General Hux wasn't having too good of a day.
The First Order dry cleaners had accidentally shrunk his favorite greatcoat.
And to top it off, for the last half hour, Kylo Ren had been following him around, complaining about everything under the dying sun.
Hux loved Kylo. If asked, if being honest, he supposed he would say he was in-love with Kylo. The two had, after all, been steadily seeing each other for the better part of the last couple of years. They didn't officially live together, although they might as well, considering Kylo stayed over at his place at least 5 days a week.
So he loved him, yes; but that didn't stop him from being annoyed. Especially when the man couldn't take obvious hints that he wanted to be alone.
He listened to Kylo rant about some slight or other that Snoke had dealt to him, as Hux locked up his office early for the afternoon and headed home, with Kylo following at his heels.
"Do you understand, though?," Kylo was saying, as Hux unlocked the door to his quarters. "He said Lieutenant Hath has a better diplomatic presence than me. Can you believe that? It's completely unfair!"
Hux plopped down on his couch and put his hands over face, groaning in exasperation.
"Kylo, right now, you are making the grave error of mistaking me for someone who cares."
Kylo pouted. "You're not being very comforting."
"Oh, boo hoo, Kylo. Seriously, I'm not in the mood to listen to your whining."
Kylo sat down next to him.
"What is wrong with you, today?"
"What do you mean?"
Kylo punched him lightly on the shoulder. "You're acting like a jerk-ass. More so than normal."
Hux just sighed but didn't answer.
"This wouldn't have anything at all, to do with the fact that today is your birthday, does it?"
Hux scowled and jumped up angrily. "You promised me you wouldn't talk about that!"
Kylo stood up, too, and attempted to hug him.
"I'm sorry, it's just, a birthday is a special day, I didn't want yours to pass without at least saying --"
Hux shrugged his embrace off and walked away from him, into the bedroom. Kylo followed him.
"I don't want you to say anything, okay? Just, please, leave me alone."
He got into bed and lay down on his stomach, pulling a pillow over his head.
After a few moments, Kylo sat down next to him, and gingerly put his hand on the ginger's back.
"You overreact a little, you know that?"
"Overreact? Isn't that more your forte? And I'm
NOT overreacting. Birthdays are a travesty. All you're celebrating is getting one step closer to the grave."
Kylo drew back a little.
"For Maker's sake, Hux, you're acting like you're 112! You're only 34!"
"34 and my hair is thinning, my back constantly hurts, I have trouble sleeping--"
"So you're an old man. So what? I still love you."
"Don't you even want the present I got you?"
"I told you not to get me anything," Hux growled at him, his voice muffled from underneath the pillow.
"True. But since when do I do what you tell me to?"
Before Hux could answer, Kylo was off the bed and back in the next room. Hux heard the front door open and close, and assumed Kylo had had a gift ordered to the quarters. Hux sighed and sat up, sitting cross- legged against the pillows.
Kylo came bounding back in, one hand behind his back, a large, boyish smile on his face.
"Good, you're back up," he said, sitting down beside Hux once more. "And smiling!"
He said that to tease Hux, as the General still had quite a sour look on his face.
"You know you look so good when you smile," Kylo said, leaning in to kiss him. Hux smiled in spite of himself; it was hard NOT to smile when Kylo kissed him.
And kept kissing him.
Very quickly, Hux forgot why he was in a bad mood, or even where he was. He was only brought back to reality when Kylo pulled away and said "Close your eyes."
Hux did as he was told. Suddenly both of Kylo's hands were cupping his cheeks, and he was kissing him yet again. Hux just kept his eyes closed and enjoyed it.
"Sorry, sorry," Kylo muttered as he pulled away a second time. "Couldn't help it."
He took Hux's hand gently, and dropped something into it. Something--warm. And moving.
Hux opened his eyes and looked down. Sitting in his palm was a small, blue-gray loth cat. It's large, pointed ears twitches curiously on top of its head, and it's tail swished eagerly back and forth.
Hux smiled, and softly touched the creatures wee head.
"Oh, 'Lo, he's beautiful! Or is it a she?"
"It's a he. Got him on my last mission to Lothal. Do you like him?"
Hux leaned over and kissed Kylo's cheek. "I love him. This might be the sweetest thing I've ever received."
Kylo breathed out a sigh of relief, glad that Hux liked it.
