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Whispers in the Dark

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The days continued much as they had before: in relative silence. Chores were negotiated with hand gestures and knowing glances. Luke guided the day's training with as few words as possible. Rey followed along easily, moving in concert with his instructions or, if needed, deferring as his hands led the way. Their sparring flowed, a mercenary dance punctuated by grunts and heavy breaths, until they were barely able to stand. Meals frequently ended without a word.

But the nights had changed. Their shared bed had bred a new wrinkle to their dynamic.

Most of their nights ended in easy sleep. But nights that were fitful were harsh for them both. Tossing and turning was sure to awaken the other just at the edge of sleep. On one such night, Rey had been pushed away from slumber when she heard his rustling beside her. She rolled to the side, careful not to aggravate a bruised shoulder, and draped an arm across his chest. "You're not asleep, right?"

"No," he answered.

"Then you won't mind a question." She didn't wait for a response, asking, "Who was your master?"

At first, there was silence. Rey was on the verge of rolling away and giving sleep another try. But she perked up at the soft laughter that broke through the dark. "I've had a few. They taught someone important—they taught...they taught my father. But I didn't spend a lot of time with them. It was all over in a matter of days."

"That was enough?"

"I suppose. Besides, certain Jedi never really leave you. They're always there, guiding you long after they're gone."

"So didn't learn in the way you try to teach me?"

Luke slipped from her grasp, sliding onto his back. For a moment, her hand rested on his chest. Rey's eyes grew wide as she moved it to her side. He seemed to wait for her before continuing. "I've not known a lot of Jedi in my time, particularly ones that I haven't taught. Just Ben and Yoda. Oh, and Ahsoka. I spent a week with her. It was less about training than it was about talking about someone else about my father—someone who knew him in a different way." He laughed, adding, "She'd never let me hear the end of it if she heard that I even inferred that she was still anything like a Jedi."

There were so many threads to pick at. Rey chose what looked to be the closest one: "Do you miss your father?"

He looked up at her. He signed and turned to his side, away from her. "That's enough for tonight, Rey. Go to bed."

He fell asleep quickly after that. Rey turned away and tried to do the same.

The next night, Rey snuggled next to Luke and asked, "Well, do you miss him?"

The question was met with an initial sigh, then silence. Finally, he asked, "Why do you get to ask all the questions?"

"Because you don't have any questions for me."

"So you think? Turn around."

"What?"

"Turn around. You set up the format. I'm only following your lead."

Rey did as she was asked, turning to the side so that she faced away from him. She felt Luke's arm drape across her waist a moment later. From behind, she heard, "Do you miss Jakku?"

She laughed, the sounds just squeaking out of a suddenly dry mouth. "I don't want to miss the place at all. It was wretched and it brought out desperate things from desperate people. And I do not leave myself out of that group. At the same time, I learned so much there. And some of those people were the best. I hope they leave one day."

"Is that all?"

"There's really nothing more to say. I held so many hopes there. I wanted so much for something good to come of my time there. Even now, I worry that I shouldn't be telling you all this. I should be commandeering a ship and going back to the only home I remember and...and just waiting. But that's not right, is it?"

"I can't answer that."

"I can," she said. "It's not. It's not even home; it's just a place I happened to live for a very long time."

"And home?"

"Home. Hmm...I imagine home was somewhere special. Green, but nothing like this. Perhaps close to a real city. That's where they'd buy the parts for the speeders they'd fix. And I would sit and watch and, sometimes, they'd let me get close to their work. They'd explain its intricacies and tell me I could help them when I was just a bit older."

"Home is about people?" he asked.

"Of course. Isn't always about other people?" Rey craned her neck up, attempting to see him above her. She could not. Her head plummeted back to the bed with a yawn. "I'd like for this to be the end of our little talk for tonight. If that's alright with you?"

"Of course. Until tomorrow?"

"Yes," she said. After all, she had so many things to ask him.