quiet even once they passed, their stretch of the hall clear again. Normally, she would retreat into her own mind, but it didn’t make for a welcoming place at the moment. Instead, Jyn poked the back of Cassian’s neck, gratified when he flinched.

“I am of little use until I recover,” he said. “I must regain my health to help with our—the situation, and I must do it as soon as possible. I was reminding myself of that.”

“Otherwise known as listening to me?” said Jyn. “Good.”

Cassian just sighed.

After several minutes, the clusters of officers and soldiers growing larger and more frequent, he said,

“You would have done it in any case.”

She frowned. “What?”

“Survived,” said Cassian.

Jyn almost glanced around to see if she’d missed half of some silent conversation. If so, she wasn’t privy to it.

“What are you talking about?”

“You said that I believe you would have failed, without us,” he said, voice very even. “That is wrong. You would have found a way.”

She shouldn’t have been that gratified, or even that surprised. Yet startled pleasure ran through her, a prickle on her skin and along her nerves. She couldn’t define it beyond that, but she felt it bright and formless in her mind, blotting out thoughts and words. For several seconds, Jyn blinked at the back of Cassian’s head.

It’s not true, she thought at last, veering around an obnoxious crew of officers. They’d stopped in the middle of the hall, apparently oblivious to everyone trying to pass through. Without the suits, the codes … hell, the shuttle. I’d never have made it on my own.

Not a welcome thought. But she wouldn’t have, unless—Jyn pulled her mind back from useless detours into speculation. Survival would have taken some doing, at the very least, more than she suspected she’d had in her at the end. If Cassian thought differently, then … well, three weeks ago, he certainly wouldn’t have.

But turn that around, and: in three weeks, he’d come to think higher of her than she did. And she thought quite well of herself, really.

“I might have,” said Jyn. “I’m good at surviving. But everyone’s luck runs out, eventually.”

Luck,” Cassian said contemptuously.

She smiled.

In a considerably more benevolent frame of mind, Jyn made their way through the blocky turns of the halls, pooling her recollections of the med-bay route with Cassian’s. Luckily—ha!—their memories exactly coincided, and they arrived even earlier than she’d anticipated.

He was right about luck in this case. Jyn would have been dead by ten if she hadn’t learned to memorize every path she took, and dead again by eighteen if she hadn’t kept doing it. She couldn’t imagine it was much different for Cassian, a Rebel spy from childhood. Nothing but talent and training and practice. And the Force, naturally.

In a stroke of actual fortune, the analgesics held through the hour-long trip in the elevator. People walked in and out, the two of them rarely alone for more than a few minutes, but the shuddering stops didn’t do much more than irritate both. Jyn, in particular, was bored and impatient enough that it took very little effort to revert to Lyr as Cassian crammed himself into Willix.

“—I’m hoping we get shore leave,” another captain was saying as they approached the ninth floor. “We lost out with Scarif, obviously, but maybe Aldera? I’ve always wanted to see it. They say the mountains are unbelievable.”

“Yes, rather,” said Cassian.

“A bit chilly, of course,” he went on.

“A bit.”

The captain grinned. “Though the women aren’t, I hear.”

“Oh, do you?” Jyn snapped, obscurely grateful for Lyr.

She’d tried her best to put Leia Organa out of her mind until she could do something. But she didn’t know of any other Alderaanian women; when she thought of one, she thought of the princess, caught and tormented in Galen Erso’s creation. She could hear Zekheret again, his repellent theories and laughing small and shouty, could see Senator Organa speaking up in that cluster of cowards—

Hot with anger, Jyn looked over at Cassian, who had said something she didn’t hear. He was smiling more widely than before, meeting the other captain’s gaze even more steadily. Somehow, the man seemed to take this as friendly.

Ignoring Jyn, he said to Cassian, “You know any?”

She could have sworn the temperature plunged ten degrees.

“My mother,” said Cassian, unblinking.

The captain flushed. “Ah. Didn’t realize, sorry.” As soon as the door opened to Floor Nine, he hurried out.

