"What's with the kid?" The Resistance officer, a beta, sounded annoyed, and it was horribly amusing. Hux looked down at the toddler in question. He was mumbling to himself and tugging at his shirt with his chubby fingers. He noticed him looking and stared up, so he gave him a small smile. The officer was getting even more irritated by the second, but he was too tired to care.
"It's my child." The officer looked shocked. He supposed it'd be hard to believe that he of all people would have a child. His son didn't look like him all that much, with black hair and round brown eyes, ears too big and tiny birthmarks all over. The child made a sound, and started kicking his legs, so he gently grabbed his little hand. "Ah, ah, ah, don't fuss, sweetheart. Don't kick Mum's tummy, you'll make your little sibling upset, and then they'll bother Mum." The boy mumbled a 'sorry' to him, and settled down.
"You're pregnant?" Hux rolled his eyes. It should have been obvious by his scent. Phasma had informed him he smelled like a very sad, very pregnant omega, which he was. She'd offered to act as his alpha for the rest of his pregnancy just a week after Ren left, and his memory was fuzzy, but he believed she showed up whenever possible at night to give him some Alpha scent, to nip at his bond mark and make him relax. She would know exactly what his scent was.
"Mm. I'm 26 weeks. Not showing much." At all, really. If it weren't for his symptoms and ultrasounds, medics had a hard time believing he was pregnant. He sure could believe it; the baby made him feel cramped and heavy, and drove its foot into his organs whenever it was upset. His abdomen was slightly swollen, like he'd eaten a large meal, but not enough for anyone to assume he was pregnant. There was also the fact that during his last heat, he'd purposefully gone without protection. "Get a medic to scan me if you have doubts."
"I'll inform General Organa of these complications, and a Jedi will come to interrogate you after she's decided what to do."
He really was too tired to care. Had been, since Ren left him, and their bond had been suppressed. The officer left the room. He winced as the baby kicked at his ribs, and rubbed his belly to calm them down. His son frowned, looking up at him and making a near inaudible whimper. The toddler looked away, suddenly, and mumbled quietly, curling up.
Hux readjusted his hold on the boy. "What's wrong, sweetheart?"
"What about him?"
The child gestured with one arm outward. "Nn... Long. Walk!"
He must have meant far, and that his father was coming closer. If Organa was on base, then of course her son would be with her. Ben Solo would be trying to make up for how he'd betrayed her and the light side.
Depressing. Without his alpha, he'd been drifting, tired, his son the only thing keeping him grounded at all. He had to take care of the kids, make up for them not having their second parent, for not having Ren to dote on him and make sure he got all the nutrients and rest he needed while pregnant.
Briefly, he wondered if Ben would break their bond completely. It'd certainly do good for him, even if it would leave Hux in a horrible state. He wasn't sure if he'd be able to last long if Ben just broke it. Unless some other alpha mated him and replaced the bond, and helped him get over losing Ren emotionally.
"No sad." He patted Hux's chest, like that was supposed to magically make him feel better. It was sweet, at least.
"Oh, sweetheart, it doesn't work that way. Mum's very tired." He could convince himself he wasn't depressed, wasn't heartsick, if he said he was just tired.
He didn't realize how awful he'd feel without an alpha nearby after just a few days. Since he knew Ren would never be coming back, he longed for Phasma. She was just his subordinate, acting in the best interest of the First Order to keep him in top shape and obeying her biological urges to care for an expectant omega, but he wanted her. He'd let her bond him if it meant he wouldn't be so tired, let her succumb to every urge she had so he'd be himself again, be able to provide fully for his children again.
Thinking about coming face to face with Ben Solo made every bit of him heavy with exhaustion. He laid down on the bunk he was sitting on, and laid his son next to him, between himself and the wall. He would just take a short nap, and then he would feel better.
Everything felt so much worse, like his body was rebelling against him. The baby was still, his abdomen ached, and deep inside of him he accepted the possibility that they were dead. He dragged an arm to his belly, and hoped he'd feel anything. He brushed against some sort of device strapped to his abdomen.
Distantly, he heard crying.
His head ached, and everything was far too hot. He forced himself to open his eyes, and everything was blurry, but the lights overhead were absurdly bright. Had he been brought home? Maybe this was the medbay, and he'd imagined being captured.
The crying sounded like his son's. "Cillian...?"
After a few moments, there was a blur of black and a larger, bluish blur in the edge of his sight. The black blur was lowered down to him, and he hugged Cillian close. Everything felt terrible, but at least he had his son safe in his arms. "Hello, sweetheart..."
"Momma..." Cillian sounded upset.
"Are you okay?" He couldn't really tell, but he assumed that the boy nodded. "Where's Phasma?"
A new voice, one he didn't recognize, answered, "She's back in the First Order. You're still with the Resistance."
Disappointing. Cillian whimpered against his chest, burying his face in his shirt. His head throbbed, and the ache in his belly only seemed to get worse, a horrible, tight feeling that vaguely reminded him of his first labor. "Want her..."
"Alpha..." The room was starting to spin. "She can fix me..."
