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Hux has a plan.

He is going to do everything his father Senator Brendol Hux did. But he is going to do it better and faster.

He is going to get in to a good college and be president of the College Republicans, go to law school (ivy league, definitely) and he is going to work on a presidential campaign (as speechwriter, ideally) and he is going to move back to North Dakota afterwards and be solicitor general then governor and then after two successful terms in which he fixes everything with glorious efficiency he will be elected president of the United States, a distinction that Senator Brendol Hux has never managed to attain.

He lies awake at night, staring at the ceiling, mapping it all out, watching each piece fall into place.

On the surface his plan for himself largely coincides with his father’s plan for him. But it's not his father's plan. It's Hux's. 

There is only one problem with his plan. Hux likes guys. (Has always liked guys; has known this about himself with the same placid certainty as knowing he was right-handed.)

But this won’t be a problem. He won’t let it be a problem. He's careful. He knows what he's doing. 

He has a plan. 

**

He is on a plane back from New York City the spring before college with a trophy between his knees (debate tournament, first place).

“Hey,” a woman asks, “can we switch with you?”

He looks up. They’re parents traveling with a kid. Should have booked earlier, he thinks, but he gives up his aisle seat and moves to the middle of their old row anyway.

“That was noble,” says the voice from the window seat.

The guy in it is huge, wearing eyeliner, has fluffy black hair that falls in his eyes, a big nose, soft mouth, shouldn’t be attractive – is. Fucking is. Hux swallows.

“I’m very noble,” he says.

The guy is checking him out too, he can tell. He feels intense brown eyes raking over him. He’s been debating in a suit all week; he’s wearing the shirt but not the jacket. He thinks he looks okay. Too skinny, some people aren’t into redheads, but – good. 

“What’s the trophy for?” the guy asks.

“Debate,” Hux says.

“Oh. Cool.” The guy gives him another once-over.

He notices that the guy is wearing a medal. “Is that for something?”

“Just art.”

“Just art?” Hux asks. “Did you win?”

“Yeah.”

“I’m glad,” Hux says.

He feels like the pressure in the cabin has changed. He spent a lot of time in the city during the debate tournament making feverish use of hookup apps (100% of the time in the city; he didn’t go back to the hotel once; the teacher in charge didn’t care) but already this feels more dangerous. More personal.

“National Art Scholar?” Hux reads, leaning in. “That’s like a big deal. High school?”

“Almost graduated.”

“Me too.”

There’s a silence. The engines start up. The guy pushes hair out of his eyes, glances out the window. “Fuck North Dakota,” he says.

“Yeah,” Hux agrees, sincerely.

“I cannot get out soon enough.”

Hux feels bold. “Grindr pickings there are pretty slim.”

The guy grins. “You on grindr?”

“You?”

“Sorry I missed you.”

Their knees brush. Please don’t get hard, he thinks, the flight is going to be hell.

“I’m Kylo,” the guy says.

“Really?”

The guy looks nervous. “Yeah.”

“Have you always been called that?” Hux asks diplomatically.

“No,” Kylo says. He looks over at Hux from beneath what Hux realizes are dangerously long eyelashes. “What do you think?”

“Suits you.”

“Do I get yours?”

Hux smiles. He feels bold, drunk on victory and anonymity and the way Kylo keeps looking at him. “Maybe.”

“So, debate,” Kylo says.

“Yeah.”

Kylo’s knee jostles his. “So you must have a talented tongue.”

“Jesus,” Hux says. “That’s from Star Trek.”

“Is it working?”

Hux diverts the discussion. “Do they know about you at home?”

“Yeah,” Kylo says, “but my high school’s kind of a small pond – just me and like one other guy and then all these closeted guys on the football team.”

“Classic.” Hux says.

“Do they know about you?”

“Absolutely not.”

“But once you get to college, right?”

Hux smiles, he hopes, mysteriously.

“You are going to have your pick of guys,” Kylo says.

“Shut up,” Hux says, “it’s not like that.”

“Do you not notice you’re hot?”

Hux’s ears feel warm. “I’m okay.” He shrugs. “You, on the other hand, you’re like – actually—“ He feels emboldened, leans a little nearer like he’s imparting a secret.

“What?”

“Like I would let you wreck me,” Hux says. Kylo exhales sharply. Hux’s pants are definitely too tight now.

“I would,” Kylo says, voice low and confidential. “I so fucking would.”

The baby in front of them starts crying.

“We can’t,” Hux says.

“Why not?”

Headline: Hux thinks, Senator’s Son Arrested For Public Indecency On Plane.

“We just can’t,” he says. “Maybe when we land?”

“When we land we’ll be in North Dakota,” Kylo says.

“Yes,” Hux says, “that’s how planes work.” But he knows what Kylo means.

 **

When he gets off the plane the first thing he sees is his dad. Not in the flesh; it’s a poster – Welcome to North Dakota! – with Brendol smiling in a suit. But it’s like ice water poured over his whole body.

Later he thinks he should have gone for it.

** 

He’s valedictorian. At graduation, everyone comes up and congratulates his father (not him). It doesn’t matter. He has a plan.

He gets into the right college (better than Brendol’s; prestigious, ivy everywhere), his first choice, the college with “First Order,” a conservative undergraduate magazine that’s actually got a sort of national reputation and pretty much guarantees internships of the kind Hux is gunning for. He sends an email to Phasma, the editor, the second he gets in and gets an excited email back and she doesn’t mention his dad once. She did debate in high school too, the email says, and she actually knows who he is. By repute. Not his dad, him. She has a couple of suggestions for when he gets to school.

His roommate is a guy named Thanisson who is putting up side-by-side posters of Ronald Reagan and Chancellor Palpatine when he arrives. When Thanisson hears who his dad is, his eyes (already wide) bug open even wider.

So they have plenty in common. They go to the college activities fair and sign up for College Republicans. Hux starts the process of getting staffed on “First Order”; a few very controversial articles later he and one other freshman, a nervous but competent guy named, of all things, Dopheld Mitaka, are being handed striped bow ties and welcomed onto the masthead.

“Good work,” Phasma says.

She looks intimidating in pictures but is even more so in person. She’s statuesque, blonde hair that falls the same way every day, like a helmet, full face of make-up, and on top of it she always wears heels, not flats. He thinks it’s supposed to be intimidating; when she walks into a room full of men (most of the rooms she tends to be in are full of men) she owns it, immediately. She uses femininity as a kind of armor. The fact that this is his first response on being confronted with someone as physically stunning as Phasma puts another nail into the small corner of his mind that still thinks one morning he may wake up and discover that girls are his thing. Not a chance, he thinks. 

“First Order” doesn’t have its own building, never mind prestige. It’s run primarily out of people’s rooms. The welcome is crowded into Phasma's apartment -- nice, but pretty far off campus. "You and Mitaka are on point for the next issue," Phasma says, as they leave. 

"Great," Mitaka says. He's a brunet who resembles a fish, a little; not in a bad way. He plays tennis -- apparently quite well. He's constantly on the road for tournaments. 

"Wow," Hux says. "Thanks.” He follows Mitaka out. “We should meet,” he says. “Talk about this. Library?”

"Actually,” Mitaka says. “I have a common room. I'm in the new building.”

“Done,” Hux says. His suite is tiny. At least, he supposes, he and Thanisson aren't in a bunk bed. But he has to walk through Thanisson’s bedroom to even get to the door.

“See you soon,” Mitaka says.

**

Their first meeting is a Monday afternoon. He puts on the bow tie, crosses campus, climbs the stairs. 

He raps on the door and it opens and – fuck he’s so fucked he’s so fucked – it’s the guy from the plane. Hux had dismissed him as the product of a fevered imagination. But he’s standing there in yoga pants and a black sleeveless t-shirt and dark soft hair framing his face and Hux wants to grab fistfuls of the hair and – he’s so fucked he’s so fucked –

“Hello,” he says, and his voice fucking squeaks, “is this where—“

“Wait,” Kylo says. His eyes light up with recognition.

“Hux!” Mitaka says, coming into the doorway. “Great, you found it. Come on in. This is my roommate.”

“Oh no,” Kylo says, “you’re one of his?” He shakes his head. Some of his ridiculous hair falls in his eyes and he shakes it out of them like a dog. Hux is going to die. This is how he dies, he thinks. “I expected better,” Kylo says, but the interest in his eyes is still there.

“Mitaka,” Hux says, unsteadily, pushing past Kylo to walk in, “great, yes. So I had an idea. I was thinking: Tarkin’s coming to campus, so maybe he’s our cover.”

“You’re putting Governor Tarkin on the cover?” Kylo asks. Hux doesn’t want to look at him. Every time he glances over Kylo catches him looking and smirks, downright suggestive. Hux is running hot and cold at once. “Are you actively trying to discourage people from buying the magazine?”

“It’s free,” Hux says, glancing up at him by mistake, and Kylo’s (soft, sensual) mouth is curled into a dismissive smirk but his eyes still look like he wants to eat Hux alive (fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck) “and no,” Hux says, “Tarkin is a great cover.”

“Kinky,” Kylo says. “War crimes and liver spots.”

“Really?” Hux asks.

“Leave ‘First Order’ business to us,” Mitaka says. “I thought you were a socialist anyway.”

“It’s more complex than that,” Kylo says. “I just don’t believe in the corrupt machine of authority.”

This time Hux rolls his eyes. “I expected better,” he says.

“What?”

“Do you really want to get into this?”

“Yes,” Kylo says, staring directly at him. “I definitely want to get into this.”

Don’t blush, Hux thinks, Jesus fucking Christ this is going to be Hell. Mitaka doesn’t seem to notice that there’s a problem. How does he live with him? Hux wonders. Doesn't he notice that everything he says and does is blatantly obscene?

While they’re sitting there and Hux is outlining his ideas about Tarkin there come three abrupt raps on the door. Kylo springs up and opens it. A girl with three buns and a crop top that says “MISANDRY” on it is standing there with her hands on her hips.

