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It's his birthday.

Brendol Hux the Second has never been much for birthdays. They are, as far as he's concerned, just a measure of all the things he's tried and failed to achieve in the past year. There are accomplishments, too, to be sure, but to Hux's mind they pale in comparison.

It might still be his birthday. This planet has long days and longer nights, and Hux has been drinking for the better part of both of them. But it must still be his birthday somewhere in the galaxy, and this backwater little planet may as well be it. He's solidly nineteen years old, now, either way.

For another thing, Brendol Hux the Second isn't much of a drinker. He does not, as a rule, get drunk.

"Another?" the bartender asks. Only two of her five eyes are actually looking at him, but they're both giving him a look that would rival the strictest of his Academy teachers: No Funny Business Here, those eyes are saying.

"Yes please," he says, politely.

That's the other thing: Brendol Hux the Second has just graduated. He's off, officially, to officer training in just under a month.

Anddec and Roldav had been convinced that this confluence of events — the birthday, the graduation, the few weeks off — meant that it was time for a vacation. "Come on," Anddec had said. "We'll have fun. You remember fun."

"I have plenty of fun," Hux had said. He'd frowned, and crossed his arms over his chest.

So they'd taken the weekend and flown to Prirri, a backworld even by Unknown Regions standards, and they'd rented a couple of rooms, and they'd found a series of increasingly terrible bars.

Hux has no idea — absolutely none — where his friends have gone. Possibly they're at another bar; possibly they're still at the last bar and he's at another bar.

There's a boy staring at him from across the room.

The boy is ill-dressed: his pants look too small, as if he's outgrown them rather than some attempt at fashion, and his tunic is a depressingly drab shade of beige. It's tucked into his pants rather awkwardly, as if he's not sure how clothing works. It's probably the luck of genetics, then, rather than careful styling, that has his black hair curling perfectly around his face where it's escaped from its short ponytail.

Hux reflexively runs a hand over his own close-cropped red hair. That's probably why he's being stared at; the being drinking next to him has a proboscis, and it's still the hair that gets people, every time. Some day, in the process of conquering the galaxy, Hux will discover a planet of gingers, and then he'll retire.

Hux can't quite tell, from across the room, how old the boy is, but he's almost certain the answer is not old enough, even on a planet with no legal drinking age. Sixteen on the outside.

There's something about the dark of his eyes and the mulish set of his chin that makes him look younger; something about the lushness of his mouth that makes Hux certain he's older.

It's the alcohol to blame, certainly, for Hux staring back. It's certainly the fault of the alcohol that he tips his head in a silent beckon.

What's to blame for the boy crossing the room, Hux can't say. He's not actually holding a drink of his own. He stands awkwardly next to Hux.

"What are you drinking?" Hux asks — shouts, really, over the din of the room.

"Nothing yet!"

Hux laughs. "What would you like?"

The boy stops. He bites his lip, which is an arresting sight. Regardless, Hux is pretty sure he's right: he's definitely not old enough to be here.

"I'll have what you're having," he says, just barely loud enough to be heard over the music.

Hux laughs and turns back to the bar.

He manages to flag the bartender down after just a minute. He drains his drink, and puts the empty glass back on the counter. "Two more," he says, holding up two fingers for emphasis. He's pretty sure the bartender rolls one of her eyes.

She slides two more drinks over. She doesn't ask for money, which means he must have opened a tab. Right. Must remember to close that later.

"Let's go sit over there," Hux says, and gestures as well as he can without spilling his drinks. "Quieter."

There are some low chairs and low tables in the corner, and it's not much quieter but there are fewer people. There had been a really fervent game of sabacc being played there earlier, but the players seem to have all left, and the area remained clear. Hux hopes it's not because there's blood on the seats, or anything. These aren't nice pants he's wearing, but he'd prefer they not be dirtied just the same.

There doesn't appear to be any blood, and, satisfied, Hux sets his drinks down on a table. He holds his hand out to the boy.

