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When Ren first became Snoke’s apprentice, barely after Ren stopped being Ben Solo, Snoke gave Kylo Ren an order.

“Your grandfather’s downfall came because he loved a woman who wasn’t strong enough to keep living. He limited the power he could have wielded because of his grief. This will not happen to you,” Snoke told him after he’d been given his order.

Whenever Ren felt more than just an attraction or an interest, when he found himself on the edge of the precipice called “love”, he was to attack the subject of his fledgling obsession with all of his strength. If the person didn’t survive, then it was for the best. Kylo Ren couldn’t form a full attachment to someone who wasn’t strong enough to survive.

Ren remembered the first not-quite-lover he’d ever killed. It was after the attack on the Jedi. He had been training on some small planet in the middle of nowhere. She wasn’t completely human. Her skin had a blue sheen to it, but she had soft blonde curls and a sweet smile and she gave him flowers.

That one had been the hardest. He held her under the water of the lake until she stopped moving. He hadn’t even used a quarter of his strength to kill her. She never would have been a proper lover for Kylo Ren. But the part of him that had been Ben Solo had wailed and screamed.

It turned out she’d appealed more to that weakness in him than to the strength he was striving for.

There were others. It got to a point that if he felt even the tiniest bit of attraction, that he would force choke them until they were simply dead. It was easier than waiting. Sometimes he did it only to realize later that he had been attracted to the person he’d just killed. He would shrug it off and keep going.

Then there was General Hux.

Ren had been aware of his attraction very quickly, but he’d also known enough to know that his Master would not like him killing his lead officer. Hux was a valuable asset. His plans were the absolute definition of megalomania, and yet they seemed to work a shocking amount of the time.

The fact that the Supreme Leader would meet with both of them at the same time told Ren exactly how important Hux was.

The way his Master had to tell Ren to control himself around Hux told Ren that he needed to not just slaughter the good General because of a crush. He assumed it would go away.

Except that it didn’t.

Ren didn’t know what it said about him, but he loved the argument. He loved that he and Hux fought so much. He loved that Hux won as often as Ren did. He loved that even when he won, he always felt like Hux won a little too. He loved the fight.

And by the time Ren realized there was a really huge problem, Ren knew that no matter what he did he would fail in some way. Ren didn’t think that Hux would be harder to kill than that little girl he’d drowned in the lake. Hux wasn’t a fighter. He was an officer.

But Ren loved him. He didn’t just love Hux, he adored him. He loved his mind and his tongue and his mouth. He loved the way he held himself. He loved Hux’s voice almost as much as Hux loved hearing himself speak. He loved the absolute control the man had over his own body. Hux was always punctual. He was always neat. His uniform was perfectly to code. He never had a hair out of place. Ren was always in chaos, always had his hair a mess, always had his robes strewn about his person.

Ren couldn’t let this go. He had been foolish to believe that it would go away. He would kill Hux and hope that the Supreme Leader would forgive his transgression, and that he wasn’t so far gone that he would destroy his own power in the process.

The Supreme Leader instructed him to use the whole animal, that every skill had its own uses. When he was still Ben Solo, his father had taught him all kinds of smuggler tricks, including how to break into security systems. Between that and Ren’s actual access to the Finalizer’s systems, it was easy enough to get into the General’s quarters.

Ren entered Hux's room hours too early. He wasn’t certain what the General’s quarters would be like. It surprised Ren at first to see that they were small. They were not tiny, per se, but Ren had seen much bigger suites given to much less important people. Hux’s room was very neat, as Ren expected. There was a built in book shelf, the wall interface, a desk, and a bed. The walls were dark and had only two frames photos. One was a class photo. Ren picked out Hux standing in the back as a boy. He was standing near a man that Ren was certain had to be his father. The other picture was a landscape, probably from Hux’s home planet.

The room wasn’t clinically clean. But it also didn’t look exactly lived in. The pictures seemed to be the only luxury Hux allowed himself, as if he couldn’t bear to break with code. A good leader led by example, so said General Organa, anyway.
Hux quoted her a lot. Ren knew that Hux didn’t know who Kylo Ren had been in his past life, or Ren would think Hux was doing it to bother him. It certainly bothered the other officers. Hux admired her leadership. He hated her values.

