A Little Hope

DISCLAIMER: I don't own a thing, this was written for the purpose of entertainment only.


.

[first day of junior year]

.

"Over there is the cafeteria. Stay away from the mashed potatoes," Bodhi says with his shy smile. "We're not sure yet what it is, but it's definitely not made from potatoes."

Cassian nods. "Okay." His eyes wander around the sunny lawn and linger on a group of girls lounging on a blanket, surrounded by textbooks. One of them is lying on her back, her brown hair spilling over the hideous tartan pattern. She's reading aloud in a dramatic voice from some kind of play, desperately trying – and failing – to keep a straight face.

It's quite possibly the cutest thing he's seen in at least a week.

"And that, my friend," the dry voice of Jonathan Kay says into his ear, "is the exact wrong direction to be staring into."

This time, he has to fight down a smile. "Why is that?"

"The girl reading The Merchant of Venice for fun? That's Jyn Erso. Her father's said to be in line for the Nobel prize in physics, she's a straight-A student, top of Bodhi's martial art class, and quite frankly a harpy." Kay sighs and picks up his bag. "Basically, she manages to be both Stratford sisters at once."

Cassian frowns. "Who?"

"Never mind. Just… she's hopeless, and her friends are nasty."

Cassian turns to Bodhi, who gives a helpless shrug. "She's nice, actually. But her friends are kind of…"

"Shallow?" Kay supplies drily. "Surprisingly dumb given their grades?"

"A little mean."

She pushes herself up on her elbows and turns to one of her friends. She's talking rather animatedly, but there is something about her that looks distant, distracted.

Lost. (There's something about that look that feels oddly and painfully familiar to him, and he forces himself not to linger on the thought.)

She's still damn pretty.

"Got it. Avoid mashed potatoes and the girls over there," he says calmly and nods. "I still think I need a map."

.


.

[senior year, second semester]

.

"Hey. Hey, Erso!"

Jyn plucks out one of her earphones and turns around in confusion. The guy hurrying after her looks vaguely familiar, but she's pretty sure they've never spoken before.

"Yes?"

He holds up a hand and she takes a moment to see what is dangling from his fingers.

"This is yours, right?"

Her hand immediately springs to her neck where her mother's necklace should be.

"Yes. Oh my God, yes – thank you." She almost rips it out of his hand in her panic. "Thank you, um -"

There's a wry smile tugging at his lips. "Cassian. We have history together?"

She's momentarily taken aback by that, but when he goes on without a beat, she realises he means the subject, and also probably has no idea how wrong that sounded. There's an accent in his voice – Spanish? Portuguese? – that might explain the slip-up.

"English? Math?"

Jesus. She couldn't have named a single one. That's embarrassing. He's kind of cute as well, floppy hair aside.

"Yeah. I knew that," she snaps back helplessly.

His smile turns a touch warmer, and he turns to walk away. "You're a terrible liar, did you know?"

Jyn is left standing in the hallway, clutching the necklace and gaping after him. What the hell was that?

.


.

"Erso, same as ever, Strallen, much better," Krennic drawls, mechanically handing out the tests, "Fisher, Daniels, Baker – ah, Rook, surprisingly average, Kay, content is fine but I might as well have read the manual for my toaster." He gives a gleeful, dramatic little sigh. "Andor. Maybe if you turned up to my class a little more often, you'd actually manage to read between the lines."

Jyn turns in her chair just a little. Two rows behind her, the boy she met in the hallway a week ago is silently staring back at their teacher, face perfectly blank, then casts his eyes down on the table top.

Krennic scoffs and returns to the blackboard.

"So. Fitzgerald."

There's a small sigh from the boy in the back – Cassian, she reminds herself. Cassian Andor.

The red F on his paper is written big enough for her to see even from where she's sitting. He doesn't look too troubled, though, merely a little frustrated, and tired.

Jyn turns back with slight frown and starts jotting down what Krennic says in a bored drawl.

The bell goes, and half the class is on their feet immediately. Jyn sighs, and slowly starts packing her things together. She's in no hurry, her father flew to Switzerland two days ago and she doesn't really have to be anywhere all afternoon – again.

He's still at his desk when she gets up and leaves, and something makes her stop and say: "The assignment's not so bad. It's actually a pretty good book, you know?"

He chuckles and shakes his head. "I'm not… I don't read so much."

"Something tells me you haven't given it a shot."

