The last thing Rey could remember was fighting Kylo as a battle raged on around them; his scar had made his face look harsh and angry in the light that came only from their lightsabers and the occasional bombs dropping—she had wondered if that was why he had stopped wearing his mask long before, because his face no longer had the softness of a child’s.
They’d fought like this many times in the past year. They weren’t evenly matched in their skills—he was better with the Force than she was, but she had picked up dueling easily and quickly and she knew she was better than him. Their different skill strengths meant they each had the upper hand and a disadvantage when they were fighting each other. She hadn’t known who was going to win, she never knew who was going to win. The grim determination of his face had made it obvious that he was determined that it would be a victory for him.
She’d rushed forward—she wasn’t going to let him win, she couldn’t let him win—lightsaber ready. He rushed forward as well, swinging his blade up. Their lightsabers clashed, flaring, and he pressed closer to her. “Join me,” he said, softly, at odds with the blaring anger and passion in his eyes. I can teach you, he promised across their bond, low and seductive.
“You’ve gotten really predictable, you know?” she said, ignoring the part of her that was even a little bit intrigued by his offers. She pushed him back and away from her. She tracked his movements, ready to attack again or defend herself, whichever became necessary.
A bomb fell out of the sky at that moment; her world slowed down and she fancied she could see every detail of the world. The bomb landed far too close to them for comfort, blowing up trees and dirt and fire consumed her vision as her hearing went ringing. She saw Kylo fall, struggle to get up to no avail, as her body was thrown back against the ground—her lightsaber flung from her grasp. She felt her head hit something hard—a rock probably—and she struggled to keep eyes open.
Darkness fell, offering peace and reprieve from the pain.
Rey woke up when she felt the warmth of the sun on her face. She didn’t open her eyes right away, just stretched, relishing in the morning light; it all felt normal, and right, and comfortable, like there was no pressing danger, no galaxy to save, like she’d woken up this way a thousand times before. Her arms stretch to the sides; the bed seemed wider than the bunk she was used to either on the Falcon or in her room on the base, and her hand only stopped when it met resistance that felt surprisingly like an arm. Her eyes flew open, head twisting to the side to find a mop of thick black hair sticking up in every direction.
The bed was bigger than the one she went to sleep in normally—it wasn’t even the same bed; her bunk was barely big enough for her alone, and this bed was big enough to hold her and whoever the hell this is with plenty of extra room. She stretched her hand out again, shaking the stranger’s shoulder. “Hey,” she said to the still quiet, “wake up.”
The stranger made an odd humming sound, sinking into the blankets around them for a moment. Then, he shot up, glancing around in confusion before finally turning his gaze to her. “You,” he spat as recognition dawned on his face as it dawned on hers.
Rey is up and out of the bed in a second, assuming a defensive position. For some horrible reason, she’d woken up in bed with Kylo Ren. The fight—the war—the bomb—came rushing back to her in every detail, and she gaped at him. They’d fallen to the ground, separate but close, to wake up in a bed together.
At least he seemed as confused and angry about it as she does. She was going to be prepared for anything; she didn’t trust him, didn’t trust the confusion on his face. His thoughts were carefully under lock and key, and she trusted that even less, betraying nothing to her about what he was feeling or whether he was involved in them waking up in bed together.
She stretched her hand out and called her lightsaber to her; she wanted the protection it offered to her more than anything.
She strained again, harder. Focusing. All she needed to do was focus properly. She closed her eyes—even though she didn’t want to look away from him—and focused.
Anger was quickly being consumed by only confusion and fear. Again, she called her lightsaber to her.
“I can’t—“ she started and trailed off, panic coming quickly. “I can’t—“ She couldn’t feel the Force at all. It was gone from her, and everything felt duller for it; she couldn’t feel it in the air around her, she couldn’t feel the power inside of her. “What did you do?” she says through her teeth, rounding on him.
She hadn’t been looking at Kylo while she was panicking, but now she turned her gaze back to him. He was standing up on the other side of the bed, leaning against the wall, eyes wide and as panicked as she felt. “I didn’t do anything,” he whispered. “I can’t—I can’t feel it either.”
Rey steps closer to the bed, closer to him but still with a barrier between them that is comforting in the absence of the Force or her saber. “What does that mean? How, how could this happen?”
He swallowed, loudly. “I don’t know.” He sat back down on the bed, laughing mirthlessly. “I don’t have any fucking idea.”
She joined him on the bed, trying to process. It didn’t make any sense at all, and she didn’t like that this had happened somehow—she especially didn’t like that Kylo seemed as bothered by this as she was. It made the situation seem more hopeless than something she could fix.
Her gaze flitted around the room for the first time. It was big, well, bigger than any bedroom she’d ever seen or been in. The bed consumed most of it, but there was a dresser across the room. There were things that looked like holo-pics all around the room and on the dresser but they weren’t moving like they should.
Rey pushed off the bed again, approaching the dresser. She picked up one of the images, and nearly dropped it back down when she looked at it. It was her, her and Kylo fucking Ren in what looked suspiciously like wedding garb, her in a white dress and him in a fancy suit; there were smiles on both of their faces. They weren’t looking out smiling, though; they were smiling at each other, her up at him and him down at her. Han and Leia were in the background, and so were Finn and Poe, and a whole myriad of other people that she didn’t know. Everyone was smiling—everyone looked completely and totally happy.