Maybe Ren liked that a little. Hux drew from any source he found to be of value, even if he didn’t agree with everything in the source. Hux wasn’t limited by the petty squabble of who it was appropriate to base plans after. He didn’t shy away from studying the rebel plans as well as the Empire’s. He studied what worked.

Ren couldn’t do that, as much as he wished he could. There were a lot of things he’d limited himself to. He knew about his own weaknesses. He knew what he could lose if he wasn’t careful. He hadn’t been careful with Hux and now he was going to pay for it.

He didn’t meditate while he waited. He didn’t want the Supreme Leader to see his weakness until he’d handled it. He couldn’t stand the idea of letting his Master down any more than he already had.

Ren knew his weakness. His weakness was spending over an hour in Hux’s room, breathing in his scent, reveling in a fake dream about being wanted in that room. His weakness was taking off his helmet, cape, robe and shirt, and neatly folding them and leaving them on Hux’s desk. His weakness was not even bringing his lightsaber to this meeting. He wanted Hux to have every chance to win this, but he knew that Hux wouldn’t win.

Ren could feel Hux before he arrived to his room. He could feel him stride down the hallway. He could feel that the General was tired even though he walked with assurance and energy. Ren thought maybe he should have come when Hux was fresh and wide awake. He shoved that thought down. No advantage would really help Hux, of that he was certain. There was no more putting this off.

He took a deep breath and stood up as the door swished open. He heard Hux’s hard steps as he entered and the door swished shut behind him and locked with a click. Hux didn’t yet know that he was there. Ren didn’t plan to attack him while Hux was unaware. He couldn’t bring himself to end it like that. Hux deserved a chance to fight back. He would die, but he would die with the dignity of being allowed to fight.

Hux entered his room, eyes on his datapad. Ren watched as Hux shrugged off his greatcoat and tossed it onto the bed along with his hat. He watched Hux bite the finger of one of his gloves and pull it off with his teeth, the sight of which went right to Ren’s dick. He clamped down on that feeling. This would be over soon.

He cleared his throat before Hux could get much further. Hux startled, actually jumping when he saw Ren.

“You shouldn’t be so oblivious, General,” Ren stated.

He could feel Hux’s wariness ratchet up, and Hux’s mental walls go up. That was smart of him. He wasn’t certain where Hux learned to guard his mind like that. Certainly it shouldn’t be enough to save him, but maybe he would last longer.

“What are you doing here, Ren?” Hux asked. He kept his voice deceptively controlled, but Ren could feel the way Hux’s heart jumped about in his ribs.

“The Supreme Leader gave me an order,” Ren said.

“Is it to try and seduce me?” Hux asked, eyeing Ren’s bare chest.

Ren chuckled darkly. Oh how he wished. “No.”

Silence stretched out between them. Hux carefully set his datapad on the bed and pulled his glove back on. His eyes didn’t leave Ren at all as he tugged his glove back into place. Ren allowed him to do as he wished. If it made this better for Hux, Ren would allow just about anything.

“What do you want, Ren?” Hux asked, again in a careful tone.

“I am your executioner,” Ren said.

Hux’s eyes narrowed. “I was not aware that I had done something to deserve an execution.”

“You didn’t,” Ren said, taking a step forward. Hux stayed where he was.

“The Supreme Leader instructed you to kill me?” Hux asked, disbelief in his tone. His gaze was completely cool. Ren wished that he could ever keep that level of control. He knew that his expression had to be one of pain or anger.

“No,” Ren said. “I am instructed to fight you, and to try and kill you. But I know you are not strong enough to kill me.”

“You-” Hux started in anger, but then he grabbed at his throat.

Ren meant to fight with his fists, but he feared that if he did that he wouldn’t be able to through with it. If he ever got to touch Hux’s skin, he thought he might break. This was safer. This was his true strength, anyway.

He lifted Hux up so that the tips of his boots brushed the floor. Hux’s throat began to grow red. Ren could crush the windpipe internally if he wished, but he needed to be able to see the damage he was doing. One of Hux’s hands clawed at the nothingness around his throat, starting to gouge the skin with his own nails.