“Kylo,” she says, “did you hear? They’re bringing Tarkin to campus. I’m organizing a protest, are you in?”

“They told me,” Kylo says. He indicates Hux and Mitaka. ”Count me in, Rey.”

“Oh, ew, they’re here?” the girl – Rey? – says.

“Why do you assume—” Hux asks.

“You’re under ninety, not selling fried chicken on tv, and you’re both wearing coordinated bow ties,” Rey says. “What else could you possibly be besides ‘First Order’ douchebags?” She tugs Kylo’s shirt. “Kylo this is why you need to move to the co-op. It’s a safe space.”

“I like dangerous spaces,” Kylo says. It’s fucking dumb. Hux is beginning to notice that saying fucking dumb things like this might be the rule not the exception. Also Kylo is still looking at him. Stop looking at me, Hux thinks.

“Come on,” Rey says. “Poe and Finn and Jess and I are getting vegan brownies.”

Hux snorts.

“That sounds great,” Kylo says.

“Of course,” Hux says.

The door shuts behind them.

“So Tarkin,” Mitaka says.

“Right,” he says. “Tarkin.”

**

The next day he and Phasma and Thanisson wake up early and put “TARKIN ON CAMPUS” flyers everywhere. They’re visually so-so but it’s not like not very many self-respecting graphic design majors are clamoring to be part of the “First Order.” He thinks it’s something Phasma whipped up in Paint.

They stop off in Mitaka's common room afterwards to chat about the primary and while they’re there Kylo comes in and pulls off his shirt, frowns, makes a face, pulls on another one. Hux is very careful not to trail off midsentence (absolutely no reason to trail off midsentence) and he can hear his voice finishing a thoughtful explanation of what they should do. His voice sounds very clear and very convincing and he can see the people around him nodding but he has no idea what the fuck he's just said.

**

The next day there is (really beautiful) stenciled graffiti on all the Tarkin posters. It looks like Tarkin’s head is haloed in sinister flames. Whoever had the stencil went a little wild and also covered a statue of Chancellor Palpatine (frankly Hux is stunned that they still have statues of him on campus given history’s verdict on him) in silver paint and flames. A traitorous part of Hux’s mind suggests that it looks better this way.

He’s sitting cross-legged on Mitaka’s floor going over proofs. He thinks he’s relieved that Kylo isn’t there. He just happens to be wearing a jacket over his favorite shirt (button-down, the right color for his eyes) but he always dresses up, he thinks, it’s not for anyone’s benefit.

But when the door opens he can feel his heart rate speeding up.

"I've returned." Kylo announces, throwing open the door dramatically. Rey is behind him.

"Must you," Hux mutters.

"Oh no your roommate's hate group is here," Rey says. “Bye, Kylo.”

"The Republican Party isn't a hate group," Hux sniffs.

"Keep telling yourself that," Kylo says. “Bye, Rey.” He shuts the door. His fingers are distinctly silver.

"At least we don't vandalize property,” Hux says, shooting him a knowing look.

"Property is a lie,” Kylo says. He can feel Kylo taking him in. Tries to look nonchalant. Possibly succeeds.

"Do you really want to get into this with me?" Hux says. "I’ve won every debate I've ever been in."

“Yeah,” Kylo says.

"Ooooh" Mitaka says, rubbing his hands.

He spends the next half-hour dismantling each of Kylo's statements with careful logic but he can tell Kylo isn't listening because his follow-up questions don't track the arguments at all, it's like Kylo just wants to watch him get frustrated and the subject matter doesn't matter. Midway through he takes off his jacket and Kylo’s follow-up questions track even less.

"Very impressive," Kylo says, finally. "Well, I'm convinced now."

“This is entirely wasted on you,” Hux says.

“Do you actually believe this?” Kylo asks. “Or is it just what you decided you had to believe if you wanted to take over the world?”

"Please," Hux says, "spare me the amateur psychoanalysis."

**

The next time he's at Mitaka's room planning out the next issue of First Order Kylo walks through with his shower things and comes back out of their in-suite bathroom in half an hour in a towel with wet hair sticking to his neck and Hux has to shift the proofs to cover his lap.

They have to stop meeting here, he thinks. But also, they can never stop meeting here.

"Sorry to distract you" Kylo says.

"Don't worry," Hux says, making a point of barely glancing up from the proofs, "it takes much more to distract us than one socialist in a towel."

"I'm not a socialist," Kylo says.

"What are you today?" Hux asks.

"Hux," Mitaka says, "we need to get this in."

Kylo smirks at him.

**

Their issue looks great, Tarkin included.

He and Mitaka sit in the cafeteria with a pile of them. He wishes he weren’t instantly aware the second Kylo and his friends enter the cafeteria and get in line but he is. He watches Kylo approach. He’s wearing all black again today, big surprise. His friends don’t stop, but he does.

"Is this your dumb magazine?" Kylo asks, grabbing one. "The one you work on all the time?"

"You're welcome," Hux says.

**

"I read your dumb magazine," Kylo says, looking up at Hux from his desk when Hux and Mitaka come into the common room. "Your article was the most evil but least dumb."

"Thanks."

"Is it because you gingers don't have souls?"

"Some of us have work to do, Kylo," Hux says.

“That’s not even his real name,” Mitaka mutters.

Hux gestures dismissively. “I think if he wants to inflict the name ‘Kylo’ on himself you should hardly object.”

Mitaka nods. “Fair.”

Kylo looks up, almost surprised, and his mouth opens like he’s about to say something but he doesn’t.

Hux takes off his jacket midway through their discussion and he can almost physically feel Kylo noticing. Kylo has a loud stare. Kylo gets up from his desk and goes to his room and starts to pack a few things into a tote bag (black, of-fucking-course) including a toothbrush.

“Going somewhere?” Hux asks.

“Co-op party,” Kylo says, looking at him, knowing, infuriating, “and usually I don’t wind up back in my own room after those.”

“How depraved,” Hux says.

“I’m sure what you’re picturing is much worse,” Kylo says.

“Hux,” Mitaka says, feebly. “We have ten more interviews to transcribe.”

“Have fun, you two,” Kylo says.

**
Hux has never been hornier in his life. He scours the campus for anonymous sex; there's one bathroom stall where things are supposed to happen but everything else is torsos online. None of them appear to be Kylo's. Probably Kylo doesn't need it to be anonymous; he remembers once walking back to Mitaka's room on a Saturday night and hearing laughter from behind the door and Mitaka sighing and going, "great, not again."

He’s not going to think about this.

He isn’t going absolutely fucking insane.

He can get what he needs elsewhere. He doesn’t need this. He doesn't need Kylo

**

He and Phasma and Mitaka are brainstorming in the common room. Tarkin's visit has been pushed back to the spring and out of the building it was scheduled in; it's a tactical retreat, Phasma says, not a defeat. He's still allowed to come, that's the important thing. 

“So what are we going to do for Tarkin when he actually is here?” Phasma asks. “His campaign manager wants an itinerary.”

"There’s going to be protests," Hux says.

"Hell yeah," Kylo says from the corner.

Hux turns on him. "Why are you always here?"

"You can't disenfranchise me from my own room."

"That's not what disenfranchise means," Hux says, touching his temple. "Never mind. Phasma, you were saying?”

 **

In its next issue ‘First Order’ endorses the Snoke presidential campaign and he goes door-to-door canvassing with copies of it.

He finds Kylo behind one of the doors smoking weed with a group he half-recognizes; they are all barefoot and seem indie or whatever.

"Following me around?" Kylo asks.

"Mere coincidence."

"That's a good story," Kylo says, " I think you just can't bear to let a gorgeous guy like me out of your sight.”

"Your lines need work," Hux says. "Have you ever successfully gotten laid with that line before?”

“Stop tormenting the poor Republicans, Kylo," a guy in an orange jacket with his head in another guy's lap says.

"But it's fun, Poe," Kylo says. "He gets so flustered."

"In your dreams maybe," Hux says.

"Maybe," Kylo says. "My vivid, lucid dreams."

"Ew," Rey and the guy with Poe's head in his lap both say in unison.

Kylo inhales from the piece, exhales with his head thrown back and eyes shut, and for a second Hux can't look anywhere else. His mouth goes dry. Kylo glances over and their eyes meet for a second, like a question. Kylo smiles warm and slow and suggestive, as if Hux has given him an answer.

Hux leaves the room with something hot fluttering around his chest. Contact high, he tells himself.

 **

He discovers that night that he’s missing his student ID. He’s pretty sure he left it in Mitaka’s room.

“Hey,” Hux says, when the door opens. “Sorry, forgot my key card.”

But it’s Kylo. “Sure,” he says. “Come in.”

“I’m sure it’s just right on the—” Hux babbles, walking past him to the couch, getting on his knees and starting to rummage under it. Kylo whistles suggestively at him.

“For God’s sake,” Hux says, head emerging from under the coffee table.

“Mitaka’s gone,” Kylo says.

“Obviously.”

“All weekend,” Kylo says. “Tennis tournament.”

“Here it is,” Hux says, grabbing it from beneath the couch and standing up, trying to batten down the feeling of rising excitement as he follows Kylo’s train of thought.

“So are we going to fuck,” Kylo says, abruptly, “or are you going to stare at me all semester?”

Hux’s mouth goes dry. “If Mitaka—“

“What business is it of Mitaka’s?”

“He can’t know,” Hux says, almost frantically. “If he finds out—“

“You’ll never be a senator, or whatever,” Kylo gestures vaguely. “You should let me.” He leans closer. “I’ll be your shameful secret.”

“If I ever get elected I’ll have to murder you,” Hux says. His voice sounds strange; it doesn’t sound like a joke; he isn’t sure if it’s a joke.

“Sure.” Kylo leans in closer. “I can barely study with you sitting there looking like you need me to wreck you.”

