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When General Hux is caught up in his work, everything else suffers. His work gets done, of course. It gets done to perfection. Every last minutiae. It’s not even as if he micro-manages (much), it’s more that he ensures he has contingency after contingency and he assigns the right people to the right tasks and he makes sure they keep him informed with regular updates and progress against milestones and snagging issues and metrics and so on.

This information is available to him constantly. And he checks it whenever he feels the need to, like Kylo used to check his saber was still at his hip. His fingers flicker over the air, and he runs through something just to make sure.

“You are over-thinking this.”

“I’m just-right-thinking this.”

Hux continues to skim through requisitions and forecasts and battle-readiness and troop-effectiveness and casualty projections, ignoring the man who knows what this is doing to his heart and soul.

***

He reads through dinner. Still conversing, but his eyes are not on his plate, nor on his lover.

“There are lines, you know,” Kylo tells him.

“I know.”

“I thought we agreed there’d be a separation of work and pleasure.”

“Work is pleasure.”

Kylo growls, and Hux does that not now, Ren face he does. But this is dinner. This is ‘them’ time. Kylo is unmasked, and the General is still in his.

“You have checked that display ten times in the past thirteen hours.”

“The information–”

“…does not update that rapidly.”

“Would you like me to create a feed that tells me when things have updated, then? I could have it alert me with–”

Kylo glares.

Hux glares back.

“Put your pad down.”

The glaring continues. It goes from daggers to blasters to surface-to-air missiles to Death Stars to Starkillers and all the way back to fingernails, gouging into one another’s cheek bones in an attempt to make the other back down first.

Neither man caves easily. Neither likes to admit defeat. Hux pushes back in every day, in every way. Sometimes just to see how far he can get, and sometimes because he can’t not, and sometimes because it’s fun. This is not the fun kind.

He can almost hear the make me that Hux isn’t quite brave enough to ever voice aloud. So much of their conversation is unspoken, so much of their interaction is through posture, tone, words missing, eye-contact. Kylo finds Hux actually responds much better when he can see how firm his own gaze is, than when he’s talking to a visor. The personal touch makes all the difference.

“I do not want a repeat of the Starkiller.”

Even the fact he’s admitting that is a tiny victory, and one Kylo decides is worthy of some reward.

“It won’t be. But if you stress your staff too much, they will slip up. A fine level of terror over non-compliance is healthy, but when they start to crack under the pressure, then you’ll be left with no staff at all.”

“They are trained to accept the pressure.”

“I know.” He did. He knew too well how the First Order schooled its children. He knew the regimes, the policies, the testing, the constant exposure and the never-ending assessmentsand benchmarks. It’s no wonder Hux feels personally liable for… enough.

It was enough. He might think he is handling the pressure fine, but Kylo can see the warning signs in his blood pressure, in the fine line of his lips, in the idle tap of fingers over surfaces, in… so many things. So many things that, once seen, can not be unseen.

General Hux isn’t really cracking under the pressure, but he is certainly feeling it. And he would benefit from a little relief from it. A distraction. Kylo stands, and turns, and crooks a finger.

He walks out of the dining area of their shared quarters, and into the office space. Although they have rules about boundaries and ‘this behaviour here, and that behaviour there’, if Hux is going to push at the limits, then Kylo will damn well prang them until they vibrate and sing.

There’s only a few moments before he’s no longer alone, and Hux stands in the doorway. Half in, half out. A perfect metaphor for this, really. He won’t give up his ridiculous obsession with information, and Kylo won’t give up on him.

“Really, Ren?”

The names they use are important. If it’s surnames, titles, rank… it’s work. Usually. Kylo is in the office space, which is a work sphere, so it is appropriate. But he’s also not here for work reasons, unless you count calming your Overly Perfectionist General Down as a work-based activity. If Kylo had a timesheet, he’d probably clock this in.

“Come here.”

“Haven’t you got–”

“Here.” One word. Voice not raised. Level. Calm. Sure.

Hux hesitates, and then walks closer. His hands are clasped behind his back, the picture of military obedience. Kylo wants to smack the soldier out of him, but he needs him functional and operational and Snoke would know something happened if he… well. If he did what he really wanted. Instead, he gestures for Hux to stand behind the desk, and waits for him to do so. The space is small, and Hux really doesn’t want to get that close to his personal space.

Again, a battle of wills.

Again, Kylo wins. Hux steps valiantly between him and high-polished wood (of course he has wood, no matter how hard to procure), and Kylo can feel the heat radiating off of him. He’s a tiny little Death Star all of his own, under his hat, isn’t he? Such anger, such rage, such a need to blow up and destroy and…

“Turn.”

He’s come this far. To stop now would be to admit defeat, surely? Or is he going to attempt to bark Kylo Ren down? Kylo keeps his gaze level, and continues to breathe.

“I don’t think this is a g–”

A finger on his lips. “I’ve tolerated this long enough. If you’re going to parade around like a hand-grenade, then I’m going to pull your pin.”

“That would kill me, Kylo.”

“Only if I don’t contain the explosion.”

It isn’t a perfect metaphor. Oh well. It makes Hux’s lip curl into the slightest of smiles, and it reminds them both why they work together. Why they’re doing this. Why they care.

The Human touch is enough, and his General lowers his eyes just once, then turns. He doesn’t resist when a hand on his shoulders bends him over, and it’s only a moment more before he lifts his ass up and presents it, like the good little bitch he knows he is.

