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
AKA taking a break from packing.

title: per ardua ad astra (11/?)
verse: Death Star
characters: Jyn Erso, Cassian Andor; OCs—Bain Efrah, Mihal Zekheret; Jyn/Cassian
stuff that happens: Cassian properly meets Efrah and Zekheret, and on Jyn's request, readily plays Willix as a controlling, straitlaced officer; also—presents, uncomfortable strategies, and statistical averages! (TW for dubcon mention; it's a passing, ultra-euphemistic reference to past situations, but there)
previous chapters: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten

“May the Force be with us,” he murmured.

“Now you’re the thief,” said Jyn.

“Sometimes.” Cassian turned away, to the panel at the door. After a pause, he laid his palm against it. “But you can’t claim that one.”

Unperturbed, she replied, “Sounds like something a word thief would say.”


Jyn woke early the next morning, in the closest thing to a good mood that the Death Star allowed. Bodhi seemed frankly better than she’d ever seen him, Cassian really was healing, and they had at least an idea of a timeline for his recovery. This half-life didn’t feel so narrow and desperate now, aimless survival from one hour to the next.

Some part of her still wondered at that, that less than a month from Lianna, her own survival could mean so little. But if her identities had never been so remote and involved as Cassian’s, Jyn was starting to feel that they might have been much more so than she’d realized, more than Lyr. Not only was she not Lianna, perhaps she hadn’t ever been Lianna. Perhaps—

She shoved the thought away. She’d dwell on that later, if she had a later. For the moment, Jyn settled for making her bed under the dim lights, not even trying to remember the insane protocols. She felt sure that Cassian would correct everything after she left, anyway. And he needed something to do, didn’t he?

Jyn glanced over at the opposite bed, where the man in question huddled in fitful sleep. Last night’s sedatives must have worn off. Even so, something about Cassian’s unconscious body struck her as odd. She scowled at him for a good five seconds before realizing.

Since their escape from Scarif, if it could be called an escape, she’d only seen him lying flat on his back. Now, though, he slept as he had before, curled on his side like a child. A wary child, maybe—back pressed to the wall, his one visible hand in a loose fist near his face. She slept the same way, but it seemed odder in a man only a couple inches short of six feet. Or maybe just in another person.

A good sign, Jyn decided. He looked uncomfortable, but not agonized, which he would have been twelve hours ago. She let him sleep and headed to the fresher.

Towards the end of the eight-minute shower she allowed herself, Jyn thought she heard sounds from the room. Someone talking?

Undoubtedly, Cassian had woken up and barrelled past his limits, or found some vital rule broken, or whatever. Secure in the knowledge that she’d hauled him into recovery and he’d have to take himself the rest of the way, she left him to it and enjoyed the last of the water.

Jyn was pinning her hair back when she heard a loud metal clang. At that, she rushed out of the fresher, one hand going to her hip. Her empty hip. She had yet to find a way to secret away blasters in her close-fitting uniform, and with her batons abandoned on Scarif, she had nothing else. Anything, even Saw’s sharpened stick, would have been better—at least made her feel less naked and exposed every time she ventured out of the quarters. But Jyn wasn’t one to mourn things she could do nothing about. She’d stuffed the more unobtrusive blasters into various accessible corners of the room, if … oh, she knew six blasters wouldn’t save them if it came down to that, but just in case.

She was headed towards the nearest cache as soon as she slipped out of the fresher. No attack, however, seemed to be forthcoming; Cassian stood at the door, a large metal crate at his feet, talking to someone she couldn’t quite see.

“Yes, that should be all,” he said.

Jyn still hovered next to the wall beside the fresher, where normally a tiny table and chair folded out. Only when the door closed did she withdraw her hand.

She didn’t believe for a moment that she had escaped Cassian’s observation. Out of indifference or some obscure courtesy among spies, though, he pretended not to notice. Instead, he knelt down beside the crate and tapped something that creaked open the lid. Then he started pulling out assorted plastoid kits and stacking them neatly beside him.

He was evidently looking for something in particular. Curious, Jyn wandered over, even as Cassian rose to his feet with a case very much like all the others. Black, rather flat, squarish—it told her nothing.

Almost nothing, that was. It looked awfully small for a droid repair kit.

“Found your basic necessity?” asked Jyn.

