“I’m not sure four of us is quite enough,” she said. Baze grunted dismissively and looked to Bodhi. “How many do we need?” “What are you talking about?” Jyn asked. Baze jutted a finger, pointing behind Jyn.
The suns hang red and swollen in the sky, the heat of them immeasurable. There’s a reason Luke warned them to travel by night, and as much as Jyn had insisted they they would be fine—she lived on Jedha, surely this could be no worse—she regrets it, now, forging across the open desert in daylight. They’ve had to stop in the shade of a particularly large crest of sand to wait out the heat, and she’s pretty sure they’re going to wind up losing more than if they’d just waited.
Her companions at least seem unperturbed, for which she is grateful. Chirrut leans back against the sand with an eerily contented smile for someone who surely must be sweating buckets through his robes, and Baze stretches out on his back, his head in Chirrut’s lap. He starts snoring almost instantly.
Jyn sits, her muscles aching from the ride, and Cassian takes a seat at her side. His face is flushed, his eyelids heavy, but he gives her a tired smile, a silent reassurance.
Jyn frowns. Cassian has every right to an I told you so, and he won’t even use it. Guilt prickles at her skin.
Before processing the full implications of the action, Jyn pats at her lap. For a few seconds Cassian just stares at her, blank, but then she cocks her head towards Chirrut and Baze and Cassian’s eyes grow suddenly, almost comically wide.
“Oh,” he manages, sounding a little strangled; probably just the heat. “I, err—”
“You need to sleep,” Jyn shrugs. “Or you’ll fall off your horse.”
Cassian bristles. “I’m not going to—”
“Who was on guard last night, me or you?” Jyn asks. He frowns, cornered.
“Fine.” He glances down at her lap, quick, back up. “But seriously, I don’t have to—”
And yes, there’s a part of Jyn just now realizing that offering to do something because their married friends are doing it has certain implications. But the more he protests, the more uncomfortable it becomes, the more it makes it seem as though Jyn actually thought through this offer. (She really wishes she had thought through this offer.)
“Just shut up and sleep,” she growls, slapping her thigh. If she insists that it’s not a big deal, then it’s not a big deal. That’s how these things work.
Cassian swallows, the look in his eye guarded and unreadable. Then, to Jyn’s relief, he nods, twisting to his back and laying his head down gently along her leg.
Jyn freezes. She was unprepared for the heat that’s suddenly blossomed in her chest, the hyper-awareness of where his body touches hers. He closes his eyes, settles against her, and the frown lines along his mouth smooth out as he relaxes. Some hair falls across his eyes, and Jyn almost reaches out to brush it away.
She curls her hand into a fist instead and lets out a long, shaky breath.
Forcing herself to look away from him, she notices that Chirrut is smiling beside her. Which is ridiculous, because he shouldn’t be able to see that anything is happening in the first place. She glares at him.
Chirrut smiles wider. Then, in what feels like a suspiciously challenging gesture, he reaches down and runs his fingers through Baze’s hair. Baze lets out a small, contented noise—softer than Jyn’s ever heard from him—and shifts against Chirrut in his sleep.
Chirrut swivels his head towards Jyn, raising his eyebrows.
When the convenient reason for living together disappears, it becomes painfully obvious that they haven’t really talked this through.
“She was there all morning, K,” says Cassian, mild, his hand still warm against her leg. “Is something up?”
K2 tilts his head. “I did not mean your room, Cassian. I was speaking about Jyn’s room.”
They all stare at him. Given that she and Cassian have been
bunking together for nearly a month—which, despite their never
addressing it in public, seems to be common knowledge on base—this is
all making very little sense.
“You’re positive you’re not short-circuiting?” Jyn asks, now feeling somewhat concerned.
“I’m not short-circuiting,” K2 snaps. “Are you?”
“K—” Cassian warns.
“Power has been restored to the south quadrant,” K2 explains, as
though appalled the rest of them are only just finding out about such
important news. “Everyone is returning to their original quarters. Your
room is yours again.”
Jyn is skilled at masking her reactions by now; she’s had years
of practice. Her stomach clenches involuntarily, and her heart stutters
pointlessly against her chest, but she keeps her face even. She doesn’t
so much as blink.
Beneath the table, Cassian’s hand stiffens against her thigh.