“I think I may have found you a roommate.”
Ben looks up from his desk, finding Poe leaning over the back with a wide grin. Ben frowns, giving him a wary expression. “Not one of those assholes you work with.”
“Armitage isn’t that bad—”
“He literally makes a masturbation pun out of my name every single time we speak.”
“I mean,” Poe laughs as he shrugs. “Solo is a pretty easy target.”
“Whatever. Not happening.”
“Okay. Okay— it’s not Armitage. It’s Finn’s friend, Rey. Rey Johnson”
“Ray? He isn’t a douchebag too, is he?”
Poe clears his throat. “No… Rey has always been awesome. I think you two will get along very well.”
“Well… I mean it can’t hurt to meet him. Text me his number.”
“Oh, I’ll set it up. Don’t worry about it. I’ll just text you the details.”
Ben frowns. “This isn’t a date. I can contact him.”
Poe scoffs. “Of course it isn’t a date— I’ve been trying to set you up on a date for months. It never works.”
“I just don’t have time for a relationship right now.”
“Who doesn’t have time for a relationship?”
“One of these days you’re going to meet a woman who will knock you on your ass and I hope I’m there to see it.”
“Unlikely on both counts.”
Poe just laughs, shaking his head. “We’ll see. Are you almost done? I’m starving.”
“I didn’t ask you to come get me for lunch.”
“And yet here I am, picking your grumpy ass up. Probably the only date you’ll ever have.”
Poe taps the edge of his desk. “Come on, Solo. Work will be here when you get back.”
Ben sighs, pushing away from his desk to stand. “Fine, but no Thai.”
“Oh, come on. Just because you got sick once—
“Okay,” Poe huffs. “Fine.”
“I think I’ve found the perfect guy for you.”
Rey turns to find Poe leaning over her counter, grinning back at her smugly which instantly makes her nervous. “No one you work with… right?”
Poe blows out a breath. “What is it with you guys and Armitage? He’s not that bad .”
“He asked me if I shopped at Goodwill the very first day I met him.”
“Okay, to be fair— you were wearing overalls that looked like… well, you know.”
“I had been painting.”
“I’m just saying. Guy has totally mellowed out now that he and Rose are dating.”
Rey wrinkles her brow. “If he has a girlfriend, why are you setting me up with him?”
“What? No. It’s not Armitage.”
“Then why did you mention him?”
“I didn’t— nevermind. It’s not Armitage. It’s my friend Ben.”
“Ben Solo. He works over at the little computer repair shop down the strip.”
Poe nods. “Yeah that’s the one.”
“I’ve seen it. Never been in. What’s he like?”
Poe makes a face that instantly makes Rey wary, clenching his lips together in thought. “He’s… a character.”
“So he’s weird.”
“No. He’s not weird. Maybe a little neurotic at times and sometimes too grumpy for his own good, but—” Rey turns back to her cataloguing, and Poe huffs in protest. “Look he’s a really great guy and he’s lonely and you’re lonely—”
“I am not lonely.”
“Rey. You haven’t dated in months, and if I have to sit through another showing of Sleepless In Seattle with you while you weep in your popcorn I will hang myself.”
Rey narrows her eyes. “Fair.”
“Just give it a try, it’ll be great.”
She considers for a moment. Despite her protests it would be nice to meet someone. Even if just to have someone to talk to. What could be the harm in it?
“Fine. Give me his number.”
“No, no. I’ll set it up. Don’t you worry. I’ll text you.”
“Blind dates never go well, Poe.”
“It’s going to be great. You’ll see.”
She shakes her head, turning back to her work. “We’ll see.”
“Will you just tell me where I’m meeting him?”
Ben holds the phone close to his ear, scowling into the phone and wondering for the dozenth time that week why he couldn’t just contact Poe’s friend himself. Poe could be such a diva sometimes.
“That little burger place, Canto Bight? Rey will meet you there at noon.”
“Why a food place? Couldn’t I just meet him at a coffee shop?”
“It’s better to do these things over food. Easier to get to know someone.”
“If you say so.”
“I do. Tell me you aren’t wearing the store t-shirt.”