His pretense, whether politeness or insult, did not extend to feigning astonishment. Cassian turned to her, a peculiar uncertainty on his face.

“It’s not for me,” he said, and dropped it into her hands. “Except my peace of mind.”

Jyn’s curiosity and residual annoyance froze, transmuted to genuine surprise.

“You requisitioned a present?” she said, disbelieving.

“A necessity,” corrected Cassian. “That much was true.”

Yet that unsureness lingered about him, foreign to the Cassian she knew. Whatever he’d ordered might be necessary, but certainly not basic. Now deeply intrigued, Jyn unlatched the case.

Inside lay three of the tiniest blasters she had ever seen. They could fit in the palm of her hand—the two smaller ones, anyway, but the third wasn’t much bigger.

“They look like toys,” she murmured, taking out the largest blaster. Flat on her hand, it extended barely past her middle finger. She’d meant to judge its weight and balance, but there was barely anything to judge. Her datapad must be heavier.

“It’s not a toy,” said Cassian.

Jyn looked up at him, not even bothering to contain an unsteady smile. “I imagined not. How much can they … ”

The unnatural hesitation vanished. “There are only a few energy cells in them. You can feel that, right? Maybe three or four shots a piece.”

“For emergencies, then,” said Jyn.

Cassian nodded. “As matters stand, any situation where you would want blasters has probably gone too far to be saved by them. But you never know.”

“I always want a blaster,” she said, honestly enough, but she could feel her smile deepen.

The familiar suggestion of one softened his face. “True.”

“So I can hide these under my clothes? They look small enough.”

“That’s the idea. There are straps in the crate,” said Cassian. “The blaster you have there should fit in your boot.”

“That’ll be comforting,” Jyn said, without a trace of irony. Even if she couldn’t realistically use them, the mere idea of being armed eased the dread that walked with her.

He replied, “For both of us.”

Jyn wasn’t entirely sure how to take that. By now, she’d seen Cassian risk himself for her over and over, heard him scream her name too many times, through too many disasters, to think he didn’t care about her safety. But all three of them cared, teammates and survivors and companions of some sort. She worried about Bodhi, and to go by last night’s call, Bodhi slept easier knowing that she and Cassian were together, able to look after each other. Of course Cassian would find some measure of comfort in knowing Jyn had weapons on her when she wandered about the Death Star. She’d feel the same, were their roles reversed.

Well, she would feel … she didn’t know. Jyn slid the blaster back into the case and headed over to her dresser, not even considering the possibility of returning the full kit to Cassian. The weapons were all hers this time. Whoever Jyn Erso turned out to be, she wouldn’t ever be helpless again.

Not that she wished helplessness on any of them. Jyn’s thoughts drifted back to Bodhi. She did worry, she did care. After little more than a fortnight, he felt like a sort of brother—was a sort of brother, perhaps, given his devotion to her father. Cassian didn’t feel like anything of the kind. Not a brother, not even exactly a friend: just Cassian. Yet, she cared more about him.

In her mind, she could admit that; she wasn’t one for willfully deluding herself. And she’d bet that he cared more about her than anyone else, as far as that went. It was … half the time, they drifted together so naturally that she didn’t even notice until she saw how close their faces were. The other half, they froze or flinched away at any meeting of their eyes, exchange of smiles, the very prospect of physical contact.

Caring meant ready partnership and unthinking attraction, ease and awkwardness, a muddled something that defied every category she tried to put on it. All in all, she felt more unsure than anything else, and more unsure still about what it meant to Cassian. For all their differences, he had a way of reflecting Jyn back at herself, his suspicion and camaraderie and anger and vulnerability tracking precisely with hers—maybe real accord, maybe habits of a lifetime. She didn’t even know for sure if he shared the layer of entirely shallow attraction she felt.

Everything had been so much clearer on Scarif, when they’d been united in purpose and means. When everything was life or death, not this fragile in-between.

“Oh,” said Cassian, who had been unloading the rest of the crate. “There’s something else. More of the same, however.”

He dropped another case, flatter and broader than the first, onto her bed. If Cassian never did casual well, at least around her, this seemed somewhat less convincing than usual. Jyn wandered over, sat down, and opened it up.

Holy Force.

She could see what he meant by “more of the same,” but these weren’t tiny, emergency-use blasters. They were knives, a low row of them, all of different sizes and functions. But they were all quite evidently weapons. Her finger stung when she tested the edge of the nearest blade.

