No one’s ever asked me for a headcannon before I’m so incredibly honored. Ignore me crying in the corner
Like most RebelCaptain headcannons, these take place in an AU, post-Scarif, in an Everyone-Lives-Everyone-Is-Happy universe. I’m also picturing a pre-relationship, feeling-aren’t-quite-expressed RebelCaptain here.
Cassian Andor barely knows what to do with the feelings he has for Jyn, so he especially doesn’t know what to do with the green fingered jealousy gripping his insides when he sees Jyn laughing at a random pilot’s joke
His fist clinches at his side and he forces it to relax because he can’t just go around throwing punches in the middle of base, but the rifle he’s examining definitely has it’s scope removed more roughly than normal
“No, K, everything is fine.”
“I estimate you used 43% more force than was necessary to remove that scope, Cassian.”
“It was stuck.”
“No it wasn’t.”
“Shut it, K.”
During dinner, that same pilot comes around and taps Jyn’s shoulder, drawing her attention away from the story Baze was telling, forcing her away to shift away from Cassian to face the pilot.
He’s young, the pilot. Probably a year or two younger than Jyn. Fresh-faced, over-eager, over-confident, like all the other X-Wing pilots.
Cassian just glares. Stares at the pilots and hardens his face, knowing how many people have run in the opposite direction from his “Do Not Mess With Me” face.
It takes a second for the pilot to notice, he’s so focused on whatever nonsense he wanted to tell Jyn, but Cassian knows the exact moment he sees the death glare. The pilot’s eyes go wide and he swallows loudly, quickly making his excuses to Jyn and practically running away from their table.
By the time Jyn has turned back to the group, Cassian’s face is perfectly neutral. If it hadn’t been for Bodhi’s quiet snickers, Cassian might have gotten away with it, too. But, of course, Jyn takes one look at him and just understands.
Because, after all, isn’t that who Cassian is?
Silent but deadly, able to complete his mission without a hitch.
Except around Jyn Erso. Around her, all the normal rules go out the window.
It’s weird for Jyn that so many people around the base have known Cassian for years
She’d gotten so close with him since Jedha and Eadu and Scarif that when another intelligence officer teases Cassian about a stupid stunt he pulled when he was 19, she stops short
Rebels call to him from across the mess hall, need his opinion in the War Room, want to catch up in the barracks
Of course the other rebels know Cassian – I’ve been in this fight since I was six years old – with a length that she’ll never be able to match. He has a history here that he can’t have with her. It makes sense. She just doesn’t like it.
She refuses to name the emotion that sucker punched her in the gut as another young female officer with pretty brown eyes and hair entirely too shiny for a rebellion comes up to congratulate Cassian for Scarif, rubbing his arm in the exchange
So Jyn does what she does best: pulls herself back, out of the situation, putting emotional and physical distance between her and Cassian
She finds work repairing some of the fighters damaged in the battle of Scarif with Bodhi. She’s no expert mechanic, but she knows enough to be useful and focusing her mind on the task helps pull her away from the Captain.
But it isn’t long until he finds her, pulls up an empty crate to sit on as she reworks wires and tighten bolts and just talks: about his day, the sassy remarks Kaytoo gave a general earlier, what she’s been doing, the size of the Rebel fleet, everything
And he keeps coming back, everyday, no matter where Jyn tries to hide
They don’t run into Lieutenant Perfect Hair for another week, this time in the barracks, as Cassian and Jyn were preparing to say goodnight.
Jyn had planned on going to bed quietly, but that woman tossed her hair and smiled flirtatiously in response to Cassian’s “Good night”
Jyn raised an eyebrow and rewrote her plans for the evening, because these kinds of intense emotions required action, dammit
Cassian turned to her, probably intending to give her the same message, but Jyn moved faster, throwing her arms about his neck and kissing him
And if he responds in the same way, pushing her back into her door, causing that unnamed emotion to fade, well, Jyn won’t complain
Going back through my dissertation looking for a specific source and just ran across the sentence, “In Lear, everyone loses,” and basically that’s my dissertation and the entire play summed up in four words
-Hanahaki Disease is an illness born from one-sided love, where the patient throws up and coughs of flower petals when their love is unrequited. It eventually leads to suffocation of the diseased.
Killua twisted his head around to frown at Gon. “What are you doing now?”
“Making a list…” Gon muttered, an intense look of concentration on his face.
Killua raised an eyebrow. A list, huh? He leaned forward on the park’s table, asking, “Of what?”
“Of all the guys we know.”
Killua couldn’t help himself- he snorted. “I already told you, Gon. Give it up.”
“I won’t!” Gon snapped, not even pausing to stop his writing. “I can’t just- I have to do something, Killua! If you just tell me who you’re in love with-”
“I’m not going to,” Killua said shortly, even as his heart sang: its you, its you, its-
You. Its always been you.
“Then-” Gon’s hand moved faster, “- I’m not gonna stop, either!”
Killua scowled. Gon was so stubborn sometimes. It made Killua’s head pound. But he should’ve known this is how his best friend would react after Killua told him about the disease.
Hanahaki. The disease of love. How was it even possible for a sickness like that to even exist?!
