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"I require your assistance."

Hux visibly pauses, unease and vindictive pleasure both prickling at the back of his neck. He doesn't immediately turn to face Ren, however; rather he finishes the report he's been keying into his console, taking his time with each meticulous key strike. Ren waits with palpable patience. Hux isn't surprised; it must have taken all of Ren's considerable willpower to make the request at all. He certainly wouldn't please Hux by begging, by making his displeasure and impatience obvious.

Hux's shift is ending; no doubt Ren knows that. He'd stalked onto the bridge in a billowing swirl of inky black robes and simmering temper, hovered in a way that would have been awkward if he hadn't been so kriffing intimidating, and then glided ever so quietly up to Hux's side, an air of expectation surrounding him like a storm cloud.

Hux keys the last entry in his report and stands, fastidiously straightens the lines of his greatcoat, and says crisply, "I am off duty. You may forward any requests to my terminal and I shall peruse them at my leisure."

"General."

Ren wraps one enormous gloved hand around Hux's bicep, the pressure just light enough to be threatening without causing overt discomfort.

Hux's spine, tilting precariously close to a lackadaisical slouch, what with his shift ending and the immense satisfaction he derives from making Kylo Ren's life difficult, straightens like a puppet having its strings pulled, and his chest seizes horribly. Touching Ren is like touching a live wire, and for the duration of the contact, Hux walks a tightrope between the world of normal, sane humans, and whatever chaotic Force powered lightning storm the Knight makes his home in.

"Unhand me."

The veil between his world and Ren's stretches precariously thin and Hux is ridiculously certain that if he could just be rid of the buzzing in his ears, he would hear every creature Kylo Ren has ever killed screaming for mercy or cursing his name.

It is, to say the least, very disconcerting.

Ren lets him go. The sliding angles of perception settle into all their proper corners and Hux takes a very careful breath, loath to let Ren know how his awful hands have affected him. The bridge has gotten abnormally quiet, although when Hux lifts his eyes, he finds every soldier turned studiously to their duties.

"This cannot wait." Ren's voice is like the slither of rough robes over leather, or the hiss of a lightsaber in the second before it is ignited.

Hux stares disdainfully into the black space where Ren's eyes are (presumably) located behind his mask and meets with a predictably expressionless gaze that, no matter how many times he encounters it, never fails to make his skin crawl.

"You have ten minutes." That is exactly how long it will take Hux to reach his quarters from the bridge.

Ren doesn't begin to speak again until they are alone in the halls, wasting three of his precious minutes for a chance at solitude.

"I have located an artifact of. Considerable use to the Knights. It is currently in the possession of a small group of insurgents on an insignificant moon in this quadrant." Hux glances sideways, as Ren produces a halopad from the folds of his robes and shows Hux a star chart. "I would like to retrieve it."

"And you require my assistance to do so?" Hux scoffs. "I'm not going to pick up your toys for you, Ren."

Hux feels the Knight bristle at his disdainful tone, but Ren keeps his simmering annoyance in check. He wants something after all.

"They have refused to produce the artifact unless we are both present. They desire to. Strike a deal. My artifact for their lives, and the continued unimportance of their pathetic moon." Ren is speaking more quickly now, clearly infuriated that he cannot retrieve whatever bauble he's after without Hux's help. The way he’s spitting out each word causes his helmet to pop and crackle with every plosive.

"They wish to strike a political arrangement."

"Yes."

"And why entertain their offer?" Hux demands. "Why not simply take your Knights and wipe them out? I suppose I can provide a squadron of 'troopers if this artifact is truly as important as you say it is."

"The artifact is. Volatile. A frontal assault risks damaging it beyond repair if the insurgents attempt to destroy it before we reach it."

"Then why not go yourself?" Hux asks slyly. A single Force user, moving quietly through a compound is theoretically ideal for this task. And Ren is, admittedly, prodigious where mental manipulation is concerned. Of course, Ren has never been one for stealth or subtlety.

Ren is silent, brooding, obviously furious. Then he says, "Many of them--including my contact-- are Dashade. They're resistant to the powers of the Force."

"I see," Hux says carefully. He considers all Ren has told him, and then says very clearly, "No."

"What."

"This artifact, it's nothing to do with me, or with any of the First Order's missions. I won't reroute precious resources-- or more precious still, my time-- so you can collect nameless antiquities."

"It's not nameless--"

"It's not my concern," Hux replies firmly.

"Supreme Leader Snoke--" Ren begins, drawing himself up furiously.

"Is perfectly capable of handing down orders himself, if he so chooses," Hux spits.

Ren is totally silent, violence etched in every fold of his robes and the painfully rigid way he is holding his head.  

"And since he hasn't relayed any such orders to me--" Hux taunts. "I imagine this is either a personal vendetta or a personal mission. I am not obligated to lift a finger."

Ren's shoulders shift and Hux knows he has made himself perfectly clear. The mask tilts back as Ren considers what Hux has said.

"What do you want."

Hux smirks. He hasn't decided yet. Ren will simply have to owe him a favor, and that, more than Ren's artifact, or Hux's time, is invaluable.

 

Ren is flying the shuttle. Hux is very unhappy.

He is not alone. He's strapped into the passenger seats with five Knights of Ren glowering at him through faceless masks. Or at least, he imagines they are glowering. They keep looking at him and then at one another, the minuscule shifts in their shoulders or the crinkling of their palms telling Hux there is some form of communication occurring without his understanding or permission. The sixth Knight is co-piloting with Ren; Hux has a small squadron of ‘troopers following in another shuttle, and he is absolutely livid that he didn't insist on flying with them instead of this macabre masquerade. He'd supposed he and Ren would present a more unified front if they arrived on the same ship, but he currently can't think of a single situation in which the need for that particular brand of etiquette could overwhelm his desire to be literally anywhere else. He'd had no idea that being alone with the Knights for more than a few minutes would be so terribly unnerving. They are utterly silent, and yet he is utterly positive that they are talking about him.

Seconds tick by, each one stretching into infinity before it falls away and leaves him in exactly the same place, staring at exactly the same empty black lack of faces where faces should properly be, until with firm, determined movements, Hux unclicks the buckles holding him in place. All five heads turn to stare at him in silence, and he ignores them as a loudly as he possibly can as he stalks up to the cockpit and throws the door open.

"Move."

Ren doesn't seem to flinch, but the co-pilot turns and looks at Hux, a petulant tilt to their helmet.

Hux stares. The Knight stares back.

Then they turn and look at Ren, who still hasn't moved at all, and wordlessly glide back to the passenger seats as if Hux doesn’t exist.

Hux shuts the door and buckles himself into the co-pilot seat.

"Can you fly?"

"Of course I can fly," Hux scoffs.

Ren doesn’t say much, but it is infinitely more comfortable in here then it was out among the Knights. Hux is used to Ren’s silence; he’s come to think of it as an intentionally cultivated aura of exaggerated mystery that irks him, but is ultimately tolerable. The Knights, however, are inscrutable. Hux isn’t even sure what species they are. He’s interacted enough with Ren to deduce that he is most probably human. He’s larger than most, and significantly more obnoxious. But as disconcertingly lithe as his movements, as silent as every step, as much threat and violence as he can squeeze into the tilt of his head, he is still, as far as Hux can tell, only a man.

