If there existed a list of words to describe General Hux (and he was 99% sure that there was in fact a list, created by Phasma’s men like bored, gossipy school children), ‘comforting’ would be nowhere near it. It would be first on the list of things that General Hux is not (which is probably also a real thing).
Hux was practically raised without it, being taught that the only people who craved comfort from others were afraid or weak. And no respectable general of the First Order was going to be so pathetic, needing reassurance—needing a pat on the back or a meaningless kind word just to function. He survived just fine without it, and expected everyone else to do the same.
But if any period in his life was going to test his limits—and the ones he imposed on others—it would be now, as they struggled to pick up the pieces of their shattered Starkiller base. Not literally, so much as metaphorically, since those pieces were…not really tangible anymore. And maybe that was for the best, or else Hux would be out there in the dark ether, desperately clutching for them as if he could piece them back together and pick up where they left off.
No, there wasn’t any point in looking behind them, wondering what could have been. Hux was determined to keep his gaze focused firmly forward, trusting the Supreme Leader to know what was best for them now. But Hux got off easy. His current role in the First Order’s future was slightly more passive than usual, maintaining his typical duties to the best of his abilities and otherwise…simply waiting. It was Kylo Ren that got the short end of the stick, barely even given the time to heal properly before he was hurled straight into his new training regimen. Sympathetic—there was another word on the ‘Things General Hux is Not’ list. But dammit if he didn’t feel some odd pang of compassion, knowing what the knight was going through day after day. Not that he’d ever admit it.
In fact, he never even admitted it to himself, not until the night Kylo wound up in the doorway of his private quarters, well after acceptable visitation hours. It was only by luck that Hux wasn’t already asleep, and he couldn’t help but wonder if Ren was just that lucky, or if he’d been using something else to better his odds. Hell, he could probably tell you the status of every living thing on that ship and what they’d eaten for breakfast, if he felt like it. This wasn’t a coincidental meeting in the slightest.
Hux glanced up from his desk where he was seated, nose pressed ever so diligently into the reports and documents spread out in front of him. Truthfully, they weren’t that important. But these days, he was desperate for anything that made him feel like he was in control again, and it helped when he couldn’t sleep.
He didn’t say anything right away, instead just fixing Kylo with a mildly confused sort of stare, as if he needed the moment to be sure he wasn’t just a figment of his own tired imagination. But then Ren finally moved, stepping further inside and letting the door seal shut behind him. Hux couldn’t help sucking in a sharp little breath when it was suddenly silent again, wondering if he should be concerned that Kylo was currently blocking his only way out. One good look at Ren told him that he was perhaps a bit unhinged, his mask already off and his hair a dark mess, damp and curling with sweat.
But as Hux stiffened just a little, sitting up straighter to try and suggest he wouldn’t be easily intimidated, it only took another second to realize he had the wrong idea. Kylo wasn’t looking to pick a fight. He was exhausted.
“Don’t look so tense, General,” he murmured, his voice lacking the usual bravado that his helmet gave. But even if he’d had it on, it wouldn’t have done much to hide how tired he sounded, voice rough and soft all at once. If he’d been aiming for snarky, it fell a bit short. But Hux wasn’t so tired that he couldn’t reciprocate.
“How else should I look, when you invite yourself into my room in the middle of the night?”
Kylo didn’t quite laugh at that, but it was close, a flicker of a smirk curling one corner of his lips before it disappeared again.
“Thought you might like the company,” Kylo answered all too softly, making Hux wonder whether or not it was meant to be a joke.
By this point, Ren had taken a few more steps into the center of the room, seeming almost a little shaky on his feet, heavier than Hux was used to seeing him. Even when he was storming about the halls, boots noisy on metal grates, he still carried himself with a certain grace. Now, it looked more like he was struggling just to keep himself upright.
Hux finally moved to stand then, pushing his chair back and getting to his own feet as that confused expression returned to his face, brows drawn a bit more tightly together. It hadn't quite evolved into concern yet. At least, not the kind of concern regarding Kylo's well-being. Hux stepped around his desk, footsteps almost careful, not quite sure how close he wanted to get to the wounded beast that was Kylo Ren. He was quiet as he approached him, gaze flickering over his face, searching for an answer to a question he hadn't yet asked, and finally murmured:
"This isn't like you, Ren. You push people away, you don't seek them out."
Hux was a mere foot or two in front of Kylo then, his curiosity making him bold as he pressed closer. He'd seen Kylo weak. He'd seen him broken. He'd seen him fight battles within himself that everyone else was oblivious to. But this? This was new. This was Kylo Ren exhausted and vulnerable and...choosing to let Hux see.