Killua didn’t know. If only feelings could be just that- simple emotions, unable to have any physical effect on one’s body. But the world didn’t work like that because the world was as cruel as it was unfair, and Killua couldn’t do anything to stop his love for Gon from manifesting inside of him. Killua’s love curled and grew and sometimes when he thought about it too much, he imagined he could actually feel the flower sitting at the bottom of his throat.
It was a weird sensation. But the thing only hurt him when the flower’s petals blocked his windpipe; when he had to cough them up to breathe again.
Killua didn’t get it, the disease or his own emotions or how the flower in his throat somehow knew Gon didn’t love him back. Not like that, at least.
But I do know one thing, he thought with a helpless smile as he watched Gon’s brow furrow and his tongue stick out between those soft lips-
Killua was heads-over-heels in love with Gon Freecss. He was one hundred percent smitten with his best friend. And Killua would die before Gon ever found out.
Killua’s heart lurched painfully. Something inside him shifted slightly and Killua’s eyes flew open wide- the flower- when he tried to inhale but suddenly couldn’t.
“Ki-Killua?!” Gon jumped off the bench and ran over to Killua’s side as Killua coughed violently. “Killua! Killua, what’s-”
Killua couldn’t hear him. His vision blurred. His throat was on fire. He couldn’t breathe. He couldn’t breathe, he couldn’t breathe-
He bend over his knees, shuddering, and gave one last cough.
A handful of soft, velvety petals tumbled out of his mouth and onto the grass.
For a long minute, they said nothing. Gon was frozen, hand hovering over Killua’s shoulder blades, but Killua barely noticed his presence. He was too busy gasping for air as tremors left his entire body shuddering.
There was still something heavy that tasted of metal and iron in the back of his throat. A second later Killua spat out a clot of blood onto the pile of already scarlet-stained petals.
“Ugh,” he rasped, finally. “Fucking- stupid flower.”
He coughed again and he faintly heard Gon’s detached voice-
“…is it always like this?”
Killua squinted up at Gon. His face was white. He stared at the flower petals with glossy gold-brown eyes and Killua’s stomach plummeted to the ground.
Damnit. Killua hadn’t meant for Gon to see this.
“No,” Killua said and Gon looked at him sharply. “I’m not lying, I swear! Its not normally like this.”
Most of the time it wasn’t, at least. But the symptoms were worsening, had been doing so ever since Killua told Gon about the disease. Seeing Gon react with such horror and overwhelming misery had only somehow made Killua’s ridiculous feelings for him grow.
Killua wasn’t sure how much worse the symptoms could get, at this point. But if it did get worse, it would only be a matter of time until…
Gon’s face hardened. Killua felt Gon’s hand curl into a fist on top of Killua’s back as his best friend swore, “I’m gonna save you, Killua.”
Killua swallowed thickly. He didn’t say: You can’t. You didn’t even know what was happening until I told you, how can you hope to save me now?
Instead, he said, “You’re stubborn streak is going to get you in trouble one day, Gon. Trust me when I say that this isn’t something you can save me from.”
Gon shook his head vigorously. “I don’t care! I’ll do whatever I can to save you anyway, because…”
His voice trailed off and, to Killua’s immense shock, his best friend’s normally tan cheeks darkened.
“B-Because?” Killua managed to stutter, pulse racing, flying, soaring-
Gon took a deep breath. “Because you’re my best friend, Killua. And I care about you too much to let you go that easily. No one could ever amount to how important you are to me, so I won’t let anyone take you away. No matter how much you love them.”
“I’m sorry, Killua. I know you that like this guy a lot, whoever he is, but I refuse to do nothing and let you die. So you’re gonna have to deal with me meddling in your life for a little bit, okay?”
Killua gaped. He stared openly at Gon as the shorter teen strode back around the table, sitting down and going back to his list with a single-minded determination that set his gold eyes aglow.
Killua shut his mouth. There was something warm unfurling inside his chest, right where his heart was. It made his toes curl in his sneakers and Killua dropped his gaze to the park’s wooden table. His cheeks were uncomfortably hot.
This feeling was different then the one when his body rejected the death flower. This feeling was soft, warm, peaceful. Gentle.
Killua peaked up at Gon through silver lashes. The other teen was too absorbed in his work to notice Killua’s gaze but that was fine.
Killua didn’t mind the flower in his throat because he didn’t mind- couldn’t regret- loving Gon. But he also couldn’t help the small flame of hope that flared inside his heart, fluttering against his ribs like a dove waiting to be set free.
Maybe, if he was lucky, Gon would figure out the whole truth behind Killua’s
Hanahaki Disease. Maybe, if he was the luckiest person on earth, Gon might just love Killua back.
Maybe, Killua could live on with Gon at his side, and he at Gon’s.
But for now all he could do was wait. Because if Gon did find out that he was the person who made Killua’s flower grow, he would wither away with guilt. And Killua would let himself suffocate before putting that heavy weight on Gon’s shoulders.
So. He would wait, and hope.
Killua lifted his face to the sun’s rays, enjoying the warmth across his forehead and nose, and smiled despite himself as he listened to Gon’s pencil scratch another name onto the list.