“You seemed to favour hand-to-hand,” remarked Cassian. “I didn’t think Willix could justify truncheons, but these should be easy to hide. Not quite as suspicious to reveal, either.”

“I’m touched,” Jyn said lightly, to hide the fact that she really was.

The last time she’d received a gift, it … well, it’d been blasters and knives then, too. One of each. These ones, though, didn’t mean abandonment. Teamwork, maybe. Where she’d been a beloved burden to Saw, Cassian trusted her as his eyes and ears. She was a valuable asset to be supported, not a ticking bomb. That meant something different than caring, but it mattered, too.

Anyway, these were much better blasters and knives.

“You’re welcome,” he said, looking almost as intensely uncomfortable as when he’d been pinning her jacket over her breast.

Her own feelings again, mirrored back. Whatever the cause, there was something at once satisfying and unsettling in that.

Setting the useless quandary aside, Jyn buried the knives under her uniforms and helped with the new equipment. Her glower seemed to be getting more effective; Cassian only managed to say you don’t need to before giving up. Instead, he unloaded the crate with what looked like minimal discomfort, while directing Jyn in the actual organization of the equipment, mostly in a narrow closet by the door.

Soon enough, however, he started carting equipment over to the closet himself. It couldn’t have been too uncomfortable; she didn’t even realize he was right behind her until he stacked his kits on the next shelf, one well out of her reach. Force of will kept her from jumping in surprise; force of pride kept her from insisting that she could do it, since—she couldn’t.

As Jyn hoisted up a box of nutrient bars, she noticed that Cassian had gone entirely still, despite the kits remaining in his arms. Though outside her full range of vision, she could feel his gaze fixing on her; she hadn’t lived this long by ignoring the realization that she’d caught someone’s attention. Sure enough, when she glanced back, he was studying her with a bemused expression, as if some unexpected truth had only then struck him.

“What?” she demanded.

He stared down at her. “I should have … I forget that you are so small.”

“I am not small,” she said. “I’m average on Coruscant. We can’t all be freakishly tall.”

“That is not a compliment I get everyday,” said Cassian, soberly enough, but with a suspicious tilt to his mouth. “Or any day.”

“It wasn’t a compliment,” Jyn told him. She wasn’t short just because he spent his time with six- and seven-foot menaces. And that was exactly the way he used to look at a specific seven-foot menace, when Kaytoo’s asides passed from obnoxious to endearingly absurd. Endearing to Cassian, anyway. She scowled.

“All right.” The good-humoured patience in his voice was the same she’d heard before, too. Had anyone else been present, Jyn expected the next thing out of his mouth would have been she means well. Instead, he asked, “What are your plans?”

“Another exciting day of skulking around the Death Star and talking to Imperials,” she said. “Hopefully I can get something new out of Zekheret or Efrah, but there might not be anything.”

Cassian set a robotics kit on a shelf two feet above her head. “Probably not much until we reach Alderaan.”

That particular dread threatened to linger. She couldn’t do anything about it, Jyn reminded herself. No sabotage they might cobble together would dent this thing, or free Princess Leia, or do anything but expose them and ruin any opportunity they might have to make a difference. And Bodhi would be left by himself.

“True,” she acknowledged. “Even in the best case, Efrah’s only going to know so much, and say less.” She cast a sideways glance at him as Cassian turned a little, placing the last kit—she didn’t recognize the label—onto an even-higher shelf. In profile, the bones of his face stood out sharply, fine and severe from jaw to brow. “But you might have better luck with her.”


“She admires your cheekbones,” Jyn said.

Cassian stiffened. Even in profile, she could see the planes of his face go smooth and impassive.

Flatly, he said, “I noticed.”

The tone—tonelessness—caught her by surprise. Jyn knew that Cassian didn’t care for plastering on Willix’s smarm in general, but she hadn’t really thought of it in terms of flirtation. Not beyond his grating behaviour when she had come by with Efrah, anyway. Certainly she’d never wondered whether he liked trading on his looks any more than she did.

Apparently not.

“Right,” said Jyn, in her most nonchalant voice. “A terrible burden.”

He didn’t reply at first, rearranging the last kits. She felt almost … seventy percent certainty that it had nothing to do with Imperial stacking protocols.