Ben looks down at the logo to his store, frowning. “What does it matter if I am?”
Poe groans. “Come on, man. You want to make a good first impression. Go change into real clothes.”
“This is real clothes.”
“Just do it.”
“This is a lot of trouble for a damn interview,” Ben grumbles.
“You’ve been needing a roommate for a long time, and I just want to make sure you get one.” His voice lowers, and Ben almost misses his muttered, “For all our sakes.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Nothing, nothing. So you’ll be there, right? I can tell Rey it’s a go?”
“Yeah,” Ben relents, moving from his couch to apparently go change. “I’ll be there.”
“Great,” Poe says a little too happily. “This is going to be great. You’ll see.”
Ben hangs up the phone, not completely convinced but hoping that this time he’s able to find someone who meets all his requirements. His store has been a little slow in business lately, and he’d realized that a roommate would take a lot of the stress off of him bill-wise.
Every interview so far has been a disaster, no one really meeting Ben’s standards, and he’s honestly close to giving up at this point. He pulls his store t-shirt over his head, tossing it aside as he begins to rifle through his closet and hoping that maybe this Ray won’t be a complete nightmare.
One can only hope.
She has no idea why she’s so nervous. Possibly because Poe had assured her no less than three times that Ben was great once you get to know him, and that is never a good sign. He’s probably bald with a huge nose and Rey isn’t exactly shallow but surely Poe wouldn’t set her up with a cave troll.
She fidgets in her booth, rubbing her forearms slightly as a chill passes over her. She wishes she’d brought a jacket, the weather still a little cool even though it’s already early spring. Maybe she’s just nervous.
She wishes Poe had just told her what the guy looked like (again, not a good sign) so she would at least know who she’s looking for instead of having to scan the restaurant every three minutes. He’d only told her to look for black glasses and red converse Ben is apparently partial to.
She’s tapping her foot now, the clock showing that he should be here now, and her nerves threaten to swallow her whole. She hears the ringing of the bell over the entrance, and she glances up to see a man enter.
She notices the glasses first, still stumbling over the fact that his hair— because he is assuredly not bald— almost touches the ceiling. His hair. Do men really have hair that thick? It looks so soft. He might be the largest man she’s ever seen, and she’s pretty sure every inch of him is solid. He actually does have a nose on the larger side but it somehow… works? She can hardly tear her eyes away from that mouth to focus on anything higher anyway.
She barely registers that she’s craning in the seat, trying to get a better look because please, let him be wearing converse. She has to stamp down the urge to fistpump when she spots a pair of worn red chucks on his ridiculously large feet— for God’s sake, Rey don’t dwell on that for too long— and she never thought she’d be so excited about a pair of shoes.
He’s still scanning the space, a disgruntled expression on his face, and it is several moments before he spots her. His eyes connect with hers, lingering as they widen just a little behind the thick black frames. She squirms a little under his gaze, and she can’t help the flutter in her belly— but then he looks away, moving towards the little bar and taking a stool.
What the fuck?
Is he trying to brush her off? Had Poe not described her well enough? She can’t decide if she’s disappointed or angry. She frowns, having never been one to shy away from anything, and slides out of the booth to march over to him. She taps him on the shoulder (a ridiculously wide shoulder she might add), and he turns to look at her in confusion.
“Hi,” she offers. “Are you Ben?”
His brow furrows a little, his mouth pressed into a tight line. “Yes?”
Okay, so obviously he is just confused. She gives him an encouraging smile. “I’m Rey.”
He looks at her for several moments with what she can only describe as disbelief, his mouth parted a little as he seeks to process this. “ You’re Rey?”
He blows out a breath. “You’re… not what I expected.”
She frowns. “Is that… bad?”
He quickly shakes his head. “No… I just…” He clears his throat, blushing a little. “It’s not a bad thing.”
He looks so nervous, and it’s so endearing somehow. Rey motions her head towards her booth. “I got us a table.”
“Okay.” He’s still nodding as he gets up, following her to the booth and settling on the opposite side. She leans on her elbows, and he blinks several times before finally giving a tiny shake of his head. “So,” he starts. “Is Rey short for something?”