"You can't be bonded by a new alpha when you already have a mate."
"Mine left..." He grimaced at the pain in his head. He wanted to go back to sleep, but Cillian would get taken away from him again, and he didn't want Cillian to be near any Jedi. They'd surely assume he was force sensitive and force him to train. He wasn't force sensitive, not in the least. Hux frowned, confused. Cillian had no force sensitivity, but he'd sensed his father, before. "Sweetheart... how did you know your Papa was here, earlier...?"
"He... Um... He talked in my head..." Ah, that made sense. You didn't need to be force sensitive for one to speak in your thoughts. "Momma...? Momma!" Cillian was lifted off of him, out of his weak hold, and he began crying again.
"Come on, kid, don't cry. There's nothing wrong."
Everything was wrong, though. They were in the clutches of the enemy, Cillian was in the arms of a stranger, he felt physically and mentally horrible, Ren had left them, and his baby was probably dead. He felt a pang of grief for his unborn child.
"What's wrong with the General? He's been deteriorating ever since we brought him in here. You're supposed to be making him better."
The ache was back again, and he put a hand on his belly, clutching at his shirt. It hurt even more than before.
"We've been trying, Miss Rey. There doesn't seem to be any physical cause for his current state. It looks like his mate is somehow cutting off their bond, and we suspect he's been having contractions." So it was the scavenger that had Cillian. Hopefully she would sense that Cillian couldn't become a Jedi, and leave him be.
"He's pregnant- no, he's not showing. We did an ultrasound, the child is around seven months developed. If his mate cuts off the bond completely, he'll likely go into labor, and we don't have the supplies available to keep a premature child alive."
"Can you stop him from going into labor?"
"Well... It seems, according to his vitals, that he's already well into his labor. We don't have the medicine to stop it. I'll have a droid scan him and see how dilated he is. EM-01?" There was a beep from a droid, and then a whirring as it approached. After a few long moments, the droid gave a series of fast paced beeps and whistles. "Already?!"
"What did it say?"
"He's almost fully dilated. He has maybe an hour before he'll need to begin pushing. There's no way to stop it, even if we were at a full size medcenter."
"Should we bring him to one?"
"If you want the child to survive."
He wanted his child to survive, but perhaps the Resistance would find it easier to let the child die and blame poor medical supplies. And with how he felt, he suspected he wouldn't last long without proper care, definitely not if his child passed. He needed to stay alive for Cillian, but he couldn't control if his body gave up on him.
"I'll ask General Organa what she thinks we should do."
When the bed he was on started to move, Hux knew that Organa had decided that she wanted to save her grandchild. He was in agony, the headache reaching a peak, and a feeling that something was being torn from him. Ben had broken their bond. He focused on breathing, gripping the sheet underneath him with each contraction. He was taken onto a ship that quickly took off.
"Momma!" Every few minutes, Cillian would cry out, reassuring him that his son was near, that the scavenger was going along with him. As the ship rumbled, landing, Rey let Cillian near him. The boy grabbed his shoulder, sobbing.
He brought up a hand and bumped it against Cillian. "I love you, sweetheart..."
The bed moved before Cillian could say anything in response, and he let himself pass out.
When Hux woke up, there was a strange feeling of emptiness in both his abdomen and his mind. Some heavy feeling was trying to drag him down but he couldn't identify it, and pushed it off to the side. He tried to sit up, and found that his whole body was sore, especially his lower body. His neck stung, and he lifted an arm to feel a bandage pressed over his bond area. Not a bacta patch, so it was meant to scar.
Strange, since he had been forced to bond with Ren, and that was some time ago. What had happened since then, he wasn't sure.
He was in his bedroom, and something about it felt changed, but he couldn't tell what. It looked the same as he remembered it, but it was if something important was missing.
The door opened, and Phasma entered. When she saw he was awake, she turned the lights up and went to him. "Sir, you're up. How are you feeling?"
"Too sore to move."
"Expected." She pulled off her helmet, and something about her alpha scent seemed different. "Does your neck hurt?"
"Only when I move it."
Nodding, she put her helmet on the nightstand. "I'm ready to debrief you, General." When he did not respond, she started. "The Supreme Leader has chosen to wipe some of your memory from the past five years in order to keep you alive after you experienced too much trauma to handle. You have no memory of your children, correct?"
"Good. I have been ordered to tell you about them. A little over four years ago, you bore Kylo Ren a son, named Cillian Hux, a force-null beta child. You both cared a lot for the child, and called him 'sweetheart', while he referred to you and Ren as 'Momma' and 'Papa', respectively. He had trouble learning to speak, but was intelligent, and was quiet and obedient. I have a holograph of the two of you." She pulled a holoprojector out of her belt, and turned it on. Sure enough, it showed a picture of him, smiling, with a small child on his lap. The child looked very much like Ren. "Once you can walk, I will take you to see his body."
That explained her use of past tense. The heavy feeling must have been grief. He supposed it was sad that his child was dead, but he did not remember him at all.
