Jyn can still feel the fine grit of sand on her tongue when she wakes. Behind her closed eyes she can still see it, the blinding white light on the horizon, spreading out, speeding towards them—I am one with the Force and the Force is with—her heart races inside her chest.
Even through the haze of sleep she assesses her surroundings. The threadbare pillowcase beneath her cheek, the thin cushioning of the mattress beneath her, the weight of the blankets piled atop. Bed. Her bed. Their bed.
Something jabs her side, like a muscle spasm, realer than any remnant of her dream. Another twitch, harder this time. Oh. The baby. A new fear spikes in Jyn’s belly, mixes with the fear leftover from her dream—part memory, part nightmare, the sands of Scarif burned to glass shard digging into her skin, a star burst eating them whole—makes panic squeezes around her throat like a phantom hand she can’t shake off. She needs to move.
Pushing herself upright is harder than it should be, Jyn struggles with the blankets spread over her and the planet housed under her skin. How much bigger can she get, she wonders in the back of her mind where she seems to think of nothing else these day, how much more room can this child make for itself within her before there’s nothing left of Jyn at all?
Stop, Jyn tells herself, forces herself to count. It’s an old game her mother taught her when she was a child afraid of the dark cave lying in wait beneath the ground. One, two, three. “Now let it go Jyn.” Her mother said, one rough hand smoothing over her braids. “One, two, three.”
Jyn touches her hand to the kyber crystal twisted on its cord around her neck. It gives off its familiar peculiar warmth against her palm and Jyn squeezes her eyes closed, tries to take a deep centering breath the likes of which would make Chirrut proud. Jyn hadn’t taken to mediation the way Bodhi had, could never clear her mind of chatter, nor quiet the restless energy in her limbs that called for movement, for action. She preferred the quiet sanctuary of the armory, sitting at Baze’s side, dismantling weapons only to reassemble them in pristine condition. But her blaster, well within reach, is in working order and she can’t very well go crawling into any of the smuggling compartments where they’ve stored their modest but well-stocked weapons cache. Jyn considers her options. She counts. Dread still sits heavy on her chest when she exhales. The skin of her back prickles and nausea rolls up her throat. A dream, she tells herself, only a dream. One, two, three. (“Now let it go, Jyn.”)
The ship floor is cold under her feet when she rises. Jyn finds her boots, standing side by side against the base of the bunk like two soldiers at attention, waiting for her to slip on. The sight of them makes her smile, something fond warming her throat. Even the aftertaste of terror in her mouth cannot withstand the enormity of the gratitude she feels towards Cassian, the simple everyday gestures of companionship that litter her life now.
She’s getting bigger, that’s a matter of fact, though she could stand to hear less on the subject from Kay, who seems especially preoccupied with how much more she can possibly grow. Her distaste at the fact has more to do with being incapacitated than it does with vanity (though there’s a touch of that too if she’s being honest). Saw taught her many things in their time together. He taught her how to read a stranger’s face and divine their intentions, how to plant her feet and aim and blaster and make each shot count. He taught Jyn how her body was an extension of every weapon how to take a blow and swing back twice as hard.
Jyn survived by putting those lessons into practice while learning things on her own. Alone, Jyn taught herself how to run, how to watch her own back, how to find a way out at any cost until she found people she would rather die with than survive without.
(“You’re staying?” Cassian asks, still favoring his left side more than he probably means to, face so painstakingly neutral, Jyn almost believes it. She shrugs, wishes she could offer him a smile that wouldn’t feel like a lie. But Cassian has never struck her as the type who appreciates playacting, so Jyn lets her mouth do whatever it wishes just this once. It can’t be a nice expression--Jyn has very little experience being nice--but Cassian’s eyes are still fixed on her face. It isn’t the calculating look that greeted her when he first stepped out of the shadows in command, it’s something different. He’s waiting. Waiting for her. Jyn clears her throat. “Can’t think of good enough reason not.” For the rest of her life, however long that might be, Jyn will never forget his face in that moment, how young he looks--how young he is--under the relief that floods his features.)
Now, unable to right her own boots after she’s kicked them off her swollen feet, she feels as though she’s losing the only thing she could trust for nearly a decade. Even now, on this ship they call home, it doesn’t sit easy no matter what official peace accords say.