“I don’t need you for anything.”

“We’ll see,” Kylo says.

And then Hux closes the gap between them, kisses him, hard. It’s not a gentle kiss; it’s months of pent-up frustration. He sucks on Kylo’s tongue, fists his hands in Kylo’s hair, finally fucking pulls it. Kylo looks curious when he pulls back.

“Do you fuck like you kiss?” he breathes

“Why don’t you fuck me and find out,” Hux mutters, throwing his jacket off onto the floor.

 **

"Fuck," Hux gasps, half-sobs, "Jesus fucking Christ Jesus Christ fuuuuck fuck." He's half on his knees, half propped up on a pillow, Kylo's face is buried in his ass, he's literally never been this loud but Jesus Christ Kylo has a gift for this, "please fucking gag me, yesyesyesyes there more please Jesus Christ fuck that's good please gag me I’m never this fucking loud Jesus God Jesus."

Kylo pulls back for a second. "You have no idea how hot it is hearing you come apart," Kylo mutters. "I could eat your ass all night."

"Your neighbors are going to hear."

"They don't fucking know it's you," Kylo says. "All they hear is amazing sex." He slides in a finger past where his mouth has been, crooks it curiously. "You worry too much."

"Not there," Hux mutters, reaches back, grabs the hand, pushes it so Kylo's absurd big finger is touching him where he needs it. "There, you feel it?"

"Pushy," Kylo mutters. "Why am I not surprised?"

"You'll find I'm full of surprises."

"You want me to keep doing this?" Kylo asks, stroking his finger experimentally over the spot, "Or fuck you with my fingers or my dick or something else?"

"Something else?" Hux asks, whole body shuddering, this is a colossal mistake but he's never fucking felt like this.

"Is that a yes, something else, or a, what do you mean by something else, Kylo?"

"The latter."

"I've got a whole box of dildos," Kylo says, breathless, "whatever you think you can take."

"Yeah," Hux gasps, and Kylo's finger slips out, his mouth is back, and it's good but he's stricken with a sense of infuriating not-fullness, he wants whatever, he wants to take whatever Kylo can give him. "Put them all in me I don't fucking care just put something in me."

"Jesus," Kylo mutters, pulling back, "you're actually depraved, this is going to be a problem."

"Why are you surprised?" Hux asks.

Kylo fumbles under the bed, produces a box. It’s full of dildos. "Don't worry," he says, before Hux can, "They're clean, I sterilize them."

Kylo grabs one -- it's blue, Hux notices -- and a tube of lubricant, which he can't get the cap off at first. Hux notices for the first time that his fingers are shaking.

"You okay?" he asks.

"I'm great. It's just a lot," Kylo says, "You're a lot."

"I get that."

“A lot?"

Kylo succeeds in getting the cap off and pumps his fist in triumph. He slicks the dildo with some of it, rubs more around Hux's entrance, slack and wet with saliva. And then finally, mercifully, he breaches him, pushes in. Hux's eyes flutter shut; it's a lot; his eyes start watering.

"You're doing so good," Kylo murmurs. "You're doing fantastic."

"Fantastic, really?" Hux wants to ask, but it comes out as a protracted groan, he tries to muffle it in the pillow. He turns his head to the side, catches a glimpse of Kylo's face -- he looks fascinated and also amazed, like he can’t believe this is happening. Kylo catches him looking.

"You look--" Kylo mutters.

"More," Hux gasps. Kylo gives it to him, he doesn't think he can accommodate much more, he's gasping.

"Breathe," Kylo says, pushes in another inch, then another, then, impossibly, another. Hux can feel it bottom out in him. "So good, so fucking good."

"Are you going to fuck me," Hux asks, "or just admire me?"

Kylo begins pulling it out, slowly, then pushes back in. Hux gasps; his eyes close of their own accord; his fingers tense in the sheets. "More," he manages. Kylo gives it to him, slowly increasing the pace.

"This is what you should do," Kylo says, "all the time, this is the only thing you should ever be allowed to do."

Hux almost sobs. He's aware that he's making noises and that they are all some variation of more, more, yes, more. He wants to be filled everywhere that he can be filled. "Not enough," he chokes out, "gag me, fucking gag me with your cock."

Kylo's eyes go wide. "Really?"

"Yes." Hux is sobbing. He can’t believe what a mess he is, right now; it’s bad enough to know he can be like this, it’s another thing to know that someone else has seen him like this. Has made him this way. He wants -- he can barely find words. “Please.”

Kylo deliberates a moment, tugging the dildo out and then replacing it, watching Hux's face spasm. Then he actually does it, pushes Hux back onto the sheets, straddles him, facing his knees -- it's not the world's most attractive view, but it puts him in proximity to Kylo's (big, glorious) cock and that is what counts. Kylo keeps fucking him steadily with the dildo. When Hux manages to get Kylo into his mouth and starts sucking Kylo makes the most obscene sound he’s ever heard. Hux almost wishes he could see his face. No, he thinks, this is enough, he can tell he's close, they're both close, he wants to be choking on a dick when he comes. Then he feels Kylo's other hand wrap loosely around his cock and this is what does it -- he's entirely possessed and taken and filled and fuck fuck fuck he's coming, and so is Kylo, his mouth floods with something warm and salty. He swats Kylo on the thigh and Kylo peels himself off. Slowly Kylo pulls the dildo out, flops down next to him. "What the fuck was that?”

"That was sex," Hux says. Already he feels empty.

"I know," Kylo says. He swallows. "Are you always that--"

"No."

"What time is it?”

"It's four.”

"Your neighbors must hate us."

"They hate us cause they ain't us."

"I'm not staying here."

"I feel like staying here is way less intimate of a thing than sucking my cock while I fucked you in the ass with a dildo."

"I was there for it too," Hux mutters.

"Go if you have to" Kylo says.

Hux tries to get up but his legs aren't ready to. He glowers at Kylo instead.

"Jesus," Kylo says, "you look wrecked."

"Thanks."

“It’s a good look for you,” Kylo says.

 **

There's a knock on the door and he wants to move.

Kylo gets up, shuts the bedroom door, and answers it. He recognizes the voices.

"Please never fuck whoever that was again," Rey says, without preamble.

"Yeah," Finn says. "I never want to hear those noises again."

"Never," Rey agrees, "Would be too soon."

Kylo doesn't say anything.

"Shit," Rey says, "You're going to."

"Can I text you not to be nearby?" Kylo asks. "If it happens again."

"If?"

"Oh shit,” Poe says.

“We're never going to see you again," Rey says, "are we? You're just going to disappear into a giant sex hole forever."

"You should maybe word that differently," Poe says.

"Why?" Finn asks.

“We were going to ask you to come over for pizza but--”

“I’m good,” Kylo says. He shuts the door on them.

**

He and Thanisson are halfway through a very ill-advised game of vodka pong the next night when his phone goes off with a text that says, “up for round two?”

“who is this” he types, but he’s already starting to grab his coat.

“Where are you going?” Thanisson asks.

“Out,” he says. “I forfeit.”

“who do you think” the screen reads, then, “it’s kylo”

“I assumed. how did you get this number”

“stole it from mitaka’s computer”

“such disrespect”

“if you came over here I could disrespect you”

“jesus” Hux types, “if I’d heard your pick up lines this would never have happened”

“come on” Kylo types “please don’t let that be the only time I get to fuck you, that was one of the hottest things that’s ever happened to me”

Hux is halfway there already, semi-aroused, walking so fast he almost bowls over a total stranger with a backpack. “really?”

“one of my neighbors whom I don’t even know like gave me a thumbs-up this morning so I think we were louder than I realized” Kylo types.

"I'm not usually"

“are you kidding” Kylo types “it was fucking hot” then “I got off this morning thinking about it”

"thanks for that image"

"you're welcome" then “you should come over”

Hux smirks. “I’m downstairs”

“yes!!!”

“make it worth my while”

“challenge accepted”

He only half knocks before Kylo has the door open. And then they’re on each other; the door’s barely shut before he’s climbing Kylo like a tree. “Fuck yes,” Kylo says. “I’m so glad this is happening.”

**
"what are you up to" he texts Kylo the following night; he feels instantly ashamed to be initiating it.

There's no response for an hour and then he gets six texts in succession "fuck I was in the shower" "Fuck sorry I missed this" "Are you still awake" "you want to come over"

"Too late" Hux texts back "I'm asleep"

“fuck” Kylo types. “no you’re not get over here.”

**

It starts happening. He thinks maybe it would have stopped if Mitaka hadn’t gone home for a week. Or if he had any self-restraint at all.

Instead it happens a lot.

When he’s sober, in the daylight, he knows there are so many reasons he shouldn’t. He sits in his room and writes more articles and reads Machiavelli. He doesn’t look at his phone. But then the later it gets the fewer of those reasons he remembers. If he wants to forget them faster he has alcohol to help. 

**
Hux panics for a second when he wakes up before realizing where he is. He has started having most of his hangovers in Kylo's bed. 

He winces before getting out his phone to see what he sent. Kylo is sleeping on his arm and he has to wriggle to get the phone.

“I think I may be sexually obsessed with you,” the text reads. He pulls a face.

“is that your way of saying that you're coming over,” the reply reads, “because i'm out but if you're coming over I can come back.”

“where are you”

“co-op is having a party,” the text reads. “lots of nudity and socialism probably not your scene”

“are you naked,” he discovers that he wrote. "Jesus," he mutters into his arm. The drowsy bulk of Kylo beside him stirs.

“not entirely,” the reply reads, then, “are you coming because I can leave.”

“I don't want to spoil your chances with a nude socialist,” he typed, “that sounds ideal for you.”

“ouch,” Kylo’s message says, then “are you coming over?”

“If you're going to beg...”

“I thought begging was your thing,” and then there's an eggplant emoji.

“what's that for”

“it's phallic”

“you're not *that* well endowed,” Hux had written.