"Six months ago, Kylo Ren betrayed the First Order and fled to the Resistance, returning to his old life as Ben Solo, a Jedi and son of Leia Organa. You then discovered that you were expecting another child, and quickly fell into a poor condition without an alpha. I took Ren's place as your 'temporary' alpha, to help you stay in stable condition."
He was obviously not pregnant, and there was no baby around, so this one was dead as well.
"You were captured by the Resistance. Ben Solo broke your bond, causing you to go into premature labor, despite being told the consequences of his doing so. The Resistance brought you to a medcenter, but the child, a girl, did not survive. Around this time, we located you and raided the medcenter. Ben Solo came to fight us off and got ahold of your son. He murdered him with his lightsaber, and we recovered you and the bodies. You were unable to handle the grief and trauma, and would have died if the Supreme Leader did not wipe your memories and order me to bond you."
"Snoke has made it top priority to eliminate Ben Solo, and would like you to lead the search for him."
So, the Supreme Leader's aim was to have him drown in a need for vengeance rather than despair. He could do that. His children hadn't deserved to die, Cillian could have made a worthy officer, and the girl as well. The little boy in the holo looked sweet, and he'd looked happy with him. They deserved to be avenged.
When he was recovered and ready to return to work, Phasma brought him down to where the children's bodies were being kept. She brought up the small box with the infant in it first. It had a tiny diaper and hat on, as if it had died after being cleaned and partially clothed. He could imagine that being distressing to his past self, who would have been emotionally attached to it.
"...She would have lived if Ben hadn't broken the bond."
"Exactly. There is nothing wrong with her except her early birth. A Knight of Ren recovered surveillance footage from the hospital of each of their deaths on Snoke's orders, if you'd like to see them."
Snoke wanted him to be engulfed by anger. Make him stronger, more desperate to kill Ben. "I'll watch them in my office."
She gave him two datachips. Then she put the box back, and pulled out a larger one. This one had the boy in it.
He really did look like Ren, but with softer features. There was a burnt hole in his chest, burned flesh where a lightsaber had stabbed through. Hux opened up the box to touch the child's cheek. He was cold and soft, and Hux could see his past self very much loving this child. The boy's hair was soft as well, and he made sure to smooth it back into place after he touched it.
"Cillian..." The name was both foreign and familiar on his tongue. "Don't worry, sweetheart, I'll kill the awful man that took you away." He closed the box. Phasma escorted him out of the cargo hold, and to his office.
Once there, he sat at his desk, and put the two datachips on the desktop. Phasma placed down her holoprojector, and Hux plugged one in. "I'd like to watch these alone."
"Of course, Sir. I'll be outside when you're finished." She saluted and left, the door sliding shut with a click behind her.
The hologram began to load, and he could see that the scene was himself on a bed, a few medics around him. He was in clear pain, mouth open under an oxygen mask in some sort of cry, hair a mess. He didn't look pregnant, but his legs were spread with a medic between them, so he was obviously giving birth.
He touched his belly, trying and failing to imagine what it would be like to have a child in there, much less two times.
Pressing a button on the holoprojector, the hologram began to play. He watched as he delivered the child, crying out and sobbing with each push. After a few minutes, the child was born, and the medic announced it was a girl. He reached for it, but the medic merely cut the cord and handed it to another medic.
"Give me my baby-" He tried to sit up, but was held down.
The medic with the child wiped it clean. "She'll be going to the Republic as soon as she can, General."
"Let me hold her, please, just once-"
The child wasn't even crying. After diapering it and putting on a small hat, the medic took the child's pulse. They pulled out a stethoscope and used that. "She's dead."
That very much upset him, but the video stopped as he began to sob. Humiliating, he was glad that Phasma wasn't there to see the video. He sighed as he realized she'd probably watched both of them, and seen him like that up close.
He unplugged that chip and put in the other.
It showed Cillian running down the hall. He was too small to get too far, and was quickly caught up to by a man in brown robes. Ben Solo. Cillian cried out as he was picked up, pulled back by the force before being roughly grabbed. It was from behind, so he turned the holoprojector around to see Ben's face.
He looked a bit crazed, desperate. "Cillian, it's me- it's Papa, don't scream-" Cillian wailed, kicking his legs.
All of the sudden Ben stumbled, as if something had shoved into him, and he fell to the floor. There was nothing around. The man gasped, and got to his knees. Cillian was still wailing, calling out for Hux every few seconds. He drew his lightsaber, but didn't ignite it. Setting Cillian on the ground, Ben held him by one arm. He pressed the lightsaber to the boy's chest, and turned it on. The blade went right through him, cutting off another cry for his mother.
Ben dropped the lightsaber as Cillian collapsed, dead. He gasped, reeling back. "Cillian!"
The hologram turned off, finished. The heavy feeling tried to drag him down, but did not succeed. Ben Solo had lost his mind, it seemed, and he needed to stop him. Not just to avenge the two children he'd killed, but to protect the galaxy.
He tucked the two datachips into his pocket, and stood. He left the room, Phasma following him to the bridge without being ordered to.