There is a sound from Ren, a strange whisper of white noise that Hux realizes is an unusually heavy breath through Ren’s helmet’s breathing apparatus.

Only a man, he thinks again, just in case Ren is listening. Ren doesn’t indicate that he is and Hux doesn’t ask. Ren’s habit of plucking thoughts from Hux’s head is what makes Hux hate him the most of all. He has to cultivate his thoughts when Ren is nearby, keep his mind from running away with him. It’s not safe in his own head when Ren is within reach and Hux can think of no intrusion more despicable than that-- even if Ren’s methods of interrogation have proved exceedingly useful to the First Order’s best interests. A man’s thoughts should be only his own.

Ren is a skilled pilot. Hux knew this before he agreed to step onto the shuttle, but it’s still almost shocking to see it in action. Usually Ren seems to think about every step he takes except when he’s killing something or practicing killing something. Each movement is tense, anxious, tempermental. But in the cockpit of his shuttle, he is somehow softer, more relaxed. He flies like a mad man, slingshotting far too close to obstacles, doing unnecessary pirouettes through the stars. Hux hadn’t noticed how the ship was moving until he was staring out at the black blanket of space with his own eyes. The ride is, impossibly, exceptionally smooth.

Ren doesn’t seem to notice that what he’s doing is out of the ordinary, even when Hux turns to look at him after he passes purposely within inches of a merchant freighter with little more than a tilt of his head. Hux sees the freighter jerk away from the shuttle far too late to have been any help if Ren hadn’t been the one with his hands on the helm. His heart is suddenly pounding in his ears as he realizes, belatedly, how close they came to disaster. Ren doesn’t seem to think there was ever a possibility of harm, however. He still hasn’t moved at all.

Hux swallows heavily and considers stopping the freighter, demanding to see its credentials, though he knows Ren won’t allow any delays to this trip. Imagining the administrative detail that would go into such a stop, the paperwork they would need to fill out, the satisfaction he would feel to catch the freighter carting something it shouldn’t, or flying through space is had no right to be in, calms him.

“You take unnecessary risks,” Hux says when he’s sure he can control the emotion in his voice again.

“What’s wrong, General?” Ren startles Hux by replying, voice almost indolent. “Don’t you trust me?”

“Not as far as I can throw you,” Hux grumbles. They both know that wouldn’t be far at all.

Ren chuckles and the hair on the back of Hux's neck stands up. He's never heard Ren 'chuckle' before. It's alarming.

 

The moon is tiny and in Hux's opinion, not fit for notice. It's windswept and speckled with craters and sparse, desert grasses. As Ren brings the shuttle in to land, Hux sees swirling motes of dust whipping through the air and frowns. It looks cold.

The Dashade are waiting for them. Ren's Knights spread into a pattern around Hux and Ren without any real instruction, but the arrangement of bodies is just as, if not more, pristine as Hux's own 'trooper squadrons. They march out of the shuttle in perfect formation and the shuttle doors close behind them.

And then all hell breaks loose.

 

He remembers fire and screaming. He remembers the smell of blood. He remembers shooting two Dashade in the face, one right after the other, and then getting so light headed all at once, he'd fallen to his knees. He remembers Ren cursing in a language that had sounded suspiciously like Shryriiwook, and then dissolving into a violent blur of blood and black robes and fizzling red energy. He remembers a huge Dashade, bigger than all the others, appearing on Hux's right and for some reason, Hux can't make his blaster work, can't defend himself at all. And then the Dashade freezes. Its limbs jerk like it's wading through water, struggling to overcome whatever is holding it in place. And then its head snaps back and it crumbles, boneless, to the dirt, its head nearly turned all the way around on its shoulders. Behind it, Ren is standing with one hand outstretched, fingers curled in a furious motion more threatening than anything Hux has ever seen. He feels sick.

He remembers nothing else.

There is an awful, medicinal taste in the back of his mouth and he moves his sticky tongue between his lips at the same time that he realizes he's restrained. The thought startles him enough to force his eyes open, and he sees instantly that he's in the med bay, back on the Finalizer.

Machines beep and whir. A few medical droids potter around the room. There's three med techs, two Hux recognizes, and one he does not. It is the third one that Hux focuses on.

He's huge, built like a soldier and not a doctor. He's wearing strange clothes instead of the uniform he should be wearing; he's dressed in thick black cloth that covers all his skin except for his face. He's even wearing leather gloves that completely cover his hands. His hair is most certainly not regulation. It's too long, and brushed so that it shines in the harsh glare of the medical lighting.

He sees Hux looking at him and he straightens from an indolent lounge. Hux feels groggy, tired, numb, but meeting this man's eyes still feels like looking into the center of an active volcano and the shot of adrenaline that cuts through Hux's body makes him suddenly particularly aware of how strange the fingers of his right hand feel under the sheets.

"You're awake." The man speaks softly, and there's a rumbling, buzzing quality to his voice that makes Hux think of volcanoes again, how unpredictable and dangerous they are, how it's nearly impossible to guess when they will erupt.

There is also something uncannily familiar about him, although Hux is certain he would absolutely remember that face.

"Why am I restrained?" Hux demands, and all his foul temper is contained in those four words. Ren's little diplomacy mission went off the rails and Hux will give him hell.

"They didn't want you to hurt yourself," the man almost whispers, voice careful and measured.

"They--" This man is not a med tech.

He blinks at Hux and Hux's stomach curdles. This man is Kylo Ren.

"Unstrap me at once," he demands, the rage blooming in his chest like blood through water making him sound calmer than he is.

"In a minute," Ren says, sliding his chair forward so he can be closer to Hux's head. "There's something you should know."

" Unstrap me now," he bellows, staring past Ren at the two techs who immediately jump and whirl toward him; they hadn't realized he was awake. Both of them start forward only to be stopped when Ren holds up one hand without taking his eyes from Hux's face. The techs freeze, and Hux understands their dilemma: who can they risk displeasing?

"Go." Ren speaks without turning his head, and Hux hates his voice even more than he had before. There is something so powerfully naked about the way he speaks, Hux feels indecent just hearing him.

The techs leave. Hux's fury crests even though he understands. Displeasing the general could get them demoted, reprimanded, fired even; displeasing Kylo Ren could get them dead.

Hux is glad they're gone. He wants Ren all to himself, doesn't want to risk anyone else seeing him lose his temper entirely, seeing him rage at Ren the way Ren rages at Hux's bloody computer consoles.

"It was an ambush," Ren says calmly. "I wouldn't have brought you along if I'd suspected."

"You planned to murder them," Hux spits. The Knights of Ren had been too quick to move to killing. Ren had never intended to let a single soul leave that moon alive.

"Yes. I wanted you there to ensure they provided the artifact. I didn't expect them to attack so quickly."