“Well,” Jyn said, “if we all die, there’s one person I won’t regret.”

Cassian’s wide smile faded to a tug of his mouth, barely perceptible and vastly warmer. “I’m sure we could find a few more.”

She didn’t know if she’d even regret Efrah and Zekheret. Maybe. Jyn liked fighting and she liked winning, but she wasn’t really bloodthirsty. She wasn’t even—she’d thought of herself as callous, both by necessity and as a matter of pride, but she was starting to think perhaps not. Just practical.

“I don’t want to tell you how to do your job,” she began.

Cassian lifted his brows, eyes gleaming. “Since when?”

Before Jyn could stifle the impulse, she wrinkled her nose. It was childish—in fact, she didn’t think she’d done it since she was a very little girl.

“Remember that I saved your life, captain.”

“And I owe you a debt for that,” replied Cassian, sobering.

“What?” Vehemently, she shook her head. “No, you don’t. You saved my life first, and you took the worst damage getting to me.”

“You’re not helping yourself,” he pointed out, amusement flickering back into his face.

“As if you’re any better,” said Jyn haughtily.

“So what is your advice, sergeant?”

Almost prim, she said, “Baring teeth and locking stares are signs of aggression in most species.”

Cassian’s lips pressed together, but the smile lines at the corners only deepened, and his eyes stayed bright. “Is that so?”

“Including humans.” She let a few seconds tick by. “Which you must know.”

Don’t get careless, she didn’t say, because she didn’t need to. Another addition to the things she’d never have imagined a week ago—that she’d be the one urging caution. Urging Cassian to caution. But he was tired and injured, and obliteration by the Alliance remained their best hope. This might well be a suicide mission, as much as the strike on Scarif had been for all the others.

But it wasn’t any reason to give up. She refused to give up, as long as a single strand of hope remained. It was hard to believe that he, of all people, felt any different. But she had to be sure.

“He wasn’t dangerous, in the circumstances,” said Cassian, plainly understanding. “Nor useful.”

He sounded like the Cassian she’d first met, his tone cool and analytical. She welcomed it now.

“That’s what goes for blowing off steam with you?” The sign on the elevator blinked to Seven, and she let uncertainty drain out of her. “Good to know. But maybe you should get a hobby.”

“I have not given up,” he said quietly. “Don’t worry. I will be with you to the end.”

Remembering the collapse of Krennic’s body on the catwalk, Jyn pushed the hoverchair out of the elevator and into the med bay.

She said, “I know.”

“I’m impressed,” Esten told them. “I thought I’d have to send a search party.”

Cassian, perched on the edge of a bed, scowled. Jyn glowered, too, aided equally by her own fear and Cassian’s chest. He’d disrobed to the waist at Esten’s command, and entire swaths of bruises still mottled his torso, faded from mauve to browns and yellows. An improvement, and she’d seen worse—she’d seen him worse—but it still turned her stomach.

“We need to get back to work,” he said, effortlessly slipping into Willix’s growl. “That means following your orders, regrettably.”

“You have better sense than I expected.”

Jyn gave a pointed cough.

“Or she does,” added Esten, giving her a nod of distant respect. About as much as she could hope for, all things considered. “Okay, lift your arm—just a little, don’t strain it. I need to check the blaster wound.”

As she bent to examine his side, the quiet weighed down until Jyn felt like screaming. They had to get out. She couldn’t see a way, just yet, but even if she had, they couldn’t seize it with Cassian still more bedridden than not. Come on, Esten, she thought, as if his condition rested on the doctor’s whims rather than his own body. He wouldn’t get a clean bill of health, obviously.

She’d known he wasn’t better yet. But she hadn’t thought he was still this badly off. How much had the drugs and his own reserve hidden? Jyn lifted her eyes to his face. Normally, meeting his gaze when they stood so close could be difficult, or … not difficult, but complicated. She wanted to look away, or keep looking, her nerves strung tighter than ever, or relaxing into dangerous ease, affinity and opposition wrangling in her mind. All messy and heavy and more than she quite knew what to do with, but at this point, better than looking at his battered body.