“then why are you sexually obsessed with me?”
then another text
“or I can stay here”

“no I'm on my way now”

The last text from Kylo is just another eggplant.

He glances around the room. There's a condom that didn't make its way to the trash can and Hux feels pleasantly sore beneath the hangover.

He checks his email and there's several from Phasma saying, "are you flyering" and "are you in your room?”

"Fuck," he mutters. Kylo stirs next to him. "Fuck I have to go."

Kylo's arms wrap around him and don't release. It isn't pleasant. He doesn't nestle back into them.

"Okay," Kylo mutters in his ear, "go."

"I can't with you holding on like that."

"Where are you even going?"

"I have to knock on more doors for Snoke."

"Snoke is a troglodyte."

"I'm surprised you know that word and no he's not."

"Is too," Kylo says. "You suck."

"Enthusiastically I'm told," Hux says. "Now please let go of me."

**

Then Mitaka is back in his room. Phasma handles the next issue and they have no reason to meet. He sees Kylo in the cafeteria from a distance but that’s it.

He’s started to recognize Kylo’s friends: Rey wears three buns, organizes a lot of protests and petitions, seems to have an aversion to sleeves. Then there’s Finn (leather jacket, infectious smile) and Poe (possibly the same jacket, magnificent hair), who might be dating each other, or might be dating each other and Rey, or maybe Rey’s dating Jess, who sits with them sometimes and seems to be a friend of Poe’s –

He sits with Mitaka and Thanisson and sometimes Phasma joins them. They discuss the race, which is interesting enough; they talk about Tarkin and who’s going to introduce him when he comes to campus; Thanisson recommends books to him to read about pick-up techniques and he says he’ll read them and never does. They certainly don’t seem to work for Thanisson.

--

A week goes by where he doesn't see Kylo at all and he jacks off and realizes he hasn't needed to.
"What are you up to" Kylo texts.
"I have another meeting"
"Come over after your ducking meeting"
"ducking"
"You know what I mean, I miss your ass"
"I bet"
"I do" then "it's a nice ass" then "I miss having my fingers in it"
"not your dick?"
"that too"
"I have to study"
"I'll help you study"
"you won't"
"I'll relax you"
He tries to study. It's impossible. "Fine" he texts. "better than sitting in the library fully erect"
"Mitaka's back"
Hux ponders. "Come here" he types.
"the library?"
"yeah"
"you want to fuck in the library"
"do you have somewhere better in mind"
"I work there"
"you work?"

“I'm on my way by the way"

Hux sees a cluster of Kylo's friends sitting in the cafe part of the library and texts "avoid cafe" but either Kylo doesn't see it or ignores it because he greets them on his way in and chats, Hux hears laughter, and only then does he glance up to see where Hux is and walk over.

"Took you long enough" Hux says

"I happen to actually like my friends," Kylo says. He sits down. "What are you studying?"

"Your anatomy," Hux says, it sounds corny, almost like something Kylo would say. He shuts the book of which he's been reading the same paragraph over and over for the past half hour without any apparent success. Kylo glances at it. "I hated that book," he says, off-hand.

"You read?"

"I'm full of surprises," Kylo says.

"It's great," Hux says, without much conviction. Then he fixes Kylo with a look. "I didn’t realize you were here to talk about books.”

Which is how he winds up on his knees in the stacks braced against a wall of encyclopedias. The lights are motion-activated and they keep going off and on as he blows Kylo, linoleum cold through the fabric of his khakis. Once or twice he feels sure they're going to be spotted but he doesn’t care; he has Kylo's fingers tight on his shoulders and Kylo's silly massive cock bobbing there in front of him. He's figured out how to take all of it but it still makes him gag a little where it hits the roof of his mouth. Kylo mutters filthy encouragements low under his breath, things like "fucking masterful cocksucker, how many guys have you blown" and Hux holds up five fingers, then another five, then another five, and Kylo rolls his eyes.

Kylo gives him a handjob after. It's just a handjob. He could get one anywhere. It's not worth the embarrassment of meeting him in the library like this, he tries unsuccessfully to convince himself. But it's good. Kylo has big hands and he likes watching them work on his dick, Kylo does it from behind so it looks like the hands are his but they aren't, breathing hot and fast into his ear, head propped on his shoulder, hand going on his dick, other sliding up under his shirt, and Kylo whispers, "Is it like this when you touch yourself?"

"Not quite," Hux says

"Who do you think about, is it Tarkin?”

"Sometimes."

"Really?"

"No you gullible idiot."

"Who?"

"It varies."

"Is it ever me?"

Hux swallows. "No."

"Liar."

"I thought about you yesterday in the shower," Hux admits, wondering why he's admitting it.

"What about me?"

"I already got you off,” Hux says, "shouldn't you be indulging in my fantasy?"

"Apparently I am your fantasy," Kylo breathes in his ear.

"Oh fuck me," Hux says, with an eye-roll.

"I want to," Kylo says, hand speeding up, "you looked so good on my cock."

"Shh."

"Come on, come for me," Kylo practically sucks the words into his neck

"If you leave a mark--"

"The bow tie will hide it" Kylo's wrist flicks a little, cleverly; he watches the absurd large hand with paint on one knuckle work at him. He wonders what the paint is from. 

"This isn't enough," Hux gasps

"How do I make it enough?" Kylo asks, his hand straying up under the shirt, tweaking a nipple. "I really fucking like touching you."

"What if," Hux says, "could you rim me while you jerk me off?"

"Fuck yes," Kylo says "didn't think that was on the table."

Kylo lets go of his dick, gets the khakis off with a grunt of impatience, pulls the boxers down. This sets the motion sensor lights off again and for a second Hux thinks this is it, we're caught, and then realizes he doesn't care. Kylo nips him on the ass; he muffles the ensuing yelp in his arm. Then Kylo's fingers wrap around him and Kylo's mouth is there again and -- fuck. Fuck. Okay. This is going to be over sooner than he anticipated. Kylo makes a muffled sound of contentment and that is when he starts coming. It's great. Kylo milks him through it, pulls his pants back up and grins up at him sheepishly. He manages an almost-smile back, ruffles his hair. The lights go off again and leave them in the dark.

"This was kind of hot," Kylo says "doing it in the library, I mean."

"Encyclopedias really do it for you."

"I'm kinky like that," Kylo gets up. "Now the next time I shelve here it'll be an erotic experience."

**

"I'm shelving in our section" the text reads "it's getting me hard"
"'our section'" Hux sends back in quotes.
"what are you doing"
"I'm working" Hux types. He is halfway into writing an article. "I can't drop everything I'm doing and just have sex with you all the time."
"why not" Kylo types, "that sounds great"
"i happen to care about my future"
"I care about your future" Kylo types, "I want you to be well fucked. just looking out for you"
"wow"
"seriously what are you doing"
"I'm writing an article"
"you shouldn't do that you should have sex with me"
"fuck you"
"seriously writing an article for ‘First Order’ is a way worse idea for your future than fucking me let's be real"
"it's not" Hux stares at this response; it's lame.
"can I come distract you"
"no"
"are you in your room"
"I'm in your room"
"wait seriously"
"with mitaka"
"come onnnnn" Kylo types, "you're killing me"
"no one's ever died of blue balls"
"is your roommate in yours"
"yes"
"what the fuck Hux are we going to have to do it in the library again"
"do you have any better ideas"
"i'm glad you're in it with me at least"
Hux sighs.

"Who are you texting?" Mitaka asks.

"Nobody," Hux says. "What are you doing after this"

"Just going to bed probably," Mitaka says, shrugging. "Or I thought I'd see a movie."

"What movie?"

“The Godfather is doing a special screening.”

“Oh, that sounds great. You should go.”

“Want to join?”

"I can't."

"I probably won't."

"I think you should."

"Why?”

“It’s the Godfather.”

Mitaka looks curiously at him. “What are you doing instead?”

“What time is it showing again?” Hux asks. “Maybe I can come after all.”

He winds up seeing “The Godfather” with Mitaka. He wants to strangle something.

**

The next time he gets drunk and treks over Kylo is waiting in the hallway when he gets there, trying to lean casually against the door. “Mitaka’s back early," he whispers.

"Oh," Hux says, feeling like an idiot. "Never mind."

"We could just hang out."

"Why would I plausibly hang out with you?"

"What about your room?" Kylo says.

Hux must be desperate to even consider it. "I couldn't."

Kylo grins. "Show me your lair."

"It's not a lair."

"I'll be the judge of that."

He texts Thanisson, “are you in the room?” and gets back a, “no I'm in the library why,” then texts, “how soon will you be back,” then gets, “whenever I finish this paper, do you need something?”

"Come on," he says. He tries to lead Kylo across campus in such a way that it isn't immediately obvious that they are walking together; Kylo notices, rolls his eyes. They don't run into anyone he knows. He exhales with relief when he gets them inside.

"You know it's much more embarrassing to be seen with the people you're actually seen with," Kylo says, pulling off his boots. "Those idiots in bow ties."

"Shut up."

"Or is that what you really want, an idiot in a bow tie who hates everything you like?" Kylo says. "I could go all Sandy in Grease and get a jacket and a haircut and"

"Don't," Hux says. "I prefer you in your natural state." It's alarmingly easy to talk; he is drunk.

"You like me just the way I am."

"Don't cut your hair," he says, "You'd look like an elephant."

"I thought you liked elephants."

"I don't lust after them."

"And me you lust after?" Kylo smiles, kicks out on the bed. Hux straddles him; enough talking.

"No," he says, grabbing a handful of Kylo's ridiculous hair and pushing their mouths together, maybe a little more hungrily than he wants to.

"It's crazy," Kylo says.

"What?"

"How thirsty you are for it," Kylo says. "All that repression. Can't be healthy."

"Please," Hux mutters, tearing his own shirt off over his head, unbuckling Kylo's belt, “stop talking.”

