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Chiaroscuro (A Star Wars Story)

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1.

Kylo Ren:

 

A few drops of his warm blood fell hissing as it hit the snow. He had to beat a fist against his left side, where the Wookie had shot him somehow from far across the cavernous expanse. By beating at the wound, he could feel the pain more sharply. It gave him the strength through the darkside to continue on, to fight against the growing regret inside of him at what he had done, and to finish this once and for all. It helped keep him disconnected from his failure to get the map, to have not eliminated the Stormtrooper, and this girl, just some scavenger from inconsequential Jakku, who had escaped under his watch. This girl somehow had strong Force sensibilities. This girl somehow had a connection to him. He had felt something in her mind: Their destinies intertwined…but how?

No matter, there was no time to try and figure any of that out now.

He had caught up to her in the snow and he wanted revenge for all the trouble she had brought down upon him. Force throwing her against the tree was not enough, he grew tired of her repeated attempts to shoot him, but he had to take care of her companion first.

“TRAITOR!” He had to yell at the former trooper to get him up and away from the unconscious girl’s side and to stand up and fight. He would enjoy this, as he knew that she had started to care for him, the one who now somehow held Anakin Skywalker’s lightsaber in his unworthy hands. As he had assumed, it didn’t take long to disarm and leave him lying unconscious in the snow as well.

He wanted the saber that belonged to him, his grandfather’s lightsaber, which was now in the snow drift where it had landed. He called to it through the Force; it quaked and began to move but to his amazement it ended up flying right past him…and into her waiting hand. She looked up at him bewildered. In a split second they shared that sentiment. In his disbelief of all of this, in that moment, he found himself somewhat struck in awe of her. She was the one, a potential new Jedi…and something more.

She ignited that saber. So she wanted a contest? They were dueling across the uneven snow covered ground and she did give a decent fight, but was raw and needed training. Her abilities had grown quickly and he knew her dirty little secret, which even she didn’t acknowledge about herself: she had darkness within her. So he gave her a choice, let him teach her the ways of the Force or die. He had her backed over the newly formed crevice in the planet. She didn’t take his offer and then started to fight back, and this time with so much more power than before. She ended up nearly killing him. Why hadn’t she just finished the job? It might have been easier.

He was feeling hatred, anger, confusion, remorse; he really didn’t know how to fully recover. After the bacta tank had done what it could for his physical wounds, he went to his castle on Mustafar to recover his mental wounds. He had inherited other properties on other worlds, but only this one stood on what was once the site of a Sith temple during the reign of the Galactic Empire. Regardless of the planet’s inhospitable sweltering climate, the twin towers of the castle where attuned to the darkness and its interiors were cool and kept elaborately steeped in darkside power. It was here that he knew he could regain his strength. He needed all of this to stop the guilt he felt and to return prepared to complete his training.

The castle had always been welcoming to him and well cared for by the “shadows”, the beings that had a life pledge to preserve the artifacts and the materials of the Sith. They were always highly honored to be in the presence of a descendent of Lord Vader. However, while he was here, they were to remain sightless.

Sitting in what used to be Darth Vader’s grand chamber; he would meditate for sometimes hours at a time, in a state of equanimity, as the power permeated into his being. Outside the entrance, a shadow or two would be hidden, just to be near him, in hopes of feeling just a bit more of the power they were already addicted to as it slowly drove some of them mad.

Strength had soon returned to him. He opened his eyes and could feel the renewed supremacy within him. It was intoxicating. As he rose from his plush seat he held out his right hand at arm’s length as his saber flew across the room and snapped into his hand. As he casually stepped over the body of an unfortunate shadow that had gotten too close, he put his saber on his hip, and lifted his hood up over his head. He felt ready now, ready and eager to continue his training with the Supreme Leader.

At what point, in his temporarily frenzied mind, he had actually sensed that connection he seemed to have to her, he wasn’t sure. But something was there, in some part of him, he felt it, and it was unexpected. What was more unexpected was that it was somehow able to still linger and push through the dark forces he had invited in to purify him. Her destiny entangled with his, but it had become something else, something long ago forgotten yet familiar…and this something was to be pursued.

 

Rey:

 

As they ran across the stiff frozen ground headed to meet Chewie at the Falcon, is when his words stopped them cold in their tracks.

“We’re not finished yet.”

That voice. Ice crawled up her spine. They turned around to see him standing there, hair stuck to his face looking wild, disconnected. His wicked cross guard saber ignited. He was beating his bow caster wound. A few drops of his warm blood melting the snow at his feet. He disgusted her, he was a monster and she was livid.

“It’s just us now," he taunted, “Han Solo can’t save you.”

His piercing eyes were on her. Her emotions were so out of restraint, she pulled the blaster from her waist and began to shoot right at him. In a flash his hand was out. She was screaming, flying backward through the chill air, her back making hard impact with a tree. She wasn’t conscious to feel her body crash to the ground.

When she slowly started to open her eyes, she could see out of focus blurry red and blue coming together. She could hear the electrical whirling sounds of clashing lightsabers, Finn’s scream of pain somewhere nearby. She sat up slowly, remembering what was around her; snow, ice…a monster.

She stood up and saw the back of his towering figure as he was reaching for something in the Force. She was just somehow compelled to hold her own hand out as he was. As she did, she saw Luke’s lightsaber whizz past him, as he backed his head out of the way just in time, and it snapped right into her hand. She looked down at it bewildered and back up at him. The look on his face was one of pure shock.

“It is you.”

She had no idea what he had meant, but she did know the minute that hilt had landed in her hand, that it was like she had seen parts of this all before somehow, as if she always knew that Kylo was the apprentice that turned on Luke and had fallen to the darkside. She brought the saber to life. She wanted to hurt him bad for hurting Finn….and Han.

They dueled across the frozen ground as the planet shook and trees collapsed. The Resistance was here firing from somewhere above, crippling the planet at its core. She was frantic as she was fighting him, backing up having to steal quick glances behind her as to not trip or get hit by a falling tree. He had her leaning back over the huge, newly formed fracture in the ground, sabers across one another. He looked in her eyes and wanted her surrender as he offered to teach her the ways of the Force. Then it snapped in place, the Force. She remembered what Maz had told her about it being in every living thing. In a split second that seemed much, much longer, she was able to close her eyes and garner some of that energy to come alive inside of her. As she reopened her eyes, she saw some fear reflected in his face.

She was now able to finally overtake him, especially since he was already wounded. She fell into the battle as it became more and more familiar; it was some ability that she hadn’t even known she possessed. She left him lying in the cold snow, a slash across his face from her blade. He struggled to sit up as he muttered her name under his breath.

As she stalked around him, taking in her victory, she heard a voice in her head: “Kill him.”

It wouldn’t take very much at all to finish him. The pleasure she got from this feeling…but then she found herself naturally retreating from it. Just then the ground rumbled and a giant crevice formed separating them. She turned around to get to Finn. They had to get back to the ship, and fast before the planet blew up.

She enjoyed her time meeting her new Resistance family and having a nice comfortable place to live with food and water, she could clean herself when she wanted and they outfitted her with suitable clothing. All the while she secretly had nightmares of him stalking her, that mask, that blade always coming at her. She would wake up at night and have to just remind herself that she was safe, in a room with friends, just outside her door.

At first, she hadn’t been so eager to go find Luke as Maz had suggested was her destiny. But she knew these people had fought the darkside, some for most of their lives; just to hold on to the hope that someday they might live in a galaxy that was at peace. She knew she possessed this power for some reason, and knew that going back to Jakku was now beyond pointless.

Part of her was somehow aware of his life presence even now if she thought about it. Something had happened; something was left in her after she had turned the tables on him and was able to be in his mind while he was in hers, some kind of connection. She had felt that he had made it off of Starkiller alive. No, they weren’t finished yet; she would have to face him again. Something about this made her feel both terrified and yet surprisingly eager.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

2.

 

Reciprocity  [res-uh-pros-i-tee]   a mutual exchange

 

 

"The Force is strong with him. The son of Skywalker must not become a Jedi.”

But he had.

Luke sat at the table in the small hut, hands on his father’s lightsaber, remembering what was said of himself years ago. As he looked down at this mechanical hand, it brought back memories of what he had learned. There was a thin line between the light and dark, and now more than ever the evidence of this resounded.

Now he knew that Leia’s son, Ben Solo, his nephew, had lived as an unknowing victim to an outside evil. He was so much stronger then he realized to have resisted this darkness for 23 years of his life and growing up having no one to understand. They were not aware, until it was too late, that Ben had been targeted by Snoke not only because he was a Skywalker, but because of what he possessed within him, both the light and the darkness.

Ben had a lot of similarities to Anakin, and with Han’s rough edges, Leia had been afraid to tell him the truth….that his grandfather had become Darth Vader. She just wanted to keep him away from any dark influences. She had sent him to Luke to train as a Jedi hoping he would follow that path. But Ben had found out the truth before she could tell him herself about his real lineage.

Luke didn’t understand how he, himself, could have missed the signs, the turmoil he had sometimes witnessed in his nephew. He really believed Ben to be the chosen one, like Anakin before him, but the one to make things right, the one to help free the universe of its current oppression under the darkside, the one to bring balance to the Force. Luke had made a grave mistake. Perhaps he had imposed his own views too much on Ben instead of taking into account the boy’s true feelings, teaching him to deny all darkness even though it was a part of him. Living up to the Skywalker name could be overwhelming within itself.

It was a very hard thing to do to forgive himself his failure to his nephew, to his sister and to Han. This led him to go into exile in his guilt, he needed to discover why. How could he of been so wrong? The Jedi didn’t work, they couldn’t keep balance, not in their current state. He had believed that the Jedi needed to just end. He just wanted to disappear.

Then this girl, Rey, was sent by his sister to persuade him to come back, to help the galaxy once again as the darkness became a bigger and bigger threat. It was the last thing he wanted. He was very reluctant to train anymore. He was mostly cut off from the Force and was living in his isolation for a reason. Rey had the persistence and had stubbornly stayed on the island in the Falcon with Chewbacca and R2D2 for almost a standard month, refusing to leave until he agreed to train her. She had the need to learn, and in fact his Father’s saber, in a way, chose her. She fought him fearlessly and dealt with his rejection, but when he had found out about all of the war and disaster that had fallen upon the galaxy, it had shocked him enough to help this girl, at least for his sister's sake.

This wasn’t all about him anymore, it was about Rey and this task of what she may have been born to face. These past months he was training her and educating her in the Force, giving her access to the Jedi temple and to the ancient texts. She was feverish to learn.

Ben could have paved the way and fulfilled the foretold Skywalker prophecy; however Snoke used him to push the balance in his own favor to stay in power. Rey may be the counteraction of him and the darkness, the one to bring the balance to the Force. 

 

Rey slept uncomfortably in her cot. Regardless of how peaceful this island on Ahch-To could be (her and Luke Skywalker where currently the only human inhabitants) disruptions in her sleep have found her again. For some reason the nightmares she had been experiencing shortly after her ordeal on Starkiller had recently come back and turned into an almost nightly affair.

Usually the nightmares are of a red blazing light, crackling, terrifying, and slicing menacingly through the air toward her, the very buzz of its ignition playing on repeat in her head. On the end of this wicked light is the phantom who wields it, stalking her through the snow. He is wild, disconnected, an unfeeling machine finding strength behind a mask. She always defended herself with her own inherited cerulean saber, the colors mixing with his making vibrant lavender. He would hold his lightsaber, poised to strike.

“I could kill you right now. But there is another way.”

She looks up in disgust at him. “You’re a monster!”

“You need a teacher.” He was imploring and persistent all at once. “I can show you the ways of the Force!”

This time however, the nightmare was different.

She bolted up right; awake.

What was that?” She asked herself out loud, eyes wide. She was feeling something that she didn’t understand. She pulled her legs up, wrapping her arms around her calves in the dark. She thought about the dream trying to make some sense of it all.

There was another presence there tonight; this one was cold, felt like pure darkness, which sent chills down her spine. It felt like icy hands around her neck and for some reason it quickly began to warm her and made her feel this anger instead of fear. As quickly as it had appeared, however, it was gone, then…desolation. She had felt alone in the eerie silence, but had the ominous feeling that another presence had appeared in her proximity; that he was there, somewhere.

Darkness surrounded her as she spun around, trying to get some bearing, then she heard it, the sound of his lightsaber as it buzzed to life. He seemed to move in slow motion through the fog as he was stalking nearer. She was ready with her own ignited saber in hand. He could be seen in the light of their weapons, the bright crimson reflected in his mask, that shroud of pure death. She used that fury she had just felt in herself as she advanced on him and met his saber violently.

His voice was distorted by the mask; it was malignant, mechanical, “Let your anger flow through you.”

His saber struck hers in a loud echoing sizzle of raw power. Her teeth where gritted and she was fighting him with all she had. She still felt that foreign feeling of pure hatred within herself, that feeling that had last surfaced on Starkiller when she had defeated him; a voice in her head had told her to finish him while he was down.

“I can show you the ways of the Force, join me.”

“No!” she said indignantly as he held up a gloved hand and her saber went flying off into the darkness. Fog everywhere so thick she couldn’t see but she could hear that strange malevolent breathing all around her. Then water everywhere, surrounding her, she was in it! Someone was extending a hand, she had the feeling that she shouldn’t take that hand coming down through the wavy surface but she would surely drown if she didn’t. She reached for it…

Then the scene changed. The imperious prince was still shroud in all onyx, but no mask this time, his dark hair was perfect and he had no facial battle damage. They were in the interrogation room again on Starkiller Base, everything about it was the same, even what she wore, and how she was strapped to that rig.

He walked over to her as he had before in his air of grand superiority. She felt a strange unnerving anticipation build as he got near. He stood close, looking down at her. She felt him there, but kept looking straight ahead and didn’t meet his eyes. His large gloved hand then reached over to hold her jaw, to tilt her head slightly so she had to look up at him. What she saw in his eyes now was not what she had been expecting. He was standing before her, and somehow he had changed, he had an almost different demeanor about him, some unexpected softness to his expression. It was as if some different part of him was trying to connect with her. He didn’t want to fight her. He wanted to touch her. Somehow she knew this. She felt her own embarrassment and fear at his nearness to her be replaced by shock.

He looked at her now in some pleading way, his eyes were on her parted lips. She felt her heart beating against her chest in some sort of breathless anticipation. His thumb on her jaw traced over her bottom lip, and then he leaned in so close to her, that his own lips barely brushed hers….that is when she bolted awake returning to her bed. Her heart was pounding in her chest; she was hot but had the chills.

Evening out her breath, just breathing in to calm herself, she climbed out of the cot in her oversized sweaty grey tunic to check out the dimly lit windows of her modest hut. Smoothing her hair back slowly with both hands on her head, she let out her breath. What was wrong with her? Sure, having this monster that she had previously only seen in a vision, in a nightmare, actually be a real thing, stalking her through the forest, abducting her, forcing his way into her mind….yes, some nightmares where justified. She still remembered him murdering his own Father! He then had forced her into a situation with him where she had no choice but to fight him. Master Luke taught her to control her fear, but caught totally off guard by how she had felt in this dream just left her in some confused fog.

She remembered that something had happened when he penetrated her mind and she had somehow slipped into his. Unbeknownst to him at the time, he had awakened her dormant Force sensibility. It had felt mesmerizing inside each other like that, staring in each other’s eyes, both breathing erratically. Something had suddenly clicked into place between them, some sort of link. She didn’t understand all that she had been feeling at the time; she was just focused on defying him. While he exposed her secrets, she was surprised to find that the fearsome, murderous Kylo Ren had some vulnerability and self-doubt to him. He surely wasn’t all that he seemed.

She quickly changed her shirt, chucking the one she removed unceremoniously to the floor as she climbed back on the cot. She was trying to ignore her building shame, an elbow on her bent knee, holding a fist to her forehead. She was shocked; a small part of her had actually wanted him to kiss her. She couldn’t understand what was wrong. She had secretly found herself somehow inexplicably drawn to him. He was a murderer who committed patricide, so that couldn’t possibly be right. She was always in control of herself and of her own life, she had to be. But why had something changed when she saw his face, when she was in his mind? A certain look in his dark, dangerous eyes made her feel so uncomfortably warm with some kind of expectation. It sickened her. She lay back down on her side slowly, covering herself up so that the thin blanket was tucked up under her chin. This dream actually disturbed her more then the ones where they fought…those made sense. Staring blankly at the wall, feeling quite numb, she was sure sleep would elude her the rest of the night.

 

Somewhere across the galaxy, Kylo Ren jolted awake, his eyes snapping open in the darkness of his quarters on The Finalizer. He closed his eyes again, attempting to relax his wired body. There was eagerness in him that he wasn’t sure he had ever felt. He had found himself able to manipulate some part of her vision, though their connection, during their sleep, when their inherent defenses were at their weakest. Only one thing, he didn’t seem to have complete control over himself in this realm, or was it her? It had felt as if something in him had reacted to her out on its own accord. There was something almost....familiar. He had felt such a deep attraction. He wanted to kiss her… and more.

Something had affected him that day in the Takodana forest. He was there to retrieve the droid with the map to Skywalker, but when he was told she was there he had to track her. She was the girl that had flown The Millennium Falcon and helped not only the droid escape Jakku, but the traitorous Stormtrooper FN-2187.

He toyed with her as he easily blocked her every laser shot with his saber that she desperately fired at him. When he was done playing, he was able to freeze her in place with just a thought through the Force. He had teased her about her attacking him.

“You shot first. You speak of the Order as if it were barbaric. And yet, it is I who was forced to defend myself against you.”

She was just a girl, at least ten standard years younger than him. As he had strolled around her, he took in the look of her sun tanned skin, the freckles that danced across her face, her smooth looking parted lips and her breasts as they moved up and down under her dingy desert garb with her rapid fearful breath. She hardly looked as though she had spent most of her life scavenging. He guessed that she couldn’t have been any more than 18 standard years. He had removed a glove to put his hand on her hot face, his thumb rubbing her soft cheek.

“So afraid,” he murmured mechanically. He knew that his mask and his touch frightened her, but he found that her fear only excited him. He skimmed her mind enough to know that she had seen the map. He felt the strong compulsion to just take her from the forest and in haste he called off the search as he caused her to collapse helplessly into his arms.

“Pull the division out, forget the droid. We have what we need.”

On Starkiller, when she had somehow entered into his mind while he was in hers, staring into each other’s eyes, almost breathless, something had formed between them. He sensed some kind of connection that is when he made an astonishing discovery: Somehow her destiny was intertwined with his.

She was surprisingly force sensitive as he was taken totally aback when she was able to find his fear. She was obviously powerful and had shaken him like no other had before.

He reached up in the dark now to trace the slim scar that ran down the right side of his face from his losing battle with her. Yes, her stalking him, as he lay there in defeat in the snow breathing out her name, the anger in her eyes was so beautiful even if it meant he would wear a reminder.

"Something, there is something... who are you?"

The girl also possessed more darkness inside her then she even knew. She could not remain with the Resistance, not with her potential power.

He arose to shower. As the hot water ran over his muscles it relieved his aching, aroused body. However, with thoughts of her still fresh in his mind, it didn’t take too much time to lean one hand against the shower stall while the other hand stroked himself to orgasm; the only way to regain his composure. He didn’t appreciate to have to take time out for such humanly common things, but he was a man and he knew it was his only relief at the moment, not that it wasn’t enjoyable or left him feeling revitalized. He had barely even had such thoughts as most of his youth was spent training as a Jedi, prohibited from attachments and passion. No one has ever put so many such thoughts into his head before now, before her. As he had awoken something in her, she had awoken something within him.

“You’re so lonely… so afraid to leave… At night, desperate to sleep… you imagine an ocean. I see it — I see the island.”

She had seen the landscape in her dreams thousands of times without realizing it had been waiting for her…and now she waited there for him.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

3.

  

Verisimilitude [ver-uh-si-mil-i-tood, -tyood]  the appearance of being true or real

 

 

In Rey’s little part of the island, the naturally warmed spring water fell over the rocks in soothing ripples over her as she washed herself. It might have been just a dream, but cleaning herself from it was essential. She needed to feel free from his touch, his nearing lips and how it all made her body feel. It wasn’t right. However, for some reason, she could not forget the gentleness she had seen in his eyes towards her. It was as if he was another person. He was though, buried deep inside of him, wasn’t he?

She really wanted to successfully meditate, to let the Force flow through her for more than just lightsaber training, but to feel more connected. She could use it successfully to move things, such as rocks or predict the next move with the practice sphere, but lately when she attempted to just meditate; her mind would drift and she would always end up thinking about her friends back at the Resistance base. On Jakku she never really had such relationships.

How was Finn doing? The last she saw of him, he was going to be put in a type of med tank to speed the recovery of his legs. Kylo Ren had slashed open a good portion of his back damaging a small part of his spine. Finn was the first person in this strange life changing journey she was on, to show her caring and kinship, actually returning to Starkiller with means to come back for her after Kylo Ren had abducted her. He would never leave her behind, he was her family now. They belonged.

Han was like a father to her and although it had been months ago, she still missed him. Just thinking about him being betrayed by his own son…she had a hard time not feeling hatred toward the murderer. She couldn’t even image what Leia must be going through. That made it so much more difficult to try and understand why her body reacted to him in the dream as it had.

“Don’t be afraid, I feel it, too.”

With her training, surely things like this shouldn’t be happening. And of all people, why him? And here she was again, feeling things Luke told her she had to try and control. It was just full circle back to him being in her head. Throwing the small container of wash to bounce across the rocks surrounding her, she let out a growl of frustration.

 

He would soon have a chance. Don’t get him wrong, he found himself growing fond of these people and was greatful for them nursing him back to health, but he needed to leave. Why couldn’t they see that this was a losing battle? He knew the First Order; he knew firsthand what they could do, what they have done. There was no more senate to give them any kind of backing and their numbers in the Resistance where dwindling. It was only a matter of time before the Order showed up to this new base that they were on, and Finn did not want to be here when that happened. He was a big target on their hit list as a defected trooper.

Could he do this? Could he commandeer a ship and go find Rey? He wasn’t the best pilot, in fact, he wasn’t a pilot at all, well, at least not a great one, and so that could be a slight problem. Soon he would be healed and cleared to go on a mission; a mission that would get him off of this planet, away from here. He really didn’t want to let down the Resistance, but he had to think about himself and Rey. He missed his friend badly. The last time he saw her she was knocked unconscious in the snow by the same evil that had landed him in this chair.

Now Rey was gone, she went to bring back Luke Skywalker. He had also heard she was going to him to train as a new Jedi. She possessed some power and had to hone it. No one would be really clear on the details of her “mission.” Did they really believe some invisible Force was really going to save them all? He didn’t put a lot of stock into that theory; not to say he didn’t believe that there was something. He had seen some pretty unexplainable things that were far from normal. His stormtrooper division barely was around the higher ups in the First Order, but there had always been a lot of talk and rumors.

From what his limited knowledge of all of this was, he knew some believed it best to just steer clear of anyone named “Skywalker” they were somehow cursed. Others looked up to the family as some sort of legends, heroes of the Rebellion and the lightside. And some were still beholden to the old Sith mythologies still worshipping Vader, who, it turned out, had been a Skywalker, go figure. It surrounded this family, whatever it was.

General Organa, however, had been nothing but kind to him, and he really did like and respect her, but if her own son could do what he saw him do, why cling on to so much hope? It made no sense to him how good people as Han and Leia could have such a thing happen to them. Maybe that family was cursed after all. He just wanted to get Rey away from all of them.

He would wait until he was fully healed, but he had to do something, and soon.

 

As the afternoon progressed, Luke could sense her growing irritation. Something was in her head disrupting her thoughts. After he had let her have a break to just feel the sand and water under her bare feet and clear her head, she felt ready to try again. She was a bit more refreshed and optimistic. He sat down on the temple library floor, legs crossed facing her.

“Rey, you can do this, you have done this.”

She sighed, tightening up the three knots in her hair.

“It’s just…," she looked away at the floor. Surely she could not tell him of her dream. "It's just...difficult...to forget some things, to not think of them.”

Luke agreed, “Yes it is. It can be a challenge to just let everything go. It sounds...impossible at times,” he continued with his clear blue eyes looking right through her it seemed, as he remembered such a moment from his past.

“Let’s try this, something simple.” Luke instructed, coming back to life, as Rey rolled her shoulders and neck in an attempt to just relax. She sat up straight.

“Just close your eyes, clear your mind and breathe.” She closed her eyes and let the air blow out of her mouth, concentrating on his soothing voice.

“I am not here, this temple is not here. It is just you, my voice as a guide.” She began to let herself just think of the Force as something flowing, through her, it courses through everything, and it is everywhere…even something she could breathe in.

She allowed herself to start to drift, to breathe in the salty air, to see the sun lit steps of the island, the breeze gently stirring her hair, the gradually crashing waves of the water, the visions that had always brought her peace as a child. She could feel the gentle zephyr all around her.

“Now breathe, just…breathe.” She felt almost in a trance, pulling the air in through her nose, “Now let yourself just reach out…what do you see?” She felt as though she had lifted a hand out. She breathed in and out deeply and felt a sense of calm slowly wash over her. She felt light and tranquil as flashes of visions began to appear to her.

“Light,” she answered as the warm, peaceful feelings flowed through her from in the temple. “Darkness” she continued as the light was swept away and a possessive feeling of fearful unsteadiness took its place with a cold breeze around her neck, things feeling so sinister, and anger…her anger. She saw a flash of a broken, smoking mask…his mask. It all seemed to dance around each other, bouncing off of one another. It was as if it needed each other to just survive. The result was that some sort of haze of correlation occurred.

“Some...balance,” she just knew.

“It’s so much bigger.”

She was at ease and felt somehow as if she had a reason for being here, right here, right now, but this vision wasn’t finished yet. She was hearing voices.

“All is as it should be.”

That voice again, reaching out, and somehow she just knew it was safe, as if she had heard it all of her life.

“Take your time,” Luke instructed, “do you see anything else?”

“He is being used for his power.”

She had heard this other voice before, also.

All of a sudden there was wind and rain. She was on a cliff and he was coming at her, vicious light and death in his eyes. The bodies of his knights were all dead on the ground. She has to fight him, clashing hitting sabers in the rain. He kept advancing.

“We don’t have to do this,” he growls loudly over the rain, “come with me, we can end this here!” His wet hair sticking to his face and his eyes wild as their sabers where crackling against one another.

She shakes her head, “No!”

Suddenly the sabers are disengaged. There is some indistinct look on his face. She stares at him in disbelief, shaking her head back and forth slowly at what she sees in his eyes. She is trying to understand. There, his expression was reflecting in his sudden change of behavior. It’s as if she is trying to grasp something that is unsaid. He lifts a hand out towards her, as if he wants to touch her face, so close, some kind of pain and regret in his eyes.

“Ben?” She hears herself ask, as the lightning crashes. She reaches a hand up to his face but before she can touch him, she is stopped by a strange, unsettling, almost erotic emotion that surrounds him, then more darkness. He is gone.

“You will be tempted; you cannot control it.”

She feels warm and flush.

“Flowing through all, there is balance.”

Somehow she just knows this is true. She feels some kind of peace and serenity return to her senses as all these things combine into one.

Like a hand pulling her back to reality, or out of the water, she was back to the temple and Luke. She slowly opens her eyes.

She feels energized, somehow more in tune. The force is in all living things all around her and it seeking balance...one couldn't be without the other. 

Luke senses her relief. “You did it. How did it feel?”

Rey looks up. “Amazing,” she smiles, “and yet, quite confusing.” She adds as her smile fades.

“You said Ben’s name.” Luke carefully says. She looks up from her hands quickly; she must have said that out loud.

“Yes,” she answers, sort of reluctantly. She quickly glances back down at the floor. She didn’t want to admit that she had seen this side of him before, just briefly, not so long ago.

“It was Kylo Ren and he was fighting me. Then something changed, he changed, his aura, something in his eyes,” She shakes her head finally looking up at Luke in concern, “he was like…a different person.” She sighs, sort of embarrassed that she had to tell him this. “Is he still in there?”

“I really don’t know, Rey,” he answers somberly, “but I do know the Force shows you what you, as an individual, need to see.”

She shakes her head. “But why…” she doesn’t finish. She still has a questioning look on her face. He touches her hand and gets up to leave. He knows she needs time alone to process what she had just experienced. This is concerning but maybe….

She watches him go. She takes a deep breath as a quick slip of a memory runs through her mind:

“Where am I?”

“Does the physical location really matter so much? You’re my guest.”

She remembered waking up and finding him just watching her from an unexpected supplicating position across the room.

She gets up from the temple floor to slowly walk over to the shelf of books. Why would she see him; why would she see Ben Solo? She is proud of her accomplishment, yet torn to try and understand, first that dream and now this. She starts to pick a book to leaf through, but her mind is still someplace else. Instead, she runs her hand lazily along the bindings of the books on the shelves as she slowly walks by them in thought.

“You still want to kill me.”

“That’s what happens when you’re being hunted by a creature in a mask.”

She remembered feeling stunned when he removed his mask for her. She felt it was something that he didn’t do very often. He looked nothing like what she was expecting. She wondered why he wore it, other than to hide his identity she supposed, but he had no reason to hide this face in a mask. Wait, what did it matter? He was evil.

“Then you don’t need me to tell you anything.”

“True. I would have preferred to avoid this. Despite what you may believe, it gives me no pleasure.”

Back outside she ventures to let the sea breeze cool and calm her senses. She unties her three knots out of her hair slowly feeling the wind flow through it.

“I don’t want to kill you.”

Okay, so Ben is who he used to be. He is unfortunately no longer that person.

Although he didn’t want to hurt me, she thinks, running her fingers absent mindedly through the last tangles of her hair.

“I would prefer to be honest with you from the beginning.”

As steeped in the darkness as he was, a part of him had still been trying to be honest and not hurt her in his own shattered way; he had treated her differently. Her eyes widened a bit. Why was this? Was there any light still in him? Is she seeking too much in all of this? Wait, what was wrong with her? Why was she even contemplating this monster’s motives? When she was in his head, however, she had found that he was surprisingly vulnerable. He surely wasn’t as tough as he seemed to be, hiding behind the mask.

She remembered words from her vision:

“He is being used for his power.”

As the little porg gather to greet her looking up and chirping, she smiles and takes a deep breath of the air watching the sea.

He killed his own father and hurt Finn.

An icy, ominous feeling slowly glides over her, disrupting all these thoughts. Perhaps he was somehow doing all of this? It was surely an easier thought then thinking she was actually feeling anything for him.

“You will be tempted, you cannot control it.”

 This was clearly a warning.

A warning about him...or somehow a warning about herself?

 

 

Chapter Text

                 

4.

 

Deviation [dee-vee-ey-shuh n] departure from an established ideology, to turn aside

 

 

He didn’t understand. Killing Han Solo was supposed to be the final price to pay to seal his immunity to the light within him and to secure his loyalty to the darkside.

Had that not been the test Leader Snoke had foretold him of?

This proved to not be the case. He had been immediately shocked at what he had done, and he had found himself weakened by it, weakened, and at the same time he felt betrayed. As much as he tried to forget, the feelings always found a way to come back into his mind. He was still in just as much inner turmoil now if not more.

The light…it won’t leave him.

Having grown up on the core world of Chandrila, near the New Republic’s Galactic Senate, his parents had very active lives. A lot of times as a child he was left feeling abandoned and lonely as his former smuggler father was unable to stay in one place for very long and his mother, a respected senator, was very busy in the senate and with the Rebellion, she was always thinking of the greater good of the people. He was regularly left with loving caregivers, however in his young mind; they could not replace his parents. 

Ben was at times overwhelmed by everyone’s expectations of him, being born who he was, not only the nephew of Golden Boy, Luke Skywalker, but he was the son of royalty, heir to the House of Organa. He wanted to be a pilot and race, while Leia thought it best to send him to Luke to become a Jedi. In his mind there must have been something wrong with him, and he needed to be sent away to be fixed.

When Luke believed that Ben was indeed the next chosen one of sorts, the expectations of him got even loftier. He found that he grew more and more resentful towards Luke with his prophecies and all of his crusades against the darkside. His uncle never really understood his feelings, the passion, the anger that he felt inside of himself. As a Jedi padawan, he was told to not let such things distract, that nothing good could ever come from such emotions. It wasn’t an easy task for him to just deny an integral part of himself, a part that made him who he was. All eyes were on him at the academy. At times he just wanted to escape. And this was when he finally gave that voice that was sometimes in his head some attention.

Ben never gave too much consideration to it, this thing that had always been there, in some way it seemed, until he neared adulthood. It led him to Snoke, an entity that was able to show him that it was indeed the Jedi at the forefront with all of their radicalization and child indoctrination that was the true trouble of the galaxy. Kylo got the approval and the attention from Snoke that his own family, who had attempted to keep him in the dark regarding his own feelings and his own lineage, never seem to have for him.

One of the final stones cast to his turning from his family came when he discovered on the holo news, during one of his Mother’s election runs, that Leia was indeed the daughter of Darth Vader. He had heard of Vader, but never thought this connection….and then if fell into him, the truth, as if it had always been there, just deeply hidden within him. He didn’t want to believe this.

Upon further research he was able to conclude the validity of all of this, and the fact that his own grandfather, Anakin Skywalker, had been the Jedi that had become Darth Vader. It made sense, his feelings of inadequacy to become a Jedi, his not wanting to deny his feelings; his family’s secret of the very blood that ran through his veins. What else had they lied about and kept from him? It seemed only Snoke had been truthful to him of the Jedi.

As Kylo Ren, the leader of the Knights of Ren, he was someone to avoid, he was egotistical and ill-tempered. In the past 7 standard years he had murdered many a Jedi and earned the moniker of “Jedi Killer”; a faceless terror in head to toe black showing not an ounce of humanity. This was how he was now seen across the galaxy. Even many aboard The Finalizer had never been privileged enough to see what was under the mask or knew what his true identity was.

Now in the empty combat room, he ignited his light saber breathing erratically as the sweat ran down his face. In his sinking disconnected rage at the pain he felt, he was able to focus back on the darkside. As the training simulator droids came at him, he battled and sliced every one of the forms horrifically to shreds. In doing so, he felt empowered once again.

 

On the other side of the transparasteel the Supreme Leader observed his once prize pupil with a half smile. He still held some high hopes for him, and gave him privileged treatment, the best of everything. Kylo Ren’s needs had come before anything else. The First Order performed the war duties under General Hux, however, if Kylo needed to accomplish something all had to be considered in order to be sure his needs where met. Snoke only asked for the darkside’s directives to be carried out with complete loyalty.

Continuing his training was vital to keep his lineage alive and to accomplish what the line of Skywalker was to continue. What his own family had failed to comprehend about him, Snoke had understood and knew how exceptional he was. To control that was to have the upper hand over the balance. He needed both of Kylo’s lightside skills as well as the darkside as it completed his own power.

Kylo never realized that as much as he may try to eradicate the light within him that it would never leave…it would always be a part of him. And it was that very light that kept him conflicted and his anger at a heightened level. The boy needed to keep that conflict within him, but it could be reined in and when he strayed too far to the light; he just had to be given a little reminder. Pain always seemed to work best. No one had defeated Kylo Ren in battle in years...until now. He had failed and showed weakness, compassion, something that could not be tolerated.

Lately he had been feeling the disturbance. She was another. The very one Kylo had showed compassion to, this was surely not a coincidence. Something had manifested after the demise of the Sith to create some anomaly. He had wanted Kylo Ren to bring this girl to him. He needed to know. He needed to know if...it was her. Had she been found?

 

Bent over, panting and feeling fatigued; his master told him to carry on for just a while more. He needed the strength and stamina. Snoke could inflict pain on him to strengthen him so he could carry on. He was Kylo Ren. Something, there was something there, becoming stronger, some pull, making his thoughts wander, a disruption trying to break through the surface. His own necessity or was there someone else? Was it her? He stood up, utilizing the Force, yes he could carry on in his session a while longer. He needed to focus, his master commanded it. He would not let him down.

“You don’t belong with them. The First Order arose from the darkside, you did not.”

“I perceive the problem. It isn’t her strength that is making you fail, it is your weakness.”

"You, you're afraid...that you will never be as strong as Darth Vader!"

“You cannot deny the truth that is your family.”

"Our son...at times, he's like some kind of...monster!"

Closing his eyes, breathing deeply, he felt the darkside run through his veins, refreshing his anger, hatred and disconnection for all who had ever made him question what he had become, his power and where he belonged, including his master.

 

"General Organa, its Luke." Leia looked up from her console.

"Thank you, lieutenant." She said as she moved into the room for some privacy. It had been months since her husband's death, and she was still dealing with the unreal notion that their son, and the darkside within him, had been the thing that had murdered him. Regardless that she and Han had been separated for the last few years, she would always have a special place in her heart for him.

She was also still dealing with the bounty on her head for her continuing resistance to the First Order. She had sent Korr Sella in her place, a willing emissary, to the Senate on Hosnian Prime for talks. Leia knew that they had to take action against the First Order before they were allowed to grow so big that no one would be able to fight them. She had been trying to get solid backing for years, ever since she had discovered that certain unnamed funds were filtering out and actually going into creating a secret army. When the senate continued to drag its feet at the findings, she had gone ahead and had formed The Resistance in secret. Of course the news being uncovered that she was in fact the daughter of Darth Vader hadn’t helped her cause any.

“Do you think the Senate will listen?” Korr had asked her.

“I don’t know.” Leia had answered. “There was a time when they were at least willing to listen. Some in the senate have their own agenda now. Not all of them think I am crazy, or maybe they do. As long as they take action,” she narrowed her eyes shaking her head slightly, “I really don’t care.”

She remembered her last meeting before the Starkiller had taken out the entire system with the Senate and Korr Sella on it. Leia hadn’t had that much loss since her entire home world was destroyed by the Death Star. Not that the Senate was much help, but now they had no one to back them. It was a desperate time. She could only hope Luke would be able to help with something. Could this endless war for the galaxy ever be stopped?

She shut the door and got comfortable at the holo table as her brother appeared in front of her. She really needed to hear some good news.

"You look well, Luke." She began. "How much longer do you think you will need there?" She had seen him since he was located a few months ago, but she really wanted him to come home.

"Perhaps not too much longer," he answered. Dropping his hood he added, “Leia, she saw him, she saw Ben, in a vision.”

Leia took in a breath and sat back surprised; she stared at him. Putting a hand to her mouth, and then to rest under her chin. 

"Luke, you were right.” She said slowly. Not wanting to be too hopeful, but perhaps this is the girl and time after all.

"No...you were right, Leia." He looked down for a moment, then back up at her, "you have never lost hope in him."

“What now? As much as I want him back, I don’t want to put anyone else in danger.”

"She is quick, smart and strong in the Force…she could be stronger then myself, I feel there is little to concern yourself with." Luke continued, “she may be just like him and I truly believe she may be one to bring the balance. There is not another reason for her to have been hidden all these years only to appear now, when we need her…..when he needs her.” Leia blinks back a few tears.

"Maybe..." she says, her voice breaking up, “but none of this can be at the expense of anymore lives,” she sniffs, “we have lost too many already," she finishes in a whisper.

“I made a terrible misjudgment,” Luke began.

“Luke,” she cuts him off with a wave of her hand, “there is not much you could have done with him; some things where out of our hands. We didn’t have all the facts. Han and I made a lot of terrible mistakes ourselves.” She shakes her head.

Luke nods, yet knows a little piece of him will always feel some sort of guilt.

“I will update you soon.” He says as the holo goes off.

There was a time when she might have been a Jedi herself, but she never really felt the closeness to it as her brother....or their father had. Sometimes she was able to sit and meditate and feel the force flow through her as Luke had taught her. She had been able to do this all those years ago to communicate with her unborn son. They were so close…once.

“Everyone assumed I must’ve had no idea who I married. I made it clear that I’d known from the start, that I don’t give a damn and anybody with any sense wouldn’t care, either. Nobody’s been fool enough to bring up the subject twice.”

She smiled as she remembered Han’s words to her about how he had handled her secret coming out of being the daughter of Darth Vader. But that was followed by her own grievance at her mistake to not of told Ben who he truly was. He should not have found out the way he did, she should have just told him sooner.

“I hadn’t even told my son! Now he has to find out in the most horrible public way imaginable, all because of you!”

“You had your chance to speak to your son,” he insisted. “He’s not a child any longer is he? You could have told him at any point before this.”

“Congratulations Senator Casterfo. May you enjoy all the power you bought by betraying me. And keep on condemning me as the ‘heir to the Empire’ while you sit in here surrounded by all of this.”

She gestured at his Empire artifact collection that was displayed all around her. Her anger got the better of her as she had grabbed the Royal Guard helmet from his collection on the wall and hurled it toward the nearest display case, the glass shattered with a crash. She shuttered at the memory. It was one of the few times when her anger had gotten the better of her.

She did send a heart-felt apology out to Ben, but not knowing where he and Luke were at the time, she was never clear if he had even received the transmission. She hadn’t heard from him since. She had been afraid to tell Ben the truth about Darth Vader because he had a lot of similarities to Anakin, and Han’s influence…she just wanted him to steer clear of it all.

She had felt Ben's great anguish grow when he had killed his father; that is how she knew something terrible had happened. She knew part of him was living with a deep seated remorse for what he had done, he was greatly conflicted. But there was no way for her to reach out, not while Snoke was controlling him. She had so much she wanted to say to him, she felt she had failed him. But now she knew that the light was still in him, she had felt his humanity and doubt.

There wasn't a lot of time to get him back, she had to just trust in Luke, which she did. His research had led him to a few new discoveries about the balance in the Force and felt a time was coming soon when things would somehow mesh making the balance as it should be.

There was a new sort of Force user, as it had to counter act the choices Ben had made. Luke felt that perhaps that is why Rey was here; to answer some prophecy of the future, why she was hid away on Jakku behind Palpatine's underground conservatory.

There was a time not so long ago that Luke felt the Jedi had to just end. In a way he was correct. The old rigid views of Jedi had to give and bend if it was to exist, and the time seemed to be now. Rey’s appearance just put that much more reliability to this theory. She was meant for a bigger purpose. According to Lor San Tekka and Luke’s discoveries, the conservatory could have led Snoke to them years before as a beacon to the Unknown Regions, but also hid Rey’s signature inadvertently away from other powers until the time was right. No one had felt her presence until she had left Jakku behind, so there was no doubt that the darkside now had knowledge of her as well.

Leia had a job to do here as she knew more war was on the horizon. She couldn’t let herself get too carried away in hope for her son. All of her life she has been in charge and knew what needed to be done for the bigger picture.

“I’m proud of what you’re about to do,” she had told Rey.

Rey replied in all seriousness. “But you’re also afraid. In sending me away, you’re—reminded.”

Leia straightened. “You won’t share the fate of our son.”

So much was at stake, and at the middle of it all was Rey and Ben. As she composed herself, she arose from the table. There were many preparations to begin and the Resistance was counting on her.

 

 

Chapter Text

                                            

                         

5.

 

Contrivance  [kuh n-trahy-vuh ns]  the use of skill to bring something about, create

 

She remembered that when he first took that saber from her with an apprehensive mechanical hand that he was not exactly glad to see it, in fact, he had looked frightened of it. He hadn’t even wanted to help her. So what was it that had finally convinced him to train her? Something she had said or done? He was never really clear. She doubted it was her obstinacy alone. No, she could feel that he had been keeping something from her.

Well, she had her own secret now, didn't she with her unexplained feelings changing for...

As the sun warmed her, she watched the gently crashing waves. She was having trouble concentrating on the Jedi book in front of her. Something, there was something about all of this beginning to cause suspicion within her. Why? Where was this doubt coming from?

She pushed the unhelpful text down and away off of her lap; stretching her neck from side to side, she was feeling tense and needed to walk, liking the feel of the sand and spongy pebbles under her feet. This sand that wasn't scorching as it could sometimes get in the Jakku sun; no, this sand was soft and cooling...and it didn't cling or get everywhere.

Standing up and stretching, she took in the fresh air; it helped to clear her mind. She watched the porg, as they met to keep an eye on her some distance away. A small smile crosses her face as she remembered how just a few short standard months ago, the huge eyed little beasts hadn’t trusted her and where only loyal to Luke, and just for some reason completely fascinated with R2. It had taken some time, but through the Force she learned that she could actually communicate with them on some level, enough to hold out her hand and convince them that she was also loyal to Luke.

She crossed her arms leaning against the rock, feeling a slight chill as an unusually cool breeze moved her hair that was framing her face. She looked down the shore line watching as the small murder of porg all of a sudden started to waddle off quickly in the opposite direction, a few even taking lowly to the sky, chirping loudly some warning, as if something in the very breeze itself had upset them.

