Actions

Work Header

His Strong Suit

Work Text:

Dear R.,

Please know that I very much regret leaving in such a hurry; sadly, I had no other choice but to bolt. I was contacted by CH Snoke, and whereas he wouldn’t go into details over the phone, he made it very clear that I was needed in London ASAP. I fear the worst. I didn’t want to wake you; you’ll have a long day, as will I, & you’ll need to be sufficiently rested to face the Resistance, whom I suspect to be involved in the (as of yet) unclarified disaster which befell the First Order while I was away. You’ll find my tie pin attached to this letter. Please keep it, and don’t think badly of me.

Yours,

A. H.

 

*

 

Own nr: Please confirm that you got my letter

Own nr: I left it on my pillow

Own nr: *the pillow

Own nr: *on which I’ve slept

Own nr: Safely arrived to London, in case you were wondering

Own nr: You must’ve been contacted by Snoke by now. Please advise on the situation. This is a professional request.

Own nr: A personal request would be to answer your fucking phone

Own nr: Listen, I’m sorry, okay?

Own nr: Me again. I really need you.   

Own nr: Was the tie pin too much?

Own nr: Stick it up your arse you minging fucking wanker, see if I care. The First Order is falling apart and you’re busy being a dickhead.

 

*

 

From: Kylo Ren (kylo_ren88@hotmail.com)

To: Armitage Hux (a.hux@firstorder.co.uk)

Subject: hi

phone not operational. on my way to London.

love,

kylo

 

*

 

From: Armitage Hux (a.hux@gmail.com)

To: Kylo Ren (kylo_ren88@hotmail.com)

Subject: ???

I have so many questions.

  1. Why is it “not operational?” Why didn’t you get a new one?
  2. Why did you feel the need to contact me on my official address? Did WikiLeaks teach you nothing?
  3. Why is there an “88” in your address? Just how many Kylo Rens are out there?
  4. Why don’t you use Gmail? Why do you hate yourself?
  5. Are you angry with me?
  6. When shall I pick you up?

Everything is a shambles. Snoke cannot be reached/bothered. I need your help. Rather badly.

Affectionately yours,
A. H.

 

*

 

From: Kylo Ren (kylo_ren88@hotmail.com)

To: Armitage Hux (a.hux@gmail.com)

Subject: Re: ???

  1. I broke it
  2. this was the quickest way to reach you
  3. previous private address was compromised (not by the FBI/Russia)
  4. google sucks // too many reasons to list
  5. no not anymore. it was not your fault. could’ve woken me up tho.
  6. can’t meet at the airport :(  sorry!

no time to talk now. S. is arranging an SOS meeting. I think you’re invited.  can’t wait to see you again.

love,

Kylo

p.s. thank you for yesterday. can’t stop thinking about it. want you so bad. want you now.

 

*

 

From: Armitage Hux (a.hux@gmail.com)

To: Kylo Ren (kylo_ren88@hotmail.com)

Subject: URGENT

I still think it’d be advisable to conceal our involvement in the presence of our superior, not to mention our fellow colleagues, who might use the information for intrigue. In a dire time such as this, unprofessionalism won’t be forgiven, and I don’t know anymore who is to be trusted. I think it’d be for the best if we pretended that we still cannot stand each other.

Thank you for understanding,
A.H.

p.s.:  You fucked me so well last night. Just thinking about it makes me so hard and makes me want to start stroking my cock here and now, which would be unfortunate since I’m at a meeting, as one would expect - so I shall stop messaging you now and sit cross-legged.

 

*

 

Hux hurried through the bright corridors, then he remembered that Thanisson was wearing a binder, and slowed his steps. His secretary caught up with him, out of breath and very pale. He had the same dumbfounded expression which had fixed itself on everybody’s faces since they learnt about Finn disappearing with a pendrive’s worth of sensitive and damaging intel about the Order, enough to destroy them.

Hux’s nose twitched as he came to a halt at the entrance of Conference Room F. Thanisson lept to open the door for him, and he marched in, head held high. The room was a brutalist bravado, glass and steel and stone. It was home. He never left this room defeated.

He glanced around for Ren, squinting in the sunlight pouring in. People were standing around in small groups, nobody daring to take a seat yet; Hux noticed Mitaka with his wife and a few Americans dressed in black ( the other Rens , as he came to call them), but there was no sign of Kylo. His heart sank.