This hadn’t happened—she would remember if this had happened. This hadn’t happened. Her breath came fast and she stumbled back to the bottom of the bed, sinking into the soft mattress, the image still clutched in her hand.
It was pulled out of her hand with surprising gentleness. She heard his soft intake of breath—she half wanted to run from the room, wake up from this weird dream, and half wanted him to just tell her what the hell was going on. “This doesn’t make any sense,” she heard him say, more to himself than her.
“What’s going on?” she asked.
“We’ll figure it out,” he replied, voice settling into firm resolve. “This isn’t real. We’ll figure it out.”
“We’ll figure it out? Together?” she punctuated the question with a harsh laugh. “And how do you think that will work? The only thing we do together is fight.”
“What else do you suggest, Rey?” he asked, hard and harsh, and she tried to ignore that this was the first time he’d said her actual name. “Whatever this is, we’re here together.”
She shook her head, in defeat or resignation, knowing that he’s right as much as she hates it. “Fine, together then.” She ran her hand through her hair, trying to rack her brain for a plan. And that was when she noticed the weight on her left hand. She brought her hand down, looking at the ring with a jewel and plain band around her finger. She looked back at him, to find him looking down at a ring that resembled her plain band on his left hand. “What the hell is this place, Kylo?”
He shook his head. “We’ll figure it out,” he repeated; she wondered why he could sound so calm in the face of whatever the hell was happening to them, wondered how he could possibly think they would ever be able to work together.
“How?” she exploded, yelling finally. “This doesn’t make any sense!”
His hands stretched out toward her, before he pulled them back, like he thought better of the action. “It doesn’t. We’ll get up, and we’ll figure this out. And I’ll kill whoever did this to us.”
His words made a shiver go down her back at the promise behind them, but she nods anyway, pushing herself back up; she realized with those words how he was calm. He was already in his ‘I’m going to fix it and then murder some people’ phase.
That was when she noticed her state of dress—or relative undress. She was in a thin top and small bottoms that did nothing to cover her legs. He was shirtless—scar-less too, she noticed with surprise, as his face was, she realized for the first time—and only had on a pair of shorts. She flushed and he smirked when he saw the red rising in her cheeks; she wasn’t sure if she was more embarrassed by her state of dress or his. “Shut up,” Rey ordered.
“I didn’t say anything.”
“You were thinking it.”
“There’s no way you can know what I’m thinking any more than I can know what you’re thinking.” He had been smirking when he started, but the smirk died when he remembered why they couldn’t know what the other was thinking. He sighed, deeply. “This is probably just some kind of dream because of the explosion.”
“It doesn’t feel like a dream,” she said. “It feels real.”
They both get up, finding clothes; they only way they can tell the difference between her clothes and his are that hers are smaller. She dashes through a doorway, finding something that looks similar to a ‘fresher. She closes the door behind her, tugging on the foreign articles—the undergarments are…odd, and vaguely uncomfortable, and the pants scratch against her legs. The shirt is more comfortable, though, and she’s grateful for that at least. She looks in the mirror for the first time; her hair is longer than it was when she last looked at it. It stretched down nearly to her waist when before it just barely hit her shoulders. She puts it up into a single bun; she can fix it later into something she’s more comfortable with.
She wonders what’s going on in the real world—she wonders who won the battle, if anyone found her and Kylo. She hopes Finn and Poe and everyone else is all right, and all she wants to do is know if they’re alive and unharmed. She needs to get home; she’ll even work with Kylo to make that happen.
“Rey,” she hears Kylo call for her, an edge of panic to his voice that she’s not used to hearing. She’s heard him angry and desperate and seductive, but never panicked, at least, not like this.
“Yeah?” she yells back, moving to open the door. He’s there, waiting for her fully dressed, in black of course, but the expression on his face makes her concerned, far too concerned to make fun of him for choosing the only black articles of clothing in his drawer. He looks like he’s seen a ghost. “What is it?”
“My,” he pauses, swallowing, his eyes darting wildly, skin paler than usual, and she’s getting more and more concerned waiting for him to just get it out so she can know what’s wrong now when he finally finishes, “my father’s here.”
She can’t think for a minute; it doesn’t make sense. It defies all logic. It’s not possible. “What? Alive?” She darts past him, wanting to see Han, hardly believing that it could be true, wondering if he’s playing a cruel trick on her with all of this, and if this is really his fault contrary to what he said before and contrary to the look on his face now. Kylo grabs her arm and she goes past, grip light but firm; she glares at him, trying to shake her arm loose, wondering why he’s stopping her from doing this when it’s his fault Han is gone is their reality, until she sees the panic on his face intermingled with anger.
“Did you do this somehow? To…punish me for what I did?” It’s the first time she’s seen anything resembling remorse on his face, and she wonders, not for the first time, why he would kill Han in the fist place if he feels this badly about it. And she knows that he’s not playing a trick on her.
