Rey was meditating when the door slid open next, revealing Poe, Finn, and Rose. Rose was leaning heavily on Finn, but seemed fairly alert for someone who had recently been in a coma.
“Rose! What are you doing here?” Rey said, abandoning her meditation to stand up and help Finn move Rose to an empty box so she could sit down. Rey quickly shooed off the porg that had been there as Rose eased down. Rey and Finn remained on either side of her, and Poe stood at the entrance.
“She insisted on coming with me,” Finn said.
“I’m not letting you out of my sight,” Rose said with a slight slur. “You would have died if I didn’t stop you, Finn.”
“And you nearly killed yourself in the process!” Finn exclaimed.
“Worth it,” Rose said, grinning at Finn with open affection. “You’re absolutely worth it.”
Rey bit her lip trying not to giggle. “Wait, so are you two..?”
Finn looked away and scratched behind his ear rather than answering, but Rose leaned closer to Rey and held up her hand like she was going to say a secret, then announced loudly enough for everyone to her her, “I kissed him after he rescued me.”
Rey did laugh at that, as did Poe, though she felt a little bad for Finn. He was going through such a variety of expressions and gestures that it was clear he had no idea what to make of things yet with Rose. Then again, this was the same man that kept insisting on holding her hand and finding out if she were single when they barely knew each other and were trying to escape Jakku with their lives. She couldn’t feel too badly that he was getting a taste of his own medicine.
“So, umm, yea. Poe says there’s a plan. What’s the plan?” Finn asked.
Rey had let Poe know that she was plotting something when Poe had dropped off her rations and bucket earlier, but she hadn’t informed him of more than that, except to bring Finn along next time.
Rey hesitated now, glancing between Rose and the boys. “Oh, Rose is cool,” Finn said. “You can trust her. She came with me to Canto Bight when we were looking for the master codebreaker Maz told us about so we could stop the Supremacy. I was actually kinda thinking she should come along on whatever this is that you’re planning. She’s a wizard with technology, a good fighter, and a solid team player.”
“Okay,” Rey said, taking a deep breath and smiling at Rose, who seemed confused. “I guess I should tell her then… Umm…” She was silent, trying to find the words to explain to someone she barely knew what was going on.
Poe stepped forward after a moment’s silence. “Rose, I think you already know that Rey is a Jedi, right?”
“Like Luke Skywalker?” Rose asked, excited.
“Yea, kinda,” Rey said.
“And you know Kylo Ren is also a user of the force?” Poe asked. Rose nodded, giving him an impatient look. “Sometimes force users can connect with each other.”
“Connect,” Rose echoed, clearly confused.
“Connect,” Finn confirmed. “Through the force. As in, Rey can see, talk to, and touch Kylo Ren from anywhere in the universe.”
“WHAT!?” Rose screamed and half jumped away from Rey, who was now covering her face with a hand . “All the time? Can he see us? Can we see him? How does that even work? Oh my gosh, I think I’m panicking. I’m completely panicking.”
“Whoah, whoah,” Finn said and gently pulled Rose into a tight hug. “You’re okay. You’re okay. It’s okay. It doesn’t happen all the time, and Rey will tell us if the connection is happening, right, Rey?”
“Yea, he’s not… here right now, and even if he were, he can only see me and what I’m touching, and he has to be touching me to see more than that.”
“Wait wait wait… touching you? That sounds like…” Rose screwed up her face, staring at Rey in confusion as she hugged Finn’s arms closer to her. “He’s our enemy… how do you even know what he can see or can’t see?”
Rey blushed. Poe bit his lip to suppress a grin, and Finn shook his head in disgust.
Rey spoke. “He is the enemy of the Resistance, and at first… well… The first time the connection happened, I shot him with my blaster. It didn’t hurt him. It just ended our connection. Umm, we eventually realized that neither of us were in control of it, and it always happened when we were alone anyway, so we started talking.”
“...and you started touching?” Rose asked, skepticism lining her voice.
“I had some bad moments on Ahch-To. There was one night I was really scared and lonely. I was crying, and then he was there, and he told me I wasn’t alone. He understood me. He understood what it was to be feared, doubted, abandoned… What it’s like to have this immense power and not know who you are or what your purpose is, and he understood what it was like to be alone, and we realized we weren’t alone anymore. We had each other.”
“That’s… actually kind of romantic,” Rose said with wide eyes. “I mean, if you can ignore that Kylo Ren’s a terrible human being who basically exists as a mad dog for Supreme Leader Snoke.”
“Actually, Kylo Ren is the Supreme Leader now,” Poe said. Rose stared at him with a dazed, confused expression, and Poe shrugged. “A lot happened while you were out. Rey went to the Supremacy, probably at the same time you and Finn were on it, to meet Kylo Ren, and Kylo Ren killed Snoke rather than follow orders to kill Rey.”