A few seconds later some unseen ripple hit her, some sort of disturbance that momentarily took her breath away.

What the kriff?  She moved a bit away from the rock, with her hand on her chest, taking a deep breath. She felt as if she was being beckoned, as if some invisible touch was reaching her, wanting her to follow.

She held a hand up to her forehead to shield the sun from her eyes as she looked behind her at the temple up on the hill side and the couple of the Keepers moving around it, busy at their tasks. Then another wave crossed over her, not quite as strong this time but still making her feel...something, she wasn't sure. For some unknown reason, she just felt compelled to follow the call....as if something was promised...something almost...comfortable, familiar

She turned back around to slip on her short boots, put on her capelet, and then she began to slowly walk down the shore towards the cliffs to investigate. She had a strangely avid curiosity come about within her to find out just what this was.

The peculiar, yet somehow enticing, tendrils of this unseen pull led her to a narrow passageway between some of the larger cliffs. She enters between the huge rocks; her hands dragging absent mindedly on the rough surfaces on either side of her, as she checks cautiously around every turn. It seemed like some sort of a maze. She found it disturbing that she had never known about this place on the island...and it was right here, just inside the cliff where she liked to sit. Something wasn't right with this.

She walked a little ways further in but nothing was there, just more rock surrounding her. As she was just beginning to feel a bit imprisoned, she notices that something didn’t feel right to her hands. It wasn’t rock she was touching any longer; it was now something much softer.

Her hands were now hitting huge, waxy, ivy-like leaves as she looked down and back up, now suddenly she was in a forest. The whole scene around her had changed seemingly in the blink of an eye, as she spun around. A hand momentarily lifting up halfway to her mouth in shock, no place like this was on their part of the island. Dropping her hand, her mind was reeling. She slowly backed up and turned around to go back the way she had come, but it had all somehow changed. Stopping, she convinced herself to stay calm; hands going into fists at her sides, none of this could possibly be real. She then put a hand to tap at the right side of her waist to feel for the security of her lightsaber, but it wasn’t there. She looked down to check that she hadn’t just missed where it hung but found that her whole utility belt was not even on her. She lifted her head back up slowly, a dark look in her eyes. Now she knew for certain that this was not real.

She continued cautiously forward, a step at a time, finally finding herself in a small sort of clearing. She slowly spun around; it had to be….the Takadona Forest, just as beautiful as it had been in real life. Just then she welcomed a warm, damp, mossy smell to her nose as a gentle, warmer breeze picked up. The trees were so green and the sunlight trying to break through the canopy high above highlighted the slight fog that surrounded her and the small stony, lichen covered cliffs. It all somehow emphasized an eerie, unsettling silence.

Why in the worlds had she responded to this...call, why had she followed?  Why was she so intrigued by...him...

Oh no, she knew this place, knew exactly who was doing this...she could feel him.

She let herself go then and extend out through the Force. Instead of fighting or being fearful of what this was about, she chose to close her eyes and garner the Force to her. Doing this, she could immediately sense his presence attempting to disturb her emotions. Some strange curiosity had won out within her...that and some need to know...

As the mysterious heat outflow and its many branches reached out to envelope her; she drew in serenity to counteract.

She opened her eyes with a renewed sense of strength and calm.

“Where are you?” She asked evenly.

The breeze picked up slightly again at her response now blowing in a disturbing, almost unnatural way. Then that icy, deep, mechanical voice answered with some odd dark wit.

“Where would you like me to be?”

“Out here, in the open,” she retorted, “I don’t feel like playing games.” She kept her voice steady.

“Don’t you? I thought that’s what we've been doing, Rey.”

Hearing her name said in that way, by that mask was unnerving. She turned around, and there he was, just a few feet away, the tall, dark phantom looming close in mask and hood, fog swirling around his black battle boots, arms at his sides with his hands in gloved fists, motionless.

“I know you feel it and yet you continue to deny it.” The mask said.

Feel what exactly?

She backed away slowly; she didn’t feel comfortable with his proximity, especially since he felt as if something else was within him…something that wanted to exact revenge. A spike of fear now shot fast through her serenity at the strange unsettling waves that were beginning to emanate from him, something… darker attempting to penetrate.

“What do you want?” She managed to state, decidedly glad to see him in the mask of her nightmares so she could easily forget who he really was…but that was the very point of it now, was it not?

“Oh, I think you know the answer to that.” The deep voice answered ominously.

Those waves coming from him now solicited a strange, almost numbing, anticipating feeling, as it pushed through her calm, she worked to dampen her odd fear as it all seemed to drop to her stomach at his words

"It’s all just a vision," he introduced, finally moving one arm gesturing at their surroundings. Another simple gesture from his hand and he is just…gone, but the feelings he left within her still remained.

"You are free to go when you want," he continues to taunt from somewhere behind her now, so close, "as soon as you face some truths."

"Me? And what could those possibly be?" She asks indignantly. She turned slowly toward where she thought he was.

"You and I are not so different." The deep, automatic voice insists.

"We are nothing alike," she hisses in return. The very nerve!  She had to keep her emotions in check.

"Nothing at all? Ahhh, Skywalker didn't tell you?” He said in feigned surprise.

Upon feeling him so close behind her, she froze for just a split second, feeling caught off guard at some kind of an unexpected provocative warmth.

She hid her surprise as Kylo appeared again to now stand in front of her as she quickly turned around to face him in the small clearing. He had no hood, mask or any battle damage, just him in all black, with his dark hair and piercing eyes.

“But then, again, why would he? It is only your destiny." His natural smoky voice finished sarcastically, slightly shaking his head, "he's afraid of you...of us...our power."

What?

All she could currently think about was how stunned she had been the first time he had removed his mask for her. She had a hard time hiding her reaction. Nothing about his surprisingly pleasing face had given away the darkness that swelled inside of him…nothing except that hypnotic gaze and his dark aura and the fact that she knew what he was capable of.

“Rey, when are you going to realize that I have the answers you seek?”

She couldn’t feel much from him now as he stood there so inexplicably still, eyes seeming to bore right through her, tips of his hair moving in the slight breeze. She didn’t want to be near him, he was in no way innocuous. She just felt as if she wanted to get away, not that there was really anywhere she could go.

“I can feel that you want to know more, to learn about yourself.”

This was no good for her even if it wasn’t real. Why would he know such information about her? It was his realm at the moment, him just confusing her mind.

In a quick second, to her dismay, he came to life, moving unnaturally fast, capturing her wrists in his gloved hands holding them in between the two of them. It made her gasp. She looked up at him in irritation, trying not to be captured by his intense eyes as well as his hands.

“Let go of me!” She shouted at him, losing her calm, trying to pull her wrists away.

"Search your feelings; you know it’s true,” he says smoothly, as his big, gloved hands move to entirely encapsulate her small fists, holding them together. Never losing her eye contact, he pulled on her hands, bringing her back closer to him, “I know you have felt the anger." He purrs as he looks in her eyes.

She knows this is his doing because if it wasn’t she could of used the Force for more than just mental calmness, she would have been able to throw him away from her. As it was, he ignores her outrage, and somehow, at the same time, backs her into the cliff side behind her that she swore wasn’t there just moments ago.

"Everyone has some anger," she explains hotly, her heart beating madly as her back met the hard surface behind her, "now, get your hands off!" She insists, the length of his tall body so close to hers.

"Your own defiance keeps you from feeling the truth," he hissed back, in her face, just a spark of danger in his eyes, "out of some sort of useless virtue,” he then studied her inquisitively.

“And I could want revenge upon you and yet… here you are without your weapon….” His voice trails off as if in thought.

“Let me go.” She insists a bit softer this time, growing more and more uncomfortable with him being so close...growing more uncomfortable with the way her body was beginning to react to his closeness. She could feel his power breaking her defenses, smell his warm skin mixed with exotic leather. He was beautiful, her enemy.

One side of his mouth goes up in a slight egotistical smirk at her vehemence.  

“I don’t think you really want me to.” He says slightly shaking his head.

She tries to fight him one more time, which is useless; it’s his demesne and he just moves her hands up on either side of her head to hold them against the rock.

“Do you insist on fighting everything?” He asks now annoyed.

“Just what in the worlds did you expect....you...you...monster!" She spits back at him, working to regain her self-control.

“You need to face your destiny!” He practically growls out, his look elicits a spike of actual icy fear to rise up once more within her, his hands tightening almost painfully on her wrists. She is reminded then that she should listen, their destinies were somehow intertwined.

Reminded?  Had she known this at some other time?

He closes his eyes moving close to her to breathe in her momentary panic and ire like it gave him some kind of great pleasure. Her eyes closed tight, she turns her head away from him. His face leaned in so close to the side of her exposed neck and her ear, his hot breath on her was sending pleasurable chills down her spine, his power somehow now bringing hers out to commingle with his own; it felt seductive.

Had she lost all control?

"You can’t deny this,” he whispers hotly in her ear, releasing one of her hands to free his own to grab her jaw and make her turn her head so she has to look up at him. As she gazed into his impassioned eyes, she felt that pull, that something she couldn’t explain that seemed to make her feel as if they had some sort of an accord on some level. His eyes widened a bit as their shared emotion hit him.

“Fight it all you want, you will not be able to run from this forever.” He murmurs slowly, as if trying to figure out what was going on within himself. She watched those soft lips as they spoke, mesmerized...as if she just knew they would be incredibly soft when they touched hers. 

What, where had that... 

“What do you think you’re doing?” She says in some kind of a breathless whisper. She feels him unnervingly resonating with something within her, even in all of his darkness her body was still almost going completely languid in some lascivious anticipation, her free hand grabbing on to his arm to try and get him to let go of her face. She can’t help but let out a sound of desperation.

What was he doing to her?

He still held her one arm up against the rock, the look in his eyes suddenly relaxes. She had seen this before. It was similar to the look in his eyes he had in her vision, when she had called him “Ben”. It felt mesmerizing, everything seemed to just slow down, as if there was nothing around them; it was only the two of them, their powers now somehow assuaging together. Her pull was somehow enticing something different out of him.

“Tell me you don’t want this, Rey,” he murmurs, his lips suddenly so close to hers. She is feeling so frightened in such a different way than she has ever felt before, her heart pounding, she could feel herself shaking.

You will be tempted; you cannot control it...a warning.

He looks down at her lips, tilts his head and before she can react, his soft, warm, plush lips are gently on hers. The gloved fingers of his hand holding her face at the angle he needed. She feels shock, letting out a surprised sound, yet really she had been anticipating this. Why did this feel so right in this moment?

Had it always been there?

Hesitant at first, her shock starts to melt as her body had already, been responding to him in ways she did not think possible. He was being so gentle with her as she finds herself instinctively opening her mouth for his gently persuading tongue. She feels so incredibly lost, her entire body inflamed.

This should not feel this good. Their kiss is so intimate, passionate, surely nothing she had expected. Like some sort of connection, like how it felt when they were in each other’s head, that pulling sensation, but so much more. His tongue is soft, warm and wet as it explores her mouth carefully, as if she were somehow something precious.

A killer shouldn’t be gentle, have such soft lips or control her body like this.

He pulls away just a bit to catch his own equally surprised breath, letting her go. She stood there, free to move, but she couldn't find the strength to. Her eyes were back on his lips, her own slightly parted, out of breath. For some reason she feels as if she wants to reach up to his face, put her hands in his soft hair, pull him back down to her. She secretly wanted more and had disconcertingly become addicted to him and the way he made her feel in just a few tastes of his apparent sensual prowess. The Force couldn't help her now.

Not touching her anywhere else, he slowly moves in and begins to meet her lips again, his hot breath and soft hair on her cheek. Those warm, incredibly soft lips backed away, teasing her own, just barely touching her with his. She did want more. His movements seem to create a tingling, wet feeling between her legs, as if she wanted to be touched...his eroticism reined her in this moment, her body so incredibly alive to him.

Just a few months prior he had frightened her, fought her, abducted her, but now?

How was this somehow okay now?

She didn't understand what was wrong with her.

She had beaten him in battle, but this was an entirely different sort of war, one he was currently winning. She goes to finally push weakly at his chest.

“This…isn’t…right.” She can only whisper between his glancing kisses.

"Maybe." He finally whispers back to her, then grabs her face, a large gloved hand on either side, as he claimed her mouth wholly again, his tongue exploring her deeply and slowly, she reciprocates, her hands on his thick arms. She is pushed back against the rock from his towering momentum and just pure intensity, as a soft moan escapes her throat. His body practically on hers. She doesn't want to stop and finds herself embarrassingly wanting more, feeling some sort of flustering culmination build between her legs. He sucks her lower lip out a bit as he finally lets her go.

He was still holding her face; they are both shocked and breathless, his thumbs rubbing her cheeks as she finally looked up at him. Her lips parted and out of breath. He looked back down at her, as if there was some kind of true feeling there, a hidden tenderness that he hadn’t expected to feel for her and didn’t quite understand himself. He had a look of confusion...but also of an insatiable lust. 

She blinks, he is gone and she is back on the shore in Ahch-Too, sitting and leaning in her little cove, a tome open at her side. She stands up quickly which makes her lightheaded, looking around. Yes, he appears to have just been in her mind. She feels disorientated as she holds herself up now leaning over, with one hand on the rock, the other on her chest as she heaves a few lung fulls of air. It was like she forgot how to breathe for a moment…why did that feel so real? A couple of the silly porg are right there staring at her.

Why had that felt so good?

How was such a thing even possible? Would she at some point find herself in his mind again? Could they actually touch, across a galaxy?

As a hand absently touches her lips, she looks at the ground where a deep green leaf is sitting out of place in the sand. Her hand is shaking as she reaches down and picks it up. Upon touching it, the reality hits her that he is somehow doing this to her. Somehow he must be able to control these visions, get in her mind, using that damn connection they shared, or whatever this is. And she had willingly kissed him back. Some humiliation slid through her.

Dropping on her hands and knees, taking deep breaths, she tries to convince herself that what she is feeling is not true…not for him. But at the same time, he had felt so different, at least for a little while, like she had connected with his true self, with Ben Solo.

For just a moment, she had forgotten that he was responsible for the atrocities of Kylo Ren. That was frightening and made her feel traitorous. She now knew the truth deep down within herself. There was something about him, something that she feared could get her to move worlds if Ben just promised her his touch.

“Don't be afraid, I feel it, too.”

 

In his chamber, where he drew out of this manipulation, Kylo Ren sat staring seemingly at nothing. One elbow on a thick chair arm, his hand holding up his tilted resting head. He was still feeling immersed and just inordinately intoxicated by her; her body near his, her warm breath, her soft lips, the sweat on her skin, her sweet smell, the soft moan coming from her that she couldn’t hold back as he claimed her lips and her mouth.

He wanted to touch her and so much more.

He was disoriented as he breathed in to try and calm himself. He thought he could still taste her…her, his adversary. The person he had wanted vengeance upon. This was all not quite what he had been expecting.

Grandfather’s burnt mask stared at him across the small expanse. Part of him didn’t care if he approved.

He didn’t understand. His loyalty had always been to Snoke and had never wavered; but when he had met her, he found that their shared destiny changed something. Didn’t it somehow have to?

“Ren believed that the droid was no longer valuable to us, that the girl was all we needed.”

Now Kylo was feeling something else, something that went beyond his desire to harness her power to defeat the Resistance and Skywalker. For a simple moment he had forgotten all of that. He had forgotten that truly, she was still his enemy. It was just him and her and their lips joining and the way it made him feel as if nothing else mattered, the sensual way in which their powers intermingled, concealed in some secret place they now shared, as if he could leave everything here to just go there and touch her again...to have her...to claim her as his own.

He could sense her, he could feel her and somehow he knew, one way or another, she was his.

He sat dwelling in this feeling, lethargic, numb, he wouldn’t deny himself the truth of just basking in this mysterious surrounding emotion a bit longer and it felt extraordinary. Was this something only part of him could totally comprehend?  Ever since that day when he had first got in her mind it seemed that a distant part of himself had been linking with her in some far clandestine shared space.

Part of him didn’t want to lose how she had made him feel regardless of the consequences. The feel of their combined powers balancing together was so corporeal and seductive. It was all made true by her reaction to him: She did feel it, too

He looked to the Sith artifact as the chamber dwelled in the power of the darkness in which it contained. This power didn’t discourage his carnal hungers, it only dispirited his compassion…that other creeping feeling of affection that he typically lacked and was unaccustomed with. He still wanted to believe that if the time ever came, that he would be strong enough to make the right choice. He could store this all away deep within him, in that secret place, so that he might retain that link at some other time. He attempted to calm his wired body and mind enough to let the darkside once again strengthen his feverish mind.

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

6.

 

Conversant   [kuh n-vur-suh nt]  having frequent or familiar association

 

 

The hanger is stony and cavernous; housing rows of different model X and A-Wings mostly, but regardless of the inherent chill in the air, Rose has to wipe sweat from her brow. This is where she likes to be in the Resistance when not out on a mission with her sister, that is. Currently she was part of the technician crew repairing the battle damaged X-Wings and running equipment diagnostic.

She smiles to herself, thinking how the machines in this structure where not the only things in need of a recovery time and repair. For the Resistance, any down time was a commodity. Seems like more time was always needed, time that they didn't have. They were currently trying to catch their breath after having to expeditiously move base due to the First Order finding them on D’Qar. No one was sure how long they would even be here.

The mobile unit was currently out scouting aboard The Raddus, while the rest of leadership was out on the other flagships. The rest of the Resistance was here on this small mineral planet, Crait, located in a remote section of the galaxy. General Organa’s family had an old secret rebel mining outpost here and they were currently in need of some of its resources. The planet itself was also rich with some kind of crystal, something the First Order would want for their Star Destroyers or some other sort of killing machine they dreamed up next. It was all just a matter of time. Trying to beat them to the punch was a full time job.

General Organa had founded the Resistance along with all those disillusioned with the Republic's inaction to the First Order's violations of the Galactic Concordance. She had warned them time and again that the former Empire could not be trusted to abide by any treaty. When the First Order arose, she had once again urged the Republic to take the threat seriously. It seemed they never paid much attention until it was too late and now they were basically cut off from the rest of the galaxy since the Starkiller had eradicated the entirety of the Hosnian Prime system and had taken the Republic with it. There was nothing to even try to attempt at governing the First Order.

Don’t get her wrong, Rose totally understood why her parents had joined the Resistance, they had to fight the powers that had destroyed their home world and she would not have been in any other place; it was just not easy, always being on the run, never having had any real roots anywhere. It could be exhausting. For this all Rose ever really wanted was revenge against the First Order.

Sometimes she thought she might rather be up in her own X-Wing shooting down Tie Fighters like her sister did as a gunner in Poe Dameron’s Black squadron. She wasn't too bad of a pilot herself. Just to be able to blast First Order ships out of space might be very satisfying for all the strife they caused in the galaxy. But right now, at this moment, she was doing just fine being on the ground, which wasn’t to say that she didn’t admire the big heroes of the rebellion, but she was proud to just be an integral part of operations.

She crosses her arms against the chill in the air, as the huge hanger door was beginning to shut for the night, keeping out most of the cold breeze and wild life.

Closing up her mech box, she gives the side of the X-Wing she had been working on a few taps.

“Is that it?” Jessika calls down from the open cockpit.

“Yep, looks to be all good now,” Rose answers, double checking the diagnostics on her datapad. "Boosters are hot and on line."

“Awesome, thanks so much, Rose.” Jess says, "Oddy's install to this ship is what it is all about. Those boosters have saved my ass on countless occasions," she touches the side of her ship with a sigh of affection. "We have been through a lot." Jess’s astromech droid was on the floor of the hanger now beeping as it double checked schematics.

“Your welcome,” Rose smiles.

"What did you think of the updated sim? I haven’t tested it, but I was told it was spot on.” Jess asks as she continued to climb down the ladder.

“The interface is amazing,” Rose shakes her head in agreement, “readouts and diagnostics are much more life-like...with each upgrade, I think General Leia can feel a little more confident in sending out new recruits that have a whole better idea of what they are up against."

“Good to hear. Thanks again for your input." She jumps off the ladder.

"Anytime." She smiles at Jess, “not that anything is close to the real thing, but it sure helps with some familiarity with certain tricky maneuvers."

Jess shakes her head in agreement. "Sure heaps better then what I had. Oh, hey, you going to the meeting later at the south mess? I thought we might start some cards...I hear you’re pretty good."

“Yeah, yeah.” Rose says with a wave of her hand, “I have been known to clean some house.” She laughs shaking her head. “Are the boys going to bang out any of that Corellian whiskey?” She asks jokingly.

Jess laughs. “Oh my Gods, most likely, those fly boys sure love their sauce, but I mean really, who can blame them?” She shakes her head, “I would love to have more than just a few minutes where my mind didn’t have to constantly be on guard." She sighs, "what ever works as a little escape."

Rose knew all too well living with caution. They all did.

“I got a few more to look at here,” She says, gesturing up at the X-Wings, hoping to lighten the air a bit, “but I should be done soon, what time?”

“Umm I think around 20 hundred,” Jess answers, “but I will let you know for sure.” She turns to leave.

“Come on.” She directs to her droid. The BB unit speeds along happily to catch up. Jess then turns back around quickly.

“I almost forgot. I think Snap mentioned that Finn is doing better now and has left his cocoon, he might be able to make an appearance.”

“Oh, yeah?” Rose says absent mindedly looking at the new data coming in on her pad. She had never met him and he had been in the infirmary for quite a while after his battle on Starkiller.

Everyone loved the stories Poe had told them of how he and Finn had met. They, together with Rey, were heroes to the everyday people in the Resistance, heroes to so many people on so many worlds out there that live under the oppression of the First Order. There was still a very long, hard road to go, but it was a start, it was some hope.

No one could really imagine ever being a Stormtrooper, defecting from the First Order and actually living to tell about it.

“Glad to hear he is doing better,” she looks up at Jess, “can you even imagine…”

Widening her eyes, shaking her head slightly from side to side, “Not even close.” Jess laughs.

What she really looked forward to was defeating the First Order once and for all. In the back of her head she could hear Paige's voice reminding her to just do her part, that it wasn't healthy to get too caught up on focusing everything on revenge. It was hard, but Rose knew Paige was right. Her sister's philosophy was a difficult concept at times to fully accept, especially with the endless list of atrocities the FO was responsible for, but she was working on it...still...being a gunner on a mission...picking off the enemy, well it seemed alright to her.

 

Rey swung the lightsaber around expertly blocking the shots from the training sphere showing Luke how far she had come since working with him. He was watching intently impressed at what she had accomplished in the past standard months...she had learned so quickly!  her sensibility allowed her to come to him already stronger than he had been at her age. He kept telling himself that she was just untamed and there were some things she was unaware of that she was capable of doing.

It was no secret that he would have preferred to have stayed lost. Part of his old self did show, that part that still held some hope, but it sure wasn't as strong or as hopeful as it once had been, he had learned far too much. It was true that he had never completely finished his own formal training, but he had been confident all those years ago after having rescued his friends and his Father's very soul, that he would know what he was doing. 

However, some truths remain so deeply hidden that when you uncover them it can shatter what you thought you knew as truth.

As he observed her, he couldn't deny the feeling that something about her was strikingly familiar, something like a memory. His suspicions of her being like Ben were  looking more and more correct, but was there something more? Could he keep her on the path, could he succeed with her now unlike how he had failed with Ben? Did he have much choice? Was he just a crazy old man who should have never agreed to any of this?

But Leia...

Rey had no problem being the perfect conduit for the Force to flow through her so that she could predict each shot before it could zap her. Still, he could also sense that she had lately not been totally focused. He felt some kind of lingering discord and lack of control in her the stronger she became.

Actually she had seemed to be unsettled from the beginning.

“Rey, take a break.” He said, lowering his hood. She switched off her saber and the sphere and wiped the sweat from her brow on an arm wrap. She walked over to where he was and plopped down next to him. Looking out at the sea, she pulled the refreshing air into her.

“Are you alright?” Luke asks.

Smiling slightly, she looks to the side at him and takes the water he is offering her.

Cannot keep anything from him.

She takes a few gulps of water and looks back out across the sea. She couldn’t explain any of this to him, now could she? Surely not about why she was feeling this anger, why part of her wanted to fight Kylo for his manipulation of...what he had done to her. She couldn't...it was too private...Luke’s own nephew at another time and place. No, none of this was right.

“Skywalker didn't tell you and why would he? It is only your destiny….”

As his words went through her head, Luke felt some direct conflict within her.

“Mind if I take a few minutes?” Is all she can conjure.

Luke shook his head, “No, go on ahead, and take all the time you need.”

Rey got up, handing him back the canteen, wiped her hands together to knock off the sand, belted the saber and started to walk away.

The further she got away from him, for some reason, the better a part of her felt. Her head was still wandering, thoughts she couldn’t control. Thoughts Kylo had awakened within her. She somehow didn’t feel complete. Why was she even considering anything he had to say?

"You and I are not so different."

She wandered back to the main hut to freshen up a bit, splash some water on her face and let her hair down to hang loose. She pulled on a cape as the air was getting a bit chill the closer to evening it got. She headed back out for the temple library.

She passes by the temple Keeper with an exchanged slight head bob as she walked in to the entrance. She immediately felt the safety and light in the structure that surrounded her. A smile crosses her face. She walked in deeper and sat on the stool in the pale light cascading down from the sky port.

She picks up the book from the small table... the book with the ratty postcard that was serving as place marker. Opening the book, she picks up the postcard, flipping it over in her hand. It was just something she had found while scavenging on Jakku when she was about 7 or 8 that had meant something to her at another time. It was from somewhere called Cloud City on the planet of Bespin. She remembered pretending that her parents had sent it to her and that they would be back for her soon. It read: “Wish you were here” in the galactic language of Aurebesh.

Never really understanding her attraction to the card, she returned it to the book as she thought of how much her life had changed in these past months. She lets herself calm; stretching her arms one at a time behind her and rolls her neck and shoulders...crossing her legs and getting comfortable. She lets herself begin to enter a state of meditation, the earthy smells of books and trees were strong. She began to feel empowered and relaxed.

She loved feeling just how steeped in the light side of the Force this whole place was. She knew she was meant to be here again, that feeling of belonging.

And yet…something...

“I have my freedom and my pride. I am an independent operator, scavenger of the metal lands, free of debt and beholden to no one. Least of all to a small-time trader named Plutt…The droid is not for sale.”

Ever since she couldn’t find it in her to sell BB8 after the little droid had told her that it had been in the same sacred village the First Order had destroyed, she had felt some spark, some wealth of strength within her, some decision had been made and she somehow knew things were never going to be the same.

She was hoping to still not feel so at odds with herself, but that last vision or dream, or whatever it had been, was so unnerving; she was finding it more difficult to deny the way she was feeling about him. It was making her feel disloyal. But she couldn’t deny how complete she had felt when he was…different, when he had transformed right before her into someone else and had kissed her. He was somehow no longer Kylo Ren just in that moment. She could feel it like a slight pull and it terrified her the way it made her body react. He was still actually Kylo Ren, so how could she possibly be any good with such a weakness? She didn’t understand what this was.

She lets her mind clear and float, finding her serenity, hands palm up on her knees, index fingers joining thumbs. The air around her slowly begins to shift as the slight chill turns warm and she feels as if she is being cradled in placidity. Then something different begins to reach out, tendrils of energy attracting to her. What is this? She senses it, she feels it. Somehow she knows it, this something ancient, some essential power.

“Rey, you are stronger then you know.”

That encouraging voice, it had been there and it was familiar.

A long hallway or tunnel, something to be investigated...a young dark haired boy finding a saber, a saber that had been hidden away. It was some sort of a portal, a vision that allowed him to see a young girl...had they met before?

Her hair began to rise up as if in a gentle wind that only she could experience. She kept her eyes closed in the meditation as these ethereal like waves are attracted to her very presence. It feels like something alluring, sensual. It takes her breath away for a moment. Then there is a bright light, blinding, she sees herself standing in a field of dry grass, warm, holding a hand up to her forehead to shield her eyes from the light that surrounds her. She turns around in the field, and there is a huge great tree, the shade of green a color she has never seen. She looks up at it and all of its grandeur and it is grand. It has some sort of powerful radiance about it; much like she had in that moment, that primordial power within finding a home, yet something about it remains conversant within. 

“Know yourself first, believe in yourself. That is where you will find your strength, your balance. But take caution, light sometimes dims in the same way a splinter of it can flicker through the darkness.”

She is back on Starkiller, in the rig, restrained, interrogation. She is met with the mix of electronics, a strong tension, and a desperation. They are both surprised, as his warm hand nears her face and she meets his dark eyes, there is an energy they recognize in each other.

"Don't be afraid...I feel it, too."

They had seen this somehow before this moment, as if called to this point in time together.

Had it really happened that way? How does such a thing make her feel this comfort?

"Whomever you’re waiting for on Jakku, they are never coming back, but there is someone who still could… with your help.”

They had been unknowing, yet somehow still cognizant of one another, like a forgotten memory, for longer than…as if it all made some perfect alliance, somewhere, in another life, at another time. That couldn’t happen here; it is something not yet to be allowed, surely due to who they are and where their loyalties lie.

"The Force runs strong in your family. Pass on what you have learned.”

She opens her eyes in a sense of calm, knowing that she had somehow seen this all before, some connection that she had yet to put all the pieces together. What she was sure of now, was that her bond to Ben, by default, put her in a direct link with his dark side...but that also put him in a direct link to her light. That flicker that she was sure she could detect within him, from his real self, the Skywalker line, was indeed very much alive. She felt so much more aware to these things. 

Know yourself first, believe in yourself. That is where you have always found your strength.

It didn't totally put her feelings at ease but did help her to make better sense of her conflicting thoughts. Perhaps her feelings for Ben was something that was natural, seeing the good in him, the good that had gone unnoticed for far too long...unnoticed by even himself.

Someone finally seeing his light...perhaps some chance she had to take.

 

 

Chapter Text

7.

 

Foreordination [fawr-awr-dn-ey-shuh]  fate; destiny

 

 

The behemoth Mega-class Star Destroyer sliced through space, a silent, ominous tempest haunting the Unknown Regions. The size of a few large cities combined, The Supremacy, had been kept hidden here for most of the last few standard years. One of the many ships built in secret by the First Order in violation of the New Republic's disarmament treaties; it served as the flagship of the Supreme Leader and the First Order headquarters. Its bridge sat atop the center of the ship, offering 360-degree views of their environments in space. It was a momentous dark deity over the galaxy.

New war machines were able to be manufactured right on board. It might have been a bit extraneous, but with what they had, all were aware that crushing the Resistance was merely a matter of time. It was the task of the First Order to remove disorder from existence. Civilization had to be returned to a stability that promoted progress. The Republic had reduced this, and it was in need of restoration and Kylo knew that they were the strong hand to bring the rule of law back to the galaxy.

It was his birth right to rule over the weaker beingsto finish what his grandfather had started, by forging a working system for all under his decree.

Kylo had studied both the skills of the Jedi and the contradictory darkside lore, teachings that gave him his power through eminent discord. However, that discord needed an outlet and his necessary expulsions were in the form of occasional destructive tantrums. Some of that had been pleasantly released as the Supreme Leader’s warrior and assassin. It all served to make him into this powerful weapon, something that he is never allowed to forget.

However some human part of him had felt the guilt immediately after having killed Han, it had made him weak. As he had met with his master sometime later, it was apparent that Snoke had felt something too; had caught a glimpse of Kylo’s doubt and humanity and thought that a reminder was in order.

Emotions where a weakness.

As he sat in the darkened blood-red throne room, hands clutching the end of the thick chair arms, the darkside power of the Supreme Leader filled him none too pleasingly. Sweat soaked through on the chest of the thin, black training attire he wore, head back against the chair, but he kept his breath even. He knows these sometime lessons caused him physical pain and yet, he still welcomed it. To truly harness the power of the darkside, one would have to control and yet live with some degree of pain of that constant reminder. When the light in him got to be too much, when he felt any weakness, compassion, he knew he needed this to disconnect himself from the light.

The battle training with his saber was one thing; but to literally have power coming from the tips of your fingers, electricity, this is where his knowledge of the Sith would come into play, where he benefited not only from his formal training but from his stays on Mustafar. One of his final tasks upon completing his training would be to harness the darkside power and to keep it within him, to be able to live with the discomfort it caused, however, he would be able to call upon it with every fiber of his being, and it would convert him. It would consume him. It would eventually change him physically. For now he felt the distress as it filled his veins and empowered him.

Ever since he was a boy, the Supreme Leader had been telling him just how special he was. And he was. And it wasn’t so much of a voice, but rather more of a thought that would come to him when he was angry; the voice had always made sure that it alone understood him, that it alone knew of his unique, raw power and would always treat him the way a prince should be treated….but even a prince had to be reminded of his place, of his loyalties and of his failures, from time to time.

 

 

When the map to Luke Skywalker was finally completed in a hologram from R2 and BB8 above all of their heads, everyone went in to a spontaneous celebration. That was how he had first been formally introduced to Rey, hugging each other in celebration. He was impressed with her, knowing all she had been through, and it was nice to finally meet her. She sure was a pleasant addition to the Resistance. 

"Poe Dameron, the X-Wing pilot, I recognize the name. I'm Rey." 

"I know," he had smiled at her, turning on the charm, "nice to meet you."

He knew that she and Finn had helped each other and had become fast friends, and if it hadn’t been for them and their bravery at Starkiller… well, no one wants to think of that because there was no need to now.

They had a new set of problems to deal with.

Plans, readouts, figures and the like, he was privy to it all as General Leia Organa's commander and most trusted operative, but he tried to leave a big piece of the political strategies to the governing members. He specialized in recruiting, scouting missions, long-range reconnaissance, and searching for signs of First Order movements…which was a full time job.

He sat in the strategy room, gathering his intel for a debriefing. They couldn’t wait on the hopeful aid of Luke Skywalker for now, they had to move….not that they were even really depending on Luke, it just would be a hell of a lot easier to have a Jedi Master working on their side. He wondered how Rey was doing with all of that as he began to sort through the updates regarding the planet Crait on his datapad.

The canyon walls in this location would serve as some protection from the elements and from being located as easily on the surface. The white salt that covered the planet’s rich red-colored mineral was a mineral in itself. It made it difficult to travel on land and you had to look out for wind gusts bringing up flumes of salt into your face.  Not to mention that white salt-covered surface reflected the planet's sunlight, which could be blinding at midday. All this made this location not the easiest to exist on.

The Empire had long ago established a secret outpost on the northern continent that was still here now becoming their temporary haven as well as Senator Bail Organa’s former established secret outpost.

Every piece of data had to be known and correlated for supplies and escape routes and battle plans had to be laid out to cover any instance of not being caught off guard. They had to always be ready at a moment’s notice.

Sitting at the table he started rubbing his neck, as he felt the beginnings of a stress headache. It was a lot of information and a lot of planning, rallying up the troops, the stress of just existing at times could be a chore, the rushed move they had to perform to get here as quickly as possible, but he had been doing things like this for quite some time now…like most of his life.

No, he knew what really caused these particular occasional pains; it was the aftershock of a mind probe.

“The Resistance will not be intimidated by you.” He had smartly informed his captor.

“As you wish then, but there is no resistance in this room.” The modulated voice had pointed out in some unsettling humor.

The arrogance the interrogator had of his own abilities was astounding, but so was his abilities…the ability to make one feel as if one’s own memories and thoughts where physically being ripped from your skull, all screeching and wiry until you had to let go of the thoughts, if you wanted to live through it. There really was a point when he thought he might not make it.

He had felt as if he had let the Resistance down, that he had failed, when he couldn’t keep in the location of the map piece that BB8 held secret. Ren had torn it out of him. It had taken him time, but he was reminded by General Organa of the power of the Force. There wouldn’t have been much he, or anyone else in a similar situation, could have done.

Parts of that ordeal were still very much in the forefront of his mind and something he was working to move past completely, however, every once in a while a headache came up to remind him. It only fueled his hatred for the First Order. He had pain relievers, but he really was still in a healing process both physically and mentally.

His own mother, Shara Bey, had passed away when he was a boy and over the years General Organa had become sort of a surrogate mother to him. Shara had once been a pilot for Princess Leia Organa, and had assisted Luke Skywalker in retrieving two fragments of a Force sensitive tree from the Empire. In fact, one of those trees grew in the backyard of his childhood home on Yavin 4.

"People were hurting. People were suffering. Your father and I couldn't sit and do nothing."

He remembered his mother’s words to him as a boy regarding her military service. Poe had gladly followed in his parents footsteps.

He wanted revenge on the First Order, but at the same time, he had to push his knowledge away that few were privy to, to the back of his mind as Leia had once confided in him what had eventually happened to her own son, Ben. Leia was one of the strongest people he had ever met, never once faltering or trying to step out or make special arrangements to possibly spare her son in any situation, but the pain in her eyes was still evident. He couldn’t possibly imagine planning attacks and all the while knowing that it was possible that your own son could be a causality of your troops.

However, Poe knew firsthand the daunting power of which Ben wielded and he doubted highly he was ever in much danger. He did know that if he was ever pitted against Kylo again, he wouldn’t let guilt get in his way. Ren had hurt Finn, had hurt Rey and had murdered Han Solo. Poe was a solider and the Resistance as a whole was what he was here to protect. And Leia never faltered. He looked up to her with the utmost respect.

As the pilots filed in the room for debriefing, including Snap Wexley, Jess Pava, Karé Kun along with the rest of his Black Squadron, a small smile crosses his face regardless of the way his head feels. He knew he had the very best fighters with him and felt fortunate to have them all by his side. He knew they had the fire and the will to someway, somehow burn the First Order down for all of them and for all the pain they had caused.

 

 

Opening and closing his hands into fists, his head slightly back, he tried to breathe in deeply to calm himself. It just wasn’t fair. So what if he had roughed up that bully a bit? Zulara got what was coming to him. He was still alive, wasn’t he?  

Ben crashed out the back door of the classroom, walking out to the small court yard. It was a beautiful place; even he had to admit; but to be out flying or racing right now? That would have been so much better…maybe he would just jump on his speeder and race out to the cliff side, like he had so many times before, to watch the sun set. He wasn’t afraid to admit, to himself anyway, that he missed his home and he missed his mother.

He had no idea just how “different” he was until all the rest of the students had no problem enlightening him. Shouldn’t he be treated with more respect, he was the son of a Princess, a Skywalker! But it didn’t seem to matter and neither did the fact that he possessed some truly skilled power for only being 14.

He was staring off into the woods that surrounded the yard when a huge branch off an old nearby tree suddenly cracked free and put itself in a trajectory to go through a window of the now empty West Academy Training Room. Within seconds he shot his hand forward, palm out, and the wood stopped dead in midair to hang there. His reflexes at times when he sensed something, could seem almost to be inhumanly fast.

This hadn’t surprised him much. Strange things happened at times around him when he was irate. He causally walked over to the object hanging in midair over the middle of the court yard. Although taller than most his age, the stump sized piece of wood was well over his head. He looked up to take in what he had unknowingly accomplished; he realized it was a lot bigger then he had originally thought, as he could feel the slight weight within him as his power held it prone in the air.

So he had some problem controlling this, at least when he was angry it was something to marvel. So was this for his age: he nonchalantly gestured with a hand, two fingers extended, towards the tree line, as the piece of wood flew back solid, as if pulled by some invisible cord, striking the tree it had originated from. It hit hard, the echo of it splintering in two could be heard vibrating off of the building behind him and around the court yard. The pieces fell to the ground with a thump.

That was cool, he smirked to himself. Walking over to the center of this supposed tranquil space in the yard, he knelt down on his knees, sat back on his legs, hands on his thighs. Sitting there surrounded by the woods, he had intentions to center himself. Closing his eyes, he was able to call upon the Force easily; it had always been second nature to him, part of the reason why he didn’t understand why he needed this training. He was already better and more powerful than anyone here. That is why the others where jealous. Everyone just acted like it was something abnormal, as if he should conform to their boring standards. Uncle Luke sometimes got upset at him, as if he was doing this all on purpose.

“Patience, my boy, you are meant for truly great things.” 

He felt the sight breeze begin to pick up around him, as he garnered the energy, his dark waves of hair slightly blowing in the gentle breeze.

Oh, he would have to get that cut, worlds forbid he wear his hair as he like.

Focus! Forget that. Forget this place.

Taking a deep breath, he attempted to push it all out of the way, he wanted to get past it as Uncle had told him time and again, in not so many words, that nothing good can come from his anger.

He began to feel it, some calmness was suddenly seeping in over him. That was fast. Had he settled down so quickly? He shook his head slightly, keeping his eyes closed. It did feel good, relaxing. He would focus on this difference instead. How was it done? It was like an opposing magnet, the way it cut right through his contempt, some sort of diffusion. It was actually making him feel better, almost quiet, even. Pleasant, yes he felt something…outside of himself.

His dark eyes shot open, looking around slowly, trying to take in the trees that surround him in this secluded garden…so many hiding spots, the woods were around him, but he had the creeping feeling that he was being watched.

There she is. His keen eyesight rested on a small figure, in front of him off to the left…a small girl that couldn’t have been more then 4, standing there, slightly behind the trunk of the same tree on the border of the woods that had felt his wrath only minutes before. How had her presence calmed him down?

No, that couldn’t be it; she was far too young for...

He could sense that she possessed some raw power; it had actually appealed to his own in some way naturally and had pacified him. Dare he think it almost reflected his own? No one he had met here even came close to feeling similar to his own strength.

He heard a woman’s rushed voice directed to the child from down the stone path that lay a ways behind her. They were too far away for him to hear what was being said. It looked like the woman was with one of Luke’s pilots. The little girl turned her head in their direction. They didn’t seem to notice him through the trees, where he sat so still.

He didn’t really know all of the younglings here, nor cared to, but the girl didn’t look familiar, from what he could tell, and she was dressed a bit differently. Not to mention it was a strange time of evening for younglings to be out wandering around the yard, in fact, he wasn’t really supposed to be out here right now himself.

She turned away and the lowering sun that trickled through between the trees hit her side. He noticed that she had what looked like, at least from this distance, strange little knots in her hair, sticking out the back of her head.

Moving further away with the woman, she turned her head to look right at him again through the trees.

How could something about a small girl feel so accustomed to him? Something, who was she? 

 

Just a memory of an obscure chance happening? No, now he knew better. There was nothing chance or obscure about destiny, now was there? But she had been there, briefly, at the Jedi Academy for some reason. Curious, now isn’t it, Uncle?

“It is you.”

When that saber had flown to her hand he had known then that she could become a possible Jedi and something more. It was why he offered to teach her. She somehow had shared that raw power that had been destined to bring them together years later in some means.

How long had it taken her to convince Skywalker to teach her?

“Something…something inside me has always been there,” he hears her pleading sweet voice in his head, “but now it’s awake and I need help.”

He already knew that he was the only master for her that could teach her about herself and how to use her unique power, as he alone understood that power.

Kylo now stood before his master, not a hologram, but once again in the disturbing flesh. Recently Snoke had decided to risk coming out of the shadows to personally lead the First Order to dominance over the Resistance.

“I feel it.” The Supreme Leader now voices out loud from his seat upon his throne, “Kylo Ren, you were right about her…the awakening…it is the girl, and she truly is powerful.  She cannot stay with Skywalker.”

“No, she cannot,” Kylo answers assuredly, looking up to Snoke.

“Your training is near completion.”

Holding up a finger at him he continues, “You still face some very hard tests, my apprentice, but I can feel your loyalty and your renewed power running stronger within you.”

Settling back in his throne he reinstates, “When the time comes, you understand what you must do.”

“Yes, I will fulfill my destiny, it is my birthright.”

Smiling slightly, Snoke finishes, “You will bring her to me and she will be given a choice to decide on her own destiny.”

Kylo bows down on one knee before his master in a show of his reverence.

 

The eight stony Elite Praetorian Guards lined up, four a side, stock still, along the long hallway, in their ornate crimson armor, as he passed to leave the Throne Room. He had concealed himself, behind his mask of Kylo Ren, Master of the Knights of Ren, once again, eager to ponder those deeply submerged feelings that had to remain his alone. He kept it all within him, shut tight, until he was well away from the Throne Room entrance.

It wasn’t until he stalked further down the dark passageway, robe flowing behind him, that he allowed that strange anticipating anxiousness to release in his stomach, this feeling that at times rose naturally with only thoughts of her, that lascivious pull, stirring through and arousing his body. His gloved fists held tight as the sensation slid over him.

Kylo had been met with her unexpected fury when they had battled on Starkiller, a fury that had been new to his experience…something exhilarating. 