“What? No, of course not.” He lets her got immediately after she says that, nodding, accepting her answer without question. She leaves the room, Kylo on her heels; she looks back at him in question and he directs her to some stairs. She steps down, down, down, down, anticipation rising in her gut. And there he is, Han Solo, the father she never had. He smiles when he sees her and Kylo enter the room together.
“There’s my favorite daughter-in-law,” he says, reaching out to hug her.
She returns the hug with a nervous kind of laugh, muttering, “I’m your only daughter-in-law.” She’s not sure why, but it feels like she’s said it to him before, like it’s something they say to each other all the time, when she knows she hasn’t.
“Well, Ben, Rey, you two ready?” he asks, gesturing to the door.
“Yeah,” Rey says, not sure what she’s supposed to be ready for, but playing along anyway. She sees Kylo start out of the corner of her eye, and wonders if it’s because of his father’s casual use of his birth name.
They follow Han out of the house, Han teasing her when she ‘almost forgets’ her purse. “Aren’t you going to lock up?” he scolds Kylo, sounding every bit a father.
Kylo grumbles something under his breath that she can’t hear, but he turns around, opening the front door again, and fiddling with something. She hopes that he figured out whatever it was he was supposed to do, and then she takes in the outdoor world.
Nothing looks like it should. There’s grass and trees and houses, sure, but everything else is absolutely foreign to her. She tries to hide her shock, but it’s a struggle. The thing Han is walking toward doesn’t look like anything like a ship she’s ever seen.
“Still driving that piece of garbage?” Kylo asks; she turns to look at him, brow raised in question and surprised by the lightness of his tone, but he looks just as shocked, schooling it before his father can see.
“Hey, don’t make fun of the Falcon, now. Rey, did you know your husband was conceived in this very car?” Han waggles his brows at her, moving around the thing that was decidedly not the Falcon.
She giggles a little and wonders if the same applies in the real world; she’s going to use that against Kylo one way or another. Then she realizes that Han called Kylo her husband, her his daughter-in-law. She sucks in a gasp, realizing for the first time that whatever this is her suspicions have been confirmed, they are married, really and truly married. Kylo comes up behind her, placing a comforting hand on her back.
When he whispers in her ear, it’s anything but comforting. “Keep it together.”
She glares at him, because she can keep it together without him reminding her, moving to the car—something in her mind supplied the word finally. She got in and so did he before Han could say anything or notice than anything was amiss, or at least, she hopes he doesn’t notice anything is up with them. He drives, making small talk. Kylo and Rey answer evasively, but hopefully truthfully.
Han pulls into a house—much bigger than the one he picked them up at. Rey and Kylo follow him inside; she wonders if this is really the wisest course of action. Maybe they should have made up some excuse, stayed in the house they’d woken up in, and tried to figure out where they were. It was too late for that now, though. She grabs his hand in hers and tries not to think about how right it feels or why it feels so right or so familiar. He looks at her in surprise but doesn’t let go of her hand.
It seems like twenty different voices are calling hellos to them the minute they step through the door. Rey and Kylo are hugged over and over; she can’t even process who’s hugging her. It’s overwhelming and weird, and disorienting to hear him being called ‘Ben’ instead of Kylo; she knows he’s just as bothered by it, if not more. He flinches, almost imperceptibly, every time someone calls him that. She thinks back to all the times she called him ‘Ben’ out of spite and wonders if it did more harm than good.
When the hugging is done, Rey and Kylo find seats and she finally gets a good look around. There are so many people she doesn’t recognize, all smiling at her like they know her. She recognizes Luke and Leia and Han, of course, but it’s so weird to have them all together, alive and smiling. She tries to steady her breathing—panic isn’t going to help anyone. There’s not that many people she doesn’t recognize—an older couple that has to be Vader—Anakin—and Padmé. Another man who looks suspiciously like famous Rebel War hero Lando Carlissian. There’s another man who looks like a man she saw in multiple holo-videos—Obi Wan or Ben Kenobi, depending on who you asked.
Kylo is gripping her hand in hers like she’s his lifeline.
They spend hours there, and never once does he let go of her hand.
“How’s your next book coming?” Leia asks at one point. “People are dying for another Solo and Solo original.”
Rey looks to Kylo, hoping he’ll be able to help or come up with a convincing story, but he hasn’t talked much the whole night. She shoves her elbow into his side as she answers, “It’s coming.” The subject is gratefully changed after that, but Rey can’t help but wonder again what the hell this place is they’ve found themselves in and how they’re going to be able to make it if they’re stuck here much longer.
Han drives them home—apparently they have a car that’s in the shop. He makes sure they’re coming over again in a week—Rey agrees when it doesn’t seem like Kylo is going to say anything. She curses herself afterwards, knowing she probably should have made some excuse, but she had such a nice time with his family, and she would do it everyday if she could.
They make their way up to the room they woke up in; she’s aimless and unsure what else to do.
“I hate this place,” he mutters, more to himself than her, but she answers anyway.
“Why? It’s…wonderful,” she breathes, thinking of all the hugs she’d gotten. All the people asking how she was. It was the family she’d always wanted, and they were hers even if she only had it because of him. She can’t understand why he wouldn’t be happy here.