"Brendol Hux," he says. "Or just Hux." His friends mostly call him Hux, which pleases him; he likes to think that someday he will be just Hux and his father will become Hux Senior.

The boy stares at his hand suspiciously, but when he finally takes it his grip is surprisingly firm. "I'm … Ben," he says, with enough hesitation that Hux is sure it's a lie, and a bad one at that. But whatever Ben is hiding from, Hux doesn't intend to turn him over. Not yet, anyway.

Their hands break apart slowly. They sit down. Hux pushes a G&T toward Ben, and lifts his own. "Cheers," he says.

"Cheers," Ben echoes, and lifts his own drink in response. He closes his eyes as he takes a sip, and it's just light enough in the bar for Hux to see the way Ben's eyelashes fan out across his cheeks, and for Hux to see the wrinkle of his nose at the first burn of the alcohol down his throat.

Ben coughs, twice, and raises his eyes to look at Hux again. "Strong stuff," he says; he somehow manages to sound disparaging, as if he hadn't nearly choked on it.

Hux hums an agreement and takes a sip of his own drink. It could be stronger, honestly, but Hux has been drinking them all day. Possibly he's gotten acclimated.

"So what brings you to Prirri?" he asks. He leans forward, elbows on his knees. Ben is sitting on the very edge of his seat. Their knees nearly brush.

Ben laughs, a jittery sound. "My parents sold me into slavery and I'm on the run."

Hux blinks. It's certainly not unheard of: there are several worlds where human slavery is still common, although it's died out in the civilized parts of the galaxy. There are quite a few more where he could be in a situation not too far off from slavery, if not called that. Most likely, he's run away from boarding school or something.

"Well," Hux says, "I'm glad you've gotten out." He clinks his glass against Ben's again.

Ben widens his eyes, actually fluttering his lashes. "You're not going to offer to save me?" he asks. It's almost a deadpan, but Hux can't quite tell how sarcastic he's being.

Hux shrugs. "It looks like you're doing a fine job of saving yourself." He tips his drink back; there's less in the glass than he remembers. He looks at Ben's glass, which is still alarmingly full. "Drink up," he says. "I'm getting another in a moment; would you like one?"

He watches the line of Ben's throat working as he swallows. "Sure," Ben says, and wipes the back of his hand across his mouth.

By the time Hux gets back with the drinks, Ben has finished his first. When Hux hands the glass over, their fingers touch. Hux feels a shiver down his spine. He relaxes back into his chair. He watches Ben drink.

"So how did you escape?"

Ben laughs.

"I stole a shuttle."

It's delivered so matter-of-factly — indeed, Ben seems so pleased with himself — that Hux can't help but believe it this time.

"You what?"

"I stole a shuttle," Ben says again. "I woke in the night and took my master's shuttle and left." He grins brightly. "They should never have taught me how to fly."

"I'm glad they did," Hux says, surprising himself with his own sincerity.

Ben laughs into his glass. "What?" he says finally. "Glad you met me?"

"No one should be forced into slavery," Hux says honestly. "People should want to obey. If you don't have a system people want to be obedient to —" He stops himself. He's sober enough to realize he's drunk enough that if he starts talking now, he won't stop. And he's on vacation.

"It's not a good system?" Ben guesses.

Hux could kiss him.

"So who taught you to fly?" he asks instead. "Seems a strange thing to teach a slave, if you want to keep him."

Ben laughs, a bit meanly, as if Hux ought to have known better. "I knew how to fly already. I only just got sent — got sold; I've been flying since I was just a kid. My dad's a pilot," he explains.

This is a terrible story he's telling, if Hux is to be perfectly honest, but he's had enough to drink that he's willing to go with it.

"Why'd your parents sell you off, then? If they'd already invested in teaching you to fly and all."

Ben scowls. He looks, for a moment, terribly young.

"They said they didn't have a choice."

He lapses into silence. Hux follows. He watches Ben drink, watches the way he brushes his hair behind his ears, watches the way his eyes flutter shut and then open again, the way he raises them to meet Hux's.