"Oh," he says and gets to his feet as well. "Last time you didn't even know my name, but now you know that?"

Touché.

"I'm just saying, I liked the book," she gives back, mildly annoyed, and hurries her steps to catch up with him.

He shrugs and glances down at her. "Did you get your necklace fixed?"

She fingers the pendant and smiles absent-mindedly. "Yeah. Thanks again. I would've freaked out if I lost it."

A trace of a smile tugs at his lips, no more. "Don't mention it."

They reach the door and he overtakes her in two long strides, holding it open for her, and his dark eyes are on her face in a way she's sure they shouldn't be.

It's got surprisingly warm outside while they were in class, and the sun is almost painfully bright to her eyes.

"It was my mother's," she says abruptly, and doesn't know why she says it. "The necklace."

His face doesn't change expression, he just gives a curt little nod. "I understand."

And somehow, she believes that he does.

.


.

The next time she sees him, heavy rain clouds are looming over the school and he's sitting on the lawn next to the football pitch, frowning down on a library copy of The Great Gatsby.

"I'm afraid there's no match for another three days," she quips and adjusts the strap of her bag.

"That's why it's quiet out here," he says without looking up. "I had to get away from Kay, he would not shut up."

Jyn grins. She has that impression of the pale bespectacled boy who follows in Cassian's wake, usually ranting to either him or shy physics whiz Bodhi Rook about something or another.

"How's the book?"

He puts his finger between the pages to mark where he's stopped – he's halfway through, at least – and stretches out the damp grass with a sigh, eyes closed. "Exhausting."

Jyn laughs. "Really?"

He glowers up at her. "Have you tried to tell whether or not a book is talking about cake or ceiling decoration in a foreign language? Can't he just say the ceiling is white and decorated?"

She rolls her eyes. "Yes. That sounds like a riveting read."

He drops the book onto the grass with a groan. "I need a dictionary." She is just wondering whether she should explain – or possibly apologise – when he flashes her a wry grin.

"That was a joke. And you have a class in five minutes, you need to get going."

"Yes," she says slowly, vaguely bothered by the fact that he knows that until she realises – "Yes. Math. We're in the same class."

He shrugs. "We already covered that topic in junior year."

"No, we didn't."

"When I still went to school in Mexico."

Mexico. Spanish accent, then. She pushes the thought from her mind.

"You should still go to class," she says, and thinks she probably shouldn't care.

"I have to finish this," he says morosely, waving the book, and fishes a pack of cigarettes out of his bag. "You'll be late."

Jyn huffs, tries to think of something else to say but comes up empty, and hurries towards the school building. Despite herself, she glances back at him over her shoulder and finds him hunched over the novel again, looking none too pleased and a little like he was wondering whether to hold the lighter to the cigarette in his mouth or the book in his lap.

"Where have you been?"

Jyn flinches just a little and sees Violet hurrying towards her.

"Uh. Nowhere."

Violet follows her eyes and frowns. "Is that Andor? Smoking. Why am I not surprised? Also, shouldn't he be in class with us?"

Jyn shrugs. "He probably covered it already. He's good at math."

"Is he?" Violet laughs, puts an arm around her waist and pulls her towards the classroom. "How would you know? I've never heard him speak a single word."

It's not like we ever tried, Jyn thinks with a frown.

"He got an A minus in the test week."

Violet frowns at her. "How do you know all that? Anyway, he's still kind of weird."

"He just doesn't talk a lot."

Violet lowers her voice to a conspiratorial whisper: "Amber says he came here because his parents were involved in drugs in Mexico."

Jyn is momentarily lost for words. "Why would they send him to the US for that, Violet? That's stupid. And it's actually kind of racist."

"It's just what Amber told me, calm down, Jeez! Why do you get so worked up about that guy all of a sudden?"

"What the hell… I don't!" Jyn hisses, winds out of Violet's arm and hurries towards her seat.

.


.

She doesn't quite know how she ends up on the deserted football pitch again four days later, but it's sunny and she's got a free period and she needed fresh air.

Something like that.

"You resemble the advertisement of the man, she went on innocently. You know the advertisement of the man -," he reads out without so much as an hello. "What the hell kind of advertisement? Is this an inside joke or something?"

She chuckles. "It just means...," she puts down her bag and sits down on the grass next to him. "He reminds her of the people on the advertisement billboards. A façade, an empty ideal."

"Huh. That actually makes sense. Thank you." He looks up from his book and frowns. "What are you doing here?"

