I Saw Her Tomorrow
the authors of the MayThe4th fic exchange have been revealed! I've been dying to share my gift for @ambiguityisnoonesfriend ever since I finished it, so here it is.
a huge thank you to @skitter-kitteruwu for beta reading!!
rating: general; kanan jarrus/hera syndulla; 7.8k words (4 chapters, complete)
link to full work
The wind whistled in her ears and whipped her lekku as Hera wrestled with the glider. Her exhilaration at flying was tempered by her awareness of the imminent danger. They were losing altitude fast, but their forward velocity was enough that the roof of the fuel station was getting bigger with every passing second.
"This is gonna be close!" she yelled to Kanan.
"It always is!" he called back. She knew he couldn’t see the precariousness of their situation, and yet he trusted her completely to fly them through it.
The glider skimmed over the lip of the building, barely clearing it. The durasteel frame screeched as it skidded over the roof, but didn’t crumple. She just about managed to hold on. The rush of another successful landing almost made her giddy.
Kanan was no longer beside her; he hadn’t been able to brace in time and had lost his grip on impact. His momentum had carried him over the glider’s nose to roll onto the roof.
He pushed himself up with a groan. "That was one of your better crashes."
Hera gave him a scandalised look as she dismounted and wagged a finger at him. "Kanan Jarrus, you know I never crash. I have very-"
"Very exciting landings," he finished for her with a smile, grabbing the admonishing hand. "Thanks for reminding me. Come on!" He pulled her towards the middle of the roof and away from the pursuing Imperials.
After a few steps she had to stop him from running over the edge; the Empire hadn't yet finished covering the station. She was about to tell him off for not seeing it, but then she stopped herself with a giggle. He was blind; he couldn’t see anything.
His head jerked as though he suddenly sensed what was in front of them. He made an impatient noise in the back of his throat, clearly displeased with how exposed they were, and grabbed his commlink.
"Spectre-5, do you read? How are you coming with that ship?"
"Kanan! Did you get her?" Sabine's tinny voice came through from the other end. Hera hadn’t even realised she’d been worried, but she felt something unclench slightly from around her heart at the sound.
"Of course he did," she replied, leaning into Kanan slightly to reach the small device. She immediately lost her balance, but he caught her without missing a beat and nudged her back upright. Maybe those interrogation drugs weren’t out of her system quite yet.
"There’s been a change of plans," Kanan was saying into the comm. "We need a pickup–"
"At the fuel station," Sabine cut in, "I know. The Empire does too."
He grimaced. She found herself fascinated by how naked his mouth looked without his beard surrounding it. "Well, let’s hope you get to us fi–"
"Hold on, there are new orders coming through." She paused. "All ships are being ordered to maintain high altitude to allow a bombing run on the fuel station."
"What?" Kanan yelped. "They’ll blow up the whole factory if they do that!"
Sabine sounded like she was still listening to the Imperial orders. "Apparently the roof is reinforced, and can take a hit."
"The roof is unfinished! There’s a giant hole in it!" Kanan gestured towards it even though there was no visual link on the comm.
"I guess Pryce really doesn’t want us getting away," Hera muttered.
"Kanan, it doesn’t matter." There was a definite note of panic in Sabine’s voice now, and it was mirrored by a rising fear in Hera. "I’m not gonna be able to get down to you before the bomber arrives without blowing our cover and getting shot to pieces!"
"That’s not a problem. Just get directly overhead, as quickly as you can. Tell Ezra to be ready to catch us – just like we practised."
Hera heard Sabine’s shaky breath over the comm. "I’ll let you know when I’m in position."
The light blinked off.
This was bad. Adrenaline returned to Hera’s body, chasing away the drug-induced fog that had started clouding her brain since they’d landed. What was Kanan up to?
"What do you have planned?" she asked, narrowing her eyes at him.
"When they get here, I’ll jump," he said simply. "I can get pretty high, and Ezra can pull us the rest of the way from above."