She feels slightly better grounded once she’s standing, shoes secure on her feet. She contemplates the ‘fresher door for a long minute, still breathing deeply through her nose down to her stomach, exhales slowly and tries to expel the last dredges of the dream. Jyn wishes it were so simple, that she might exhale and purge the last grains of sand still buried deep in her lungs. From Jedha, from Eadu, from Scarif.
Jyn wants to breathe in and feel, just once, like the ghosts at her back are guardians rather than demons, wants something whole with all the fierce yearning she’s carried in her gut since childhood. In her clenched fist the kyber crystal grows warmer and she imagines it capable of leaching the fear from her body breath by breath. She remembers the glow of Skywalker’s lightsaber as it cast shadows on his boyish face, the awe it ignited in the eyes of all onlookers, remembers the blastwave that tore the very foundations of the holy city from the earth, the searing light on Scarif. Jyn wonders that the source of them is one in the same with this stone she wears around her neck, the only inheritance of her mother and father she has left.
She touches her open palm to the side of her stomach, the unfamiliar bulk of it still something to get used to, something to learn. (Jyn is good at improvisation, at taking chances. The Force hasn’t left her without one yet. She prays it doesn’t desert her now.) Beneath her hand the baby lands a soft blow and Jyn smiles without meaning to. “Careful or Chirrut will criticize your form.” There’s another jab, this one just beneath her ribs. Well, she thinks making up her mind, it doesn’t look like either of them is going back to sleep soon.
No matter, Jyn knows where to go.
In all the years she’s known him Cassian’s never been very good at sleeping through the night, though it’s gotten worse of late. There was a time Jyn could count on waking up as he snuck from the room but those days are behind them now, back before her back ached and her breasts hurt and she felt as though a hundred years of sleep might never be enough to lessen the exhaustion emanating from her bones. She thinks a pack of raging wampas might not wake her these days and wonders what Saw would have to say about that, about this slackening of her guard and the softening of her body, the fight she’s left behind her for a second time.
Enough, says a voice at the back of her mind that sounds like Chirrut, patient and firm. Enough. One, two, three. She exhales.
Her jacket isn’t large enough to close over her belly anymore, hasn’t been for some time now, and Cassian’s jacket isn’t in plain sight for her to steal so she’ll just have to settle for the lumpy woolen thing Bodhi gave her when they parted ways on Katina the last time they saw one another. It’s not quite large enough to be a blanket but too large to be a scarf, Jyn’s taken to wrapping herself in it now that her jacket seems to shrink every time she so much as takes her eyes off it.
(“Cassian’s clothes will not suffice for the full duration of your pregnancy.” Kay informs her one day while helping her in the cargo bay. “His size is greater than yours in height, not width. I have calculated both fetal development and your own potential weight gain for the remainder of its gestation so you might select new clothing efficiently. Soon, preferably.” Jyn doesn’t know how to respond, a sun flare of indignation almost bright enough to blind her to the fact that she could just as easily cry at the mere thought of being looked after. She stamps the urge down and childishly ignores Kay all together. In true K-2SO fashion he tattles on her to Cassian the first chance he gets. One day soon, Jyn thinks ruefully, she’s going to put that droid out the airlock and blame the whole thing on hormones.)
The ship lights glow low to preserve energy, cast dim shadows on her walk towards the cockpit. Kay’s dull metal head rises more than a foot over the headrest of the co-pilot’s seat while outside the stars watch their progress, pinpoints of light in the distance. Cassian is studying something on the control panel, face half-lit by the pale blue lights overhead. Jyn pauses at the threshold, takes the opportunity to examine him unnoticed. It isn’t something she gets to do often enough.
She knows that the shadows are only partially to blame for the tiredness she reads in his face. For all that he tries to hide it from her there’s no missing the anxious tilt of his mouth, the tension she can feel knotting in his muscles when she touches him. There are days Jyn still can’t believe they’re here--not together, not alive, not expecting, but here, flying further and further from the Alliance and all its fight. The fight they each almost gave their lives for a hundred times over since boarding a stolen shuttle and escaping an impossible mission with their lives, all of that behind them and a whole new world ahead.
(“I’m not good at this type of thing.” He says, almost apologetic. And now that the battle is done and her father’s work is nothing more than dust in the space above Yavin, Jyn takes his hand in hers and allows herself to remember what it was like to have him welcome her into his home, an offering she never thought she’d have the chance to accept. “Me neither.” She confesses, staring down at their clasped hands. Two of his fingers are still bandaged together, and the rest of them are bruised and scabbed like her own. They match. “Maybe we can work on it together.”)
