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Pieces of Yourself

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"Here," someone said, brusquely. Rey turned to accept the small data card automatically — everyone on the base was so busy organising her that she had stopped asking questions first before taking things handed to her. "Clothing allowance."

"Clothing — Wait, what do I do with it?"

The harried-looking official sighed heavily. He clearly felt he had far too many important things to do to stop and answer stupid questions, even if they did come from the Resistance's brand new proto-Jedi. "Go to Requisitions. Get clothes." He side-stepped her and hurried on down the scuffed corridor before she could pin him there with anything else.

Rey rolled her eyes. "Requisitions. Clothes. Well, that clears everything up, thanks."

She didn't even know where it was — it was a large base, much bigger than it appeared from outside. But there was nothing else she had been given to do right then (although there were so many plans stacking up around her that she felt half-crushed by the weight of expectations), and she could definitely use a change of outfit. She hadn't exactly had a chance to pack when she left Jakku — Not that you owned anything worth bringing with you, her subconscious chimed in to remind her — and she felt grimy and worn out.

And she also had no idea where the quarters she'd just been assigned were, and that was far more humiliating to admit to any of the strangers stepping purposefully around her. Asking directions to Requisitions, however…

Five minutes later she was looking at more clothing than she had ever seen in her life before, and being fussed over by the quartermaster, who had turned out to be one of the alarmingly-large crowd of people who thought she was some sort of hero. It was incredibly disconcerting.

"But what sort of clothes do you like?" he asked for the third time, his face-tendrils fluttering. "Trousers, leggings, dresses?"

Rey shrugged helplessly, overwhelmed by a surfeit of choices. She'd always thought of herself as a decisive person, and yet having so many options for something so banal was paralysing her. "I don't know! Sort of like what I'm wearing?"

The quartermaster made a face at the state of her current clothes, which she couldn't really fault him for. "I can find some outfits in that general style, I suppose… You'll also need nightwear and underwear. We only have basic styles of both, but —"

"That'll be fine, I'm sure," Rey interrupted him quickly, feeling her cheeks heat up. It was silly to get embarrassed, she knew, but she just wasn't used to talking about things like this with people. Or talking about anything, really, aside from bartering over the value of scavenged scrap.

Her allowance card scanned and with a drawstring bag full of fabric slung over her shoulder, she left in search of her quarters. It only took a few false turns and several minutes dithering in the middle of a busy corridor before someone took pity on her and volunteered directions without her asking.

The room itself, it turned out, was… fine. Small and basic, with a bed, a desk and a chair, and a communal bathroom two doors down. There had been no reason she should have expected anything more elaborate from the Resistance.

Still, she had secretly been hoping for something… more… than Jakku, where she had lived with functionality and nothing else. At least there had been a view.

Idiot. How often did you wish you were somewhere else? She tipped out her new possessions onto the bed, where they made a satisfying pile. A clean, soft pile. Like the bed, with its smooth sheets folded neatly into the corners, with not a speck of sand anywhere. On Jakku, the desert had continued its scouring of her even while she slept.

Rey stripped. Her old clothing had begun to feel coarse and grainy against her skin. She dropped the rough fabric at her feet and pushed the pile towards the wall. She should get clean, really, before she tried on her new garments, but she was now too impatient to wait. The quartermaster had assured her that they really were new, direct from a factory and brought to the base along with other supplies, and her inspection (including some cautious sniffs) backed that up.

It felt like an occasion deserving of ceremony. It was the moment when she finally and forever accepted within herself that she was never going back to the wreckage-shadowed town that she had thought of as home for most of her life. There was nothing of the desert in the soft, machine-tooled fabric she owned now, and she made herself hold her breath as she pulled the underclothes over her body. Her fingers struggled behind her back with the unfamiliar fastening of the bra.

Rey from the Resistance. That's who you are now. The new, almost unfamiliar Rey, who was going to be a Jedi. The Rey with the first friend she'd ever had unconscious in the medbay, and the hopes of strangers pinned to her.

She chose layers of grey felt, more practical for the temperate base and cool spaceships than her loose desert linens. And then she left her quarters, because one thing she knew how to do, wherever she was, was how to keep going on and on and on when she needed to.

And she had friends to work with now. That was new as well.

She smoothed down her outfit with her palms. See? You're adjusting already.