No doubt a part of her that he could seduce to the darkside. 

From her reaction to him in their vision he knew she felt something more for him, it was undeniable.

The sensual flavor of her, how she felt becoming susceptible to his touch in the safety of a shared space.

He would pursue her across the galaxy if he had to; it was his destiny, his right. If she was to become a Jedi, it would be the task of The Jedi Killer to…that very thought provoked that part of him, some feeling that was foreign, hidden, yet strangely aware because of her…some sort of ache in his chest…he did not want it to come to that at any cost. 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

8.

 

Contiguous  [kuh n-tig-yoo-uh s] in close proximity without actually touching; near

 

 

Luke’s mind had wandered.

He sat up high on the rock ledge observing Rey below. She was seamlessly going through the motions with the saber at some sort of a deeper level. He could sense her, the wild-like power within her; it was somewhat disciplined, more so then when Ben had started training.

But he was feeling something else, something outside of her, outside of himself but perhaps a soft disturbance in the Force. He hadn't felt anything even near to this in years and it scared him as he looked up across the water.

"You’ve seen this place?” He had asked the girl that held out Anakin’s saber to him with hope in her eyes.

He had remembered having been set aback when she had answered, “Only in dreams.”

“You shouldn’t be here.” He had told her, but had felt that fear when she spoke of her dreams and when he had first felt that power within her, that feeling that had first reminded him of Ben.

She had seen Ben in a vision…had it meant anything, anything at all? He was disillusioned after his nephew and by all he had learned. He agreed to certain things only for Leia, but truly he wasn’t so sure about anything.

Rey had pledged to him: “I know Kylo failed you, Luke, but I won’t.” 

No, he hadn’t wanted her here and for good reason, mostly because a part of him felt tarnished. He had failed Ben just as much as Ben had failed him, probably even more. He could admit this now to himself.

The galaxy compass he had retrieved from Palpatine’s artifacts, the map they had obtained from Lor San Tekka…there had been ways to find him for sure if one looked hard and long enough. However, with dreams like that, he had a feeling that she would have found him somehow on her own. Something would have brought her here and the inevitability of that was bothersome.

She had seen this island in her dreams, which alone had been some kind of call to destiny. It was as if she had something primeval, something connected to the first Jedi temple, something that had put a memory in her mind from…someplace, a rebirth.

He looked back down at her. Was this how he was looked upon when he was her age, how his father had been looked upon at an even younger age? Was this how he had looked upon his nephew? Just a list of expectations but no patience for difference?

Even as he had been the most disconnected he had ever been from the Force before, that slight wave that had just hit him, still somehow familiar. It put him on edge. It felt as if the darkside was rising and something would have to be there to meet it.

 

The pain relievers where working with him just fine and his muscles where all responsive to his typical brain activity. No, he wasn’t ready to repeat the level of the rigorous training and strengthening of something like the First Order Stormtrooper program, but he was getting stronger all of the time, stronger and able to think about where to go next.

He remembers when he first realized that he had been stranded on Jakku and thought he had lost Poe, how alone he had felt, how he had shouted to the seemingly endless sands all around him:

“I don’t know what to do!!”

But he had walked on.

Out in that desert he had surely thought that he might die there in the sand. He had been dehydrated and getting sun burned in the heat, but he had to keep going, had to keep pushing himself, not much unlike now.

He had told himself that he was someone who had defied the First Order, freed its prisoner and wreaked havoc on a Star Destroyer. To that person, what was a little sunburn?

As he was now walking on the treadmill apparatus the therapy droid reported his progress. He was coming along quite fine, able to spend more and more time engaged in physical activity.

“Your nerves are getting the correct stimulation from the processor, aspiration and heart rate is satisfactory. How do you feel?” The thin skeletal looking droid questioned him, hovering the scanner over his body, waiting for his reply.

“Pretty good, the pain seems less and less all the time.” He murmured, with a quick glance in the droid's direction, still some preoccupied in his thoughts.

For the first time in his life he could make some of his own decisions. He didn’t have to answer to some drill sergeant or division captain. He really didn’t have to be at certain places at certain times, and no one was dictating to him what he was to do with his life.

So was it so wrong of him to still be contemplating if he really wanted to be here or not?

He had tried to leave this fight all before and had disappointed Rey. He did end up coming back then because he wasn’t about to leave her with that monster and the First Order after she had been abducted.

Part of him still just wanted to learn to pilot something good enough to go find her and hide somewhere, but deep down he knows better…she wouldn’t go with him, especially not now. She had the strongest determination and will he had ever seen and she was dedicated to this cause.

However, he was on a hit list for sure...they probably both were…well, for that matter all of the Resistance was, but as a former trooper, they knew him all too personally. 

And if he was able to leave, would he end up spending the rest of his life running? Or would this at some point all be over, and then he might be left feeling the guilt of those who had fought so hard and lost so much while he ran and hid.

One thing was for sure, he couldn’t stand to ever have Rey look at him in disappointment again.

“Hey, buddy!” The booming voice pulled him back into the present from his current reprieve, “Lookin’ better and better all the time I see!” Poe greeted him, as he walked into the room.

Smiling, Finn began the slow down mode on the treadmill.

“Yeah?” He said breathlessly, happy to see his friend, “I’m feeling a lot better, too!”

“Good to see you up and about, it really is.”

“Thanks.”

“Hey, think you are up yet to take a look around here? I got time later for a small tour and some food, if you’re hungry?”

“You mean there are other places besides this?” Finn’s arm gestured at the drab equipment filled, make shift med room. Poe laughed.

“A lot more and we got a few new food items in, some things are actually fresh.” He winks.

“All sounds too good to pass up.”  Finn teases.

“It’s kind of a big place wouldn’t want you to get lost.” The ace pilot chuckles in agreement.

The treadmill slows to a stop and Finn steps off. He takes a serious look at Poe.

“How about you, how are you doing?”

“Same, really, better every day,” he answers assuredly handing Finn a towel.

“Glad to hear that.” They exchange a knowing look, knowing all too well what had transpired and what they had been through together.

Finn nods as he wipes the perspiration from his face, “guess I need to learn my way around here a little more, get back out there.”

Poe agrees, “Besides, there are quite a few people around here who want to shake your hand.”

Tossing the rolled towel around his neck, Finn looked at him feeling a bit guilty, “Hey, I’m no hero,” a hand grabbing each end of the towel, “just needed to do what was right and lucky enough to have met all of you.”

Poe smiles quickly tapping Finn’s upper arm with a fist, “Well, glad to have you, hope you’ll be sticking around.”

“Yeah, well, I really don’t have anywhere else to be, do I.” That makes them both laugh.

“Okay then.” Poe smiles walking away, and then he stops and turns back around. “By the way, it does mean a lot, what you did, because you were doing what was right.”

Finn shook his head slowly; he knew some people were looking at him as some kind of a hero, but in his mind, it was all right place and right time, and no better choices. It had all been worth the risk.

“See you in a little bit.” Poe said with a wave, continuing on.

Watching his friend’s back as he walked away, he had to wonder. Could he really just leave these people, his new friends, this cause?

“See you same time next day, Mr. Finn.” The therapy droid said again interrupting his thoughts.

“Sounds good, and it’s just “Finn” okay?” he answers absentmindedly as he walks away to get cleaned up, lost in his own thoughts.

This was his home now, his family, wasn’t it?

When he had first awoke from the healing pod; he had immediately been thrown back to that fight, Rey unconscious in the snow…out of the thousand questions he had in his head for Poe the only one that had come flying out of him was:

“Where’s Rey?”

Yes, this as his home now, his family. He would want to defend it.

Besides, he was raised to fight…and perhaps now, now he had something to fight for.

 

He was less a human-shaped thing and more a pulsing, living band of light. Light that sometimes dims, that sometimes is thrust through with a vein of darkness. She tells herself that it’s normal—

“Leia, we all have that," Luke had explained, “the brighter the light, the darker the shadow.”

There was more truth to this then she thinks even Luke knew at the time.

Was it a difficult or easy birth, was he born with a full head of hair or with a full set of teeth? Hearing these rumors that had surrounded Ben’s birth had been wide spread all over the galaxy. It had amused her at the time. However, it was lot of speculation and expectation for one child to grow up with. And it all came to him due to his bloodline.

These memories where coming back to her, highlighted somehow by something out there, she can feel it. Something…adamant, it reminds her of the occasional dream she would have when she was pregnant.

The dark lit stars that shone one by one like opening eyes that seemed comforting then would turn sinister. Someone or thing was out there watching her and her baby. The hands that would reach for her, hands of shadow, lifting her up, reaching for her throat, her wrists, her stomach—she remembered her son kicking, struggling to find his bearings, trying so hard to find his way free of her even though it hadn't been time.

It was reaching out to that raw power within Ben that was something new, something that had Luke believing that Ben was the one, but no one could tame that vein of darkness within him, it was consuming. It was part of something ancient...she was sure of it.

Right now it called itself Snoke.

Was it something so powerful that it not only wanted to turn that vein of darkness in her son, but search for more, something more evil knowingly wanting to seek out more and to possess it?

She lived each day knowing the possibilities that put both Luke and Ben in danger...and now perhaps even Rey.

And she knew… she too had experienced that darkness, that temptation…

Luke had great doubt is his own judgement now but his mistake was not only his fault alone, they had all failed Ben.

Leia shook her head.

Now was not the time.

She focused back to the discussion at hand. She lifts her eyes back up from the readouts that she had been staring at for the last minute while her thoughts had decided to wander.

“Have you seen the predicted size of this thing? And it’s not even a space station.” Jess shakes her head slightly in wide-eyed disbelief as the few Resistance gathered around the control table looked at the hologram before them. 

“It’s got to be some kind of mega-destroyer.” Snap said.

The room was busy with readouts being deciphered, electronics buzzing at make shift work stations, C-3PO translating, and just an all-around busy anxiousness in the air as they met at the center of all in this, their new base on Crait.

“it is stationed in the Unknown Regions, a regrouping place they have used before,” Admiral Statura shook his head, “Not many even are aware of that region’s existence, let alone a safe path to arrive there.”

Starkiller had been a planet once that was located on the edge of the Unknown Regions. Jakku was more south of that location, between it and the core, and yet in a prime location for the conservatory. Palpatine had believed that some dark presence in the Force awaited him out there, that perhaps it was even the very origin of the darkside itself.

By the time of the Battle of Jakku, some 30 years ago, Imperial computers at the observatory after years of searching had finally calculated a safe route through the deadly maze which had separated any access to The Unknown Regions. After the war, Imperial remnants took that route to retreat, a place to relocate and establish The First Order in secret and apparently to build huge illegal star destroyers.

Reconnaissance droids, the few that had made it with the coordinates, had sent coded messages back to base confirming the existence of something very large just inside the region. A slicer that was known to have “sliced” into various Imperial systems in the past, and had wanted to remain anonymous, had a way of successfully deciphering the incoming communications on more than one occasion.

“We know the coordinates; we just need some proof of what exactly we’re up against.” Poe said.

“Regardless of whatever it is, we have to be ready…for anything.” Her hand in a slight sweeping motion at her words, Leia looked at every face around her. “Chances are high that it is only going to be a matter of time before they find us, and they won’t stop until they do.”

“General, if I may?” The lieutenant stepped up with new information to the table, Leia gave her a nod.

“We picked up transmissions from the northeast ground post, they are coming over the route, but the decoding is giving us trouble on a couple of the communications.”

She looks up at Poe as he simply says, “slicer?”

Leia shook her head in agreement.

“On it.” He answered, his hands flying over the computer keyboard.

"Check the flight path for the Ninka." Leia instructed one of the flight operators.

Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo, an old friend of her's, that had luckily been on Gatalenta during the attack on Starkiller, was on her way to rendezvous with them and offer some much needed aid and supplies.

Crait had been bringing back quite a few memories for her. When she had met Amilyn, as teenagers, it was around the same time that she had uncovered her parent’s secret...and this secret outpost here where she had first uncovered that they where forming a real rebellion, she had been very proud of them, would always be.

“My parents. My friends. My world. These are the things the Empire can never take away.” 

She always held them close to her heart and understood why they had hid her away from Vader...

The thought on everyone’s mind that no one needed to say aloud was will they be able to rebuild enough, be strong enough to battle when the time came. They were recruiting new pilots new members, but there currently wasn’t much left of the Resistance. It was definitely a time of regrouping, however she had been no stranger to horrible odds...

If only…

She remembered Luke’s words that had always helped her: “Just breathe in… breathe out. Be mindful of the world, the galaxy, your place within it. Let the Force be your guide.”

Luke...

 

 

She is there walking apprehensively through a fog. She sees ahead what is left of what appears to be that Great Tree, once so beautiful and green but now… now it appears lifeless. As the fog swirls around it, she feels that it however possesses some sort of a venerable existence, a warmth that beckons her.

Still feeling unsure, even with feeling the safety of the light as it surrounds her, she is hesitant to walk through the opening. There is something in there; in the tree...darkness…she can sense it, cold, tempting…something calling to her.

That something that has always been there inside of her, now she feels that it is cognizant, drawn to this call, part is intertwining with the light…she turns around…something else there.

Then the darkness, it rushes to surround her, to fully blend with the light. She gasps as it envelopes her. A part of it feels familiar and actually calm, the light and dark feed off of each other finding some balance. She feels resolute even with it there, in fact she finds herself closing her eyes for a moment to bask in this alluring feeling...it pushes into her yet feels exhilarating, seductive, she could lose herself for just a little while...

What was she doing? This shouldn't feel...she opens her eyes. She can sense him then, behind her.

She turns around to face him, taking a few steps back. Looking into his dark eyes, she doesn’t feel afraid. She notices the healing scar on his face, from what she can tell in the limited lighting, it's her mark.

She doesn't understand his demeanor as he extends a gloved hand to her in some sort of a plea; it’s in his eyes, a softness, a flicker of hope, some sincere offering. Can she trust him?

He wants her to take his hand. She is greatly conflicted; there will be some sort of choice she will have to make. Her anticipation builds.

“Ben, please don't go this way.”

She is surprised to hear herself say his name like that, so intimate…she is startled, jerking out of the vision... or was it a dream?

She jumps to her feet as it feels like the ghost of a presence is near her, behind her. Looking around she finds the darkened temple empty, nothing out of place, just some lingering feeling, and a feeling of something now missing.

It had just been a dream, she tells herself, calming her breathing; she was meditating and must have just fallen asleep. She was trying to convince herself of this, but deep down, by this point in her training, she knows better.

Slowly, formerly locked doors inside of her now seem to be opening and she couldn’t control it.

Running her eyes around the temple once more, just to be sure she was really alone, but yes, she was alone...no one else was here.

 

Kylo is standing on the deck, overlooking the manufacturing bay on The Supremacy. He is at peace regardless of the mostly gratuitous sight unfolding before him. Machines are creating machines, machines of destruction. When they are delivered to the enemy’s base, everything in their path will surely be annihilated. No one would be able to stand in the way of the First Order.

As he watches the repetitive rhythm of the machinery without his mask on, just through his own eyes, he falls into a state of daydream, as if melding with another thought…some other dream…that feeling…pulling him away.

He sees the water, the island as he had once seen it inside of her head. She is there, walking, in the fog, by an opening in a great tree…a once great tree, now it is dead. But wait, as he moves closer he can feel that the petrified wood of the tree remains very much alive...and it calls to her. Somehow he can feel this.

He can feel the light as it surrounds him and it somehow calls to a part of him, something that has always been inside. It feels so warm, caressing, arousing…he can't help but close his eyes for a moment as it hits him. Her own momentary lure blending with his desire, with his darkness, rising warm within his body. He feels the pulling and he feels her hesitancy.

It’s dark where they are at now, dark and damp, as if there is water somewhere within this echoing place. He opens his eyes and she is there, looking up at him, hazel eyes searching his. He reaches out one of his gloved hands to her, a plea, something offered to her.

“Ben.”

He hears his name pass over her soft lips without an ounce of contempt in her voice or on her face, she is confused by his offer as she looks at his hand, considering…

She has to make some choice, a choice that is somehow connected with him. She seemed to move closer, looking back up at him, a tear in her eye…

What is this ache, this feeling he has, what is this threat she poses to his very being? It is a warning but somehow that part buried deep within him was starting to not care anymore. Was he willing to take some risk, the possibility…to just have her...

A haunting realization casts over him and it startles him. The light is ripped away and he is jolted back to reality, quickly turning around where he was still standing, almost expecting…but no one is here. It is just the cavernous dark corridor and the slight repetitious vibration of the factory behind him. He took a few steps forward without realizing he had, forlornly looking down the corridor, and then down momentarily at his gloved hands. 

It was only him standing there, he was alone.

 

 

Chapter Text

9.

 

Procurement  [proh-kyoo r-muh nt, pruh‐]  the act of obtaining or getting by effort, care, or the use of special means

 

 

The first vision she had seen, she now knew, was of her past and her future, and had happened when she had first touched the lightsaber that once belonged to Anakin and then Luke: Malevolent breathing around her, two people locked in battle, a little boy…she was in the grass, a saber thrown to the ground next to her, a hand picking it up... that saber ignited, a warrior taking the full force of it…seven cloaked figures in different helmets, bodies on the ground all around her… R2 and Luke…that voice telling her to stay, promising to return for her... Kylo Ren.

 

Rey got up from the table taking her and Luke’s few dishes to the sink. She shuttered a bit, cleaning Luke’s now drained cup of that milk. She would never get used to the flavor of it.  Who would have thought to drink milk from some creature? Not that what she had to eat or drink on Jakku was anything to compare to, but the rations here on the island where an acquired taste. Obviously most of the food came from the vast water surrounding it, fish-like things and other sea life. It hadn’t all been bad, but it had taken some time to get used to. When you are hungry enough, however, you adapt.

Luke had surely cut a life of complete isolation out for himself. By choice?  The skills he had honed to survive here on his own, he was quite self-sufficient and she knew all about being self-sufficient.

She had taken care of herself from a very young age having grown up in an inhospitable desert, making a living scavenging through the wreckage of battles, one huge battle having been fought on the planet some 10 standard years or so before she had ended up there. How and why, she wasn’t even sure. But sometimes, when she had been alone in the The Hellhound (the Imperial AT-AT that she had made her home) she would dream of this place, this very island that she was now on. It clearly had been destiny, somehow, someway. The way her life had changed…she had always dreamed of something more, of a family, belonging, but never in her wildest dreams did she think it could lead to all of this.

Here, it was as beautiful as it had been in those dreams. The sun wasn’t as bright as Jakku, but she found that she had gotten used to the bit cooler weather as she found it more comfortable, but what she really loved, was when it rained.

The first time she felt it was one of the first days she was here and had come out from under the cover of the Falcon to hold her hand out enough to touch it. Water, rain, was freely falling from the sky. She had heard of it before, had even seen it in her head, but had never experienced it.

She looked up to the sky now as she grabbed her capelet to cover her shoulders, letting the door of the hut thump shut behind her. She looked up and around now and sure enough she could just see it, off in the distance, clouds were beginning to gather as they often did during this season on Ahch-To. It would be quite a few hours before they got here, but listening to the rain at night sometimes ensured her a more fitful, relaxing sleep…a sleep devoid of waking in the night feeling as if someone was there, that he was there somehow sharing visions with her, kissing her in the Takadona forest. She felt her cheeks begin to warm at the thought.

When she had seen Ben Solo in her vision, it had been a spark of hope for Luke, but surely he wouldn’t take too pleasantly knowing now that she had another vision...one more intimate. She reminded herself of this as she traversed down the rocky surface, that she could not tell Luke any of this.

It had been in his head…she had witnessed it, Kylo’s vulnerability, his loneliness, his pain, his doubt…feelings surely he meant to hide away. A leader of The Knights of Ren could never harbor such compassion, such emotion, but whether he was aware or not, he couldn’t hide completely from her any longer. She had seen what was really inside of him…the fact that Ben Solo was still buried deep within, his true self and his light had come bleeding through more than once. She had felt it, in the forest, in the temple, but after all he had done...

Was he knowingly reaching out? His offered hand to her had to of meant something.

She breathed in the fresh air as she made her way down to the clearing. Perhaps the view here alone was worth Luke’s isolation? She thought. He was a ways away from the cliff side; but the view from here was still amazing.

After a pause, Luke turned around to face her lowering his hood.

“Are you ready?” He asked with a small smile. She gave him a lop-sided grin in return, having to squint her eyes in the sun.

“As I’ll probably ever be,” she answered truthfully, removing her capelet now to feel the sun on her shoulders.

He gestured for her to take a seat on the smooth area of rock.

It was not too long ago, when she had been here with her quarterstaff trying to learn something, when that saber that Luke had turned away had somehow called to her again. She had picked it up so apprehensively, knowing that the last time she had brought it to life she had used it to defeat Kylo. But this time when she ignited it, something had come so much more alive in her, swinging it around naturally in a way that looked practiced.

Wielding a lightsaber was an integral part of this, but another important part of being a Jedi was using meditation. Luke had taught her that it was how one opened a connection to the Force, and it was something even the eldest of Masters of the past had continued to study over a lifetime. It was a constant thing, but whereas the Jedi meditated to quiet their minds and connect with the Force, the darkside meditated to concentrate their anger, their fear, and their hatred into a pure point of ruthless power within them.

“Focus on whatever emotions are the strongest in your mind,” Luke began, as he took a seat near her, “remembering to be honest with yourself, about the feelings you are experiencing and their affects.”

She took a deep breath, listening to his words. She had done this so many times that it was second nature, however, at times she still found her mind drifting.

The kiss...

Every Force-sensitive needed the knowledge to feel and to know when the darkside was trying to seduce, because that is what it did, and that was how it reached out. You had to be insightful of this at all times.

Luke continued, “Then, as you know, you want to let each of those emotions go—keeping in mind that the goal is to make yourself an empty vessel for the Force.”

This might be a little difficult...

A clear mind was the best to begin with. She shook out her arms, sat up a little straighter, closed her eyes and let herself begin to drift, hands on her thighs. It didn’t take too long for her to settle down some, to feel the slight breeze dance around her. Remembering to concentrate on her breathing…but there was something else.

She felt the presence of the light and of the darkness as they came to her. She was following Luke’s instructions of concentrating on what she was keeping inside of her; and what to just let go of….something different had arrived. Some disruption, this had never happened to this extent before; at least it had never felt quite like this…it was something colder, darker.

Regardless of all of this, it somehow also felt…stronger, seductive, so…alive. In the past she had easily ignored it, pushing it off to the side as it would fade away as if some afterthought. It had been getting closer but she never really gave it much attention, until now. Something was aligned. It made her feel her desire and this was beginning to frighten her, a loss of control to a simple emotion. It had awoken her senses.

Stop this, you have to stop! Let it go. Find your balance.

Find a solution, a block to keep the darkness out, to keep him out. She had felt her terror of the unknown, the anger and loneliness of her past, the fear of being alone, her great despondency, confusion and questions, oh so many questions, her susceptibility. She fought to dampen down the anxiety that was unexpectedly building within her with these strange frantic thoughts. Her breathing and heartbeat where growing more rapid.

Something not right.

She wanted to stop, to open her eyes but it had caught her.

Kriff!!

Her doubt and her fear, these feelings where not letting go and where making her open, open to that something else. That something that had been waiting…

“You have to fight this Rey, resist it!”

Luke was beginning to feel something disturbing around her. Even though she appeared so calm and serene in her meditation, he could sense that she was not letting go, not finding her balance, something else was aware of her presence, it was taking advantage. It was her power. He watched the pebbles around her begin floating and her hair start moving in a slight breeze that seemed to only swirl around her.

“What do you see?” He had asked her just moments before all of this.

“Light, the darkness.” Her typical answer, but then it had grabbed her. She couldn’t find the balance. “Something else is there,” she said almost fearfully, “something else, it is calling to me.”

“You have to fight this Rey, resist it!” He was practically yelling into her face. Her eyes where closed and she continued to appear surprisingly at peace.

“Rey do you hear me, you have to fight it!”

She could hardly hear his voice as she saw herself now somehow not afraid. She felt herself drawn to…something familiar. A cool wind as she opened her eyes to darkness in the wood.

She was standing before Kylo, he was down again at her feet, in the snow, she had defeated him and the power she held over him felt intoxicating. She was stalking around him, like an animal sizing up its prey, drowning in a gratifying feeling of having infiltrated his mind beyond his control and this rush, power she possessed; she had damaged him. It was the first time ever she had engaged in The Force and she had used it for battle and out of anger.

“Kill him.” Her darkness commanded, as she stopped to stare down, just like before.

Her grip on her saber made her knuckles white. There was a rush; a pure rush of power as her head went back some and it filled her. It would be so easy, so many problems, over. The power was seductive and exhilarating, her saber crackling in the cold poised over him.

His defeated frightened eyes looked up at her once again as he said her name desperately, “Rey.”

Something about the way he had said her name.

She blinked almost as if coming out of a daze.

“Resist it!” she heard Luke’s voice outside of herself. “Fight it, Rey!”

With a heave of air her fingers slowly let go as she dropped the saber from her shaking hands. She didn’t want to do this. This was not her. Dropping to her knees in the snow, her hands over her face, she then felt the cold rush around her neck as it spread down her body. She felt as though there was an invisible cord connected in her chest as it slowly pulled her up, she gasped as she was suspended there horizontally a few feet over the snow, in the cold.

“You were lost to me, but I have found you again. Embrace your darkness as it was meant to be, come to me and fulfill your destiny.”

She closed her eyes and then let out a great scream in her head as Luke watched the rock split behind and around her under the weight of her raw command. He watched in horror as the crack raced along to the cliff's edge. One side of it dropped some and a few pebbles fell into the cracks. Yet her face remained placid.

He gripped her upper arms looking into her face. “Rey!”

She was slipping backwards, but felt herself fighting and floating through the heavy water. She had to swim, and somehow she knew exactly how to swim. A monster, some unseen creature was behind her; she just knew that it wanted to capture her.

Forcing her arms forward she could feel something, a thick tentacle wrap around her middle, pulling her easily back down into the water. She was turned around but couldn’t see. It was now holding her almost immobile, her hands pushing down on either side at its thick smooth skin, the muscle undulating just under the surface. She was fatigued, yet fought as much as she could in her attempt to push down on the appendage to break out of its hold. She could feel more tentacles beginning to glide over her skin; she tried to struggle to free herself. It felt soft, gripping, pulling her forward, and sliding around her neck. Any fear was gone now, gone and replaced by her anger.

She had stopped fighting for a moment as something began to feel warm, squeezing. Now she called it, she let the Force gather to her, even as she knew the creature wanted to kill her, she stretched out her arms, gathering the power through the water. Her palms up and a couple fingers pointing in the creature’s direction as she moved her arms back in front of her, pushing that gathered force out, gritting her teeth. Her power rushed toward the creature and out of her finger tips.

Her power caused a wave in the water to rush away towards it as all of a sudden the creature let go of her, it’s appendages all jerked back as if burned. Once free she quickly rose up to the top, breaking through the water, grabbing on to the rock…

With a gasp her body came to life again as Luke fell back in both shock and relief. Her hands were flat on the ground on either side of her as she attempted to catch her breath and stop her heart from beating out of her chest.

She felt a strangely accomplished; she didn’t remember everything clearly, yet she knew she had defeated whatever this sea creature had been.

“Rey… you, you did it,” Luke stumbled over his words, getting back up on his feet. “You did fight it.”

“I did...defeat it," she said excitedly, between gasps of air, "whatever it was, darkness, some monster...” She was still catching her breath.

“Rey, that was more than just the darkside,” Luke said, shaking his head slightly back and forth, appearing as if he was still in some kind of shock.

“What do you mean?” She asked, smoothing her hair back on the top of her head, her breathing and heartbeat evening out.

“We can’t have this, I…I can’t do this. Not again.” The look on his face was wild now, terrified.

“Do what?” She asked not understanding, a bit hurt at his reaction as if she had somehow done something wrong. She stared at him. "I didn't kill it…"

He cut her off, “Any of this.” He said slowly, as he began to walk from her. He stopped, turning back to her.

“This is why I didn't want to do this, because I have seen this raw strength only once before. I wasn’t afraid enough of it then…but I am now.” He continued on his way in a rush to be away from her.

He knew it wasn't her fault that she shouldn’t have to suffer the repercussions of his past mistake, but in this moment, thinking of how it had all started with Ben, with some high-key destructive powers that couldn't properly be reined in? All the memories had just come flooding back. Yes, he had just gotten the validation about her being like him and he was scared.

She had clearly terrified him. She was both hurt and confused as she stared after him, as he stalked off, in disbelief. She had conquered whatever it had been, she had won so what was the…as she picked up her capelet off of the stone in front of her, she noticed under it a deep crack. Had she done this? Looking at it a bit shocked, she traced a segment of the crack with her fingers. This was impressive. She started to follow it with her eyes, standing up to see where it had stopped, but it continued on around her and trailed off the edge of the cliff, a destruction that hadn’t been there before, as if some great unrestrained power had crashed down upon it and made it break through the thick rock. A slight chill went down her spine, her eyes going a bit wide as she realized that she had somehow done this…while meditating and hadn’t realized. She looked at her hands in the sunlight, palms up. Power had come from them in the water but how had she…

"He's afraid of you." Kylo’s smooth voice repeated what he had said once in a vision, “Rey, when are you going to realize that I have the answers you seek?” 

She had rejected his offer only to be rejected herself by Luke.

His fears, his doubt, his feelings of abandonment because of his power…she understood all of this. She had this power, too…was it why…no, that can’t be it. Luke didn’t understand completely and because of that he had just made some mistakes.

"You and I are not so different."

She sat back down in her confusion, hugging her capelet in thought, taking in a deep breath to calm herself. She had thought telling Luke of her vision of Kylo might chase him away, but she may have just did that anyway all on her own.

 

 

He had felt something, something with her. A ripple, a simple tug, some flash, some unrestrained power, and in his current state, it had angered him.

He could feel the darkside power swell within him as he struck the guards coming towards him with their various weapons. He used his own to fight in his fury and never shied away from using his fists when necessary. He had never lost a battle…until her.

It hadn’t been the first time Kylo had been pitted against more than one opposition in a training session, using real situations from time to time was the only way to be truly prepared, as the Supreme Leader could no longer participate in such vigorous activities himself with his limited, damaged body.

As one of the Special Ops troopers took the impact of Kylo’s boot to his gut, Kylo was able to easily swing around and slice at the second contestant’s blade with his saber, holding him back as he volleyed around with an unnatural quickness and delivered with an elbow to the face for the third contestant that was coming up behind him. He easily drew his saber upwards catching the blade again and force pushed the other back while swinging a foot around to take the legs out from under the other opponent as he attempted to get up off of the floor and stand. When all three guards were on the floor, he dropped his training saber turning his back on them to walk away with a gesture of his hand in their direction. The session had ended.

He walked over to the side of the room removing the thinner black gloves from his hands, picking up a towel to wipe the sweat from his face and to drink the clear liquid from the bottle. As he sat the bottle back down slowly, he ran a hand through his hair. Her interruption was still on his mind.

Pulling the top of his sleeveless shirt out some in order to peel it off of his damp chest, he put his hands back on the counsel leaning his weight on his arms, his head hanging down some as he caught his breath.

The kiss...

Pushing himself back upright completely to leave the room, he could feel that he was once again, alone. Alone with his thoughts, where he wanted to be.

In the safety of his chamber he showered and returned to his cleaned black uniform. Here he could get some peace, some meditation to rejuvenate...needed isolation.

The quarters he stayed in while he visited the Supremacy were luxurious in every way, the Supreme Leader spared no expense on his flagship, but Kylo had cared little for truly appreciating such touches. He had been around it all of his life as royalty and it had never meant much. His castles where kept equally meticulous, as they should, but the only material things that mattered to him where the artifacts housed within those castles.

There was a comfortable, plush chair in the chamber that he now settled into to relax. He was changing, he could feel it and it was because of… he cleared his mind; he concentrated on the things he needed to cast out. Reoccurring past thoughts that were at times attempting to make odd reappearances…his past, it needed to be killed. As a leader, he appeared ruthless on the outside, but he was no droid, he couldn’t be programmed to turn off all of his emotions. Burdened with both the light and the dark, it gave him a higher level of sensitivity and he could become easily over-stimulated. He had been successful with controlling this in his life by exploiting his anger, until her.

“I have never had a student with such promise -- before you.”

He had thought that his stay at Mustafar would have helped him recover from his failures, but upon his return, he could feel the interruption slowly begin to seep back in. Then the visions had started. Her. He had no idea at the time just how much it would come back to affect him. His sensory overloads had been difficult to control at times and most likely seen as a weakness as it was. The Supreme Leader just didn’t understand; no one had his whole life, no one knew how it felt be subjected to both sides of the light and dark, taught to utilize both, yet only recognize one. Now he needed to make a choice.

“It is your teachings that make me strong, Supreme Leader.”

He remembered her scream of horror when he had drove his saber through his father’s chest; he hadn't wanted to hear what Han had said to him, the probable truth in it. He only yearned for the strength that he had sought for so long to end this pain and commit only to the darkness. It had instead turned into betrayal and regret.

They just stood there above, looking down on him in shock and disbelief as he nudged his Father’s body to tip and fall down into the abyss of Starkiller. They didn’t understand.

“Snoke is using you for your power. When he gets what he wants, he'll crush you. You know it's true.”

He had to follow them to the forest; somehow this pain had to end. The traitor’s compassion for the girl as she fell, that slight of jealousy that had stabbed through him, especially after having had been in her mind, that attraction she couldn’t hide from him, some shared energy. It had been more than just a little curiosity. The cause of it, something not truly ever meant for him.

At times he thought…the way she made him feel, it was...unfamiliar, something he hadn’t let himself feel in years. She had enlightened his senses and he wasn’t sure what it could be, but their destinies, together, somehow. They both knew this. He wasn’t so sure he had enough room inside of him to carry all of this weight…something had to give.

Deeper he went in his meditation. It was easier here then dealing with what was outside of his chamber doors.

Did he truly have to admit that with his high sensitivity, he could at times feel her presence, as if she where there?

He had wanted to touch her again and still part of him wanted to detest her. It didn’t matter now how she had made him feel, it was too late. He would put this all away into that…that secret place within him, that place where he fought to keep it contained.

Now he had to feel it, he had to feel that creeping disappointment the Supreme Leader had in him at his failures, the reprimanding punishments he had to endure for showing his compassion towards her. He could still…feel. That part of him should have been dead long ago. This ache he felt…he had to destroy it, all of it.

The blood of Vader ran through his veins

As it stood, he had nothing, nothing but his regret, regret he could turn into anger to pursue his ultimate ascension, to become what he was truly meant to be.

 

 

It was her, he could now feel it through his apprentice. She was the one, the one who somehow had originated from neither just the light nor the dark, but something far more revered, far more ancient.

When the kyber crystal in the saber had called to her, he had become aware, he had known. The Force had been awakened in response.

He could feel her desire for power, it was in her very lineage and she would eventually reciprocate. The power was very seductive and hard to combat, especially for someone hid away for so long and unknowingly vulnerable to her true calling.

As the ancient Jedi had taken so much away from him and had physically damaged him, he would take away from the Jedi…from the Skywalkers

So many had had it all wrong, the light could not be completely snuffed out nor could the dark, the opposing side will always re-emerge, as with the Force, balance was needed. This was why the Galactic Empire had failed, why the Sith had failed. Why the Jedi had failed.

The Solo child had possessed both the light and the dark; he had felt it when the baby was still in his mother’s womb, he was the perfect focal point of both. If one could control the never ending cycle of the Force it would have to be one who possessed both the light and the dark and Ben Solo was special because he did possess both and he was a Skywalker. Had it been too good to be true?

Kylo carried the few scars on his back of his past punishments, special reminders…however he had not ever shown such weakness before this girl had appeared. She had emerged, and like Ren, was also both the light and the dark, but with something even more special. To build up his physical strength to rule the galaxy he needed them…both. Kylo was his enforcer and she would bring with her power and life. Combined they would ensure that his own power would once more be complete.

They had hidden her away from him and they had suffered for it. Her influence was contagious. She had no idea just how powerful she could become just how much she was being held back from her full range.

Only by knowing her darkside could she totally realize the fullness of her power.

The Supreme Leader sat back in his throne, smiling slightly to himself as the galaxy continued to unknowingly unfold around him.

 

Chapter Text

                                

 

10.

 

 Inexorable  [in-ek-ser-uh-buh l]  unyielding; unalterable

 

 

Leaving the security of the Jedi Village behind, Rey put her hood up over her head and headed for the temple. Passing by the ridge of cliff where Luke had his X-Wing under the water in a shallow inlet, she stopped to gaze down at it a moment with a sigh. What must Master Skywalker of been through? She walks on wondering what causes someone to become so disillusioned.

Nearing the temple, for some reason, she felt herself immediately become drawn to the ancient mosaic in the floor. As she slowly entered the small sanctuary, she approached the shallow pool, stopping to peer down into it. There was the image in the stones of what was believed to have been the "Prime Jedi" the first of the Jedi Order. It looked as if it was some big-headed being sitting in meditation between some sort of depicted balance. It had never meant anything to her before or even seemed to look very interesting, but for some reason, at this time, she looked at it and actually felt something, some kind of a far off understanding, something silently speaking to her of the light and the dark, of the necessity of both to reach balance.

As she slowly passed by it, she walked out the back of the structure to the cliff side meditation rock and the fresh new cracks in the ground surrounding it, as a gentle rain began to fall.

No matter how many times she had felt it since she had been on Ahch-To, she would never get used to the soft rain falling from the sky. After years on a desert planet such as Jakku, water was always a commodity and surely they never had much rain. They mostly counted on collections of the cold overnight condensation from the moisture farms. Never had she remembered ever feeling the water fall from the sky so freely to touch her skin and cool her senses. It was still so new to her and just so emotional that she couldn’t help her own out pour of feelings in moments like this as it seemed as she somehow had been anticipating this rain all day.

There were mysteries on this ancient island, in the very mist. She knew that there were things she had yet to uncover here, answers to questions she hadn’t even asked yet, as her own dreams somehow had brought her here.

She still didn't have a real home anywhere, not anymore, if she ever truly had. She came here to help the Resistance; to somehow attempt to bring Luke home and at the same time, recognized her surroundings. Somehow Luke had sensed that she was here for more then to just try and convince him to return, now she wasn't even sure if he would continue to teach her...or if he even could. He really hadn't understood Ben's power, how could he hers? 

She wasn't real sure what she had hoped to find, but perhaps maybe to feel less alone?

She began to think of her friends in the Resistance, all currently far from her. It only made her began to feel that loneliness creep up, that feeling she used to get as a child at night all alone in a desert dreaming of this island. Shouldn't there be, maybe, something more for her here?

 

At the same time, far away, he feels some soft radiation and it is familiar, somehow visceral. It was almost like the feeling that rose naturally when he thought of… her. Some anticipation, a need. He notices that this feeling has become recently able to resonate more and more freely within him and he felt as if he had no way to contain it as it swallowed him, just as it had standing in front of the factory, or as his lips found hers in a vision and how it had felt so real.

It is as if he where answering to her focused circulation, a call that was stealing all of his attention. The annoying moving mouth of General Hux standing in front of where he was sitting is now something he can no longer hear.

He felt some temptation he could not back away from, it was stirring him, his breathing, that strong pull…he was feeling mildly alarmed at this energy that seemed to just reach out to him. He can feel its warm tendrils so dangerously close to that hidden part of him, as it attempted to, unknowingly, coax it to the surface. It pulled him up from his seat to walk across the expanse and climb the few stairs of the external observation portal.

It looks to those around as if he was in response to something unseen. If any bridge officers had noticed his strange behavior they quickly looked away back to their stations, lest Kylo Ren notice them.

“…Ren!” Hux says as he stomps a foot angrily, his hands in fists at his sides as he stands there now looking at Kylo’s caped back. Although this hasn’t been the first time Ren had just decided that a conversation was over clearly neglecting to let the other party involved aware. Hux only had so much patience for that silly ancient religion that filled Ren's head with delusions of grandeur and constant petulance. He stares a few moments in disbelief, and then turns away with a huff.

 

As she sat in the little rock canopy sheltering her from most of the rain, she could breathe in the fresh air and watch the mesmerizing gentle waves on the water in the mist, a couple of porg huddled in, sharing her space.

She begins feeling a little restless, slightly heated as the memory of the feel of his soft, warm lips on hers comes to the surface.

Where had that come from?

She looks around as if some answer could be found on the beach in the rain. The thought brings something else with it. A soft vibration, and it is familiar, almost instinctual. She suddenly felt drawn to hold a hand up, fingers spread out playfully to the rain, toward the sky, toward this feeling, as the mist tickled her face. It was a comfort. She closed her eyes to it. It felt as if she could almost feel another touch meeting her hand.

 

Kylo found himself standing in front of the large view port looking out on the dark vastness of space laid out before him.

So much beauty among so much turmoil.

This wave of feeling, he feels it touch him like some sort of an invisible hand, some sort of an answer. It is alluring, as he finds that he craves the warmth of this touch. He lifts a gloved hand to spread his fingers against the portal, as if meeting with that hand somehow across the galaxy. He feels some long ago memory, a glimpse of, perhaps, real happiness, and it fervently vexes him. He should not feel this. He had built a wall around such feelings years ago. Through his hand he could feel something, a touch, a connection, a completion.

 

Some response, a feeling, moved from her hand down her arm, something pulling within her like magnetism. She shrugs back from this invisible force, dropping her arm and glancing at her hand, slightly shaking her head, not understanding this presence. It had come out of nowhere. She is looking around for some sort of a source of this thing that had just stolen into her, just seemed to come out of the air to find her.

Taking a deep breath, she closes her eyes again for solace and is momentarily reminded of that power that had been buried deep inside of her that had surfaced in the copious pain and humiliation that he had imposed on her on Starkiller, that energy within her that somehow he had awakened in just one touch.

Then it is as if a void opens, a sudden anger flashes at some misunderstanding, ignited at some unknown conflict, two sides at great odds, no one is listening, abandoned…a great sense of rejection. She brings a trembling hand to her mouth as she gasps. It is all more feelings then visions and she has felt these familiar emotions all before herself, but this is not her at the moment, it is a hurt, lost little boy, she just knows. 

Ben.

She wants to help him; she had seen this boy before, in her Force vision. A tear ran down her face. She could feel his confusion; his doubt and his great fear, his conflict…yes, conflict, Ben was still there, and she knew it. She knew it was he that had kissed her somehow, not Kylo Ren.

She could feel the light still in him.

 

He lifts his hand off of the portal in a quick jerk, to put a gloved fist against his chest. This…this is perplexing; this feeling…it is different. Things he had turned off for so many years now somehow seemed to be leaking through his meticulously built wall, through cracks, some fissure...it was her pulling. 

He had been aware of her, her resonating, unknowingly picking away at that wall. He feels the hot tear slide down his cheek hidden under the cover of his mask. Some sort of long ago memory. He feels the pull to the light once more. It is like fresh cool air, soft rain, crashing waves, the sun’s warmth, and his mother’s love.

 

“Ben.”

Some strong lure is there, Rey feels it as she moves a hand, across her chest to wipe away from this connection, that pulling cord.

She feels herself open to this all, as if she was some current connecting a circuit. She cannot stop it. More tears slide down her face at the emotions, as she shuts her eyes tight, her hands falling to sit, palms up, on her thighs.

"Tell me now you don't want this."

Distorted voices begin to surround her, electronics, a burning fire, and then feelings of insurmountable power rushing in with an intoxicating seduction. The pebbles around her begin to rise. Warm. Powerful. Temptation. Now this feeling, it is exhilarating. She feels alive, her senses alert.

She would kill the light in her to keep this feeling, just to be near him.

What?

No!

Such a thought could not be her!

She can feel some other presence here. “Hello?” her voice echoes. She is drifting, not understanding, unable to grasp anything coherent. Something there fighting for room, she wants to let him in. Would he touch her again? She realizes a devastating need that…power, seduction…that connection to him, something was fluctuating…

There is a voice calling. “Ben!” it echoes, “No!” She can feel his great shock. He can’t relive that. He had no control, this raw power, the death, the fire...

She can see a presence looming, a saber poised to strike him. No! There is still time!

She feels this incredible emotional pain, weakness and regret…a great betrayal. She wants to help him, to comfort him.

It was not too late.

 

Kylo slowly walks from the view port as he attempts to thrust these thoughts from his mind. He feels his own familiar pain, fear, loneliness and abandonment as she has felt it. The little girl, he sees her, she understood the pain, she understood the meaning of abandonment.