"I've got him a bunch of food, some shampoo, and other little trinkets. I'll go get them," he said, getting up and going to retrieve the loot he had stashed in Hux's front closet.
Hux cuddled his new pet and scratched behind its ears. "Huh, he's really on top of his game; he's even gotten you a collar," he said to the cat, inspecting the tiny jeweled collar around its neck. Upon closer inspection, he saw that the animal had a locket of some kind around the center of the collar.
Hux unclipped it to get a better look. It looked like there were tiny words on it.
"He didn't name you already, too, did he?" he asked, mostly to himself. The cat was scampering around the pillows.
Hux held the locker up to his face, to try and make out the tiny printed words. His breath caught in his throat.
"'Will You Marry Me?'", he read in disbelief. "What the--"
He opened up the locket, and out fell a stunningly beautiful gold ring. It was heavy, and featured rubies that went all the way around the band, in a circle, ending with a large diamond that was set at center.
Hux sat with it in his palm, stunned, thinking that somehow, this had to be a mistake.
"It's not a mistake", Kylo said from the doorway, watching him. "I've wanted to ask you for some time, now, but each time I tried I lost my nerve. I had hoped the cat would help me break the ice, but Maker, I'm as nervous as ever. And I wouldn't blame you, if you said no. There's a lot wrong with me, a lot that can't be fixed. But I want you to know, if you said yes, I'd take care of you. I would do everything in my power to make you happy, protect you, honor you. I want to be with you this birthday, and all your other ones for the rest of your life."
He had gotten on his knee in front of Hux during his speech, and had Hux's left hand in his. He had taken the ring from Hux's hand.
"So, formally: Armitage Hux, I love you more than anything in this universe, and I want nothing more from this life than the honor of being your husband. Will you marry me?"
It had been so long since Hux had allowed himself to cry, over anything, that he wasn't sure what was happening. What was this hot moisture on his cheeks? Why was his throat feeling so closed up?
And why did he feel so--so happy?
He didn't want to spoil the perfect sweetness of the moment, but his orderly mind couldn't help but ask the question that sprang to his lips: "What about Snoke?"
Kylo nodded, understanding what Hux was asking. "I already spoke with him, and asked his blessing on the situation. He gave it."
"Oh, Kylo--", was all that Hux could manage to get out. He put his arms around him and held him, as more unscheduled wetness leaked down his face.
"So I'm confused. Do you accept, or not?"
Hux pulled away from him and fixed him with his sternest look.
"Lord Kylo Ren. You've known for some time now that the relationship between us has been unprofessional, unproductive, and completely inappropriate. To think of continuing our dalliances for another day, let alone a lifetime, is pure folly. Therefore, in regards to your proposal: I accept."
"Really." He hugged Kylo to him again, squeezing him tightly. "You--for once you did everything completely perfect. I don't think you could spoil this moment even if you tried."
Kylo pulled away and looked at him apprehensively.
"Don't be too sure about that."
Before Hux could question what he meant, Kylo went on:
"Um, don't get angry, but--I may have arranged a surprise birthday/engagement party for you, out there," he said, gesturing beyond the bedroom door.
Hux looked at him in surprise. "No, you didn't."
At that moment, Hux heard a muffled, but still audible, cough from the other room. His eyes widened and he turned back to Kylo.
"When did you even--"
"I planned this last week. While you were in here with the cat, I sent a Comm message to everyone telling them to set up out there while I distracted you."
Hux was silent, finding it hard to believe how much effort Kylo had gone through for today.
"So, this is not just a birthday party, but an engagement one, too?"
"What if I had said No?"
"Then this would have been one horribly awkward party," Kylo said, grinning. "Either way, I'm keeping the presents.", and the two of them laughed.
Hux started to kiss his neck. "What if I just want to 'celebrate' in here, alone?"
Kylo chuckled and gently pushed him away. "You've got to wait for later, my love, and part 3 of your gift."
Hux shivered with pleasure at the thought. "It's my birthday; can't I have part 3 now?"
"Normally I'd give you what you want, but, there are about 30 people crowded out there, and I highly doubt they'd want to wait for me to finish with you."
"They can't wait 10 minutes?", Hux asked playfully, and Kylo hit him on the shoulder.
"Very funny," he said, rolling his eyes. "Are you ready?"
Hux picked up the cat with one hand and took Kylo's hand with his other, as they walked out to greet their friends.