"So," Ben says, "you're not going to try and save me? You don't want to help me escape? You don't want to," he takes another sip, "take me for yourself?"

Hux doesn't choke, but it's a very near thing.

"I'm sorry?"

Ben licks his lips. He stands up, but it's just a moment before he's sliding onto Hux's chair, knees on either side of Hux's thighs. "You didn't bring me over here to talk," he whispers against Hux's lips.

And he's right. Hux hadn't.

He doesn't have to move far to capture Ben's lips with his own. They're just as soft as they'd looked, sweet and sticky with alcohol. They kiss softly, closed-mouth, just their lips whispering against each other in the dark of the bar.

"Okay," Hux says finally, pulling back, "all right. Let's ... all right."

He puts his hands on Ben's narrow hips and pushes him off just slightly, the way his fingers tighten belying his intentions. Ben twists in his grasp and adjusts, agile, coming to sit down in Hux's lap.

He fits there so neatly that Hux has to fight down a wave of — something.

"So," Hux says, "you escaped your master — your former master, I should say — and made your way … here? And came to a bar? Whatever for?"

He can imagine a variety of answers: work, passage on a larger ship, a game of sabacc rigged in his favor. A change of identity.

What he's not expecting is for Ben to say, "I came to get a drink," in a tone Hux can only describe as bratty. He says it like it's obvious, like Hux should have known better than to ask.

Hux laughs. He picks Ben's drink up off the table and presses it into his hand. "Drink up, then."

It's not long before Ben is straddling him again, pushing Hux back into the backrest of the chair, hands tight on Hux's shoulders.

"I've got a room," Hux says finally. "If you want. Not far from here."

"Yes," Ben breathes out against his neck.

The bartender gives him a knowing look with all of her eyes when he closes his tab, which is probably fair given the way Ben is hovering next to him.

As they walk out the door, Hux splays his hand on the small of Ben's back. Ben squares his shoulders, but doesn't move away, and they walk like that for two blocks before Hux realizes they're going in the wrong direction.

"Sorry," Hux says, and Ben laughs.

"As long as you're not taking me to the authorities," he says, and actually winks.

Roldav and Anddec aren't technically authorities, not yet, not any more than Hux is — and hopefully they're not at the rooms, either. Hux had gotten his own on account of being the birthday boy, but there's no promising that someone won’t drunkenly burst in on them.

It's not that they don't know about his … proclivities, but there's knowing and there's being confronted with. Hux isn't sure how they'd deal with the latter.

They're not there. Hux hasn't drunkenly misplaced his card key. The rooms aren't nice, but Ben looks fairly impressed in the second he has to look around before Hux pushes him onto the bed.

"Hang on," Hux says, and leans down to kiss him. Ben bites at his lip. "Hang on," Hux says again, softly, and stands up. He heads to the door and triple-checks that it's locked, then presses the NO HOUSEKEEPING button. Hopefully that'll keep his friends out, too.

He kneels down to unlace his boots. When he turns around Ben is sitting on the edge of the bed, bending forward as he pulls his tunic over his head. He tosses it on the floor, next to where he's kicked his shoes off, and straightens up.

His chest is pale, dotted with dark, absently placed freckles, and smooth, his nipples peaked — whether from arousal or the cool air, Hux couldn't say. More hair has fallen out of his ponytail. Hux's mouth is dry.

Ben looks at him wide-eyed as he walks toward the bed.

He hooks a thumb under Ben's chin, tilting it up. "Lay down," he murmurs. Ben scrambles to obey, scooting backward up the bed until he can lie comfortably on it. Hux moves so that he's straddling Ben's hips and leans forward, brushing their lips together.

The room has gone hot around them. Beneath him, Hux can feel that Ben is hard, can feel how hard he is himself. Hux is still fully dressed, and it's too hot to breathe, or maybe it's that he can't stop kissing Ben. As if he'd read Hux's mind, Ben's fingers tangle in the hem of Hux's shirt.