She is older now a beautiful, sensual woman but a paradox. She has darkness, the darkness within her, it calls to him. He feels her warmth, her lips and her want, that secret part of him yearning for her, then simultaneously her opposing light dampening his rising anger. This feeling was something essential that had grown into something even so much more. 

It was destiny.

He needs solace and meditation. He needs away from here. He absentmindedly marches off the platform and heads to his quarters his cape flowing behind him as ship officers and technicians quickly move out of his way.

He leaves the bridge and starts down the tunnel. Wait, this is the wrong way. He's so lost in his thoughts that he forgot that he was not aboard The Finalizer, he was currently on The Supremacy. He turns around to head to his chamber on this ship, but just then something moves like a rushed wave. It stops him; he dips quickly into one of the corridor wall control coves, out of sight. He leans over slightly to catch his breath, arm bracing the close opposite wall in the tiny space, his head down. The mask is suddenly becoming stifling as this need, a shared need, a strong need to touch her slides over him. He ignored the feeling that if he could just touch her, it would soothe his need, this ache. 

 

She is searching, relinquishing to some sort of pleasure, caressing softness, warm gloved hands on her chill naked skin, and his lips on hers once again, his strong arms around her, her hands deep in his soft, thick hair, pulling him down to her. It’s not enough; she wants more, her head back, body giving in completely to how he made her feel. She didn’t care in that moment about the rift between them. It was too much; she feels lightheaded, then just something else takes over…some darkness.

 

He was sitting on the floor in only his pants, his breath quick and ragged after having had a momentary fit of rage upon finding his chamber. Some of his dark, damp curls stuck to his face, his mask having had been ripped off of his head before it had fully disengaged and heaved across the chamber. Most of his clothes and his gloves were scattered across the room. He sat on the floor, back against the side of his large bed, bare feet on the floor and knees up, his elbows resting on them, hands holding his sweaty face. He had to allow some semblance of himself to search his feelings and find the answers, answers he needed before the rest of his quarters found itself a victim of his saber.

“Force bond?”

He says questioning aloud, in a growl. The connection, it had been altering, growing beyond their control…but bonds are rare and typically between master and padawan…no this is something else, something different.

He is reminded of how he had first felt out of control when she had somehow gotten into his head, when he had discovered his new instincts toward her and how it had troubled him. He had needed guidance at that time but he wasn’t about to share this. His master had already called him out for having compassion for the girl, that she was his weakness and he hadn't needed to supply Snoke with any more ammunition to use and belittle him with.

For the most part, he had instinctively managed to conceal most of this flaw away, and to keep it safe, undetected, mostly ignored…except for the few times he couldn’t help but feel and get lost in her enchantment.

“Don’t be afraid, I feel it too.”

That same power that was within her; he had known this, but he feels it even stronger now. It has to be the source of all this, that power, something ancient, something that he was always told nothing good could come from…well she had this power too, so clearly that was a lie.

Their natural attraction was there because their destinies intertwine, their energies attract. He can feel this now. He doesn't even know why this is happening, but he could feel her. A new bond, searching, not concealed now…he found it was open.

He slowly lifted his head from his hands looking up in some sort of bewildered anticipation. He was beginning to feel her comfort as he became aware; it was alleviating and tranquil as it naturally began to dissipate his anger and confusion, just like it had so many years ago.

“Rey.” He said, his lips moving in a whisper.

He could envision her now, lying there, somewhere outside. It was dark, damp...he could feel some of what she felt, the cool breeze on Ahch-To. She needed to get up and inside shelter.

“Rey.” He said again, projecting his thoughts to her through the opening.

She was stirring, she could hear a rumbling voice, an echo…she could feel anger…hers…his, yet pleasingly dissolving…together...

“What…?” she moaned, sleepily in some kind of a dream state.

Just hearing her slight moan, and knowing what she felt with her voice in his head, made his already wired overly stimulated body grow hard, his breath uneven. This need, this need was different. This need that washed over him was now purely physical. Part of him didn’t care about anything in that moment he just wanted her in any and every way.

“Get up, Rey.” He had to swallow down his instant heat in order to keep the intensity out of his voice.

His voice…it gave her a start. She lifted her head off of the sand, bracing herself with her arms, looking around, confused. She slowly sat up brushing off the debris from the side of her face. How had she ended up face down in the sand? She jerked up to her feet realizing there was no one there. Didn’t she just hear a voice?

“Rey.” He whispered softly.

She quickly turned around. The rain had stopped and it had grown dark. No one was here, why was she hearing…feeling...

Standing, shaking, her quick movement, she leaned her hands against the large rock near her to help hold herself up, hanging her head to look down between her out stretched arms at the sandy pebbles by her booted feet, to control a sight queasiness.

Then the sand was gone, in its place…a vision…

She could see him then, a glimpse, was it in her mind? Her eyes widen. Gods, he was beautiful. Why was she seeing this? She felt herself go flush as he sat there…his chest, his arms so solid, gleaming cut muscles…she felt her warm embarrassment wash over her with her excitement.

So this was what was under the tunic of his uniform.

“Can you put something on?” She asked in her embarrassed haste, her voice quaked.

Why did seeing him make her body feel so…she could feel some desire, some physical want within her come alive…this new feeling, something he had also awoken. It took her a moment to reign in, her impassioned core, her weakness, it took her breath away.

He could sense her pleasure at what she saw. His lips curled up on one side in an arrogant smile.

“Couldn’t stay away?” The words came out of his mouth before he knew it, amused as he was at her innocence.

She was still awake and not in meditation, how was he in her head now?

Her anger and embarrassment were rising with his smart retort. She could almost feel...her reaction a diversion to him.

“How are you doing this!” She asked gritting her teeth.

His smooth, dark even voice answers her patiently, “the Force is connecting us, you and I, search your feelings.”

She shakes her head in disbelief, “No! It’s you! You’re doing all of this! Like you have before!"

He felt his unstable anger immediately pique for some reason at her accusation.

“You don’t know anything about me, do you?” He said hotly, his dark gaze seeming to bore right through her.

“I know everything I need to know about you!" She shouted taking her hands off of the rock and standing up on her own now.

“You do?” He asked in feigned surprise, “Ahh, so you do." He said narrowing his eyes to look into hers. "You have that look in your eyes, from the forest, when you called me a monster.”

“You are a monster!” She spit back at him in her fear and confusion, and that anger within her.

“Yes... I am.

She stared back at him as his chin gave a slight quiver. She was surprised to find hurt in his eyes. Hurt -- and conflict. No menace, only misery. She looked on bewildered and caught off guard by his response. She caught a slight...sadness...

Suddenly his tone changed to one of defense.

“You didn’t seem to mind the taste of monster, now did you...or have you forgotten?” His mixed emotion was palpable as he stared at her.

She shirked back with a gasp at his words, leaning one shoulder against the rock, turning away, crossing her arms as her hot embarrassment returned to wash over her body at his cruel reminder of how she had become weak and had let him kiss her for quite a while, even as it was a vision, they could still feel. His lips. She shut her eyes.

They both begin to feel that anticipation build at the mere mention of their shared secret. She felt something warm move up her back.

There it is,” he says whispering almost tauntingly in her ear. “You crave a little danger, don't you?” He purred.

He felt her uncontrolled shiver at his voice in her ear. He had to let her know that he had seen her reaction and that he felt it as his own body came alive.

She was momentary light headed as something shifted within their shared emotion, she could feel their anger and confusion start dissolving, as if their emotions fed off of one another, in some way, by just being connected. It began to somehow feel natural. She was trembling now, and not only from the cold.

She had to find her calm. She stopped leaning on the rock and stood up, her arms still crossed. She could sense that warmness on her back come alive again through her cloak, almost as if he was standing right behind her. She turned her head slightly to look, she couldn’t see him and he wasn’t physically there. She swore it felt like strong warm arms coming around from behind her, his body pressed against her.

Was this Ben?

She could sense now that he had been telling her the truth about whatever this was. She closed her eyes tight, as a few tears ran down her face. She was momentarily overwhelmed, confused, wanting to lean back into this, to feel his real warmth on her but it wasn’t possible, he wasn’t really here…and if he was, surely they would only battle. 

“Are you doing that?” She asked with a tearful whisper.

“You felt cold,” was his quiet answer in her ear.

Shivering, she swiped the tears from her face and headed toward her hut, trying not to lose herself, more tears running down as she stumbled on some of the uneven rocks in her haste. She couldn’t run away from this.

Center yourself, center. Do not let this get the better of you.

Only when she shut the door to the hut behind her did she start feeling a little safer. Standing there for a moment to catch her breath, she still couldn’t see him anymore, but she could sense him, still there somehow, in her head.

Stoking the fire a bit in the tiny pit, she wiped at stray tears on her face, it was like they wouldn’t stop. So much emotion. She removed her damp cape, kicked off her boots and settled herself on the center of her cot. She took a deep shaky breath.

He began to see her again, slightly mesmerized by her movements, he swore his heart skipped a beat. He couldn’t help but think back at their shared kiss, how she made him feel, how she had felt in his arms. Deep down he wanted to hold her for real, taste her lips, hear her soft moan and touch her warm, smooth skin and…so much more.

Sitting up, she loosened her hair shaking it out, running her hands through it. She then felt somewhat more relaxed. She caught a glimpse of him. He was sitting somewhere with large black pillows behind his back. He still hadn’t covered that chest, those biceps. His head slowly tilted up and his dark eyes caught hers. Her breath hitched. Everything seemed to come to a stop with that look.

He really did look like a prince, a dark prince.

She didn’t totally understand the look in his eyes, something dark, something dangerous, something unexpected making her feel exposed, uncomfortable. Her heart beat wildly.

“Stop that,” she whispered.

“So you can still see me,” he said slowly.

For a split second her fleeting thought of wondering how it would feel on his bed, caught her by surprise. She was immediately embarrassed at the thought and a bit appalled at herself. But the way he was looking at her, some hunger, why was he looking at her like that, that intense stare?

“Can this,” she started, as her voice shook, “be shut or closed now?”

She took a deep, uneven breath, garnering the Force to her. It helped her to calm and think more clearly. She thought she had read about some connections, visions that they can be closed or something, she couldn't think clearly at the moment.

He could see and feel her frustration at this, he could sense how he had unnerved her.

She closed her eyes on him as a shock wave went down her spine, not from cold or fear…she could feel it, like an electrical charge humming through her, making her senses once more come alive. Some pulsation that resonated within them both. She took another deep breath, trying to ignore this, concentrating.

A rhythm was there, she couldn’t help but momentary fall into it. All she could feel was his energy perfectly resonating through her stimulating her every nerve, touching her...it fit so well and felt so arousing, she began to get very warm, as some kind of a culmination began to build…

“Yes, it can be closed. You need control. Find your balance.” His voice now strained, yet kind and gentle.

She needed control. A soft noise came from her throat as he could feel her vibrating energy shooting through his veins to his very core. She was powerful, but not fully trained on focusing. He could show her. He knew that she didn’t totally understand what she wanted so badly, why her body was reacting physically to what he had somehow been instrumental in blossoming within her, but he understood; he knew exactly what she needed.

He could see her sitting on something; her hair was down framing her face. She was so lovely, so flustered. He wanted to be where she was to put his hands on either side of her face and kiss those perfectly warm lips again, dig his fingers in her hair, lay her back on the bed under him…control!  Now was not the time.

They were bonded, or so he believed that was what this was...the time would come.

His hands in fists as he swallowed hard, calming his breathing in his own attempt to find his center, a drip of sweat trickling down the valleys of his chest. He wanted to comfort her, to dry her tears. Now he had to work with her, and push aside their flaring secret desires. He had to let her go…but just for now.

“Keep looking for that door to shut.” He murmured.

Guarded, she was becoming guarded now, and the embarrassment at that flicker of passion, of longing, just concentrating through it. The goose bumps she broke out in at the sound of his voice.

She was finding her way; he could feel it, as he knew she would. Following this path way…the opening was getting increasingly…narrow. He was a threat to her beliefs, he was a monster and this vibrated through her pushing her further away from him.

Where was it? Where was that door?

She had found it.

Then he felt it, the door in her mind closed on him, shut…a thick impenetrable wall, the connection temporarily broken. He smiled atrociously to himself for a split second. She had learned so quickly.

 

She felt as if she had her back against her side of that door and was letting herself slowly slide to the floor as it closed, in some sort of despondency. She felt even lonelier now.

“Fight it all you want, you will not be able to run from this forever.”

His words from their vision ran through her head.

Intertwined destinies.

She fell back on her cot, resigned, a quick note of the coldness now on her back as she grabbed the blanket. Lying on her side to watch the flickering fire, she grabbed an extra pillow, hugging it tightly. She didn’t understand…

"Your defiance keeps you from feeling the truth!” His hissing words from a vision coming back to haunt her.

He had tried to tell her, the inevitable truth. Without even having to admit anything, he knew what she was really feeling and she knew that he felt the same way. That division between them, it was so much thinner. How can this be, with him?  But what about everything she thought she knew?

“You need to face your destiny.”

He really believed that he was some kind of a monster. Was it something he was told to believe? What had really happened? She had caught a glimpse of Ben inside of him as he had tried to bury his past away.

She had known Ben was still there when he had kissed her. She couldn’t feel him now and she was left just confused. She couldn’t stop the tears that fell from her eyes.

 

His face fell in his pensiveness. He had sensed her familiar fight, her desperation and her isolation. He had that purely emotional ache in his chest as if something was missing and only holding her would fill it. For a time, they had been laid bare to each other with all of their open wounds, adversaries still on the outside that knew some of each other’s deepest desires.

Her, his weakness.

Leaning against his pillows, his head back against the headboard taking a deep breath, he knew she would be here, in time, with him, he had foreseen this, it was her destiny. Why else would the Force be doing this to them?

Patience.

As he slid down into the bed to lay his head down on a pillow, staring into the darkness, he realized that now he had that long awaited confirmation as to where she and Skywalker were. When he should have been feeling some sort of triumph or vindication, he found that instead, at least for tonight, he only felt a cold emptiness.

 

 

Chapter Text

 

11.

 

Vagary  [vuh-gair-ee, vey-guh-ree]  unpredictable or erratic action, occurrence, course, or instance

 

 

“Dear child, you already know the truth,” Maz had told her, “whomever you’re waiting for on Jakku is never coming back.”

She had known the truth about her parents, she had always known somehow, but it had been something easier for a little girl to understand, to believe, that they somehow promised to come back for her. Maybe they had. It had been so long ago. She didn’t think that it was all something that she had just created. She still searched for validation; she still had so many questions and so many doubts.

This thing inside of her that had always been there, it was the very thing that gave her the dreams of this island, of the Great Tree, but other than that, it had been dormant. When she had left Jakku, it had somehow awoken and she had been scared, but she was able to use it to escape Starkiller and to link minds with Kylo Ren…

Is that how all of this started? Were they now bonded because of her being able to get inside his mind, while he was in hers?

Or was there something more? 

She tossed around in her cot, in her sleep, but these thoughts, these images, the feelings…some hers, some his, were invading her dreams.

She could feel anger, discord, sadness, some great regret. She felt a strong desire, something cold yet carnal, as some smooth sensation like hands glide down her body, her legs, and she feels a slight pressure between her legs. She can’t continue to deny it any more. This feeling was getting more difficult to ignore...and now, with this bond only bringing them so much closer together...it causes her to moan in her sleep.

Please don’t stop.

 

He thought he heard a sound, a sound coming from her. It was unfamiliar yet struck a strong chord within him…even in his sleep.

It made his sleeping mind drift to their time on Starkiller.

She refused to look at him as her eyes teared up and she bit her lip. The closer he got to her, the more she struggled to look away; she was fighting to avoid his gaze. He knew that she didn’t understand the new feelings his nearness had caused to blossom within her...some attraction. She was so young and had been on her own most of her life and for all she had taught herself in survival, she had neglected to learn of her own changing body and biology. She hardly understood what it meant to become a woman and had never felt such a fascination with anyone before him.

He knew that she hated his invasion of her personal space and private thoughts. He knew that she did not trust easily. He could sense her loneliness and even though she was the enemy, he couldn’t help but sympathize with her, he understood loneliness, but there was something else there as well, something of interest that he hadn’t had the time to investigate. 

He scanned her face with his new knowledge of her. Her mind was unlike any other he had been in before; this girl had made him excited. As he clenched his jaw, he knew he had to fight to control what this was doing to him.

He couldn’t stand to see her with anyone else, especially the traitor, but even in his frenzied mind, he had still offered to teach her the ways of the Force, and he could teach her so much more. He had felt that their destinies where intertwined and was surprised to be so intrigued by her as he had never felt loyalty to anyone else but his master.

Now they were connected in a bond that felt powerful, they could accomplish so much together…but his directive for now was to get to Skywalker, to eliminate the last Jedi. This had to be his focus...still...

All these feelings she had arisen up within him, he couldn’t…he had to fight this to accomplish and become what he was meant to be. 

But this was just one night, one night that had changed so much...for them both. If there was any doubt before, he now knew that, regardless of who they were, she wanted him just as much as he wanted her.

 

She hears voices trapped, arguing, a little boy there, sobbing hiding in the corner. She can see him and walks towards him carefully.

“Do you need help?” She asks. He lifts his dark head of wild curls from his knees, his eyes tear-stained yet familiar. Does he see her? His dark eyes widen at something behind her. She quickly turns around, and gasps as she backs up. A large phantom or ghost is moving near, it was mostly a fog, something nondescript, yet there was something familiar about it. The child is afraid; she backs up more as the alien holds out something to her. Coldness surrounds her, as if there are chill hands around her neck lifting her up…

Everything changes; the fog and the child are now gone, replaced by sand dunes all around, the boy a tall, slender young man. He is dressed in shades similar to Luke yet still darker in color. His dark hair is slightly wavy and disheveled in the wind. It is him, but at the same time, it is not. He is here for some kind of Jedi trial, she just knows. It’s so strange to see a slight smile on his face as he talks with another padawan.

She turns around, on a ship now, as the holonet plays a story. She is the daughter of Darth Vader, his own Mother! He is sitting there, in his slowly growing anger as the silent tear runs down his face. He had always felt rejected by her, being sent away from home, and now this. His demeanor is overcome, he feels a great betrayal. His anger is palpable. Part of him has always felt this abandonment. What else had his family been keeping from him? She never knew it had been like this for him...

He is sleeping somewhere in a bed, she can see him at peace as a figure comes up out of the darkness, behind his sleeping form. A hand held over him, a saber is ignited to strike him just as he awakens with his fast reflexes, he is able to call his own saber to his hand, ignited. He turns and catches the opposing blade before it can burn through him.

“You have that look in your eyes, from the forest, when you called me a monster.”

“You are a monster!”

“Yes I am.”

His response had caught her totally off guard. He was unabashed, malicious…how could he be cognizant to the fact that he knows he’s a monster, that he believes this about himself? She had never expected to see this in him, some kind of self-loathing. She wants to try and understand him…has he become something that he really never truly wanted to be?

She had been privy to a different side of him she doesn’t think many had seen. He had removed his mask for her and he had never wanted to kill her, in fact, when he had gotten closer to her again in a vision, he had passionately kissed her.  

Was Ben forced to make a choice to become Kylo Ren beyond his control?

Now a great battle is being fought. He appears on the scene only after most of it has already been won by his warriors, the Knights that he commands. They all wear helmets that are different from each other, but all similar in style, similar to his. She has seen them before. They move right past her as he stands triumphant once more. He picks up his head and that mask seems to be looking right at her as a gloved hand moves closer and closer to her. She doesn’t run from him this time. She shuts her eyes tightly.

 

It has become so hot, she unconsciously pushes down her blanket in her sleep, her thin tunic barely a cover from the air. She arches her back, lifting her legs slightly so that her heels are on the cot. Her hands on either side of her, opening and closing on fist fulls of her sheet as her breathing began to get erratic. It was as if she was rising herself up to meet something, a call that she didn't understand but could not fight, to give her body over to…

He feels a pull that turns his naked body almost over in his bed; his stiffness keeps him from being able to completely lie flat on his stomach, he has to hold his torso up some. His breathing became erratic, his large hands grabbing at his sheets. His forehead leaning on his pillow as his body leans into his bed to feel a slight pressure on his erection...

 

He was above her...a bit of weight...she could suddenly feel something, warmth, a slight pressure, it was unbelievably hard between her legs, hard, yet smooth, slowly pushing. By some instinct her legs widen, she wants to let him in...she feels almost desperate to. He is being so careful and she could feel her own wetness between her legs allowing this. It feels as if her body is wrapped in silk as softness surrounds her, she feels immobilized, it was something she has never felt before. This part of him, it felt wide and so solid as more of him slipped in her and backed out only to return again.He was above her in the dark, so warm, doing this to her and she knows exactly who shares her dreams.

Her body gives in to this mesmerizing sensation. It is dark and she can hardly see but there is some kind of low vibrating sound in his throat, a movement, his smell...an unsteady breath. Those lips fumble, she can sense that he has slightly more knowledge then her of such things, but he still feels lost.

He begins kissing her deeply, her mouth eagerly opening for his tongue, as it almost is imitating the motion of himself slipping in and out of her between her legs. He moves in her a little deeper with every slow careful stroke. Her breathing hitches uncontrollably between his kisses. This pleasurable sensation, it moves in waves up and down and throughout her body. She never knew she could feel like this.

Her hands find those thick biceps. She is not in control and can’t help moaning a bit as he moves in and out of her. This was pure ecstasy, such indulgence. She feels something beginning to build within her, her pelvis finding some natural rhythm with his movements. He is kissing her neck, his hot breath, able to hold his superior physical size up over her small frame as he continues to gently move in and out of her, her legs now pushed open even wider to accommodate his hips as his expansive chest grazed her hardened nipples as she arches her back to him. She feels willingly trapped, spread before him.

Suddenly she feels a bit of ice, a bit of something so lecherous rising within his ragged shaking breath. She closes her eyes tight against it. She is surprised to find that she doesn't really care, as long as this feeling doesn't stop. She let him do this to her, she feels too lost, too far gone and then something, a change, a shift. A shiver up her spine...darkness...something that her body should not react to the way it shamefully was.

“Look at me,” his deep voice sounded mechanical, demanding, like the mask, but it is still him staring at her, she is sure, as she opens her eyes. A pale sliver of light hits one of his intense dark eyes staring down at her, that intense gaze, watching her as he meticulously continues to repeatedly fill her need. She fights her embarrassment, feeling slightly uncomfortable at his deep intensity. She wants who he was just a moment ago to return but she is too far lost.

He is moving a bit faster, driving his thick feeling flesh into her giving her this ecstasy. She tries to keep eye contact, one of bravest things she feels she has ever done, regardless of her hardships growing up. This was a challenge, even in the dim light, watching his eyes as he did this to her, she couldn't deny how she wanted more, the noise beginning to come from her is almost desperate yet seems to do something to him, his breath becoming more unsteady as he moved.

She should be more frightened of her own feelings, but in this moment, she is so lost to him and feels as if she would give him anything.

“Tell me now you don’t want this.”

All she can do is let out a slight moan. His lips move breathlessly, touching her ear, as he taunts her, his familiar words coming back at her as those plush lips now touch hers. He knows how badly she wants him, regardless of who they are, the bond making it hard to hide from one another.

Her body accommodates around his repeated thick intrusion as he quickens his pace and pushes even more of himself into her with deeper, longer strokes. She couldn't move, as he pumped in and out of her, she was numb in some unbelievable ecstasy as a drop of his warm sweat trickled off of his chest on to hers.

He knows how much she likes what he is doing to her, he can feel her pleasure. Every time he fully enters, he can hear her animalistic, unfamiliar sounds resignate from somewhere within her. He was making her feel perhaps, overwhelmed, he does seem sizable for her small figure, but it's what she needs. It makes him even more wired. He knows that any discomfort she might feel from him somehow only added to this pleasure, to the anticipation of his every reentry.

It is just too much, it’s as if he held her in some sort of unimaginable paralyzing, pleasure. Something is building up beyond her control.

"Ben..," she couldn't help but sigh his name. She feels his own panting strain as his huge body dons her helpless, his hissing erratic ragged breath at each stoke as he sank into her, it was quickly pushing her over that edge. She puts her hands on his slick chest as she tries to push back some but he is like a solid wall. He doesn’t stop. Moving her hands up him, she has to hang on and she can't help but begin to dig her nails in some to his upper shoulders. 

His lips back on hers, eating her cries as he could read her body, her desperation spurring a frenzy within him to take over. It is something beyond either of their control. He can't hold back anymore and begins to drive himself in to her fully. At the sudden shift, she can’t help but let out a loud cry as his lips are back on hers, muffling her sounds. Her arms around his neck, just simply hanging on as he repeatedly rode her hard. He knew in that moment that she would spasm around his thick cock, as he finally stops moving, just keeps himself in her as her inner walls grab him. Her mouth open as she experiences her orgasm, he sinks his teeth into her neck, not deep, but enough to intensify the shock of pleasure shooting through her body, causing her to whimper. His own release then met hers, as he fills her with a groan, the pleasure he could feel that he gave her only intensified every sensation.

She has never felt this, unbelievable wave after wave of ecstasy sliding over and over her as she rocked her pelvis and felt as if she was melting, his hot breath on her neck, his face in her pillow, as part of him collapsed in exhaustion. Being completely lost to a feeling and out of control, even in front of him, never felt so right.

 

He lifts his head, jerking awake, breathing loud, a releasing growl comes from him as he is still riding out his own shock wave. He is in a puddle of his own sticky, sweaty mess in the darkness. Fighting enough just to catch his breath, he moves back to a dyer spot in the huge bed. He falls back over with a hand to his face.

What in the Force had just happened? Did he just have…oh, he has had orgasms before but nothing ever so real feeling, so damn vivid, nothing so clear.

He swears he could still smell her sweet smell commingling with his own sweat. It made him think of her soft body, smoothly sliding against his, her soft cries as he gave her pleasure and how hot, snug and wet she felt around his cock…her letting him in. Him feeling her release with his own. He rolled over on his side as his heart slowly began to return to a normal beat and his breathing began to slow.

He did not manipulate any of this, not this time, not like the time before in the forest. How can a bond do such a thing? However it was only a dream, right?...He put a hand over his mouth for just a moment, his eyes going wide in the dark as a shock wave hit him. Had she actually somehow felt this, too, like they had the kiss? The implications. Running a hand through his dampened hair, he wasn’t sure of anything now except that part of her that felt as if it completed him and in every way. He shivered at the feeling of himself as he had slid in to her small, smooth, beautiful body.

Gods, what was he becoming? Unable to keep from the temptation of her...how he needed to get a handle on this, on his emotions. Yes, she was his, yes in that moment he had complete control of her, but loosing control himself was something he was unaccustomed to.

This was just another part of that place they shared, that secret place, where he had to keep this, their bond. This he knew, but for now, he let himself drift off to sleep in a sated exhaustion.

 

She wakes up with a start and opens her eyes to find that she is in her cot, alone and it is still night time. Her heart pounding as she attempted to catch her breath. Soaked in sweat and disorientated, she sits up, confused. Under her tunic she can feel wetness between and down her inner thighs. She puts a hand down to touch the sort of stickiness. Feeling it between her fingers, she didn’t understand completely what caused whatever this was or why she had dreamed such a thing.

But truthfully, deep down, she did have some idea and was getting some kind of understanding.

She pulls the tunic up over her head taking it off to wipe at her thighs and between her legs, which felt a bit sensitive, but not entirely in a bad way. A quick thought of his...everything was just... big. She shivers at the immediate memory of how he had made her feel.

Her thoughts went to his strong biceps, his slick cut chest sliding against hers, his, just, pure intensity, the feel of his stiffness as it entered her body, and just his animalistic prowess…his growls, the way he moved...and yet, his gentleness.

Stop! Had she completely lost her mind? She had never felt so out of control of herself in all of her life!

“Kriff.” She breathes out under her breath. She is exhausted yet feeling strangely satisfied. Running a hand over her hair to get the loose strands off of her damp face, she wipes some tears away from her cheeks that she didn’t recall having cried. She lies back down, covering her nakedness with her blanket, her soiled tunic now on the floor. She feels some creeping shame at all of this, knowing the part of Ben that is a dark side practitioner, that had abducted her and had committed terrible crimes, was the one making her feel like this, his murderous hands on her body had turned her on. 

It wasn’t real; it had only been a dream. He didn’t know about this, right?

She catches a quick familiar smell of something exotic on her skin, its…she puts a hand to her mouth in a moment of embarrassment and shock. She really didn’t know what was real with this bond; in fact she didn’t really understand what it was or how it even worked.

No! No one had been here, surely she would have known. It had just been a dream, a very realistic sensual dream, but she is unsuccessfully fooling herself. The kiss in the forest had been just like this...he had felt it somehow, too. In all of her confusion and fear she still feels a great lethargy taking her over and she began to drift off to some of the best sleep she has had in a very long time.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

12.

 

Amalgamate [uh-mal-guh-meyt] to mix or merge, to make a combination; unite

 

 

Exiting the lift, he enters the long hallway that leads to the center of the enormous Grand Throne Room. Along the way, he passes the annoyingly pale, smug face of General Hux, going in the opposite direction.

He walks forward and takes a knee in reverence before his master. The air of authority and obedience is thick in the huge chamber and is only heightened by the deep crimson of the massive opaque curtains behind the throne. They matched in color the armor of the Elite Praetorian Guards, in the tradition of the past Galactic Empire.

“Ahh, Kylo Ren my apprentice. Your training is going well, I trust.”

“Yes.” He answers through the modulator of his mask, lifting his head to look up.

“Leave us.” Snoke says with a raise of a boney hand to his two attendants, aliens from the Unknown Regions. Nothing could be seen of the pair except two glowing optics from under their hoods of deep royal purple. As they scurry off, the rustling of their robes is all that can be heard.

“The girl, Skywalker, what of them?” He asks expectantly as he sits upon his throne in his own robes of rich gold.

“I have found them.” Kylo drones out, he almost doesn’t recognize his own voice, his whole body going numb as, surprisingly, some loyalty within him is challenged.

“Good, good!” His master praises him. “Make the appropriate preparations and bring the girl...to me.” He breathes in loudly tipping his bulbous head slightly to one side, “You can handle her this time, can’t you…Kylo Ren?” He mocks in feigned concern.

Kylo feels his anger begin to immediately rise toward his Master for bringing up this failure, his hands are in fists.

Snoke cackles, “I feel perhaps you have learned your lesson…Yes?” He continues, “I can feel it within you…yes...your strengthening power and resolve.”

He lifts a crooked finger at him as he often does to drive home a point.

“Know this, you will not be able to fulfill your destiny while the Resistance still believes that there is hope,” he finishes with that look of death in his eyes, “that is why the last Jedi must be eliminated.”

“Yes, I know this to be true.”

“A final test then, Kylo Ren.”

“Master?” Kylo asks, bowing his head.

“I am leaving this to you…however,” he pauses a quick moment, tapping a finger on the arm of his throne, “before you leave for the mission, I will need to see you again.” He hesitates a moment looking down at Kylo as his interpretation of a smile spreads across his grotesque face, “This time I will need to be satisfied at your readiness.”

 

 

“Finn!”

He heard someone call his name. He turned around.

“Finn, your Finn, right?” The short, dark haired girl asked. She was catching her breath after having run to catch him.

“Ahh, yeah, depends on who’s asking,” He joked.

“Hi, I’m Rose,” the girl enthusiastically held her hand out to him.

He took her hand awkwardly to shake it with a smile.

“Oh, Rose, yeah. Poe told me, the whizz-bang mechanic.” He smiled.

“He said that?” She looked a bit embarrassed.

“Hey, not just anyone can keep up with a small fleet of X-Wings and pilots with their attitudes, so yeah, I would say so.” He smiled.

She laughed. “Attitudes? That’s so not true.” She said feigning shock.

They had begun walking together to the mess hall.

“You are kind of a ‘Big Deal’ around here, you know.” She said.

“Yeah? So I’ve been told, I don’t really see it that way.” He sighed. “I was just doing what I had to do.”

“Well it was a big deal to some of us.” She said with a smile.

The short girl in the dingy gold tone work overalls was not all that she might look. There was definitely an innate confidence, a fierce independence about her.

Similar to Rey he thought with a smile.

Walking into the large area that was now being used as a sort of a dining area, Rose quickly did introductions and she and Finn took a seat at the table. He couldn’t help but notice some of the looks coming his way. Just people glad to see him up and about and able to walk, some still in awe.

He wore the jacket he had gotten from Poe, the jacket Kylo Ren had slashed open along with his back. It had been mended, but was a reminder to him and everyone else of what he had been through.

“So what do you think?” Snap asked.

“It’s a bit brighter than the last place, big.” Finn answered, looking around.

The various discussions went on over some shared food. It was a light hearted atmosphere considering what they were about to be up against.

Finn still found his thoughts drifting, these people. These people all around him, they were the real heroes, the ones that fought this every day. Snap, Poe, Tubbs, Tallie, Jess, Paige…the unsung pilots that could at any given battle loose their lives fighting and still a small part of him wanted to still just go find Rey and leave this place.

The huge blast had knocked them both down hard in the Jakku sand as they ran with BB-8 from the First Order Troopers. “Are you okay?” He had asked her after. He remembered the strange look she gave him as if she was never in her life been asked such a question.

She was special to him alright, besides Poe, she was the first person that he had ever really met that wasn’t in the First Order, like a real friend.

He thought of the mythology they were taught, that a chaotic galaxy required strong order to bring it under control. He never was sure at what had made him feel so differently that day on Jakku after so many years of indoctrination.

He started to come back to the conversation on hand.

“We haven’t been able to contact the slicer and we have transmissions we need deciphered.” Lieutenant Kaydel was saying.

“We got to find out about that enormous… whatever it is.” Poe snapped his fingers as a thought just came to him.

He pointed, “Finn, you know of or heard of any huge ass ships or stations out on the ridge of the Unknown Regions?”

Rose and a few of the others looked at him expectantly.

“I was mostly sanitation and was never really privy to…” Finn stopped, looking down he pushed some of his food around on his plate in thought. A disturbing memory came into his mind. Something...he had heard of… who was it? The Supreme Leader of the First Order, who had some flag ship that was just enormous, a battle station, a mobile machine…big enough to dock multiple Star Destroyers at once and still large enough for city sprawls and filled with enough artillery to…

He looked at Rose then back up to Poe, his eyes going a little wide.

“Can I see what you have on it?”

 

 

He had sensed that day, when she had unknowingly cracked the rock surrounding the meditation plinth, that his fears where true. The Force within Rey was tremendous and almost identical to that of Ben. Would it even be wise to continue to train another with such power?

“I’ve only seen this raw power once before, in Ben Solo, it didn’t scare me enough then, well it does now.”

Didn’t he once think that she was here because of Ben, that Anakin’s lightsaber went to her for a reason?

She sat by the mosaic on the temple floor, looking up at him expectantly. She wanted some sort of explanation as to why she had scared him off a few days ago.

“Ben’s power was similar to yours, as I have said. In meditation, you went directly to that other call, Rey, It didn’t really feel…” He took a deep breath, choosing his words carefully.

“I could sense something different with Ben’s abilities but with our grand Skywalker bloodline and in all the hubris at all I and Leia had accomplished, I had become some legend to the people...we had become some symbol of hope. Same with my nephew. We had freed ourselves from the Empire shortly before Leia found out she was to have a child...what that stood for, of hope for the future, he was to be..." his mind drifted as he tried to explain.

"I was too caught up in what I believed to be the only way of the Force…but it is not a straight line.”

She could sense his unease at talking about this, that there was more he wasn’t ready to tell her...or more he just couldn't clearly explain.

“I took him and a dozen students to train as new Jedi. During the course, I began to sense the power and darkness within him. I’d sensed it building. I’d seen it in moments during his training. I went to confront him," he continued with some unease, "when I looked inside, it was beyond what I ever imagined. Snoke had already turned his heart. In his anger he collapsed the hut on me. He probably thought I was dead under all the rubble because...when I was able to dig my way out, the temple was burning to the ground. He took some of my best students with him and had slaughtered the rest.”

She looked down at her hands. It was shocking, even though she already knew this of him, but after he had touched her somehow through the bond, to hear this...knowing she's connected to him...knowing how she felt for him...what his hands have done and what they could do…

He didn't tell Rey this part, but he knew, the moment that he had actually considered murdering the boy, that such a thought would even enter his mind about his own nephew, a boy he had devoted so much energy into training… this had been when his self-belief and confidence had been shattered.

“Leia said it was Snoke, but it was me...I failed him." He turned to face her. “That is why when you first arrived here, I didn’t want to do any of this.” He sat down next to her. “Because of what Ben had become, but I could see something in you, what Leia had hoped, some potential.”

Rey met his eyes, “The potential to help Ben, right?”

He looked down quickly then met her eyes with some guilt as she continued.

“You have told me that the Jedi created Darth Vader in their selfishness thinking that the Force belonged to only them,” she sighed in some irritation looking away for a brief moment as she was trying to find the right words.

"You confronted your own father about the good that you could still feel within him. When I meditated…I could sense the goodness still within Ben.” She looked at him pleadingly. “I could feel what Leia felt. Don't just give up on him. I can help. Let me do this. I won’t fail you.”

She was careful to not divulge anything about her connection to Ben. She wasn’t sure what he would do if he found out.

He looked back down at the floor. Yes, his sister had sensed something, too, her son’s feeling of regret, pain and loss at what he had done.

“You said the Force shows each person what they need to see.” She stared at him as a realization came into her mind.

“Wait, I have never felt...you can’t sense any of this from anyone because you have cut yourself off from the Force, haven’t you?” She sighed in frustration. How could he truly be in tune, understand what she and Leia had felt or even guide her, when he wasn’t even connected?

“That’s why you didn’t know about…” she stopped before she said Han's name.

He took a deep breath looking back at her. He could see her frustration at him. He wasn’t completely cut off, but enough. How could he make her see? Yes, when the Force was new to him and he was young he had so much hope, too. But now, what he had been through? The mistakes he had made had affected the entire galaxy. As much as he thought maybe, but when the darkside had called to her…he was afraid that darkness was strong within her. He could sense it that day. His realization of Ben’s potential for evil and the terrible aftermath of his moment of weakness, that is when he had went in to exile. But what if there was a chance, no matter how fleeting?

He had much to consider.

Giving her no answer or no explanation, he simply said, “give me some time,” as he was rising to leave.

He was going to go to the temple library, to meditate on this all, something he hadn’t done in a very long time.

When he had watched her, after she first got here, he remembered his concern and dismay when he witnessed her using the lightsaber, getting faster and faster slicing several rock formations apart with ease. With little training, it was already within her.

He does want to help Leia and he had thought Rey having seen Ben in a vision meant something, but what if it had been instead a warning? Could he be what she wanted him to be after such failure? He wouldn’t really know now would he until he reconnected fully with the Force. Maybe it was time.

 

 

As he leaves the throne room, he can feel his anger still within him. He knew what he had to do and didn’t need a constant reminder of his weakness. Hadn’t he been punished enough both physically and mentally?

At one time he would have just taken it all in stride, as something he knew he deserved in order to grow and to become more powerful in the darkside. But now?  Something within him was slowly making him consider something else, to look at moments of his past where his admonishments where most likely overly cruel and unjustified as he wore some of the physical lessons as scars on his body.

The Supreme Leader was right, he was growing stronger. He could actually feel his own independent thoughts more freely than ever before and all he could do is keep them hidden.

He did his daily work out for his physical strength and the training to expend his pent up energy and anger. All the while something was in the back of his thoughts. Normal everyday motions where somehow different, some attentiveness to some reaction that he couldn’t quite explain. It was like something developing just under the surface,  building to some sort of denouement. It was stirring within him. This was something new since their bond had been realized, he was sure it was the cause.

He couldn’t let himself become disillusioned. As he meditated back in the safety and seclusion of his chamber, he was continuing to conceal certain feelings within himself. He had to do this. He was practiced at it and was able to keep any thought of her to this hidden place. For surely if Snoke where to pick up on it, he would use it against him, tell him it was a weakness. He would belittle him for his compassion as he had before, remind him once again of his failures.

A change was set in motion when he had killed Han Solo. The light in him had not been eliminated, and it had split his spirit, left him weakened. He felt betrayed; he had given so much to the darkness, all he had to offer, and regardless, it still hadn’t been enough.

It had left his emotions in turmoil, his sensitivity, it had only heightened his aggressiveness during his training. How was he to fulfill the destiny of his bloodline? The instability had always been there between his darkness and light but lately it seemed as if there was some grey area that he didn’t know how to overpower, this enigmatic feeling, it was all new to him.  

He was born into this form of servitude, service to the Force, a slave to his mysterious power. He had been looked upon as someone to be feared due to his rare abilities, so he had become that someone to be feared. He was always being measured against the Skywalker precedent by his masters and even conditioned to do so by himself. It all had culminated into his self-doubt, his fear of not being strong enough.

But now, this with her, their intertwined destinies?

In his loneliness he hadn’t been touched physically by any feeling of regard in years. He was taught this was a weakness, but could never totally banish the compassionate parts of him that continued to yearn for affection. She had not been afraid, she was the first person in a long time that had somehow literally looked past the mask and touched him with her own compassion…(sorry Uncle, she will never make a good Jedi) someone who seems to actually care about him, not what he could offer. He had felt this when she had called him Ben, her warm breath in his ear, her soft sighs, as they shared feelings through the bond that neither had physically ever felt before.

It was slowly growing into something so much more than he could have imagined, but with it was an entirely new fear. So many emotions this had brought back to the surface, feelings he had thought that he had destroyed so long ago. It angered a part of him; he had worked to accomplish his birth right, to lead the galaxy, to complete his grandfather’s destiny.

But she was clearly to be part of that, now wasn’t she?

Apparently it was meant to be as the Force had connected them. He knew how he had felt for her when he had kissed her, when she hadn’t shirked back in fear, maybe even before that. And really, a connection between them had been there since Starkiller.

They share power, he has felt it within her, a familiar power like his own, yet different. It was what had fascinated him about her in the first place, that similar energy, what had spurred his original offer to teach her. It had always been there, the little girl in the trees that had somehow soothed his anger with just a glance.

While this had all just awoken in Rey some short time ago, he could sense that she was still feeling a bit lost in her new world. She would leave that place and would join him when he arrived on Ahch-To.

So much more had been awoken within her given her young age, the natural changes to her body, her chemistry. Her feelings had gotten away from her, she couldn’t control them as they had unknowingly called to him, his body could sense her heat. He had felt it through this bond, a shared response to that desire she had been trying to understand about herself for so long, the mutual attraction that they somehow could not stop and had succumbed to in a dream.

But it had been so much more than just a shared vision.

 

She had noticed as she delved deeper into the knowledge of the Force, its enormity was beginning to overwhelm her. She couldn’t help but empathize with what younger students and Ben must have faced. On top of that, he had to deal with the fact that his own family had lied to him regarding Anakin Skywalker becoming Darth Vader. She had seen this through their bond.

She was now certain that their fates were intertwined, that the Force connected them for a reason. She had been caught off guard when he hadn’t even tried to hide his real feelings from her when he had agreed that he was a monster. His fears, his doubt, his feelings of abandonment because of his power…she understood all of this because she shared these same fears. She was certain that there was more to why Ben had betrayed Luke then she had been lead to believe.

The island. Life. Death and decay, that feeds new life. Warmth. Cold. Peace. Violence.

And between it all?

Balance and energy. A force.

And inside you?

Inside me, that same force.

She was thinking back to one of the first times she had felt the Force here on this island. That last meditation, when that other dark thing had called to her yes but, so did the tree in another vision. That voice she heard from time to time seemed to be leading her there, or trying to show her something.

Rey, these are your first steps.

Maybe it was time to find this tree. Luke was certainly not ready to leave here and she was getting more and more restless on this island.

Kylo had been there too last time, in the vision of the tree, holding his gloved hand out to her…

She looked around the temple, the rays of the setting sun were spilling across the room through the opening in the rock. As she took a hand and ran her fingers across the water making it slightly ripple over the mosaic of the Prime Jedi, she started to feel almost in a trance just watching the water.

 

His mask and gloves where sat on the table with meticulous care, his boots by the door. He had taken his dinner in his chamber as he usually did, in his blessed solitude. The intricate plate of food and drink before him was, as always, appealing. The First Order spared no expense for him and high ranking officials. However, after a few bites, he absentmindedly found himself not so hungry. He sat down his utensil and wiped his mouth with a napkin. As if lulled somehow to do so, his dark eyes slowly look across his quarters to his bed, noting the fresh new covers now upon it…then the memories.