"Unstrap me, Ren," Hux demands, voice so furious-- Kylo Ren actually flinches.

Hux doesn't like seeing his face. It doesn't fit the man Hux thinks he is. It's too open and exposed, too young, and far too beautiful.

Ren rises and reaches to unstrap Hux, pushing the sheet from each limb as he moves. As Hux thinks that, he inclines his head ever so slightly.

Hux sees the shell of his ear go red among all those luscious black curls.

"There's something you should know," Ren says again, pausing as he reaches Hux's right hand. "You were--"

Hux sits up and tears the sheet away with his left hand. He's in his underthings-- regulation undershirt and shorts. He stares down at himself in shock, but before the thought can finish forming, before he can think of his own modesty in the presence of the man he hates most of all, Ren says, "We weren't able to return you to the Finalizer fast enough."

Hux stares down at his right hand.

"You received the best care we could provide."

Hux's hand is gone. In its place is a gleaming twist of wire and metal and he's so startled by the sight of it, he clenches his fist. The metal bones curl in immediately, no different than if they were flesh and blood, except that Hux can feel them and they feel... different.

When Hux doesn't move again, Ren reaches forward and carefully unstraps Hux's right arm. As he does, his fingers brush the metal frame and Hux shudders visibly. It's a sensation he can't begin to explain, so alien and foreign and unnatural he doesn't have words for it.

"The tech is state of the art," Ren explains. Before Hux can stop him, he reaches out and takes the robotic hand in his. Hux watches chills raise along his undamaged skin where it meets his metal wrist. Ren touches his hand to the tips of each of Hux's new fingers and then the center of the palm, and says, "You should be able to feel that."

"Yes," Hux spits.

"Are you in any pain?"

Hux jerks his arm from Ren's grasp and doesn't say anything. He doesn't know.

"How long have I been--"

"Two weeks," Ren says quickly. "We kept you under while your arm healed, and while your body adapted to the tech. Captain Phasma has been. Covering your duties."

"Two weeks." Hux says slowly. "You. Without consulting me. Without--"

"Supreme Leader signed off on my decision," Ren says pompously, returning to his chair and leaning back.

Hux can only stare, red hot fury curling in his bones. "Supreme Leader. Signed off. On. You. My body--"

"Yes," Ren cuts him off confidently. "It was what the medical techs recommended. It also allowed me time to complete my design modifications on your cybernetics."

" You did what?" Ren is an overgrown bully with a flaming stick. He doesn't. Design things.

"Are you displeased with my design?" he replies, voice sly and almost taunting.

Hux grinds his teeth together and stares at the awful hunk of metal where his hand had been before he slams it furiously against the padded table he is sitting on.

A jolt, a sensation, travels up his arm, telling him his hand is touching something. The table creaks ominously and Hux feels the metal give before he jerks his hand back.

Ren crosses his arms over his chest, looking smug. "You can still perform all the fine motor skills you are used to, but you will have to re-acclimate to the level of strength it is capable of. It'll take time. You will adapt to the sensations. You will no longer feel pain from that limb, but there is a sort of--" Ren pauses, eyes flicking thoughtfully to the ceiling. "Buzzing pressure that equates to pain if you are close to damaging any of the mechanisms."

"You're a medical technician now," Hux snaps bitterly. He can't look at his hand anymore. It makes him feel sick.

Ren frowns, and then wordlessly lifts his hands. He peels his left glove back, down over his wrist, and Hux sees a flash of gears, and polished chrome gleaming there before Ren rips the gloves back into place.

"I am intimately familiar with the feeling," he says, not quite bitterly.

Hux is silent. Ren leans back in his chair and looks away.

"How. Did it happen?" Hux asks finally, flexing his new fingers without looking at them.

A muscle in Ren's jaw slides. "Kato was supposed to be protecting you," Ren spits. "She tried to use the Force to stop the Dashade that was advancing on you, and she was... overwhelmed."

"Overwhelmed," Hux mutters, thinking of the thin, lithe Knight with a glowing dagger in each hand who had stuck close to Hux when all the fighting started.

"Like a fuse with too much power diverted through it," Ren supplied quietly. "It blows itself out. She isn’t capable of the strength it takes to overpower a Dashade with the Force. She knocked herself out," he scoffs. "She forgot; Dashade are almost immune to our abilities. It allowed the Dashade to get close to you. He had a-- a very large blade."

Hux remembers then, from his periphery, seeing the smallest Knight throw her hands up, stiff armed with deadly intention, and then tottering like a rag doll.

Then he remembers Ren doing the same thing.

"You killed it," Hux presses. "From yards away."

The corner of Ren's mouth lifts once and then falls. "I am not Kato," he says quietly, without a hint of amusement, or really, any emotion at all.

Hux finally looks back down at his hand and flexes again. It responds exactly the same as his real hand had. Maybe even, impossibly, a bit more quickly.

"You. Went into shock," Ren continues. "What do you remember?"

"Nothing after you killed the Dashade," Hux mumbles.

Ren nods. "You were conscious for most of the trip back." Hux's stomach twists. "You don't remember any of it?"

Hux closes his eyes, breathes out some of his lingering rage, and reaches back. He thinks instantly of six blank faces hovering over him, and beyond, through the cockpit doors, he can see Ren flying the shuttle, half turned in his seat looking backward.

And then he thinks of pain. Searing, unrelenting pain.

He shakes his head, mouth tasting sour at the memory.

"You're a very... determined man, General Hux," Ren says finally. He stands, and Hux sees him flex the fingers on his left hand.

"What does that mean?" Hux spits.

Ren does grin then, and the expression is positively fiendish. Hux again wishes he was wearing his helmet. "If you hadn't been sitting in the middle of a shuttle full of mind readers, we wouldn't have known you were in any pain at all."

Hux blinks at him.

"As it was, you were well out of your endorphin high by the time I noticed. I allowed Teev-ah to, uh, anesthetize you after that."

“Anesthetize me,” Hux repeats.

Ren turns away. “It seemed a mercy. The techs have cleared you to return to duty. If you have any trouble with that hand, you may report it to me.”

Hux swings himself off the table, ignoring the light headed rush that comes from standing for the first time in two weeks. “I may,” he demands furiously.

Ren shrugs and reaches for a black shadow pooling on the floor where his chair had been. He doesn’t bend all the way for it, simply reaches down and it lifts itself into his hand, drawn by ghostly fingers Hux can’t see. It’s his outermost robe, and when he shrugs into it, Hux feels like something in the world has slid back into place. It was strange seeing Ren only half dressed, for all that he’d been fully covered.

“You may,” he says firmly. The words are just as antagonizing as they usually are but they still feel like a particularly sharp taunt beside the relative gentleness with which he’d been speaking.  

Hux fumes.

Ren holds out his hand and his helmet comes floating across the room from where it has been resting unobtrusively on a table. Ren clicks it into place.

“Thank you for your help, General.” He keeps his back to Hux, turns only his head so Hux can just see the front of the mask. “The mission was a success. Supreme Leader is pleased.”