 **

He learns Mitaka’s tennis schedule by heart. He wishes there were a way to sign up Mitaka for other activities. He tries to find someone for Thanisson to date so he’ll leave the room more but his efforts are all unsuccessful.

 **

He sits in his usual spot on Mitaka's couch. One of Kylo's sweaters is lying on the floor and he would not notice this except that he is the one who threw it there. 

"This yours?" he asks Mitaka.

"I think it's my roommate's." Mitaka shrugs. "Apparently he’s always having guys over," Mitaka says, "when I'm not around, can you imagine?"

"No," Hux says. He makes a face.

 **

One of the sophomores on "First Order" asks him to what he thinks is a group outing and turns out to be the two of them, eating dinner. She has smooth brown hair and wears heels, like Phasma. She seems smart and level-headed. He flirts, a little. He buys them both too many drinks. Nobody cards him.

She explains that she is waiting for marriage and he wishes he didn't feel so relieved.

When he gets her back to her dorm she doesn't invite him in.

He's texting Kylo almost before her door is shut. "hey slut what are you up to"
"what did you just call me"
"sorry," he types, because he doesn't want to argue "meant slug but my finger slipped"
"how is that better? i'm at a party"
"why"
"Because I have friends"
"Don't start" Hux types, "how soon can you leave."
"are you that desperate for my cock," Kylo types, "slut"
"no" Hux types.
"liar"
"you're the one who doesn't usually say no"
"who are you texting that says no"
"nobody" Hux types, nothing is coming out right. "where's the party"
"You wouldn't know anybody here"
"never mind" Hux types, "sounds like fun, have a good night"
"wait" Kylo writes, "you think I'm passing up a chance to fuck you you're insane, just give me a minute"
Hux grins. "mitaka's gone"
"I know"
"I'm going to cvs to get more lube do you need anything"
"fuck it okay I'm coming back now"
"good"
"slut"

**


He scans the CVS line for people he knows but nobody, nobody, nobody, and then Phasma but she's at the back of the line and he's at the front and he doesn't think she spotted what he was buying.

But Phasma is less of a friend and more of an associate anyway.

He gets a bag of sour gummy sharks because he likes them and he's hungry and sits in the hallway outside Kylo's room eating them and trying not to look too desperate.

"You look desperate," Kylo says.

"You look drunk."

"So do you."

Kylo reaches into the bag before looking to see what it is, he gets excited when he pulls his hand out. "Oh these are my favorites!"

"I only get them when I'm drunk,” Hux says.

"We have something in common then."

Hux snorts, dismissive. It's not a laugh. He doesn't like the warm feeling that bubbles up in his chest now that they're in the same room just talking fully clothed. Once the door shuts behind them he leans over and licks the sugar off Kylo's mouth. Kylo tackles him into the couch, knocking some First Order proofs off. They're both aroused already.

**

“What are you up to,” Kylo texts.
“Home on break”
“Shit why didn't you tell me I would have said bye”
“I didn't know you cared,” Hux texts.

**

He has to spend a day of break posing for campaign pictures.

“Perhaps not that shirt,” his father says, at breakfast. Hux’s hackles rise instantly at the way he says it. An array of fight-or-flight reflexes that he thought had been extinguished generations ago kick in. He grasps his fork tightly.

“What’s wrong with this shirt?” Hux asks, as calmly as he can. It’s a tasteful shirt. It’s the right color. It fits well.

Brendol Hux sniffs. “It’s a bit tailored,” he says. He looks at Hux a certain way when he says it.

“My girlfriend picked it out for me,” Hux shoots back. It’s the only entirely satisfactory rejoinder to what he thinks the insinuation is. He hopes it’s not too obvious a lie.

“Girlfriend?” his mother says.

“It’s new,” Hux says.

“And already she’s picking out shirts,” his father says. Hux hates him. “But I don’t think it’s right for the occasion.” He starts clearing the table, pauses significantly. “I wouldn’t wear it when you meet Tarkin, either.”

For the pictures Hux puts on another shirt that’s two sizes too big for him and looks as pleasant as he can. They will look great in brochures or postcards or whatever they turn into, the two of them flanking his mother with matching hair and matching smiles and matching ill-fitting shirts.

Squinting into the sun behind his father he hates every way in which they are similar, from their aspirations to their hair to their ability to have a conversation in a single inflection of a single word.

**

He goes to bed early. Stares at his phone. Thinks, why the fuck not.

“what are you doing” he texts Kylo.

“wait are you back?”

“no still here”

“how is it”

“awful. my dad’s the worst. we spent all day taking campaign pictures”

“can I see”

Hux finds one on his phone, sends it.

“I wish my father and I looked less alike,” he types. “I wish I didn’t have his hair”

“are you kidding,” Kylo types back almost immediately “your hair is great. don’t change a hair of it”

“that’s literally the worst thing I’ve ever heard”

“seriously I really like your hair”

“i should have known you had a thing for redheads”

“I have a thing for you” Kylo types. “I think you’re super fucking hot. send me a better picture”

“use your memory”

“I’ll send you one”

“you should be careful what you send through the cloud” Hux types, primly. Then, “don't keep me waiting”

“hang on I’m taking off my shirt”

The photo is Kylo shirtless and grinning goofily up into the phone. His hair is a mess but there’s nothing Hux can do about it from this distance. He can see just a little of where the sprinkling of dark hair beneath Kylo’s stomach thickens and leads down. It shouldn’t be arousing but it is. The rest he can imagine.

“your hair’s a mess” he types, then adds, “I’d still fuck you” to soften it.

“I’ve shown you mine now show me yours” Kylo types

“you haven’t really”

“you know what I mean”

Hux stretches out on his side and positions the phone on the pillow. The resulting image is poorly lit and he looks more sleepy than sexy but he doesn’t think he’s likely to do much better. His finger hovers over the button for a moment and then he sends it.

“nice” Kylo types, then, “this is much easier to masturbate to than the one with your dad in it”

“gross”

“what” Kylo says. “I told you, you’re hot”

“you touching yourself now?”

“yeah” Kylo types, “you?”

“no” Hux types.

“do it” the next text reads, “touch yourself”

Hux shifts the phone to his other hand, sticks his right hand in his shorts. “what are you thinking about”

“are you doing it yet”

“yes”

“i’m thinking about your mouth”

Hux swallows involuntarily. “you wish I were sucking your cock?”

“god yes”

He starts to find a steady rhythm. “so do I” he types, then, “I miss your cock” then “you have a really fucking nice cock”

“i’m glad you think it’s nice,” Kylo types.

“okay,” Hux types, “i’m sucking your cock and you’ve got two fingers in my ass”

“two already? I’m doing well for myself”

“do you want this to continue or not”

“can you take another”

“yes I want it give kt to me”

“hard to type with one hand”

“speak for yourself”

“can I come on you”

“on me?”

“on the imaginary you that’s sucking my cock”

“fuck yes” Hux types, “please kylo”

There’s a brief pause.

“sorry” Kylo types “i just came. i had kind of a head start. are you close”

“kind of" Hux types.

“god I wish I could see you, I fucking love watching you come apart”

Hux hits the video call button. In a second Kylo picks up. He looks – the way he usually looks after sex, pleased and a little sweaty. His hair is still a mess and there's still nothing Hux can do.

Hux positions the phone so Kylo can see what he’s doing, catch his hand working.

“Shit that’s hot” Kylo breathes. Hux mutes him before he can say anything else. It’s strange to do this while someone watches, back home in his childhood bedroom near all his binders from AP classes, on a comforter with trains on it. It’s sexier than he was anticipating. Soon he’s coming, hard, into his fist, milking himself through it. He switches the call off. 

“thank you for the show” Kylo texts.

“night” he texts back.

He's asleep almost instantly.

**

-I’m back from break

-come over.

-come over? it's almost three.

-so

-I should be asleep

-you're not asleep you're texting me. come over.

-I want to be asleep

-you can sleep in my bed

-actually?

-mitaka said he’s not coming back tonight

Hux is already up and throwing on pants

-see you in ten

-you won't regret it

-I'm already regretting it

Kylo comes to the door in glasses and a pair of Darth Vader pajamas; he realizes Kylo wears glasses when he goes to bed; it's not anything like cute.

"I can't believe you wear glasses,” Hux says.

"Shut up"

"They're cute."

"Now that I can actually see you I'm not attracted to you," Kylo says.

"Thanks."

"You're welcome." 

**

Hux’s normal life continues. He goes to meetings. He goes on dates. He gets picked to introduce Tarkin when he visits campus and his father is pleased. When asked he says that he and the girlfriend have broken up.

**

“want to get dinner tonight before I fuck you senseless”
“I can't,” Hux types, glancing up from a pile of proofs.
“can't which”
“we have a formal dinner with a member of congress.”
“sounds hot”
“shut up”
“when is it going to be over”
“I don't know”
“which member is it”
“tea party freshman”
“you can do better”
“can I?’

The dinner is fine. Hux is seated next to Phasma. They talk policy all evening until dessert. He keeps checking his phone. A bit early yet. And Mitaka is very much in the room – but the wine is going to his head and he wants – he fucking wants.

"hey," Hux types, "fuck I'm drunk fuck I want your cock" (The first half of the sentence is a lie; the second isn’t.)
"go on," Kylo says.
"what do you mean go on"
"You know"
"what are you doing"
"I'm waiting to hear specifically how you want my cock"
"I want you to fuck me so hard I can't walk" Hux types.
"where are you"
"I'm at a dinner"
"you're disgusting"
"why are you making this hard"
"by this do you mean your cock"
"you're awful"

“Hux,” Phasma says.

“Yes?” He puts the phone away.

“Something the matter?”

“No.”

Phasma shrugs. “Let me know if I can assist.”

“That’s very kind of you,” Hux says. “But I think I have this in hand.”

Phasma leans in, curious. “Is it personal?”