The drops of red were beautiful. His neck should have bled from Ren’s possessive teeth, not from this accidental self-damage. Ren should have been able to destroy the pristine lines of Hux’s body without killing the man himself. But Ren wasn’t allowed that.

He felt a searing pain in his side. He’d been distracted by his own fantasies. He hadn’t considered that only one hand had been clawing at Hux’s throat. The other had gone to the blaster on Hux’s hip. Hux was smirking vindictively. Ren was bleeding and there was the smell of cooked flesh that came from contact with blaster charges.

Hux fired again. Ren stopped the charge with his other hand. Hux fired again. Ren stopped that one too, but it split his concentration. Ren could stop the chargers, but it took a lot of concentration. A lot of people froze when Ren did this, afraid of what he could do or what he would hit with that charge.

Hux kept firing. He fired rapidly, not really able to aim from his hip. Ren found himself trying to catch the charges that could hit him and figure out which ones would pass because he couldn’t hold them all. He tried to apply a full body paralysis to Hux, but Hux had strong mental barriers. Ren kept trying to stop Hux from firing, and to hold the charges. But it occurred to him that if he went ahead and finished crushing Hux’s throat then all of this would stop.

He tried to put more focus on Hux’s throat, but in that moment he dropped too much attention from the other things. A charge cut through his shoulder. The shock of the pain made his very fractured control stutter. Hux dropped to the floor and the charges started toward Ren. He caught them before they hit him and started to sweep them aside so they hit the walls.

That moment of inattention gave Hux momentum. He was up and firing rapidly. Ren didn’t have the time to catch up. He was rerouting blaster fire as quickly as he could, trying to send them away from himself and toward the walls. It didn’t occur to him until too late to try and turn one around to hit Hux.

It occurred to him when the blaster itself collided with his head. Concentrating on holding onto something that was condensed light and heat was different than holding onto actual matter. He hadn’t been looking for it and it sailed right through his defenses. He shoved outward, trying to throw the charges away in a wave as he fell back.

He hit the floor, not knowing what the charges actually hit.

Ren started to push himself up. His right side and shoulder felt like they were on fire and his head was pounding. He was almost half way up when he realized Hux was in his space. Hux had the blaster in hand. Ren reached to shove away blaster fire again, but Hux brought the blaster down, slamming it into Ren’s ear.

Ren’s entire world disappeared for a second and came back all spin and colors. He became aware of ground under him. He was on his uninjured side. He also quickly became aware that someone was straddling him. Something hard, the blaster, probably, came down on his ribs, between the wounds on his side and shoulder.

Ren reached for something physical with the force. He wasn’t certain what it was, but he knew it had weight and heft. He launched it toward Hux. His indication that it hit was Hux's gasp. Hux nearly collapsed over him. Ren touched him with the force, feeling the broken ribs he’d caused.

He tried to roll over, wiggle away from Hux. Hux grabbed Ren’s head and slammed into back against the hard metal floor. He did it over and over until Ren lost consciousness.

When Ren woke it was to Hux standing over him with the blaster muzzle pointed at his face. Hux had pulled off his uniform jacket. There was drying blood in his hair, coming from his nose, from the claw marks on his neck and on his still gloved hands. Ren was pretty certain that last one was Ren’s blood and not Hux’s. Hux’s neck had begun to purple. Ren wondered how long he’d been out.

“For the Supreme Leader I haven’t killed you in your sleep. If you make one move for anything but surrender I will shoot you in the face,” Hux hissed out.

“I give,” Ren whispered. He felt sore. He hurt terribly and he knew that he was still bleeding. “You win.”

“What- Why are you smiling,” Hux demanded, finally sounding a little panicked.

Ren honestly hadn’t been aware that he’d been smiling. He licked his lips and tasted blood. It was the best loss he’d ever suffered. It was the best victory he himself never could have achieved. He met Hux’s worried, nervous gaze and grinned to show off his bloodied teeth.

“You survived,” Ren said, in a low, scratchy manner, the combination of his grogginess and pain. “You win.”

“I did,” Hux said, drawing himself up. “How do I know you won’t try to attack me again?”