And then he leaves Hux alone among the beeping machines and gleaming polished metal.

 

“We just need you to approve--” Unamo’s voice dies in her throat when Hux unthinkingly reaches out to grasp the holopad she’s offering him and it shatters in his hand. Bits of metal and glass rain onto the floor and Hux, Unamo, and Captain Phasma all stare in complete shock at the debris before the two women turn to look at him. It’s the fourth time this has happened in three days, but the first time anyone has actually seen it.

Unamo blinks and then drops to her knees to start picking up pieces of holopad. Hux can feel Phasma staring at him though he can’t see her face at all.

“Are you. Sure you’re feeling alright, General?” Phasma asks him carefully.

Hux grinds his teeth. Without another word or motion, he stomps off the bridge, angling for Kylo Ren’s quarters. Four holopads in three days. Two of his modified, special issue blasters. Six ink pens that he only requested so he could practice delicate movements. The top button of his great coat. His bottle of hair gel.

He’s been hovering on the edge of an explosion for three days, and it breaks when he reaches Kylo Ren’s door. He knows, somehow, that Ren is inside. Hux can practically sense him brooding and sulking and lumbering about as he does.

He pounds on the door with his left hand.

There is no response.

“Ren!” he bellows furiously. He knows he’s there.

When again, Ren says nothing, Hux feels something manic and unhinged break apart in his chest. It’s always there, this feeling. He can keep in check most days, keep it wrapped up behind a sneer and a veneer of hair gel, but sometimes, it gets away from him. When he gives the order to destroy a resistance cruiser. When he shot those two Dashade in the face (those memories are stronger now then they were when he woke up). He’d felt it for the first time when he was just a child, given command of his own miniature army.

He lifts his right hand and slams it onto the door.

The door crumbles like foil. Hux hits it again and it breaks, tears down the middle, so he can force his way through into the room.

The moment his head clears the frame, he feels like the bottom falls out of his chest.

Ren is lying face down on some kind of table, a faceless knight hovering over him. The room smells like death without the rot, and ash and blood. Before he can look at the macabre instruments laid out near Ren, Ren has leapt to his feet, face twisted in fury, and thrust out his hand.

Hux feels fingers close around his throat at the exact moment he realizes he’s staring not at Ren’s dark clothes, but at his bare chest.

“How dare you,” Ren hisses.

Hux tries to keep sneering but it’s difficult when he can’t actually breath properly.

Ren’s chest is black. Hux can’t see it properly, not with the way dark spots are starting to dance in his vision.

Just when he thinks he might have to give in, to fall to his knees, to open his mouth and try to squeak out a plea, the pressure lessons, and he’s left gasping at Ren while Ren glares at him. When he lifts his eyes, finally peers at Ren through his eyelashes and scowls furiously, Ren gives a derisive scoff and turns his back. His Knight hands him a black cloak that he throws over his shoulders and Hux tries to make sense of what he’s seeing. Kylo Ren’s skin, from the line of his wrists to the top of his neck, is totally covered in black swirls. Some of them are even raised.

“What are you doing here?” Ren demands, voice low and furious. His Knight looks between Hux and Ren, bows their head, and leaves.

“This is your fault,” Hux insists, lifting his hand and brandishing his gloved fist in Ren’s face. “You mutilated me.”

“I made you stronger,” Ren hisses.

Hux forces a mirthless chuckle. “I’ve destroyed four holopads and two blasters in the past three days. I can’t sign my name. I can’t even--”

Hux cuts himself off with a scowl. Ren absolutely does not need to know what Hux hasn’t done in the past three days and what is, frankly, driving him completely mad.

Fix it.”

“You need to practice,” Ren insists, tone tilting toward appeasing.

Hux stares at him, deadpan, and wordlessly crosses to where Ren had been laying when Hux stormed in. There’s an array of primitive instruments laid out on the table: needles made from what appears to be, disgustingly, bone; tiny silver knives with polished handles; terrifying-looking forceps; a bowl of ash; a small cup of some dark liquid; and a rag smeared with blood and something black. He decides not to consider them more closely than that, and instead plucks a needle off the table with his left hand (there seem to be several more of them.)

“You are not permitted to touch those,” Ren says dangerously.

Hux lifts one eyebrow, and drops the needle into his right hand. With little more than a flinch of muscle (wire metal electricity), it’s dust in his hand.  

Ren curses, starting forward angrily as Hux tilts his gloved hand and lets the dust and rubble run onto the floor. “ Fix. It.”

Ren stares at him. Hux can feel his conflict, feel how much he wants to throw Hux out (physically, Hux knows he would prefer), to make him pay for ruining what ever ridiculous toys he’d been playing with, or to simply fix what he must clearly be able to see is a mistake.

“Sit down.” Ren points perfunctorily to the chair the Knight had been sitting in when Hux arrived.

Hux starts to remove his greatcoat-- it’s difficult to do with one hand-- as Ren throws out a hand for another chair that’s waiting in the corner. It’s feet don’t even scrap the floor as it comes flying to Ren’s fingers. Hux is vaguely aware that Ren is setting it down, positioning both chairs around the table, but he’s distracted with trying to shrug out of his coat. He struggles with it for only a moment before he feels hands on his shoulders. He stills instantly, so startled by the touch, all his impulses tell him to attack.

It is a very good thing Hux has far more impulse control than Ren. If Hux tried to retaliate, Ren would put a boot on his face.

Hux turns and stares at Ren as he carefully folds the greatcoat and draps it over a black couch positioned next to the ruined door. When he sees his door in shambles, he shoots Hux a particularly nasty look, and holds out his hand again. The door screams and shrieks and folds itself back into position enough that no one can see into the room anymore. And it’ll still probably open and close properly.

Hux sits.

Ren stomps back to the table and chair and only pauses to retrieve a small black case from an end table drawer. There is a collection of cogs and gears and wire on that table, so Hux assumes the case holds tools; he is correct.

When Ren sits down across from him and stoically demands that Hux give him his hand, Hux realizes Ren is still half nude under his cloak. He’s thoroughly covered in tattoos and Hux is staring.

Ren pulls the glove off Hux’s metal hand and pushes his sleeve back before Hux can warn him. Ren curses, pulls away, a clean slice across his palm blooming scarlet blood. Hux can’t help his own grin.

“You keep a blade in your sleeve.”

“Those of us without religious superpowers have to cultivate our own relationship to violence.”

“They’re not--” Ren begins, but then he huffs and cuts himself off. “You didn’t think it would be wise to wear this to a meeting with a bunch of murderous insurgents?”

Hux chuckles. “I always wear this. The bastard cut it off.”

Ren frowns at him and then, very carefully, peels back his sleeve again. For all his posturing, Hux isn’t sure why he bothered putting the weapon on. It’s a monomolecular blade-- very sharp, but delicate, good for quick, stabbing motions-- that would probably shatter if Hux tried to use it with this hand. Never mind that he can’t actually perform the wrist movement required to extract it from its sheath, or that the sheath doesn’t properly fit on his wrist anymore. He’d considered putting it on his left hand, but he hadn’t wanted to risk breaking the entire mechanism by trying to fit it into place with this robotic monstrosity.