"And you know everything about me?" Kylo asked, drawing the General's attention back up to his face. His eyes were darker than usual, gone just a touch glassy, but Hux could still feel them bore into his mind, even if Ren wasn't actually trying to push into his thoughts at all. Only now did Hux notice the small cut splitting his lower lip; another one streaking through his brow; the start of a new bruise, dappled over Kylo's cheek and down toward his throat, some parts darker than others. Perhaps not so new after all. It disappeared under the high collar of his shirt, and it felt like an uncomfortable twist in his stomach, suddenly realizing that his entire body was probably littered with similar marks--bruises and scrapes, punishment for his mistakes during training. And oh that was a new feeling, torn between fury at the thought of anyone or anything causing Kylo pain, and yet an overwhelming desire to press into those bruises and hear him gasp with it.
"I know more than you seem to think," he answered, taking one last step closer until he had to tip his chin up just a little to look Kylo in the eye. He half expected him to pull back or lean away from his scrutiny, but he didn't. Kylo didn't so much as budge an inch, even as he watched the general with heavy-lidded eyes. Uncertainty. Exhaustion. Curiosity. Maybe even trust.
"I know that you're tired," Hux added softly--surprisingly softly, a gentleness to his voice that he hardly even knew himself capable of--as he lifted a hand at last, touching his fingertips to Kylo's bruised jaw. Kylo did flinch a bit then, swallowing hard as he stiffened a little, but didn't pull away from his touch completely.
"I know that you're aching, pushing yourself well beyond your own limits day after day in that god forsaken chamber…"
Hux let his fingers slip further along Kylo's face until he was cupping his cheek, feeling the heat of fresh blood just beneath the surface of his skin. And then he pressed his fingertips ever so gently into the soft spot just behind his jaw, acting without really thinking. Judging by Kylo's response, he wasn't doing much thinking either, eyes fluttering shut and lips parting to breathe out a shaky sigh. It was like he could feel Ren tensing and relaxing all at once, but the sensation was gone in a flash.
“We’ll never get anywhere if I don’t,” Kylo finally answered, even though he likely knew Hux wasn’t expecting him to. It was mildly defensive, as if he dared the general to judge him for it. But Hux also knew that Kylo wasn’t exactly allowed to say ‘no’ when it came to his new training. Kylo would be the last person in the First Order to question Snoke. Hux expected nothing less. Even when the Supreme Leader was practically killing him.
But for once, Hux swore he could see into Kylo’s head. And while his words were saying, ‘I’m fine, I can take it, this is for the best,’ all he could hear was ‘Save me from this hell.’ And all Hux could do was use that grip on Kylo’s jaw to pull him forward into a bruising kiss.
Maybe it spoke to how tired Kylo was, that he just felt like putty in his hands. Not an ounce of shock or resistance as he let himself be tugged and pulled right where Hux wanted him. And for a moment, Hux was too lost in the spontaneity of the moment to remember that Ren was wounded at all. It wasn’t until he tasted blood and licked over the split in Kylo’s lip that he forced himself to stop, breathing a little heavier as he pulled back and loosened his hold on the man’s jaw.
And Kylo…he was an entirely different sort of wreck now, lips parted and damp, leaning into Hux’s space in the sort of way that didn’t seem like a conscious decision. Neither of them spoke for a moment, seemingly at a loss for words as they grappled with the space between them, uncertain if they wanted it to grow or shrink.
Hux had lightened up his grip on Kylo's jaw but hadn't let go completely, his attention returning to it as he let his fingertips slip down to the top of Ren's collar. He pulled it down a little, revealing more bruised skin as the splatters of yellow and purple trailed further south toward his shoulder. Hux couldn't help but press his fingertips into a mark there on the side of his neck, touching it almost experimentally. Kylo answered with another ragged little noise, a gasp catching in his throat as he closed his eyes again and looked as though he might just collapse. He didn't, but it was a close call by the time Hux captured the knight's face in both hands and dragged him back in for another kiss, eager and commanding. That space between their bodies was nonexistent now, their chests flush together as he clutched at Ren like he might just devour him. And for a brief second, Hux might have been concerned that Kylo wasn't thrilled with what was happening, until he felt a pair of gloved hands grasp at his shirt just as desperately.
"Why do you wear so much when you train?" The general huffed against Kylo's mouth, already impatient with the task of getting them both undressed when they hadn't even started yet. Ren only got out his first word to explain before Hux pressed a thumb to his lips, kissing the other side of his mouth as he murmured, "Don't answer that..."