“Good day,” he greeted everybody. Mitaka at least looked relieved to see him. Hux contemplated coming up to him and initiating small talk, nod at the expressions of horror and shock: one of our own, who would’ve thought, an intern of all things, was Dameron involved?

Before he could make a move, the door opened again. Snoke strutted in, looming and visibly pissed, closely followed by his army of bodyguards, which seemed to include Ren. The rest of the world blurred out, and Hux had to bite on his lips so he wouldn’t smile at him. Joy bubbled up in him, almost overflowing; it was so reassuring to have Ren around, like he could single-handedly solve any and all issues. Also, he looked fucking gorgeous in his black suit and grey dress shirt, hair perfect as ever, tie pin in place. He looked at Hux and his eyes warmed, and it was—not good.

“Gentlemen, I believe you’ve met,” Snoke said, and Ren extended his hand with a confident smirk.

“How do you do?”

“How do you do,” Hux murmured, as dismissive as he could get, and dropped Ren’s hand after a firm shake (remembering how that hand roamed over his body). Ren looked genuinely offended, and Hux started wondering whether he had the time to read the latest e-mail. Snoke’s entourage pretty much swept him aside, and he was still confused and worried when he took his seat.

Ren was sitting next to Snoke, not particularly looking at anywhere, brows furrowed. Hux tried not to stare, looking around the room, assessing his chances.

Personal matters shall wait for now , he said to himself; his inner voice sounded a bit like his father. Crush the Resistance; you’re the only one who can do that. Ren is only here to help. The Mitakas are only here to assist. Thanisson is here to provide me with tea. Hell knows why the other Rens are here.

“Good afternoon and welcome,” Mitaka rose to speak, holding his tablet like a shield. “My name is Dopheld Mitaka and I am the International Chief Operations Officer of the First Order. Here with us today are Chairman S.L. Snoke, Chief Executive Officer of the British Firm Armitage Hux, Chief Executive Officer of the Japanese Firm Himari Mitaka, and Chief Executive Officer of the North-American Firm Kylo Ren…”

Putting Kylo last was a mistake. Hux chanced a glance at him. Kylo sat with his head tilted, looking like he was ignoring everybody, lush lips pressed to a pout. Hux’s gaze lingered a second too long, and as he looked away, Snoke caught his eyes with his icy stare. Hux levelled him calmly, swearing that he shall never, ever look at Ren, not even in private, not even during sex; and he should really not think about sex with Ren while Snoke was present, because Snoke always looked like he could read his mind and was vaguely disgusted by what he found.

“Before we begin, I would like to take a moment to review some safety information,” Mitaka sputtered on. “There is an exit directly behind you and a second one to my right at the front…”

“That won’t be necessary, thank you,” Snoke interrupted, finally turning his unblinking gaze away from Hux, who allowed himself an ugly frown. Mitaka opened his mouth as if to wish Snoke a pleasant death by fire, but then he just bowed his head and collapsed into his chair. His wife leant in to whisper something to him; Mitaka smiled, faintly, and Hux was never so jealous in his entire life. If only he and Ren— Snoke interrupted his train of thought: “We’re having an unusual meeting today. Let me break protocol and get right to the issue: as many of you may have already been notified, we’ve been compromised by the Resistance. Some of you know the details; some of you don’t. Secrecy was necessary. I’m afraid some of you might have been wiretapped.”

Hux made a mental note, no more sexting, then added, shit.

“For this reason,” Snoke continued, voice cold, “I ask you not to take notes. Nothing can leave this room.”

“Are we talking about a security breach?” The CTO interrupted, and Snoke levelled her with a gaze which would make a lesser woman want to resign on the spot.

“We are talking about the possibility of a security breach. This is what we know for sure: yesterday one of our interns disappeared with a pendrive that contains sensitive information about the First Order. I can confirm that he was aided by Poe Dameron.”

“Which one of them stole the pendrive, the journalist or the intern?” Ren asked, comfortably spread out in his chair. God, the way he could sit.

“Dameron was in possession of the pendrive when we lost track of him,” Snoke clarified, and Ren nodded. He tapped his fingers to his chin.

“Dameron must’ve gotten wind of it from Sekka.”

Snoke spread his arms. “Sadly, it is history.”

“No, it’s important; this is how we’ll catch them, tracing back the—”

“If you’re quite finished with your detective work, Mr. Ren,” Hux snapped, “then maybe Chairman Snoke can go on with his briefing, thank you.”  