Damn. Kaytoo had definitely rubbed off on her.

Cassian said, “You’d know, I’m sure.” He still didn’t look at her.

Jyn blinked. Well, that answered one question.

“I suppose.” As usual, words only came to mind in a jumbled mess. Jyn cleared her throat. “It can be … useful. More if I were any good at that sort of thing.”

He gave one of his short not-laughs. “Do you usually need to be?”

“No,” she admitted. “Most people don’t think straight if they find someone attractive. Not completely.”

Now he did turn her way, sympathy cracking his empty expression. “Yes.”

Some impulse had her adding, “But I don’t like it either. Using—I’ll take a fair fight any day.”

The sympathy softened to something else, a shadow of a smile at his mouth. “Or an unfair one, I think.”

“At my size, you take what you can get.”

Cassian really did smile at that. “Your average size?”

“Yes,” she said, and ducked away to retreat back to the refresher. No, not retreating. She had to finish pinning her hair back. And now she had those—basic necessities. Jyn snatched up the straps in the crate and the weapon cases in her drawer as she headed into the fresher; whatever else Cassian might help her with, she drew the line at hiding knives in her clothes.

Thankfully, the straps were easier to manage than her actual uniform. As she attached a slender knife to her left arm, her mind wandered to the earlier conversation, and she thought of Zekheret.


“Is something wrong?” Cassian instantly demanded, voice sharp even from the other end of the quarters.

For a spy, he could be very high-strung. She’d seen less jittery nerfs.

“No, it’s only that I remembered something I had to tell you.” She bound the one holstered strap over her shirt, carefully positioning one of the blasters in a tiny, flat holster. “You’re the reason I’m celibate.”

A moment of utter silence passed. Then Cassian said,


“If anyone asks, I mean.” Jyn closed her jacket and did her best to navigate the assorted folds and tucks and buttons. At last, she seemed to have it right. It hung as Cassian had fixed it both days, the tiny blaster entirely concealed.

Another long pause lingered while she worked.

“Is there a reason to expect that someone might?” said Cassian, sounding nearer. And baffled.

“I’m not sure.” She twisted pieces of her fringe back and clipped them against her skull. “The corporal I was telling you about, Efrah’s friend, is extremely ... friendly.”

She settled her cap on her head and strode out of the fresher. Sure enough, he had drawn near, leaning against the bars of her bed with a familiar frown. Before Jyn could even settle her remaining weapons back in her drawer, Cassian snapped out,

“Did he—”

“No, nothing like that.” Weapons deposited, she turned to him, the quirk of her mouth more wry than anything else. “He simply appreciates my, uh …”

Cassian’s brows rose. “Cheekbones?”

“As it were,” said Jyn. “They don’t see many women here, of course. There’s Efrah, but it sounds like she beat her rejection into him. So he tried some ridiculous flirtation with me, and I blamed you.” She shrugged. “Told him I have a very by-the-book commanding officer, who is strict about policies and codes of conduct and the like.”

Not too far from the truth, really. To go by the suspicious glance he gave her, the same idea crossed Cassian’s mind.

“Ah.” Not pursuing that line of inquiry, he said, “I don’t tolerate fraternization?”

“Right.” A heavy weight seemed to hang on every word, and Jyn couldn’t even guess at his opinion of this wrinkle. Nevertheless, she persevered. “I didn’t figure we’d be around long enough to get anything out of him that way. It turns out Zekheret says everything that enters his head in any case.”

Without betraying anything else, he looked sympathetic again. “It’s probably for the best.”

“In the interests of honesty,” she said, “it’s also because he’s a bit sleazy. I was afraid I might throw up on him.”

“Definitely for the best, then,” said Cassian.

That surprised a bright grin out of her. He returned it, his crooked smile exactly the one that had scrambled her thoughts after she beamed at him on the shuttle.

They weren’t scrambled now.

At least, she didn’t end up with her hand on his arm, torn between enjoying the simple pleasure of it, embarrassment at Cassian’s clear astonishment, and trying to figure out how it had even happened. She felt easier now: not easy, but not inclined to run away, either. And Cassian betrayed neither Willix’s smooth charm nor his own earlier shock, just ducking his head as if nobody had ever smiled at him in his life.

“Zekheret’s been friendly enough since,” she went on, indistinctly relieved, “so he seemed to accept it.”