Ren started to push himself up, hissing as he did so. Hux let him. Sitting up made the room spin. Ren had to close his eyes and breathe through his nose to keep from vomiting. There was silence broken up only by Ren’s jagged breaths.

“Because,” Ren said through gritted teeth. “I am your prize for your survival.”

“Excuse me?” Hux asked.

Ren opened his eyes in time to see Hux raising a brow. Ren shifted gingerly until he was on his knees. Hux was close enough that it wasn’t hard to crawl until he was kneeling as Hux’s feet. Maybe he should worry about his pride, but he didn’t. The man he loved was still alive. Ren got to keep this one.

This was everything, and he’d never expected it, which just made it all the sweeter.

Hux’s bloody, glove-clad hand slipped into his hair and tangled there. He tugged and Ren turned his head up to look at him. Ren looked up at Hux. He knew his gaze was adoring. There was a reason he hid under the helmet. He had never, ever been able to school his features. He might be able to pick one of the multiple emotions he normally felt. Right now he was nothing but happy.

“Explain,” Hux instructed.

“The Supreme Leader gave me an instruction. If you survived then I am your prize, and you won,” Ren said. He could keep Hux. He could keep him. He felt giddy.

“You… are my prize,” Hux said slowly.

“Yes,” Ren nearly chirped.

“You say it like you would suck my cock if I told you to,” Hux scoffed.

“I will if that’s what you want,” Ren said. He couldn’t keep the interest from his gaze.

Hux tightened his grip on Ren’s hair, making Ren wince. His head was still pounding and he still felt dizzy. He rested his hands on Hux’s legs. Hux was steady. Hux reminded Ren of what reality felt like at that moment. Hux pulled Ren’s head back so Ren had to look him in the eyes.

“You mean that,” Hux said in shock.

“Yes,” Ren said. “May I?”

Hux snorted. “Impudent little shit,” he muttered. Then he let out a long suffering sigh. “Yes, you may as well. You owe me after the damage you’ve done to my person and my room.”

“It won’t happen again,” Ren said. He pulled at Hux’s controlling hand until Hux gave him enough slack that Ren could actually reach his inseam. Ren nuzzled his nose against the stiff uniform material. He had to close his eyes to stave off the wave of nausea from that much movement. Still, he let out a content sigh.

He had to fumble blind for the zipper. His head hadn’t calmed, but Ren was eager for his own prize.

“Careful,” came Hux’s warning tone.

“Yes,” Ren said. He slowly opened his eyes so he could see enough to fumble with the zipper. He opened Hux’s pants. He noticed Hux unbuttoning his ruined shirt. Ren paused in his own work to watch Hux undress his top half.

Under the shirt were an impressive array of bruises. He could see the red and blue from where Ren had broken Hux’s ribs. The color lit up Hux’s very fair skin. They were the proof that Ren fought hard, and that Hux had earned his own life.

“Pretty,” Ren murmured. He gasped when Hux wrenched at his hair. Ren’s head was so sensitive that much pain made him see stars.

“No commentary,” Hux ordered. “Your mouth is mine and I tell you not to speak. Do you understand?”

Ren whimpered. The only way to indicate his understanding would be to nod. He didn’t want to.

Hux’s grip tightened. “Do you understand me, Ren?”

Ren nodded slowly, twice, two ups and two downs. It made his whole world spin. But Hux let out an approving hum, so Ren counted it worth the price.

“You may continue,” Hux instructed.

Ren carefully reached into Hux’s pants and underwear and pulled out his cock. It was Ren’s turn to let out an approving hum. His head was still rolling, so he couldn’t quite see straight. He didn’t try to concentrate too hard, but he could feel by the weight that he was going to like what he got.

He had to close his eyes, as he opened his mouth and slowly slipped down Hux’s length. He felt the grip in his hair get tighter, but he could also hear the tiniest gasp from up above. It was a good kind of pain then.

He started to bob up and down on Hux’s dick. It was quickly driving Ren insane. His entire world centered down to just his mouth and the skin on his tongue. If he focused on anything else he would have lost it. The world was spinning even with his eyes closed. Hux was the only anchor he had, and he latched onto Hux completely

Occasionally he’d be pulled out of his trance enough to recognize a painful twist of his hair, or the quiet gasps and little moans he pulled from Hux. Hux did seem like a reserved man. He held it all back until it mattered, like that fight. Ren had underestimated what that level of physicality could do when combined with such an analytical mind.