He hated the pained expression on Ren’s face; he looked betrayed, then just angry. Hux silently prayed hold that thought, please hold it, you’re onto something, it’s vital to establish the link between Dameron and Finn, that’s clever

“Patience,” Snoke warned him, and straightened up. Hux could admit that he looked threatening when he wanted to, but Hux was not so easy to scare. “However they got it, the pendrive is in their possession. If they access the information on it, they will know everything there is to know about the TIE-pipeline, our pollution rates, the 2015 fuel tank fiasco, ah, not to mention our little subprime mortgage debt and the ever-rising income inequality.”

“So basically everything,” the Chief Marketing Officer said, and Snoke curtly nodded.

“They don’t just have dirt on us,” Ren grumbled. “They have the whole fucking swamp.”

“Only if they break the code,” Hux reminded them all. “The pendrive is encrypted. That should give us some time to establish a strategy.”

Snoke considered it for a moment, drumming his fingers on the chair’s armrest, then he glanced at Mitaka. “Please share what you’ve discovered.”

Mitaka swallowed audibly, and as his wife gently nudged him, he blurted out, “They— Dameron and the intern—they were accompanied by a girl, sir.”

Ren’s head shot up. “What girl?”

“I’m afraid, uh, your cousin, sir,” Mitaka stammered, and winced as Ren jumped to his feet. He hit the table with his fists so hard that his paper cup almost spilled over, and Snoke’s fountain pen rolled and dropped to the ground.

“If Rey’s on the case, we’re fucking fucked!” Ren yelled, and grabbed the cup. Hux watched in disbelief as he threw it against the glass wall, screaming. It was the Ren he never wanted to see. Everyone was sitting straight, pretending there was nothing peculiar about a berserk CEO—or maybe they were used to it, which was a terrifying thought.

“Calm down. Jesus,” Hux snarled, and he managed to put some venom into it, but above everything, he was just bloody sorry. Ren’s despair, humiliation, and anger felt like his own— even the righteousness—and he wished it was just the two of them, so he could gather Ren into his arms and whisper promises into his hair: we’ll get them . Ren pointed an accusing finger at him, and Hux was convinced it was no longer a game.

“They’ll bring it to Maz,” Ren spat, “and you can shove your sense of security up your ass then, because Maz will have all of her hackers, including herself , all over the pendrive—”

“The encryption software was developed by Mr. Mandetat,” Mitaka chirped, “our most excellent—”

“Let me fucking finish!” Ren shouted.

Himari Mitaka levelled him with her gaze, calmly saying: “You will address my husband with respect, or you won’t address him at all, Mr. Ren.”

Ren looked like a wounded beast. Hux hated himself for wondering whether his reference to shoving intangible concepts up Hux’s ass was code that they were still good, that this tantrum was all for show. He refused to panic over the fate of the company if Ren was this scared, because it meant that he’d have to be the strong one, for both of them.

“Maz won’t be able to break the encryption,” Ren said low and slow, taking a hold of the table’s edge. “There’s no masterkey, no nothing. They will realise it soon enough. And when that happens, they’ll bring it to the only man on his planet who can still help them—”

“Luke Skywalker,” Snoke finished. They shared a meaningful glance with Ren.

“Luke Skywalker has vanished,” Hux commented, uselessly, not even sure what his strategy was anymore. Solve this, solve this. At what cost?

“You shan’t dismiss somebody who is single-handedly responsible for the collapse of the Empire, young Hux.” Snoke signalled Ren to take a seat, and he did so, reluctantly, like he wasn’t sure he could control his body. Hux looked at the wreck of him, how sullen and ashamed he seemed. His gaze travelled down to the tie pin, and he made his decision.

“Before they make their move, whatever that might be,” he proposed, “we shall destroy the company that supports them: Hosnian Prime. Without their friends to protect them, the Resistance will be vulnerable, and we will stop them before they reach Skywalker.”

He could feel all eyes on him, burning into his bones. Ren’s eyebrows arched up, probably in mock-surprise, while the Human Resources Officer looked something close to genuinely appalled. It was Himari Mitaka who spoke first.

“With all due respect, are you convinced that this is the right time to make such a…dubious move?”

“I believe it is necessary,” Hux said. He didn’t mention that he considered digging up dirt on Hosnian Prime his life’s work. It was an in-case-of-emergency solution, a sign of his foresight, something which made him swell with pride.

“It is the single largest charity organisation in the States,” Himari Mitaka explained, gesticulating with her pen. “If we make it collapse overnight, it won’t be only Hosnian Prime that shuts down, but the whole Hosnian System.”