Kylo rewards him by sliding his fingers down his spine, making him arch, lordosis the natural response of the bottom to his top, of the submissive to his Master. Hux might make him work for it, sometimes, but he always remembers his place. He always parts his legs just enough, and sinks his weight down onto his elbows and prepares for whatever Kylo gives to him.

He decides his General has been enough of a brat to deserve some punishment, first, so he slaps a gloved hand against the uniform of his pants. Slick leather, stiff fabric. The sound is strange, and so is the hiss after.

“I’m not sure you’re making a convincing argument for me to behave,” Hux throws over one shoulder. “Should I introduce you to actual punishments? Or reverse psychology?”

“Would you really want to see what actual punishments I could dream up?”

Hux blanches slightly, his own imagination bad enough. “Point.”

“This is not punishment, General.”

Whack.

“…you regularly spank First Order staff for other reasons?”

Whack. Whack. Whack.

“When argumentative Generals seem to need it, yes.”

Whack. WHACK. WHACK.

That gets a hiss, and a rocking forwards. He deserves it.

“…what ma– ahhh!!! - akes you so s-s-sssssure I…”

The noises were a giveaway, Kylo thinks. That plus the man telegraphs his need something terrible, around Kylo. It’s lucky the other Knights of Ren aren’t around to witness this… affair of the heart. They’re nowhere near as discreet as they like to think they are. He lets his hand linger after that slap, and Hux’s head goes onto the desk with a following whimper.

He’s not hitting him too hard, of course. Just enough to sting, and just enough to humiliate. He isn’t sure where Hux’s need for it comes from, but he has it, and Kylo can satisfy it, and that’s enough for him. A happy Hux is a happy Kylo Ren.

Hux’s legs part further, and he’s getting to the point where enough is enough. Kylo understands that. Hux might be a trained and deadly killer, but he doesn’t understand or tolerate pain in the same way Kylo does. This is usually enough for him, combined with the knowledge that he needed it and that he’s weak for it. Kylo grabs his slightly-sore ass and leans in to growl over his neck.

“What do you have to say for yourself?”

This is the sticking point. Hux goes utterly still and stiff, and the moment is almost broken. This is when it falls to the left, or to the right. This is when things become nasty, or they don’t. Kylo is always very careful at the moments of choice, at the moments of need.

“Kylo…”

“Is that the name you should use?”

Another flinch. More fighting, visible in the lines across his back. Visible in the way his nails press into the wood, marring it in ways his later-self will both love and hate. Hux is fighting that battle within him, the raging war between need to get off and need to win. He hasn’t worked out, yet, that they can be the same thing. Not properly. Maybe he never will.

“Ren…”

And he smacks him so hard the desk rocks, and Hux calls out sharply. “MASTER.”

Better. He keeps his hand in place, and kisses behind an ear. “Better,” he growls.

“Master… please?”

“Please what?”

Another fight, and this one makes his whole body shake. Hux doesn’t let himself enjoy things easily, doesn’t allow himself the luxury of pleasure. Even when Kylo wraps it in the fierce love he has, when he makes it bitter-sweet. He only pushes Hux because the other man needs it. He’d be happy just fucking (and the occasional, gentle, love-making they sometimes dare to permit). But Hux needs this, and Kylo knows it, and Kylo can give it, and Kylo cares enough to do it.

“Please… fuck me?”

He forgets the title this time, but Kylo is a loving Master. He kisses all across his neck, behind his ears, without saying a word. He kisses as he pushes Hux’s pants down, letting them fall to his knees. Kisses when the lube they keep close by is opened, and he pushes a finger into him. In and in and in. Hux whines, and writhes, and pants, and his eyes are closed and his brow is beaded with sweat.

He’s beautiful, when he loses control. More beautiful than any other time. He bites his lip pink and full, and his cheeks are like the glow of a dying sun. He rocks himself full of Kylo’s fingers, his thighs shaking with want. He wants. Oh, he wants. He wants it so much that he’s prepared to break, prepared to ask for it.

And Kylo loves him for it.

In go three fingers, and Hux’s eyes flutter open. They meet, and he knows the feeling is mutual. Hux wouldn’t offer his body, or his heart, or his submission to anyone he didn’t trust so utterly. He’s more naked now, with just his ass bare, than he could ever be in bed. Naked and beautiful and so aware of his body, of his heart. Kylo brushes against his mind; a gentle gift, a soft awareness, and Hux’s eyes close again. This time he smiles softly, and Kylo knows he’s ready.

“Please,” comes the small voice. “Please fuck me, Master.”

He lets his fingers slide from inside his body (though it fights, it wants them, and it doesn’t. The intrusion strange, and necessary) with a soft, wet noise. Hux’s breathing is even for now, and he gets his cock out as fast as he can. Gets it out, and moves behind him.

“Ready, my General?” His title, but said in the tone that means my love.

“Yes. Yes. Please. Yes.”

Kylo pushes inside, and the world goes black and red around them. Glorious, glorious tight heat and he could ride him all night. Ride him like the ships he can never fly, ride him like he’s victory, and love, and fire, and passion, and everything Kylo wants. His fingers on his hips, his name on his lips, and he fucks him with everything he has.

Hux comes long before he does, a broken victory cry and a surrender in one. Kylo cherishes it, as he chases his own completion. On. And on. And on. And on.

By the time he’s done, Hux won’t even remember the Resistance exists.

At least… not for a few hours, anyway. The Order will manage.