For once, it was enough to silence Kylo. Not that he really gave him much of a choice when he was diving right back in to kiss him breathless, both hands cupping his neck as he took a step back, and then another, tugging Ren right along with him. The movement was a little clumsy but somehow they made it work, reaching the bed behind him without either of them letting go even once. He couldn't help but feel like a teenager, too eager to fool around to even look where he was going, and he nearly toppled backwards when the backs of his knees hit the frame of his bed without any warning. He might have, if Kylo hadn't tugged him back upright, and Hux had to kiss him again out of gratitude. It didn't last long though, before Kylo was using that same grip to push him right back down onto the bed, earning a surprised sort of noise from Hux as he found himself on his back, staring up at Ren's barely-there smirk.
But before Hux could get too impatient, Kylo used the opportunity to start tugging at his own clothes, stripping off his gloves and the thick belt around his waist. Hux only let him get that far before he was leaning up to reach for him, grabbing him around the middle and pulling him down onto the bed along with him. Kylo went all too willingly, crawling up on top of him and claiming another kiss like he needed it to breathe. It was all well and good--better than good--but Hux was getting greedy again. Without really thinking about it, he shifted his weight to one side, rolling them over and reversing their positions. It seemed almost too easy, considering Ren was slightly larger and infinitely more powerful, and probably not too accustomed to being manhandled. But when Hux pulled back to gloat, he suddenly remembered why it was probably so easy to push him around. The look on Kylo's face was less like irritation as Hux might have expected, and more like...discomfort. His dark brows were furrowed a little, pinched together as his chest heaved with each breath, and Hux cursed himself for his forgetfulness as he scrambled to get off of him. He shifted backward to kneel between Kylo's legs instead, still hovering over him a little but careful not to put any of his weight on him.
Only then did Kylo open his eyes again, looking almost confused when he glanced down at Hux, like he didn't understand why he'd moved. Only Kylo Ren would be confused as to why someone might want to avoid hurting him. As if he was fully prepared to deal with the discomfort if it was what Hux wanted.
"Please tell me you didn't come in here with any broken ribs," Hux murmured, aiming for irritated but ending up concerned instead. He was so used to his constant state of careful indifference, his body didn't really know how to disguise these new emotions. Never mind the fact that Kylo could probably see right through him even if it did.
"No--no, nothing that serious," Ren answered, wincing a little anyway as he pushed himself up onto his elbows. Perhaps as if to prove he wasn't hurt. But even though Hux believed him, he was clearly still in pain, and that just wouldn't do.
"No, stop that. Just...lie down."
Hux reached forward to press a hand against Ren's shoulder, urging him back against the mattress. He could feel Kylo resist for a second, but that was all it took before he finally gave in, huffing out a little sigh before lying down again. Once that was resolved, Hux wasted little time in moving to divest Kylo of his shirt, partially because he just wanted to see him naked and partially because he wanted to see the true extent of his injuries. He slipped both hands up under the fabric, fingertips just barely skimming over Kylo's stomach as he pushed his shirt up and over his chest. Kylo lifted his arms to help him remove the garment altogether, but stopped just short to watch Hux watch him, the general's eyes focused hard on the pale expanse of muscle beneath him. Except it wasn't so much in awe of his physique. Though it was a very nice physique indeed, chiseled and lean after all his rigorous training, it was just as viciously bruised and scraped as the rest of him.
Hux gently splayed one hand wide over the fresh scar just above Kylo's hip where he'd taken that blaster bolt, the skin flushed pink where it had knit itself back together at last. And just above that was a sizable bruise, like something huge and blunt had slammed into his ribs. It only served to stir up that brief flicker of hatred for what Snoke was doing, allowing Kylo to be attacked where his body was still weak. It seemed less like training and more like punishment. And dammit that was a low blow.
His name was spoken so gently, it all but startled him from his thoughts, lifting his head to look up at Kylo who only stared right back with an unreadable sort of expression. A little puzzled, perhaps. Maybe impatient. Maybe even fearful that the general was changing his mind.
"It's nothing," Hux murmured thickly, helpless to resist the sudden urge to kiss him quiet again. He leaned down over Kylo's body, hands tugging at his shirt to pull it all the way up and off even as he licked into his mouth and soothed at the cut on his lip.
Just as soon as Ren was bare from the waist up, Hux forced himself to pull back again, both to admire the view as well as to strip off his own shirt. He knew he wasn't built like Kylo was--his chest wasn't quite as broad, his arms not quite as thick. But it felt like he was burning up under his collar, desperate to feel less fabric and more skin.