"I have a free period."

"But what are you doing here?"

She shrugs. "You said it was quiet. I liked the idea of that."

He doesn't look convinced, and she can't blame him. She has no idea why she's here, either.

He glances down at the cigarette in his hand. "Do you mind?"

Jyn shrugs. "No, 'course not."

His eyebrows dart up and he puts the cigarette out. "You are a really bad liar."

"You say that like it's a bad thing."

He almost smiles. "No, it just makes your life harder."

"That's… depressing."

"True, though," he replies with a shrug.

They're silent for a while, and Jyn gets out her planner and flickers idly through the pages. "There's a party tomorrow night at Anthony's place," she says in a neutral tone, and he scoffs.

"You're not seriously asking if I'll be there?"

"Why don't you ever go? It's not like there's an invite list," she says, grinning down at the book in his hand. He doesn't get the joke.

"I see no point in going where I'm not wanted."

"It's a party, people go there to down beer until they throw up in someone else's parents' shrubbery. Nobody cares who comes, so you're just as wanted as everyone else."

His wry smile is back on his lips. "Now you're just lying to yourself. There's the sort of people who go to these things and there's a group of people who doesn't."

"That's-"

"I don't mind. I'm not… fond? Not fond of competitive drinking," he mutters and flicks at the cigarette stub.

She laughs. "Yeah, I don't know. I don't really feel like going, either."

"You don't have to."

"I can't stay at home on a Saturday night, that's just depressing," she gives back. "Besides, I'd be home alone anyways, my father's on a conference."

"So go somewhere else."

"Alone? Everyone else will be at that stupid party."

There's a strange gleam in his dark eyes, and the hint of an actual smile pulling at the corners of his lips. He gets to his feet and grabs his bag.

"Not everyone."

And with that, he turns and leaves.

Jyn is not satisfied with that answer. She gets to her feet. "Are you asking me out?"

He bites back a smile before he turns back to her. "All I'm saying is, I won't be at that party."

She waits, and he gives in. A little. "If you want to look at it like that."

Her green eyes frown at him, measuring, weighing, crinkling just a little around the corners. "Okay. Seven sharp, at the mall."

Suppressing that smile is really starting to take effort. "Good."

"Good."

.


.

- Amber :** [07:46]

What are you wearing to Tony's party
tomorrow, hon?

- You [07:56]

I'm not going.

- Amber :** [08:01]

What?! We're ALL going.

- You [08:02]

I'm gonna watch a movie with papa.

- Amber :** [08:02]

On a SATURDAY NIGHT, babe?

- You [08:03]

Yes. We don't have to go to every party
there is.

- Amber :** [08:07]

…Violet said she saw you talking to Andor
again.

- You [08:08]

So?

- Amber :** [08:08]

I don't know, we just don't think he's good
news. You shouldn't be hanging around him.

- You [08:10]

He had a question about English. I was
just trying to be nice.

- Amber :** [08:11]

I'm just saying, we're worried. He's like, a
bad influence? People are starting to talk.

- You [08:11]

Don't be melodramatic, I just TALKED
to him!

- Amber :** [08:12]

I'm not melodramatic. They ARE talking. We're
just warning you. Sorry!

- Amber :** [08:18]

So are you really not coming to the party?
Come on, it'll be fun!

- You [08:20]

I promised papa we'd do a Star Wars
marathon. He's serious about that
kind of thing.

- Amber :** [08:20]

Okay. That sucks.

.

No, it doesn't. I love those movies, and I really miss my dad, you just don't want to go alone!

(Send)

.

She frowns down at her phone angrily, and deletes what she's just typed.

There's just no point. No point at all. These girls don't get her at all lately.

(Maybe they never really have.)

(Maybe that was the whole point.)

.


.

"You could have warned me," she says, laughing. "You could've warned me, damn it!"

"What, that one of us was going to see a film in a foreign language?" He grins down at her. "Who said that's my job?"

She shakes her head. "I bet I got half the movie wrong. You know, they tell you they teach you Spanish at school, they give you good grades and they tell you your Spanish is good and then I don't understand a single damn line!"

He gives her a sympathetic pat on the shoulder. "You were laughing at the right moments, it can't have been that bad."

She elbows him – hits him full force into his ribs, and damn, it hurts, and he doesn't care.

"It was! There was at least one word in every single sentence I didn't know, and half of them I didn't even get in the first place!"