Hux sits upright to pull it off, revealing the dusting of red hair across his own chest. It had been strange to be wearing such loose-fitting clothing, as opposed to the rigidity of his Academy uniform, and it almost feels more natural to be shirtless.

He tugs softly on a curl of Ben's hair, and Ben lets out a little moan, arches up into it. Hux does it again, to the same reaction. Interesting, Hux thinks.

He undoes the band holding Ben's hair, and watches it cascade around his face, feels it trickle through his fingers.

Ben's hair is so curiously soft — very well cared for for a slave boy. All soft waves, except for …

There's a braid. On Ben's right side, a braid that stretches just a few inches longer than the rest of his hair.

Hux's fingers still; all of him stills.

"Ben," he says slowly, "where did you say you ran away from?"

Ben takes a deep breath. He tenses. He pulls away, his hair running over Hux's fingers once again as he sits up. For a moment Hux is afraid that he's going to flee, tunic or no.

"I just wanted to be a pilot," Ben says quietly. His voice grows louder as he keeps talking; he never shouts, not quite, but it's a close thing. "I just wanted to be a pilot but just because I've got the stupid Force I've got to go be a stupid Jedi.

"And no one even does anything cool with it. It's all meditation and hiking and being one with the universe. Like, oh cool, you can juggle without hands, what good does that do anyone?"

He takes a deep breath, likely to replenish. Hux stares, enraptured.

"So much power," Ben says, "and no one does anything with it."

That's when Hux notices the pillows are hovering. He looks around the room: the vidscreen remote is hovering; the shitty desk chair is a few inches off the ground, wavering. Hux's own hair is standing on end, as well as it can at its length.

"Ben," he says softly. He reaches out to touch Ben's hair again, carefully avoiding the braid.

Ben takes another breath. Everything falls.

"It's stupid," Ben says again, quietly.

There's so much power, Hux thinks, in this boy. If he could learn to control himself, if this force — this Force — could be harnessed ….

He leans in and kisses him.

Hux can't deny, there's a certain thrill to it: kissing a Jedi. The hope of the New Republic, and Hux has him in thrall.

And oh, oh, would his father disapprove.

It's not that Hux strives for his father's approval, not exactly. It's just that their interests so frequently align. They both crave stability, regulation, order. They're both ambitious. Hux Senior wants nothing but the best for his son, and this vacation was certainly not the best, in his eyes. Nor are some of Hux's more … specialized interests, and Hux fully intends to indulge in those while he has this chance.

That this boy is a Jedi, all the better.

He peels Ben's pants off with some degree of difficulty — the button sticks, and they catch on his ankles, but before long Ben is gloriously naked. His cock juts out thickly from a patch of curly hair, a shade lighter than the hair on his head. At least, Hux thinks wryly, it's there at all.

There's a red mark where Ben's pants had been digging into his skin, and Hux kisses his way across it. Ben whimpers, and Hux smiles against his skin. "Do you want me to blow you?" he asks, and his words are muffled by Ben's stomach but Ben says "Yes" with such great urgency there's no doubt he'd heard.

Which is good. Because Hux wants to get his mouth on that dick more than he's wanted anything in a long time, it feels like.

He pulls Ben up to sit on the edge of the bed and sinks to his knees. The bed's a good height; this is a good angle. Good. This will all work. He wraps his hand around the base of Ben's cock; Ben gives a full-body shudder that Hux tries not to laugh at. With his other hand, he pets Ben's thigh in what he hopes is a soothing manner.

He presses his lips softly to the tip of Ben's dick, waits to see how he'll react. Ben stays still, and Hux's lips quirk into a smile. He opens his mouth and takes the head of Ben's dick inside. He can feel the deep breaths that Ben is taking.

Hux moves slowly, bobbing his head to meet his fist, pulling off to breathe and going back down again. This may not be the best blowjob he's ever given, but honestly, it's remarkable that he can manage to put anything down his throat and be all right, with how much he's had to drink.