Ren removes the device and sets it aside, heedless of the way his red blood is dripping onto the black leather table, and the silver of Hux’s hand. Hux hasn’t looked at his hand terribly closely, over the past three days. It makes him too angry.

But he decides to look now.

It’s not flesh toned, or covered in synthetic skin, like most cybernetic enhancements. Nor is it a spindly collection of joints and metal bone, like a droid with its casing stripped off. It’s the same size as Hux’s hand had been, it’s lighter than Hux would have expected, and it’s mostly polished chrome on the surface. The undersides of the fingers are etched with marks that look exactly like fingerprints, and there are sections on his wrist and palm and the back of his hand that are encased in a flexible crystal clear cover that shows the mechanisms’ insides. Ren peels two of these-- the one on his wrist and the one on his palm-- off and begins prodding the microchips and wiring.

“What are you doing in here?” Hux askes in cultivated disgust after four tense minutes pass in silence. Ren’s tinkering feels strange, sends little jolts up Hux’s arm that soon resolve themselves into outright discomfort.

“That’s none of your concern,” Ren tells him.

“Tattoos are against regulation,” Hux snipes. “Does Supreme Leader know about your little masochistic past time?”

Ren lifts his head and fixes Hux with a long, open stare. His eyes are liquid in the dim lighting (the only lamp in the room is currently angled at Hux’s hand) and Hux can feel petulant anger washing off him in waves. He twitches his cloak closed, and looks back down at Hux’s hand.

Hux lets his mind wander as Ren works, but it refuses to go far. Ren is huge, hunched over the mechno-arm, and bigger still is his presence. It’s stifling. It presses in on Hux from all sides until Hux is bathing in it, bathing in him, in the way he smells like oil and death and ash and something deliciously unpleasant that’s also coming from the black cup to their left. Hux wonders what it is, and almost has to force himself not to lean closer across to Ren and inhale. Ren wordlessly shifts in his seat.

His hands are enormous. He’s not wearing gloves, and again, Hux thinks of how startled he’d been to see Ren’s naked face. The hands are just as bad, pale and scared on one side, silver and dented on the other. His dominant hand is not the one he’s missing. Lucky bastard. There a lot of things Hux is sure he can learn to keep doing with his right hand. There are a few very important things he’s not so sure about. And frankly, his left just isn’t the same.

Ren shifts in his chair again.

He seems bigger this way. Hux can see how small his wrists are compared to Ren’s, how much broader Ren’s chest is than any man Hux has ever bent over. The moment the thought crosses his mind, he dismisses it. Ren isn’t likely to bend over for anyone, except maybe his precious Supreme Leader. The thought amuses him infinitely more than it should.

Ren’s fingers squeeze around Hux’s hand and Hux feels a strange little buzz before they release.

“Flex,” Ren commands, voice so low and angry, it makes Hux shiver. Hux curls his fingers and Ren watches his hand carefully before he returns to his poking and prodding. Ren goes back to his fiddling and Hux watches his shoulders shrug under his cloak. It’s falling open again, and Hux peers through the gab in the fabric.

The man is built like a kriffing water freighter. He somehow looks bigger without all his robes on, without that ridiculous helmet and really why would he want to hide that face anyway? The black swirls on his chest are miniscule symbols in rambling lines that follow the shape of his musculature. They’re densely packed together so that from a distance they look like solid black lines. And that smell. Stars, what is that? The more Hux sits with it, the more it resolves into something heady, musky, sharp. Utterly delicious.

This time, he does lean in, just a little, and inhales.

Ren sits back sharply, and when he looks up at Hux, Hux fixes him with an innocent stare.

“Did you just...”

“What?”

“I. Nothing.” Ren’s cheeks are red. His nose is red. Hux can see his face and he’d never particularly cared to before, but now it thrills him because Ren can’t control his expressions like Hux can. Hux can see everything.

Ren looks back down, luscious curls falling in front of his face, and Hux leans back in his chair, a certain, unabashed smugness curling his lips.

Ren smells good. Very good.

It’s really too bad he’s such an insufferable tit. Hux hates him. Truly, deeply loathes him from the bottom of his shriveled black soul and perhaps that’s why this new perception of Ren amuses him so much. He’s imagined ejecting Kylo Ren out of every airlock, imagined shooting him in the face with his blaster, stabbing him in the neck with his blade over and over and over again, shattering his ribs with kicks from military grade boots, but no matter how amusing those fantasies are, they always contain an air of unreality. Kylo Ren is good at few things but physical violence is most certainly one of them. Hux could never get close enough to cause any real damage.

But Hux had never expected him to be pretty, to smell good, to have huge dexterous hands and a broad tattooed chest and very pullable black curls. There are, Hux thinks, other forms of humiliation.

Ren exhales audibly, turns Hux’s hand over to cover the sound, and Hux understands.

He’s grinning at the top of Ren’s pretty head when he thinks, Are you sticking your filthy fingers in my mind, Ren?

Ren doesn’t react, doesn’t move, just keeps poking at Hux’s hand.

That’s very bold of you, having the audacity to peer into a man’s head and being offended by what you find.

“You were right,” Ren says suddenly, voice incredibly loud in the silent room. “It was over calibrated. I used my own diagnostics,” he adds, tapping one of his metal fingers against the padded table.

“Did you,” Hux comments serenely. Ren grunts.

It is the perfect sound to fuel Hux’s fantasies.

Ren keeps fiddling silently and Hux finds himself imagining that Ren is loud and needy when he’s being fucked, that he begs and pleads and whimpers. Hux’s head is filled with wonderful, pathetic mewls and wails, with please, General, thank you, General, yes, yes, General, that he almost doesn’t notice the tight buzzing in his hand. When he looks down, Ren’s metal fingers are curled around his wrist.

“Is something wrong, Ren?”

Ren lifts his eyes and they are black and furious. He slowly uncurls his hand and the pressure fades. After taking two careful breaths, he stands, stalks over to the table with the tangle of machinery, and then stalks back.

Hux is thoroughly enjoying this game. Ren can hurl him across the room for his filthy little imaginings, choke the life out of him without touching him, make him beg to live. But for that he would have to admit to seeing what it was Hux was picturing, to seeing himself laid out against this leather table with Hux’s metal hand in his hair and Hux’s cock shoved so far up his ass Hux hopes he can taste it.

Hux looks down and finds that Ren’s cloak has fallen open again and-- kriff, but is he serious? He’s got-- it looks like-- is that bone shoved through his nipples? Seven hells, it is, little U shaped shards of polished bone hanging against his skin. They’re carved with more symbols, and Hux can see how scarred his skin is now, see raised ropes running in patterns along the outlines of his pectorals (Hux is fully convinced they’re bigger than his hands, even with Hux’s fingers splayed to hold them). The other Knight, when Hux had burst in, had been holding a needle.