He shakes his head and directs her towards the exit. "You're too ambitious. You gotta relax, then it'll be easier. Trust me on this, okay?"

She laughs, and stumbles against his shoulder just a little. He doesn't notice. He doesn't.

"Okay. Okay. I'll trust you on this."

He tries and fails to stop himself from grinning down at her, because she's smiling up and he's slightly confused and ridiculously giddy. He's eighteen. He hasn't felt this much like a teenager in, what, four years? Five?

She grips his arm. "C'mon. Come on, you paid for this, let me buy you a drink."

"I'm driving, Jyn."

She rolls her eyes. "Jesus Christ, a stupid coke, then. You know, you got half the school talking about whether or not you're some kind of escaped criminal, but you're so by the books. It's hilarious. Sometimes I think you've never broken a rule in your life."

He gives a helpless shrug, shakes his head. "I didn't. I really didn't. But you know, you come here and people think…" His hands are flailing. "What's this saying? The one about the shoes?"

Jyn frowns and drags him across the street to some diner that looks like it sells coke at twice the necessary price – probably the kind of place the scientist's daughter goes, definitely the kind of place he doesn't set foot.

"Saying about shoes? What do you – If the shoe fits, wear it? That what you mean?"

The bell above the door rings and they sit down at a table by the window.

"Yes. That one."

She's gnawing at her thumbnail and eyes him, and there's something sitting in her eyes that looks dangerously like pity.

"Don't listen to me, I… I can't put this right… the right way, it's… I'm just doing it to drive my aunt up the wall. She tells me all those stories about my father, how he was such a great man who'd never do something like that, and then she tells me all kind of stupid stuff he did and then she realises she's contradicting herself all the time. It's hilarious."

She orders two cokes from a waiter who shouldn't look like that at a sixteen year-old, and turns back to him, that smile back on her face.

"No. You know, I – The goody two-shoes act you know, I don't believe that. You're not some poor misunderstood creature."

"What is it with English people and shoes?"

The waiter comes back with the coke bottles and she shoves one across the table for him. "Uh-uh. Don't distract me from this. You smoke on the school grounds and you skip half your classes, and you get a look on your face like you'd kill anyone who comes near you. You're perfectly comfortable with your image. You keep it up. Deliberately."

"And you don't? You don't care about looking perfect, you definitely don't need everyone in school to like you and I'm not even sure you really care that much about your grades." He watches her, her green eyes that she can't keep on his when he says: "We're playing a role. Because that way people don't really look at you."

She's silent for a very long time, stares into her glass, then says very softly: "Thank you."

"For what?"

"For reminding me it's not real," she replies with a strange little smile. "Sometimes I believe myself."

"When did I remind you?"

She shrugs. "Couldn't say. But I'd forgotten."

He nods. "It's easier. It's human to do what is easy."

"Doesn't mean you should."

"No. But it's not a crime, and it's enough for most people."

She props her chin up on her hand and looks at him the way she looks at a mathematical equation. "A bit of hope would really suit you, you know?"

He smiles and empties his glass. "I did not come here for fashion advice."

She gives an undignified snort and he notices her eyes have a golden spark in them in this light. Also, her eyeliner is smudged on her right eye.

"Your jokes are terrible," she whimpers, a hand over her mouth.

He shrugs, and doesn't bother to wipe the smirk off his face this time. "You're laughing."

She shakes her head vigorously. "I shouldn't be."

"Maybe your taste isn't as good as you thought it was."

Something about that makes her look at him with a wholly different kind of intensity and there's a slow, strange smile pulling at her lips. "No. Maybe it really isn't."

If she stares at him like that any longer, he's going to do something stupid.

"Drink up, Jyn. It's past midnight. I'll drive you home."

.


.

- Violet [01:34]

Next time you don't wanna come to a party
cos you've got a fucking date, you could at
least tell us the truth! Jyn I'm so pissed!

- You [01:56]

I don't know what you're talking about, V

- Violet [02:01]

Seriously?! Barb's little brother saw you at the
movies. He didn't say with who but we can
guess!

- You [02:05]

Jesus. Quit acting like I killed someone or
something?! It wasn't a date. I was out
with a friend.

- Violet [02:06]

Well that's not what Chris said. And you told us
you were watching Star Trek with your Dad!