He sneers at her. “Those people aren’t real. That’s not who they are. That’s not how they acted in our world. They don’t exist. Or they’re dead. My grandparents, my father, they’re all gone. And even if they were alive, they wouldn’t be yours,” he finishes cruelly.
“You could have had that, you had that, and you gave it up! For what? Fucking power? I hate you,” she yells. She turns from him, running without purpose from the house that isn’t hers, isn’t theirs. From a life that isn’t hers. She’d forgotten; he’s not really Ben, he’s Kylo Ren. Sometimes, he makes her incredibly angry. She marvels at his power to bring out emotions in her.
She doesn’t know where she’d go, though, if she had anywhere to go. She doesn’t know enough about this world. Rey collapses on the ground before the front door, tears pouring down her face.
I want to go home, she thinks, if only to get away from Kylo. This place, whatever it is, is cruel and she hates it suddenly. It’s everything she’s ever wanted, and he was right, it wasn’t real.
“I’m sorry,” a quiet voice says behind her, and the words come out quick, like he’s never said those words before and he just wants to get them over with. “I shouldn’t have said that.”
She turns to him, wiping her tears away angrily. “No, you shouldn’t have.”
“This place is—I don’t like it.”
“It makes me want things I can never have,” he answers; she’s surprised by his candid honesty; months of being able to hear each other’s thoughts have made them be honest with each other, but this feels different. This is him willingly sharing something private. She’s even more surprised when his pointed gaze makes her feel like she’s one of the things he could never have. But that would be ridiculous, so she puts the notion aside. He reaches a hand down to her, helping her up.
“We shouldn’t fight. I mean, not until we get back home,” she says. For better or for worse, it seemed like she and Kylo were the only ones who didn’t belong here; they were stuck with each other, for the time being. “Truce?”
“Truce,” he agrees readily enough.
They go back to the bedroom. Rey finds something comfortable to sleep in. She bites her lip, contemplating how exactly to tell him that she’s not entirely liking the idea of sharing a bed with him.
“I’m going to sleep downstairs,” his voice breaks through her thoughts.
“Oh?” she asks, trying not to act like this was exactly what she had been about to ask him.
Kylo gives her a pointed look. “I don’t think either of us would get much sleep next to each other,” he stops, and then his tone takes on a teasing tone, “I know I for one would be worried about you killing me in my sleep.”
She shakes her head at him, trying not to laugh, because who knew that Kylo Ren could make jokes, even if they are a little morbid. “I wouldn’t kill you in your sleep.”
“Well, as nice as that is to know, I don’t think we’re really at the point in our relationship where we can sleep with each other,” and he says it so deadpan that she just looks at him for a minute before bursting out laughing as he leaves the room.
She goes to sleep alone, and she misses the feel of a body next to her even though she’s never slept next to him before.
They spend the next week leaving each other relatively alone. Despite their truce, and despite their promise to work together to get home, she has a sinking feeling that they won’t be able to go five minutes in each other’s company alone without fighting about something. Well, they talk sometimes, share meals and the one ‘fresher, but they never talk about anything that matters. They don’t talk about how they’re going to get away from whatever this place is; they don’t talk about the fact that they’re supposed to be mortal enemies; they don’t talk about his repeated offers to join him, or her repeated pleas for him for him to come back to the light if only for the sake of his mother.
She’d found a computer and looked up all her questions to this strange place they’d found themselves in—she was thankful to whatever brought them here that she knew and could read English. She knew they were on a planet called Earth in the year 2016, and that they were in upstate New York, though to be fair she’d found out part of that from the mail they got. She knew the room that seemed almost like a ‘fresher was a bathroom, but it was easier to call things by the words she knew; it gave her a small sense of normalcy.
She looked up information about cars and how to use the strange appliances in their kitchen. She’d also found a book full of passwords; she looked all the sites up, including their joint bank account. They seemed to be quite wealthy—probably from the popularity of the book they had written together, Across the Stars. She didn’t want to read the book or the sequel she and Kylo were supposed to be working on. The summary alone told her it was far too close to what she knew of the story of his grandparents.
The things she knew didn’t exist, no matter how much she searched for them, no matter the different wordings she used. She’d looked up planets she’d visited since joining the Resistance, the Jedi, the Sith, the Force. Nothing. The searches had no results, or if they did, it wasn’t what she was looking for.
More and more, Rey was faced with the idea that this place probably wasn’t a dream; it was far too elaborate, too detailed, too different from anything she knew for her mind to have created it. She wants desperately to know how they got here, or what it all meant. It didn’t seem like they would be getting answers any time soon. She wonders what Kylo is doing with his time; sometimes she asks him and he responds noncommittally. It doesn’t seem like he’s come up with any way to wake up or go home either; his brow scrunches in anger or frustration whenever she brooches the subject of going home, but she can’t really blame him because she feels the same way.
Neither of them leaves their house much. There’s food enough for the two of them stocked in the kitchen, even though neither of them is really great at cooking and she has to look up what each and every thing is. He gets annoyed when he cooks when it doesn’t turn out the way he wants it to, but he keeps doing it anyway. They end up cooking together, in silence, only asking each other for ingredients or to stir something, and their meals end up more successful for it.