“No? Oh, well, I guess it does sound a little mannish. It’s with an e if that helps.”
“Oh. Yeah. Pretty.”
There is still a slight blush on his cheeks, and beyond all reason she finds it adorable. “So, Poe tells me you own the computer repair shop?”
He nods. “Yeah, for the last couple of years now.”
“That must be interesting.”
“It’s really not,” he laughs. “But I’m good at it.”
“Well, that’s something at least.”
“So.” He’s clearing his throat again. “Do you have any references?”
She stares back at him open-mouthed, thinking surely she’s heard him wrong. “Excuse me?”
“You know,” he continues with an expression that says she is the one being strange. “References?”
Oh God, Poe actually set her up with a weirdo.
Why is she looking at him like that?
She looks… almost pissed, actually. Did he say something wrong? He thought it was a perfectly normal question— maybe it was the way he asked? It has been hard to focus on his goal here, still half-stunned that Ray had turned out to be Rey and how had he somehow missed that?
He’d scrambled back to every mention of Rey during his conversations with Poe, realizing that Poe had never actually said she was a man. He can’t understand why Poe would think Ben could handle rooming with a woman. Maybe she’s involved. Or maybe she doesn’t like men. That’s a possibility. There has to be a reason Poe thought this was okay.
She’s still looking at him as if she’s slightly perturbed, and even that expression is pretty. Because she is. Pretty. She might be the prettiest thing he’s ever seen. Eyes that can’t decide if they’re blue or green, a spray of freckles across an adorable nose and a full mouth that he has to forcibly tear his gaze away from every few seconds.
There is no way this will work, but he should at least pretend to consider her— he’ll deal with Poe later.
“What do you mean, references?”
Ben raises an eyebrow. “You know… just, a good word from people you’ve dealt with in the past? Or maybe even former employers…” Has she really never done this before?
She scoffs, rolling her eyes a little. “Is Poe not enough for you?”
“Well, I mean…” Why does she look so angry all of the sudden? “Hey, I didn’t mean to offend you. I’ve only done this a few times.”
She furrows her brow. “You think?”
He rubs at his neck, still slightly at a loss as to what he did wrong. “We can… start somewhere else? Maybe… where you work?”
She gives him a long stare, finally coming to a decision as she blows out a breath. “I own the comic book store a couple blocks down from yours.”
“Junk of Jakku? That’s seriously cool. I haven’t been able to make it in yet.”
Her expression eases just a little, and subsequently so does the ball of anxiety in his chest. “Yeah, still setting up things slowly, but it’s really coming together.”
“Yeah, I’ve been looking for some help, but just starting out it’ll be hard to pay them much right now… so it’s been slow goings so far.”
She seems to have relaxed a little, and he wonders if it’s safe to continue with his list of interview questions— even if only to go through the motions.
“So um,” he starts cautiously. “What do you make there at your store?”
Well, fuck. Does she even want to be his roommate?
“You know… your annual income?”
“What kind of question is that?”
He frowns. She’s so testy. “A… pretty normal one?”
“Hardly,” she scoffs. “But it might interest you to know I don’t know yet. Only been open a few months, so can’t really say what my annual revenue will be.” She rolls her eyes. “I suppose you’d want my monthly gross instead?”
“I mean… yes?”
“Oh, for fuck’s sake.”
“Listen…” He wrings his hands nervously, suddenly wishing this interview would just end. “ I’m not really sure what I’m doing wrong, but I’m just going off the same list of questions I asked the other applicants… I promise it has nothing to do with you being…” His voice drops to a whisper, afraid even this will offend her. “ A woman.”
She gives him a blank stare, mouth parted slightly for several moments before she finally speaks again.
Something weird is going on here.
She isn’t sure what— but Ben Solo is definitely not here for a date. Had he really said applicants? What the fuck.
His head is cocked, looking at her as if she’s grown a second head, and from the weirdness of this situation, she’s not even entirely sure she hasn’t.
“Yes… for the room I’m renting? Are you not here for a roommate?”
Her brain seems to have stopped working.
The best-looking thing on two legs waltzes into her life and he’s either a blithering idiot or she’s a dithering fool.