“Jyn Erso is spying, Cassian.” Kay says, announcing her presence before she’s quite ready. Cassian turns his attention from the control panel to her, and his face shifts, takes on a thin guise of composure he rarely allows himself to be seen without. Jyn doesn’t resent it. A blaster, sturdy shoes, a mask, all shields they could never have survived without.
“Jyn.” He’s always been careless when it comes to her name, his voice gives too much away, the warmth of it makes her feel young and reckless and hopeful like she can’t remember feeling. Jyn thinks of her father--the man who exists in her softest memories, rain damp and moss-green--would tell her it’s love. She doesn’t need him to but Jyn likes to believe that alone would have made him happy for her.
”Checking our trajectory, Captain?” She teases, stepping further into the cockpit. Something in Kay whirs, probably with indignation, “I can assure you that is entirely unnecessary. I am more than capable of overseeing the ship’s navigation as I have proven on--”
Cassian’s mouth twists at the sight of Jyn’s smile but he doesn’t say anything. There’s a moment’s hesitation, a silent calculation on his part before he interrupts Kay-Tu, “I couldn’t sleep. Didn’t want to wake you.” Jyn rolls her eyes, coming up behind his seat. She knows well enough to not bother pressing, not yet. It won’t do to ask if it was a dream or a nightmare or that insistent worry that’s been gnawing on them both since Trisol, since they sat hip to hip on a narrow cot in another medbay of another rebel base and made their decision. Neither of them are good at talking before they’re well and truly ready, if they’re ever ready at all.
“Are you alright?” Cassian asks quietly, face tilted upward to meet her eyes. There’s a pinching frown still lingering on his features from when he pivoted more fully in his seat to face her that Jyn tucks away for further prodding. Kay, apparently content to forget Jyn’s affront to his piloting skills, cuts in, “Would you like to know what percentage of pregnant human females experience insomnia? It could be reassuring.” Jyn gives the back of Kay’s head a sidelong glance. She’s still alternating between bemusement and annoyance when it comes to Kay-Tu’s odd collection of information, which is par the course for their relationship to date. Cassian continues to assure her he means well, which Jyn doesn’t doubt (most days). “Thank you Kay.” She says, looking pointedly at Cassian when he finally smiles, “That isn’t necessary.”
“It’s high.” Kay adds hopefully, because she doesn’t think he can help himself. Whatever comes into his circuits, Jyn thinks and can’t deny the affection she feels for the droid. “I’m alright.” She says, leaning against the pilot’s chair, happy to be taller than Cassian for the time being. She thinks of the dream—salt spray and white sand and the end, the end of their mission, Cassian’s arm around her shoulder and the blue sky overhead—she shrugs it away. It isn’t anything he doesn’t know. She points at her stomach. “This one was getting comfortable.”
The white’s of Cassian’s eyes go slightly wider under the overhead lights and he drops his attention to her belly. One of his hands rises, hovers just over the side of her stomach. It reminds her the hectic adrenaline-fueled days following Scarif when he was so careful not to touch her in any way that might be misconstrued. By who she never could figure out. Jyn takes his hand, frowning at how cold he is from sitting out here. “They aren’t moving right now.” She says. There isn’t anything like disappointment in Cassian’s face but she runs her fingers through his hair regardless. They’re both entirely new to this process, every step has felt like a matter of discovery. As always all either of them can do is their best and take their chances as they come.
“Since Cassian’s presence is merely observational in nature and entirely unrequired.” Kay says from his seat beside them, earns Cassian’s scowl. “What?” Kay-Tu asks innocently enough, “You know it’s true.” Jyn laughs. “As I was saying, since he is not required here, might I entreat you both to return to your quarters. We will be arriving at space station AB5-4O to refuel in approximately eleven hours. You will need to be rested. Though I’m sure I could do all the work. I don’t want to.”