It had been dark, he really couldn’t see her clearly, but he knew it was her under him. As he took some kind of instinctual control, his other senses had heightened, touch, smell, taste, sound.

Her warm hands slid up his damp chest followed by a slight thrill of pain as her finger nails dug into his shoulders. A shiver ran up his spine as he remembered the way her smooth body moved around him, slid against him, her legs around his waist, her sweet smell. Those small fingers grabbing and winding in his hair and around his neck as she tried to hold on, tried to keep up with his every thrust into her small body. She had not been afraid. He could still taste her lips and hear the deep sounds emanating from her throat as he had made her lose control.

He pushes his plate away putting a finger between his neck and his collar to pull and pop it open for air. He found he wasn’t so hungry for food after all…his arms on the table, looking down, the thought alone made his hands clench into fists as he begin to warm.

 

Her thoughts went back to him, it was like an involuntary pull. The memory of his warm breath on her came flooding back, his strength and raw prowess in his movements, the feel of his muscles moving under the soft skin of his expansive chest and biceps as she touched him. Just how immense everything about him was. How he told her to look at him through the dim light while he did things to her as he hovered over her. The deep purr in his throat as she didn’t protest his sliding himself into her so slowly. She had lost restraint and it had been so intoxicating, to just let him govern her in that moment, he was in control of her pleasure.

Then it had all turned to something so much more desperate, frantic, her momentary panic at his sudden loss of apparent control as he stared to piston himself in her at a rapidly belligerent pace…but that had only lead to the unbelievable waves of ecstasy that rolled over her, shocking her throughout her body. The thought was enough for her to begin feeling that tingling between her legs again, the anticipation rising in her stomach. 

Her hands were in fists at her sides. These thoughts hadn’t left her, not much that day as she tried to ignore the growing shame she had started to feel knowing that what they shared was so much more than just a dream…and how she had wanted that again.

Blushing at the thought, she felt something else. She looked around the room, a little hazy as if she had just woke from a daydream, as a wave of feeling slowly crept over her, almost like a presence. She could feel some loneliness, some strong want and a need…his longing. She instinctively held out a hand, but no one was there. She had been alone most of her life, had lacked any real human affection or caring in years, really as long as she can remember. This new ease she felt, of feeling him there, even though she couldn’t always see him, was a comfort to a part of her. She didn’t have to feel alone.

 

He had a difficult time going over the info as his thoughts kept going to how much he wanted her…he looked up from the datapad and turned around as he could of swore he saw a quick flash of her sitting somewhere. He rose out of his chair as if he could just touch her, his hand moving out instinctively, his fingers grasping air. He wanted to go to her right then, but knew that the time wasn’t yet right. Soon, very soon she would really be here with him, in his bed, he anticipated this.

He suddenly began to feel that comfort, that serenity, her familiar warmth. For a moment he just sat, closed his eyes and unabashedly basked in it as it calmed his senses. This new feeling of, someone there, her soft presence within him. Maybe neither one of them would have to truly feel loneliness any longer.

 

Chapter Text

13.

 

Exposure  [ik-spoh-zher]   the act of exposing, laying open, or uncovering

 

 

He was dreaming of her again. Somehow he knows he has had this dream before, yet hadn’t remembered. She was laying under him, in the sun by that brilliant tree, in the cool tall grass, her long hair spread out around her head, she in a beautiful dark gown, bright red lips smiling up at him, the saber next to her.

The little girl he had seen so long ago is now a woman, a princess to him. He wants to lift her skirts and make love to her right here in the grass. Even though such relations is forbidden, he knew that she would be the temptress that he would willingly follow into ruin.

He leans over to kiss her as his hand brushes the saber, the lightsaber that had somehow allowed him to see her again.

He is instantly thrown into the darkness of rain as he and his Knights stand victorious with all of the dead on the ground surrounding them. Everything looks altered as he is seeing this through the visor of a mask. This saber, was it worth this much to him? He couldn’t remember, but he held it clutched in one of his gloved hands, in his other hand his own cross guard saber, ignited. A Knight approaches to kill her and all he knows is that she must not be hurt at any cost…somehow, there was a remaining thread of energy within him that was tied to her.

He doesn’t hesitate to bury the saber into the Knight’s back, the blade burning effortlessly through to his chest, killing him in a final scream. She looks up from the ground, in the mud, shocked and scared, drenched in the rain. She stands before him now, in a more current time, dressed in drab desert garb, disorientated and confused. Now his princess doesn’t recognize him, in fact, she fears him, he can feel it as he turns to start walking towards her, and she runs from him through the rain into the surrounding forest.

They always run from him.

 “…some kind of monster, his anger…he breaks things. I can’t…”

He is a sub adult boy now, once again in the desolate halls of Cloud City…searching. Something had lead him to uncover the saber. The hatred and betrayal this sword had been witness to, at times, even he could hardly touch it.

She possesses the other half of the raw power that lived within him; the power uncle Luke said was darkness and he should resist it. Unlike everyone else, she would understand, the girl he sees when he picks up this saber…his other half in all things. He could see it, they would rule the galaxy one day side by side.

 

He left his meditation in a cold sweat, sitting straight up in his armchair in his desolate chamber. Breathing hard, looking down, he runs a hand through his hair. This vision (or was it parts of a memory?) would apparently have him betray his master for her, it wasn’t really clear, more of a thought, some idea...that they could rule the galaxy, bring a new order by joining forces…together.

Was this their future?

He hadn’t hesitated when it came to killing Han Solo, but the act failed to change anything as was foretold. Betraying his master in turn was something, that at one time, he thought he could never do and yet, since he found he had intertwined destinies with Rey, his loyalty had altered from what it used to be.

Their connection, it seemed to bare glimpses into something different, a suggestion, an idea.

He has seen her more than just at the academy…he had seen her a few times in his life, seen her in his dreams and unbeknownst to him at the time, some part of him had remembered, when his Grandfather’s lightsaber had flew into her hand.

“It is you.”

His destiny.

Clutching the arms of his chair, he could feel it within her, through their bond, her growing unease and confusion at this whole situation, of where she was, what she was doing there with Skywalker, this ancient power, her trouble with letting go of the past.

How she felt after the passion they had together experienced.

He was part of that very force that had awakened, stirred her own power and that human need. He had felt it when he was able to feel himself somehow physically penetrate her small body through the bond. A call to a need that somehow transcended all known possibilities. She had let him in to answer her long awaiting desire. It was such pure intoxication, such pure freedom. He could feel her strong, desperate carnal need of him in every grasp of her tightening hands on him…a need that she was afraid of losing herself to, even as she let him possess her.

Some missing validation had swelled within him at the pleasure he alone brought her. It had sealed what he had first felt mentally when he was in her head…some kind of strong attraction that went beyond any power alone.

Now he understood that deep feeling of loneliness, it was what lied hidden behind all of her fury. She was born to vagrants who had most likely abandoned her at the first sign of her power and unlike him, she had no legends, no royalty or prophecies preceding her. She was a scavenger who came from nothing, but he knew better. There had to be a reason why she had this power.

He also knew that she would have to let that part of her past go if she was to join him, as what was destined, as he had foreseen.

 

 

“This one a long time have I watched. All his life has he looked away... to the future, to the horizon. Never his mind on where he was. What he was doing. Adventure. Excitement. A Jedi craves not these things. You are reckless!"

Master Yoda had said this of him many years ago as he had doubts about training him, he would have rather of trained Leia, but Obi-Wan Kenobi had faith in Luke.

Obi-Wan, the Jedi that had failed his father.

The Jedi temple and academy in Coruscant was on a location that had formerly housed a Sith temple. They had taken young Anakin here, of all places, to be trained. How could they of not of felt something? The Jedi at that time had the Sith literally right under their noses for years which had led to the rule of Palpatine. Following his death, his legacy and ideas became the base of what became the First Order.

When failure had repeated with himself and his nephew, he knew that the cycle of the past had to stop.

Leia had trusted him with her son.

The Jedi failed to see what was happening right in front of them. He had been instrumental in restoring balance to the Force at one time, but now?

His purpose for coming here to this island and the first Jedi temple was to take himself and the Jedi out of the galactic equation. He had made the revelation that, this continual nature of the struggle between the light and dark and the massive toll the galaxy pays, perhaps he could put an end to it all.

But then all of a sudden, there was this kid, with all that hope and expectation in her eyes for him, a legend, to just take up the saber and pick up where he had left off.

That saber, where in the worlds had they found it?

“You, boy, are no Jedi. Who are you?"

"You killed my father!"

"I've killed very many fathers. You'll have to be more specific."

It had brought back memories of the first words Darth Vader had spoken to him.

That saber was a reminder of everything he had made such an effort to get away from and leave behind. His past. His failure.

His sister had sent Rey with it. Leia knew exactly what she was doing. He should of figured that there would be no hiding from her. Part of him did feel the guilt, but the galaxy was at stake and a Skywalker was now, once again, part of the problem.

He sat in the temple, near the meditation plinth, to try and connect some, he needed some answers. He knew he had to step in, part of this was his doing. He had to at least try with Ben, for the galaxy…for Leia. Rey sure seemed to think that she could somehow make a difference and he had to agree, it seemed that way. If anyone could, it would be the person the saber went to.

 

 

She was laying under him, in the sun by that brilliant tree, in the cool tall grass. Smiling down at her was her strong, beautiful, dark Jedi. She knew this face, it was her Ben. He is like a prince and she wants him to make love to her right here in the grass, push her up against that tree and have his way with her, even though it was forbidden.

All of a sudden there are loud sounds, some battle all around her, she can hear it through the trees. A voice, “I’ll come back for you, Sweetheart, I promise.”

“Where are you?” she asks frantically, spinning around towards where she thought the voice had come from, “I am right here!”

She is instantly thrown on the ground, into the darkness of rain, with all of the dead surrounding her. She couldn’t remember why but the dark, tall, masked phantom looming over her clutched a saber in one of his gloved hands, and in his other, an ignited cross guard saber. Bright red fiery unstable light rips from the end of it with an unnatural sounding electric static, a truly intimidating weapon. Another Knight approaches and seems to be headed straight for her as she scrambles on the ground.

The phantom doesn’t hesitate to bury the saber into the intruder’s back clean through to his chest, killing him. She feels shocked and scared in the rain. Did he just save her life? She gets on her feet and stands before him now disorientated and confused. He pulls the saber out of the assailant with one swift jerk, his masked face never moving, until he seems to start walking towards her. She is terrified and runs.

Flashes of herself in a monstrously huge chamber of sorts; silent, cold, inhuman seeming beings lined the walls dressed in bright garish red sectional armor. It was dark and the enormity of it made her feel dizzy, yet not afraid, more curious then anything. Part of her felt almost welcome here, honored, something once again feeling familiar.

“Rey” she heard a modulated voice. It didn’t sound like Ben but she now knew somehow, that it was he under the black robes and mask.

There was a reflection, she saw herself and she looked so different within it, so dark. Her familiar arm wraps where black and went from over the backs of her hands to almost her shoulders; she wore something like material armor, similar to his, that was belted over a black body suit of some sort with tall black battle boots on her feet. He was behind her, his large gloved hands possessively on her shoulders, pulling her back into his large formidable form.

She is in her desolate AT-AT home in the desert. She was dreaming of him again. She possesses some understanding with him in her dreams, he, like her, was different then everyone else. He appeared to her in dreams at times at her most lonely. She could see him training with a saber going through motions, looking for artifacts on far away worlds.

The city in the clouds.

They were at battle and she was fighting them with him by her side. Everything looked different, as she wore her own protective mask. She was killing her foes with her double bladed lightsaber, the blades both shone of a brilliant red.

 

She woke up, sitting straight up with a start, taking in her surroundings. She was in her hut, on her cot, she had been meditating. Concentrating on her breathing to calm herself, she swept back the hair away from her face with her hands. It was just another dream…and with this bond, it just made her thoughts go in all directions. There have been too many, she had to rein them in, find a way to deal with this better. Perhaps it was the access to each other’s minds, some shared cogitations, making this possible. It was the only thing that made sense, she was sure that she couldn’t have thought such images on her own.

Seeing herself dressed like that and fighting side by side with Kylo Ren in one instance and seeing him as Ben Solo, a Jedi, in another…

Barely wanting to keep their hands off of each other…

Earlier, she had been researching in the library, trying to find out more about living with this bond. There wasn’t a lot of information to be found in the Jedi books or holocrons. She did learn that the degree to which a bond was even possible varied depending on the Force-sensitivity of the people involved.

The stronger one is in the Force, the stronger the connection will be. While most life had a peripheral ability to form connections, some were said to have a special inclination to it…that was apparently them, seeing that something was inside of her that was attracted to his familiar power like a magnet.

The materials mostly spoke of the connection between apprentice and padawan. She hadn’t found out too much that applied to their unique situation, especially since they had first connected in such an unexpected way.

A gust of wind blew outside her hut interrupting her thoughts. As she turned her head to look towards the evening light in the window, a memory was there, of when she was a little girl, she had been alone in the desert, at night, the wind blowing sand up against the walls of the Hell Hound, she had dreams of him.

“There is someone who could still come back...with your help.”

She has assumed Maz had meant Luke….

When he had kissed her, even though the bond, she felt that something inside of her, an energy, was calling to some matching power within him. She had been able to learn so much in a short time because of this and had gained both knowledge and power…from the moment she had gotten into his head.

Through him now feeling comfortable enough, he had let his guard down with her and she now knew that, regardless of what he thought, he was not beyond redemption. Ben Solo was still there, just deep under the surface. She had felt him, she had tasted him. No one else may know, but through their recent joining of mind…and body, she was able to know this. She could feel his doubts, as he didn’t even try to hide his feelings from her.

But one thing still haunted her.

She took a deep breath. She still needed to know why he killed his father. That she couldn’t understand. It was horrific to have witnessed and it had been eating away at her, the one thing that kept that feeling of betrayal within her at her feelings for him. Yes, he was a representative of the First Order, but she was surprised to find that she had few doubts that Ben would return with her help...but murdering his father? That would stay with him. All she had ever wanted was a family, and he had just destroyed his.

 

 

The water in the mosaic pool began to reverberate in waves with the power flowing from his fingertips as Luke touched the plinth, with his eyes closed to reconnect with the Force. He had suppressed his connection for years after he shut himself off. It didn’t take him long to feel the familiar power and warmth swirl and rush back into him, he had to gasp at the feeling. Then he felt it, a bright light, far away presence in the Force…Leia. And he could feel a very strong force nearby… Rey.

What was that? He could feel another power, maybe far away, he wasn’t sure. It wasn’t anything he had felt before…a changing, moving…memory? Something almost ancient feeling, yet somehow...alive.

He was in the first Jedi temple, after all.

Then he could feel the presence of something else cut right through all of his thoughts. He turned around to face his former teacher.

“Master Yoda,” Luke greeted him. The diminutive pointy eared creature sat in a blue ghostly haze on the side of the mosaic pool.

“Young Skywalker. Missed you have I,” Yoda answered him, as Luke walked towards him, taking a seat next to his former master on the edge of the pool.

Shaking his head he said, “I was weak and unwise.”

“Ahhh so decided to do something, did you?  Hmmph,” Yoda said disapprovingly, “but now, the saber, did in not go to the girl?” He asked.

“Yes.” Luke answered.

“Feel you lost Ben Solo, you do,” he shook his head. “Lose Rey we must not.”

“I can't be what she needs me to be.” Luke argued in an almost familiar complaining tone of years past.

“Skywalker, still looking to the horizon, hmmm? Never here, now, hmm? The need in front of your nose. Heeded my words not, did you?” He corrected his former student, “when darkness rises, will there not be light to meet it? What would occur did you think? Hmmm.”

Luke looked away in thought listening to Yoda’s wisdom.

“What would happen with disrupted connection, Skywalker?” He tapped his gimmer stick on the rock in front of him to emphasize his words.

Luke looked back at the small alien’s large, wise, blue eyes, “I sought an end to a cycle of failure.” Luke countered.

“But failure, weakness, folly also, but failure most of all. The greatest teacher, failure is. Pass on what you have learned. Strength and mastery. We are what they grow beyond. That is the true burden of all masters.”

Luke let his words sink in, to begin to put some of his broken pieces and thoughts back together.

Yoda cackled at some secret knowledge, “Change, it will not. Life creates it, the Force, the Cosmic, the Living, it grows, its energy surrounds and binds, makes possible what it will for the balance."

“Rey.” Luke said.

“The girl, your failure, she an answer, and more, yes.”

Yoda seemed to have validated what Luke had somehow known all along but had been unsure of with his own self doubt.

“With a flicker of light present, Skywalker, no one is ever truly gone.”

 

 

It was dark but the flickering firelight danced on the walls of the temple library from the small fire in the pit. Shaking out her arms, she re-positioned herself on the seat where she sat near the fire, taking a deep breath, letting the air out of her mouth slowly.

She was going to do this, she needed to. It was something she now lived with.

Gathering the Force from the life around her, she began to search for that soft connection within her, that thread that linked them. Closing her eyes now, she reached out finding calm and began to tug the slight, now familiar, pleasure that she seemed to associate with him. It was the first time she had really reached out since…

She gasped as a surprising sort of pull opened the line.

A similar noise, like a branch striking a large tree trunk so hard, it shattered into two pieces, hitting the forest floor.

What was that?

Ben.” She whispered his name breathing in with a gasp.

He looked up with a hidden eagerness, he had felt her the minute she had pulled on that line. Then it dawned on him, what she had called him, his old name. No one had called him that in years...

No, she had called him that in a dream...as they made love...

“Rey.” He answered.

She opened her eyes to see him, sitting there across from her. The dark waves of his hair framing his face was the only softness that appeared around him. Looking slightly down upon her from where he sat, he truly looked like royalty upon a throne. His arms were out stretched on either side of the armrests, his gloved hands curling over the ends. His eyes engaged hers, his body barley moving, he was like a flawed statue, with the crack down one side of his face, yet comfortable in his surroundings. She couldn’t help but remember the feel of his solid chest, his soft lips on hers…

She was beautiful and curious about him as ever as she met his eyes looking up at him. He had been waiting for her to call on him since that night. With her power, he had known that it wouldn’t take her long to reach out and find a way on her own. He had wanted her to come to him.

Now he had to hide his expectancy, as a surprising thought in the dirt of his mind arose that he could only try to bury: She was here where he sat, looking up at him from between his legs, ready to wrap her warm soft lips around his plump cock…

They hesitated a moment, she, almost breathless, hiding a gasp sensing some sort of an idea or undefined thought…she was captivated by his eyes, an instant tingling between her legs began as they just took each other in. She wanted him here, his lips on hers, warm large hands holding her down again as he deliciously stretched and filled her…

What in the worlds?

She had to catch her breath, look away from him a moment, gather her thoughts, stop letting her body try to run away with her mind…

Could the Force help with that?

“I’ve been having some…questions…so I went looking for some answers…here,” she sighed looking back up at him a bit self-consciously, “I wanted to know about this,” her hands gesturing between them, “but there is limited information in the texts.” She was practically stumbling over her words trying to calm herself.

Tilting his head a bit to the side a moment he found her innocence so captivating, he could feel that some kind of comprehension had instantly hit her solid at what they had done, acceptance of their bond.

“I am pretty certain that not one of those texts speak of how most Jedi cannot even form connections such as ours…because of their discipline.”

She shook her head slightly.

“Jedi are forbidden to open their lives to the passions around them, and therefore few of them even realize the extent to which a bond is even possible.” His voice was like silk and seemed to glide all around her, “what you have there won’t offer you much assistance. Only when you open yourself to accept your true feelings will you have a better understanding of what the possibilities can be.”

She adverted her eyes again quickly, just a moment, at his hint at what they had accidentally found that they could physically accomplish through their connection. She couldn’t stop that natural anxiousness in her stomach at the mere thought of what he had done to her body, what she had felt.

He could sense the gentleness, an essence, of her sensuality escape her thoughts, the flush that rose on her cheeks. He had to ignore his rampant arousal at her fever for now.

"Rey, you don’t have to deny your emotions,” he sounded firm with her, “there is nothing wrong with feeling.”

That reminder in her head, as much as she felt as if she wanted to go to him and be with him, he was still…Kylo Ren. His loyalties were not with her cause. She didn’t understand her feelings for him, how she could of let him touch her, after what he did, how badly she had wanted him again, him, someone who was responsible for so many atrocities.

“I don’t understand what is going on with all of this,” she said out loud. She didn’t care, some decision within her had been made. Blinking back some threatening tears, she looked back up at him and continued, “what am I to feel? I mean, I don’t even understand this power…you, this connection...any of it.”

“Yes,” he said steadily, “I can feel some of your emotions, they touch me, just as you may be affected in other ways. We can limit this, but like I have told you, I am the only one that can teach you, help you…that understands your power, Rey…our power.”

She bit her lip, feeling a bit trapped because he was right.

He was the only one who understoodhow could this be, they were on opposite sides of everything…how was any of this going to work?

Her emotions, her doubt, that place in her that couldn’t forget what he had done, it all may have been too loud as a look of uncertainty passed over him, that quick little twitch he sometimes got under his left eye when he was distressed. He must of picked up on her apprehension.

He thought she was different…

“Is it so depraved to just admit the way you feel about me?” he said, barely audible, his eyes pierced hers, his jaw clenched. “It’s too late, you can't hide that...I know how I made you feel…”

“Actually yes…Kylo…” She cut him off sharply answering his question, and in this moment she would not call him Ben. “But not for the reasons you so boldly assume,” she answered, too set off by him to feel any sort of embarrassment at his point. She wasn’t sure just what he had expected of her.

"Then what, Rey." He asked impatiently.

“I just need to know…,” she began slowly.

 He sat back silently, resigned, watching her.

Why….why did you do it?” Her frustration starting to rise at the memory. “I don’t understand. You had a father that gave a damn about you! How…why did you hate him?”  She demanded.

“I didn’t hate him.” He answered with an unnerving cold calm.

“Then why?” Her eyes had begun to betray her strength, as she felt the prick of tears begin to build.

He sat there silently for just a moment, his jaw muscles moving as he pondered. She was not ready to believe that such “perfect” people had actually been frightened of their own son, sent him away to his Uncle, only to be betrayed by him as well.

He scoffed, “You know what I’ve seen, what I’ve been through?” He kept his voice composed, “…No,” he shook his head back and forth slowly with a sneer, “don’t even begin to think that you do.”

His anger flashed through his eyes, just under the surface.

“Besides, you seem to already know why, what I am, don’t you?” He challenged her. “Just say it.”

She wasn’t about to call him a monster, not anymore, even though he was acting like one right now.

He didn't understand how she could care so much after what had been done to her.

“Your own parents threw you away like garbage and yet you can’t stop needing them.”

“No they didn’t!” She spat, standing up, surprised at his words as her tears started down her face. Was he just saying this to hurt her?

She didn't want to cry in front of him, she hated how much she couldn't stop the tears, this bond, it made her...so many mixed emotions...

“Yes, they did.” He insisted, “It’s your biggest weakness, looking for them in Han Solo and now Skywalker..."

He knew it was what she needed to hear.

She wiped at the tears and sniffed as she trembled, knowing what he said to be true, even with his severe delivery. She had been holding herself back, been living in denial of her family, had made her own truth up as a little girl, that she was more than just a simple scavenger, that someone cared for her, that she was worth being cared about.

He looked down for a moment as if he transformed into someone else. She could feel the change in his demeanor, see the softness in his eyes.

He edged closer as his voice echoed all around her.

“Stop doing this to yourself, Rey. You can’t run from your destiny forever. Let go of the past, just let it diekill it, if you have to. It’s the only way to become what you are truly meant to be.”

Was it her? Was she really keeping herself from moving on? Maz had told her that her destiny was ahead of her, not behind her. That is when she had begun to realize that her future was not in the junk fields of a remote desert planet. Now here he was telling her the same exact thing.

She sat back down with a ragged sigh. In their quiet, she looked up at him, the firelight dancing on one side of his face, it seemed to highlight the softness in his eyes, showing who he truly was.

“I just don’t know anymore, I don’t,” she sniffed, wiping at some tears that had dripped on her hands, “I’ve always felt, just…so...so,” she felt so vulnerable in front of him she couldn’t help feeling a little awkward at sharing something so personal…

Alone,” he finished for her gently, like he truly understood her.

She took him in, a bit surprised. She could actually feel him, as his eyes searched hers, as if he let her see a certain part of him now, that even with a family, he had somehow still been left to feel abandonment. They were not always there for him or understanding of his feelings. She felt a bit guilty at having just assumed something else of him.

“You’re not alone, Rey,” his sultry voice circled around her, echoing against the rock walls, “not anymore, let yourself feel that.”

She sniffed as the reality of his words sunk in. In the most unlikeliest of places she had found some kind of belonging…and it was with him, her enemy. She didn’t care anymore, she was exhausted with the inner struggle…hers and his.

“You don’t have to feel alone, either.” She said to him, quietly, slightly shaking her head. She knew he understood, she had felt his own deep feelings of loneliness, he never hid it from her, especially now when she could sense some intense need within him… and it was all because of her.

So much unspoken, yet understood through the bond. The unreal notion that they didn’t have to be alone becoming realized between them, that they had each other. That they were both someone worth caring about.

She did have feelings for him and she just decided here to stop denying it, to stop trying to hide her true feelings.

As she slowly lifted a hand, he knew her intention, she wanted to try and touch him, some sort of physical validation…he wasn’t sure what it was, but that feeling in his chest, that anticipation began to build as he lifted his own hand, his eyes never leaving hers.

She had trusted him.

He looked down for a moment only to remove a glove. As it slid off of his hand, somehow, the simple gesture, was as if he was removing so much more than just a glove. He was emotionally naked before her, offering himself to her, a safe place.

To answer him, she reached her hand closer, away from the fire pit where they sat, a few tears still coming down as she somehow felt his trembling, warm hand touch hers in a surprisingly and shocking sensation, regardless of the time and space between them.

He jerked slightly as they touched, their hands flat against each other’s. He couldn’t feel any warmth from the fire, only from her hand. The light did show on a side of his face, the side with his scar somehow remaining in the darkness.

His own intense eyes beginning to get watery as they never left hers. He didn’t have any memory of the last time someone willingly reached out to him without any sort of hidden agenda. It was a feeling he had been finding that he had deeply missed. He could feel her slight quiver as her tears came down her face, the reaction of this outpouring of emotion.

His eyes, the way he looked at her, she hadn’t felt his warmth since that night and now they knew that perhaps it hadn’t been simply some vivid bond induced dream. She wanted to grab his arm to see if somehow she could feel him again, somehow pull him to her.

As his long fingers moved slowly up the inside of her wrist, she couldn’t help her eyes flutter as the chills he brought out of her flowed over her body.

He stopped all of sudden, moving his head to look off to the side at something.

“Luke,” he said as he could feel that strong pull in the Force, something from his Uncle he hadn't detected in quite some time.

His eyes meet her own again. His own hatred of his uncle starting to instantly bubble up within him, she could feel the disturbance. She met it with some feeling of calm, to soothe his distress.

He felt her influence slowly wash over him, the calm that she brought to him, he had felt this before, her sweet relief. He wanted to stay so much longer but knew he had to go, he wasn’t about to let Luke catch them and cause her undue stress.

Studying her as his eyes shifted, he reluctantly slid his hand away to run it through his hair in a very normal habit that she didn’t think resembled Kylo Ren in the least bit.

As she moved her own hand back, she closed it in a fist to try and hold on to his warmth as long as she could.

She closed her eyes as he whispered softly, his voice, warm breath in her ear, “Forget everything else, if you need me…I’m here for you.”

Forget everything else...she opened her eyes to stare at where he had just been a moment ago letting out a deep ragged sigh as her tears rescinded. Forget who they currently were, the light years between them, just know that he was there…for her. The Jedi Killer, the dark, looming phantom of her former nightmares was now here, for her. And now she was not afraid.

Sitting there in the library temple, she waited for Luke, she could sense his presence so much stronger now. She quickly moved to pick up a book and wipe her face. The realization settled over her that she would have to continue to hide her connection to Ben. Their meetings, would for now, have to remain a secret.

As Luke entered the temple, she had to admit to herself that things had changed. Deep down she knew…something that she was going to have to admit to herself. The Force had connected him so she would have a chance at helping Ben Solo. How was it that he had turned it around on her?

Because she apparently needed him as much as he needed her.

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 14.

 

Illuminate [ih-loo-muh-neytto make lucid or clear, to enlighten

 

 

"These children will serve you, Armitage. And one day soon your father will pass down his teachings to you, and you will learn to do what he did. It will be your life's work to take children like these savages and hammer their malleable minds into whatever shapes you so require. They will be tools built for the work at hand. This is my gift to you, boy. One day your father will die. One day soon, I fear. And you will take his place."

Well, he smirked at the memory…that time had come not too long ago. He and Phasma had agreed upon the right time, as it were, and she had taken proper care to eliminate Brendol Hux for him in an untraceable fashion, allowing himself to do exactly as Counselor Rax had foretold for him, to ascend to his father's role in the First Order military.

The current Stormtrooper program was the one good thing he had inherited from his slob of an abusive Father. Following out Rax's orders, Commander Rae Sloane had made sure Brendol taught his young son all he could about it. Ironically, the methods used where based on the practices of the Jedi and the Republic legacies of recruiting infants for conditioning. The first group given to him where some scavenger orphans picked up from Jakku. With them, he had created a new generation of specially-bred Stormtroopers.

The program had been pretty flawless since then until...FN twenty one eighty seven...

"I wont have you questioning my methods!"

"What methods would those be, General? Those that allow a single trooper to free a prisoner from confinement, escort him to an open hanger, and assist him with his fight to freedom? What methods teach such expertise? Obviously some of your troops are skilled at high treason."

One single abnormality had not given Ren the right to question his trooper program.

One single abnormality that he had kept most of the information and details on away from the younglings currently being conditioned. So far the ones that somehow over heard something, seen FN-2187 as the traitor that he was. If any should show up expressing too much sympathy, or individuality the order was in place for that trooper to be dealt with immediately.

And then there was Ren, who for some reason was allowed to become an influential member of the First Order's power structure and could command military officers. This had always caused some tension with, not only himself, but others in the First Order's upper ranks. Ren’s personal agenda could, at any time, undermine military objectives. Hux knew that no where in the oath of the First Order did it say anyone was supposed to accommodate the ancillary interest of individuals no matter how high their handed-to-them rank. Especially when said man was obsessed with Skywalker, and now this girl, and he let his own personal agenda and emotions constantly blind him.

“General Hux, sir.” A petty officer was holding a datapad out to him.

“Ah, good,” he answered, absentmindedly, taking the pad from the officer and dismissing him with a wave of his gloved hand.

It was the First Order’s place to restore the galaxy and thanks to his command and ingenuity, this was now possible. The Starkiller had successfully ripped through the very fabric of hyperspace and had decimated the New Republic. Now more and more systems were acquiescing to the First Order’s promise of security.

He smiled to himself.

Of course some worlds were simply just terrified into surrender, and that was quite fine as well, whatever works.

Thanks to him, the galactic status quo had drastically changed.

What he now held was the update on his newest project concerning hyperspace tracking. It was something no military force in galactic history had been able to do. With this he was sure to win his promotion. With his current direct access, he already had a rank higher than “General” regardless, the Supreme Leader had refused to grant him the title of “Commander” but this…this would change things, he would finally be worthy, in fact he was quite sure of it.

However, what I would truly be worthy of, is to be Supreme Leader and command the Supremacy.

As he continued to scroll through the current information, he quickly let that thought go. It was certainly something that he could never let Snoke detect.

Scrolling through the current news, he couldn’t help but notice, yet another ignored communication that he had sent to Ren. He was starting to wonder why he even went through the motions anymore.

If Ren were anyone else, he would have had Captain Opan assassinate him long ago. Or perhaps he would have taken pleasure in doing the dirty deed himself.

He really didn’t understand the Supreme Leader’s love of his brat prince. He knew the two of them shared some knowledge, some ancient Force philosophies which he was not privy to. He knew something existed, but had little patience to put any trust in some fly-by-night mystical energy. New technology and science, now that delivered certainty.

Really, he hated Kylo Ren, to the extent that he derived pleasure from his failures and reprimands. He had been more than happy to humiliate him by telling the Supreme Leader how he had let the droid go in lieu of taking the girl from the Takadona forest, like some infatuated youngling in need of a quick fix. Or when, ordered to evacuate Starkiller, Hux was the one to find the defeated Ren, who had been bested by said same girl, a lightsaber novice, mind you.

The once powerful Kylo Ren taken to his knees by some subadult girl. Pathetic.

This brought to mind some wildly illicit thoughts regarding said young desert rat on her knees...  

He saw Ren responsible for both the Resistance pilot and the girl getting away. So many problems could of been saved if he had just had them eliminated, but instead he had left both prisoners alive and with time to escape, due to his own preoccupation.

Yet the Supreme Leader seemed to simply ignore Ren's sudden incompetency for some reason.

Snoke and Ren…well the Supreme Leader had guided the First Order through its years in the galactic wilds, renovating a band of Imperial refugees into a weapon forged to reclaim the galaxy. For this, the Supreme Leader would always be remembered. But he knew the future would surely need a different kind of leader…one able to direct the galaxy’s productions and cultivate their innovations, while commanding its citizens’ respect.  He knew that Snoke wasn’t that leader. And surely neither was Kylo Ren.

Ren, unable to keep a harness on his own emotions, would greatly kriff something up eventually, and Armitage knew he would be around to see it. Oh, yes. Of this he was counting on.

It was only a matter of time.

 

 

“Are you sure about this, Rey?” Leia asked, sipping her tea from her rooms aboard the Raddus.

“Yes, I am,” Rey assures her with a slight shake of her head.

At times over the years, Leia had been able to sense her brother’s mind from halfway across the galaxy, or at least a faint stirring. She had missed this from him when he had disappeared…but now she could sense him once again as he had reconnected himself fully with the Force....and she could sense Rey now in the same way.

She understood that Luke had been disturbed when Rey was drawn to the darkside during meditation; her raw power had truly scared him. It had brought back what he had gone through with Ben going to the dark…memories of his guilt…guilt he still felt.

After Luke had discussed it with Rey, she was willing to learn what she could, and after some much needed persuasion from Master Yoda, Luke had come back around and finally agreed to continue training her. Soon they would return together to the Resistance base on Crait.

Leia laughed to herself...Rey sure must possess some amazing patience to have waited around all this time for Luke to finally come to his senses. She knows that she would have ended up punching the sense back in him at some point.

“I think…no, I feel, this is something I have to do,” Rey assures Leia, “Something I was meant to do.”

As she sits in front of the small, light blue flickering holo of General Organa, Rey finds herself still not believing how incredibly strong this woman is. She was the biological daughter of Darth Vader, still leading the Rebellion after years of fighting and losing so much…and so many to this war.

“Why do you feel you…can do this?” Leia asked.

Rey didn’t take offense to the repeated question, she knew it had nothing to do with a trust in abilities, but more to do with not wanting to lose any more people close to her, and she needed to know that this was solely Rey’s decision to attempt to help her son return.

All Leia had asked of her was to bring Luke back.

Just by looking at the girl and feeling her emotions in the Force, even though the holo presence, Leia could sense her sincerity,  her fierce determination and a sure resolve to conquer her fears, with not only her power and will, but her care and love.

Leia knew of Rey's similarities to Ben, somehow through her understanding of him…but now, something had changed her. She could sense some strong desire. The girl was privy to a deeper understanding and she had seen inside of Ben... somehow seen who he truly was. Leia wasn't sure exactly how or why this was, but she did know that Rey was stronger than she gave herself credit for and had some very sincere feelings for her son, and that was what was important.

Her son Ben, who had been stolen from her and Han, stolen by Snoke and by Luke’s mistakes and his own fury.  

“The Force has made me aware,” Rey began slowly, “I have sensed things, I feel that there is no other explanation for it.” She looked away from the hologram for a moment. This was all a bit strange to her.

Rey knew that Luke could train her in the basics, yes, but Ben was the only person who could possibly understand her, as he had this same power, the only one that could teach her how to exactly utilize this power…the only person who understood her loneliness…

And by the way, Leia, I can communicate with your son through a bond that we share and we are having some sort of secret...relationship.

She looked back up at Leia.

“It’s something that has always been there, I just wasn’t prepared or…understood this all until now and I know I can do this.”

“As long as you know, Rey, I don’t want you to put yourself in any needless danger and none of this can be at the expense of…” she took a deep breath looking down a moment, swirling what was left in the bottom of her tea cup as she gathered her emotions. Her next words had to be said.

She looked back up at Rey.

“If you ever get in a situation, somehow, and feel your life is threatened, for whatever circumstances, I want you to know…you defend yourself, through any means necessary. Do you understand?”

“Yes, I…I do understand that.” Rey shook her head slightly up and down, letting the implication sink in, however she knew that Ben would never hurt her.

“Thank you, Rey. I want you to be aware of how much we appreciate your help.”

Leia smiled, a real smile, something she hadn’t had a lot of cause to do in probably a very long time.

Rey felt a surge of acceptance, belonging…but at the same time, she knew that it would only feel complete when Ben was truly a part of that.

“Your welcome.”  

Rey looked up as Luke walked through the door of the hut. The bright sunshine hit across the room for a quick moment then they were back in darkness as the door shut, the holo again becoming bright.

He walked over to the prep counter with a few good sized fish, offering her a nod and smile. So, this was going to be dinner. She lifted one side of her mouth in a slight acknowledgement. One thing was sure, when she left here, she would not be eating any type of sea food from anywhere anytime soon. It had gotten so bad that Chewie almost had her convinced one night to try his porg dinner...almost.

“How is Finn doing?” Rey remembered to ask. She felt bad for having not remembered to get another update on her friend sooner.

“He is doing just fine and I think pretty happy to be back up and helping out.”

“Good, so glad to hear that.” Rey smiled. “Tell him I said…I miss him, if you see him?”

Leia nods in agreement.

Upon exiting the hut, the bright suns hit her face as she grabs her hair and binds it up. She slowly makes her way to the shore. They will be leaving here soon…she smiles watching the water and the wildlife. Taking a deep breath, she knows once they step off of this island, nothing is going to be the same.

She made her way over to the meditation plinth. She approached the smooth area where she had cracked the rock. She looked down at her destruction. It was still amazing. At the time she hadn't been in control entirely of her power. This would be something that she would surely need to learn to control better. Still, it made her smile,  just a bit.

Jakku had actually trained her to excel in two important things for sure: salvage items in need of repair and waiting. And while she had waited, she had dreams of this very place she now found herself…and dreams of Ben. Perhaps all those anxious days in Jakku’s heat and all those isolated nights in its cold and solitude, had been a preparation of her much needed patience for a time such as this, as if this was all meant to be as the Force wills it, as if somehow finding the missing pieces of a great puzzle, and finally being able to fit it all together and make sense of the bigger picture.

She now knew from being inside his head that he never was really given the chance to make his own decision to abandon his old self to Kylo Ren. Ben was still there and in need of repair.

As she was lost in her thoughts, walking back down the hill in the sunlight, she feels a cool breeze, and carrying on it she could hear some sweet, low, almost chanting sound over the waves of the ocean. She stopped, looking around curiously. She tried to figure out exactly what was being said. Was it the Caretakers?

No, she decided, this was something else. Even half way across the island and over the noise of some exuberant porgs chirping nearby, she could hear it. She turned with a hand up shielding her eyes from the light to look over to the side of the island that she had not yet discovered. It seemed maybe now was the time to see what was there.

Suddenly she realized that it was in fact words she was hearing, like some lyrical recitation:

 

There is no emotion, there is peace

There is no ignorance, there is knowledge

There is no passion, there is serenity

There is no chaos, there is harmony

There is no death, there is the Force.  

 

She followed the sounds the rest of the way up the uneven rocky ground, to see that it was coming from that ancient mossy husk of a tree. She moved slowly down the other side of the small cliff she stood on to approach it. Luke had mentioned once that one of these, she thinks he called it a Uneti, used to grow at the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, as it had some kind of Force-sensitivity. He said this particular one had been here for about a thousand years.

She had visions of a great tree from some time before, but this particular Uneti, regardless of how dead it looked, was also quite conspicuous in its own right. It was not so grand, yet she somehow felt drawn to it…more than once since she had been here.

The tree’s two main dead appearing thick branches reached for the sky and tilted slightly towards the center branch, which was just a bit higher than the others…and in the thick trunk supporting it all…a small, dark opening, large enough to fit through.

She continued to walk apprehensively through a fog that strangely seemed to only grow thicker as she climbed down towards the tree. It seemed that the closer she got to it she could hear that the sounds where emanating right from the tree itself as it thrummed with energy. She stopped, just looking at it. She has done this before; she has been here in a dream.

Kylo had been there, in the dream, holding his hand out to her

While she had been on the island, she has felt this pull but hadn’t really felt ready to face it. Now she was just more curious than anything, wanting to see what this dead old tree needed to tell her.

The fog just swirls around it, no where else it seemed, and she feels that it possesses some sort of a venerable existence, warmth with some kind of life.

Still feeling unsure, even with the safety of the light as it surrounds her, she is hesitant to walk through the dark opening. There is something in there; in the tree...perhaps darkness…something she has to face, some truth about to be uncovered. She can sense something, cold and surely tempting, it is conscious of her light as it is drawn to it, beckoning. She looks behind her now to see just a wall of thick fog. There was no turning back.

She takes a deep breath and enters the slim warm opening.

Walking inside a few steps, it took hold of her, it felt mesmerizing, as if she had just passed into another time, like she had stepped through some portal. Her eyes closed, it felt as if she was floating. She began to hear faint voices of a young man and a young woman echoing around her.

“I’m not the Jedi I should be.”

“I thought we had decided not to fall in love. Are you even allowed to love? I thought that was forbidden for a Jedi.”

“I won’t lose you, Padme.”

Rey opened her eyes, feeling some of the young man’s heartache. She looked all around her, the dimly lit space wasn't very big, there was some sort of a small expanse in one side, probably once used as a seat, and grooves within the trunk, but really nothing else, not anymore. Just a hollow trunk with a sandy floor. She could see that no one else was here, just her.

“You’re going down a path I can’t follow!”

“Together, you and I can rule the galaxy! We can make things the way we want them to be!”

“I have failed you, Anakin.”

“I see through the lies of the Jedi. I do not fear the dark side as you do. I have brought peace, freedom, justice, and security to my new empire!”

“There...there is still good in him. I know there is.”

It was like hearing a dream, a past, some regression, as if something new and bright had suddenly turned, faded and tarnished. She had the Force within her and it kept her emotions somehow restrained even as she felt the young woman’s equal distress and great loss. She wipes at a tear that had escaped to run down her cheek. Other voices now.

“The dark is generous and it is patient and it always wins. With each victory in the light, the darkness wins. It always wins because it is everywhere...”

Then she heard some loud echoing sizzle of raw power. Lightsabers clashing. Darkness, now it rushes to surround her, to fully blend with her light. Just like in her vision, she gasps as it envelopes her. A part of it feels familiar and actually calming, the light and dark feed off of each other finding some balance, her eyes closed again, head slightly back.

“But in the heart of the dark strength lies a weakness: in fact one lone streak of light can hold it back. Love is more than this light, love can ignite the stars.”

Looking up she sees light, just a thin ray, shine in down through the fog to chase away some of the dark.

She warms and finds herself feeling naturally calm to this alluring feeling as the voices subside...it pushes into her, she notices herself begin to hum somewhere deep in her throat as she slowly walks forward into the dimness to take a seat. She was resonating with the Living Force that was alive within the particles that constructed this tree, every part of the wood, every grain of the sand. She could feel the soft vibration. It is making her feel exhilarated, some spark is enlightening every nerve within her; she could lose herself for just a little while in this calm and serenity.

She was learning and with what she now knew? The power?

This would turn the tides.

She was part of a half, an equal in the Force, one half was not stronger then the other. 

There was a strong hopefulness surrounding her, she felt her purpose and a need. A need that she knew was no longer something to be frightened of.

She saw it, a compromise, maybe not just all dark or light, but a balance of the two, like the way it all coalesced within this tree and within her. Something Luke and the Jedi of the past would never have understood or even seen completely because they denied passion and emotion.

But this was her path confirmed, as she had told Leia. This was her destiny not anyone else's.

She was strong of will and her strength came from a long powerful tie, a tie that had lasted through the ages, it was the same power that bound them together.

"If you live long enough, you see the same eyes in different people."

Or the same eyes in the same people.

She didn't have the knowledge of the how or the why, she only knew the future, the importance of it all and how to get there. It was all connected.