She fishes her phone out of her pocket, lighting up the screen only to confirm that yes— it’s April 1st.
She’s going to kill Poe. She’s going to, without a doubt, murder him. How could he possibly think this was funny? She feels slightly mortified— and Ben Solo hasn’t even caught on yet. If he finds out she came here expecting a date… oh God. How fucking embarrassing.
He can never find out.
She sits up a little straighter, now hyper aware of the cute blouse she picked out for this and even the pretty matching bra and underwear underneath because why not it’s been awhile. She feels like an idiot.
Just get through the interview and tell him you’re not interested.
It will be fine. It will be just fine. He never has to find out.
Until Poe tells him.
Whatever, she never has to see him after this. She just has to get through this with him none the wiser. She pastes on a smile.
“I’m sorry. I’m being rude. Of course I’ll tell you whatever you need to know. I didn’t bring any references with me, but if this works out, I can email them to you?”
He’s nodding carefully, biting his lip slightly, and why does he have to be so good looking? It almost makes her groan.
“Okay,” he says finally. “So um, gross monthly?”
“I grossed about eight thousand in my first month, but I’m hoping to push it to at least ten in the next two.”
“That’s not terrible for a new business.”
“I didn’t think so.”
Rey nods. “I have a cat.”
Ben grimaces. “Could you… keep it in your room?”
“BB sort of does whatever the fuck he wants, but sure. I could try.” It isn’t as if this is actually happening anyway.
He actually smiles at that— and damnit if he doesn’t have an adorable smile. Fuck. Why does he have to be so good looking?
“What about… a boyfriend?” He looks really uncomfortable at this one, and that makes her oddly happy. “Someone that will be around a lot?”
She shakes her head. “No boyfriend. You have to actually date to get a boyfriend.”
His tension seems to ease at her answer, and he chuckles softly. “ That I understand.”
“You don’t have a boyfriend either, then?”
His grin hitches wider. “Can’t say that I do.”
“What a shame,” she replies quietly.
“Yeah…” He swallows heavily, averting his eyes to something that is apparently very interesting on his hands. “So anyway… really all that’s left is for you to… see the room.”
“See the… room?”
He shrugs. “If you want to? Just before you… make a decision.”
There’s absolutely no reason for her to see the room— as she does not need a roommate and she is definitely not even considering rooming with the sex-on-legs-in-glasses sitting in front of her.
So why is she nodding?
Why the fuck had he asked her if she wanted to see the room?
He absolutely cannot even consider rooming with the unattached woman who is hard to look at she’s so pretty. But the fucking words fell out without him being able to stop them, and she’d nodded— why did she nod? A few minutes before she’d seemed angry and then she was nodding.
He sweats the entire drive to his home, checking his rear view mirror every few seconds to ensure that yes, she’s still there. He’s pretty sure he needs a new shirt by the time they pull into the drive, and he lingers in the driver’s seat for far longer than necessary until she taps on his window, causing him to jolt.
He climbs out, giving her a grin he hopes is welcoming but fears probably comes off more manic. He hasn’t had a woman in his home since…
Has he ever had a woman here?
He mentally calculates the time since he bought this house versus his last date.
“This is a really nice house,” she offers as they walk towards his door.
“Thank you,” he mutters back. “I bought it after I first opened the store. To celebrate I guess.”
“So why do you need a roommate?”
He fiddles with the keys in the door, shrugging. “I don’t necessarily need one. Things have just been slow. I thought it might take some of the pressure off.”
“You don’t sound very excited about it,” she laughs.
“I’m not… very good at sharing my space.”
“Somehow I could guess that.”
He thinks she’s making fun of him, but when he turns back he finds her smiling, and his heart does something funny in his chest.
This was such a bad idea.
He finally gets the door open, standing aside so she can walk in past him. She looks around his living room, taking in the space and nodding appreciatively.
“Everything is so neat,” she chuckles.
“I sort of like things in their place.”
She doesn’t respond, but she’s still smiling and does that mean she thinks it’s charming or weird? He closes the door nervously, shuffling a bit in the entryway as she wanders into the attached kitchen, brushing a hand over his countertops.