“Is this some kind of macabre, overly dramatic mutilation ceremony?” he asks suddenly, motioning with his good hand to the tools still situated on the table.

Ren’s shoulders tense, and then relax and Hux can see him considering whether or not he should tell Hux to sod off. However, as Hux isn’t currently picturing Ren with his face stuck to the leather table, Hux imagines he can detect something like relief in Ren’s posture.

“Something like that,” Ren mutters begrudgingly. “It’s--” He lifts his eyes suddenly and they’re burning. Without taking his eyes off Hux’s face, he jerks his chin toward the bowl of ash on the table. “The Dashade who cut your hand off.”

Hux is unprepared.

Ren’s words, spoken so softly in the half light while his eyes just sear into Hux’s pores, send a full bodied shudder down Hux’s spine, raise chills along the exposed flesh of the arm Ren is tending to, and he thinks of how agile and elegant Ren has always been, even before Hux knew what he looked like, and how he’d just ended that Dashade from yards away. He’s walking murder dressed in a cowl and he’s holding Hux’s hand. Sort of.

“You’ve got organic remains in your room?” Hux says casually. “That’s a biohazard.”

“They’ve been treated,” Ren replies, dipping his head again.

“If that’s dead Dashade, then what is that?” Hux presses, nodding at the fragrant cup of black liquid.

“Ink,” Ren answers. Without lifting his head again, he adds, “Mixed with dead Dashade.”

“You’ve. You’re.” Hux swallows and tries again. “Tattooing yourself with the ashes of a creature you murdered.”

Ren doesn’t respond.

Hux looks at his huge chest again, sees all the symbols, and feels that delicious chill again. There are just. So many.

His mind runs away with him without his permission this time, and the pictures flashing through his head are much more lurid. Ren with Hux’s cock in his mouth, Ren with his chest against a wall and Hux looming behind him, Ren on his knees-- kriff, Ren on his knees-- with his hands behind his back and come dripping from his lips and down his tattooed chest, Hux with one of those polished pieces of bone pinched between his fingertips while Ren moans and writhes beneath him--

He knows it’s because he hasn’t properly gotten off in days (weeks if he considers his time spent in the med bay, which he absolutely does) that his mind is so quick to supply him with this daydream, but he can’t say he’s particularly upset about it.

Where else has Ren pierced with those little pieces of bone?

“Where does the bone come from?” he asks aloud, tone far more suggestive then he means for it to be.

Ren’s jaw slides. He prods at Hux’s hand.

“That is bone. Right?”

When Hux stares down at his hand, he finds Ren is turning a screw that he’s already tightened and stripping the metal from the slot into little shavings. He doesn't seem to see what he's actually doing. He nods.

Hux licks his lips. “Is that healthy? That is an awfully sensitive place to store your superstition.”

“It’s fine,” Ren grinds.

You’re the one who didn’t put his clothes back on, Hux thinks. Am I supposed to be concerned about your modesty?

“Jerk your wrist.”

“Excuse me?” Hux chuckles.

Ren yanks sharply on Hux's arm, tugs him forward, and says, “Like you’re extracting your blade. Show me the motion you make.”

Extracting your blade, is that what you call it?

Hux twists his hand and watches Ren blush.

Ren pokes at Hux’s hand, fingers and back so tight Hux can see it. Then he whispers, “Do it again.”

Only if you say please.

“Hux, do it again.”

Hux flicks his wrist and is completely stunned when his blade emerges from his wrist. When had Ren done that? He’s built the whole sheath and blade into Hux’s arm. Hux never has to worry about being unarmed again.

“Tap your ring finger to this crease and it should retract.” He taps Hux’s hand at a space along the bottom of his palm, just above his wrist. Hux obeys, curling his hand under the sharp stiletto blade attached to his wrist, and it disappears. “Good,” Ren mutters. “I just need to test the calibration again.”

However should we do that.

Ren’s eyelids flutter closed and he turns away, lifts another needle off the table, and sets it in Hux’s hand. Hux can feel it resting there and he carefully closes his hand around it. The needle does not crumble into dust.

“These are bone too, I see,” Hux says conversationally, lifting the needle to stare at it. He meets Ren's eyes. “So what are you playing at here, Ren? Wearing your victories on you skin?”

“Yes,” Ren huffs.

“Surely you've taken this a little too far?” Hux taunts. “How much skin do you devote to one pathetic Dashade?”

Ren’s eyes positively smoulder. “About a handbreadth.”

Hux's jaw clicks as he fumes at him and Ren actually smirks.

Ren lifts the clear casing off the table and pulls Hux’s hand forward again.

“If you’d like a different… design. Aesthetically. I can do that.”

“This is fine,” Hux answers, surprised to find he's being truthful. “I'm surprised to find you care at all about aesthetics, hidden under that mask.”

“I see my skin,” Ren tells him. “That's all that matters.”

“So it's all vanity then?” Hux teases lightly.

Ren scowls. “It's about.” He pauses, lifts his eyes from his work, and whispers, “Recreating yourself. Becoming a creature of your own design.”

Hux laughs at him.

“How long does it take you to style your hair in the morning, General?” Ren taunts.

“My hair is regulation.”

“You set the regulations.”

Hux lifts a brow.

“Your vanities are insignificant, pointless little things,” Ren growls at him. “Mine are born of blood and fire.”

Hux leans back in his chair and wonders if that enormous ass is covered in Ren's little vanities as well.

Ren immediately blushes, huffs a single breath.

Ah, so you can hear me. Naughty boy.

Ren doesn't indicate that he’s heard. He's screwing the last bolt on Hux's hand into place, and Hux feels a wonderful, furious surge of that same manic, unhinged feeling leaping in his chest when he pictures fitting his entire metal fist in Kylo Ren's ass.

Ren's fingers snap closed around Hux's wrist and he yanks Hux forward over the table hard enough to bruise. “ Stop it.”

Hux laughs, suddenly breathless with that peculiar emotion so deliciously nestled between rage and vindictive joy and says, “Stop what.”

In his day dream, Ren is boneless and drooling, screaming in wordless ecstasy with his ass in the air and his pants around his knees.

“Stop it, Hux.”

“Be more specific, darling.”

Ren slaps him, cloak fluttering open as his right arm extends with the blow.

Hux is suddenly dizzy, livid, throbbing in every vein. He can hear it. He runs his tongue along his lower lip and tastes blood. “Stop it,” Ren breathes again, something strange and dark coiling in his voice and his words so Hux sees exactly how close he is to breaking.

Make me.

Hux doesn’t know (or care) if it’s Ren’s physical strength or the Force that he’s using, but Hux feels his feet leave the ground, feels himself pulled bodily over the table and then pushed into it again so hard it knocks the breath out of him. All Ren’s little tools go flying; the ashes scatter across the table; the cup of ink splashes before it falls to the ground and shatters and Hux is surrounded by that smell, and really what is that?