“Yes.”

“Homeless shelters,” Himari Mitaka listed, “children’s hospitals, elderly homes, even their libraries, and the Translator’s Visa Fund and the Dialysis Programme; are you sure you want our company to be associated with putting an end to all these things?”

“I can assure you that we’ll remain anonymous and untouchable,” Hux said. “Besides, they are hardly the only charity in the world. Those in need can and should turn to other places.”

“We’re talking about thousands of people,” the Human Resources Officer chimed in, “whose lives you’ll put into jeopardy.”

“Just until the transitional period is over,” Hux corrected. He met Snoke’s glance. He didn’t like that he looked pleased. The Hosnian initiative was not about him.

“What do you have?” Snoke asked.

“Without revealing sensitive information, Hosnian Prime had its fair share of Ponzi schemes and additional warranties.” He turned to the Human Resources Officer, eyebrows arched. “Hosnian Prime is cheating their funders out of their money,” he explained like he was talking to a dim child. “On an immense scale.”

“Corruption doesn’t make businesses fall,” Himari Mitaka noted, and Hux smiled.

“No, it doesn’t. Scandals do.”

“You’re an expert on that,” Himari Mitaka admitted, and bowed her head. Hux bowed back, and looked around as he straightened up. The HR guy didn’t seem convinced, but there was a sort of expectant buzz in the air. This was his chance. He glanced at Ren, who scowled, and then met the eyes of every single member of the board, including the hovering secretaries.

“You all know the saying: give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach him how to fish and he’ll prosper.” He touched his fingers to each other, forming a triangle. “Hosnian Prime doesn’t think about the future; neither does the Resistance, and their particular brand of environmentalism. The latter would rush matters, demanding change now at whatever cost; Hosnian Prime is happy with the status quo. Both of them are wrong. Only the First Order has the power to implement significant change.

“We don’t give shelter to the homeless: we thrive to obliterate unemployment. We are searching for the cures of the maladies the children in Hosnian Prime’s care have to live with. We will fix health-care, once and for all, we will make it free and universal. We are going to stop the raging wars; we are going to fight back climate change; we will expand our knowledge; we will reach for the stars; we will go forward, and nobody— nobody— will be left behind.

“To be able to accomplish all our glorious goals, we must re-establish the wealth and the influence of the Empire, and yes, we will get our hands dirty in the process. We will grow filthy rich on oil; we will pluck the last rotting fruits of capitalism; we will be at the top of their game—only to end it. Crushing Hosnian Prime brings us a step closer to a future of equality and prosperity, of long-due peace.” He took a deep breath. “So I suggest we take this step.”

He might’ve revealed too much, but he didn’t mind if it earned him the acclaim he craved, the clapping and the cheers. He was shaken, his own voice still ringing in his ears, visions of greatness so close he felt he could just reach for them.

Snoke wasn’t amused, and neither was Ren, who had a stony expression on, hard and unreadable. Mitaka was moved near to tears, and the HR guy looked contemplative as the applause died down. Winning was always about the small victories. Hux adjusted his tie, remembering to look humble and approachable, as a good leader should. Ren tilted his head.

“Rousing speech,” he said, “I’ll give you that, but if we don’t solve the issue at hand and find that fucking pendrive, you can start drafting your plea for the hearing. Can you answer one simple question?”

“Try me,” Hux spat. It sounded like bite me. Ren leant forward on his elbows.

“You knew that the intern was contacted by the Resistance,” Ren said. “You knew he listened to their let's-save-Mother-Earth bullshit and was preparing to leave the company.”

“Yes?”

“Why did you let him?”

Hux frowned. “Are you holding me accountable for only wanting to work with people committed to our causes? He had started the process of resignation, and was supervised by our HR officer, Miss Phasma. It is a standard procedure; a kind of reconditioning, if you will, which guarantees that the ones leaving our company will do it no harm and will be legally bound to—”

“That’s not what happened,” Ren interrupted. “The opposite has happened.”

“It is an unusual case; there is no denying that. I am shocked, but confident that we’ll be able to resolve the matter.” He sounded too gentle, so he threw in a patronizing, ugly smile. Ren scoffed.

“Young Hux will be investigated,” Snoke said. Hux had nearly forgotten that he was there, and that he was an asshole. “As for now, I want Hux to stay put and go through the attack against Hosnian Prime. Ren, you shall travel to Guatemala and acquire the pendrive. Mrs. Mitaka, you’ll be working on a plan to protect our integrity, should Dameron publish any damaging information. We will discuss it further, in private.