She knew what she had to do.

She also knew what she wanted.

She wanted him

 

 

Chapter Text

                         

   

15.

 

Prurient  [proo r- ee-uh nt]   causing lasciviousness, a restless desire of longing

 

 

A part of him might always be haunted by that night, about seven years ago now. It had been so much more then finding out the secret that Darth Vader was indeed his grandfather...

 

Something had startled him out of his sleep....the buzz of a lightsaber. His eyes shot open to a green glow against the opposite wall. He quickly turned in his bed to see his uncle standing over him, ready to strike.

His own uncle had wanted to kill him.

In his disbelief of the imminence and severity of the threat about to unfold before him, Ben instinctively ordered his own saber to fly into his hand, ignite and cross his uncle’s blade in time to stop the killing blow. Although Luke's fear of him had naturally faded away in his impending shame, it had been too late. Ben had already seen the initial intent in his uncle’s wild eyes. Skywalker had failed him. He couldn’t control his power completely and combined with his rage, gathered an impressive display of the Force by pulling the entirety of the building onto his now former master.

In his uncontrolled anger, before he even knew it, he had fled from the ruins of the structure, directing his anger forward to destroy everything that his uncle had created. In the process some of the students where killed as they slept, and the Jedi Temple was left to burn. He departed the planet with the rest of the students who had survived his rage, yet where in awe of his awesome display of power, some even ready to serve him.

Snoke directed him where to go. Snoke, the being that had somehow always been there for him, had always encouraged him, had even praised him. There was no reason to remain, his mother had already lied to him about his lineage and he knew she would not believe him if he told her about Luke. A decision had been made. He would become the very thing that his family and his uncle felt that he already was.

They hadn't seen anything yet. He would show them a monster.

He left his old life behind that night. No more was he going to be the weakened Ben Solo that was betrayed, abandoned and left in fear. He would transform himself into an assassin and warrior, the tables were now turned and all would fear him.

The next day, although waking up in much better accommodations, the reality had truly hit him, the numbing terror at what he had done. His new master would teach him that his emotions were a weakness, that they would only stunt him from greatness in becoming what he was meant to be.

He was introduced to the Knights of Ren, an organization that were said to have had some possible origins from the Acolytes of the Beyond, a dedicated dark siders cell that had been started years before during the Galactic Civil War by Emperor Palpatine’s former adviser Yupe Tashu. They worshiped the Sith and revered various artifacts including lightsabers and helmets because these items were infused with the power of the darkside. They would seek out as many of these Sith artifacts as they could...and by any means necessary.

Some of the practitioners, or Shadows, to this day, still cared for the relics of the Sith, which included the castle on Mustafar, however, it was known that being around these imbued artifacts at all times, if one was not a Force wielder, could have some lasting and unfortunate consequences, such as addiction and even insanity.

Part of this old tradition with the artifacts still existed within the Knights of Ren, including earning their masks, which have the power to gather darkness, in addition to being a way of honoring Lord Vader. One of Ben's fellow students, who had accompanied him from the academy, hired a mercenary to obtain the most sought out and revered artifact of them all, his grandfather’s mask. In doing so, Snoke had re-named Ben Solo as Kylo Ren, Master of the Knights of Ren. The student that had helped him find the artifact had more than proved herself on several occasions and became his most trusted Knight.

As Kylo, he created and had his own mask forged, a vision, that when he wore it, would instill his anonymity bringing him strength while instilling fear in his enemies. His weapon, a lightsaber crafted from his former, this one with an ancient cross-guard design, that dated back thousands of years. The original Kyber crystal had been cracked, requiring the saber’s handle to have lateral vents on either side in order to divert the extra heat generated by the crystal. This gave the weapon's red plasma blades an unstable, serrated appearance.

The cross-guard would also remind him of the blades crossed that night.

His first task would be to eliminate any remaining Jedi that might threaten the Supreme Leader’s power. It had to be done to stop the chaos that they brought to the galaxy. It was his place now and he had a legacy to fulfill, to complete what his grandfather had started, to bring the galaxy under one rule, and with it, eventual peace.

The Knights of Ren would at times kill whole villages in their quest for ancient artifacts and purging those along the way who were found to be sympathetic to the Resistance, or any other enemies of the First Order.

Hardly a thought was spared for his former life as he submerged himself into his training and his dominate new position. Along the way, Kylo found that cruelty and apathy helped him numb any of his remaining inner pain that was caused by living with both the conflicting light and darkside within him. This resulted in him being a volatile leader.

But he soon had found that no matter how hard he tried to eliminate the light completely from breaking through the cracks, he was still able to feel it at times. Living with the extra effort to keep it behind the wall that he had built inside of himself, took some strenuous effort. He killed his weak, smuggler fool of a father in desperation to escape from this crush of conflict and torment within him, and with it the memories of his former life. Snoke had him convinced that this contemptuous act might finally purge him of his pain and of his light.

He had been wrong.

He was now finding that he was growing no longer satisfied with trying to find answers by looking into the past or his family’s history. He had thought that by learning more about his grandfather he would be able to answer the question of why he could never fully extinguish the light within him. But now he felt that the answer no longer lied entirely with grandfather, the Sith, the Jedi...any of it. Perhaps he, to, needed to let the past die so he could evolve.

 

Now as Kylo sat in his meditation chamber, he allowed the powerful darkness that was attached to the visage of Vader seep into his own being, renewing him, as he had so many times before.

It was because of her, all of this.

He could greatly resent her interference in his loyalties and his rise to greatness…if she wasn’t so…so beautiful, indulgent…so caring. At one time he did seek to destroy her but now she had become a part of him. This was destiny that could not be altered, she was meant to be here, and with him, it was undeniable with the way she made him feel. She subdued his troubled soul and made his inner conflict actually seek out some kind of symmetry.

By using his knowledge in the darkside he was able to hide all this within that space he held for her. Snoke saw it all as some sort of renewed resolve within him, a heightened, renewed loyalty. Kylo knew his master would never understand this, surely he would only see this as a weakness.

His master never really did understand.

This had become so much more than any connection could be, she awakened a feeling within him that had been lost all those years, a feeling that he had worked so hard at attempting to destroy. It was something even his cold heart seemed to crave, and he found that it eased his pain. She didn't understand why he had done the things that he had, but somehow she could still recognize his struggle. Apparently he could not be devoid of emotion, his light would always be there deep inside of him, somehow calling out to her. Only she seemed to find the balance within him.

In turn he had taught her that it was indeed okay to feel passion. He didn't want Luke to try and change her, to try and tell her that she had to be molded in the light or be extinguished before she became too dark.

He wanted her away from his unstable uncle. She was pure of heart but would never be a Jedi, not in the traditional sense, and sooner or later she would disappoint Luke.

“The past, my old life. It means nothing to me.”

It was not the first time he had heard the faint echoes from the mask as he sat before it, most was indistinguishable.

A woman’s voice:  “At least when I murdered, I murdered out of love.”

Then Vader’s voice accompanying a killing stroke: “I know precisely what you mean.”

He knew his father had been right about Snoke. While promising power beyond imagination, his master could very well decide to discard him when he got what he wanted. At one time, this made no difference to him. However now, something else was there, something more to live for than just power…at one time, all he had wanted was to fulfill his birthright...but now?

With Rey, maybe he wanted to be more; maybe there was something more worth fighting for. The Force was showing him what needed to be done. They would be something different together, they could finally put an end to this constant war.

“All are caught in the river of power that is the Force, trapped by its currents. Only those who wield the darkside of the Force are capable of changing those currents; they are river breakers. They do not surrender to fate. They are its foes.”

 

Then he felt it. It hit him suddenly as he attempted meditation. For some reason he sees himself on the island. He looks up now from the mask as he stands up walking a few steps forward in the dim light of his chamber, turning his head following a strong pulling sensation. He closed his eyes, holding out a hand. He could feel her across the galaxy, she needed him and as he told her, he would always answer her call.

His surroundings had changed in a momentary vacuum of silence, then he could hear it, smell it, he is suddenly on the island. He opened his eyes.

Rey.

He looks around in all directions, quickly finding his bearings. He could immediately feel a shock to his system, being abruptly out of the manufactured air aboard the Supremacy and suddenly into fresh. He could feel the warmth of the sun, the blowing breeze and smell the ocean salt in the air. This place looks like what he once saw inside of her head.

He feels the attraction, something in the Force, like a magnetism. He turns in the direction to it…the tree, she is in there, he can sense her. She was not far from where he stood on the slight hill. It was a strong allure, a consciousness that awakes within, something igniting. He has to take a deep breath.

Some animal instinct quickly takes control in him as he moves over the uneven ground, closer to her. His heart was beating fast, his breathing was getting erratic, he felt an urgency. He moved stealthily and unnaturally fast over the rocks, just in case…he wasn't sure if he could be seen. He feels his body come more and more alive as he gets closer, he can feel her light like a beacon, as it begins to surround him and it somehow calls to that part of him that just won't let go, something that has always been inside, her comfort, his light.

A cool breeze moves off the surrounding water of the island, moving his hair, yet he feels so warm under his tunic with the caressing, arousing rope pulling him, blending with his desire, with his darkness, rising warm within his body. He can feel her strong desire and this time she is no longer hesitant.

He can feel that she wants him and needs him now.

 

As she sat in the tree, taking off her boots, she knew he was close. Closing her eyes, she could feel him getting closer, that familiar energy wave went through her that was distinctly him, the one that connected with her own energy, that they had unexpectedly felt in each other for the first time on Starkiller Base.

Had that been truly the first time, hadn't she had dreams of him before?

Her anticipation heightened, her heart was instantly beating faster. She wanted him and was sure of her decisions, but still had a moment of fear slice through her. Everything felt so right but...

She touched her hair, smoothed her top down taking a deep breath. Her resolve was there as she found some much needed serenity within. She reminded herself of what this very place had showed her, of what she and Ben had talked about the other night, that they no longer had to be alone, they had each other now. He said he was there for her. It still felt so new,  so...different.

How was all of this when he was still Kylo Ren? However, she knew that he had never hid his fears from her, his doubts. He was a different person to her it seemed, trusting her somehow from the beginning, the bond had given her insights into him that she knew even Luke could not have seen or understood.

She now had no doubt that there was hope for him, it was not too late...she would have to somehow defeat Kylo in order to get to Ben, but for her, he would eventually turn.

And now, now she had to make him aware of how she felt, the fact that she could see right through Kylo...

The fact that she had a deep carnal need that she knew only he could fully satisfy.

 

He stops at the entrance of the tree. He is no longer sure if any of this was real anymore and somehow he didn’t really care. As if captivated by some sort of movement in the very bark of the mossy smelling wood itself, he is compelled to lift a shaking gloved hand out to touch the gleaming facade around the opening. He pulls his hand away to see water bead and run from his glove. He closes his hand on it, making a fist. This dead looking tree was now somehow alive.

Slowly rising his head to look forward, he walks in through the warm dark opening. He looks around at his new surroundings and notices that the inside of this tree also feels alive, moving, changing…seductive. Behind him, the opening is swallowed up by the fog. He allows his eyes to adjust for a moment in the dim light. She is there, sitting on a small smooth expanse. Her capelet is carelessly on the ground next to her, along with her boots. Her legs are up, her arms around them, her chin resting on her knees as she looks up at him with hypnotized hazel eyes, searching his.

He could feel her anticipation surge at the very sight of him, causing his own body to immediately stiffen in response. She lets go of her legs to stretch them out, her hands on either side of the rock she sat on, her firm nipples pressing against her top. She takes a deep breath, a hand leisurely letting her hair down to fall around her shoulders.

He doesn’t move, he is too mesmerized, intrigued by her self assurance, just watching her intently, his eyes moving slightly up and down to take her all in as she stood up to walk over to him, her petite feet swallowed half way in the sand with every foot step. The slight dampness of his skin beginning to turn into sweat. She is so close to him. As he looks down at her perfection, he has a fleeting moment of uncertainty, fear that he won’t be everything she needs him to be.

She looks up to boldly lock eyes with him, her hands came to rest on his chest. He is like that hardened statue once again, royalty looking down upon a barefoot scavenger. She knows it is some learned defense, however, he can't hide the insatiable hunger in his eyes that made her feel a wanton thrill jolt through her.

Looking in his dark eyes, she begins to run her hands up the quilted material of the chest of his tunic, but he grabs her wrists in one large gloved hand, making her gasp in surprise.

“I answered your call,” he says slowly, she drops her eyes, with his other hand he puts a couple gloved fingers under her chin tilting her head back up to look at him, his deep voice resonates, “what is it, Rey?”

He knows she can feel something more dark and lecherous as she looked up at him. He knows part of his mind is still contained within the confines of a room that held artifacts attached to things so much darker than himself.

“It’s this place.” She whispers, “It had something to show me.”

He moved his hand from under her chin to the side of her face, his gloved fingers behind her neck, his thumb on her cheek.

“What did it show you?” He asks. His eyes just pools of hunger and anticipation as he watches her.

“A choice…of what has been, the shape of a future, of what we could possibly be…” she answered, slightly shaking her head, looking up at him, "Ben...I can feel the conflict in you growing."

"Is that why you called me here, Rey, to tell me about my conflict?" He shook his head, cutting off any further discussion. He wasn't angry, he knew that she had only learned about the loathsome Jedi ways, that every darksider somehow needed saved by their righteousness.

She would soon learn.

She had expected this, him and his usual method of deflection and derision. As if he was her master and she his student to be kept at bay and off balance with questions.

Not anymore.

"No...you will turn, I can help you." She whispered so close to him.

He calmly looked down at her, still holding her wrists to him and with his other hand still holding her face, his thumb tracing her jaw.

"And I know when the moment comes, you'll be the one to turn. Rey...you'll stand with me....I have foreseen this."

She felt a bit of shock and horror sink through her at his words. She almost wanted to instinctively back up from him, but he was holding her there. In his eyes she could see that this was how he saw their destiny together, that somehow, she would accept the darkside and go to him willingly. Had her connection to him not brought him hope? Had he not seen in her mind what she had seen? Surely his confliction had him living in pain. It had only been growing more since he had killed Han.

Suddenly, as if carried on some sharp retort from the Force through the tree, another understanding came to them both. Some electricity, a strong sensation catching them both off guard. Looking into each other's eyes, they felt that power resonate between them, humming, sensations of both life and death, light and dark of times past and the strong vibrations they shared between them. Some choice that was made before, of some other shared life past. Something in that ancient power. In that moment of inevitability and vision: they somehow completed each other, balanced, regardless of their division.

That energy they shared had long ago originated from a space of balance and it had been searching, finally finding it's other half, destined one way or another to join again.

She could feel his mixed emotions as he looked down at her. He couldn't hide them all from her, not anymore. Confusion, pain, loneliness, longing...his internal conflict, that part of him still clinging to life and to the light, that part of him that she had seen only in glimpses as he kissed her or comforted her when she was lonely. The part of him that gave her hope. The part of him that Kylo Ren tried to keep buried away.

Ben was still in there and he needed her strength. She just knew this to be true.

His thumb moved to trace her lower lip. There was an unspoken understanding, they were tied together regardless of how much they wanted their own interpretation of how they saw their own future to be true. They would have to start somewhere in the middle ground.

The dark intensity in his voice was now palpable.

“I need to know what you want...do you want all of me or only a part?”

She knew she would have to give in some to him, accept where he was, accept every part of him, as much as he seems to have already accepted every part of her, regardless of her training on the side of the light, they were a part of each other.

Kylo Ren was not going to except anything less. She knew what he meant, Kylo was just as much a part of him as Ben. Kylo, capable of committing atrocities in the name of the darkside. Kylo, still under the dark influences and manipulations of his dark master. Kylo, the son who killed his own father...Kylo, the only man that she wanted, so incredibly sexy in all black looking down at her with those heated intense eyes only for her.

The voices she had just heard, being star-crossed, it hadn’t worked out for them, it ended tragically, but maybe this time it was destined differently.

“There’s still good in him…I know it.”

His eyes were not moving from hers.

“From now on, it’s allll or nothing.” He purred.

With his own words, in a strange way, unbeknownst to himself even perhaps, he had admitted to her a few times already that his true self was indeed still there. 

The young women's voice in her head: "Stranger things have happened. And maybe, if she loves him, she's his way back from it."

He could feel within her what he already knew to be true, he just needed to hear it from her. That darkside of him needed to hear her concede to him, but more than that, another part of him, wanted her to confirm aloud that she wanted him...validation that their attraction went so much deeper than the Force or any destiny could ever be.

“So what do you want, Rey?” He asked again hoarsely, growing a bit impatient,  “Say it......please.”

He awaited her answer nervously biting his inner lip. He was so hard to read at times, calm and self assured one minute and practically begging her in the next. Perhaps it was the difference between Ben and Kylo's mixed emotions.

The little boy struggling to be free of his pain…

“I want you,” she said looking into his eyes, “all of you.”

She saw some relief and then tenderness in his watery eyes, a surge of feeling. Had no one ever accepted him, believed in him, all of him, every part, just for who he was, his light and his dark? Did he even feel worthy, that he deserved such admiration?

Feeling his overwhelming emotion, his other gloved hand moved behind her head in her hair, his thumbs on either side of her cheeks to hold her face tipped up to his, her hands on his thick arms, as he slowly brought those warm, soft lips down on hers. The instant hot thrill ran though her as they kissed slowly it brought about this instant demand that her body helplessly responded to, that strong libidinous anticipation.

Breaking their kiss for a moment, he looked down at her, a dark look in his eye that no longer frightened her. One of his hands suddenly had a fist full of her hair, pulling it back, however gently, his other hand tipping her chin up to him, holding her jaw, her body becoming even more wired as his strong towering intensity caught her nearly defenseless. His lips slowly came down on one side of her neck, her eyes fluttered shut. She felt helpless, dizzy, could feel his hot breath, lips, teeth grazing and nipping at her neck, her earlobe, the hold in her hair just growing a little tighter. 

"All of me," his hot breath whispered. She couldn't help a soft sigh escape her lips as she felt his rock hard erection for a moment against her as he pulled her closer to him.

Tracing her jaw line in kisses, finally finding her lips again, he kissed her slowly and seductively finally pushing his tongue into her mouth, the kiss becoming even more passionate. The almost numbing ripples this caused made her body go languid in his hold on her in his heated need, as another small sound of desperation escaped her.

Their lips hardly leaving each other, his gloved hand holding her jaw moved down her neck as he kissed her, lower. She felt his hand graze a breast, reach under her shirt, she gasped at the sudden feel of smooth, cool leather, cupping her, touching her. He gently pinched and pulled, still holding her hair with his other hand and his lips teasing hers at the same time, backing away every now and again, his touch only intensifying the tingling she felt between her legs, as she attempted to catch her breath, whimpering between their lips when his were not on hers.

She could feel it all as he experienced it too, could feel her heat shoot through his body igniting his already heightened senses and awakening that visceral need for her deep within him.

She couldn't make her hands work properly as she began fumbling with the waist of his pants while they kissed and he touched her. He had to bend his taller frame over a bit to keep his deserate mouth on hers as he managed at the same time to hurriedly remove his gloves, unclasp the belt of his top jacket and tunic letting it all casually fall off of him to the sand.

Moving back to her, he lifted her shirt off of her in a quick move, kissing and nipping down her neck, his hot hands on her breasts, she eagerly ran her own hands all over the damp valleys of his smooth expansive chest muscles and down his huge biceps. The way he felt under her hands was exquisite, his deep sounds of pleasure in his throat as she touched him, culminated in a slight ache to start between her legs. She didn’t care about anything else in this moment except feeling him inside of her to ease her pain. As she kissed and licked at his chest, she worked at discarding the rest of her own clothes.

He grabbed her face as she kicked off her pants from around one foot, in that desperate rush, his lips back on hers. His hands going around her to hold her backside, he pressed her naked body to him, a sound of desperation deep in his throat.

Her damp chest slid up his as her feet were lifted off the ground, he held her so her face was at his level. Her hands were around his neck to hold on as she wrapped her legs around his waist. He was strong, his shoulders and biceps so broad and thick, he was easily their foundation as she climbed him.

The crippling waves of his carnal need ran heavily throughout his body as he felt the hot anticipation mounting within him. He needed her and in this moment, with her warm soft body wrapped around his, all he cared about was pleasing her.

She leaned her forearms on his shoulders, his head back to look up at her above him, so she could kiss those unbelievably soft pillowy lips. She hung on, as he held her there with one arm, his other hand smoothed down her warm backside getting closer to her warm, slick soft core...her lips fumbled on his in heated anticipation.

Leaning her head back as his captive there, she felt those nimble fingers continue their path from under her as they begin to touch her, gently, making her tremble as he smoothed her wetness around, some growl deep in his throat at the feel of how wet she had become. She couldn't even kiss him and hold on to him and even breathe in that moment as he teased her so gently. She became so hot against him, her legs holding him tight as his own breathing got more erratic at her reaction to his ministrations.

She was so warm, soft, his long fingers gliding around, following that natural trail, getting close to, but not yet penetrating. She was instinctively sliding herself up him a bit higher to aid with this possibly ackward position, her eyes closed, the fingers moving a little quicker across her, hitting her upper inner thighs, just a little more pressure, a little closer, pressing, she became even wetter as he teased.

She was about to beg him, her body quivering almost frantically as she suddenly felt a thick finger sink deeply up inside of her. She held on to him gasping in surprise, leaning over his shoulder, her legs instinctively wanting to spread wider, her body wanting to climb higher up him. He began to slowly pump her, making her squirm as he easily slid in a second thick finger, sliding in and out, her body beginning to hypnotically calm. He wanted to watch her face but with her leaning over him the way she had to for his reach, this wasn't possible at the moment.

Her body relished in the feel of his thick fingers as he opened them up some inside as she rose her head some to undulate with his hand, becoming more and more breathless. He pumped in and almost out, twirling around, preparing her, reaching deep and curling inside to reach that special spot that he knew would send her over that edge.

She was paralyzed at moments, having to hold herself still, a low growl in her throat. He knew this would not take long. He could feel that she was so wound up that the slightest touch may of made her orgasm in his hand. Since he could sense what she felt, he knew he had her in just the right spot to make that happen. She couldn't help herself feeling some sudden build up as she held her backside up just a bit so he could have better access to quicken his movements.

Being responsible for making this strong warrior literally fall apart in his hands could alone bring him to his own release. Her head fell forward against his shoulder, as she panted wildly, he felt her incredibly slick warmth around his fingers, a little of her fluid slowly beginning to slide down his hand, she began to tighten as he worked her...closer.

"Your so hot," he whispered in her ear, "come for me now Rey," he ordered as she whimpered an answer.

Suddenly her nails dug into his shoulders as multiple waves of her release shot through her body. His fingers holding deep inside, moving, coaxing. Because of the bond, he could feel her ecstasy in his own body as it rolled hard through her. He had to use some incredible strength to keep his own knees from buckling under them.

Once she had calmed down a bit and he had slid his soaked fingers out of her, she slid down some as he held her in sated exhaustion. The best idea he could pull somehow through his scattered mind, was to walk them over to the stone so that he could sit, he had to sit.

She slid off of him slowly before he sat and stood between his legs for a moment, her shaky hands on his shoulders keeping her steady. He kissed her abdomen as he reached a hand down in to his pants to pull out his impossibly thick, hard aching cock, coating the tip with her wetness from his fingers. With the base of it in his hand, he looked up at her and she knew what to do.

Looking down at him, she took a hand and ran it down the side of his sweaty face, tracing part of her mark on him, his scar, stopping to hold his chin. He looked so desperate, breathing erratically, at his most vulnerable before her, as if he was looking up at the most beautiful thing he had ever seen...and for him this was true. 

Holding on to him, standing with her legs now straddling his, she simultaneously went down in a sitting position facing him as she slowly began to lower herself on his cock. Holding his face, she leaned in to kiss his lips. As she felt the soft head touch her, it made her gasp. His fingers where thick, but surely nothing even close to this. With just that first touch, as she sank on him and it begin to stretch her, she was again spun into a whirlwind of some absolute ecstasy that had known no limits.

She had felt her own orgasm before with him. They had done this before, in a dream, or had it been real, was this real, or is this a dream, too? She really had no idea and really didn’t care. She could just get lost to this addictive feeling he gave her and forget everything else forever.

His hands stroked her back as he kissed her, his lips ran down her neck, he licked and kissed at her breasts, pulling a nipple in his mouth when he could, flicking them with his tongue, it made her moan and gasp as she moved on him, dropping more of herself on him, in her deeper.

Her pants and soft cries where something that he decided that he loved to hear, her sweet agony. She put her lips back hard on his, gasping for air between, undulating slow and deep on him, the pleasure was almost too much. He was sizeable and stretched her some at the same time, making her feel so full, but the feeling was unbelievable, not only could she feel her own ecstasy, she could catch how she was making him feel through the bond.

He held her tight to him, as if he may never let go as they fell in to a rhythm. He felt her thrill through the bond of how his thickness made her feel as it deliciously spread her, she felt so tight on him, so soft. Her senses where heightened as he responded to her with some kind of deep erotic prowess, he always knew what she needed and how much. His large warm hands on her backside, his body completely captivated, the intensity she saw in his eyes as he watched her was a keen to something she had seen him look when they had battled.

They breathed in unison, touching lips when they could as she rode him. He could sense her heartbeat, her tiny cries with her every repeated impalement on him, her hands in his hair now hanging on desperately, her breath in his face, her backside against his pants as her breasts slid up and down against his sweaty chest.

While they were one, both physically and mentally, he could sense that she believed in his potential to make decisions for himself apart from whatever side they pledge loyalty to. She is the first person to truly see him in all his agonizing complexity and not run from him, the first to truly view his path to have an enduring variety of futures, a future that included her. She trusted him. In turn he knew that she would be with him and understand his place in the galaxy and join him, it was only a matter of time. He would not let any one stand in their way...that included his master.

She was not afraid as he grabbed her face to thrust his tongue deep in her mouth in an attempt to devour her with a growl in his throat, his hands moving down to her middle becoming unforgivably tight around her hip bones as he started to move her up and down himself on his shaft, pressing her hard and fully on his length and tight against him. He spread his legs which held her open more to him as well. Her cries coming from her was like music to him, her hands hanging on around his neck as he was making her tight walls take in his every long, thick inch, it made her finally throw her head back, the deep noises started coming from her throat.

He could anticipate her rocking movements on him, could sense when she felt her greatest pleasure where he touched her and when. She arched her back as he held her and they moved together. Her moans and pants as he helped indulge her was driving him to new limits, watching the way she was able to take him inside her, his large entirety into her small soft body, how she wanted him.

“Oh, oh, my…gods,” she chanted desperately as he moved with her. His own grunts came out in his effort between his gritted teeth. He could feel her begin to become slack, to fall into being almost paralyzed in this pleasure.

“I've wanted you since the first time I saw you in the forest," he panted out in a whisper. "You feel so good, sweetheart,” he purred, his words and hot breath in her ear so mesmerizing, “Look at me.”

His voice and what he said alone brought her so close to her release.

She sat wrapped around him, he deep inside her, Kylo Ren, her enemy out in the galaxy, her enemy who she fought and defeated not so long ago, the scar on his face a forever testament of his defeat, he was doing this to her now, making her body feel like this. Rendering her near helpless. Kylo Ren, holding back his own release, making sure that he had pleased her first. It is something he could hold over her. She listened to him now, instructing her to look at him while she comes again. Had she somehow become a traitor to something? In this very moment, she didn’t much care about any of it.

She met his eyes panting heavily, her sweat making her slippery in his hands, as she ground against him back and forth, they moved together in tandem more and more urgently. The look in his eyes was once again desperate, the deep noises came out of his throat now too, as she moved on him uncontrollably, yet fought to keep his eye contact.

Watching her beautiful face go through an orgasm that he gave her was the most precious thing to him, he couldn’t offer her a lot, not now, but this he could give to her… and whenever she needed it. Her mouth opened wide as she couldn’t help but throw her head back, holding on to him tightly, as her orgasm came on so strong. Her helpless cries of sweet ecstasy echoing around him made his own release heightened as she rocked deep on him, her walls squeezing every little bit out of him as he crushed her to him. His grunts came out between his gritted teeth, and his hair was a damp mess stuck to his face as his body quaked. They were both panting frenziedly for breath as their pleasure sent repeated waves over and over them, as they clung tightly to each other riding them out. His own deep sounds halfway between a growl and a scream.

Exhausted, his shaky hands where back holding her, as she fell forward on him, her head on his broad shoulder.

As he held her tightly to him, he felt that former unfamiliar feeling within him swell, he didn’t quite understand, it was a bit alarming. After years of closing himself off from such humanness...he didn't care what anyone else thought he just craved her understanding and having that someone...surely it was a feeling that could crack the stone of any hardened monolith, a feeling that both confused and frightened him. It felt like some kind of lines were brgining to blur. 

For right now, he didn't want to think, he just wanted to remain here with her under her spell for as long as he could, holding her, pleasing her, feeling her warm, soft skin against him.

 

Outside unnoticed, very small buds had begun to sprout out of the branches of the dead looking tree. Very tiny, though they were, these green buds now happened to be very much alive.

 

 

Chapter Text

 

16.

 

 

Memento [muh-men-toh] anything serving as a reminder or warning

 

 

That elegant flowing dress, her laughter, as she ran across a field of open green grass beneath a brilliant blue sky, her brave Jedi behind her, the glorious tree once again shinning a brilliant emerald. He caught her, his strong arms going around her middle, lifting her off of her feet. After swinging her around he puts her back on the ground, his lips are instantly grazing her neck and her ear as her head falls back against him, his hands coming around the front of her to grasp the top of her low-cut neck line, his fists full of the material…

They are so happy, she wants to just hold on to that memory...

At a different time, a wildly different place, in a dark room, a small hut or house of some sort, she is running again but this time out the back door, and she was scared. Her feet were so small and she was close to the ground, she was so much smaller. She could sense that the tall phantoms dressed in black and in ominous masks of her nightmares where close behind. She had to get away from them. Why do they want her? The tears streaked down her small chubby face as she ran. She didn’t know how she had done it, but she had been angry and the side table…it had lifted and had nearly smashed one of the bad persons’ masks.

She was on her own, as she had been for a while. At times she felt as though she was different, the height of her knowledge and power, “at such a young age” they had said, at times she would scare them. Now they were of no help.

Someplace else, she could see him through the trees, a tall pale boy, but as his menacingly dark eyes found hers, she could only stare. Something about him, his black wavy hair, the mesmerizing way it moved in the breeze…something unseen pulled at her tiny form, their eyes were locked across the garden. Did he feel it, too? She had seen what he had done to that huge tree branch moments ago; how it just floated in the air, she had felt his rage, but it didn’t scare her. Somehow she understood. Besides, when he looked at her that rage seemed to somehow begin to subside, the waves coming from him had calmed and in return he had made her feel strangely safe. He was somehow like her.

She was on a speeder moving far too fast as she clung to the boy who was driving and for some reason she loved it, she loved the feel of doing something that she shouldn’t and just being reckless. The wind was ripping through her hair as she watched the landscape whiz by from behind her goggles. She couldn’t stop her giggling as her small arms wrapped tightly around the boy’s thin middle. She hadn’t had a lot to laugh about those past few days and now she was having a blast. He didn't say much, but he didn't have to. For some reason, it was as if, as if they already knew each other somehow, or at least, some part of each other. He had wanted to sneak away from the boring adults, too. She could hear his deep laughter, could feel it rumble through her as she clung to him. He seemed to love this as much as she.

She stumbled, fell in the rain, looking up she was older now, the knights were standing all around her, one was approaching to kill her as she scrambled on the ground but to her surprise, the other phantom, the one holding the unstable cross-guard saber, had stuck that laser sword through the other knight’s back to actually stop him from killing her, as he had so many other times before in this dream. Why had something about him felt so familiar for so long.

Ben! Take off that mask, you don't need it.

Han Solo's voice...

Rey shook half ways dazed out of her dreams. She really wasn’t too conscience of her surroundings, what she was laying on…wasn’t familiar with the air around her and for a moment she felt a flash of panic shoot through her.

They were going to take her away from him again!

What, why would she think that? Take him away, again?

But she became more aware, could feel his warmth on her back, a strong arm around her, his nose near her neck, the rise and fall of his chest as he breathed, his familiar smell. She felt safer suddenly, with him there, as she let herself fall back into a fitful sleep.

In this lethargic dream realm she couldn’t capture a coherent thought, or remember much, it was just more like something distant, fragments, a past life, this one…still...her eyes remaining closed, a small smile began to curve on her lips. She didn’t understand her hazy, sleepy thoughts, but for some reason she knew that something had been realized.

She couldn't remember how or why but felt some relief wash over her, they had found each other again…

 

 

I'm tying to imagine what it's like to attempt to even raise children, I mean, how much of their character can a family mold, and how much is innate in the children themselves? Can the evil in a family's history really be erased, or will it pass on to each new generation, showing up somewhere else along the line?"

Leia began to have this worry as soon as she had learned she was pregnant. Han had comforted her, told her that no, none of that had to influence their son, that they would agree to do what they could to let him become his own person.

"Hey, you and Luke were the children of...well, neither one of you have ever turned to the darkside."

However, Han had his own set of reservations regarding parenthood.

When it came to try to somehow settle down some, well, at least not flying off with Lando or Chewie every time he could, he had always felt as if he wasn’t even cut out to be a father, that he was some "reckless man-child who happened to have a kid.” 

Their son was a very sensitive child, perhaps something Han's more tough, worn disposition didn't really understand how to entirely relate to. But underneath, his heart was always in the right place and he cared so much…he knew that when he had left for any amount of time, little Ben had always missed his daddy.

As Ben grew he had started showing signs of rebellion, and it wasn't just of the typical sub-adult variety. He seemed to be a churning storm in the Force, his anger had begun to manifest in malfunctions and breakdowns. Objects would at times fall off shelves and shatter with no one near. He would have confrontations with other younglings, he had a bad temper that seemed to just get harder for him to control. His own frustrations could be felt at his failure to completely control his own power, yet he would insist on the opposite. So many reasons why she went to Luke for help.

She had lost him because of her fear of the darkside that was evident within him. Her fear that what ever had possessed Anakin would come out in her own child. 

Now, no one else could get through to Ben. She couldn’t, Luke had failed and Han…she knew that he had tried.

Han had told her once that he had no idea how a child could have such "ancient eyes", as if Ben had been waiting around for a millennium to show up at just this moment in history. Something about their son, and now Rey, Luke had mentioned at one point after first meeting her that there was something about her, a quiet knowledge, as if something inside was wise beyond her power, perhaps her power source itself, but something that had reminded him of Ben, something familiar, something ancient. It was why he had been afraid to train her in the first place.

Now Rey had a connection somehow to her son, some sort of common thread; she could feel it through the Force...strange thing was, it didn't feel like it was something new to her. It felt more as if, they had always had a connection of some sort, and for many years...for even longer then either had been alive.

Rey believed that she could actually help him. She seemed to be somehow close, perhaps, had some feelings for her son. Maybe she was someone that could in some way understand him. Leia could sense this. Luke wouldn't understand the depth, only a woman can sense these things.

Even the stars need darkness for their light to be seen.

She had tried to learn some of Anakin’s motives…he wasn’t always a machine, he had been the Chosen One and he did bring balance eventually, just not in the way people had hoped. His original motivations…what drives one to madness? It isn’t always just evil or the darkside itself, sometimes it is love. Although she never got to meet him as her real father, only as his evil facade, she liked to think that perhaps what drove him was love, trying to save what he loved...perhaps Padme...

Maz had told her that she had lived long enough to see the same eyes in different people...

…how much is innate in the children themselves.

"Han had been a man who was not concerned in politics and very suspicious of causes. He would do the right thing, but only after exhausting every alternative.”

Remembering her words from his memorial, she shook her head with a smile.

As her service droid served her tea, a beeping noise interrupted her thoughts, an incoming holo from Crait. Leaning over, she sat down the photo of her younger self and a dark-haired, wide-eyed, laughing toddler, to touch the incoming message to open.

Poe was currently taking care of their strategies and research. She had decided to watch the briefing holo from the comfort of her rooms aboard the Raddus...of course there were other reasons for this as well...

In his ear, Poe could hear the General as she logged in.

"Whenever your ready, Poe." 

 

He raised his hand to begin as Leia and leaders from the other Resistance flag ships appeared on the council stage.

“Alright, Lets get started, this won't take long, then you can get back to your duties. We just wanted to update everyone with the intel we have on that ridiculously huge ship over by the Unknown Regions." All the bustling and noise quieted down as he continued, "Finn here was able to share all he knows regarding this Mega-class Star Dreadnought,” He said gesturing to where Finn sat in the briefing, “and thanks to the work of special opps and Snap’s reconnaissance, we have this schematic."

Poe pressed a few buttons as a massive image of a ship, or a flying city, came to life above the command council. Gasps could be heard around the room as those gathered had never seen anything of this size before.

"What is it with them, always with the big ships?" Leia was saying shaking her head, talking in Poe's ear, "sure makes you wonder what in hell they are trying to compensate for."

He rose a hand to his mouth a moment to hide his chuckle.

Clearing his throat a bit, he continued. “We were able to pull from the info file to get this projection of this behemoth,” he said, “I am told it is large enough to dock eight Resurgent-class Star Destroyers, six externally and two internally," He began to tick off with his fingers, “It crews over 2,225,000 personnel officers, Stormtroopers, gunners, vehicle engineers, factory workers, technical specialists, and communications staff.” 

Some noises of disbelief where heard. 

“It appears to be The First Order's headquarters, Supreme Leader Snoke's flag ship and not only is it able to carry staff and whatever, but it is also capable of fixing, harboring, and building various ships in the First Order Navy in its on-board hangar bays, two of which are large enough to even house and repair Destroyers.”

Finn added, “It also houses production lines, shipyards, army training grounds and even a R&D lab.”

Poe looked at Leia’s holo. She said it all to him without saying a word, the odds where not in their favor, however at their fleet size they still had a lot more maneuverability then something of that enormity. They needed to break some coding and figure out why this ship was now coming out of the Unknown Regions.

Leia didn't have a good feeling about any of this. They had insisted she stay on the Raddus, as surely this would be safer for her then being on Crait, at least for now. There was a bounty out on her head, not that this was anything new, she had been living with that for years now, however, her security detail wasn't feeling real good about the current location of the First Order.

“Can we attack it?” One of the Admirals on the Vigil’s hologram asked, “I mean, take out that ship, we take out the governing body of the First Order.”

“If it was only that simple, a ship that large would take everyone in all the fleets and that might not even be enough fire power,” Poe pointed out.

Snap added, “And if they retaliate, they are so much larger than us and they have all that fire power, it’s just way too risky.”

“With the new baffler tech," Lieutenant Kaydel added, "we can continue to keep off of their radars, at least for now, it should be long enough to get the rest of our crews completely off D’Quar and out to their new assignments & stations.”

Paige put an arm around her sister, pulling Rose into a sideways hug as they smiled. The baffler was an energy signal masking device that Rose had originally developed and had been used for several successful supply runs. She had been moved from her sister's Cobalt Squadron, posted on the flagship Raddus under Vice Admiral Holdo, as she had done here on the new base, with fighter maintenance. It had given her some time and the resources to perfect the baffler between repairing fight damaged X-Wings. 

"We have a small team put together to work with lieutenant Kaydel at cracking some of the coding in the transmissions." The slicer they had used before wasn't answering communications. Either they couldn't, was captured...or maybe worse, killed.

"We know the First Order has power over many systems and more now ran to them for protection after Starkiller, but undoubtedly something else is going on, they want the whole galaxy and we cannot let that happen. We have to be able to track their movements, hopefully get one up on them. Snap and his team will keep up with the reconnaissance while we get Red, Blue and Black squadrons ready to move.”

 

“Rose,” Paige said shortly after the room began to empty out, “I’m shipping out soon with the squad.” She looked hopeful at her little sister. They had been apart only a handful of times in their lives, and it had been happening more and more, but being separated was never easy.

“I know,” Rose joked, "you going to be okay without me? What happens if you forget how the guns work...I won't be there to show you."

Paige laughed, “you know, if your bafflers continue to keep us safe, we have a huge advantage over the First Order,” she reminded her, “so finishing up this job shouldn’t be too difficult.”

“Yeah I know…it just, I would rather still be with you and the squad.”

“It won’t be long.” Paige reassured her, “and besides, who else is going to explain the baffler tech for adaptation or repair the fighters?”

“True.” Rose shook her head with a smile.

"And I have a feeling you are in some pretty good company,” Paige’s chin shot up in the direction of where Poe, Finn and Jess were discussing further last minute strats with General Organa at the holo table.

Rose shook her head, “Some of the best. We need to get back at the First Order for our family, for Otomok..." 

"Rose," Paige stopped her, "believe me, I am out there, I have to fight. I've had to kill for this cause, we are at war. But you, you have to just remember to not let your animosity command your emotions. It's not healthy. I know it is hard and of course who wouldn't want revenge for what they have done, but the more important thing, Rose," she smiled, "is to figure out what you want to live for and fight for that." 

The First Order had forced her people to mine their planet's resources to feed their war machine, then shelled them to test the results. Having lost everything they had, Rose and Paige had joined the Resistance. She shook her head, she knew Paige was right, but at times it was difficult for her to keep her temper in check...and that just lead to frustration.

"Think about those plans we were making, the things we are going to do when this is all over," Paige reminded her.

"The planets we can visit," Rose answered enthusiastically, "the home we can make on a nice warm sunny world...the animals we can can raise!" They laughed together.

"Oh, I haven't forgotten," Rose assured her.

"We sure have a lot to look forward to, now don't we?" Paige agreed. "And I like Finn, he seems really nice and willing to help, a good addition. You are surrounded by the best people. Before you know it, I will be back and this will be all over." 

Rose knew her sister was right, she usually was, yet...something just felt a little off to her. It was probably her fear of the unknown. But like her sister, she would never give up fighting.

For now she was ready to get her small team together to learn the baffler tech and find a slicer.

Paige looked up and saw her squad leader give the signal.

"Ok, I got to go," she said pulling Rose into a tight hug, "I will be back soon." 

 

 

"Again!” he said, his hands gesturing towards himself.

Rey got to her feet after having been knocked down by him unexpectedly when they were sparring. She had been having trouble concentrating all morning, having had awoken from voices, dreams that she couldn't quite remember, his warmth...there was so much going through her head. 

“Unarmed?” She gestured at him, picking up her staff.

“You think not?” He said with that sometimes-scary old wizard-like wit.

Shaking her head, she should of known better then to assume that he was somehow unaware of his sudden lack of weaponry.

Sizing him up, she moved toward him in fluent yet assertive movements, using her staff, blocking against the thick waves that seemed to just permeate from out and around him, his power in the physical Force as he pulled it from the rocks, the sea, the air. She knew how to do this, but with her channeling and concentration being off...she simply found herself stepping back and reeling, losing her concentration, finding her feet easily knocked out from under her again.

As she sat there on the stone, surprised as the world spun around her, some images came back to her: running from phantoms in similar masks, strong power, her own fear and anger.

She had seen them many times but this time, she had been a child.

A voice, "Rey." Luke was there, holding a hand out to her. How long had he been standing there?  Everything immediately began to once again settle. Looking up at him, she took his offered hand.

“Did you feel that in your head?” Luke questioned, pulling her up, “That is how you defend yourself against an enemy when you are unarmed…of course it is not so challenging when your opponent is so distracted.”

She gave him an apologetic look.

“This is very important to know, Rey, you have to be able to defend yourself without reliance on a lightsaber or other weapons.”

She fought the urge to roll her eyes at him.

It’s not like she didn’t already know the different ways in which she could apply her power. She had already learned so much naturally just from being in Ben's head.

“So, what’s going on?” He asked her.

Fine, it’s as good a time as any. She took a deep breath.

“I saw a vision, dreams of like, knights...in masks. Do you know who they could be?” She questioned, casually wiping the debris from her clothes. She had a sneaking suspicion that they were the Knights of Ren...she typically saw them...then shortly after, Kylo is there. 

Luke looked at her in some indistinct way but she really didn't feel much from him.

“I have had visions of them ever since I touched that saber at Maz’s castle,” she further explained, “I thought perhaps it was something of the future, something to do with Ben, he is there sometimes in the visions but, but this one, in this one I had been just a child.” She sighed, narrowing her eyes in the bright sun a moment as she looked out across the water.

“Just last night…,” she shivered, as a quick flash of being wrapped around his warm, muscular body as they made love passed through her.

Luke leaned against the rock, his weight mostly on his staff.

“It was voices, they were talking about me, I think." She had made herself continue. 