Han and Anakin pick them up one day in the middle of the week to drive them to get their car. Rey’s nervous at first, but she gets into the driver’s seat and something in her brain, some knowledge she shouldn’t have, kicked in and she just knew what to do. She smiled happily on her way to the store, having looked up directions on her phone. She wanted to get different food to try some of the things she’d found in her online searches, and she was curious about what stores here looked like in person.
She laughed giddily when she pulled into a parking spot perfectly and without the help of the Force. Kylo didn’t seem impressed by her ability.
“You try driving something you’ve never driven before,” she said to his unspoken thoughts that she could no longer hear.
He just rolled his eyes at her. “Are we going in or not?”
They go in; she can’t help her excitement over how much food is in there. Their shopping-trip takes a good three hours. She walks up and down every hour multiple times, unable to decide what she wants because she sort of wants everything. He doesn’t offer a word of complaint, just follows her through the store. It’s weird to see him here, jeans and a t-shirt instead of his usual black robe garb. She hadn’t really realized until then, seeing him in the store instead of in the house that was their but wasn’t, that he looked…normal. She probably looked normal to, like any other wife with her husband shopping. It wasn’t all together horrible.
When they’re finally done, he helps her load the multiple grocery bags into the car, again without complaint, and she’s surprised at his willingness to help. She drives to a coffee place she’d looked up that was supposed to have some of the best fresh coffee. She’d made it once at their house, but she had been disappointed with the results and so had Kylo. She suspected for all his Dark Lordy-ness, he had just as much a sweet tooth as she did.
He walked in with her; they both ordered something whose name she couldn’t remember. The woman who made their coffee spotted the ring on Rey’s finger; she asked to see it, and Rey extended her hand. “That’s so beautiful,” the woman said, smiling at both of them. “You two make an adorable couple.”
Rey smiles, thanking her and taking their coffees; when she turns to hand Kylo his coffee, he’s smiling down at her. She can’t help the small smile that stretches across her lips in return.
When they get home, he helps her unload all the groceries and put them away. They don’t talk; she wonders if he’s always this quiet and brooding, or if it’s just being here that makes him this way. “You’ve been quiet the past couple of days,” she finally says.
“I’m adjusting,” he replies defensively before sighing. “I feel different here.”
Rey turns to look at him; she doesn’t think he’s talking about the Force or lack of that, and she’d noticed that he seemed different here. It was hard to look at this man and remember he was Kylo Ren, scourge of the galaxy. “What do you mean?”
He doesn’t answer for a while, and she doesn’t press because she can tell he’s thinking. “I don’t feel so angry here,” he confesses quietly, looking ashamed. “It’s like everything that made me me is gone.”
“But was that really you?” she asks before she can stop it.
“What do you mean?’ he asks, all confusion and no anger.
She swallows, knowing it’s too late to not tell him now, emboldened because he isn’t angry by her line of questioning. “Wasn’t that who Snoke wanted you to be? You never really had a chance to be Ben. It doesn’t excuse what you did,” she hurries to add, “But I’ve felt the light in you. I don’t think Kylo Ren is who you really are.”
Kylo turns his head from her looking at the floor. He runs a hand through his hair; when he looks back at her, there are tears in his eyes. They don’t fall, but she can see them there.
He never answers—she doesn’t know if she’s right or run, or if he’s just processing. Nevertheless, she suggests they watch a movie with dinner. He joins her. They make fun of the plot, the unrealistic fighting that would never ever work in real life ever and it’s nice. She realizes she’s enjoying herself with Kylo somewhere about an hour and a half in. She tries not to think about it too much.
He suggests another movie when her choice is over; she agrees if only because she’d been lonely the whole four days they’d been living her together even though he was there with her.
When Rey wakes up, she wakes up alone in the bed that she’s begun to consider hers with no memory of how she got there. She goes downstairs to find him in the kitchen, a cup of coffee in his hands. “Did you carry me to bed?” she asks by way of good morning.
“Yes,” comes out sheepishly, at odds with the smirk in his eyes. “You fell asleep right when the movie got interesting.”
“Maybe it should have gotten interesting sooner,” she needles. She walks over, taking the offered cup of coffee. It’s better than her first attempt; he put in enough sugar. Rey sets about making breakfast, and he joins her. They talk about silly things over breakfast—mostly the other movies they want to see.
She realizes she hasn’t even thought about getting home since the day before.
She feels like she’s betrayed her friends, betrayed the entire Resistance, betrayed the Jedi—she shouldn’t like it here. She shouldn’t want to stay. She shouldn’t want to stay here with him.
“What’s wrong?” he asks, probably seeing the emotions warring on her face. Concern knits his brow, and he doesn’t look like Kylo at all in that moment. He looks sincere and good.
Maybe she should want to stay here. Their galaxy would be safer without him—she could protect everyone, do her duty, by staying here and playing house with him. It wouldn’t be so bad.
“Nothing,” she replies. “Just thinking. Have you thought of any way to get home?”
He shakes his head slowly. “This planet’s technology is infuriating. They know nothing about anything useful.”
They go about their day after that, but instead of doing things separately, she brings her laptop to the room he’s in. They still don’t talk a lot, but it’s nice. After lunch, she gets a call on her cell phone. It’s Finn; she fumbles with the phone for a minute before picking up. “Finn?”