“Focus,” Hux hissed.

Apparently Ren had scraped him with his teeth. He focused back on Hux’s dick. It tasted a lot like blood at the moment, mostly Ren’s own. That was Ren’s fault for certain. But he wouldn’t trade that moment for anything. And he’d get to taste Hux without the blood later.

The grip in his hair tightened. “Loosen your jaw,” Hux said.

Ren did as he was told just in time for Hux start to control Ren’s head. Hux started fucking his mouth in earnest. Ren’s head wasn’t moving as much, which was better for his dizziness. His gag reflex was a problem, but he’d trained to suffer all kinds of pain and control himself.

This was unfortunately, a reflex and with his head the way it was he had to shift to using to the force to keep his stomach from rebelling. He lost everything but focusing on controlling himself. That was until he felt something warm and wet spread across his face and into his mouth.

He recognized the taste as ‘salty’, also ‘unpleasant’. He came back into himself to realize that Hux had come all over his face and into his mouth. Next time he wasn’t going to miss Hux’s orgasm. He was going to be mentally present for all of it.

“You are going to get dressed,” Hux said. “And put your mask on and go without cleaning up. Then you will wash up in your quarters before going to the med bay, do you understand?”

“Yes,” Ren breathed out. He felt dizzy. He liked that. He liked this. He felt a curl of humiliation, but he also knew that this was good. Hux was going to think about him a mess like this later. He was going to imagine it. Maybe he’d think about other things to do with Ren then as well.

He rose slowly and walked over to where he’d folded up his clothes. He slowly put on each article. He had to go slow to keep from toppling over. He was injured, bloody, probably concussed, but he would do everything Hux said. Including going to med bay instead of trying to sew up his own wounds. It was probably for the best.

He smiled a little, thinking that Hux cared about helping him get better.

The mask went on last. He turned to look at Hux so he could see Hux’s face when he put it on. Hux was staring at him with a certain level of unguarded interest. He’d sat down on the bed and tucked himself back into his pants. He looked a little woozy.

Ren tucked away the fact that Hux opened up more after an orgasm. He was certain he could use that later.

He slipped the mask on. When he had it properly adjusted he could see Hux’s smirking face. That was exactly what Ren wanted to see.

“Go,” Hux ordered.

Ren went without another word. When the door shut behind him he could feel Hux flop back on his bed and let out a tired huff.

It made the long, long walk back to his quarters much more cheerful.

Their relationship moved into a very odd place. Hux always thought of interpersonal bindings as relationships. Previously his relationship with Kylo Ren had been simply antagonistic. Hux understood the need for a man outside the chain of command who answered only to the Supreme Leader. Kylo Ren was the absolute extension of the Supreme Leader’s will. If Hux ever displeased the Supreme Leader enough, then Ren would be his executioner, and not just for some petty trial that Hux didn’t understand.

Hux had wondered if maybe it had been to test his loyalty, or maybe his strength. Certainly if he could hold off a Knight of Ren then the Supreme Leader didn’t need to worry much about Hux’s capture or revealing facts under torture. Still, that didn’t make Ren’s continued presence in his bedroom any more understandable.

Ren said he was Hux’s prize for survival. Certainly, he was a good prize. Ren was large, taller than Hux, and muscled so well that Hux honestly felt dainty standing next to him. Watching Ren kneel willingly at his feet definitely was a huge ego boost. It just didn’t make sense why the Supreme Leader would instruct Ren to act that way with Hux.

Hux brought it up once with the Supreme Leader during a private meeting.

Supreme Leader Snoke had looked surprised and more than a little curious. Then he’d asked Hux what Ren told him about the order. Hux explained that Ren was apparently a test and some sort of bizarre prize. To Hux’s surprise, the Supreme Leader and actually rolled his eyes.

He’d sent Hux away after that. At the time, Hux believed the Supreme Leader’s tone had been disgusted. Except that The Supreme Leader didn’t try to stop the relationship and Ren never acted any differently than he had before.