"It's very clearly not 'nothing'," Ren murmured, reaching up and ignoring the pain in his side as he grabbed Hux and pulled him back down. Hux braced both arms on either side of Kylo's head, devouring his mouth before he moved to trail his lips over his throat.
"If I asked you why you came here tonight, would you answer honestly?" He murmured against the knight's skin in between clumsy kisses, hips rolling down against his lover's in a filthy tease of a grind. Lover. There was another word so far removed from Hux's vocabulary. Were they lovers? They weren't enemies, not the way they used to be. And this didn't feel like blind lust, like something they could get from just anyone. It was...something else altogether.
"I might," Kylo answered, voice gone even breathier than usual, his Adam's apple bobbing with each rough swallow.
Hux let his mouth drift further down, soothing each bruise with his lips as he made his way down the center of Kylo's chest and finally added:
"Then tell me."
Ren opened his mouth to answer him, but when Hux pressed a kiss to the scar on his side, his words turned to whimpers, a shaky moan bubbling up from his chest. The skin there was so dangerously sensitive, and Hux's mouth was hot and insistent, making him squirm. Or maybe it had more to do with the intimacy of it, allowing Hux access to the softest, most vulnerable parts of him.
"I needed you."
Hux already had his hands on the waistband Kylo's pants when he finally got his answer, freezing him in his tracks again. Maybe part of him had hoped Kylo would lie, so they could just go on ignoring whatever this was between them. But there it was, and there was no turning back. Not now.
Hux didn't answer though, not right away. Instead, it felt more like Kylo's words spurred him on even more, as he tugged none too gently at the rest of the knight's clothing, stripping him bare before he finally came back up to bury a hand in that mess of dark curls and kiss him for everything he was worth.
What if I can't give you what you need? He thought to himself, not daring to say it aloud. But apparently he didn't need to, not when he heard the echo of a reply--You'll try.
Hux huffed out a weak laugh, grinning against Kylo's lips despite himself.
"What did I say about staying out of my head?" He murmured, no real heat to his words as he pulled back and rifled through his bedside table to find the little bottle of lubricant he kept there. Kylo only matched his smile, crooked and a little sleepy and a little smug before he said:
"You should stop inviting me in, then."
Hux might have had something clever to say to that, if he hadn't been immediately distracted by the sight spread out beneath him again. Kylo was the epitome of sin, sprawled out across his sheets in a way Hux liked to think only he would ever get to see.
Only once he broke free from his trance again did Hux finally do something about the fact that he was still wearing pants and socks. They were by far the least sexy thing to remove, but he made quick work of them, intent on making up for it with some proper foreplay at long last.
There were no words shared between them for some stretch of time then, seeming unnecessary as Hux slicked up his fingers and began his almost gentle exploration. Kylo parted his thighs all too willingly for him, and there was that dangerous feeling of trust again, as the knight closed his eyes and gasped for him. It was an almost pitiful sound--not a moan meant to be showy, but a real sound of pleasure, the kind that Kylo didn't seem to know how to handle. How long had it been since anyone else had touched him like this? ...Had anyone else ever touched him like this?
Luckily, Kylo wasn't there in his head to respond to him this time, because Hux wasn't sure he would like the answer. No, he didn't care. All he wanted was to make Kylo forget all about the hell he endured day after day, to give him something better to look forward to. To treat him with the tiny bit of care and gentleness that he needed, when everyone else was so reckless with him.
"Hux--please," he whimpered, arms thrown up over his head to clutch at the pillows beneath him, as if he didn't quite trust himself to leave his hands free. But Hux wasn't so easily swayed, as he lifted one of Kylo's knee up onto his shoulder so he could press in even closer.
"You're so tense, you know," he murmured, turning his head to press a kiss to the inside of Ren's thigh as he carefully worked a second finger into the tight clutch of his body. His words had a teasing lilt to them, but it wasn't a complete joke. Kylo was tense all over, wrapped so tight around his fingers that Hux wondered if they might be there all night just trying to work him open. Kylo merely answered with another weak moan, his cock curving up toward his belly as he rocked his hips down against the general's hand. But by the time Hux had worked his fingers a bit deeper, curling them up inside to seek out that hidden sweet spot, Kylo very well might have been on the verge of tears.
"I can take it--..I can take it!" He begged, reaching down to curl his fingers around Hux's wrist, feeling it flex each time he nudged his fingers a little deeper and dragged them back out again. Hux had to assume his intention was to push his hand away, but in the end, it just felt more like Kylo was desperate to cling to him, his grip almost bruising as he thrashed about beneath him. And so Hux finally took pity on him, satisfied that he'd spent enough time getting him soft and slick for his own aching cock.