“Or he doesn’t believe you,” said Cassian, pragmatic as ever.

Jyn shrugged. “That’s why I wanted to make sure you’ll back me up. It won’t be a problem to look rigid and threatening every time he ogles me, will it?”

He considered her.

“No,” Cassian said. “Not a problem.”

Once again, Zekheret caught up with Jyn outside the mess hall.

“Morning, Lyr,” he said cheerfully. Either he or Efrah had mentioned at some point that he was twenty-eight—she didn’t remember which. But he seemed as boyish as ever.

“Good morning.”

Behind her, Cassian shifted to her side; she suspected her head had blocked his insignia from view. It wouldn’t matter if he’d taken the hoverchair, but he insisted on walking—though she only relented because of the short distance and Esten’s orders.

Zekheret glanced at him and immediately straightened to attention. “Captain!”

Cassian, true to his word, eyed him with open disdain.

“This is Corporal Zekheret, sir,” said Jyn. “He and Sergeant Efrah—the one you met—have been showing me the ropes.”

Just Efrah, really. But if she didn’t mean to put effort into cultivating Zekheret, she didn’t see any need to alienate him, either.

“I see.”

At the sound of Cassian’s voice, Zekheret started. It was Willix’s accent rather than Cassian’s, apparent even in those two syllables, but she still felt a dash of vicarious annoyance.

Cassian either shared it, or pretended to. He waited for Zekheret to stiffen back to attention, then let a few excruciating seconds pass. Impressively, he also managed to look down his nose at a man both older and taller than he was. If they lived, he’d have to have to teach her that one.

“At ease, corporal.”

Relieved, Zekheret relaxed. “You must be Captain Willix, sir.”

“Yes. Did you need something?”

“Ah …” Zekheret’s gaze darted to Jyn, then away. “No, sir. Only making sure that Sergeant Lyr was, uh, safe.”

“As you see, no Rebels have killed her yet,” said Cassian. He made a peremptory gesture at Jyn. “With me, Lyr.”

By pure strength of will, she kept her hands from clenching. Willix was supposed to be an asshole, she reminded herself. Willix, not Cassian. As he sneered his way into the hall, she repeated it as a mantra. Not Cassian, not Cassian, not Cassian.

So she wasn’t actually going to punch him in the teeth.

In the hall, Jyn made Cassian wait at a table while she fetched breakfast for both of them. He complained, of course, and that time she wasn’t quite sure where Willix ended and Cassian began. She supposed it didn’t matter.

“Dr Esten said—”

Succinctly, he replied, “Damn Esten.”

“I’m pretty sure she outranks you, sir.”

Something flickered in his face, an infinitesimal change that took him from haughty and sullen to uneasy.

“Lyr, I can walk. I don’t want you waiting on me.”

Cassian, she decided. Cassian talking nonsense, but it took the edge off her irritation.

“That’s unfortunate,” said Jyn.

He regained shades of Willix. “What it is, is distasteful. I’ll—”

“I’ve done more distasteful things,” she retorted. Lyr, she reminded herself. She had to be Lyr. “And so have you, captain.

Cassian grimaced, but she’d won. Jyn, aided by the spectre of Esten, extracted his promise to sit down at the table and stay there. After a tedious half-hour in line, she returned to find Cassian entirely subsumed in Willix, drumming his fingers on the table.

She set his tray in front of him. Carrying two hadn’t been much of a task for someone who’d done far more things requiring far steadier hands, but she shook out her wrist anyway.

He peered at the brownish globs in the bowl. “What is this?”

“I don’t think we want to know,” said Jyn.

A few minutes later, Efrah and Zekheret homed in on her, seeming to appear out of nowhere in that uncanny way they had. Zekheret did in particular, which given his size, seemed rather a waste. He didn’t have the brains for spying, but anyone that quiet and blindly loyal should be in some sort of operations beyond prison duty. At least if it were up to her.

Not that Imperial incompetence was her problem. Or a problem.

“—Princess Leia, herself?” Cassian was saying.

Efrah nodded. “The Rebels transmitted plans for the whole Death Star to her. She disposed of them somehow, though. Darth Vader himself has been questioning her.”