“I demand the board to stay in their offices during office hours.” He gave a sharp look to Hux at that, then turned away. “I expect all of you to be alert. As you know now, the situation is dire. We have another meeting scheduled later this evening, seven PM sharp. For now, you’re dismissed.”  Snoke rose to his feet, and they all did the same. Snoke used this moment to turn to Ren, and mutter loud enough that all of them heard: “Clean up your mess.”

It occurred to Hux then that Ren might’ve thrown his cup against the wall on purpose. The suspicion made anything else meaningless, even his pressing desire to break every bone in Snoke’s body. He said his goodbyes and accepted compliments and good luck wishes in sort of a haze, waiting for the room to empty out. Ren left shortly after Snoke, probably to find some kitchen towels. He left his messenger bag behind. Hux lingered, waiting until it was just Thanisson and him, and then forced a non-threatening smile onto his face.

“Could you do something for me?” he asked Thanisson, who nodded immediately, the good Boy Scout he was. “Please get a Mayfair bouquet from Wildabout and a bottle of single malt Glenfiddich from Harrods, and deliver them to Miss Sloane in person. Tell her that I’ll bother her this evening. Don’t forget to compliment her dog. If it’s not in sight, use the picture hanging above the mirror for reference. Got it?”

“Yes, sir. When shall she expect your call?”

“She’ll tell you when I’m allowed to call.” He handed over his wallet. “Use it wisely, and take fifty for your trouble.”

“Thank you, sir. I’ll be back in a minute.”

“No rush,” Hux said, and watched him go, pretending to be very occupied with satchel. His heart was beating in his throat. Ren will be back soon; how much time would they have? Five minutes? Ten? A good hour? In any case, he was prepared to make the most of it; to console Ren and explain everything, to ease his anxiety and help come up with a plan, if requested.

He couldn’t stop touching his hair, a vain little attempt to make it look invitingly tousled. He dropped his hand when the door opened, and turned slowly. Ren was standing there with a roll of kitchen towels and some sort of spray cleaner. One glance at his darling, troubled face was enough to make Hux rush to him, silently cursing. He pretty much swooned into his arms, boneless, like it was a trust fall. Ren pulled him close, burying his face in his neck.

“Finally,” he growled. Hux could’ve sobbed with gratitude; just to be able to touch him; it was everything. Ren was squeezing him too hard, but he didn’t mind. “Fuck, Armitage, you’re so hot when you hate me.”

“Shut up. Did you get my e-mail?”

“Oh yeah.” Ren pressed a kiss to his neck, his chin, and then his lips. Hux let out a very undignified sound, something between a moan and a mewl. Ren gathered him up into his arms, dropping the cleaning supplies. Hux held on, hugging his neck, and bracketing his hips with his legs, feeling like they could stay like this forever. That was not the case.

“How much time do we have?”

Ren groaned. “Couple of minutes? Snoke is really mad, I gotta—and Guatemala— fuck, you’re not wearing underwear, are you?”

“I’m wearing underwear.”

“Liar,” Ren breathed, and grabbed a handful of his ass. Hux gasped, embarrassed how little it took to make him this aroused, but it was Ren, with his fucking hair and delicious smell and those eyes and hands and— And he was kneading his ass. “No underwear here.”

“It’s an open back design,” Hux confessed, face turning red. Ren teased his fingers up, and grinned.

“Is this a little bow here?”

“I was expecting you.”

“Can I see it?”

“In the middle of a conference room?”

“And if I say pretty please?” Ren taunted, and eased him down on a table. Hux nodded, flustered. It was too easy to pretend that they were still in New York, that they had no other pressing matters to attend to, that the single most important thing in the universe was touching each other. Ren manhandled him so he was bent over the same table he had sat behind at the meeting, proposing ideas which had the power to change the world, and now he was here, and Ren was on his knees.

“Quick,” Hux pleaded. Ren pulled his slacks down to his knees, and sighed, satisfied.

“You’re gorgeous,” he said, palming Hux’s exposed buttocks. “The most gorgeous man I’ve ever met, look at you. You wanted this, huh?”

“I wanted it in the privacy of my bedroom.”

“Should I take you back?” Ren asked, and gently bit his left cheek. Hux sucked in a sharp breath between his teeth.

“Doesn’t matter now. We don’t have the time— please leave a mark?”

Ren purred, and bit down again. Hux’s short nails scratched the surface of the table.