"Hush, kitten," Hux cooed, another gentle tease. He was sure the pet name would earn him a glare or a weak snarl, but instead he got a breathy little hiccup of a moan before Ren was flushing bright red and covering his face with both arms. And that...that was definitely an interesting development, though Hux wasn't sure he'd have time to explore it any further tonight. He knew he really should take pity on the poor knight, who was practically trembling under his onslaught of maddeningly gentle preparation.
And so he finally wrapped a hand around himself, slicking up his cock with the rest of the lube before spreading his knees a little wider and pulling Kylo's hips up into his lap. Ren finally moved his arms back down when he felt the sudden shift, watching him with dark, lust-blown eyes. There was almost a challenge there in his gaze when it flickered up to meet Hux's, daring him to finally get on with it, to finally claim him the way he wanted. And Hux was never one to back down from a challenge.
Hands still gripping his hips, he sank into him in one smooth thrust, pushing past that initial resistance and straight to the hilt, as if he might start to overthink things if he took too long. Kylo cried out so sharply he had to wonder if someone might hear them. But Hux very quickly decided he didn't care even if they did. He was the one taking Kylo Ren apart. He was the one piecing him back together, trailing his fingertips over each jagged edge as he did.
Hux pitched forward then, covering Kylo's body with his own as he finally gave his hips an experimental swivel, dragging his cock free before plunging back inside him again. But despite the force of his thrusts, the pace he set was far from brutal. They were deep thrusts, angled to drag over all the right places as they moved together, Kylo's back arching to better meet each roll of his hips. It wasn't quite making love but it wasn't quite fucking either, as Hux moved to take Kylo's hands and pin them above his head, fingers automatically tangling together as he kept his wounded knight pinned in place.
Hux wasn't sure how long it went on like that before he realized Kylo's moans had taken the shape of his name, gasped with each well-aimed thrust. Ren's body began to feel tense all over again, his silky passage tight and hot around his cock and his hands clutching desperately at him as if he wasn't more than strong enough to throw Hux off of him if need be.
"You're going to come for me, aren't you?" Hux murmured, voice gone rough as he pressed his lips to the bruise just beneath Kylo's ear. "You're going to come for me, and I won't even have to lay a single finger on you. You're going to spill all over your own belly, just for me, just because it feels so good, doesn't it, Kylo?"
Ren was all but sobbing out his breaths now, shaky gasps that caught hard in his throat as he was pushed closer and closer to the edge. And Hux was right there with him, his muscles burning with the effort of it, but he was determined not to let himself climax until Kylo did.
Don't fight it, he thought, nudging at Kylo's mind as he found that perfect spot high and deep and ground his hips against it, his mouth a hot brand over Ren's pulse. Let go. Let me give you what you need.
And Kylo did, crying out his pleasure as it threatened to overwhelm him completely. Hux could feel the way his body twitched and fluttered around him, clamping down tight as his cock jerked, spilling his release between their bellies. Hux swore he could feel the very atmosphere vibrate around them, heavy and warm as he finally let himself succumb to his own pleasure. He muffled his cry into Kylo's shoulder, sinking his teeth into the slope of his neck like a wolf keeping its mate pinned beneath them. One last thrust before his climax hit him hard, cock pulsing where it was buried deep in Kylo's body.
Hux only vaguely registered Ren's fading whimpers, giving way to near-silence as he struggled to catch his breath instead. Slowly but surely, he loosened his grasp on Kylo's hands first, gently untangling their fingers and tugging Kylo's arms back down before letting him go completely, accepting the fact that they needed to be cleaned up a little first. His responsibility to look after Kylo wasn't going to suddenly end just because they'd gotten their orgasms. And even though Hux was beyond exhausted, he was well trained in the art of ignoring it and pushing forward anyway.
Kylo reached for him weakly as he pulled away, and Hux paused to press a kiss to the inside of his wrist, a silent reassurance that he wasn't actually going anywhere.
"Someone has to get you cleaned up, and it doesn't look like you'll be getting up any time soon," he murmured with a teasing sort of grin before finally slipping over the edge of the bed and onto his feet.
"And whose fault is that?" Kylo called after him, stretching a little and giving him the most breathtaking, dopey smirk he'd ever seen.
"I take full responsibility. Maybe I'll even let you decide a punishment for me in the morning, hm?"
Kylo just held onto that soft grin as he blinked slowly up at him, making him wonder if he wouldn't already be asleep by the time he came back from the bathroom.
"I've only ever dreamt of such an opportunity, General."
Hux was powerless.
And for once...he didn't mind.