Ren has Hux’s metal arm twisted behind Hux’s back and Ren’s mechno-hand is fitted in Hux’s hair. Hux feels something wet slide against his cheek as Ren presses him to the leather. The ink, he assumes, distantly. It’s hard to know anything outside of the way Ren’s got his legs and his hips flush with Hux’s, holding him in place so firmly Hux knows he’d only hurt himself if he struggled.

“Do I look,” Ren hisses furiously into Hux’s ear, “As if I’d ever let you, as if I’d possibly enjoy--”

Hux cants his hips, presses backward just enough that he feels every inch of Ren rubbing against him. “Are you sure you know what you enjoy, Ren?” Hux asks him with a snicker. Ren’s cock is, very obviously, full, thick, and causing Ren massive distraction. “I could show you.”  

You--”

“I’m sure you’ve got a lot of catching up to do, what with spending your formative years with a celibate old monk but you needn’t worry. I can be gentle.”

Ren pulls him from the table and slams him down again and Hux hears himself laughing. Ren seems incensed beyond words and Hux can’t help but jab at him. Ren’s lips actually touch Hux’s ear when he whispers, “You underestimate me, General Hux.”

Hux flexes his mechno-arm, feels it shift in Ren’s hand and then feels Ren grunt with the sudden effort from holding it in place. Hux can’t actually get free-- he’d need a mechno-shoulder for that-- but he can twist his wrist enough that Ren keeps having to reposition himself. “No,
Hux grunts, thoroughly amused. “I think I’ve got your number exactly, Lord Ren.”

He can feel the tightrope again, feel that screaming tempest Ren lives in, but now it’s spitting all Ren’s emotion about Hux directly into Hux’s head and Hux can feel how angry he is, but what’s more, he can feel how suddenly, how disconcertingly, Ren wants this. Ren wants him to say it, wants Hux to keep pushing so he can follow Hux over the edge and when it’s over, Ren can blame it all on him.

Hux’s head is ringing. He feels like every molecule in his skin is vibrating and it’s hard to keep up the pressure he’s exerting against Ren’s body; he can’t make it too easy for Ren to hold him down like this after all.

Ren hasn’t pulled his lips from Hux’s ear. Hux’s entire consciousness shifts to the way Ren’s breath feels against his skin, to the way he’s raising chills along Hux’s skin that run from the shell of his ear down over his neck.

They’re not here yet. Hux can’t-- he needs to say something, do something, take one more step, but Ren is holding him so tightly in place with his entire body, completely unabashed, that Hux’s shoulders and hips are starting to hurt from the pressure, and Hux loves it.

Ren’s hand leaves his hair and whatever Hux had been about to say is thoroughly obliterated from Hux’s mind when he feels metal fingers curl around his throat. Ren’s forefinger and thumb slot up around his jaw and he can feel how easy it would be for Ren to break every bone in his body with little more than a thought. His fingers are warmer than Hux would have expected, but still cooler than skin.

Hux can’t keep his eyes open. They roll back in his head and Ren finally whispers, “You don’t know a thing about me.”

“Prove it.”

Ren has been waiting for this, for Hux to goad him one more time, to say the words out loud and Hux isn’t sure who wins that point. Did he push Ren too far? Or did Ren trick him into asking for it? Just for good measure, he thinks, Coward.

Ren’s fingers tighten over Hux’s throat and he practically growls in Hux’s ear. Hux barely has time to chuckle before he feels his hands yanked above his head, stretched out over the leather table though Ren isn’t touching him anymore.

He can’t struggle at all, can’t loosen the invisible bonds that hold him and he feels the bottom drop out of his stomach when he realizes. He’s never been so effectively contained before and he’s looking at his own hands in utter shock when he feels Ren’s free hand tearing at the waistband of his jodhpurs. He knows Ren is in his head, knows Ren knows how much he wants this, how much he’s loving it, but he can’t move and there’s something delicious in that. In the idea that he couldn’t break free even if he wanted to. Of course, he most certainly does not want to.

He can’t properly think. Ren’s raging all around him and it’s turning into pure, desperate lust and Hux can feel it, he can feel it all the way to his toes curling in his boots, and so he is thoroughly surprised and pleased with himself when he says, only a little breathlessly, “This must be some kind of blasphemy.”

Ren tears his hand off Hux’s throat and pushes Hux’s head onto the table again and the message is very clear: stop talking.

Hux is robbed of even the impulse to say more, however, because Ren has managed to drop Hux’s pants around his ankles. There is a single moment in which Hux loses track of Ren’s too-warm hand and then he feels wet fingers sliding inside him with absolutely no preamble.

It’s good. Kriff, it’s so good, because Ren has big hands and thick, long fingers and he’s living in Hux’s head, plucking at exactly the right strings to make Hux squirm in his hands except Hux is loath to give him the satisfaction. Plus, Ren is being very careful, very gentle, and Hux doesn’t need him to be. Hux hasn’t gotten off since he woke up from the medbay but it wasn’t for lack of trying. In several varied ways and with more than just his hands.

“Didn’t take you for the tender type, Lord Ren.” Hux’s voice doesn’t rise above a whisper. He’s biting back a groan that he absolutely doesn’t want to give voice to.

Ren makes a furious sound and thumps Hux’s head against the table. It’s cushioned leather so it’s little more than a display of profound disrespect. It’s enough to make Hux snicker around his bloody lip but then Ren does something with his hand, something furious and rough and good, and Hux’s giggle turns into an outright moan that he swallows as soon as he realizes he is making it.

Ren’s hand disappears and he leaves Hux breathless and feeling like his chest has just unclenched, like he can actually choke down air again. From the corner of his eye, he sees Run’s fingers stretched toward what must be the door to Ren’s sleeping room, and something comes careening out of the room to thud lightly against Ren’s palm. Hux is confused until he feels slick oil against his tailbone, feels Ren drenching his skin in a thoroughly excessive manner that has Hux mumbling some quip about wastefulness and limited resources until Ren cuts him off with phantom fingers around his windpipe.

The oil is running down his legs, no doubt pooling on the floor at their feet, and Ren takes his hand out of Hux’s hair. He wraps both hands around Hux’s hips so tightly Hux knows he will have bruises, and before that utterly delicious thought has finished forming in his head, Ren is fucking him in earnest.

Hux tries to curl his fingers but he can’t. His toes cramp in his boots and he wants to scream but Ren doesn’t deserve that victory, not yet.

He’s huge. Hux hadn’t really considered that, that Ren would be bigger than his toys, bigger than the whores, bigger than he’d dreamt about. It’s almost too much. Almost.

What’s more: the polished bone piercings, it seems, are not limited to Ren’s nipples. Hux can feel a line of them dragging under his skin, making every thrust so much more, and all his resolve is slipping. Ren makes a filthy, unrestrained noise and Hux has to bite his lips to keep from echoing it.

The angle isn’t quite right. Hux wants him harder, deeper, but Ren doesn’t seem to notice. He’s slowing a little, panting heavily, fingers getting loose.

“Oh, I think you can do better than this,” Hux breathes. He even sounds convincing when he says it, despite the way his skin is singing and throbbing and his head is ringing and his poor neglected cock is leaking all over his thigh where it’s pinched (rather painfully) between his leg and the table.