He pulls off to smirk up at Ben, who's staring down at him with a slightly shell-shocked expression.

"You can touch me, you know," Hux says. Ben's hands are clenched tight at his sides.

Hux gets back to work, moving his fist in time with his mouth. Ben's fingers trace delicately over Hux's cheek, feeling the shape of his cock there.

"Oh," Ben breathes out, and Hux can feel his cock growing thicker. He swallows around it, moves his hand out of the way and takes more of it in his mouth.

"Hux," Ben says, his voice breaking on the end of it. Hux swallows around his dick, and with no further warning he's swallowing Ben's semen, as well. He pulls off with a cough, and wipes his mouth on the back of his hand.

"Thanks for the warning," he says dryly, but it's not a real complaint; before Ben has a chance to respond Hux is pushing him back on the bed, leaning over him again to kiss him.

Ben makes a face. "You taste …" He trails off.

Hux raises an eyebrow at him. "Your fault," he says.

Ben scowls, which Hux supposes is the closest thing he'll get to an apology, not that he actually requires one.

And speaking of tastes.

"Turn over," he urges.

Ben looks, for a moment, as though he's going to protest. Then he turns, props himself up on his hands and knees. "Like this?" he asks.

Hux's mouth goes dry. He licks his lips. "Like that," he says hoarsely.

He climbs onto the bed, wraps his hands around Ben's slim hips. His hands have never seemed small to him, but they look particularly large as they bracket Ben's ass.

Hux's thumbs massage the thin skin there, and he can feel Ben shiver.

"What are you —" Ben starts, but it's cut off by a high-pitched gasp as Hux licks firmly up the seam of his ass.

"Hux." His voice is wavering already, half-wary and half-wanting.

Hux continues, pulls apart Ben's cheeks to get at his hole, licks more firmly. He sucks lightly, presses the tip of his tongue just inside, and Ben lets out a high, trembling sound.

"Hux," Ben says again, pleading, "oh hells, Hux. Please, plea—"

His words dissolve into whimpers again. Hux smiles against him, presses a kiss to the tip of Ben's tailbone before he returns to his work, small laps against Ben's hole that keep him squirming.

There's a part of Hux that has always relished this act, sordid as it is. Because it's sordid, probably; because his father would be horrified. And because it can reduce someone to a mewling mess under his hands, under his tongue.

And he is good with his tongue, he's been told. He drags it up Ben's ass and down again, blows softly against Ben's hole just to feel him shiver.

Ben starts to say something, cuts himself off with a gasp as Hux pulls back just enough to work the tip of one finger inside him.

Ben curses again, and Hux licks around his finger, presses it more firmly inside. Ben's hole is sloppy wet now, and it's easy enough to work another finger in.

"What are you — please, please," Ben begs. Hux can feel his legs shaking.

Hux leans back, leaves his fingers in Ben's ass as he runs his other hand soothingly over the small of Ben's back, small circles, a light touch. "You're okay," he says quietly, and presses a kiss there. "I'm opening you up for me. How do you feel?"

"I can't — I don't —" Ben pants out, and then, pleading again, "Why did you stop?"

Hux laughs softly, lips still pressed to Ben's skin.

"This is going to feel good," he promises. "I'm going to make this so good for you."

He fucks Ben slowly with his fingers, a pace as torturous for Ben as it is for him, if the insistent squirming is anything to go by.

"Please," Ben pleads again, his voice cracking slightly.

Hux pulls his fingers out, and Ben whimpers at the loss. He turns around, sitting up on his heels, and pulls Hux into a deep kiss. Not so worried about the taste this time, Hux thinks with amusement.

His hand trails down Ben's chest, and he's not entirely surprised to find that Ben is hard again. He wraps his hand around him and gives a soft tug, just to see if he can pull another whimper out of Ben. He can.

