Title Penance Summary: Cassian and Jyn think of each other after the events of Scarif. Author Note: AU story set a few weeks after the events of Rogue One. Written for the Mod’s Time Trial challenge. 5 prompts in 48 hours. Spoiler: Challenge Prompts Your TV trope is: Not a Morning Person Your weather forecast is: Snowy Your random word is: Aliferous - def: having wings. Your recycled challenge quote is: "I'm still paying dearly for past mistakes." - (Control, 2007), from the Movie Quote Challenge Your picture prompt is: (Original Link: https://cdn.pixabay.com/photo/2018/03/25/13/43/garbage-3259455_960_720.jpg) ********************************************************* Title Penance Summary: Cassian and Jyn think of each other after the events of Scarif. Author Note: AU story set a few weeks after the events of Rogue One. He knew he’d been foolish to think they’d end up anywhere together. But still he’d hoped, and he knew she had as well. Fighting together and surviving together had formed a bond between them that could not; would not be broken. They were separated by light years now; penance perhaps for both. They’d found something in each other; camaraderie, safety, caring and maybe even something more. Being forced apart so soon after a traumatic experience in which only they’d survived had rattled him. It had made him think and feel and reflect on his life. Cassian sighed as he stood outside looking up into the sky. It was dark; a deep, dark gray and he noticed the snow was falling around him in thick white flakes. He wondered how he’d missed it. He wondered how he’d missed just how cold it was outside as well. He tugged his coat tighter around him; his thoughts again turning to Jyn Erso. Before her, he’d never stopped fighting long enough to consider things like love or having a family. He’d never stopped fighting long enough to ever consider what he would do when fighting was no longer necessary. He turned suddenly and went back inside and sat down next to the fire he’d built hours earlier. He reached into the cabinet set beside him and pulled out several pieces of old, yellowed paper and an ancient ink pen. Slowly he began to write. Jyn, I don’t really know where to start, or even what to say to you. We said so much to each other on Scarif, yet I think we barely said anything of importance at all. Being separated from you is testing my will and my patience. It’s penance for me, I think. I’m still paying dearly for past mistakes. Perhaps I always will be. I want to tell you everything; it’s cold here on Fest; much colder than I remember it being as a boy. It snows a lot. But, I’ve been distracted by your absence and didn’t even notice right away while standing outside that it had started snowing. The days are long, the nights even longer and… Hours later, Cassian looked at the space around him; littered with letters begun and tossed aside only to begin again. It was rambling nonsense and he knew it. But writing it down had made him feel better despite knowing Jyn would never read his words. He tossed the finished letter aside, picked up the crumpled pieces he’d discarded and threw them into the waste bin. He stood then and moved to the sleep couch across from the blazing fire. He tossed his boots aside and stretched out, pulling a warm blanket over his tired body. He closed his dark eyes and let his mind drift to Jyn; hoping she might occupy his dreams. ************************************************************************* The sun streaming through the curtains woke Jyn long before she was ready. Rising with the first streams of lights was not her thing. Groaning, she pulled the thin sheet over her head and did her best to go back to sleep. “Rise and shine, Lieutenant!” a voice yelled, startling Jyn awake once more. “Go ‘way!” she yelled back. “It’s barely morning.” The voice chuckled and she immediately recognized the sound of Leia Organa. She turned over in her bunk and glared at the bright-eyed princess. “Why are you so…happy?” Jyn grumbled accusingly as she slowly sat up; her long hair in tangles and large bags beneath her dark eyes. Leia entered the room and pulled from behind her back a steaming mug of caf. She handed it to the young woman only two years her senior and took a seat beside her. She watched as Jyn took a careful sip and laughed when she groaned at the taste. “That’s…awful,” she said, setting the caf down on the table. She leaned back against the wall and closed her eyes. Leia simply watched for a few moments before she spoke. “We’re sending you on a mission today,” she told her softly. Jyn opened her eyes and stared blankly at the princess. Missions weren’t on her plate right now. Recovering from her near-death on Scarif had taken priority the last few weeks. Apparently, that had now changed. Jyn stood and stretched somewhat painfully; still feeling the pull of muscles and tendons badly injured on Scarif. “Where am I going and what am I doing? Leia smiled knowingly. “You’re going to Fest. There is an Alliance Intelligence officer there in need of a lift home.” Jyn couldn’t keep the smile from her face. She would see Cassian again. Soon. Leia departed and Jyn commenced with getting dressed. She was just placing her blaster into her leg holster when she heard her comm unit beep with alerting her to an incoming message. She pressed the button and was shocked to see a letter from Cassian. She was in tears by the time she got to the last few lines. “…and I find myself missing you more and more as each day passes. You once told me that you felt grounded, so low that you felt like you’d never be able to rise again. I sit here alone and I imagine us both as aliferous; able to go anywhere we want. Able to meet each other in the air. I know we’ll see each other again, Jyn Erso. I believe it with my whole heart. I have hope. You give me that and I’ll treasure it always. Love, Cassian” Jyn read the letter over and over. Her heart was pounding. She finally cleared her throat, wiped her tears and became again the strong soldier the Alliance, and Cassian, needed her to be. She grabbed the rest of her gear and left her small quarters and headed for the hangar bay. She had a captain to bring home.