And it never came up again.

Hux and Ren just went about with their bizarre little relationship.

Hux didn’t quite know how to describe it. Ren came to his room and would kneel at his feet and stare up at Hux with these big wide eyes and then do whatever Hux said, as long as it was within the confines of the room. Mostly this meant a lot of very violent sex and Hux occasionally snarling about Ren and his stupid tests.

He couldn’t be certain, but Hux almost thought that the whole test thing was in Ren’s head and that the Supreme Leader hadn’t ordered him to do shit. Maybe it was some kind of very weird sexual roleplay. Except that Hux was also absolutely certain that Ren had meant to kill him.

So Hux didn’t feel like anyone would blame him for shoving Ren out of bed after they’d fucked until they both bled. Ren had picked the dynamic. It was a bruising pace for them both. They didn’t leave marks that couldn’t be hidden under uniforms and masks. Hux found that he actually liked the way they played.

They’d been like that for months. Hux had gotten used to it. He wasn’t sentimental about it. It made for a nice change of pace. Ren was much, much more mellow after a good fuck. He would work himself up until Hux took him to bed, and then he could be calm again. Some days Hux would swear he could catch Ren pressing his fingers into bruises or bites through his clothing.

Hux called Ren to his room sometimes when Ren wasn’t being particularly rambunctious. This was one of those nights. Hux was the one who really needed the time. He was tired and stressed and wanted a night where he didn’t have to think about life outside his quarters.

He wasn’t particularly thinking about violence. He was thinking about leaving a collar of bruises and teeth marks and hickies around Ren’s neck. It was the best kind of collar Hux could give. It would be perfectly hidden under Ren’s clothes, but it couldn’t be removed. It faded, but putting it back was always so much fun.

Ren arrived promptly. He was always on time when Hux called. When the door swished shut behind him, Ren removed his helmet. He carefully set it down on Hux’s desk and began to undress. Hux unbuttoned his uniform jacket and sat down on the bed to watch Ren work. Ren was very efficient at undressing, something Hux found to be a turn on. Ren, who was such a messy person, so chaotic and uncontrolled. Watching him do anything with military precision was somehow very sexual.

Ren folded each piece neatly and laid them in a proper pile next to his helmet. The boots he left placed together under the desk and out of the way. All of this was exactly the way Hux had taught Ren to operate. Hux smirked.

“Good boy,” he said. He watched Ren bristle and the condescending tone. Sometimes Ren melted into those words, but never that particular tone. “Come, kneel,” Hux instructed.

He had to be precise or Ren would drop to his knees way on the other side of the room. Certainly the room wasn’t so big, but he didn’t want to have to get up to touch Ren. Ren was good at following instructions. Hux was used to Ren almost scrambling to immediately do as Hux instructed.

Which was why Hux didn’t immediately register that Ren didn’t follow his order at once. His mind was off on his plans and what he meant to have Ren do. He almost reached to run a hand through Ren’s hair. Ren always leaned into the touch, which Hux always kept initially gentle before he’d give a hard tug. It reminded Hux of controlling his would be murderer that first night. He’d always liked it.

When he blinked and there was no head in front of him he realized that something was wrong. He looked up to see that Ren was still standing. Ren stood straight and tall. His body itself showed nothing, but there was anxiety written all over his face.

“I don’t want to,” Ren said carefully.

Hux slowly raised one eyebrow. “Is this some new game you’re playing?” He asked. His lips pulled into a sneer. “Do you want me to chase and catch you? Some form of that first night?”

He saw Ren wince. In truth Hux didn’t want to. Ren outside of the bedroom fought him all the time. None of that came back when they were in this room. Nothing in the outside world applied in here. Hux never allowed his frustration into the room. He never disrespected Ren outside of that room, not to the level he could. He liked the Ren that gave in, especially when he was already worn out.

“I don’t want to,” Ren repeated, sounding angrier. “I don’t want to do this tonight.”

“Then you can leave,” Hux said. It was disappointing, but he wasn’t going to force Ren into something he didn’t feel like doing. Ren hadn’t been the one needing tonight. Hux didn’t need it either. He just wanted it.

