Even above ground, in the cockpit of yet another stolen shuttle, it’s making his eyes water and he has to blink to get clear sight onto the long stretch of beach under them, scanning for two familiar figures. His vision is still hazy and the smoke everywhere - as are the flames.
The console beeps. Two humans detected, fitting the given parameters, one male, one female, not more than half a kilometer south.
“Yes! Okay, listen,” Bodhi calls. He tears his eyes away from the disaster outside, starting to frantically flip switch after switch on the flight instrument panel. His fingers hurt with every switch he touches, his arms ache, protesting to be so much as lifted higher than his elbows, and his face is burning - his whole body hurts. Somewhere in the back of his mind, he is surprised to find that his legs form an exception. He can’t feel them at all. That is probably something he should worry about, but he doesn’t have the time, not yet.
“I’m gonna try and get us down, low enough to get them in, but it’ll have to be quick! Kay, do you hear me?” He is yelling, for once, because the crumbling planet around them refuses to die quietly, but also because everything he does hear sounds oddly muffled in his head. “We won’t have much time before they’ll notice we’re not one of their evacuation shuttles and start taking shots at us. Get Cassian and Jyn, and then we’ll get the hell out of here!”
“Understood.” The droid nods and leaves the co-pilot seat. “I will act as quick as possible,” he says and positions himself near the shuttle hatch.
Bodhi throws a quick glance over his shoulder into the main part of the ship. Baze is hunched over on the floor, cradling an unconscious Chirrut in his lap, who had still made it aboard on his own, but apparently been knocked out sometime in the last few minutes by his general injuries. A flash of worry shoots through Bodhi. Had it not been for the two guardians, he would have been blown to pieces together with the stolen Imperial shuttle, not sitting at the helm of another stolen Imperial shuttle one of the same model, planning to rescue two of the very rebels that might have just thrown the vital spanner into the Empire’s works.
Baze looks up and points past Bodhi. “We need to hurry!”
Bodhi’s head snaps back and what he sees is terrifying. The horizon consists of nothing but blinding red light and he quickly averts his eyes. This is already the second time within forty-eight hours that he witnesses a horizon getting swallowed by sheer forces of destruction. The first time, due to a mysterious interplay of chance and divine intervention, he had not been dragged down with it. He isn’t yet sure about the second time.
He pulls the lever for the thrusters next to the console and calls, “Initiating descend… now! K-2, get ready!”
The shuttle goes into hover mode, hanging in the air just a few feet above the shore of the burning planet. The hatch hisses open and fresh smoke and newly stirred up sand blows in when, according to plan, K-2SO leans out and reaches for the two people huddled together on the beach. He first grabs hold of Jyn, being closer, and hauls her in, then wraps his other arm around Cassian, lifting him too, up and into safety. Or at least closer to it than before.
“All aboard and only slightly singed,” K-2 informes Bodhi, setting down Cassian next to Jyn.
“Kay -” Cassian is interrupted by his own cough and clutches his side as his body shakes. He doesn’t even try to get up, instead leans against the now closed hatch and takes a deep breath once the coughing subsides. He looks up at K-2 and shakes his head, a disbelieving smile beginning to build. “Force, I’ve never been more glad to see you.”
The droid shortly glances down at himself, before answering. “Technically, you do not see me, this is merely another K-X model with my memory drive - and not even a well-maintained one, I’d like to point out - but I appreciate the sentiment. It’s good to see you too, Cassian.”
Next to him, Jyn drags a hand over her face.
“Yeah, thanks,” she says and it sounds deeply heartfelt. It seems to take her an incredible amount of effort, but she pushes herself up on her knees and stands, starting to make her way toward the cockpit. “Feelings aside, who’s flying this thing?”
Jyn leans heavily on the pilot seat just as K-2 says, “Our pilot, who else?” His tone implies he thinks every other assumption incredibly stupid.
“Bodhi?” She asks, incredulous, and Bodhi can feel a hand touching his hair, Jyn apparently needing haptic proof that he is real.
“Hello,” he says sheepishly, craning his neck to catch a quick look at her.
Jyn is breathing hard and her eyes are red-rimmed. Why would they not be, just moments ago, she must have been convinced that moments was all she had left of this life. Bodhi’s eyes meet Jyn’s and her mouth curves into a relieved smile.
She returns his greeting. “Hi there.”
Now Cassian, too, scrambles to his feet, wincing visibly. He’s unsteady on his feet and K-2 catches him once lest he falls before making it front, to Bodhi and Jyn. In the cockpit, Jyn takes over and wraps her arm around his waist. With Cassian supported by her, K-2 reclaims his position in the co-pilot seat and transfers parts of the controls to his station.
Knowing K-2 now has a handle on things, Bodhi allows himself another glance back and seeks Cassian’s eyes. They seem tired, so very tired, but they also emit a deep gratefulness.
“You got us out,” he says. “You really got us out.”
Bodhi swallows and nods, burning the image of Cassian and Jyn, breathing and leaned against each other, into this memory.
Less than a week ago he’d never met either of them, but right now he feels like he’s known them a lifetime. Maybe, Bodhi ponders, going through something like this alters time, making it go slower while everything around happens way too quickly, allowing it to fit in all the things that would be enough for much more than just one single life. He has no idea if this even makes sense and shakes off the thought, all that really counts is that they’re alive.
“Yeah,” Bodhi mumbles, forcing his attention back on the instrument panel. His eyes are starting to burn more and more and the distant drumming in his ears is constantly getting louder.
“You’re injured,” he hears Cassian point out.
Now that the adrenaline flowing through his system is slowly coming to a halt, he suddenly feels too exhausted to reply, ‘So are you’.
He barely registers Jyn’s voice calling out his name. Cassian also says something, but Bodhi is having trouble understanding him over all the noise, the drumming is just too loud by now.
Once they break the atmosphere and the familiar pull of jumping into hyperspace fades, so does his consciousness. Everything around him goes black. But that’s okay. He got them out.
an alternate r1 ending from my ot3 fic that is probably never going to see the light of day but they all live and our brave pilot got them out and this just needed to be said thank you for your attention
the secret life of pets trailer where the guinea pig fucks the computer mouse is legitimately the most uncomfortable thing i’ve ever seen in a kids movie trailer and if its orgasm face has to be stuck in my mind for the rest of my life then you all might as well share my burden
I appear to have caused some minor controversy on the Schipperke facebook page… I have been sharing quotes from sources I’ve been reading about schipperkes and it seems people disagree! I’d be happy to be corrected, but nobody can provide a source for their information.