“Do you cook?”
He nods. “Most nights. Nothing fancy… since it’s just me.”
She gives the room another sweeping gaze, her eyes coming to settle on him instead. “So… which room would be mine?”
Fucking Christ. She’s going to ask for it.
And Ben… Ben is going to say yes, isn’t he? He’s going to sit there and nod his agreement without references or proof of income and let her move right in and what the fuck is he going to do when she comes out of the shower?
Suddenly he is struck with only the image of her in a towel, and he almost swallows his tongue.
This was such a bad idea.
God, he almost wants her to ask to stay.
Has he gone a little bit crazy?
He leads her down the hall, letting her move into the spare bedroom as she walks around the room.
“It’s not much,” he offers. “But it’s furnished and has an attached bath.”
Why is he trying to convince her right now?
Ben, you jackass— you cannot let this pretty woman stay with you. You’ll have to hide in your room for the rest of your life and—
“Wow,” she praises, cutting through his thoughts. “This is nicer than my entire apartment.”
Fuck. He might as well draft the damn rental agreement. This is his life now. Do they make a stronger deodorant than the one he uses? Because if he’s going to sweat this much…
She sighs. “Ben, I have to tell you something.”
She’s married. She has a dog she hasn’t told him about. She’s actually here to rob him.
“Yeah?” Stop fucking sweating.
“I don’t need a room.”
He is… so relieved. He thinks. Why is there a touch of disappointment? “You don’t?”
She shakes her head. “This is all Poe’s fault.”
God, she can’t believe she’s let it go this long. Why is she even here?
He looks so sweet, with his wide shoulders and his dark glasses and his red shoes. She nods back at him. “Do you know what day it is?”
“Yeah. It’s April…” Realization passes over his features. “Fuck.”
“Goddamnit. He gets me every year.”
“Honestly, I am a little angry at myself for not catching this sooner,” she admits.
“I don’t get it. Is the prank that you just wasted my time or…?” He doesn’t sound angry when he says this, just genuinely confused.
“Well, you see… Poe told me this was a blind date.”
His mouth forms an o shape. “Fucking hell, that’s why you were so angry about the questions.”
She chuckles. “Not exactly normal date talk.”
“I must have seemed like a real asshole. When did you figure it out?”
“Around the time you started talking about other applicants.”
He’s shaking his head, lost in thought for a moment before looking up at her with a confused expression. “Wait… if you knew… why did you agree to come back here?”
There’s the million dollar question. “I guess… I sort of wished it was a date.”
He staring back in disbelief, mouth parted as he seems to try and process this information. “You did?”
She nods, because what else can she do? “I’m sorry. I know I’ve really wasted your time here. I should just go.”
She moves to walk past him, brushing his shoulder as she goes, and suddenly his hand darts out to snatch her wrist, halting her. She stares down at his hand on her (how has she not noticed just how big they are yet?), and a quick glance upward shows he’s doing the same thing. Staring down at his hand covering her wrist as if he can’t believe he’s just done this.
“You know… it would be okay if… I mean, I wouldn’t mind if this were a—” He swallows nervously. “It could be.”
She doesn’t know when she took a step to bring herself right in front of him, but she’s here now, looking up at him as he stares down at her. She leans up on her toes, barely recognizing what she’s doing and seeming to act on instinct.
Ben meets her halfway.
His lips are so soft. A man really shouldn’t be allowed to have lips this soft. His hands find her waist and he’s pulling her closer and his mouth is just so fucking soft.
She doesn’t know how many moments pass before he breaks away, hands still clinging to her and his breath a little more labored now to match her own.
“Ben,” she says finally, after how many minutes she can’t be sure. “Do you like Sleepless in Seattle?”
“Meg Ryan, right?” She looks up at him, a sheepish look on his face, and she can’t contain the glee she feels. He blows out a breath. “Don’t tell Poe.”
She isn’t sure how much time passes between that moment and her finding them in Ben’s car, tracking down a showing after dinner because Ben had pointed out that both of them had skipped lunch.
She’s in his passenger seat now, belly full and chest just the same and she can’t help but keep stealing glances over at him. Which is fine, because Ben seems to have the same problem.