Hux stood and went to get his datapad. He would read or work and then go to bed early. He moved to his desk. Doing so placed him next to Ren. He could feel Ren’s body warmth at that proximity. He swallowed his own disappointment and moved the neat stack of clothes to grab his datapad. He turned to move back to his bed, only to catch a glimpse of Ren’s face.

Hux stopped and slowly turned his head back to see if that swift impression was true, or just some improbable figment of his imagination. It made his heart stutter to see that he hadn’t been mistaken.

The expression on Ren’s face was that of despair. Hux had never imagined that Kylo Ren could even care about anything so much to look so crushed. Hux’s stomach flipped over. It didn’t just bother him to see that pain filled expression, it was actually painful to Hux. It made his stomach feel tight, and his mind buzz with angry demands. Ren was a jackass, an idiot, a child, a violent tantrum that could destroy them all. But Ren allowed himself to be vulnerable in some small way with Hux. He shouldn’t look this distressed, not here.

Hux laid his bare hand on Ren’s face, and guided Ren to look him in the eyes. “What’s wrong?” Hux asked with a cool kind of strength.

“Do you not want me?” Ren asked.

“Of course I do,” Hux said. “But you are not interested in sex this evening, so there’s no reason to keep you here.”

For some reason that just made Ren’s gaze cloud even more. He dropped his eyes. Hux was left honestly not certain of what to do.

“Am I only good for sex?” Ren asked. He sounded so young. Hux thought of Ren as some kind of emotionally stunted little boy when he destroyed things out of anger. But he never truly thought of him as anything but a man. Suddenly Hux was very aware of their six years age difference. Did that really mean that much? It never had before. But then Ren had never sounded so much like a lost, innocent boy.

Hux snorted, trying to play off his own discomfort. “You are the master of the Knights of Ren. You are the Supreme Leader’s right hand, and a power all on your own. You are good for other things. Whatever gave you the idea that weren’t?”

Again, this seemed like the wrong thing to say. Ren pulled away from that touch. He stood there naked, angry, and clearly hurt.

“So I am a fit murderer and fuck toy to you?” Ren demanded.

“Don’t put words in my mouth, Lord Ren,” Hux said. “I never said that.”

“You do not want me,” Ren snapped and looked away. He crossed his arms over his chest like that would in any way cover him.

“I was certain I just told you that I did,” Hux said.

“For sex!” Ren shouted. Hux jumped, surprised by the loudness. He’d gotten used to Ren being a certain way in the bedroom. This was so far beyond the scope of what Hux knew about Ren, both as a bed partner and as the man who drove him insane outside of that room.

The silence stretched between them, louder in the wake of Ren’s angry outburst. Ren kept staring down at the ground. He began to shiver and Hux wondered if it was really that cold in his room. Surely it couldn’t be a fear reaction? It was preposterous to even think of.

“Master never warned me about this,” Ren said so quietly, that the only reason Hux was able to hear and understand at all was desperate need to push past that oppressive silence.

Hux licked his lips before he spoke. He sensed that whatever came next would change things between them. “About what?” he asked.

Ren met his gaze and there was that terrible anguish. Ren smiled and it was so sad that Hux wanted to place his hand over Ren’s mouth just to stop having to look at it.

“Rejection,” Ren said.

Hux’s eyebrows rose. “Are you rejecting me?”

“No, you’ve rejected me.”

Hux felt flabbergasted. “How? What gave you this idea?”

“Master told me that Vader could never reach his power because the woman he loved died. I was told that I needed to find someone strong who wouldn’t die and leave me. He didn’t tell me that you’d never want me to begin with!” Ren’s words, his eyes, his entire body gave off waves of anguish.

Hux stepped close, into Ren’s space. “I need you to explain this to me… slowly. Pretend like I don’t know anything. Please, I want to understand.”

“Master told me that if I began to love someone I had to try and kill them before it became too much. So that I would know if they were too weak to survive,” Ren said.

“Wait,” Hux interjected. “Wait… that was why you attacked me?”

“Yes,” Ren said. “I explained-”

“You didn’t explain shit, Ren,” Hux said matter of factly. He grabbed Ren’s face, and just held it so Ren couldn’t escape him. “You love me?”