Hux swallows. “Possibly,” he says.

Phasma looks at him. “Are you seeing anyone?”

He shrugs, a little ruefully. Best to be as honest as possible, he knows from prior experience. “It’s looking unlikely at this rate,” he says.

“Good,” she says, and jabs his arm.

“Good?”

“So that means you’re on the market? Because if you are I think I have someone you’d like to meet.”

He tries to look excited at this prospect. “Really?”

“She likes the same things you do,” Phasma says.

I doubt that, Hux thinks. Then thinks, well, actually

"where do you want me" his phone screen says.

"in my ass in my mouth in both I just fucking want you don't make this difficult" he types back, trying to look casual and unconcerned. 

"I meant logistically but that's great too"

He and Phasma push their chairs back and head for the door.

"can i come to yours" he types.

"mitaka might come back tonight"

"I'll be absolutely silent"

"No you won't that's a promise"

"challenge accepted"

**

Mitaka gets back in the middle of the night and they freeze at the sound of the door to the common room opening; he's in Kylo's lap with his eyes screwed shut riding his dick like they'll never get another chance. Kylo has a hand wrapped around his cock, whispering nonsensical lewd encouragement into his neck. At least the door to Kylo’s room is shut.

"Put your phone on silent" Kylo whispers.

"Why?"

"In case he texts you."

"Shit.”

Hux lifts himself off, awkwardly. The noise of Kylo’s cock slipping free from his ass is distinct and unmistakeable in the quiet of the room. He manages to clamber over to his phone and shut it off in time.

Kylo stares up at him from the bed, one knee up and one leg on the ground, he looks near to falling off, he also looks, Hux notes dispassionately, fucking sexy as hell, his hair is falling in his eyes and his plush lips (you never used to think in words like plush, he thinks, what happened to you) look bitten and sore. "Get back over here," Kylo mouths.

Hux lifts an eyebrow at him and then makes his way over, climbs back on. He gasps. Kylo clamps a hand over his mouth. It's even sexier having that big hand over his face; he starts sucking on one of Kylo's fingers and Kylo barely suppresses a noise; he puts his own hand over Kylo's mouth. They look at each other and he starts riding again; they're as quiet as they can be but the bed still squeaks, telltale. He almost stops but Kylo shakes his head, shrugs, and he rolls his eyes, conceding the point, then his hips. Kylo makes another sound against his hand. He leans in and grabs his face with both hands and kisses him to shut him up. Someone makes a desperate thirsty moaning sound and he isn't sure which of them it is. He hears Mitaka mutter something to himself in the other room and then his phone goes off with a text.

"My fucking roommate is having loud sex again" the screen reads, "What are you doing? can you help me escape this nightmare?"

Somehow this is what pushes him over the edge, the thought that Kylo’s having loud fantastic sex and it’s with him, that Mitaka could push open the door and see them wrecking each other like this. He comes mostly on Kylo's chest, throwing his head back and panting.

"Fuck that was hot," Kylo whispers. "You're so fucking hot when you come."

"Are you close," he whispers back, mouth tickling Kylo's ear. He runs a finger through the mess on Kylo’s chest.

"Yeah" Kylo breathes, "I'm close" and Kylo starts pounding into him, driving his hips up, it's almost too much, he feels raw and oversensitive and full and -- he almost can't look at Kylo, he's almost afraid of what he'll see, it's like a light so bright that if he stares at it directly he’ll go blind. He looks anyway; Kylo catches his eye, grins almost shy. The bed creaks. Then he can feel it starting; he sinks down with finality and rides out the spasm; they nearly tumble off the bed.

"sorry to hear that" he texts Mitaka, later, lying spooned under Kylo. "your roommate sucks"

"yeah" Mitaka texts back "I think they're done now but the guy’s still here"

"sorry you have to live with this”

"yeah" Mitaka types. "lucky i'm not the kind of guy to file a noise complaint"

Kylo giggles into his neck; Kylo has a dumb fucking laugh. Kylo is awful. What a dumb name, Kylo. Not even dumb; asinine.

"How am I going to leave," he whispers.

"Wait him out.”

"Christ" Hux mutters. "I’m supposed to meet him for breakfast to go over some edits.”

“Well,” Kylo observes, ruffling Hux’s hair, “that probably isn’t going to happen.”

They fall asleep like that.

“Let's do breakfast,” Kylo murmurs, when they wake up.

“I told you –“ Hux whispers back. “Mitaka.”

“Come on,” Kylo hisses. “Who do you like better, me or Mitaka?”

“Well, actually,” Hux deadpans.

Kylo laughs.

“Besides why would we be eating breakfast together?” Hux asks.

“We can go off campus. I know a place. They have vegan waffles.”

Hux wrinkles his nose. “Vegan waffles? What if your friends are there?”

“They won't be.”

He types a text to Mitaka begging out of breakfast. They hear him mutter a curse to himself and then he leaves, slamming the door.

**

The place is a diner. It’s nice. He doesn’t get the vegan waffles, opts for an omelette instead. Kylo gets them, tries to give him a forkful of them. He shies away. Kylo pursues him with the fork, winds up getting them in his mouth and whipped cream on his nose. It’s childish. He shouldn’t be amused. He bursts out laughing, nearly chokes on the bite of waffle, explodes into another burst of laughter.

“Oh my God,” Kylo says, “your laugh.”

“What?” Hux asks. “What do you mean, my laugh?”

“It’s priceless,” Kylo says.

Kylo reaches over, wipes the whipped cream off with his thumb. Licks it off. Hux can’t tell if he wants it to be sexy or not. It is, just a little.

“I have no idea what I just ate,” he says.

“You should laugh more,” Kylo says.

“Okay, great,” Hux says. “Thank you for the input.”

“I mean it,” Kylo says. “You need better friends. You never laugh at any of Mitaka’s jokes.”

“No one ever laughs at any of Mitaka’s jokes.”

“That’s what I mean,” Kylo says. “Your friends are lame.”

“Your friends are politically incoherent,” Hux says.

“Better than being lame,” Kylo says. “Your friends want people to take guns to Starbucks.”

“I thought your friends thought Starbucks was the enemy because it’s, like, an agent of gentrification or something.”

“That doesn’t mean they want people taking deadly weapons there.”

“Just playing devil’s advocate.”

Kylo rolls his eyes. “Exactly.”

“What?”

“My friends never play devil’s advocate. And we don’t spend all our time being like, sigh, I wish Ronald Reagan were still around.”

“We don’t spend all our time doing that,” Hux says. “We only have séances for him when the moon is full.”

This time Kylo laughs. “I just don’t get why you’re with them,” he says, finally.

“Maybe I like bow ties.”

“That’s not why. Is it your dad?”

Hux shrugs. “All this – free love and socialism -- sort of a dead-end road, isn’t it?”

“ ‘Free love and socialism’ -- You sound ninety,” Kylo says, “that isn’t you talking.”

Hux cuts another bite of omelette. “Fun,” he says, “I grant that, but where does it all lead? You don’t see gay socialists getting elected governor.” He takes another bite. “Or president.”

“You’ve got it all planned out, then. Find a blonde lady to stand next to you in pictures, run for governor—“

“Maybe.”

Kylo pokes more waffle at him. “You really think your way will work?”

“What is this, an intervention?”

Hux successfully dodges the waffle and Kylo eats it before it falls off his fork. “I just think it would be awfully sad if you spent your whole life sneaking around like this and then it didn’t work.”

“I think it’s my best shot,” Hux says. “I’ve thought about this more than you have, you know.”

“You could cut it as anything,” Kylo says. “I think if you really wanted to, you could.”

Hux finishes the omelette. “How much do I owe you for the session?” he says, as acidly as he can.

“My parents want a lot of things for me that I don’t want,” Kylo says.

Hux steals a bite of waffle off his plate. “All parents do.”

“You do like it,” Kylo says. He looks pleased. “I told you this place was great.”

“Where’s the bathroom?” Hux asks.

Kylo gestures. “In back.”

When he comes out of the bathroom at the diner he realizes Kylo is talking to someone. Rey. She has her back to him and he doesn’t think he’s been spotted. But he doesn't go back to the table. He lurks by the bathrooms and finally Kylo pays and leaves and then once they’re gone he grabs his coat and walks out.

"Asshole" Kylo texts him. “Thanks for ditching me.”

"Sorry" he texts back "I didn't want to be spotted"

“You owe me a meal now.”

“okay”

"dinner? mitaka’s gone"

"I know but I can't"

"congress date?"

“actually phasma has someone she wants me to meet”

“where are you going”

“somewhere fancy”

“the three of you?”

“no just two”

“so a date”

“no”

“sounds pretty date-like”

“it’s not”

“guy?”

“girl”

“maybe you’ll find the lucky lady to stand in pictures with you for the rest of your life”

“fuck you”

“I do”

“wait are you mad at me”

“can’t imagine why I would possibly be mad at you”

“wait seriously”

“see you when you come crawling to my door drunk at 2 in the morning begging for my cock”

Hux doesn’t dignify this with a response.

**

The dinner is – not unpleasant, just dull. (Everything you should want, he thinks. Everything you don’t.)

Hux doesn’t come crawling to the door drunk at two in the morning. It’s only one thirty.

"It's not two," he says, when Kylo opens the door.

"You're all dressed up."

"It was just dinner," Hux doesn't want to argue; he's drunk and tired and wants to -- go to sleep in the same bed as -- no –

"Thank god for that.” Kylo doesn’t move.

Hux deflates a little against the doorway. “Can I just, can I just come in and like lie down with you for a little while?”

“What the fuck,” Kylo says, “how drunk are you?”

“I don’t know. Never mind. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.” Hux sinks down next to the door and unexpectedly, he is more surprised by it than anyone, starts crying.

“What the fuck,” Kylo says again. He leaves a shoe in the door so it won’t shut and comes and squats next to him. “Hey. Hey. Hux.”