She supplied accounts of the days since Scarif, Zekheret interjecting now and then, and Jyn silent. None of it seemed new, and Cassian talked more smoothly than she did, so she was glad enough to give way to him. She confined herself to observing the three of them, almost amused to see Cassian thaw from Willix the arrogant bastard to Willix the affable officer. If she hadn’t known better, Jyn would really have thought they’d gradually overcome his contempt as they made themselves helpful. Efrah and Zekheret certainly seemed eager to win the respect—or escape the displeasure—of an officer. It didn’t mean anything like certainty, but she saw nothing to raise suspicion.

Not wanting to seem too obvious, Jyn took out her datapad and swiped through random public infobank articles while the other three talked. After another quick survey of Zekheret’s earnest face and Efrah’s flushed one, she pretended to deep interest in Indigenous flora of Corellia and Dancing forms among Togruta. Then Human height (Core planets) caught her eye, and she nearly smiled.

A minute later, she actually did.

Cassian broke off from Willix’s opinions about regional governors to cast her a quizzical look.

“It’s not important, sir,” said Jyn.

He nodded and turned back to the others, but Efrah tilted her head. “Oh, I think we could all use something to laugh at. It’s been a rough few days, hasn’t it?”

“It’s not funny,” she replied. “I just discovered I was right in a discussion that the captain and I were having earlier.”

“Oh?” said Cassian.

Efrah glanced between them, then said, “I’m guessing you’ll have to be more specific. There are so many things for us to be right about, aren’t there?”

“Modest as always,” Zekheret said.

“Well.” Jyn summoned up her most pompous tone. “The average height of a human man on Alderaan is one hundred and sixty-seven centimeters. The average height of a human woman on Coruscant is one hundred and sixty-one centimeters.”

Willix’s smile shrank into Cassian’s, lighting his eyes. “You’re really doing this, Lyr?”

“I’m nothing if not thorough, sir.” She handed the datapad over. “I stand at one hundred and sixty centimeters, while you stand at one hundred and seventy-eight. That’s eleven centimeters above the mean on your planet, while I am only one centimeter beneath the mean on mine. You are tall. I am average.”

“Almost average,” said Cassian.

Efrah laughed openly.

Zekheret, grinning, said, “What does that make me? I’m a hundred and eighty-two centimeters.”

“A giant fool,” Efrah said, with what Jyn could only assume was a friendly shove.

“Vader’s on this ship, and you’re calling me a giant?”

She ignored him, her blue eyes once again fixing on Cassian. “You’re Alderaanian, captain? I didn’t realize.”

Skimming something on Jyn’s datapad, he made an indistinct noise of assent. Jyn herself felt an uncomfortable chill prickle all up and down her spine. Maybe danger, maybe the reminder of whatever nightmare awaited them in the cradle of the Rebellion.

Zekheret blurted out, “Oh, that’s why—uh—I mean, you’re going home, then. Sir. Have you heard? We’re headed for Alderaan.”

Jyn’s and Cassian’s eyes met.

“Yes,” she said. “We’ve heard.”

After Jyn returned Cassian to their quarters, she fidgeted at the door.

“My uniform?”

He glanced down, then back at her face. “It looks fine.”

“Amazing,” said Jyn. “I can dress myself now. Only the Force knows what I’ll master next.”

Cassian shook his head, but let it pass. “You’re armed?”

“Two blasters, three knives,” she said, distinctly satisfied. It only lasted a moment. “I suppose I’d better go … skulk. At least get some sort of timeline, if I can. And you—be careful, all right?”

He said, “You stole my line.”

“It happens. You put things better,” said Jyn, shrugging. “Don’t walk too much, either.”

“Fifteen minutes every hour,” he assured her.

Like usual, the quiet seconds that passed were heavy, awkward, but not unpleasantly so. They swallowed as they looked at each other, eyes wide and steady, lips parting over hesitant smiles. Somehow they’d drawn near again, Jyn’s head tilted up and Cassian’s bent towards her, so near that a jolt would have them—well, it’d have her face in his shoulder. But still.

“May the Force be with us,” he murmured.

“Now you’re the thief,” said Jyn.

“Sometimes.” Cassian turned away, to the panel at the door. After a pause, he laid his palm against it. “But you can’t claim that one.”

Unperturbed, she replied, “Sounds like something a word thief would say.”

As the door hissed open, they both eyed it as an enemy. Jyn sighed. But she settled for a brusque,

“I’ll be back for meals.”

With that, she slipped into the hall, and Cassian was alone.
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