“And then asked her to rule at his side like some kind of weird marriage proposal,” Finn said. He leaned in close to Rose and widened his eyes as much as possible. “He even gave her a handkerchief with ‘Rey Solo’ embroidered on it.”
“Ooooh,” Rose’s own eyes widened to match Finn’s, and she turned back to Rey. “He’s got a crush on you.” She paused a moment and frowned. “Wait, Kylo Ren is the Supreme Leader, and he has a crush on Rey? The Supreme Leader of the First Order has a crush on the Jedi of the Resistance? Isn’t there some kind of rule against that sort of thing?”
“There should be!” Finn said, glaring at the room. A porg nearby roared at him, and he gave the bird an annoyed look. “When did the Falcon get infested with those things, anyway?”
“Guys, please stay focused,” Rey said, groaning.
“It’s so cute!” Rose said, finally letting go of Finn to reach out and try to pet the porg that roared. It mock-snapped at her finger before nuzzling up to it. “I’m going to keep it,” she declared.
“You’re not going to keep it. It’s not even a proper animal. It’s got wings like a bird, but it doesn’t have a beak. What kind of proper bird doesn’t have a beak?” Finn complained.
Rey glanced to Poe for help, and he smiled. “I can’t help it. After the last few days, it’s nice to have some normal moments,” Poe said with a lopsided grin. “Though I do suppose we need to talk about your plan before you connect next with Kylo Ren.”
Rey shrugged. “I’ve never had the connection happen when there were people around, so I think we’re--” she broke off as the force connection fell in place. Ben was sitting in a chair, facing her. He looked exhausted and defeated, but a sliver of hope came into his eyes when he looked to her. “Umm… Hi Ben,” she said weakly.
In a heartbeat, both Finn and Poe pulled out their blasters from their holsters, and Rose looked around for a weapon and ended up grabbing the metal bucket Poe had brought, which was mercifully still empty.
“She calls him Ben?” Rose hissed at Finn and Poe. They shrugged at her.
The hope faded in Ben’s eyes and he narrowed them in suspicion. “What is it? You’re distracted.”
“I’m not the only one here… on this side. I guess… would you like to meet my friends?” she said awkwardly. Something dark passed through Ben’s eyes. She gestured to her Resistance friends to back down, and to their credit, Poe put away his weapon, Finn lowered his to his side, and Rose hugged the bucket instead of holding it ready to swing.
“I’d rather not. You’re the only one I want to see,” Ben said.
“Please,” Rey said, holding out her hand to him. “I want to show them the real you.” Ben did not react other than to stare longingly at it.
“What’s happening?” Rose asked the boys in a quiet voice.
“They have to hold hands for him to see us, right?” said Finn.
“Oh yea. Wait, so we really might see Kylo Ren here in a moment?” Rose asked. “Or does it only work so that Kylo Ren can see us, but we still can’t see him?”
Finn glanced at Rose with an impressed expression. “You know, I don’t know.”
Ben still hadn’t moved, and Rey sighed, withdrawing the hand. “It’s okay. You don’t have to meet them. I’ll ask them to leave so we can talk.” She turned to Poe, Finn, and Rose. “Guys, I’m sorry, but could you give me some privacy for a bit?”
“Wait,” Ben said, holding up a hand in the stop position. Rey turned her head, and the others looked with her, even though they couldn’t see anything where she looked. “You told your friends about us.”
Rey blushed. “It came up. I didn’t want to lie to them,” she explained, blushing.
“No, of course not,” Ben said. He seemed sad, and Rey took several steps closer to him before she realized what she was doing and stopped. Ben’s eyes met her own, and he looked away. “Treasure your friends, Rey. We’ll speak later,” he said, and the connection ended.
“He’s gone,” Rey said. Both her voice and her expression reflected her shock, and she stumbled a step, nearly tripping over a porg in the process, before slowly sinking down to the ground. “Something’s wrong.”
“What is it? What did he say?” Poe asked. “Are we in danger?”
“No… not like that. At least, I don’t think so,” Rey said. “Something was wrong on his end. He seemed really sad. I think he needs me. I’m sorry, but could I ask you to leave? I’m going to try connecting to him. It always seemed to happen by chance, but I never tried reaching out to him either. There’s got to be some way I can reach him when I need to.”
“You’re legitimately worried about him,” Finn said, incredulous.
“Of course, Finn. I know it’s strange and doesn’t make sense, especially with his being the Supreme Leader now of the First Order who we’re fighting against, but he’s my friend. Just, please, let me help him.”
“Come on, Finn. Let’s leave. You too, Rose,” Poe said, and he opened the door for them to all quietly file out.
Rey waited until the door slid shut and locked again, and then she squeezed her eyes shut, reaching into the force with all her strength. “Please, bring me back to Ben. Please.”