“I think you’re being kicked out of the cockpit Captain.” Jyn says drily, grateful it's Kay’s suggestion rather than her own. Neither her or Cassian have ever responded well to coddling. She cups Cassian’s cheek, thumb smoothing over his chilled skin and the scruff of his beard. He leans into the touch. “You know I never had to deal with such blatant insubordination before you came along.” He says tiredly, but there’s still a smile curling the corners of his mouth. Jyn doubts that very much. She wants to say something about the choice to program a droid with free will but there’s little humor in the thought right now. It makes something dangerously sentimental lodge itself inside her chest, makes her heart beat quick and furious. She wants, for some reason she can’t fully comprehend, to thank him for making space in his life for her, for his patience as she tried to figure out how to do the same for him in hers. The baby turns against her insides and hits--no where Cassian could feel but hard enough to make Jyn flinch. She kisses the top of his head and says nothing at all.
Cassian’s hand goes to her hip, steadies her. Jyn rests her cheek against his hair. “You can’t say your life hasn’t been more interesting for it.”
Cassian chuckles under his breath. “Yes, there is that.”
He leaves the controls to Kay-Tu (not that he ever really had them), let's Jyn leads him back down the hall. It isn’t exactly a hardship. He studies the lights lining the corridor, makes a note to check the wiring in the morning, just to make sure everything is in working order. Jyn cast a look over her shoulder, glint in her eye like she knows what he’s thinking. She’s accused him of looking for things to fix aboard the ship and Cassian can only reply that there’s no saying how long this ship will act as their homebase. They have very little idea of what their ultimate destination will be—“No beaches,” Jyn half-jokes in a way that isn’t a joke at all, and Cassian laughs as though he doesn’t still feel sick at times when he remembers the briny sea air— and he tries not to let their directionless wandering weigh on him.
The Snowbird isn’t a luxury starfreighter by any stretch of the imagination but it’s served their needs fine so far. Antilles had vouched for it himself when the Alliance delivered it as a form of back payment for years of service. And for the time being this is home, one more on a long lists of homes Cassian has had since rebels evacuated the few survivors that survived the firebombing that ended the short period of his life that existed before the Rebellion. More important to him are the people beside him, the reasons they share for seeking new beginnings. Besides, he reminds himself time and again when the worry turns to panic in his chest, looking at Jyn as she grows and grows, if they’re still searching by the time the baby’s due they have an open invitation to join Chirrut and Baze on Takodana. Even out here, they aren’t alone.
(“You’re both leaving then? Really?” Bodhi asks, sitting on an empty supply crate. The hangar looks especially empty today. Bodhi looks as out of place now as he did in his first days as a rebel, though he’s exchanged his imperial flight suit for the formal robes he wears now as a chair of a galactic relief fund the princess helped establish. Cassian saw a holorecording of one of his last speeches before the newly reconvened senate, heard him speak about the destruction of Jedha, the annihilation of Alderaan. “The empire has made orphans of us all.” Bodhi barely stutters in the recording, the memory still makes Cassian’s throat ache with the bitter pulse of loss that’s accompanied him through the years. “There’s no need to sound so skeptical, Bodhi.” Cassian says, can’t quite bring himself to say the words himself, leaving. This is easier, neither a denial or admission. He grins, tries to alleviate some of the trouble he sees in Bodhi’s face and feels in his own gut, “Haven’t you heard Ambassador Rook? The war’s over.” If he says it enough times he might start to believe it.)
The door to their quarters opens with a familiar hiss of air and gliding metal. He follows Jyn across the threshold, scans the corners of the small room, more out of habit than the possibility of any real threat. They’ve been traveling undisturbed for almost three months now, just the three of them (four he silently amends, remembers the child Jyn carries inside her. There’s four of them onboard). Jyn jokes it’s the longest they’ve ever been together consecutively, “Hope you don’t get tired of me now.” There had been something rueful to her smile that day that made Cassian pull her close against his side, “That goes both ways.”
Some days it feels like the majority of their lives together has been spent apart. After those first days spent close together in the belly of a ship, after leaning so completely on her as they hobbled off the deck of the citadel tower, after waking to the sight of her—her bruised face and bloodied knuckles, the wild light in her eyes as she told him that the plans were lost—after all that maybe nothing was ever going to feel like enough.
(“It’s more than circumstance, Captain.” Chirrut says sagely, though the effect is somewhat undermined by the humor coloring his every word. “If it were only that you might have just as easily fallen in love with me.” At his side Baze snorts, eyes still fixed on the staff in his hands, a replacement for the one Chirrut lost on their most recent excursion. He’s engraving something onto the handle, a scrolling script Cassian can’t make out from where he’s standing though he thinks he recognizes some of it from the streets of Jedha.