“Looks good,” Esten announced.

They both blinked at her.

“The wound is completely healed, no trace of infection. Let me get my scanner to check your bones.” She recovered the scanner from a nearby tray, and began dragging it up and down in front of his chest, never touching him. At irregular intervals, the scanner screeched out high beeps, some short, some wailing for seconds. It only gave a few near-inaudible blips when she passed over his legs.

“Hm. Interesting.”

“What’s interesting?” Jyn demanded, dreading the worst. She pressed her palm against the crystal in her pocket.

“These are healing much more quickly than I expected,” said Esten.

Jyn and Cassian both exhaled.

“It’s not an unprecedented rate,” she went on, squinting at him, “but unusual. Perhaps the bacta. I haven’t had many patients receive that quantity. It’s not like we can experiment with this sort of damage.”

“We can’t?” said Jyn, thinking of her father. “News to me.”

“Well, it’s hardly public access,” she said irritably.

Cassian looked from one to the other, then asked, “I can return to active duty, then?”

Considering the bruises still blotching most visible skin, Jyn repressed hope. But maybe, if ...

Esten gave a strangled laugh. “Are you out of your mind? No. Tomorrow, I want you to try walking around for about fifteen or twenty minutes every other hour, breathing deeply. You can start eating solid foods, but you”—she pointed at Jyn—“bring it to him. I don’t want him standing in those lines. Make sure he gets plenty of fluids and rest.”

“How much longer is this going to take?” he said, voice slightly rising. “I have duties, doctor, I must—”

“Not until I say you do,” said Esten. “Don’t think you can triangulate with command, either. I’m putting my recommendations straight into your file.”

His eyes narrowed. “How kind of you. Dr Esten, you don’t seem to understand—”

“How much pain have you been in?” she asked. “On a scale of one to ten.”

Frowning, Cassian said, “I don’t know. Five, perhaps.”

Esten glared at him.


“Eleven,” said Jyn.

He shot her a look of betrayal. “Thank you for your contribution, Lyr.”

“He’s actually taking your medicine,” she informed Esten.

“Good to hear.” Esten set the scanner aside. “Come back tomorrow. I’ll give you some bacta patches for your chest. If the bones fuse at the same pace and your pain subsides significantly, you might be able to take up some very limited duties the day after.”

“But I—”

“Thanks,” said Jyn hastily. “I’ll see that he follows your recommendations.”

“Be sure you do,” Esten said, in what passed for a friendly tone. Walking over to a cabinet, she extracted a set of large, squishy bacta patches and handed them to Jyn. She muttered, “Keep the analgesics going.”

“I will.”

“My ears are not broken,” said Cassian.

Esten ignored him. “Until tomorrow, Captain Willix. Sergeant.”

The moment she left, Jyn and Cassian brightened.

“That could have been worse,” she said, tossing his clothes over to him. “Do you need help?”

He was already pulling on his shirt. It would have been much more interesting if she didn’t wince with him as he worked his arms into the sleeves.

“No, it’s fine,” he said, and shook his head at her skeptical glance. In the space of the gesture, he got half the shirt buttoned. “I expected worse.”

He’d be used to changing quickly, of course. She was, too, when it didn’t involve regulation uniforms.

“So it does hurt,” Jyn said, snagging the jacket away from him.

“Some.” He grimaced again as he climbed off the bed. “Not eleven.”

Pretending not to hear, or at least not to care, she said nothing and stuffed his coat under her arm. She pushed the chair towards him.

“I need my jacket—”

“No, you don’t,” she said firmly. “Yesterday you left here in a medical gown. And it’s terribly wrinkled.” She scrunched it up some more.

Cassian inhaled what she could only assume to be a calming breath. Then, once again, he sat in the chair.

“I am really not in much pain,” he told her.