“Sunshine! How’re you?” he sounds so happy as he greets her that she can’t help but smile.
“Good, how’re you?” she asked, trying hard to remember that this wasn’t her Finn and she had to be careful not to reveal that she didn’t know what was going on.
“Great! Our honeymoon was amazing. Ben was right—France was great. Speaking of, how’s that husband of yours?” he spoke so fast, sounded so happy, it was hard to keep up with everything he was telling her.
“He’s good,” she answers, smiling at the man in question. He doesn’t return the expression; there’s something new in his gaze and she’s not entirely sure what it is. She focuses on the conversation instead. “We’ve been working on our next book,” she lies, and feels guilty about it immediately afterwards.
“That’s great! Well, I just wanted to say hi, and let you know that we’d gotten back. Poe and I’ll see you at your in-laws Saturday right?”
“Yep, see you then,” and she hangs up, wondering at all this new information. She went to some social media page, and sure enough, there was Poe and Finn getting married. She’d always wondered if there was something between the two of them; she wondered if things here applied in her real life. Kylo and her were in many of the pictures from the wedding, always smiling at each other instead of looking at the camera.
Rey gets up, carrying her laptop with her. She wants to show Kylo the pictures for some reason. When she plops next to him, he’s got that same weird expression on his face. It looks almost like…jealousy. “What’s wrong?”
“You’re so happy when you talk to the trait—Finn,” he corrects at her look, “You’re never that happy when you talk to me. Not even here.”
“Yeah, well, we’re not exactly friends back home. And we didn’t meet under the best circumstances.”
He humphs at her. “You’re the one who shot at me first.”
“You were chasing me,” she reminds him in a sing-song voice.
He crosses his arms; again, though, there’s no anger in his face or voice, only teasing. “Only because you were running.”
“Because you were chasing me. In the scary mask thing. I thought you wanted to be all feared and stuff, anyway Kylo.”
Kylo’s shoulders slump. “I’m not sure anymore.”
“Aww, well, I don’t think you’re scary now,” she reassures him. And she doesn’t. She can’t remember what his voice used to sound like or the anger that felt like it was embedded into everything about him.
A playfully indignant look crosses his face. “We’ll see about that.” He moves closer to her, hands extended.
She feels no fear, but she sets her computer down anyway, jumping up. “What’re you doing, Kylo?”
He doesn’t answer, just smirks and stand up as well. He walks slowly to her, hands still extended. She backs away. He walks toward her. She turns around and runs, laughing playfully. He catches up to her easily, but she wasn’t really trying that hard to run from him. He tickled her sides; she jumped and laughed. “How—dare—you?” she asks between laughs as he continues tickling her.
When he stops, her sides aching from laughter, he says, “I think you should call me Ben.”
“Okay,” she agrees with a smile. “Ben.”
Three months go by and they settle into a comfortable rhythm. They spend their days together, watching movies or exploring the city they live in; it’s easier and easier to take his hand when they’re out in public. She takes to hugging him goodnight and after a while, he hugs her back; she wonders how long it’s been in their world since he’s been hugged.
Once a week, they go to his family’s for dinner. It’s nice to see them all alive and together, having fun instead of worrying about the fate of the galaxy. Ben starts to talk more to them—he lets himself smile and laugh with them. Finn and Poe are usually there are well; sometimes, they go out drinking with her friends—but they seem like his friends too here. Ben spends some days with his father and grandfather, even inviting them out without them inviting him, and on those days she spends time with his mother and grandmother. She loves it.
She makes no effort anymore to going home—it doesn’t seem worth it anymore. Ben is nice here; she likes this Ben.
It’s perhaps the most selfish decision she’s ever made.
She doesn’t ask him what he wants; doesn’t ask him if he’d rather stay here or go home. She makes the decision without him and for him.
They’re making dinner together one night when she reaches up to press a kiss to his cheek. He looks down at her with a smile; they’re no longer surprised by little acts of affection, like when one of them grabs the other’s hand.
“You’re nicer to me here,” he teases, bumping her hip with his.
“I like you here,” she says simply, something she’s been thinking for a while without voicing. “You’re nicer.”
Ben turns to her, cups her cheek and leans down. She guesses his intentions easily enough. She feels like everything has been leading to this moment since they woke up together.
His lips press against hers and she sighs against him, hands twining into his hair. He deepens the kiss, pressing the entire length of her body into his. It feels so good, and so right…She breaks away suddenly, because she’s not sure she’s ready for this yet; there’s so much between them that can’t be erased by a couple of months of niceness. She sees the hurt in his eyes, and she wants to apologize, explain, talk it out, press her lips to his again and forget all about her worries.
“What are you so afraid of?” he spits out, going on the defense to hide his hurt. It’s half-hearted, though, and holds none of the venom from any of their other battles. She wonders how he knew it was fear that pulled her away; they know each other though, and it doesn’t seem like that much of a mystery.
“What happens when we get home?” she asks instead of answering his actual question. She supposes she is kind of answering considering that’s what she’s afraid of, why for a while she hasn’t wanted to go home; she wants him to tell her that he doesn’t want to go home either, that he wants to stay with her.