Her phone begins to ring, and she laughs at the caller ID, showing it to Ben before answering.
“Hey… what’s up?”
“Nothing much. Just in the car.”
“So… how did it go? With Ben?”
“Oh you know,” Rey replies nonchalantly. “Not too bad. Things were weird for a bit but we got to talking and Ben mentioned he has a room for rent and honestly I think might take him up on it. It’s so much nicer than my apartment.”
“What? Wait, no. Rey—”
“April Fool’s, jackass.”
There is a moment of silence on the other end. “Does Ben know?”
“He does now.”
“How… mad is he?”
She glances over at Ben, grinning back at her from across the console and she has to bite back a smile of her own. “You know, not very.”
“Really? So did it—”
“Listen, Poe. I have to go. I have a date.”
“You do? With Ben?”
“I’ll call you later, Poe.”
“Oh come on, I need details—”
She ends the call, and Ben’s pinky brushes against hers tentatively over the middle console. She snakes her fingers through his, threading them together as he looks down in surprise, his expression quickly morphing into quiet content.
“We should do this again,” she suggests.
He laughs. “We haven’t even really done this yet.”
“I know, but I have a feeling I’ll want to do this again.”
He doesn’t look at her, one hand firmly on the steering wheel and a wide grin on his face. “Yeah… I have a feeling I will too.”
He’s lost track of how many times they’ve seen Sleepless at this point.
You think he would have grown sick of it— after all these months. Except, every time they see it, Rey gets so emotional and she curls into him so sweetly and okay— maybe sometimes he suggests it just for that reason.
The ending credits roll quietly across the television, casting a soft glow on the bedroom— but they’ve long-since stopped watching. She’d come against his tongue— something he could admittedly devote every second of his time to because the sounds she makes when his mouth is on her— sweetly obscene and enough to drive him halfway insane.
Her legs are over his hips now, her mouth lingering at his as she sinks down onto his cock slowly— taking him inside inch-by-inch and fuck if he could stay like this forever too.
When she begins to move— slow, rolling rhythms above him so that his cock slides torturously against her slick inner walls— he can’t help the way his eyes close and his mouth parts and now it’s him making those sounds and he can’t even be bothered to care.
When his eyes flutter open, he watches the way she rocks against him, lifting and sinking so that his cock disappears inside her and if he looks down he can see that too. When she leans back just a fraction, he can see the way she stretches around him, and he has to grab her hips just to steady himself. Just to ensure this doesn’t end too quickly because fuck he wants it to last forever.
He can hear it in the way she breathes his name, how close she is— so sensitive from the orgasm he can still taste on his tongue, and he snaps his hips into her just to chase after her.
The way she clenches— her cunt squeezing him, pulling him inside—
He drives into her just a little harder.
He feels his cock swelling, feels that cresting wave of heat building deep inside, and when she begins to trembles around him, gripping him even tighter— he comes so hard he can feel it in his teeth.
She falls over him, boneless and sated even as his cock still pulses inside her— her lips at his jaw and his cheekbones and settling over his mouth as he empties into her.
It’s always torture when he slides out of the slick warmth of her, because he is boneless as well and his limbs are heavy and yet he already wants to do it again. It’s a bit of a problem.
She murmurs sweet words against his mouth, rolling away from him as she moves to the bathroom, the light from inside it casting a glow on the bedroom, and he sighs in content as his arms rest behind his head. He wonders how he got so lucky.
“Ben,” she calls. “We’re almost out of toothpaste.”
She leans against the doorframe, frowning with a toothbrush hanging haphazardly out of her mouth and not a stitch on her and fuck how is that the most enticing thing he’s ever seen?
“I’ll pick some up tomorrow,” he promises, eyes roving over her body.
She grins, ducking back into the bathroom. BB jumps onto the bed, and Ben scratches at his ears begrudgingly, shaking his head. He knows it is easier to give the pudgy feline the incessant attention it seems to crave rather than try and shoo him away.
He hears her finish up, the water shutting off and the clink of her toothbrush dropping into the holder where it now rests next to his every single night.
He never did get that roommate— turns out he didn’t need one after all.