- You [02:07]

Chris is fourteen and has no clue what he's
talking about. And I knew you'd be like this.
Papa's on a conference. I told you, and
Amber. I told you Monday, and Thursday.
Not my fault you don't listen.

-You [02:07]

And it's Star Wars, V.

Not Star Trek. Star Wars. Learn the
difference.

.


.

"Oh my God. I can't believe you. I can't believe you, Jyn Erso!"

Jyn leans back in her seat and rolls her eyes. Deeply grateful this is Spanish class, and Cassian Andor isn't here.

"Can you stop? You've had all weekend to fuss."

Violet does not calm down. She never really could.

"That's one weekend. We've been friends for two years, Jyn, and you just straight up lie to us!"

Jyn sighs. "Will you stop screaming? I just…" She's not sure how that sentence goes on. She's not sure what she wanted, not sure what she wants.

"And Andor of all people, do you know what everyone says about –"

Jyn huffs in annoyance and drops her book onto the table with too much force. "That's all you ever care about, right? What people say? You don't even care if they're right."

"You know, Jyn, you're –"

The teacher enters and Violet falls silent, at least for a few minutes.

"You don't know the stories I heard, Jyn," she hisses angrily without looking up from her textbook. "You've got to be careful."

"It wasn't a bloody date, okay?" she gives back. "I just told him I didn't want to go to that stupid party, and we went to see a movie and it was fun, okay, it was nothing. It was bloody nothing. We were both bored, that's all."

"Yeah?" Violet whispers with a scoff. "What does that entail?"

She's physically shaking with anger at this point. "You keep complaining we're friends, but you think I'm such a slut. You think I'd sleep with anyone, right?"

There's a small noise behind her, and Jyn turns around with some kind of premonition.

She has never felt as guilty in her life as when she realises whom she has forgotten about. Just like everybody else on this school, like everybody except for Cassian and Kay, she has forgotten about Bodhi Rook. Bodhi, who's sitting two seats away in the row behind her, who's heard every word.

And the worst thing is, when she meets his dark eyes, he doesn't look angry. He just looks kind of sad. She wonders if second-hand heartbreak is a thing.

If it is, Bodhi probably suffers from that.

"Bodhi," she hisses, but the bell rings and he gets to his feet and is out the door before she can say another word.

"Shit," she whispers, and then, before she can stop herself, turns to Violet. "Thanks. Thanks a lot, V. Fucking fantastic. You're such a great friend. Seriously, you can all just-"

She stops herself there, at least.

She jumps to her feet and hurries down the hall where Bodhi disappeared.

.


.

She doesn't get there in time. During the next break, she runs into Cassian standing by his locker, a stack of books in his arms and an unlit cigarette in the corner of his mouth. If a teacher sees that, he'll be at the principal's office.

He looks up at her for just a moment, and she thinks there's something wrong with his eyes.

"I finished the book," he says, in a flat voice without inflection. "I liked the ending. It was good. I was kind of surprised."

Jyn sighs. "You talked to Bodhi."

He doesn't reply. That's an answer of sorts.

She takes a deep breath. I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said that. It's so hard to say it, all of a sudden. Everything is so much more complicated here in those stupid halls.

"You shouldn't be standing here with me," he says, in the same quiet voice. "People will talk."

I'm sorry.

"See you," he says and walks away.

.


.

"Stardust."

Jyn knows that voice. Something is up. She stares at her risotto.

"I had a funny call this morning."

"Yeah?"

"Yes." Galen Erso looks like he's trying to look stern, but also like he's fighting down amusement.

"It was one of your, um, your friends. I must admit I forgot the name. She told me a very odd story about how my daughter was going out with some kind of dealer."

Jyn's fork clatters onto her plate. "What?"

Galen appears to give up the fight and smiles at her. "Now, Jyn, I'm assuming there is one part of this story that's not true, and you will have to tell me which so I don't have to worry."

"I – none of this – I – Papa, you can't believe that I –"

"From the beginning, maybe?"

Jyn huff out a breathless laugh. "I don't believe this. Bitches."

"Jyn. I am starting to worry."

Her cheeks are burning. "First of all, I'm not – there's this guy in our year, and I lost Mum's necklace and he found it and gave it back to me, and I don't know, we've just been talking for a while and the whole school is thinking God knows what and… I don't know, nothing even happened, we just went to see a movie on Saturday and someone's little brother saw us or something and – and Amber keeps talking about this drug thing because he's Mexican and she's bloody stupid like that and it's all just…" Her voice fades into nothing and she just waves her fork.