It's amazing, how soft and pliant Ben is now, how easily Hux lays him down, a direct contrast to the sassy, prickly boy from the bar, or the barely-controlled rage he'd evinced earlier.

He runs his other hand through Ben's hair, wraps it around his fist and pulls on it just slightly. Ben's cock jumps in his fist. He lets go, and Ben makes a soft sound of protest.

"Shh," Hux murmurs, and the hand in Ben's hair tightens. He pulls Ben's head back and kisses his bared throat.

Ben is babbling again, nonsense words and please and Hux's name. The hand in Ben's hair slips forward to cup his cheek instead, Hux's lips still dotting kisses on the underside of his jaw.

"Do you want me to fuck you," Hux whispers against Ben's throat. It's not a question, not really; it's inevitable, at this point. Hux feels like putting his dick in this boy would be destiny, if he believed in destiny.

Ben lets out a shaky, "Yes."

"Have you done this before?" Hux asks. He lays his head on Ben's chest, listens to the thrum of his heart. He's almost certain Jedi take some sort of vow of chastity, which could mean Ben was untouched until tonight … or it could mean Jedi school was a den of sin. Dormitories, in Hux's experience, can be that way.

"Never," Ben says softly.

Hux is inclined to believe him, despite all the lies he's been told tonight. If anything he would have expected bravado from Ben, an insistence that he'd fucked his way through half his peers. But this sounds like honesty.

Hux sits up, looks at Ben splayed out on the bed next to him. His legs fall open and he cants his hips up, just slightly, and Hux aches with the need to be inside him. He reaches over, presses the very tips of three fingers against Ben's hole, just enough for him to feel it. Just to hear the moan that slips through Ben's lips.

"Hang on," he whispers, and stands up. Ben sits up, makes a protesting sound. Hux pads over to his suitcase, undoing his trousers as he goes. He lets them puddle to the floor and leans over, pulling out a tin of lubricant.

"What's that," Ben says, suspicious, and Hux laughs.

"'That' is something you're going to be very grateful for in a minute."

He sheds his underwear as he walks back to the bed, skipping out of them in a motion not entirely graceful, but he makes it back to the bed with a degree of dignity, tin still in hand. Not that there's much dignity in standing there in nothing but his socks, but there is nothing that could compel him to put his bare feet on the floor of this room.

Ben's staring at him, wide-eyed, and it hits Hux that this is the first moment in which Ben has seen him naked. In fact, it's very possible it's the first time he's ever seen an adult male naked — or at least in a sexual context — and he can't help the smug grin that works its way across his face.

"Like what you see?" he asks, jokingly, and color rushes to Ben's pale face; he doesn't respond. Hux tosses the tin onto the bed and lays himself down next to Ben again, head on the same pillow.

"How do you want to do it? It's easier on your front, or your side —"

"I want to see you," Ben says all in a rush. He's still blushing, and it's more endearing than Hux is really comfortable with.

He drags his eyes away from Ben's red cheeks and focuses on slicking up his cock. He repositions himself between Ben's spread legs. His fingers, still slippery with lube, tease up against Ben's hole.

He leans over Ben, leans down to brush a kiss across his lips as he positions his cock at Ben's entrance.

"This is going to hurt," he says, and slowly slides in.

He can feel it when Ben's breath catches in his throat, he can see the way Ben's eyes screw shut. He should slow, he should stop — but he bottoms out, more quickly than he'd meant to. He forces himself, at least, to stop there. Ben's hot around him, and all Hux wants to do is thrust into that tight warmth.

He stops, plants his palms on the bed around Ben's head, and waits. Ben moves beneath him, just slightly. Hux can feel Ben's long exhale, feels his breath hot against his face. He captures Ben's mouth in another kiss, licks along the sharp edges of his teeth. Slowly, so slowly, Ben brings a leg to wrap around Hux, his heel in the small of Hux's back.

"Move," he says into Hux's mouth, "move."

Hux sucks on Ben's lower lip, lets go, presses a kiss to his closed lips that's almost chaste. His hips pull back, push back in again.