On Fest couples would braid long strips of yellow grass into bracelets, meant to be exchanged and worn when they married. His mother had kept hers and his father’s in a small chest where the family's most treasured possessions were stored. For the first time in more than twenty years Cassian wonders what became of it. It must have burned with everything else when the war found them on Fest. He thinks of Jyn’s pale wrists and Chirrut smiles knowingly as though he can read the thought in Cassian’s mind. Heat creeps up the back of his neck and his voice is rougher than he’d like when he says, “What a pity.”)
Jyn hasn’t asked him yet what he would have done if the medic on Trisol had returned with different news. It isn’t a question he knows the answer to himself. Maybe they would have eventually arrived here on their own, might have found it in themselves to claim some part of this hard-won peace for themselves. He doesn’t know that the odds are in his favor though, doesn’t require Kay’s calculations to figure that out for himself. Intelligence officers and rogues do not have long careers and even shorter life spans and the incredulity he still feels most mornings to have made it this far, to have stolen this much—opportunity, luck, time—weighs on him more often than he’d like.
(“The war’s won.” Cassian tells her, practicing the words for himself even as he says them. He watches her eyes go wide, worry and disbelief staring back at him, “And I’m a soldier not a politician.” He tries to soften his mouth into a smile. Jyn doesn’t not, has never, asked for softness but he wants to give it to her regardless. He wants—he wants—Cassian has gone so many years without this, this want for something just for himself. And now he wants this.
Her laughter cracks against the barren walls of her assigned quarters, a wild, restless sound. “You don’t think I can be diplomatic.” She chokes, her knuckles bleached white where their hands are gripped together, make his own fingers go numb. Cassian’s heart sputters to a halt inside his chest when she asks, “Where will we go?”
“Where do you want to go?” He answers.)
Jyn’s hand slips from his and he watches her, the noticeable shift in her gait, and the carefulness with which she moves as she makes her way to the edge of the bunk and kicks off her boots. Cassian catches a glimpse of her grin when he bends to set them right, easier for her to put on in the morning. She settles back against the bulkhead, stomach jutting out over her lap. Cassian looks at her and thinks of dozens and dozens of bases, of communal barracks and bunks so small there was no way to fit, of stolen moments spent sleeping in a tangle of limbs all twisted together on thin sagging cots. Waking in the dark with fear thick in their throats, whispering reassurances in the dark. There’s no way they’d fit together in one now. He chuckles at the thought.
“What’s so funny?” Jyn asks, mouth soft in the low light, though her eyes are still sharp, studying his face as though it were the first time all over again.
He shakes his head, climbs into the bunk after her. She shifts her legs to make room for him to pass, and it still feels odd to sleep with the wall to his back where before he would have laid between her and the door. He stretches out, winces at the pinching deep in the muscles of his left side. It’s been bothering him again, he must have upset something the other day when he was crawling around in one of the smuggling compartments off the cargo hold. Kay-Tu had warned him against it as he so politely reminded him when Cassian joined him in the cockpit earlier.
He’s distracted enough that he doesn’t realize she’s watching him until Jyn reaches over. Her fingers dig into the sore spot so hard he groans. “You could have woken me.” She says but then little more, fingers kneading until some of the tension loosens. He couldn’t have. Cassian laid awake beside her and listened to her breathe the way he has countless other nights, thinking of all the things that might happen upon their arrival to the space station, or sooner. Cassian can’t change the past and he can’t know the future and he’s never figured out the trick to unlocking Chirrut’s unwavering faith in the power of the Force.
Cassian turns his face into her hip, wraps his hand around the curve of Jyn’s knee. The unpredictability of his life never bothered him so badly before, but then again the days of only having his own life to worry about are long over.
“You are the most stubborn fool I’ve ever met.” She says warmly, “And I used to work with Solo.” Cassian snorts under his breath, “There’s no need for humility with me Jyn.” He mumbles and Jyn scoffs, flicks his ear. He smothers his grin against her leg. She knows him well enough to twist her fingers in his hair, tut softly under her breath.