Galen smiles.

"So no drugs. That's good."

"Papa-"

"I'm teasing you, stardust." He refills her water glass. "So you went to see a film together. Did you have a good time?"

She doesn't have the presence of mind to stop the smile, so there's no point in lying. "Yes, I – yes."

"And now your girls are talking."

She huffs and leans back in her chair. "Everyone's talking. It's a nightmare, papa."

Galen looks at her with his sharp eyes. "Jyn, I think you've concerned yourself with that a lot since Lyra died. That's how you ended up with this group of girls, right?"

We're playing a role.

"It was easier," she says quietly. "Nobody looks at you, not really, when you're like these girls. Everyone just assumes you're perfect, clothes and grades and all, and that's it. Nobody asks how you feel or something, and that was nice."

"And I haven't seen you smile like that," he says softly. "Not in a very long time."

Something in her chest feels a little warmer.

"Maybe you shouldn't listen to people so much, stardust, if you like that boy so much."

She wants to deny that, reflexively, but there's something in her father's eyes that gives her pause. And she nods.

"Yeah," she mutters and stares into her glass, and her father starts laughing.

"What?"

He shakes his head, still shaking with laughter. "I don't envy him. Poor kid."

His laughter is contagious. "What do you mean?"

"I can't imagine how far gone he must've had to be for you to notice him at all."

"Papa!"

.


.

She finds him right where she expected, next to the football pitch, this time with a highlighter and a notepad beside his battered copy of the novel.

This time, there can be no talk of quiet; the team is training for the upcoming match. Somehow she can't picture him watching the game.

"I thought you finished it."

He glances up at her, then back down at the pages. "Krennic won't let me pass just because I read the book once."

"He should."

Cassian scoffs. "Yes. Doesn't mean he will."

She sits down on the grass and watches the players. Cassian glances at his watch.

"History starts in ten minutes, you know."

She grins. "I know."

"Jyn, you'll be late."

"I know." She hugs her knees to her chest. "What passage is that?"

"The party," he says flatly. "The first one."

"Where he meets Gatsby, right?"

"Jyn," he sighs. "I've got to read this, and you will be late. And you shouldn't be sitting here, there are people down there who will see you with me."

"That's the idea," she replies softly. "Look, I'm sorry about –"

"Forget it." His eyes finally leave the pages to find hers, and they cut sharp. "I get it, I do. We play our roles. No point in trying to change that." His cynical little smile tugs at his lips again. "No fighting the system."

If the shoe fits, wear it, Jyn thinks, and it makes her more angry than sad this time around, she pushes herself off the floor.

"Put that book down, get on your feet."

He frowns up at her. "What for?"

"Get up, Andor," she repeats, smiling a little. "Go on."

His frown deepens, but he slowly gets to his feet. "What now, Erso, huh?"

"Now," she says, a little breathless, "you listen to me, Cassian. I am sorry. I am. I shouldn't have said – I shouldn't have – sometimes I don't know why I hang around them."

"Because you made them part of your role," he says simply.

"Probably." she mutters, and nods. "Point is –" Her eyes stray just a little below his eyes and the words hitch.

There's a smile playing around his lips now. He sees where she's looking.

"What's the point, Jyn?"

She forces herself to look back up. "You're looking at this all wrong, Cassian. There is a point. You've got to start somewhere. You've gotta have a little hope."

He scoffs. "Oh yeah? And where do I get that from?"

She grabs the front of his shirt and pulls him down to her in one swift, unpolished movement. He doesn't see it coming, which makes her strangely proud.

His lips are softer on hers than she expected, and his shock doesn't last long. There's a small smile against her teeth, one arm moving around her back, pulling her closer, the other moves to her hair, and she inhales sharply when his fingers pull the pins loose.

She's kissed people before, but she'll be damned if anyone's ever kissed her like that before.

She pulls away first, mostly because she thinks her knees might give and that would be bloody embarrassing there with the whole pitch to see them.

"What the hell was that?" he mutters, hand still gripping the back of her shirt.

She shrugs a little. "Fighting the system," she replies breathlessly.

He smiles, for real this time, and she thinks he should do that more often. "Is that what we're doing?"

"Yeah," she says and grins back. "I think so. Rebellion and shit."

And at that, Cassian Andor laughs, and Jyn thinks she's never felt this accomplished.

"Okay. I can do that, I think."

.

.


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