“I’m fine,” Hux says. “Leave me alone.”

Kylo slips a hand under his knee and another hand behind his back and scoops him up. He struggles a little. Kylo carries him through the door and into the bedroom and deposits him on the twin bed.

“I didn’t know you lifted,” he manages.

“What should I do?” Kylo asks. “I don’t know what this is, is this a panic thing?”

“Just come here,” Hux manages. Kylo lies down next to him, curls up around him. He listens to him breathing, tries to copy it. He wishes he’d had more to drink. Or less to drink. Less so he won’t say this or more so he won’t remember saying it, either way. “I – like you so fucking much,” he finally says.

Kylo’s silent for a minute. “Me too,” he says, all in a rush, into Hux’s neck.

They fall asleep like that. It’s unnatural sleeping in Kylo’s bed without fucking; in the morning they make up the difference.

**

"I'm introducing Tarkin tomorrow," Hux says, impulsively, after, "you should come."

"I will," Kylo says. "I'll be protesting"

"Of course."

"He destroyed my mom's village," Kylo's fingers walk down Hux’s chest while he talks.

Hux props his head on his arms, tries to get comfortable. "In war these things happen."

"Her whole family was killed and she had to come to this country," Kylo says.

"And met your dad and made you, which wouldn't have happened otherwise, and I for one am glad it did," Hux says.

"That's a terrible argument."

"Anything where your existence turns out to be the best argument in favor of something is a terrible argument,” Hux agrees.

"Shut up. You can't get enough of me."

Hux kisses him hard to shut him up.

"I have an art show coming up," Kylo says, when they surface, "you should come to that too."

"Don't flatter yourself," Hux says, because he has always loved to probe at open wounds, "I'm just using you for sex. Where and what time?"

"There's a gallery in the visual arts building on the first floor and the opening night is Friday at seven."

"I probably won't be there," Hux says.

**
He doesn't wear the shirt to the Tarkin speech.

He watches Kylo across the room where he stands with the protesters. A cute guy with glasses is talking to him. Does he know you wear glasses, Hux thinks, when you go to bed. Does he know you have pajamas with Darth Vader on them. Does he --

"Hey," Phasma says, "you awake?"

"Sorry" Hux says "you were saying?"

"Get your head in the game, Hux."

"Yes ma’am."

Hux glances over his notes again. He knows the speech cold. It’s great, he knows that. He's not sure why he's nervous.

The shouting from the protest continues as an indistinct hum until he reaches the podium and then he can hear individual shouts "SHAME!" and someone wolf-whistles and a voice shouts "nice butt!" and of course it's Kylo, it's such a stupid thing to yell, it's -- he tries to will his ears not to go red. It's awful but it's also -- endearing isn't the word, like Kylo's actually there to see him and not to protest him. It's so dumb. And yet.

**

The speech goes well. He can't tell how Kylo's taking it.

**

"Your speech was less objectionable than the others," Kylo shouts after him.

He stops, turns around, tries to look like he’s confused why Kylo would try to talk to him.

"Thanks," he says. Kylo comes closer and he tries not to stand as close as he wants to. But he feels like it's still too close.

Kylo smiles. "I see a little more why you do what you do." He leans in and whispers, "Your ass was much less objectionable than the others."

"Fuck you," Hux shoots back, but there's no heat in it, none at all.

“Tonight?” Kylo asks.

“Yeah,” Hux says. “I thought that was a given.”

**

My boyfriend came to my speech today, he spells out in his head, then erases. That's not the shape of it at all.

**

Tarkin's campaign manager slips him a business card afterwards. "Please keep in touch," he says.

Hux nods, places it into his pocket, taps the pocket to show it's in there securely. “Absolutely,” he says.

**

The business card falls out onto Kylo's floor that evening as he tears the shirt off. Kylo looks intrigued.

"Don't get any funny ideas," Hux says.

"Finn wants to mail joke mail to his headquarters personnel," Kylo says.

"Please no," Hux gasps, elbows planted on Kylo's desk.

**

"Phasma," he says, that Friday, "do you want to come to an event?"

"An event, like a rally?"

"An art show."

"Not particularly."

"I thought it could be interesting"

"What's the art of?”

"I don't know I just thought.”

**

It's actually kind of impressive. He doesn't see Kylo and he just amuses himself by staring at the Art. Giant, twisted, metal, crazy. He wonders where you would even get a piece of metal that big. One is called “capitalism” and it has a big hole in the middle and he snorts at it.

Then he sees where Kylo is across the room because Kylo hears the snort and looks up. Their eyes meet before he can look away and pretend not to see him and Kylo looks actually pleased to see him, starts walking towards him.

"Oh my god," Phasma says, "no wonder you wanted to come. I cannot wait to tell Mitaka about this."

"What?" Hux says, more unsteadily than he wants to.

"He makes weird crappy art too," Phasma says. "Wow he's Ronald Reagan's nightmare."

"Why Reagan's specifically?" Hux asks.

"You came," Kylo says.

"Your commentary on capitalism is really breaking some new ground."

"It was going to be called donut," Kylo says. "But at the last minute I changed it."

Hux smirks instead of laughing. He tries to think of ways to make it clear they're not fucking but he doesn't know if even thinking that, if even doing anything, is already too much.

"Well I hope you let yourself be challenged by it," Kylo says.

Phasma smothers a laugh. “Oh my God,” she mutters.

"Oh, we will," Hux says.

**

"I'm glad you came" the text in his pocket reads
"you're always glad when I come"
"ha ha"
Then a few minutes later. “some of us are getting drinks at the co-op after if you want to join”

“what would my excuse be”

“what was your excuse for coming in the first place”

“how about i see you after”

“its nobody you’d know”

“okay” Hux types “I’m going to regret this.”

 **

He goes home and changes shirts; none of the shirts he owns look right for what he wants to convey. He has an ironic Che Guavara shirt and finally he puts that on; it’ll blend, he thinks.

**
Almost the second he gets there he spills beer all over himself. "Oh jesus, fuck!" he exclaims.

Rey comes out from the bathroom and takes one look at him. "Oh no," she says.

"What?” Hux asks, blotting at himself. There’s no paper towel; of course there fucking isn’t, they probably think you have to apologize to the trees to get paper towel or some such bullshit.

Rey produces an actual towel and pulls him into the next room. Her grip on his arm is surprisingly strong.

“It’s him,” she says.

“It can’t be him,” a guy he now recognizes as Poe says.

Rey throws another beer on him.

“Fuck!” Hux exclaims, reflexively. "What the actual fuck?"

“Oh God,” Poe says. “It is him.”

“I told you,” Rey says.

“What’s me?”

“We hear you,” the other guy, Poe, says. “Through Kylo’s wall.”

“You make a lot of references to God,” continues a girl – Jessica? How do I know who Kylo’s friends are? Hux wonders.

"And Jesus."

"Lots of references to Jesus."

“So, what,” Hux asks, feeling something cold creep over him. “Is this – you’re going to blackmail me?”

Rey sighs. "Kylo's obsessed with you."

"What do you mean"

"We keep trying to set him up with someone who isn't just using him for sex," Rey says.

"I'm not just using him for sex," Hux snaps, before he realizes.

"Shit," Poe says.

"It's not--" Hux starts, "I know what I'm doing."

"He fucking likes him," Poe says, "I knew it."

"Someone likes Kylo?" Jessica says. "Impossible."

"We have an understanding," Hux says, "--what do you mean impossible?"

"He's like -- his face --"

"And his demeanor."

"You're worse friends than my friends," Hux says, "and my friends believe guns belong in the hands of preschool teachers."

"I would say ‘he has a great personality’ but he doesn't have a great personality," Finn says.

"Also 'Kylo.'"

"You're joking, right?" Hux says, "Like, he's objectively hot."

"Objectively."

"And he's -- he's -- I don't find him hard to get along with."

"Holy shit," Rey says. "Poe you were right."

"What?" Hux asks.

"You like him."

"I never said."

"I feel better now," Rey says. "We thought you were just using him but this is better. Don’t worry, we’re not going to alert the media that your secret boyfriend is your secret boyfriend. You're still a despicable human being but you should come to terms with yourself on your own terms."

Hux flips her off. "He's not my--"

"Sure.”

**

He finds Kylo in the kitchen of the co-op, standing near the bar. It’s loud; the kitchen gives onto the room that’s currently a dance floor. Kylo is sipping something from a red solo cup. He’s not wearing sleeves; his hair’s up in a ponytail. He looks good.

When am I going to stop looking at you and wanting you, Hux wonders, when is this going to stop, are you ever not going to be sex on legs?

A guy in a blue shirt approaches Kylo and mutters something to him and he laughs, muffled in the cup.

No, Hux thinks, not yours. Mine. Then, fuck. Then, so what can you do about it? They’re right; you’re not going to – grab him by the hand make out with him on the dance floor show everybody who he belongs to – terrible idea, Hux, he thinks. People have cameras, they have cell phones, people take pictures –

That’s the story of all of this, he thinks, you knowing it’s a terrible idea but – wanting it. Maybe doing it all the same.

“Hey,” Hux shouts.

Kylo turns around and his face lights up. “You’re here.”

“I’ve been here,” he says. “I got waylaid.”

“WHAT?”

“I GOT WAYLAID.” He pushes closer. 

“Nice shirt,” Kylo says.

“Thanks.”

Kylo waves the cup at him. “Beer?”

Hux shakes his head, drags Kylo up to the bar. “We’re doing shots,” he says.

“Are we?” Kylo asks, cocking his head to one side like a confused parakeet.

“Yes,” Hux says. He finds a bottle of vodka and two more cups and pours each of them closer to two shots. “Come on.”

Kylo shrugs. “I can hold mine. It’s you I’m worried about.”

Hux downs his, makes a face. Kylo follows suit.

Hux pours them two more.

“Are we celebrating?” Kylo asks.