His face remained blank.

His words went through her head, “You and I are not so different. Didn’t Skywalker tell you?” 

A hand up to his beard, Luke answered, “The knights…could be...the Knights of Ren, they have been around for more than 30 years, however I haven’t heard anything about them in quite some time. They were collectors of Sith artifacts.” He continued thoughtfully, looking out at the sea, “perhaps the dreams are just residual from the saber when you had touched it.”

She knew the Knights were currently in Kylo's charge and yet he had killed one of them for her, to save her life, in every vision she had of it, he saved her. As far as she knew she hadn’t been exposed to the saber as a child, yet she was a child in her last dream...and what of the voices…wasn't there a boy she could see through the trees? Ben. That had seemed like so much more than a dream. 

“He’s lying to you, Rey, he’s afraid of you. I am the only one that can teach you about your power, our power.”

She looked out at the sea, as Luke was...Ben’s past words to her in her mind. She had to be careful with what she said as to not let him on to their connection.

But there was more, the speeder, the garden, Ben as a boy...

"Somehow it makes me wonder if my parents had, for some reason... ” her voice trailed off...

“Look, Rey, you are truly powerful and have a lot of potential.” He turned a bit to meet her eyes, “No one really can understand all that the Force even is and how it all exists, how it speaks and at times, only in metaphors,” he paused a moment deciding on his words, “whatever dreams you have had or visions…some are about you perhaps, but not all. Sometimes we pick up on the past with certain artifacts or items…sometimes they are nothing more than the confused memories of a kyber crystal…or they truly are simply…just dreams…the mind trying to process different information.”

A couple porg where chirping, looking back at them from their roost on top of the cliff side.

“Your parents, Rey, I can only hope you find the answers you are looking for, but you probably should just move forward.” He sighed, thinking of his own childhood, his own family. “I never truly knew my real parents either…sometimes it is better, just not to know.”

Perhaps if he hadn’t found out about his own family…who knows where he might have been today. Perhaps married with his own, maybe…but now that wasn’t his path and it wasn’t worth a second thought.

“I am not sure how anything is going to work out as we finish here Rey, but I think we need to start getting ready to return.”

She shook her head looking down at her feet, arms crossed, kicking at a few small stones. So many people advising her to just move on. She certainly wasn’t defined by her past, but it seemed that something about it wouldn’t let her move on, even if she wanted to.

Her mind wandered to how he had made her feel, how he had slept with his strong arms around her, pulling her tight to him, the feeling of having someone there…

Luke stopped as something...some wave just hit him…from her. His eyes went a bit wide.

Were they connected somehow; she and Ben? Surely he would have felt...

"Absolutely nothing, young Skywalker, that would be, hmmm?"  Yoda's voice chastised in his head, reminding him of his exile from the Force. 

Luke looked up irritated at seemingly nothing, or so it appeared.

“Rey, are you somehow connected...with him?”

She looked at him in slight shock, kriff...

“Not really,” she quickly stammered, “just a few, like...he's in just a few visions really.” She shook her head slightly shooing it all off with a wave of her hand, “I told you I wanted to help him, that I could still sense the good in him…first touching that saber opened up so many things.”

“Rey it could all go very differently than what you think, you have to move with caution and never let your guard down. He cannot be trusted.”

“I could have easily ended his life on Starkiller, you know," she said, some annoyance evident in her voice, "but I knew somehow that the Force wasn’t finished with him yet, it wasn’t my place to decide on that and likewise, he could have killed me," she shook her head, "he never wanted to hurt me, he told me so and more than once.”

He huffed, “Rey, don’t let yourself get pulled to the darkside for a pair of pretty eyes! It can get in anywhere, even when you least expect it! How do you know this isn’t all just his plan?”

She met his eyes with her arms crossed.

"I am not some youngling..." she began 

"He killed his own Father!" The words came out of his mouth so quickly.

She narrowed her eyes, “Don't you think I know that! I know what he has done, and you knew what your father had done, that hadn't stopped you!" She said shaking her head.

Luke uncrossed his arms, his mouth started to open to say...what? What could he say, he deserved that.

She sighed attempting to relax some, glancing back out at the water.

"If there is any bit of a chance, we cannot turn our back on him," she shook her head calming down, "have a little trust in me, Luke.”

He sighed, “Rey, I...I do…” he said apologetically, “I just want you to be aware of how the darkside works, you can’t let yourself get caught up in emotions…” he waved a hand looking for a word, “feelings, your heart, it can betray you,” he pointed at his head, “your head is where decisions need to be made, do you understand?”

She shook her head, “I know.”  He really was afraid and fear didn't lead to anything good.

He didn’t know Ben the way she did, to know what he truly feels, to know how it was to be him.

He would drop it for now. She had said a few times her interest in somehow helping Ben, that she could still sense the good in him, he, and mostly Leia, had agreed to this. He just really wanted her to be careful, she was just a youngling when it came to the Force, whether she thought so or not…she had plenty more to learn. But they would soon be on the Resistance base where she would be around more people and not as easily accessible to outside influences.

“Alright," He shook his head in acknowledgement, "We need to get ready to leave here and soon.” He turned to leave to head back to the huts, then stopped.

“Do some exercise on pulling things with just your mind, just relax and let everything go, let the Force guide your intent. Feel it flow through you and you will know what to do, how to react.”

He continued on as she nodded in agreement.

She did consider Luke's warning, but at the same time, he continued to keep things from her and he didn’t understand Ben. She was the only person who did, they had a bond and she trusted him more then any other person because he had always been truthful with her. He would never turn on her. Likewise, with the few glimpses into his head, she knew that he was the only person who could possibly understand her as well.

How could anyone else? Only they shared this power. 

She wanted to know how to utilize her abilities and Luke wasn’t so forth coming about specifics because he didn't have the same power they shared. She had so many questions that she knew only Ben would understand; only he could answer. But he was still an enemy to the Resistance, she couldn’t let on to anyone the scale at which she could communicate with him. 

“Let the past die, kill it, if you have to. That’s the only way to become what you are truly meant to be."

A cold sinking feeling went through her just for a moment as she looked out at the sea. She was positive that he had some other motives when he had first offered her, in the forest, the chance to join him and let him teach her the ways of the Force. She said she would accept him regardless, but surely he understood her true intentions as she let him make love to her.

Surely he must know that she would never stop trying to defeat him to win back Ben Solo.

What if she had made a fatal mistake? She really had no idea just how much sway his master still had over him. Could he ever turn on her in her refusal to join him on the darkside? She really didn't believe that...

Their attraction, it still scared her. Was she almost a slave now to that visceral deep need of him and the way he made her feel, the way her body yearned for him to be inside of her? Just the thoughts fresh in her mind of their time together was beginning to make her tingle and warm. Closing her eyes, feeling the slight breeze on her face, all she could see was his own heated eyes, the way he always looked at her with that deep, sultry intensity.

She would have to be stronger than this.

She had to remember that the Force had connected them for a reason, this she was sure of, and their destinies were intertwined, it could only mean that she would prevail.

That is what the tree had been trying to show her. The couple she heard within hadn’t worked out, but yet the way the Force of the tree had transported him to her, it had felt very different, like hope, a chance. It felt right, as if they could forget about everything else and just be together, if only for a little while. Was it alright to trust that somehow love would win out, would it be a feeling…somehow…stronger than any Force?

 

 

Palpatine had known of him, knew that the galaxy’s knowledge of the Force had come from the half-legendary star systems of the Unknown Regions. Here is where the thread of Cosmic Force had originated that had eventually created Anakin Skywalker, the Chosen One, to be born and set balance to the Living Force, and the darkside. But by that same time, the Jedi no longer practiced in the Cosmic Force, they simply clung to a religion that was founded on it, focusing only on the Living Force.

The fool Jedi had practically delivered Anakin to Palpatine.

Palpatine had drove Skywalker in the Living Force, where he could be a slave to his own impulses and controlled, by using the young man's weakness for love, his feelings for a girl.

Like Grandfather like Grandson.

However, the Cosmic Force still had its way. His own young apprentice could attempt to hide his feelings for Rey all he wanted, but his weakness was still so obvious.

Years before Luke had been wise enough to not rebuild the Jedi Order, choosing instead to seek out the origins of the faith, the larger truths and lies behind it, the prophecies and foresight that they no longer had. The Jedi had strayed, being obsessed only with the Living Force and avoiding the darkside.

However, Snoke had needed Skywalker at that time to gather some of the future Jedi, as the one who controls Skywalker controls the galaxy, and surely then she would be found in his midst.

So, he confused Luke’s path, ensnared his family, by harnessing Ben Solo’s powers to ensure both the destruction of Skywalker and his own triumph. He had been able to exploit the boy’s feelings of inadequacy and abandonment, and his mother’s guilt to contain the darkness within her child.

Leia had gone to her brother for help with her son.

Finally, Luke had started a small academy and Ben was sent to train with him. Ben Solo, performing the role Snoke had envisioned for his apprentice, destroyed what Skywalker had built, sending him off into exile.

The fool Jedi still falling for the bait.

Solo went on to master the Living Force. Like Anakin, he ran on his own emotions and whims as he looked for his legacy in the world of the Living, something he could control.

With no interference, Snoke had been able to come back into power, take over the First Order from it’s would be successors, Admiral Rae Sloane and Brendol Hux, and in doing so obtain Ben Solo and his power. He had known that something within his apprentice had lived before, much as the strand that had begun the line of Skywalker. It would lead him to that other half, he was certain of it.

The Living Force was the energy from all things that have ever lived. It fed into the Cosmic Force, binding everything and communicating through Force sensitives. It was the imbalance that Snoke had created with Ben Solo that caused the turbulence within the Cosmic Force that had coincided with the awakening of latent Force abilities in the girl. 

But perhaps she would be the one that could embrace her destiny, eliminate that flaw that ran through Kylo Ren and his family, that sentiment, perhaps the midi-chlorians within her would be better suited, stronger, a force within her he could manipulate while having them back together again as they once were so long ago. 

As he sat upon his throne, watching the galaxy before him, he tapped a boney finger in thought. He may need a distraction, a bigger wedge between the girl and Skywalker. A wedge big enough for her to realize where she really belonged. 

Kylo Ren would surely fulfill that need, after a little strengthening of will, that is, to pull back some on his feelings of weakness.

It was time for his apprentice to embrace who he had freely chosen to become. 

 

 

“The girl, where is she?” Luke asked.

“She is here, with me, finally safe…for now,” Jade said removing her gloves and taking the offered seat. “The parents, well,” she laughed humorlessly, “they don't understand and are of no help. Just trust me when I say that they can in no way keep her safe.”

“The Knights came for her, you said,” Luke stated.

“Yes. They have been tracking Force sensitives, this girl in particular is highly pursued, but… I thought that the Knights were artifact hunters?” 

With talk of the Knights, for just a moment, Lor San Tekka’s thoughts were drawn to the Kazerath device. He had infiltrated the Great Vaults of Cato Neimoidia just to lay his eyes upon it. He had dedicated his life to gathering knowledge about the Force, both light and dark and for some reason he felt that this device could possibly be a clue, something leading to an ending to this battle that had been raging on over the millennia. 

“They are, Jade.” Lor answered her, “but the Knights of Ren will do any bidding of a powerful master within their quests.”

She sighed, “There are fears of a dark power rising.”

Luke nodded. “The dark power behind what they are calling the First Order,” he confirmed.

“Have you felt it…here?” she asked.

“No, not here," Luke said, "we seem to be pretty safe at the Academy…but I have felt something...out in the galaxy...something gathering."

Leia had gone and warned the New Republic dozens of times, but for some reason they remained in their passivity and had refused to listen. After the Battle of Endor and Jakku, she had warned them that the Empire, or whatever grew from its ashes, would never stay true to any signed treaties.

“She will be safe here,” Luke said.

“For no more than a few days…Luke,” she said with concern, “you and Lor have worked so hard to get this academy together, to find Force-sensitives and to keep it all secret. You can’t have anything or anybody here that could possibly draw whatever dark force this is to this place.”

Luke shook his head slowly in agreement. Yes, of course Jade was right, he knew the risk was just too high. The girl would have to be well hidden and protected.

Lor stroked his beard in thought. He knew the Knights would surely want such a device...it had been crafted using both the dark and light sides of the Force and it seemed it's exsistance may show a chapter in the grand history of all of this when light and dark were not in opposition, but actually united, balanced. At any rate, it was clearly designed to be operated by both at once, some balanced joining. If the darkside got it, surely they would keep it away or destroy it to ensure they remained in power. But who could open it?

Surely this is what the Knights were seeking...this...and for some reason, the girl.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

17.

 

 

Junction [juhngk-shuh n]  a place or point where two or more things are joined

 

 

The full moon shone down brightly, bathing the island in a surreal, silvery glow. As she walked across the meadow, to the place called the Saddle, Rey thought about the first time she had met Luke here, when he had tossed aside and refused his own lightsaber that she had offered him.

This may be the last time she would ever see this island. The last time she would admire the mastery of the ancient huts in the small Jedi village, or the temple as it sat majestically atop the stone stairs, and the meditation plinth that she had somehow cracked in her own meditation. Her damage would remain here for eternity.

She surely didn't understand all there was to know about the Force, but who really did?  It was just ironic that she had learned so much more from Ben then she had the very person she was supposed to be learning from. She had no idea and would have never thought that her “enemy” would be so nurturing, caring…so honest...so in need of love, her love.

Looking off to the side of the island, her eye caught the silhouette of the Uneti tree. As she sat down on a stump to look at the tree below, she began to instantly warm at the memories of sharing in something so personal, so intimate with someone she had least expected.

The tree must be some sort of portal, the voices within, Padme and the young man, (that somehow reminded her of Ben) they had somehow made her aware…she and Ben would never be just one thing, they were each other’s equal, both parts light and dark. Meant to be together. This was the way of the Force, somehow connecting them since childhood, her dreams of him. It was destiny.

Had Ben dreamt of her, too? 

He had taught her quite many a thing, including awakening a fierce physical passion within her...within himself as well, she could feel this. 

She smiled to herself, they had also discovered somehow by accident in their sleep, just how to express their feelings, now hadn't they?

He had dared her to face her fears, to not deny her feelings and desires, it was what made one human…regardless that the traditional Jedi teachings sometimes taught the exact opposite. Who could deny the very feelings inside that made us who we are? With this, she was able to turn her fear into strength and to discover that there was nothing wrong with sometimes feeling that anger within her, it didn’t have to make her dark or light, it just made her who she was. She could feel her darkness, she knew what it was now, that it was just a part of her, a part she could control.

It was unfortunate Luke hadn't realized this truth so much sooner, had he just let his nephew be who he was...

But perhaps part of Ben already was.

Breathing in the fresh salty air, she felt at peace, at least more relaxed then she had earlier at dinner with Luke. He’d been a little odd, well more so than usual for him, ever since he had found out that she had somehow communicated with Ben. Either he wasn’t aware, or just chose to ignore, what their connection was, what it could mean.

What the implications of such a rare connection could be.

For obvious reasons aside, why did it matter so much? Didn't he want to help his nephew, to right his wrong? Was there something he didn't want her to know, something Ben might tell her?

She shook her head at herself. Now she was just being suspicious. 

"Didn't Skywalker tell you? You and I are not so different.... Oh, but why would he tell you...its only your destiny." 

Certainly things are not always as they seem or as she had been lead to believe.

She remembered the chilling tales shared at the Niima Outpost of the loathsome Darth Vader and his destruction and fear that he had for years wrought across the galaxy. Tales of nightmares.

And yet this was the man that Luke had believed was redeemable!! Why was his own nephew any different?

Many never believed in Vader or the Emperor's very death, but she never got too involved with any of it, nor felt as if she was a part of that world. It was just out there in the galaxy. The closest she ever got, besides the tales that actually made it out in the Western Reaches, was the occasional Stormtrooper, or that strange cult that was protecting some land in the Plaintive Hand. She wasn't even aware fully until recently the details of the Battle of Jakku, how because of it she was able to capitalize on scavenging the endless wreckage it had left on the planet, the very way she had made a living.

Past death and destruction that had allowed her to survive. 

Not all residents of her area of Jakku were scavengers or travelers just passing through or people involved in some crime organization, however. There was also a group of isolated villagers in Tuanul that were worshipers of the Church of the Force, (the first time she had learned of the Force) crazy underground Jedi worshipers that had been hiding there since the days of the Galactic Empire. One of them was a kindly old man...he would share tales with her and the other orphans about the adventures of the mythological Jedi. 

That village, the one that was met some months ago with a razing by the First Order, by Kylo Ren's command. 

But that was then, so very much had changed since. 

Stories ran rampant at the Outpost, tales of ancient wizards who wielded magic to fight the villains who where able to turn living worlds into dry husks. Some really believed that this was what had happened to Jakku. So many tales, but she had never thought or dreamed any could actually be true, that Luke Skywalker was anything more then just a myth or that the Jedi were even real. She really wasn't too sure how she had ended up a part in all of this now.

That she would somehow have a connection with Darth Vader's grandson.

She smiled slightly as she heard the soft coo of some porg in a nearby nest. Standing up, brushing off her backside, she stretched and began to slowly head back towards her hut.

When she left here, would she still be able to communicate with Ben in the same way? As much as she wanted to leave here and go back to some semblance of a more, some-kind-of life, she was surprised to find that part of her was actually dreading it. Would she have enough privacy hiding out on some Resistance base trying to fit in again with people who wouldn’t fully understand her? Would she somehow be a traitor to their cause, unknowingly exposing them to the enemy? Certainly she couldn't tell anyone...there was only one person in which she knew she could trust who would sympathize with her unique situation, and that would be Leia. She would be the only person that she could go to with anything because no one else could know...not even Finn.

If he found out, surely even he would turn his back on her.

She gasped as out of no where, it seemed, a temple keeper was there watching her intently. The fish-like alien native looked at her as if it knew something about her, as if it didn't approve of something. Whatever. She continued on her way, she never did seem to be totally welcomed here by them, anyway. 

As she went inside her hut, she anticipated his communication and was feeling excited to talk and see him again. They had agreed to meet here, where she felt she had the most privacy. It was a clandestine meeting, no one could know as she locked the door behind her, she felt some anticipation within her build. Doffing her boots and cloak, she then prodded the small fire for a little warmth, and got comfortable on her cot.

Calling to him was, more of a reaching out, on a wave of feeling, he would sense her. She closed her eyes taking in a deep breath...at the moment he was busy, she just knew. She didn’t want to know with what.

Plans to destroy everything she held close, her friends?

No. She couldn’t think of it like that! She had to separate Ben from what he had become. But would he ever make himself a traitor in order to warn or protect her from the First Order?

Stop this! Where was this coming from?

She sighed as she let herself fall back on the pillows to wait. The Force had connected them, she had a reason and a goal. In the meantime, she had to keep her mind from so much doubt. She had to be patient and wait for him, he would come to terms with his conflict.

It was only a matter of time.

 

 

Twice a day, as a leader in the High Command of the First Order, General Hux broadcasted his recorded speeches to stormtroopers detailing their many victories over the Republic. He was a General with an impressive career, was instrumental in the very creation of the First Order, had built a machine that took out the Republic...and now...now he still had to get one more approval for a proposal that had already been cleared with the the Supreme Leader. Why this waste of time? Kylo Ren. 

Standing on the opposite side of the table, Hux pushed the datapad across the shiny black surface, as the rest of the Command exited behind him.

"Have you shared this with the Supreme Leader, General?" Kylo asked with a slight smirk.        

Hux crossed his arms. Always cocky Ren. Sitting back unprofessionally in his chair, arms crossed, his booted legs up on the table, crossed at the ankles, with the typical look of derision on his egotistical face, looking very much like the sordid smuggler ilk he had come from, never missing a beat to remind him of his status of General instead of Grand Marshal or Commander.

"Yes, of course I have." He answered slowly, keeping his irritation at bay. "I have my orders from the Supreme Leader himself," he said vehemently, "this is where we snuff out the Resistance once and for all."

"Well, then," Ren began, as the datapad flipped itself to float into his waiting hand. Hux rolled his eyes at Ren's insouciant use of his power. After selecting a few options, the tossed pad slid back across the table to Hux. There was not much even Ren could do about anything that the Supreme Leader had approved, this was all just some kind of bloated display of power and nothing more.

"By all means, please progress, General," Kylo answered, with the wave of a hand towards Hux, "but know this, I am sure it would be quite the disappointment should more funding be used to construct weapons that get taken out by a band of militia due to a break in the system."

He gritted his teeth. He couldn't help but feel his face grow warm. Ren took every chance it seemed as Snoke's pet to point out his short-comings. By First Order decree, the younger man should have no say over him what so ever, but since Snoke took it upon himself to do what he wanted, he was left with this brat.

"Phasma has personally dispatched of the culprit who had turned off the shields at Starkiller Base."

"Yes, one of our own, again." Ren seemed to stare right through him with those cold, dead eyes making him began to feel uncomfortable. Regardless, he ignored that last verbal stab and leaned over placing both hands flat on the table to meet Ren head on.

"Do not be so quick to forget that it was I who led the destruction of the Republic," he said, quickly considering his next words, "and now the Rebel base on D'Qar has since been destroyed along with most of their fleet. There is not much left of them," he sneered, "and what is left, we will be able to find and take out once and for all."

Ren felt an involuntary slight surge through the Force at the mention of the Rebel base. He just knew, could sense, that his mother was still alive.

His own mother who had been frightened of him, so got rid of him, sending him away to his uncle-whose betrayal would prove far worse. The Resistance, the last of her causes, would now fall into extinction, just like his father...and any other ties of his former self. 

"Good. Let's finish this finally, update the Supreme Leader." He announced in some form of finality. 

Yes, your majesty, the General thought, as if any of this was your doing

He stood up straight to snatch the pad from the table, turn on his heel, and leave the room.

As the door slid shut behind Hux, Kylo remained sitting back in his chair. He knew full well that Hux had given the order himself to have Phasma off his father, Brendol, so that he could have his place in the High Command...and still he knew Hux coveted his own place with the Supreme Leader. Much like his grandfather in the Galactic Empire, Kylo could command the Imperial Military in his own objectives.

This was the way of things.

Hux knew nothing of the Force, nothing of legacies, of destinies, he was inconsequential. However, one should never let their guard down and he was thinking that perhaps better supervision of the General should be advised to prevent any potential act of treason. 

"You wonder why I keep a rabid cur in such a place of power? A cur's weakness, properly manipulated, can be a sharp tool."

He remembered Snoke's words to him.

Yes, a tool, indeed.

Then he felt it...a more alluring tingle in the Force reached him, interrupting his thoughts. He turned his head as if to listen for something that no one else could hear...because no one else could. 

He suddenly sat up, his feet hitting the floor as he stood, straightening his tunic, he headed out the door in purposeful haste. 

 

 

Rey was strong and focused, yet driven by emotion and sometimes fear...fear was a big weakness in any Force wielder, but he knew in her case, her own patience was telling her that already...and patience was something she seemed to have an abundance of.

Her visions of Knights...or was it a memory...

It was her. He had thought that maybe she could be, but now he knew for sure. He was never certain where they had hidden her.

Luke remembered  how it had been difficult at first for him, to find his own way in this new world without his mentor, Ben Kenobi, but somehow he had done it. As his own skills in the Force progressed he had became more patient and seasoned, he was often seen as having wisdom beyond his years. But he still retained his idealistic viewpoint, willing to think the best of anyone, and believing that even his father, Vader, was redeemable. He was unable to ignore anyone who needed help, sometimes to the point of endangering missions for the sake of saving a life. He did remain a bit reckless, in his own way. When they had brought the girl to the academy, that little girl some 15 years ago...of course he had wanted to help.

The Academy was a school for Force-sensitives, yes, but also a safe place and a place of refuge. Children came to the academy to be trained, but the Knights of Ren themselves had been after her, they could not be allowed to find the hidden academy. It would put all the other students in danger. He never knew why they had wanted her, or who had employed them. 

When Jade had left with San Tekka, after it had been decided that the girl couldn't stay, Lor must of taken Rey with him to Jakku. Luke was never really sure, he had been busy with his sub-adult nephew, who had been in a particularly foul mood on that very same day...who would of thought...

Did Ben have some sort of contact with her even then, had he somehow sensed her presence? 

He sat down near the Uneti tree to take in the ocean air. All those artifacts Lor would speak of and go on expeditions to find (a few times even he and Ben had joined him)...the rumored conservatory...had he somehow known that it would inadvertently mask Rey's presence? Some answers Luke would not find now.

None of what he had learned in patience had kept him from becoming embittered as well as grief-ridden after his failure with Ben. That is when he had chose to exile himself to here, where he would spend the rest of his life with the intention of dying where the Jedi began. He had saved his own father, he didn't understand how he could of failed to stop his nephew's fall to the dark side.

Or how he had ended up being the possible turning point, that night, in Ben’s fall.

His arms crossed, a hand up to absent mindedly stroke his beard in thought, he wondered if he would ever return here someday. Yes, yes he would. The sacred texts were here and this was his "home" he supposed.

The arrangements were being made to leave here and he would safely get Rey to the Resistance, where she should be. It would be the best place for her now as she still had some more training to complete before having to go up against whatever the future held. 

The Knights after Rey at one time, something was still bothering him about it. Was it something to do with her parents, her unique power that someone wanted to harness or something else...

And if she was like Ben, another half in the Force to counter his fall, their power seemed so similar, then you would think that the Knights would have been looking for Ben as well. If whoever had been looking for her could somehow sense her, then surely...

Unless he had already been found...Leia's dreams...

He felt the color drain from his face as a thought drifted over him. If that were the case, then it could have been Snoke all along...but...

How long had this...had Snoke been manipulating things and to what end? Obviously some sort of control, but...

As he glanced to the side of the tree, he thought he saw something in the bright moon light. Shaking his head, he got up from where he had sat, to walk closer to the tree. Was he seeing things? This tree had the Force about it, surely, but he had never as long as he had lived here, seen this tree have...leaves beginning to sprout on it. 

He had to grab one of the lower thin branches that were growing out of the central trunk. 

It was sprouting leaves...it was somehow fully alive again...

He looked up at the hill as his eyes found the hut Rey stayed in and then back again at the tree, his eyes a little wider in surprise. 

 

 

“We will be leaving here...soon.”

Kylo didn’t say anything, but couldn’t keep his mouth from slightly twisting a moment in subtle disdain at the thought of her off to some little Resistance hideout. She deserved so much more. No matter, she would be with him soon.

“And I know when the moment comes, you'll be the one to turn. Rey...you'll stand with me.”

He had meant every word he had said to her.

He would teach her so much more about her power, so much more than his simple minded uncle could have ever taught her. She still did not fully accept yet what her destiny was to be. She would have all he had to offer, would be a threat to all who dared test her and she would be treated as royalty.

He knew of that fierce warrior within her, he knew it first hand.

As they gazed into each other’s eyes, she noticed that she couldn’t glimpse as much of what he was thinking...his mood. Lately at times she could, almost, hear his head through the bond, but not at this moment.

"No...you will turn, I can help you.”

She had meant every word she had said to him.

She felt excited at the prospects of bringing back the Jedi order with Ben Solo, being able to improve upon some of the philosophy that needed changing and teaching a new generation of Force wielders. 

“So," she continued, "I am not sure what…happens with all of this.”

“Our bond,” his deep smoky voice sounded around the small enclosure all around her, as he looked in her eyes, “it will not change. Once created it is next to impossible to sever.”

She looked down a moment, away from those heated eyes, not knowing what they could speak of, when they were both fully aware of what they could do that didn’t have to involve verbal disagreements.

“Ben,” she looked up at him, as an inquiry came to her mind, “what happened…that night, with Luke?”

Her insistence on calling him by his old name, for some reason, didn't faze him. His eyes softened some at her question. He knew that she would truly identify with him and his fears, it just never had dawned on him how empowering it was to have her ask this, how much that question meant to him…that she had considered him enough to ask.

He met her eyes. “There probably isn’t much that…he hasn’t already told you.”

“Yes, but, I want to hear it from you. You said at one time that Luke had been lying to me, or holding something back. I know that he doesn’t understand...but I think I can."

He found himself surprised at how much her words meant to him, that she would try to see things his way. How long he had lived with no one to accept him or at least want to listen.

Why did this girl continue to soften his cold heart?

She affected him now as she had back when he had first laid eyes on her, through the trees, when they were children.

She shook her head slightly at him in encouragement.

“I woke up to him behind me, where I was sleeping. He was just there, with his saber and...he was going to kill me, Rey.” Her eyes widened a bit in astonishment. “I knew, I could feel his intent, he wasn’t going to back down, or hesitate, I knew why he was there and what he had wanted to do.”

Luke had tried to murder him? His own nephew?

She remembered Luke saying that he “looked inside of Ben” and had found the darkness within him. He said he went to "confront" him. He never said he invaded Ben's mind while he was sleeping, or had intentions to murder him. Why had Luke decided to not give him a chance…to just try and kill him? 

“He never told you that part, did he?” He said with a bit of venom, he could just tell by the look on her face.

She could feel that this was true. He could of used this as some kind of leverage to get her to join him at anytime, and yet he never did. She could see the anger in his eyes and could feel his emotion in his slightly quivering chin. She never would of realized just how hard these memories really were for him, how he had hid so much of his hurt behind his anger.

He watched her intently as she moved over across the cot closer to him. She seemed so near as he sat in his chair, in his rooms on the Supremacy. Nothing had changed, but somehow, she was just there, even closer, looking up at him with concern on her beautiful face.

She reached out her hand in hopes that she could touch him. Not understanding completely how this bond even worked, how it was possible, he reached his hand tentatively towards hers, like the time before not so long ago, he could feel her warm hand, they were somehow able to touch again. They had both gasped, ever so slightly at the touch, not realizing that they had both been holding their breath some. Her small hand felt so warm, soft, so right in his large hand as he grasped her, as if she was some kind of a life line.

“But why?” she asked shaking her head, “without even...”

He smirked at her.

“He doesn’t understand our power, Rey. It is just easier for him to cling to some ancient belief.” She could see that this was something very personal to him, something he had never shared… with anyone.

“Sensing my power…he feared it, as he fears yours. I called my saber to my hand and I was able to stop his blade as it came down.”

He looked away from her, for just a moment and back as she tried to hide the prick in her eyes from him. She could feel his strong emotion, how hurt he had been, and still was.

“The hut collapsed in a split second of my anger, my power…I was…”

She knew he was about to say "afraid" but had caught himself.

She saw and could somehow feel quick flashes of his panicked fear as the memories ran through his mind, the heat of the fire, his own fury that had scared him. Standing there, barefoot in his nightclothes, looking down at his hands in the chaos, a lonely, frightened boy in the middle of his destruction, wondering how and why, so angry, lost and confused. 

His whole world had changed in a matter of minutes. Why would Luke do this, turn his back on him? She knew she had darkness within herself as well…she was now sure that was what had frightened him so when she had first come to this island asking for his guidance.

She couldn’t begin to understand Ben’s pain as she blinked her own tears back the best she could, her other hand coming up to swipe at a tear.

What would anyone do in such a situation? He was left to choose a path in a split second of fear.

She sniffed back her emotion.

“I’m so sorry, I…”

No! What he had become is what he was meant to be. 

“Rey, I don't want your pity…” he began at the edge of anger.

“No, no, I know, I don't pity you,” she shook her head slightly at his misunderstanding. She squeezed his hand. “I’m just so...it's understanding," she looked down a split second to find the words and really not finding them."I feel for you, I care about... that you even had to go through that."

The way he looked at her response…he thought he knew, he just wasn’t used to someone actually empathizing with him, it was still a form of pity, but caring about someone, it makes you share in their pain, because that is what happens when you feel for someone else's well-being.

He wasn't sure how to express his own feelings, or what to say, but he knew she could feel them.

In the same way, he could just tell that something had begun to bother her from the slight sudden change of emotion on her face.

“What is it?” He asked softly as his thumb rubbed gently over the back of her hand.

“Times as a child feeling so angry…things would just happen. I didn’t know how or why,” She shook her head, “but I think they feared me... the others…but sometimes it did keep me safe.”

He saw quick flashes go through her head, in the hot desert, dealing with various advances as some of her past employers viewed her as their property, other scavengers attempting to steal her finds or double crossing her, trying to pilfer her portions…fighting for her life, being hungry. It hadn’t been easy for her.

He didn't like the way it made him feel. His own eyes got watery as the emotion of what she had been through hit him.

He really could kill his uncle.

For now he had to let himself feel her serenity and let her calm his instant anger at what she had been through. He would take her away from all of that, she would never know such mistreatment ever again.

He looked at her. "It feels...I know you can take care of yourself, Rey, and you did, but it doesn't stop me, I want to kill those who hurt you..." he shook his head reaching out his other hand to hold a side of her face, "It makes me angry that you had to hurt...at all." He finished softly. 

She shook her head in agreement...he did understand. The tears that ran down her face now were from some overflow of a different emotion, one that had to be what they called "love", it was like the emotion she felt between Padme and the young man...it had felt like this.

Feeling comfortable with someone who understood and was interested in what she had to say...no one really ever had and here was her “enemy” the only person that…they were still on opposite sides of this war, but she found all times together so special.

He didn’t know just how much he had needed someone to comprehend and not fear him. Rey’s influence was making him stronger, made him think more beyond Snoke’s indoctrination, beyond any darkside or lightside ethos of strength. 

As he gazed in her eyes, all he saw was tenderness and understanding for him, a monster. How in the worlds did he deserve her? Truthfully he could leave all of this for just a little while, just to be with her...and that frightened him as much as anything.

Likewise she wanted to gather him in her arms and somehow have him with her, to take him away from the influence of Snoke. Away from Luke, no one would understand her wanting to help him, not right now, but maybe, maybe they could run, hide out together for a while, until he was Ben again...

She leaned her face into his warm hand. His other hand came up to push a stray lock of her hair behind her ear and to cradle her face as his warm, soft lips met hers. This kiss was passionate, she could feel his emotion, as she let him in, the low growl resonating in his throat. She could feel his desperate loneliness and his relief that came with sensing her serenity...he felt safety in her arms. His hidden true self was there, normally buried underneath what he had become, but now with just a touch of his lips on hers, there was no hiding this from her, not any longer. 

His hands slid down to hold her upper arms and pull her upright, to stand. He held her tight to him, his lips beginning to trail down her jaw and neck. Her hands rose up so she could feel his thick, soft hair between her fingers. She felt so aroused, light headed grasping his hair. Memories of their time together in the tree...her moan of want went straight through him, igniting his every sense. She leaned her head back some to give him better access to her neck as he kissed, nipped and licked, his hot breath in her ear as he backed her up hitting the wall of the small hut behind her. 

Grabbing his face, she held him a moment of almost uncontrolled fever, kissing those lips in abandon. One of his hands let go of her to come around and began to fumble with the front of her pants, instantly making her anticipation of his touch race through her. With some sort of humming noise deep in his throat, he released just enough of the binds to slide a hand in as he kissed her, a cool, smooth gloved thumb finding her swollen clit, as the rest of the cool leather cupped her wet sex with just the right pressure. She couldn't help but moan in a mix of stress and pleasure as she held him so tight, his thumb and hand moving over her, sliding...

"Please..." she panted out, almost sounding helpless.

She was beginning to feel so hot, his breath in her ear as his hand teased her. She wanted to spread her legs so he could easily dip in those thick fingers but something else began to penetrate her mind, it had come from Kylo, but at the same time it wasn't him, it was...something so much darker, so much...their lips apart, her forehead now against his, some interruption.

As they were panting to catch their breath, she suddenly whispered, "No! Come back!" It felt as if they were taking her away from him all over again!

"Ben!!!"  It was her, but her voice was so different, like a child's.

"Rey?" He pulled his hand out of her pants to hold her shoulders. Something was suddenly not right. He backed up enough to tilt her head up by her chin so he could see her, but she was someplace else even as she looked at him while he held her face.

Part of her was drawn to...there were so many lights, yet dark, so many colors, a world like no other, ethereal, sensual voices all around her as she seemed to float, suspended in the center of it all. Somehow something familiar spoke to a part of her.

"We can manipulate the Force like no other. We have the power to tear the very fabric of the universe."

"Rey!" She started sagging in his arms and he held her before she hit the ground. Holding her he quickly laid her down on her cot next to them as a spike of fear and panic shot through him. What had happened? What was wrong with her? He couldn't sense much through the bond, just some sort of distortion. It was beginning to push against him. Something...

Not caring for another for so long had kept him concealed from such pain as this, from such a weakness, but she...he could not stop this strong, indescribable feeling inside him.

Her eyes were now closed, as he ripped off his gloves, he pushed her hair from her face, she felt cool to his touch and her lips were moving. His knees on the floor over her, he leaned over to listen.

"It is only here that I can...—the light and the dark. Day with night."

"Rey!" He slightly shook her, hating the desperation in his voice, his own feelings of helplessness...something he hadn't had to experience in quite some time, a feeling he had tried so hard to leave behind, before...

Some far away part of her heard his call, the call of the Supreme One, some ancient part of her knowing she had to return. Then she saw it, the alien creature as he held a hand out to her. She was in front of it, still prone in the air.

"It's time to return, child, I have found you."  That voice...had she heard it before? 

Kylo felt a stab through his head as he was somehow ripped away, his hands trying to hold on to her, but yet he found himself falling back from her and instantly returned to his rooms aboard the Supremacy. 

"No! Rey!!" He charged forward at nothing, as he spun around wildly. He felt as if he had been mentally torn, ripped away from her. In a fit of rage he lifted his chair, heaving it across the room to smash into so many parts against the far opposite wall, his breath erratic, fighting for air. 

 

She just knew some time had passed, just how much, she wasn't sure, but she knew he wasn't here.

"Rey!" It was another voice she heard now as she felt someone shaking her gently. "Rey, are you alright?" 

It was him!

Her eyes popped open suddenly as Luke sat on the edge of her cot, his hands on her shoulders. For a split second uncontrolled panicked fear shot through her. Was he going to try and kill her, too? 

"Did you try to murder him!" She yelled at him, sitting up, shoving him away. She felt such anger towards him. 

Luke abruptly stood and backed away from her, a surprised look on his face.

She shot up off of her cot as her saber snapped to her hand, ignited. She couldn't control the anger that raged through her as she breathed erratically, threatening the old man.

"Did you create Kylo Ren?!" She shouted. 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

  

18.

 

Actuate  [ak-choo-eyt]  to incite or move to action, motivate

 

 The cosmic Force manifestations of Obi Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker and Master Yoda looked on at Luke as he and Leia joined in the celebration of their victory over the Empire. Each apparition thought to warn the young Skywalker about the future, as each saw that there was yet much danger ahead for him and more darkness to overcome; instead, they decided not to burden him with this then...

But would there have ever been a good time? 

 

 

"Did you do it?" She asked again, anger in her eyes as she gripped the saber.

"How could you?!"

The anger that surged through her in that moment was something she hadn't felt since she was a little girl...running from the Knights...

Was this her alone?

No, it felt as if something else may have been trying to influence her disappointment in him. It was something that felt dissimilar and yet, strangely, not so entirely new...

Luke could feel her discomfort, some extra fuel was there to her anger...it felt almost as if she was partially channeling...someone else...he had seen it before...in Ben.

"I...uh," he stammered, caught off guard. Looking for the right words, he held his hands out in a placating manner at her as she continued to hold the ignited saber up, tightly in her fists.

"I just did what I thought was...," he shook his head, "I know mistakes where made, mistakes that I made...in just a fleeting second of weakness...a reaction, to finding so much of his heart that had already been turned by Snoke....he was going to hurt those I loved...I know, Rey, I know, I failed him. It's why I came here."

"So you felt just running away was the right thing to do?" She said, some exasperation in her voice, "To just run away somewhere and hide instead of trying to change things?"

A few tears suddenly ran down her face as she had to simultaneously battle that which was in her. She knew this feeling, it was that sliver of the darkness within her, that part that she knew she could control. But part of it's voice...

"Kill him!"

Through it all she couldn't help but catch some of Luke's feelings through the Force, his feelings of failure, his disappointment in himself of leaving his own nephew a lonely frightened boy.

She suddenly made herself disengage the saber, lowering it slowly in her shaking hands.

"I don't understand," she said, looking down, "how could you even think to try to murder him?"

The look she saw in his eyes as she looked back up at him, was not of a legendary Jedi Master, but rather one of a disenfranchised old man. She could feel his heart...he truly was ashamed at what he had tried to do...

But what was that? His choices in those moments years ago where somehow guided by something else...somehow in the same way she was feeling now...something in common...with her innate power through the Force, she just felt this lingering fog from him, even though he was somehow unaware.

He sighed as the air in the small hut seemingly began to cool with the slowly releasing tension.

"It's why I am here, Rey. It was time to remove myself from the equation, don't you see that?" 

"No. It doesn't work that way," she shook her head at him, feeling more herself. "Through our connection I can sense Ben's future, solid and clear. He will turn. He can come back, but we can't run anymore, Luke," her voice suddenly raising in excitement, "this is your chance to make things right! This is how we will win!" 

He could see the knowledge in her eyes, could sense her sincerity. He didn't say anything but there was too many signs pointing to this somehow being true, something to be done between them all to return the balance of things...the buds on the Uneti tree...a new beginning.

Shaking his head slowly up and down in agreement, Rey tossed the saber to the cot as she walked around it a little closer to him.

"I need to stay here a little longer, he is coming here, I have to go to him, this is my chance...maybe my only chance."

Somehow she just all of a sudden knew this was the way. Luke also knew this to be true as well. And yet...was she...

She had really deep feelings for Ben, didn't she?

"But your training is not yet complete, Rey."

"You keep saying that, but when will be the right time to do this?" She crossed her arms. "Is anyone ever truly ready?" She said slowly and steady, a determined look in her eye.

He hadn't finished his own training. He could see arguing with her would get him nowhere. He was at a point of resignation.

"Trust in Rey you should." He heard master Yoda's voice in his head, "this, Skywalker, is her path alone."

"Is it?" Luke said to no one that she could see or hear.

She narrowed her eyes a moment studying him, convinced that he somehow now understood, that something had just made him understand, at the same time she could feel her own guilt trying to rise within her at having wanted to kill him just a few moments before.

"You need to go, Luke." 

"You want me to just, what? Leave you here..." he looked away for a split second and then back at her. "To be taken prisoner or have to fight him? He may not be alone..." he caught himself...trust in her. So she was young...

"No older then yourself when the Force had called you to me."

Another voice in his head, a calm, kindly one, one that he had not heard for quite some time.

This voice, she had somehow heard it as well as it spoke to Luke. She straightened, eyes searching. She had heard this voice herself before, it was familiar.

"Master Kenobi." Luke addressed the voice while looking at her.

"I know that voice," Rey told him.

Luke looked off in some thought, and then realizing something that had always been there, he looked back at Rey.

"You do."

Obi Wan...Ben...Kenobi, he told her through the Force without words. She just knew.

"Don't you see now, I am where I need to be." She shook her head, "He won't hurt me."

"How can you be so sure of this Rey? He is the same person that wanted to kill me...probably still does."

"Because you attempted to kill him."

Her words hit him as he had a look of resignation on his face.

"Ben has never wanted to hurt me, being connected I know this, but the Resistance, they need you." 

Yes, this and she was also concerned at how or why Ben was ripped away from her, how it all felt different now. She could feel that he was out there, that he would come for her. She really didn't want him and Luke to confront one another. Nothing good would come of it...at least not now.

"I am not leaving you here alone," he argued, then held up a hand before she could protest, "I know that you can take care of yourself...but this is something I need to do."

It was not the answer she had wanted. There was little time, but perhaps she could convince him or even Ben to not do this. The last thing she wanted was for Ben to fight in a fit of rage...hope would only be harder to achieve at that point...and could possibly break him when he thought back at what he had done...or drive him deeper, she knew how he regretted what he had done to his father. 

She looked at Luke with a quick curt nod of understanding.

"At least consider it...please."

He did shake his head in acknowledgement.

"Are you okay now...before you were having a nightmare." 

"Oh, that...yeah, I'm fine, really...thanks for checking in on me." She waved it off.

Looking around the room quickly, he nodded and turned to leave.

As the door shut behind him, she sighed, scooping up the saber to set on the side table as she sat back down on the cot. Looking around the small room with her hands in her lap, she was trying to somehow comprehend what had just happened. She had wanted to kill Luke, for just a split second, for how he had hurt Ben so deeply, something in her head telling her that his usefulness was done, that he was expendable. This wasn't her. It did, however, remind her of that voice out in the forest, that voice telling her to give in to her hate and to kill Kylo Ren when she had defeated him in the snow. One of those same voices she had heard before...