He turns, looking away from her, sighing deeply. “I don’t know. Can’t we just enjoy what we have right now?”
Rey shakes her head, even though she knows he can’t see the motion. She wants that, so bad, but hearing him say it out loud makes her realize something. “I don’t think it works that way.”
He looks like he’s going to stalk from the room; she’s half worried she’s driven him away forever. But at the last second, he turns back to her. “I’ll defect.”
“What?” she very nearly doesn’t even get the question out, not sure if this is what she wants, if this is a good ending to their story. If he defects, he’ll have enemies on both sides. It would be easier if they stayed her, married, not enemies on opposing sides of a war that went back beyond them.
“I’ll defect. Join the Resistance. Change allegiances,” he runs a hand through his hair nervously. “I’ll take whatever punishment they want to give me.”
“Ben…” she starts and trails off, not sure what she wants to say. He stalks closer to her, grabs her hands in his.
“They’ll probably kill me. Either the Resistance or the First Order or Snoke. I don’t care. Can’t we have this, though? Can’t we have tonight?”
She’s indignant at the suggestion in his tone. “I’m not going to have sex with you so you’ll come to the Resistance.”
He rolls his eyes. “That’s not what I’m saying. I—I’ve felt the call for the light. I’m willing to die because I choose that.”
“You don’t have to do that for me. I don’t want you to die for me.” She doesn’t add that she thinks it would be a poor tether—if anything happened to her, he might go right back to his old ways. Snoke would use her against him, she knew it. It was easier to stay here. Better for both of them to stay in whatever this was.
His expression is full of resolve and determination, though. “It’s not for you. It’s what I want. I like who I am here.”
“How do you know? We’re here, Snoke’s not. You don’t know how you’ll feel when we get back.”
He sighs, letting go of her hands. “I can wait until we get back. I won’t kiss you again until he’s dead, and then you’ll know.”
“Ben,” she starts, but waits when it looks like he has something to say.
“I don’t just want to sleep with you Rey, that’s not what this is. I want—I want what my grandparents have. What my parent’s have. I’ve never wanted that before and I want it with you. More than I’ve ever wanted anything.”
He looks so truthful and so earnest that she stretches up on her toes, pulling his head down to her. Their lips crash into each other this time. She kisses him again and again, because she wants him too. Exactly like he said. More than she’d ever wanted anything.
When they break apart, it’s only because they’re both gasping and she curses her need to breathe.
Their food burns to a horrible mess, but she doesn’t care. They fix something else to eat, something simple and easy; they can’t keep their hands off of each other as they’re making it or while they’re eating. Rey’s sitting nearly in his lap by the time they’re finished eating.
“I really wasn’t trying to get you to sleep with me,” he says lamely when they both stand up and she starts to tug him upstairs.
“Shut up,” she says with a laugh. “Who said anything about you getting to sleep with me?”
The end up on her bed, just kissing; neither of them makes a move to take it any further. She just wants to revel in this for now, because it feels amazing. But suddenly, she feels like he’s overdressed. Rey tugs his shirt over his head, throwing it somewhere. She doesn’t look down at his muscles because he claims her lips as soon as his shirt is off, but she traces her hands over his chest.
Ben breaks apart from her only long enough to tug her shirt over her head, throwing it somewhere across the room. He traces kisses down her throat; she digs her fingers into his hair.
“We should have done this instead of fighting,” she pants out and he chuckles against her skin. Her bra goes the way of her shirt and he continues his downward decent of kisses.
He sucks one of her nipples into his mouth, biting down gently; the sensation goes right to her core and she feels wetness start to pool between her thighs. He looks up at her, smirking, and she almost hits him because that look is so Kylo. But he bites and sucks at her and she doesn’t care if he smirks at her anymore. He continues down, pressing her into the bed. Her pants come off, followed by her underwear.
Ben stops, taking her in. She doesn’t make any move to cover herself, even though she feels completely and utterly exposed. He looks at her body like she’s the most beautiful thing he’s ever seen, and she wants him to keep looking at her like that. He continues kissing down her stomach—he bites into her hip and she jerks against him. She spreads her thighs for him without prodding, anticipation coiled in her stomach. He licks her slit, finds her nub and circles it with his tongue, and then repeats back and forth between the two motions. He’s driving her mad, and maybe this was his plan all along but she doesn’t give a fuck.
Rey tangles her hands in his hair again, pulling him closer to her. She worries for a moment that she might be hurting him, either with her hands or her thighs that she can’t stop from squeezing at his head, but he curls a single finger into her and all coherent thought is driven from her body. She gasps, rocking against his mouth and his finger. He adds a second digit, her wetness making it easy for him to glide his fingers in and out of her; he adds a third in short order. She feels wonderfully stretched, every swipe of his tongue, every motion of his fingers bringing her closer and closer to the edge.
It comes over her suddenly, her back arching off the bed, hands holding his head as close to her as she can get and she still wants more. He rides out her climax unrelentingly; he doesn’t stop his tongue or his fingers until she collapses back against the bed completely spent.
He crawls up the bed and places a kiss on her lips before collapsing beside her. She glances down, sees the tent in his pants, and pushes herself up.