“I’m going to keep taking shots,” Hux says, and he’s smiling idiotically so something must be kicking in, “until it seems like a good idea to dance.”

Kylo opens his mouth, maybe to protest; Hux puts a finger to his lips. “Shh,” he says. “You look good, by the way. Did I say that?”

“I don’t think so,” Kylo says – Kylo maybe says. Kylo says something else. He can’t hear over the music. He moves nearer, boxes Kylo in against the bar. When he’s standing this close to Kylo it’s hard not to touch him. He puts a hand on Kylo’s arm to steady himself, leaves it there. He’s touched Kylo there before – has touched him everywhere, it’s not even that intimate a place, but something about knowing he can touch him and Kylo will let him, will touch him back, will –

“Hey,” he says. He’s close enough that he can see the funny mole on Kylo’s cheek. He knows that mole. He's kissed it. He's -- fucked, the last remaining voice of restraint in him thinks, you're so fucked and you didn't even know. Fuck you, voice, he thinks back. 

“Hey,” Kylo says.

“One more,” Hux says. He downs his last shot. Then he grabs Kylo by the arm, tugs him towards the music. Somehow his hand slides down Kylo’s wrist and their fingers intertwine. Kylo’s fingers are very large and warm. He doesn’t let go.

At first Kylo just stands there, doesn’t move, watches him. They both stand there.

Then the song changes and he starts to move. And then Kylo’s in it with him; he pulls him closer, slots their bodies together. His other hand comes up and hooks around the back of Kylo’s neck. Kylo looks at him. “You sure?” he asks, their mouths are practically touching already. The remaining inch of air won’t make any difference. This is how Hux justifies kissing him. 

It’s sloppy and uncoordinated, no finesse to it whatever. He feels like the room is spinning around them as he’s kissing Kylo, rubbing up against him, grabbing every part of him that he can reach. You shouldn’t, he thinks. I am, he thinks back. I am. This is happening now, I’m doing this. Maybe it’ll haunt me later and maybe it won’t but right now I have to do this.

Two songs later he’s out on the lawn bent over throwing up the shots. Kylo brings him a water.

--

"You don't like think we're actually together, right?" He asks Kylo that night, panting, as Kylo opens him up with his fingers. Kylo pauses, frozen a second, on the spot.

"I know we're not," Kylo says.

"But if we could be," Hux says, "you'd want that."

Kylo doesn't look at him; he shoves back against his fingers. "Yeah," he says.

"Even though I'm an asshole who is what's wrong with America."

"Yeah," Kylo says, daring to look at him, and he looks open, vulnerable, "that's kind of what drew me to you."

"Me too," Hux says.

"What?"

"If we could be," Hux says "I'd want that too."

"Then why can't we."

"You know why," Hux says. “My whole life.”

"Your whole life plan.”

"Yeah." Hux lowers himself onto Kylo's dick, they both gasp in unison. It feels fucking right, he hates how right it feels. "I just didn't want you to think this was some kind of meaningless thing."

"Why are you saying this," Kylo says.

"I talked to your friends."

"Shit."

"They're trying to set you up with other people?"

"And you're jealous."

"Yeah," Hux says. "I don't want you seeing other people."

"This is so unfair," Kylo says, "you can't fucking do this, if you're going to keep pretending you don't even know--"

"What if I stopped," Hux asks, thrusting back. "What if-- would you want that--"

"I want everything with you," Kylo says.

"What's everything?”

"I mean I like the sex, I love the sex, the sex is great, don't get me wrong, but also I like -- I don't know -- being around you. I want to be around you all the time. I want to kiss you where people can see and I want to hold your hand and I want you to sit on my lap in front of my fucking friends and make out and embarrass them and I want you to come to my shows and I want to go to your speeches and I want --"

"Stop," Hux breathes, but their eyes are open and locked on each other and there's no force in it.

"Okay yeah I want this to be real."

"Kylo," he breathes, unsteadily; it’s like a knot in him has been pulled tight all of a sudden. He can feel Kylo letting go inside him. Somehow that's what does it, "I'm sorry," Kylo says.

"No," Hux says, trying to think.

"It won't work," Kylo says. "I know that. I get really fucking depressed sometimes thinking how I've found the one person maybe I want to do everything with and you're just never going to--"

"Shut up," Hux says. "I love you."

"What?"

“You heard me," Hux says. "Fuck it. Okay. Shut up. We're going to figure this out."

**

"hey lover"
"shut up"
"what are you doing"
"I'm in a meeting"
"what meeting"
"First Order"
"can I come over after"
"yeah I was about to text you"

**

"Hey," Hux says, opening the door.

"Your roommate’s here--" Kylo starts.

"Thanisson," Hux asks, "can you go to the library?"

"Are you fucking kicking me out for sex again?" Thanisson asks, rolling his eyes. "Hey Kylo, I'm Thanisson, a way nicer roommate than your boyfriend here deserves."

"Hey," Kylo says.

"Wait," Hux says.

"You really thought I didn't know?" Thanisson asks. "You're an idiot."

"I thought—”

"You thought you were being subtle?" Thanisson sighs. "Just FYI, you were not being subtle. There are bumper stickers more subtle than you.”

"Why didn't you--"

"Blackmail!" Thanisson says, cheerily. He shrugs. “Look, you’ve got like ten years left to worry, tops, and this won’t even be a thing.”

“I wish I thought that,” Hux says.

“I don’t know,” Thanisson says. “I hope so.”

"Wait," Hux says, "if you know, does Phasma know? Does Mitaka--"

Thanisson swallows. "He knows," he says. 

"How?" Hux asks. 

"I don't know," Thanisson says, uncomfortably, "maybe the fact that you're apparently constantly having sex in his room gave him some hint?"

"But we were so quiet," Hux says. 

"No," Kylo says, "we really weren't."

"No," Thanisson says. He whips out his phone, starts scrolling through his texts. "goddamnit, fucking hux" "goddamnit they're still here" "i just texted him and he's pretending not to be here" "i'm supposed to see him at breakfast but i'm not going to be able to keep a straight face"

"Why didn't anyone denounce me?"

"Denounce me?" Thanisson mimics. "What era do you think this is? Gay conservatives are a thing now. Not, like, a huge thing but -- like, I don't know, Andrew Sullivan exists." Thanisson slaps him awkwardly on the shoulder. "It might be different when you get home, but -- anyway we're your friends."

"Thanks," Hux says, and means it. 

 **

They’re eating in the cafeteria together. It’s strange and kind of great. Kylo’s foot finds his under the table.

“My dad’s going to have a fit when he finds out,” Hux says.

Kylo shrugs. “Here’s what I think,” Kylo says. “I think you’ll be a great president.”

“How?” Hux asks.

“Just not maybe a great Republican president,” Kylo finishes. “But that was sort of more your dad’s deal anyway.”

Hux glances across the cafeteria and sees Mitaka and Rey converging on their table from opposite directions.

“Well,” he says, “this is going to be pleasant.”

Rey takes them in with a nod. “Good,” she says. She plunks her tray down. “All right. Good.” She pivots. “Now, Kylo, we need to talk about your taste in men.”

Mitaka approaches. Looks from him to Kylo and where their feet are touching.

“Mitaka,” Hux starts, before he can say anything. 

“Listen,” Mitaka says. "Please let's never speak of this. Just know that you owe me your firstborn."

Rey gestures at him. "Does he think that's how it works when guys--?"

Kylo shakes his head. "No," he says. "He's cool." 

"And for the record it's a noise thing and a not-being-a-dick-to-your-roommate thing, not--" Mitaka gestures, uncomfortably, "not the other thing." He swallows. Whenever he talks it seems like every word is being forced out of him but this is true now more than ever. "There are some things no person should have to hear."

Rey looks at him. "I feel a strange kinship with you all of a sudden," she says. 

"What the fuck," Hux says. The tips of his ears are turning pink. "Why didn't anyone say any--"

"Now he's ashamed," Mitaka says to Rey. "Not any of the other times." 

"Listen," Rey says, "if you need to stay in the co-op, I can hook you up..." 

**

At first not much changes.

Rey gives Kylo a list of bullet points entitled "Things Your Boyfriend Believes That Are Obvious Bullshit" and Hux responds to each item in the list in neat cursive, although to two points on the bottom he just crosses the items out in red pen and writes, "Conceded; bullshit."

It doesn't come up at "First Order" meetings, much. At least not at first. Then at one meeting Phasma proposes that they write on something from the "conceded; bullshit" section of the list and Hux raises his hand and starts to argue. He almost carries the room. 

He publishes a dissent about it in "First Order" where he knows his father will see. For the picture next to it he wears the shirt. 

**

He’s lying on Kylo’s bed. He has thirteen missed calls from his dad. Fourteen. He has fourteen missed calls from his dad. Fifteen. Then the texts start pouring in. He gives the phone to Kylo so he won't have to look at them. 

Kylo looks at a couple of them ("I knew I should never have allowed you to go there") and then tosses the phone across the room into a laundry pile. "Forget him," Kylo says. 

"I can't exactly forget him," Hux says, "he's my dad." 

"I don't mean that. Just. You're better."

Hux nods, uncertain. "You were the first,” he says, quietly. 

"I find that impossible to believe."

"No. You were the first thing I really wanted for myself. Not to show him up with. Just to have.”

“Really?” Kylo says. “That’s worrisome.”

“Yeah,” Hux says, kissing him. “I don’t know how much of – everything I wanted – was me and how much was him.”

Kylo nods. “I’m sorry.”

“Why?” Hux asks. He reaches over and touches him. He draws his fingers along the inside of Kylo’s arm. Sometimes he still can’t believe he gets to do this, just touch him like this, casually.  “This is the first time in my life,” he says, “that I haven’t known exactly what I'm doing.”

“Is that good or scary?” Kylo asks.

Hux stares up at the ceiling. Smiles, slowly. “Both."