“Will you sleep now?” She asks after a long silence. He wants to ask her the same question. He’s known her long enough, slept beside her long enough and woken beside her long enough to recognize the wariness she carries in her face after a bad dream. He wonders what it was, her parents or the baby or Saw or the beach or him. She told him once that she dreamt of him falling and never rising again. He has similar nightmares and doesn’t think any amount of peacetime will ever take them from him.
He doesn’t answer, merely presses his forehead against her leg, closes his eyes. He doesn’t know.
He dozes with her fingers in his hair, opens his eyes again when she settles more fully beside him, the thick heavy blanket Bodhi gave them spread out across both their shoulders. Cassian seeks her hand out in the dark, slots them together, callouses to callouses. Her knee nudges his thigh, he slides his leg between hers. No, there’s not a bed on any base that would have given them this.
Here it’s a choice Jyn makes to curl closer. Her nose bumps into his chin and she exhales a faint surprised sound, presses her lips to his. Her stomach nudges against his, soft and firm and round. How young had he been when he’d resigned himself to a lonely life and a quiet death, without anyone but a commanding officer to notice he was gone? It feels like another life now. He still thinks of it sometimes, that elevator on Scarif, propped up by her strength alone, her hard-bitten mouth and sharp eyes, the realization he would have followed her anywhere given the chance. And then, by some miracle he still doesn’t fully understand or believe in, he was.
Cassian circles Jyn’s wrist, the narrow breadth of it warm under his fingers. There’s a faint scar around it, barely perceptible to the eye unless you know to look for it, left behind by restraints she struggled against with more vigor than skill. (“Got myself free.” She says casually, the small shrug of her freckled shoulder at odds with the tension in her body as though even here in his quarters she’s still prepared for a fight. She flexes her fingers as though testing his hold, her bones dance beneath her skin and he thinks if this is all he can have it’s more than he’s earned.)
“I swear,” She huffs under her breath when she pulls away, and he can feel the impression of her smile against his mouth. “You’re doing this to me on purpose.” It takes him a moment to realize she’s not speaking to him, the gentle chastiment aimed at the baby instead. She uses his hold on her hand to draw them up, rests his palm against the underside of her belly. The baby moves against his palm, repeated percussion like the recoil of a blaster in a firefight. Cassian still wonders at it, how something—someone—so small can make his heart seize and his stomach twist with excitement and fear and every possible emotion a man might ever feel.
In the dark it’s easier to admit to himself that he would have never chosen this for himself. The guilt of that truth is a mild sting he’s learning to live with. It had been hard enough to expand his visions of the future to include Jyn or Bodhi, even Chirrut and Baze who drift in and out of focus as they choose had been difficult to accommodate. There has never been a time in his life when Cassian has allowed himself to consider this as a possibility let alone something more. But now it’s more than possibility, it’s his reality. He’s still waiting for something to go wrong. Jyn tucks her face against his collarbone and he feels her long, steady exhale through the thin material of his sleep shirt, and he knows he’s not the only one.
Jyn’s fingers move to grip his wrist, where her fingers don’t quite close.
He loves her. He knows it like he knows the configurations of a rifle, the angle at which to plunge a blade to cause the most damage. They’ve survived without one another for the majority of their lives but now they have the chance to do more than survive. They can live. He wants that. He meant it, still means it, when he thinks of following her to whatever end.
“Marry me.” He says. It feels nothing like a question, not remotely, though he’s never asked her before. He’d added her name to his file under next of kin two months after they survived Scarif and she’d added his, because if they were going to be apart they could at least offer each other the comfort of knowing they’d be informed when the inevitable happened.
This isn’t a death notice. This is her hand gripping his in the dark, her navel pressed against his stomach, her laughter, dry and short and quick when he catches her off guard. It’s the life they’ve made together and the one they still hope to make, the future they offer one another. The Force and he have always had different priorities, and this isn’t one Cassian will ever begrudge.
Jyn’s fingers squeeze. “Think we’re going about this out of order.” She says, bemused and warm. Cassian shrugs, upsets the soreness in his back. “It suits us.” Cassian says, thinking of how quickly they fell together and the strength of the connection that bound them each other when they were barely more than strangers. Draven once accused him of straying dangerously close to sentimentality in matters concerning Jyn Erso and maybe that’s true. He’s not interested in excusing it.
“Yes,” Jyn says, voice muffled against his chest, her fingers still gripping his arm. Under his palm the baby goes still, or else shifts its movements elsewhere. “It does.”