“Tell me about your apartment,” Ren murmured.

“My, ah, apartment?” His hips bucked. Ren lapped at the bruise, tongue hot and wet, then nipped at it.

“So I can picture what will it be like when I visit you.”

“Mm, well, my door is—red, with a gold knob, and— Do you even know my address?”

“Yes. Don’t be upset.”

“At this point, I’m impressed, stalker of stalkers.” Ren hummed at that, and slid a finger between Hux’s cheeks. “Don’t put it in.”

“I won’t. I’m watching the door, don’t worry. We won’t get caught. Tell me about your little home.”

Hux tried to collect his thoughts as Ren’s index finger circled his entrance.

“It’s a Scandinavian design, very minimal. Mostly black and white, some red, it’s, uh, the place I always dreamt I would— Christ Ren I’ve slept with men with smaller dicks than your finger, what the hell—”

“Tell me about your bed, how they fucked you in it.”

“Don’t be stupid, I conduct the majority of affairs in hotels, preferably The Ritz or Claridge's, I’m not—” A choked-off moan followed. Ren pulled his hand back.

“Yet you would let me in.”

“I’ve already let you in,” Hux said. Ren stood up, and pulled him close, hands flat on his stomach, rubbing his clothed crotch against Hux’s poor excuse for panties. He was so fucking hard. “You’ll fuck me in that narrow bed as soon as you get back, you hear me? You’ll fuck my poor little hole until I’m sore, and then some more, you— Fuck, the way you looked at me today, like you didn’t care —”

“I do, I do, I do.” Ren punctuated every word with a sharp thrust, and Hux wondered whether it was possible to come from non-penetrative, dry anal, or whatever the hell it was, because he was too close.

“What do you think about the Hosnian plan?” he asked in a breathless voice he hardly recognised as his own. Ren cupped his cock, and his eyes rolled back.

“What do you want me to say?” Ren whispered, toying with his trapped cock and humping him. Maybe it should’ve been humiliating; Hux couldn’t think of anyone else he’d allow to do this, not here, not like this.

“I want you to tell me what you think about the Hosnian plan, because I value your opinion,” he panted. Ren grabbed his junk and squeezed, rubbing it through the lace.

“I think it’s our best chance at winning.”

“And?”

“And you explained very well why we’ve gotta win.”

Hux wet his lips, planning to say something, but Ren froze mid-thrust and yanked Hux’s slacks up. He danced away, and Hux had just enough time to straighten up, dizzy and ecstatic; someone in heels passed the room, but didn’t come in.

“Close call,” Ren commented, and he looked ready to jump back on Hux, but Hux put a hand against his chest to stop him.

“Too close. When will I see you?”

“When I get back.” Ren clasped Hux’s hand in his. “As soon as—”

“Don’t contact me. You heard Snoke, might not be safe, but...do come, any time. I’ll be expecting you.”

Ren brought Hux’s hand to his lips and kissed his knuckles. It was becoming a habit, it seemed. Hux watched his eyelashes flutter. He could spend years just observing him, just listening to his voice and reveling in his touches, but they had jobs to do, and their jobs included creating a sort of world in which it was possible to be together. This one didn’t seem to favour them. Ren’s phone chimed, and he made a face as he stepped back.

“It’s gonna be Snoke. Gotta go. Thank you for the pin, for everything. I—”

“Yeah,” Hux said. Ren leant in for a goodbye kiss. It was brief, dry and chaste, and then Ren had to answer his phone. He grimaced at Hux as he pressed the iPhone to his ears, singing “On my way,” and he just walked away. Hux felt his heart stutter as the door closed behind Ren, who left the room as if nothing had happened between them.

He got hold of the table’s edge and closed his eyes; he could still feel Ren’s bitemark, his heat, his smell, his kiss, and he had to remind himself that it was real, unlike their little charade. He blinked his eyes open after a few trembling breaths, and noticed the kitchen towels on the floor.

The fucker didn’t even clean up.

He got the spray foam and walked to the coffee splattered on the glass wall. He spritzed some foam onto it, feeling dead inside, and wiped it off with a kitchen towel.

The First Order comes first, he thought. What did papa use to say, "that’s why it’s called the First Order." There’ll be sacrifices and rewards, and there’ll be time, and...and.

Ren was part of the First Order. He was everything Hux loved or found worthy of interest. Hux put his forehead against the wall, just for a moment.

He’ll come back. He’ll come back to me, to me, to me. By the time he does, the world will be forever changed.