"Ben," he breathes out. Ben nods. Hux can feel him trembling. He fucks into Ben's body, moving faster when Ben doesn't protest. Hux breathes out harshly, tucks his head into the crook of Ben's neck.

He feels like he could do this forever, stay in this impossible heat of Ben's body, and he spares a moment to hope he's not too drunk to come. But then he's overwhelmed again, lost in it, seeing stars behind his eyelids.

Ben whimpers out something that might be his name, and Hux slows again. "You okay?" he manages, his breath hot against his face where it reflects off Ben's skin. He can feel Ben's shaky nod, and the heel at his back digs in tighter. Hux keeps up the slow pace for as long as he can manage before he loses control again, fucks Ben harder and faster.

He lifts his head up and looks at Ben — I want to see you, he'd said, but Ben's eyes are shut tight. Still, Hux watches him, the tilt of his neck, the flutter of his lashes, the way his lips tremble with every harsh breath, the shape they form with every moan.

"Ben," he says softly, and Ben's eyes crack open.

"Hux," he breathes, short, like it's startled out of him.

Ben's eyes shut again, squeezed tight, and he shouts. It's not a word, just a sound, and Hux can feel something hot and wet against his stomach.

Hells, Hux thinks, I didn't even have to touch him.

He should stop, should check on him, should — but he's so close.

He lifts one shaky hand off the bed and lifts it to his own stomach, drags his hand through the mess there. Unthinking, he brings that hand to cup Ben's face, a tender gesture despite the come that drips from his fingers. Ben turns his face into the touch, nuzzles against Hux's hand.

Hux keeps moving, his hips pistoning, until he spills into Ben's body with a shout of his own.

He collapses onto Ben, comes back to himself enough to pull out and roll over. He stares up at the waterstained ceiling.

"That was good," he pants out. Ben laughs, hoarse but genuine.

He should get up, get to the 'fresher and grab something to wipe them both down with — although he shudders to think of the towel quality here — but he's so tired, bone-tired suddenly, and nothing seems more appealing than to just lie here.

Ben turns, tucks himself against Hux's side, and Hux wraps an arm around him as well as he can.

"How are you feeling?" he says, barely more than a whisper. He can feel Ben shiver at every point they touch.

It's a long moment before Ben says, "Good."

"You'll be sore in the morning."

"Good," Ben says, and Hux can feel his smile.

They lie there until, with a groan, Hux dislodges Ben from his side and stands. "I'll be right back," he says quietly, and pads off to the refresher. There are towels there, and they are not as nice as Hux could have hoped, although not quite so bad as he'd feared. He wets one — there's water here, thankfully, in the sink, although the shower looks like a sonic — and heads back to the room.

Ben seems mostly asleep when Hux returns, and Hux towels him off as gently as he can, running the cloth between his legs, over his stomach, chest, face. He scrubs himself down less gently, and folds the towel neatly before heading back to the refresher and setting it on the sink.

He picks his own clothes up off the floor while he's at it, folds them and sets them aside; he pulls a pair of sleep pants from his suitcase and slips those on instead. He doesn't, unfortunately, have anything spare for Ben — if Ben is even staying, that is. Runaways, Hux suspects, don't stay in one place very long. He drapes Ben's clothes over the back of the desk chair; if they're the only ones he has, they probably shouldn't get too wrinkled.

Ben's sprawled all over the bed in Hux's absence, and Hux perches himself on the edge of the mattress. He reaches out to touch Ben's face, and Ben's eyes blink open. He yawns, stretches each limb one at a time. "Did I fall asleep?" he asks, voice muzzy.

He scoots obligingly to make room for Hux, who lays down next to him.

"Just for a minute," Hux says, and tugs Ben to lie against him.

They stay there for a while, their breathing starting to even out, starting to match. Hux resists the urge to turn and press a kiss to Ben's forehead; there's no call for such affection, not when Ben will be off again soon enough.

It's not as though he gets to keep him.