“You will be,” said Jyn, handing him his bacta patches and datapad. It came out more threatening than she intended; his pills were obviously wearing off, and they had another hour in elevator hell. “Ah, I didn’t mean …”

His mouth twitched. “I know.”

The ride back up to their floor wasn’t quite as bad as Jyn expected, but only just. Enough drugs lingered in Cassian’s system to cushion the jolts and shudders of the elevator, or he’d recovered enough, but it was still awful. Thankfully, fewer people joined them; it must be a slower hour. Jyn even tried to hail Bodhi’s comlink during a long solitary stretch. The call failed, but they often did in the moment, between his night shift and the relentless scrutiny he lived under.

It must be a nightmare. Bodhi really got the worst of it.

The elevator jerked between floors, then hurtled up. Cassian’s breath hissed.


Forty minutes up, her comlink buzzed.

“Trooper,” she said, relieved. “Are you secure?”

“Yes, sergeant,” said Bodhi, his voice disconcertingly mechanized. “I think I am. Do you need help? I hope nothing’s wrong.”

“No, no. Just an update.”

“I haven’t heard much else,” he said. “I mean, people are still talking, but not about anything new. If something’s changed, nobody here knows about it. The Commander is still saying the princess is a troublemaker.”

“That’s a mild way of putting it,” said Jyn. Cassian, settled again, gave a low hum of agreement.

“Uh, it’s … not the word he used.” After a pause, Bodhi added, “Any of the words he used.”

“I can imagine. Well, no change is better than the alternative.” Jyn glanced at Cassian. “Isn’t it?”

“At this point,” he said.

Even through the distortion of his helmet, she could hear Bodhi’s voice cheer. “Is that Ca—Captain Willix? Both of you are there?”

“Yes,” said Jyn. “I was just taking him to an appointment in the medical bay. We’re done now.”

“Oh.” The comlink crackled as the floors whooshed past. “I hope he’s … well, how are you, captain?”

She adjusted the comlink on her wrist, then moved her arm over to hold out near Cassian’s mouth.

“I’m fine now,” Cassian said. With each word, she felt his breath on her hand. Obviously, it’d be much stranger if she didn’t. And they’d spent enough time in close proximity that she’d often felt it before, against her cheek or ear or temple. Her wrist was nothing. Still, the skin over her veins tingled.

“He’s better,” she corrected, yanking her thoughts and her arm back. “Which is to say, only some of his bones are broken now. And I assume none of them are puncturing his organs any more.”


Cassian’s fingers curled about her arm and pulled it back. “Ignore her,” he said. “I will be completely healed in two or three days.”

“Not if you keep telling him to ignore me,” she retorted.

They heard a fuzzy sort of squeal, and then Bodhi’s nervous laugh.

“Sir, with all due respect,” he said, his voice clear once more, “I haven’t got this far by disregarding what Sergeant Lyr says.”

“Thanks,” said Jyn, grinning triumphantly at Cassian. “And the doctor said it might be two or three days if everything goes as well as possible, which has not exactly been our experience. He’ll have to be much luckier than we’ve been so far.”

“I’m not sure luck’s had anything to do with this,” Bodhi said. “I’m not sure it exists.”

Now it was Cassian who smiled, though his gaze dropped to the com. “You’re a wise man, trooper.”

“I … well, I … thank you, captain,” said Bodhi, sounding a bit puzzled. “I—I’m glad you’re up there together. And safe.”

Jyn and Cassian looked at each other. In a peculiar way, the warmth of emotion in her chest felt gentle: not fierce or anxious or exhausted, but something soft she saw reflected in his face. Mild and fragile as it was, the feeling seemed to drown out her usual intensity, and his.

“As are we,” Cassian said at last.

Through a thickness in her throat, she added, “RK. You stay safe, too.”

“Yes, ma’am,” said Bodhi.

Like them, he spoke with an unfamiliar note in his voice. Not quite the same as theirs—but she thought she could hear a laugh in it.
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