“You don’t have—” he starts, but she presses a kiss to his lips, cutting him off.
“Shhh,” she says, sliding down to pull off his pants and underwear. His length comes free of its confines; he’s hard and ready for her. He’s huge, she realizes, bigger than she’d been expecting. She wants him inside of her already. Rey straddles him, reaching down and guiding him into her. She sinks onto him with a sigh, taking him in bit by bit until she’s completely impaled on him. She adjusts to the feel of him inside of her, biting her lip in an attempt to steady her breathing.
He sits up, pressing his lips against hers. It’s a sloppy kiss; they’re both breathing hard as she pushes down onto him. He surges up, hitting all the right places. She gasps, tearing her mouth from his for a moment because she needs to make noise. All that comes out is breathless pants and hoarse screams; he groans with every noise she make and every motion of her hips.
He bites her neck, sucks at her skin. She tangles her fingers back into his hair—she thinks it might be one of her favorite things to do holding him against her as they rock together, motions completely in sync. She feels her release building again, slowly this time; his mouth moves down to take one of her nipples into his mouth again, biting, and it sends her straight over the edge with a scream of pleasure. He follows, shouting his release.
Later, wrapped in each other’s arms, she thinks she could get used to this. She wants to get used to this. They fall asleep, her head cradled against his chest. For the first time in her memory, Rey goes to sleep and doesn’t feel alone.
She wakes up with a gasp. She knows she’s in the medbay, and not one on Earth; she’s on the Resistance base, she can smell it. She sighs in twin relief and regret when she can feel the Force running through her veins again; all her hopes were dashed apparently. Someone is gripping her hand, tightly. She opens her eyes, and there he is. “Ben,” she whispers; so maybe not all of her hopes had been dashed.
Rey had worried about this. Had worried what she would find in his eyes when they got back her—if they got back here. What she would feel through their Force bond. She looked and found no anger; the darkness was there, still, and she thinks that maybe it always will be there like it’s there in her, but it doesn’t make up his whole being anymore. He’s not consumed by it.
“You were right,” he says to the thoughts going through her mind. “Kylo was never really me. It was easy, after being in that world with you, to push Snoke out of my mind. I found something that I care about more. It’s not just you,” he hurries to clarify, “Even though you are a big part of it. “I care about myself. Ben, not Kylo. And my mother; the sacrifice my father made for me. I care about that more.”
I can’t begin to atone for what I did as Kylo, but I will try, he promises, to himself and to her.
“What happened?” she asks, do you know why we were there? Was it real?
“It was real,” he comforts her. “We were asleep for as long as we were there. I just woke up before you, about an hour ago. Luke says that the Force did it, or at least, that’s what Obi Wan told him. Those people—that Ben and Rey—they exist. We just got to live their lives for a little while.”
“You talked to Luke?” she asks, wondering, with a little bit of a wince, how that conversation went.
Ben nods. “He said—he said he forgave me.”
“Of course he did, he’s incredibly forgiving.”
“It’s more than I deserve.”
“Forgiveness isn’t about deserving Ben. He forgives you; accept it.”
He nods; they sit in silence for a while. Rey takes stock of herself; she doesn’t feel any of the after affects of the bomb. She knows she must have been injured, but too much time has gone by apparently. “Why’d we come back? I mean, why now?”
He shrugs his shoulders. “Luke wasn’t sure.”
“So Han and Anakin and Padmé are all alive there in the other world?” she asks suddenly, sad that they can’t have those people here—she’d come to love them, and it seems unfair that another them gets to have those people alive and well when they don’t.
“Yes. I wanted to stay, you know. With you. And with them,” he admits. “I thought you’d want to come back, though.”
“I wanted to stay,” she breathes. “I wanted to stay with you. For you. I didn’t think you’d want to stay.”
He looks away from her, as he so often tended to do when he was filled with emotion. “I wanted to stay. I liked being in a world where I hadn’t killed—I miss him, you know? Every day. I shouldn’t have—” he starts and stops, overwrought.
She squeezes his hand, “I know.” Rey’s still a little angry with him, if she’s being truthful, for doing it. But it’s easier to not be angry at him when he’s contrite and letting her see just how much killing his father had taken a toll on him.
“I thought it would make me strong,” he says. “Killing him. That’s what Snoke said it would do. It made me weaker instead. It felt like—the moment I did it I knew I’d made the wrong choice,” he’s crying now, freely, but she lets him get it out. “And it was too late. That was the worst part. I regretted it the minute I did it, and it was too late.”
Sobs shake his shoulders; she tugs him to her, up onto her hospital bed. She cries too; for everyone she’s lost. They both cry for the Han Solo in their world—she thinks it’s probably time for them both to say goodbye.
“What happens now?” she asks when both their tears are spent, wondering at what he’s planning to do, at what they’re going to do, at how her friends and his mother are going to react to his change of heart. She wonders if he meant what he said before they slept together or it was all just to get in her pants. She knows it wasn’t though, as soon as she thinks it; all he can think about is how determined he is to keep his word to her.
He smiles at her, soft and sweet and so Ben. “We face whatever happens.” Together.
Together, she agrees, clasping his hand in hers tighter. Together.