Then I'll Follow You (Into the Dark)

DISCLAIMER: I don't own a thing, everything is with their rightful owners, no money is being made of this.

*Author's Note* Inspired the song "I'll follow you into the dark" by Death Cab for Cutie.

For just a moment, as the sky begins to glow and rushes to meet them there at the shores of this treacherously peaceful beach, the familiar taste of regret on his tongue grows all-consuming.

Oh, he's so, so sorry – he thinks again of the images that flashed in front of their eyes in that elevator. He was always told that it is your past life that you see before the end, but that's not what he saw.

What he caught instead was a glimpse of a woman he wants to get to know so badly he can almost taste it. It's strange, in a way, that he doesn't really know her at all but she's here with him, here at the end.

What he caught instead was a glimpse of a life he never thought he might see himself leading, and now he never will – a faint idea not of peace, maybe, but at least a semblance of it; a distant memory of what it feels like to belong to people not for a cause or for logical reasons, but because they are home.

What a strange idea for him to have a home.

(If Chirrut was right, then they will all be together very soon, joined in the Force or however the monk put it, and oh, Cassian yearns to believe that right now. Brave, bright-eyed Bodhi, Chirrut with his unwavering faith and that smile on his lips and Baze with his gruff warmth and silent support, and Kay who shouldn't even have been able to die a hero but did it anyway – oh, he wishes there is something more for all of them, even though he can't quite bring himself to believe there is.)

He looks up at her, and oh, he's so, so sorry – sorry he will never know her as well as he'd like, that he will never be able to try and make up for some of the horrors in their past, sorry even that he will never get to see creases forming around her eyes when she smiles, never get to see her dark hair streak with grey, never get to see her hands marked by the years.

Jyn's green eyes meet his and they're the same as his must be, tired and relieved and full of regrets.

But then she smiles, and he realises how lucky they are.

(Cassian always thought he'd die in a dark alley, his body shoved into the shadows to rot. Cassian always thought he'd die a sudden death, halfway through a task that will only ever lead to another.

He always thought he'd die alone.)

Instead, they are here together, and they did it. They have played a role, they will make a difference, and history might forget their names but it won't forget this day. It won't forget Scarif, and that is enough.

He's more dazed than in pain, and he almost catches himself thinking that this beach is a beautiful place, a good place to die. He will die in the light, and there's a sudden rush of deepest gratitude for that that tightens in his throat. He's spent so much of his life in the shadows, but he will not die in them; he will die on a white beach in the arms of a good person.

It's more forgiveness, more redemption, than he ever dared to hope for, and he pulls her tighter, his face pressed against her shoulder, and hopes she feels the same way.

(They have done good, and the people their sacrifice will save forgive them. For what it's worth, they've forgiven each other.)

There is no time, no words left to say, but it's alright. Their heartbeats meet through their chests, almost in sync, and her fingers press against his shoulders. He can barely stand, but he is alright, they both are. It's over, or almost is, and it's okay.

The bitterness fades. He could have loved her, he would have, and that's a good thought to die with.



The soles of your shoes are all worn down

The time for sleep is now

(It's nothing to cry about, 'cause we'll hold each other soon)

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