Her mind conjured the image of him cradling her in his arms as they soared upwards, just like in every ridiculous superhero holo they’d watched together.
Except this one isn’t ridiculous, because he would do that.
He would always come to save her. Whatever it took, he would always be there. He’d fly into the middle of a maximum security Imperial complex on a few pieces of scrap metal and junk, cut her free of her bonds, fight off a nightmarish assassin and escape an impossible dead-end situation by calling on his supernatural powers.
She felt a wave of emotion rise within her, a surge of warmth that threatened to spill into tears. Did he even know how incredibly important he was to her? They’d been so focused on fighting for so long, they’d had to actively find time to be alone together before she’d left. She’d figure out how to break the other news later, but right now there was one thing Hera needed to say to him.
"Kanan," she started. His attention immediately focused on her; there was something in her voice, something soft and vulnerable, yet serious. "I know it’s been a while since I’ve said it, and I know this isn’t really the moment, but… I love you."
Her ungloved fingers stroked the exposed skin of his cheek. He turned his head slightly in response so that his lips brushed her palm.
"I know," he said simply. It was the best thing he could have said. "And I love you too."
Her mouth curved into a smile as she pushed herself up onto her toes to kiss him. He returned the kiss, the press of his lips against hers achingly familiar, like coming home. Less familiar was the scratch of stubble; after years of having a beard, she’d forgotten what it was like to kiss Kanan without one.
They were interrupted by the familiar scream of twin ion engines approaching.
"Sabine!" Kanan shouted frantically into the comm. "Where are you? The bomber’s here!"
Her response was drowned out by the TIE bomber.
It swept overhead, blotting out the light from both moons. Hera wrapped her arms tightly around Kanan’s torso. Throughout her capture and subsequent torture she’d never once lost faith that he would come and rescue her, but now, faced with their current situation, that hope finally flickered. Their last moments were upon them.
At least they were together.
The bomber passed, the whine of the engines deepening as it retreated, but the shadow remained. Hera looked up and saw, suspended in the air above them, the unmistakable silhouette of a baradium missile.
She relaxed her grip on Kanan and realised he had thrust his arms out towards the sky, eyes closed, brow furrowed in concentration. He’d caught the missile! Her brave, brilliant Jedi.
"Kanan?" she asked tentatively. "Can you... put that down? We've got to get off this roof before they make another pass."
"I'm holding the proton charge detonator," he said through gritted teeth. She felt her stomach drop through her feet; he couldn’t let go without activating the missile. The whole station would go up with it. "Can’t jump without letting go. Or sending it up to the kids. But I can still throw you."
"But – what about you?" She knew the answer even as she asked, but her brain was refusing to accept it.
His sightless eyes locked on to her face. His expression was an unreadable mask. "I'm not making it out of this one."
No, no no.
She was shaking her head, even though he couldn’t see it. "I’m not leaving without you."
"Yes, you are," he insisted. "And you’re going to be okay. Don’t ask me how I know this, but you’re going to move on, and you will be happy again. I’m certain of it. And that’s all I ever wanted."
The comm beeped again.
"We’re in position! Kanan, now!"
Sabine’s words had barely sunk in when she felt herself gripped by an unseen hand, and then she was flying through the air. She caught a glimpse of the whole station below her – the square roof framing the round hole that in turn framed gleaming stacks of construction material, the bomb hovering off-center and ruining the symmetry – before her vision went dark.
She felt the wind from the TIE bomber as it raced below her at the same time as a second invisible force grabbed her. It twisted her in midair, and now she was rushing towards an Imperial patrol transport. A single figure in a fighter pilot’s uniform stood in the troop bay with arms outstretched.
By the time Ezra had pulled her into the transport beside him and she was able to turn back around, the fuel station was an expanding ball of fire.
Kanan was gone.
Chapter 2 (AO3) ->
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