Ren growls again, yells furiously, and kicks the table away from them. It’s big and heavy and doesn’t go far; Hux’s hands still brush it.

Hux doesn’t fall though. Something invisible and incredibly solid is locked under his chest; his heels leave the floor and his back bows ever so slightly into a thoroughly impossible position that he would not be able to achieve on his own. He goes limp at the feeling, doesn’t have to hold himself up at all, can’t even bother fighting Ren’s grip with how firmly he’s being held in place. Invisible hands lock around his neck, lift his head so his throat is exposed and there’s nothing he can do to fight it.

He opens his mouth to offer a thoroughly condescending, ‘good show,’ but all that comes out is a breathy, needy whine. Hux is too far gone to care. The angle is perfect. Ren’s pierced cock is too much now, all at once, Hux can’t take it, can’t handle being held like this, can’t squirm away like he’s trying to and there are spots in front of his eyes.

“Better?” Ren hisses furiously, bending forward and putting his lips to Hux’s ear again.  

Hux wants to come. He’s been trying to for days and now this and all he wants is to feel skin against his cock, strong fingers, lips, tongue, he doesn’t care anymore, he just wants.

Ren laughs. It’s a low, breathless, giddy sound, right up against Hux’s ear and if Hux had room to feel anything other than what Ren is currently doing to his ass, he’d be furious about it.

“I know what you want.”

There’s a desperate, cracked sound cutting through the air and Hux is stunned to realize it’s him.

“All you have to do is ask.”

Hux forces a breathless laugh. Ren can’t make him beg. Not the way Ren wants him to. Not yet anyway.

“Say it.” Ren curls his fingers in Hux’s hair again, pulls, and he’s softer this time, the motion more threat than before, when he’d just wanted to make Hux hurt. Now he wants to make Hux suffer. The ringing in Hux’s head turns to a loud rushing, a consuming buzz that takes up residence behind his eyes and in his ears, that presses on his thoughts and says, give him what he wants, let him have this, and you can have yours.

“Is this all you’ve got?”

Ren yells furiously and slams his metal palm against Hux’s left ass cheek so hard Hux almost does come then, with no attention to his throbbing cock at all.

It’s enough. Enough that Hux is half laughing, half sobbing with vindictive joy and desperate need when he says, “Do it, do it, Ren, stars--”

Say it.”

Please.”

Even now, Ren still doesn’t give him what he wants. Hux doesn’t feel warm skin, wet lips. Instead, he feels pressure, all at once, wrapped around his cock from root to tip, and more still, pulling, not quite gently, on his balls.

He comes so loudly his throat starts aching before it’s done. Ren doesn’t stop fucking him, not until he’s had his own fill, and Hux has no idea how long that is. He only knows it’s over when the solid immovable weight pinning him in place disappears all at once and he collapses in a thoroughly undignified heap, gasping on the floor.

His whole body aches. He has to resist the urge to groan, or whimper, when he straightens himself out a bit and manages to lift his head and look over his shoulder.

Ren is huge, looming over him with all his gorgeous tattoos spirling down over his hips and thighs. They taper off on his thighs like shadowy claw marks. Hux’s eyes are more drawn, however, to Ren’s flagging cock. From the base of the head, down to the root, he’s got a line of white bars. They’re packed closely together, and Hux shivers remembering how they felt dragging along inside of him. He’s never felt anything like it.

Ren leans forward and puts his hand in Hux’s hair again, yanks him around bodily and Hux can’t help but groan this time. The quick, jerky movements make his arms and legs protest. And now, he’s on his knees, staring up at Ren’s massive chest. Ren pulls Hux forward and the message is clear. Hux opens his mouth, sucks Ren’s oil-and-come-slick cock to the back of his throat, and waits.

“You think I’d ever let you do this to me?” Ren demands, and he feeds Hux an image, the same image Hux had envisioned before-- Ren on his knees, come on his face and chest-- only now it’s Hux on his knees while Ren stands over him.

Hux pulls back, cheeks going hollow, and makes Ren gasp, before he spits him out; he’s soft now anyway.

Ren has entirely misread the situation if he thinks Hux would, for any second, resent being in any of the positions he purposely broadcast into Ren’s head.

Ren seems to think he’s won. He’s smirking down at Hux as Hux climbs somewhat laboriously to his feet, using his hands on Ren’s gorgeous hips for leverage.

They’re nose to nose. Hux grins at him. Ren grimaces in appalled disgust when Hux licks the oil and blood and come off his lips. He bends, pulls up his pants without bothering to clean himself off. He can feel his own come on his stomach, feels Ren’s running down his leg and that is its own victory.

“It’s very satisfying to know you are good for something after all, Kylo Ren.”

Ren’s eyes smoulder. He is silent, brooding, a volcano again. Hux thinks he knows now, how to tempt him into erupting-- and just how close he can tread without evoking Ren’s wrath.

He turns away, retrieves the bloody rag he’d spotted on the table earlier from the floor, and drops it into Ren’s hand. Ren glares at him. Hux turns his cheek and waits.

It’s a long wait. Hux tucks his shirt into his pants, straightens his collar.

And then, hesitantly, almost furiously, Ren lifts the rag and wipes the black smears of ink from Hux’s face. When he drops his hand, a strange, defeated look in his eye, Hux pats him on the cheek. “Thank you, darling.”

“Get out.”

Hux twists his metal wrist, double checks that it still feels normal (whatever that means) and slips into his gloves and greatcoat. He can barely stand up straight. His knees don’t seem to want to work properly, never mind how sore he already is from the way Ren had held him down. His hand, however, is working just fine. He’s grinning at Ren; Ren hates it.

“You’re pathetic,” he breathes when Hux has lingered just a bit too long, eyes still scraping over Ren’s boyishly beautiful face and frankly sinful body. He will dream about those tattoos, about fucking and being fucked by a man with death etched into his skin and threaded into his pretty perfect cock.

“You can do better,” Hux chastises, taking a step closer.

Ren’s hand lashes out, curls in Hux’s greatcoat, and he growls, “Filthy, desperate, depraved little slut.”

Hux has chills again. If Ren hadn’t just thoroughly exhausted him, he’d be ready for round two.

“Better,” he concedes.

Ren grins, a quick, genuine expression that he tries to hide. But Hux still sees it. He doesn’t taunt Ren for it; Hux can allow Ren his little victories. Just as he can allow himself one last lustful look at Ren’s chest and shoulders, his hard abs and thick thighs, his wet, flaccid cock hanging between his legs. Ren lets him look and when Hux is done, when he is ready to step back and leave, Ren shoves him away, hard, hard enough that he stumbles into the wall and sags against it while his exhausted muscles catch up. Ren says again, “Get out.”

The broken door screeches as it opens. Hux totters out into the hallway and remembers he hasn’t done anything to fix his hair. He could stop by his rooms, brush it back into place, clean up.

Instead, he combs it out of his face with his hands as he walks, shakily, back to the bridge.