"You could come with me," Hux says abruptly. "Back to — back home with me. You could enroll in the Academy, learn to be a soldier. An officer, even. You could help bring order to the galaxy."

Ben shoves at Hux's arm where it had curled around him, sits up. Scowls. "Sounds an awful lot like being a Jedi to me."

"We have a lot of ships," Hux offers. He sits up himself. "We need people to pilot them. You could learn from some of the best instructors, the best pilots, in the world. Instead of just your father."

Ben's scowl deepens. Still, he doesn't look or sound entirely too upset when he accuses, "You just want to keep me as your sex slave."

Hux laughs outright at that. "You'd never have to see me again. I promise."

"And if I want to see you again?"

Hux doesn't say anything, just wraps his hand in Ben's hair and pulls him close for another kiss. Ben nips at Hux's lip, and Hux laughs, kisses him again.

"Stay the night, anyway, won't you?" Hux asks a few minutes later, aiming for cool but coming off mostly breathless.

"It's not like I have anywhere else to go," Ben says begrudgingly.

Hux laughs again. "I knew you were just using me."

They kiss lazily for a while longer before Ben yawns, tucks his face into Hux's shoulder.

"Let's go to sleep," Hux suggests.

Anddec will, Hux knows, give him so much shit in the morning — if it's not morning now; Hux has lost track of time completely. He's not sure how long they've even been on Prirri, but he knows he's been drunk for most of it — if he sees Ben leaving Hux's room.

Somehow, Hux can't bring himself to care.

They situate themselves on the bed, Ben tucked once more against Hux's side. Hux gives in and kisses Ben's hair, runs his fingers through it, gives the slightest tug just to hear Ben moan softly. Ben leans up and kisses him sleepily.

They curl up like baby tookas, Ben spooned neatly up to Hux's chest, Hux's face buried in his hair.

Hux has just drifted off when Ben sits up, ramrod-straight. "He's here. My master."

"Your … Jedi master?" Hux props himself up on one elbow, tries to shake the sleep from his eyes.

Ben sounds desperate. "He must have tracked the shuttle."

"Is he here?" Hux sits up. He feels very awake, suddenly. He looks around the room, breathes a sigh of relief when he remembers he's already sorted all their clothing and
there won't be any awkward accidental stealing of anyone's underwear.

The relief is short-lived.

"He's not here yet," Ben says, "but he's getting closer. I can feel him; I know he can sense me."

Ben's clothes, draped over the chair, zip suddenly to the bed with a wave of Ben's hand. He pulls the tunic over his head, struggles back into his pants. "I need to run," he says. "I need to — he can find me."

"Come back with me," Hux says again. "I can hide you. We can leave right now." Leaving right now would mean leaving his friends behind, but he can always come back for them. He's an able enough pilot; he can get home and back before they've even finished drinking. Or just circle the planet, joyride around the system, get far enough away that Ben's master can't track them anymore.

"I have to go," Ben says again. He's standing now, at the door, slipping his shoes back on.

Hux rises, meets him there. He tangles both hands in Ben's hair and pulls him up for a kiss. It's brief, too brief, before Ben pulls away. His hair runs through Hux's fingers, and for a moment, Hux is left holding just the braid. He drops his hands to his sides.

"Be safe," Hux whispers.

The door shuts behind Ben with a very final bang. Hux slumps against it, puts his head in his hands.

His father would disapprove of everything about this situation: the vacation, this nascent affection for this boy, the boy himself. Having a Jedi in his grasp and letting him go, when such a thing — and his father would think of Ben as a thing — could be a powerful bargaining tool.

Hux straightens up. He should go back to bed, get some sleep. This was nothing more than a pleasant diversion, in the scheme of things. It's just as well that Ben hadn't spent the night, that he got out of Hux's life as soon as possible. His fate … well, that's his own; it's none of Hux's concern.

They'll never see each other again, after all. And really, Hux thinks as he climbs back into bed, that is for the best.