“Yesss,” Ren said, drawing out the noise. He wouldn’t meet Hux’s eyes. “But you don’t want that.”

“How do you know that?” Hux asked. He was cursing himself. He’d stupidly, stupidly forgotten just how much of an emotionally stunted idiot Ren was. No wonder Snoke had rolled his eyes. They were both fools in this case.

“You want me only for sex and power,” Ren said.

“How about you ask me what I want, instead of assuming for once,” Hux said bitterly.

That at least made Ren meet his eyes. Ren was still hurt, but now he looked confused and painfully hopeful.

Ren licked his lips and swallowed. “What do you want?”

“For you to not make assumptions. I know a lot of things. But from what you told me I understood that this was a sex only relationship. I didn’t know how you felt or what you wanted. I have been acting from the cues you have given me.”

“But you-” Ren started.

“Ren, please use that brain of yours for a moment. You attacked me, saying it was some test that I had passed and that you were my prize. Then we had sex. What part of that screams ‘please love me’ to you?”

“Oh,” Ren said. Hux could practically see the light go on in his eyes. “Does that mean you do love me?” He sounded so damned hopeful.

“No,” Hux said. “I don’t know you well enough to make that decision.”

“Oh,” Ren said, beginning to deflate.

“But I’d like to try,” Hux added.

“Really?” Ren asked, the hope returning to his voice.

“Yes,” Hux said. He ran one of his thumbs over Ren’s brow. “Now, act like an adult and just ask me for what you came here wanting.”

“I don’t want sex,” Ren said. “Not tonight…. I just want you to hold me.”

“Clothes on or off?” Hux asked.

“Off… are you really okay with this?” Ren asked, true disbelief hanging off his words.

Hux pulled away and slipped off his jacket. He let it fall to the floor. “I thought you liked the violent sex. All I want tonight is to not think about work.”

“I think I can help with that,” Ren said quietly.

“I think so too,” Hux said. “Inside or outside of the bed?”

“In,” Ren said.

“Then go lay down.”

Hux turned away and continued to undress. He left everything in an uncharacteristic pile on the floor. When he moved to get into bad he saw that Ren was smiling at him.

Hux shook his head and quickly climbed into bed. He ducked under the covers and pressed into Ren’s broad chest. Ren accepted Hux into his arms and hugged him tightly. It felt like Ren felt like he was a gift.

“I do,” Ren said.

Hux snorted. “I forget you can read my mind.”

“I don’t,” Ren said.

“But you forget that I can’t read yours,” Hux said. He grabbed Ren’s chin and held him still so that Hux could give Ren a gentle, chaste kiss.

Ren returned the kiss. When he pulled back he was wearing the silliest smile Hux had ever seen. Hux considered making fun of him for it, but decided against it. It was so much better than the other expressions Ren had worn that evening. Hux laid his head down on the pillow and let Ren smile at him.

“I don’t mind the rough sex,” Ren said softly.

“But not all the time,” Hux filled in. “Me too.”

“Good,” Ren said. He laid his head down as well so they were facing each other. Ren twined their legs together. He shifted one arm so that it was under both of their heads. The other arm was firmly wrapped around Hux’s middle, as if to keep him from escaping.

“Yes, good,” Hux reiterated. He felt himself start to blush a bit.

“Can I stay the night?” Ren asked.

Hux swallowed, thinking of how much he’d always hated Ren quickly getting redressed and fleeing the room.

“You never had to ask to stay,” Hux admitted.

Ren looked touched. Hux smiled back at him. He found that he didn’t mind this change in their relationship too much. Really, it wasn’t so bad. As long as Ren kept letting him leave a collar of bruises and teeth marks on his skin, Hux thought he would like this new relationship very well.

Ren chuckled. “You’re so possessive.”

“I won you, remember?” Hux pointed out. He grabbed Ren’s ear, and pulled his own head off the pillow so pull Ren into a kiss. Ren laughed into it.

That was something Ren never would have done before. Hux found that not only did he not mind, but he rather liked it. Ren loving him was kind of nice.

Ren blushed and Hux knew Ren had read that thought. Hux laid back down, resettling into the pillow. That was fine with him. It was all fine.