All she was sure of right now was that Ben needed her help. She felt determined and ready...when he was coming for her wasn't clear. She felt a slight thrill of excitement in being able to see him, for real. The last time she had was on Starkiller...but that is not so true. The last time she had seen him was just a short time ago, right here, as they were about to...a shiver ran up her spine. 

Just imagining being around him everyday...in his bed...just then a slight cold dread washed over her as her face fell, she realized that she would be, however, in Kylo Ren's world, with the First Order all around her...the fact that she still may have to go through Kylo to really get to Ben.

She sighed as she remembered that she had agreed to accept all of him, just as he had promised that he would be there for her, that they didn't have to feel alone anymore. She hoped this was all still true.

This could be her only chance...it had to work.

 

 

The cool air arose all around him, it seemed to be attracted to his very being. As he sat in the darkened room, he was more then content knowing that everyone on the ship had knowledge of what artifact this room beheld, knew what it was, and that, besides heritage and strength, had made him the leader of the Knights of Ren. All on the outside moving along this corridor, gave his door a wide berth. But for him, in this space, he found comfort and renewal. It was a simple room with sparse lighting, a stand, for the artifact in question, and a chair... it had no need for anything else.

The mask...the burnt mask...the mask of legend. It was coveted by many an acolyte, shadow, and artifact hunter. The power it held was unlike any other darkside treasure, but only he understood the power it held, only he was the one true heir to it's many secrets.

As he sat in the darkened room breathing in the power, feeling it enter his veins, it made him feel so alive. He had no idea what had happened with Rey, he could still feel her out there, but he had to find his strength before moving on...he was no good without it.

He was seeking to feel the darkside once again through grandfather, to learn, to reattach, to think...to energize. He hadn't been on this ship, in this chamber, in a while having recently spent so much time on the Supremacy.

The voices of memories past mingled quietly in whispers all around him. Through it all he remained eerily quiet, centered, calm. If anyone was to be brave enough to enter this room during his meditation, they might have to look again to even tell that his lifeless seeming form was even alive.

"Turn aside the lies of the Jedi, and follow the truth of yourself. Join me Anakin on the path of real power. "

His hands on the ends of the chair arms, head back, eyes closed. Grandfather's mask was quiet before him now as he felt the subtle, yet strong power from it now thick in the air that surrounded him. He could see the corridors of his castle on Mustafar as Vader had once stalked, the clashing of sabers in Cloud City...countless battles and kills...strength and raw power...failed reconnections.

A dark shadow...the charred remains of the past clung to the forefront of his consciousness...and so did a name...grandmother...Padmé.

"I won't loose you..."

Padmé. Such a deep felt love that transcended all time and space... the girl he himself had envisioned before, the gown, the Jedi, the glorious tree, the saber...

"Its all we need Anakin, you and me and love."

His love for her was Anakin's very life, his very breath, his very heartbeat. Anything to do with the Force was secondary when it came to her, however, the very thing that he feared the most was the very thing he unintentionally helped come to pass, his greatest fear realized.

"Pain, suffering, death I feel. Something terrible has happened. Young Skywalker is in great pain."

The aura around him now...he could feel corruption, suspicion, anger, fear and great hopelessness. Grandfather was being manipulated, used for his power. Ben knew this and he now understands, perhaps somewhere in the back of his own consciousness, why Anakin made the choices he had made, how he was guilty of grave mistakes and killed...out of love. 

"What have I done!?"

Another part of him, the part currently at the forefront of himself, did not understand what he was feeling. It was of things that touched a different part of him...a part that had been buried a life time ago. Of things that he had forgotten, that was left behind in the fire at the academy, mere memories. Until Rey...she had somehow silently spoken to that part that he had left behind, that part of him that still felt that all too human need, a need and connection which continued to make him weak, his desire of her...being inside of her was a feeling and a completion like no other...an addiction that seemed to touch his very soul.

"I'm one of most powerful Jedi alive, but its not enough! It will never be enough not until...I can save you, Padmé."

At the same time, he lived in fear of losing grandmother...wasn't it just easier to avoid the pain of feeling all together? All love brought was pain...the darkside was so much more reliable. It may not always be the most clear, but it was always there, the most honest, human emotion...that was it's nature...and it was always dependably present.

"You do not yet realize your importance, with our combined strength, we can end this destructive conflict and bring order to the galaxy."

A surge of the darkness, deeper in need than anything he had felt from the mask...the pain, sorrow of failure, it was as if some dragon had a hold of Anakin's heart that he had to keep hidden inside. Even as a child grandfather had seen her and he knew, he knew he would become a powerful Jedi and he knew that she would die in childbirth. But that could not happen, he needed to know and learn how to stop that from happening. All of his power, and yet, he could not stop death. 

His great agony...she was everything that had ever been loved by anyone and he was watching her die. No matter how hard Anakin had tried to summon it, the Force had held no answer for him...

But he, he had an answer...

"Yes, I am Sith, but also your friend. With such knowledge, to maintain life in someone already living would seem a small matter, don't you think?"

As he sat in his continued meditation, the feelings of some sort of desperation was growing strong. Anakin's great fear of the unknown, of loss, of being too late...this was so heavy on his heart his whole life. He couldn't control it and it was all consuming. He had to save her...but at what price?

"It is finished then. You have restored peace and justice to the galaxy."

He did, grandfather had, but somehow...somehow...it just didn't feel right. It didn't even feel right to grandfather, it wasn't the way it was supposed to be, to restore that peace and justice...had it been worth such a high price? The manipulative nature of the Sith. Had it been worth her life...his own life? His very soul? 

In this life support suit, this helmet and mask...his reason for living was gone, his humanity was gone as he was now less man and so much more machine. The anger, fear and self-loathing had consumed him. His heart had grown cold. The numbing shock at what he had done, at what he had become...an empty victory...

The answer had been there the whole time...perhaps to save her life, he should of just trusted in himself more...the most vile trick, the thought of what he had envisioned had been merely a warning, the possible result of his own failure, something he may have stopped...his own death couldn't come soon enough, but now, because of his master, he was forced to somehow "live"...

With a great jolt, Kylo left the meditation sweating, shaking, gasping for air, his face wet with tears. The room seemed to enclose around him. He felt it, lingering agony, somehow as if an invisible hand was stretching out through the Force, a hand that found him, from some cosmic far away place, alone in the dark, a hand that led him to feel something so precious in his own life, the silken softness of her skin, a pure feeling that reached inside her making him really feel her in the Force, and this...this frightened him more then anything.

Ben felt a bond, a connection, deeper and more intimate than he’d ever had before, the beat of her heart, the motion of her lips as she spoke such soft words proclaiming her love for him. Would he eventually break her heart or be the cause of her downfall?

Really, he didn't deserve her...at least, not how he was.

He sat in deafening silence, a gloved hand swiping the dampness from his face, as all he had witnessed sank into him. Ben knew this didn't matter...it was far too late.

It dawned on him now that his family had feared the darkside so much they did nothing but break his trust in some feeble attempts to keep him from knowing. His father attempted to hide and run away from his power, his mother grew frightened of him and had lied about his lineage sending him away...and his uncle had tried to murder him at his most vulnerable.

But he, he had an answer. Snoke had been the one that was there for him...

He couldn't make himself come to fully believe that grandfather made the decisions he made purely out of his love of grandmother...

Love...it seems to do more damage then anything.

He wasn't his grandfather, things were different, he wasn't Sith. Snoke was surely no Darth Sidious, he knew already that his master tried to control him. Truly, however, he didn't have to answer to anyone as he was the one true heir and there was no room for anyone else between himself and his destiny. 

Rey would just have to accept this as it was their shared destiny to rule together.

 

In another realm, the bluish ghostly apparition of Anakin Skywalker became visual for only seconds as he looked down upon his grandson, studying him. He could only direct him so far in the Force, but this he would do as he could to guide him back to some sort of balance, to guide him back to his true self...it would be a choice Ben eventually would have to become strong enough to make on his own. Grandson would have to face what he had become, leave Kylo Ren behind, and not make the same mistakes as he had made when he himself had been a sentient being...

 

She was in the rain yet again, the Knights were there, the Knights of her childhood...the ones of her nightmares...they were real! She had seen them before, years later, Kylo was their leader now. But now...now she knew not to run even as he approached her, he would not hurt her...and he had killed for her. 

She had seen this man before...in a nightmare...in a dream...

Pain, so warm...what was happening to him? Something through the bond...something not right, not right at all. Where was Ben? 

She could feel some of his pain as she writhed in her sleep...in a cold, blood red room, that room she had seen surely in a nightmare...the alien near him, over him, he was being punished for something for…

This used to be something he craved, the rush, the power, what once had been exhilarating to him was now more of a duty, his feelings had changed because of…her.

Was she causing him this pain?

Ben was fighting, Kylo Ren blamed her, but still, even he would never hurt her as even he shared these feelings for her...a strong feeling of want that she had awoken inside him ever since he saw her in the forest. She instantly became hot, thoughts of them together, making love, his hot mouth on her body as he moved inside of her, her head back in ecstasy.

Streaks of electricity shot through his body, Ben on his own was not strong enough…or so he was led to believe. He wanted to let his darkside take control, to let Kylo in to take the pain once again…

No! She can't loose Ben…not taken away from him again!

Images, thoughts...this life, feelings of happiness and wonder. Gold dice…the ones that hung in the Falcon…Ben had discovered something…images of herself as a little girl, but somehow through his eyes. She was small as she sat on the rock ledge...the multicolored sky...she looked up at him, she could see his profile in the setting sun, a dark haired sub adult boy, how in the worlds…was it all a dream?

"No, wait…come back!"  She screamed as she watched the ship rise further and further away from her, leaving her behind.

"She must be hidden…that evil cannot find her. If it should, his power will once again become complete…"

Light, dark, a sacred place, strange, yet somehow familiar voices of some past...he had given his father's life for proof of loyalty...the past years of his life...it was still never enough...

He can feel her power once again.

"It is you."

His voice in the forest…her own voice: “You...you’re afraid, that you will never be as strong as Darth Vader!"

"You are the Chosen One, Anakin. You have brought balance to this world. Stay on this path and you will do it again… for the galaxy. But beware… your heart…"

The sandy haired young man, Anakin, he was Ben's grandfather, he was...Darth Vader.

His thoughts, Kylo Ren must...stop this, the pain. Only he can...he would come back to this soon, for her, just for now it must remain away, within, safe...

"Kylo Ren, heir apparent to Lord Vader.”

No, no he is not! He is Ben Solo! No, Ben!! Come back, come back!

Part of him idolized Vader...always being compared to one of the Skywalkers...

History repeating itself...but they could manipulate the Force like no other, change the outcome, that voice had said so...it talked to that ancient thread in their very blood...

The pain had to stop, he could not loose her...

"I'll come back for you Sweetheart, I promise..." 

She wiped the tears from her face in her half-sleeping state.

He promised.

 

Even before now, he was able to hide his questionable loyalties deep within, where he kept this all safe from any detection. It hadn’t been enough. His master still sensed something, what exactly, he couldn’t be sure, but enough for him to be here now. Enough for him to endure the darkside as it came alive to rush through his veins, the cold pain he had at one time welcomed, that was at one time, even exhilarating, he now was not explicitly sure of, and because of this doubt, the pain was more.

He felt his own anger grow as he had begun to physically rise off the polished floor as the power shot out of Snoke’s fingertips and through him across the expanse. He gritted his teeth, shaking uncontrollably, as he clutched at nothing.

Why was he angry and fighting his master?

Her...the girl, ruining everything he had worked for!!...Yet every inch of him wanted her...

Part of him wanted to keep certain thoughts to himself. He knew he would not be in as much pain if he stopped trying to defy it. As hard as he tried he could not keep all of his thoughts from shattering across his mind, cut through with effigies of light, dark, a sacred place, strange, yet somehow familiar voices of some ancient past...

"My children and I can manipulate the Force like no other."

"The future, by its nature, can be changed."

Images, thoughts...this life, running with gold dice as a laughing toddler, his father chasing after him. A birthday with Uncle Lando in Cloud City. The discovery of that lightsaber, the one that he had always kept hidden because it had allowed him to see the girl from the Academy once more. He had to go away, he had to be fixed, his mother was afraid of him.

"I am not sure, our son, he is like some monster."  

Loss of control, anger, hate, fear...alone. Fire, destruction and death at his own hand.

"You...you’re afraid, that you will never be as strong as Darth Vader!"

Driving his speeder with the little girl, watching the sun set. Why does this kid make him feel so at ease? He can feel her power once again rush back in. 

"It is you."

But they took her away from him and now she doesn't remember! What was it? Some memory from a past life...

A brave Jedi protecting a senator. A love that was forbidden.

Anakin Skywalker, before he had become Darth Vader.

"You're studying to become a Jedi, I'm... I'm a senator. If you follow your thoughts through to conclusion, it will take us to a place we cannot go, regardless of the way we feel about each other."

Great pain and loss, his love...

A voice proclaimed: "You are the Chosen One, Anakin. You have brought balance to this world. Stay on this path and you will do it again… for the galaxy. But beware… your heart…"

He felt as if he was falling, finally hitting a hard surface. A thought came to him...

Have to keep her, do not fail and loose her as Anakin had...

Some far away panic swept through him, the pain only increasing. The pain was so much less if the darkness within him could rise and take the brunt of it. It was chipping away at his strength as his will. If he didn't do something he felt this time, he may die.

In his weakened state, more weak now because of her...no! It was because of Ben!...love, Ben loves this woman.

Kylo Ren must...stop this, the pain. Only he can...this naturally seemed the best course of action. He could come back to this soon, for her, just for now it must remain away, within, safe...

"I'll come back for you Sweetheart, I promise..." 

Some release washed over him, as his mind was fully penetrated, the hot pain subsided as he lost the will to fight it and let the darkness finally overcome him.

 

Everything was going according to plan.

A grotesque smile stretched across his face as Snoke was finally able to search through and uncover some more of what his apprentice had attempted to keep hidden away. It was a fair battle far as he was concerned, gazing down upon his passed out sweaty form on the floor...he had gave a strong and impressive fight, but not quite strong enough...

He knew the unfortunate truth of his young apprentice, that unlike Anakin Skywalker becoming Darth Vader, he never truly destroyed Ben, he did try, but his attempt to erase his past was mostly unsuccessful. He had lashed out against those he believed had wronged and hurt him, on his search for external guidance and affirmations of his worth. Through it all he, however, had continued to cling to his grandfather’s legacy, seizing upon Vader as a model and even speaking with his grandfather’s deformed helmet, seeking strength and power, as the Sith of old, with their beliefs in siphoning inundated power from darkside artifacts. He firmly rejected his parentage and looked to destroy his uncle, yet longed to claim Skywalker's light saber for himself and the legacy it represented. He had always recognized this need in his apprentice for external affirmation...and he had been easily able to manipulate it.

Now was the time to sever the bonds, as things had been accomplished and moving along as they should. Snoke called to his power over Kylo Ren, the faithful servant that was asked to rise.

Deep down he was a Skywalker through and through, with his failure to completely banish the sway of outside emotions. This far too human standard of allowing such things to govern one's thoughts and processes, was a true weakness. A dark side enforcer craves not for these things, however this allowed more control over his apprentice, a simpler, more fortuitous pupil. He was flawed, as any human, yet malleable, as he was now.

Solo and the girl possessed that link, his tie to the power of the ancient Ones. They had wrongly believed that they could banish him out for eternity. The ancient Ones that had predicted Anakin's fall years before...and the chosen Ones to bring balance to the future. 

What's this? He could feel her, the darkness and rage within her, it felt so young...so alive. She had wanted to kill Skywalker...excellent. He was no longer needed...she could feel this, she recognized the power that was within her. 

Standing over Kylo he could pull this from his mind. Could feel her young, heated primal human need, so much more now through his apprentice since he had strengthened their connection. They had melded...her need, that somehow Kylo had been more then willing to succumb to through their bond...not possible... 

He rifled just a bit deeper. He could see her young, tanned nakedness as he held her spread and wrapped around him as they writhed in pleasure, Kylo pushing her down on his thick phallus impaling inside her, her cry of pain and pleasure, loss of control, his lips devouring her sounds. His apprentice’s own consent and weakness as he plunged himself in her warmth all too eagerly, taking full advantage of her want...most interesting. She was his addiction.

Kylo's own pounding release into her was a menacing intensity to which was on par with some of the raw power he had felt within him. And this, through a bond! His strengthening of it was very impressive!

They were most impressive.

Understandably, the girl had seduced him so easily. He shook his head in amusement. He had no doubt now that she could, likewise, be seduced to the darkside, so simple, that physicality. It was meant to be for her, she couldn't deny it.

With this he knew now that the future would be his as well, for there would surely be offspring, a child that would be the perfect balance and carry on that thread that he would, from one day soon, have under his control, the realization of the true prophecy of the Chosen One.

 

Snoke didn’t realize it but as he rifled through Kylo’s mind, Ben was able to pick up images, thoughts, ideas in turn from his master’s mind. Somehow a thought in the back of his own head told him what he had learned from being connected to Rey as well.

He could sense that their Force bond was very real, however his master had manipulated it somehow, making it more possible for them to…

He felt sickly waves of pain and confusion. How much had his master interfered with? Surely not their very feelings? No! He had been alone for so long…she had finally reached out to him, admittedly easier and faster then he had thought possible…but he never thought...not like this...the first person to reach out to him since...


Please!


He felt the hot tears run down his face. They already had some sort of a natural connection, since they were children...but...surely...the manipulation...it was enough to push part of him, to prove his loyalty, giving all he had to the darkside, but it would never be enough, would it? Part of him then and there decided that he would find some way…even though he had been punished by Snoke before, nearly to death, still, there had to be a way, a way possible to kill his master and live through it. For this deception he would surely pay.

...But that was Ben speaking...however, he was destined to be the one to rule, not Snoke.

"She must be hidden…that evil cannot find her. If it should, his power will once again become complete…"

She had this power, like his. He could feel it all around her. He just knew when his eyes somehow found her through the trees. She was not afraid.

It has to be this way, she is in danger."

No, they were too strong, these feelings. He hadn't wanted them to take her away from him then and he surely didn't want to loose her yet again.

“I’ve given everything I have to you. To the darkside.”

No, it would never be enough...this was clear to him now.

Betrayal. He gave his father's life for proof of loyalty...the past years of his life...

Because Ben Solo is weak. He let his feelings come before what truly was his destiny...which is to rule. He had to bide his time until he could vanquish all who stood in his way...apparently that still included his old self...and his master.

 

He found himself getting slowly up off the floor to kneel before his master. He felt weakened, but alive...very much alive.

"Kylo Ren, heir apparent to Lord Vader.”

As he sat on his throne, Snoke looked down upon his apprentice, satisfied at what he currently found in his mind: honor, loyalty, darkness and attention to his goal. He had a feeling of satisfaction at his work, the control he still held over the Force within Solo.

“Master,” Kylo found himself answering almost beyond his control. 

Whatever inner battle he had inside of himself had been put to rest, the best as it now could, or so it seemed, for something that always haunted him. Left was hollow, darkened unfeeling appearing eyes looking up at all he currently knew.

"I need you to go to Ahch-To now, destroy Skywalker…for as long as he lives the seed of hope lives. It ends now, my apprentice. Get the girl by any means necessary, she can be turned and will be a very powerful ally."

"Yes, master, as you wish.”

“Go, make preparations.”

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

                                                             

 19.

 

Inception  [in-sep-shuh n]  a beginning, an instillation of an idea.

 

 

Anxious with anticipation, Rey shoves a few of her belongings into her pack before letting it slip from her hand to fall to the cot in some distraction as she looked out the little window of the hut. 

The sun that was bright only a short time ago was now just beginning to fade, the sea seemed unsettled and there was a slight chill in the breeze...it all seemed to somehow match her state of mind...

She stops, feels something behind her, a sensation that seems to roll down her body, as if chill ghostly hands from the very air around her were reaching out to grab her around her neck. She turns around quickly just to confirm that she is indeed still alone. This feeling, it is unsettling yet somehow...familiar. Some disturbance is very close, she can feel it. She can also feel that other unsettling emotion, that divide from Ben, it was like a wall, a communication cut-off that was untranslatable. He was still there, but his presence was just out of reach.

Taking a deep breath, she sat down on the cot, wondering what he was doing or feeling. Surely Snoke wasn't subjecting him to more of his abuse, was he? She felt her anger begin to rise at the very thought. She knew that he had had to endure something...she had felt it.

Grabbing a few other items to put in her pack, she slowly turned to look at the cot...her meager sleeping place for the past few months...and that first time...she couldn't help but imagine herself with him again. It had become alive in her head while attempting sleep, dreaming of being with him again, his large hot hands on her body. Her eyes fluttered shut.

She was on her hands and knees, legs spread, her back arched, he towered over her, his hot, damp skin just behind her, on his knees as well, his hands tight on her waist, pulling her back to meet him as his cock slowly slid deeper and wider inside of her. She had a nervous anticipation at what he was doing...his thickness penetrating, intoxicating...but he held her tight as he began this repeated intrusion by pulling her small frame easily more and more roughly on to him, making her feel so full and open. He overcame her, a growl deep in his throat. She couldn't move, her mouth slack, paralyzed in some unspeakable pleasure as she let him have his way with her.

"You like that...don't you...sweetheart?"  He said between thrusting into her.

She attempted to ignore her own shame at such an obscene idea.

"Why, yes, I would like that very much,"  she thought.

There are many ways, positions, you can do...that...it...she was sure.

Having been in charge of everything in her life on her own for such a long time, she was a bit surprised to think of him being in charge in just such a situation, relinquishing her control to his desires...she could feel the damp tingles between her legs along with her own embarrassment.

Where were such thoughts coming from?

She shivered as and ran her hands up and down her arms to warm them...

Dear Force, what was wrong with her?

She needed control, to fall into this crippling need was not her. She couldn't be entirely sure anymore, ever since that first dream, ever since that first kiss in the forest, if it was real or not, it was real to them. How was she to face him now as Kylo Ren feeling like this for Ben, having such images of them entangled in her head?

How was this happening?

Thinking of their time together, wishing and hoping for more, this wasn't right...this physical need...such a distraction, she had things she had to...she shook her head slightly to clear it. She had more important things to do.

She looks around the hut now just sort of remembering where she was. Air. Right now what she definitely needed was to get out of this secluded place. She left the rest of her few belongings on the cot and left the hut.

As the door thumped shut behind her, she closed her eyes, enjoying the feel of the fresh air on her. The sun was hidden behind some haze as a few storm clouds began to move in....

She immediately started to feel something from the tree, the portal. Opening her eyes, she looked in that direction.

What now!?

She wanted a diversion, not another reminder of their time together.

She sighed as she headed towards the tree. Getting closer to it, she couldn't help but notice how large the budding leaves had become. Luke had told her once that this tree hadn't grown leaves or showed any sign of true life as long as he had been here, and now? She had felt such light and hope inside this tree, it had brought them together at one time, as if by a shared destiny, as if they were somehow meant to be together...she now knew this to be true.

“You’re not alone, Rey, not anymore, let yourself feel that.”

She began to warm once again at the memory of their time making love...it was so much more then just some dream, meant so much more. The words they had said...the promises they had made. Their feelings went so much deeper. Ben would remember, he promised he would...and she would help him.

"You have brought balance to this world. Stay on this path and you will do it again… for the galaxy. But beware… your heart…"

Some lesson of the past...

There was something about balance that was spoke of or a feeling in a vision, that she and Ben would somehow in balance accomplish...together...

"We don't truly understand what it means to bring balance to the Force."

She heard his voice in her head, a clear warning, the one that was called Obi Wan, the voice that she now recognized. This balance was something she and Ben would clearly have to find out about together. 

But first...first she had to somehow reach him, go with him, and surely be in the company of the First Order. She sighed, narrowing her eyes in the light as she gazed up at the tree, once again seeing it in her mind from another peaceful time and place, letting herself feel its power and strength as the Force flowed through it.

She felt compelled to reach up and pluck one full green leaf free. As she examined the almost half circle shape in her hand, she could feel that Force as it was present in every cell that made up the waxy leaf. She could feel the life practically pulse through it all the way down to its rough cut edges.

Smiling slightly to herself, she thought how the leaf reminded her of him somehow: attractive, mysterious, a hidden softness with a strong layer of protection that didn't take away from an outward sharp roughness. She kept the leaf in her hand, some thought, perhaps it would be a good reminder. She flipped it over in her hands a few times as she looked out at the sea, the echoing shrill of some porg in the air, another warning in her head.

"With each victory in the light, the darkness wins. It always wins because it is everywhere...”

He was coming for her...she could feel it...

 

 

Aboard the Finalizer, the Knight waited patiently for her dark lord to continue his commands.

Kylo Ren stood silently at the observatory, distracted.

He remembered some of how he had gotten here. He had lost himself to the ache and the rush of his master’s power attempting to change that part of him that she had been connecting with, ripping from his outward consciousness...

Oh, he had tried...

But it was still there.

Something had...she? Some outside force? It had attempted to pull on him again, but now his mind had been cloudy...dropping back into a fog.

As he gazed at the galaxy set out before him, he sensed his loyal officer behind him patiently waiting there as he completed his thoughts.

Ahhh, yes.

“Your men can take care of Skywalker,” the mask said without even turning around. “However, only a few will be necessary...at your discretion."

“Yes, my lord.” She answered respectfully to her leader. She understood this command...only a few of her choosing should go on the mission as those few knights where most likely not to return. 

"The girl...Rey...she is mine, alone."

 "Yes, my lord, understood."

“Prepare my ship,” Kylo order with a nonchalant motion of a gloved hand.    

He doesn’t need to turn around to know the officer had bowed to his newly cape covered back before leaving the room. 

As the few flashes of her...Rey...in the throes of pure ecstasy that he alone gave her invaded his feverish mind, he felt his anticipation build. The shared pleasure as he repeatedly penetrated her virtuous body, so soft, warm, inviting, and so young....a shiver ran up his spine. No one had touched her, she had been pure until he had tainted her light, marked her as his own, in much the same way she had marked him as her own, but in violence, with the scar he now wore upon his face. She belonged by his side...in his bed. The thought of it put his hands into tight fists at his sides.

He would finally accomplish with Rey what he was destined to do. Defeat Skywalker and rule the galaxy...their galaxy, and he would let nothing stand in their way.

 

 

As the Upsilon-class command shuttle came out of the gathering storm clouds to land not far from the shore, it made her remember the first time she had ever laid eyes on him through the trees...on Takadona, she wanted to say, but for some reason, in her mind, a dream or a vision...she saw him through the trees but he was...a sub-adult boy and she was...so small, so much smaller then him.

Was that a memory of...

It felt as though she had been familiar with a part of him even before then...

Now she wasn't really ready, but she had to...focus. She didn't have time anymore...he was here...yet she felt so calm about it, just standing there as if patiently waiting for him to take her.

She shook her head.

What in the worlds?

She knows that it will take a little time for them to climb the steps up from the shore to where she and Luke where at. There was still a little traversing to get up to their current level. She did feel a sort of a resurgent memory, then realizes that she will have to make sure all the holocrons are safe from the temple.

Grabbing her lightsaber, she takes off running across the dry ground. Surely Luke felt their presence. She could only hope that he had felt the disturbance and was able to be prepared. Regardless, her duty in an emergency was to get to the temple for the ancient texts. She runs straight there, flinging open the door, and running into the sanctuary.

The few Keepers that were there gave her a wide berth as she bolted in. It always felt to her as if they were very disapproving of her being on the island and now was no exception. She ignored their judging looks. It was as if they knew of something about her...knew...what? Her "relationship"...the one that they couldn't possibly even know about? Regardless, she had a job to do.

She hadn't seen him since Starkiller...except through their bond...but that was a different person. The last time she had, he was struggling to arise in the snow, breathing her name under his breath desperately, as her raw fury had defeated him and she was fighting her own urge to just end him right there...but that was before...so much had changed.

Now she knew things would be different. Regardless of the bond that they shared and the love that they had made, she would have to face Kylo Ren, that part of him that had murdered Jedi, that part of him that had murdered his own father in cold blood, that part of him that had hurt Finn and Poe, that part of him that Snoke still held a strong sway over, that part of him that she had agreed to accept for now...the only way to get close enough to help him.

She was moving fast. She could already feel some dark presence, he was here. She felt a stab of anticipation at the thought of it. If she could sense him through the bond, surely he could sense her as well and she knew she couldn’t hide for long.

The bond...they hadn't reconnected, not fully, but somehow she could still feel his presence...

He would know exactly where she was. She scrambled to be sure all the texts that hadn’t been yet put on holocron were stored in the fire safe. She lowered them in to the floor, as gently as possible, but as quickly as she could. She slammed the lid, breathing heavily and feeling over heated. She quickly discarded her shawl and hurried to the front of the temple. Running back out the door, she had to find Luke. She started running along the shore.

She quickly scaled the uneven ground, following the natural path to Luke's hut. Throwing open the door, she was just instantly hit and stopped with that feeling of ice. It was like a wall of dark, eerie silence, some unseen tension in the air. Similar to how it felt in that first vision, when he had just seemingly appeared to her in the forest. It made her feel dizzy, the bond, it was hard to breathe. She could hear her own rapid breath in her ears...her heartbeat.

She closed her eyes a moment to gather the Force from around her.

He was here, but he felt so dark...however, she was not going to let herself become afraid as she knew there was something within Kylo that would not want to hurt her...not really. 

"I've wanted you since the first time I saw you in the forest..."

He was disconnected from any other part of himself; or so it seemed, he was Kylo Ren and yet something different. As if he read her thoughts, like in a nightmare, that ignition of his crimson saber flared to life, as he stood there calmly waiting in the darkness. That red fire was held almost face height, up and out pointing it towards her at arm’s length; all she could make out in the darkness was its reflection in those intense staring eyes, his scar visible over his right eye, on his forehead. He slowly turns his wrist with the saber in it at her. She felt a different more frightening height to his demeanor, his aura. As she thought, Snoke had further poisoned his mind.

She felt braver now, as she was more physically strong and had more knowledge of the galaxy, the Force and her place in it, but something caught her off guard, attempting to elicit a silent fear in her, one that slowly crept somewhere in the back of her mind. She would have to fight Kylo Ren for Ben’s safe return, of that she had no doubt.

There was something inevitable hanging there, something that dragged at her senses. Was it because of the bond, something different? Almost unaware, she had began backing up away from him slowly. She couldn’t read him. He began to gradually advance on her as she moved defensively backwards through the hut. No signs of Luke.

“I’ve waited a long time for this moment.”

His voice...just a thought, she shook her head a little, fighting to not let it get to her, there was no time. Perhaps she should not of backed away, perhaps that was something that had actually set him off, like prey showing fear to the hunter. 

She could feel the strange waves coming off of him like so much static interference. She kept his eye contact as she was waiting for him to give something away. 

She used the Force to throw open the back door behind her with just a thought, as her saber suddenly snapped into her hand, ignited. She kept herself open, to let the Force around her flow into her and find her strength and calm. As it was called to her, she felt the confidence and presence wash over her as she looked her "adversary" in his dark eyes.

A wicked smile grew on his face as he continued to advance toward her, as what little furniture there was seemed to just unnaturally move itself out of his way at his mere presence, hunger in his eyes as he never looked away from her. She noticed how he was sweating, as if he was at odds with himself internally...he looked pale, sleep deprived. 

What had he done to you?

Their sabers finally meeting violently, she was able to instantly channel the Force as it flowed through her. As he swung at her in challenge, she found she could predict his moves, pretty much hit for hit, as they battled in the confined space, yet he was a far greater challenge when he wasn’t wounded, as he had been on Starkiller, and something else. He had more training and it was greatly apparent. She had to dodge and swing constantly while backing up to keep back his pressing feeling dominance over her. She was fast and agile and he was steady and meticulous. His frenzied masculinity, with whatever was currently pulling his strings, was so thick on him; it began to make it hard for her to even think in the small hut...that need building. She shook her head to try and find her bearings. That is when he took advantage to not strike her but he put his hand out to stop her.

All the motions that they had been going through were more of him just testing her to see how far she had come. Now she couldn’t make her body function; she had been here before with him, however this time she didn't let fear guide her. She now knew showing any fear was not something she should have done from the start. She stayed calm instead now and felt the Force as it continued to build within her.

“Kylo, are you here for some sort of revenge?” She asked aloud, breathless, yet calmly, not fighting as he approached her. 

“I wouldn’t say quite that,” he answered in a calm coldness as he looked down at her, “vengeance is little more than a concern of personal vanity.”

Looking down he removed a glove, watching her eyes, he ran the back of his hot hand down her soft cheek.

"So...I see Skywalker did teach you something, however, you were already quite powerful. Just imagine Rey, how much more powerful you would be if you would have let me teach you more then just," his voice trailing off in a thought, "pleasure."

She used her strength to not flinch and keep his eye contact when inside of her, his touch and his words ignited something within her as she begin to involuntarily warm.

“You don’t have to pretend, Rey,” his dark eyes piercing into hers, two sweeping fingers under her chin tipping her head slightly, “you were something I wanted," he said, shaking his head slightly, "and as I told you, I can take whatever I want." 

She felt her ire build at his conceit and audacity but then quickly pushed that all away. She had to keep in mind that this was not Ben.

He came close to lean into her neck as she felt a hand slide behind her lower back, he inhaled her deeply, his hot breath on her, his lips close. He knew that Skywalker would never train her as proficiently as he would. He could read her body, feel her warmth, her strong attraction and her tapping into the Force to loosen his grip.

“Please, do try to run,” he said intently. “I love chasing you,” he whispered hotly in her ear. That threatening ice from his voice slid down her body, sparking her senses as much as she tried to fight it in this moment. In a split second, his hand came back around making a quick gesture and out the open door she flew backward.

She came close to landing on the hard ground, but used the Force to pop back up with a little jump and barely a scratch on her, her saber back up and ready to strike.

Every damn thing he was doing was simply some sort of a test...as if she were his padawan.

As he advanced out of the hut after her, a smile on his face, their swords met crossing, close together; he looked right in her eyes, between the blades of light.

Her mind began to center, to just breathe and think. As she looked up at him, she could feel their energies mingling, twisting, combining yet fighting to overtake the other as they pressed against each other’s crackling light sabers. She was able to jump back and turn around quickly to again catch his saber, back and forth they fought.

“Your mine now, little Jedi,” he teased with a thought, “mine.” With sweat running down his face, he thrust his saber back at hers. She pushed back with a great angry force sending him flying backward into the side of the hut.

She wanted to take off running, but was not real sure just where she was going to look first for Luke. She knew Kylo had his Knights here or some sort of other security detail, but, really, she couldn’t leave him, Ben was inside of him, somewhere.

“It’s a shame your training won’t meet completion now,” he said aloud as she was stopped cold again, dragged backward on her feet with the Force finding herself now slammed up against the hut, where he had just been. Before she could react, his large hand was gently around her neck.

“But I will finish it.” He soothed leaning in close to her. He held his lightsaber off to the side as she felt a leg press between hers as he held her there. She bit her lip. She couldn't help but look up at those perfect, pouty lips that hovered above hers just asking to be tasted.

A gloved hand holding her neck, he was so close, his lips coming down actually grazing hers, he intended to kiss her, the slight pressure from his leg...

She had to get control of herself!!

Ben! Where is Luke!?” She asked, evenly, attempting to push him, her hands on the tunic of his broad chest.

He smiled shaking his head slightly. “You shouldn’t concern yourself with him; you have bigger problems if you think you can defeat me this time.” He took in her parted panting lips and down further to her heaving cleavage between the low cut in her tight fitting shirt.

Tiring of his games, she used the force to shove him off of her, it was either that or she was going to start in on those lips and now was not an appropriate time.

“Everyone just wants for you to come home, Ben!" She blurted out instead. If Ben didn’t want to make an appearance, she would just drag him out.

He stopped to stare at her, wild anger in his eyes. Still holding his saber off, but twilling it around, she let him walk back up closer to her. She was looking for any signs of getting through to him. His body was so very hot, heat radiating through his clothes, some inner struggle was there that she had caught a glimpse of. There was a fracture there in him where the light struggled to be free, helplessly attracted to her serenity, returning him to himself.

That is my old name," he said, ignoring any feelings he may have felt and as if he knew what she was thinking, he continued, "the first thing I will enjoy breaking is that blind misguided belief."

Somehow his words, these words that she already knew truly meant nothing, now surprisingly sent a shiver of pleasure down her spine. Fight it!

He leaned his head in close to one ear. “And your defiance.”

Backing away from him in a quick move, they were pacing one another again; she held her saber back up to him.

“I am your master now," he said as he tracked her.

She could feel that something they shared coalescing, bringing about both of their hidden desires up to the surface. She thought she could feel him in her mind, the bond was starting to take over again to pull in their proximity. Demands from his master had placed him here had confused his mind, his thinking. Great pain, he was being used, and she could feel it. In this moment her hate for Snoke was daunting.

She could of swore she heard a far away...presence. 

A sobering voice stopped them both.

Kylo Ren."

She heard Luke's voice, from out of nowhere, caution her. “He belongs to the darkside and Snoke now, just an empty servant of someone else's wishes, like his grandfather before him.”

Why did he show up now? Why was he saying these things? She was wanting him to just leave, not wanting the situation to elevate to something that could not be controlled. She looked at him with a disapproving shake of her head, "Luke..."

Kylo could feel a rage begin to rise within himself at the mere sound of his uncle's voice, was he here to...what? Blame him? Apologize? He took three steps forward.

“You don’t know me!” He said slowly to Luke, venom in his deep voice. “You never did!”

There was a calculating half smile on his face. This was ending now, Luke would not take her from him again, Rey was his.

"You never knew Rey, either did you?...You abandoned her!”

Rey felt as though she had been punched. What was he talking about? On the edge of shock she grabbed Kylo's arm. He turned his head to look down on her as she looked up at him and asked, “What?” 

She didn't like how small and hurt she sounded looking up at him in his unsteady eyes.

“Don’t listen to him, Rey." Luke said, as she and Ben turned back to look at him. He did seem a bit unsure. He was hiding something, wasn't he? It always seemed that he had.

“Are you going to just continue to lie to her, uncle?” Ben asked snidely, “continue to tell her how evil I am, how wrong I am about you?"

Rey stared at Luke, speechless.

"You never told her about her parents, or how you separated us, did you? Did you really think she would never see through your lies?"

Luke ignited his green-bladed lightsaber.

"Is that true Luke?" She asked. She did remember some of the visions as a girl, feeling as though they were being ripped apart...all those years ago. But she had been with Luke at some point as a child?  She now felt this all to be true. It had been there the whole time but she didn't see it because she thought she could trust him...

"Rey," Luke shook his head apologetically.

"You still don't remember?" Kylo asked now, his face softening as he looked at her. 

She looked up in his eyes as he could not entirely hide his true feelings from her.

"No, not completely, like pieces. Why didn't you tell me?" She asked, the edge of anger in her voice.

"Would you have believed me, Rey?" He answered with that contempt back in his voice, "This was something you needed to remember on your own," he said his eyes back on Luke now, "my own memories have only just started coming back once we had sealed our bond."

That so wasn't true, she believed him when he had told her about Luke...she thought he knew this, trusted her...

This was Kylo...

She came back from her thought in time to see him move toward Luke with his saber ready to fight him.

"Ben! No, No!" She yelled at him as the two men's sabers met in a hard clash of wills.

A crack of thunder was loud, somehow breaking the moment and catching them all off guard. In an instant, her saber was up as the ground rumbled. Rain began to fall. She looked off to the side where she noticed something burning. What had the others set on fire? Between the fog and the rain, it was hard to see anything.

Rey lifted her arms and used the Force to push an unsuspecting Luke back out of the way and to the side, as Kylo angrily whirled around on her, his saber up, rain water running down his face. 

The Knights where just suddenly there fighting Luke.

“We can end this violence here. You know it’s over!” Kylo shouted at her through the rain. “Surrender now and come with me!”

She pushed back at him as she felt that anger begin to rise up in her. She was tired of people telling her what to do, tired of being lied to and tired of being told how she should think. For a split second, she wanted to just unleash on both of them and be done with this.

She probably could take them both out, of this she had no doubt.

Surprising herself with such thoughts, she whipped her saber around in what could have been some choreographed sequence and let out a growl of pure frustration that seemed to say, “come and get it!” A forceful power inside of her was released as a thin fracture in the ground raced off from behind her, the epicenter.

They grabbed at each others wrists struggling for power. Her intense anger made him feel both excitement and fear...she was so powerful in her anger..so beautiful in her fury in the rain.

“Imagine what we could achieve together, Rey, our powers combined; there is nothing that would stand in our way!”

The bed was unbelievably comfortable as one of his hands was flat on her naked abdomen holding her down, she undulated, hands grabbing at the sheets, his face between her spread legs, his tongue and thick fingers working in tandem...

Dear gods, would it matter what side she was on to just have him? The galaxy was already theirs to rule, together.

For a split second, that sliver of dark that ran within her inflamed, the raw power and the dark seduction. It reached to a more secret place, imagining the feeling of being able to use that power, yes, that very power that some feared. He possessed it too, only he understood her hunger…

Her own thoughts frightened her now as she blinked the rain from her eyes, his saber still pushing hard against her own. She pushed back at him just as her foot slid in mud and she skidded backwards, the ground that her untamed power had fractured behind her must of let some ground go. She screamed as she felt herself give away and roll down some rocks to nothing…and there was nothing!

Her saber went whizzing by her to drop into the water below. She was falling and scrambling to grab anything she was able to with the Force and she somehow caught on to the side of a rock. She was hanging off the side of a cliff, not too far over the crashing waves. The rain was streaming the trickles of blood away from her various scratches.

They weren’t so high up over the water, it was just not where she wanted to be. Having lived her life on a desert planet, being in water wasn’t exactly something she fancied and she was not very good at swimming. The shore wasn’t that close, she would have to somehow get there. She was trying not to panic, to remember her training, to put aside her anger, her darkness, to try and calm herself, but she couldn’t stop the fear from growing in her as her eyes watered.

She was alone and not sure what to do. Her intense anger was something she wasn’t accustomed to have to think clearly through. Looking to hold on to that Force, as her hands where slipping, she called upon it to finally let herself feel centered and calm, her fear and anger now leaving her. Then she knew the right thing to do was to just let go.

So she did just that.

 

 

Chapter Text

 

20. 

 

Voracious  [vaw-rey-shuhs]   craving or consuming, exceedingly eager or avid, insatiable.

 

"You failed, bested by a girl who had never held a lightsaber! Because of your failure Skywalker lives, hope lives..

 

 

What was that feeling?

He was afraid, fear.

Fear...

He hadn’t felt this emotion in this way in quite some time, but now, lately, he had been subjected to it more than what was comfortable. It was an old feeling; caring for another, fearing for another. An emotion that he had vowed at one time to not be weak enough to ever feel again…but that wasn’t entirely true. There had been a few times during his training he had felt it when he was sure his master would end him in excruciating pain, all part of his conditioning. 

But this? 

"So much potential but in the end, you just have too much of your father's heart in you, don't you, young Solo?"

There was something there again, a twinge of what he had felt when the Force bond had completed; that foreign, yet familiar feeling. The one that grabbed at his chest, the one he thought was compassion. The Supreme Leader had accused him of this weakness before.

"Ahh, you have compassion for her, I feel."

"No, never! Compassion? For an enemy of the First Order?"

Why had Snoke interfered with this shared connection he had with Rey after such accusations?...Why had he ostensibly seemed to even encourage it with his own meddling?

Kylo had denied it then, the feelings that he attempted to conceal within, but there was no denying now this ache in his chest…it wasn’t physical, but an extremely strong emotion. 

It was a quick flash in the rising fog and the rain, enough for him to be nearly knocked off of his feet as the bond once again made it possible to feel her. As soon as he had realized what had happened he had shared in her panic. For a moment, he had actually felt something akin to ice slide over him, however, his training had taught him to always react.

Everything had happened so fast. In a second he had ripped off his belt, top coat, boots and gloves and had dived in the ocean after her. They were not up that far, yet the side she fell from was over the deeper water and he just knew she couldn’t swim well, as he could sense her momentary panic. 

Fighting the shock of suddenly being submerged in over his head in the icy water, he stayed somewhat suspended, spinning around through the dense chill. He was easily able to home in on her through their bond. He swam over to her as simultaneously his hand shot out and her saber came rising up from somewhere through the deep water to snap into his palm...

 

The waves and fog around her cleared, no longer suspended in the water but her booted feet were suddenly somehow on solid ground...

A thought from some other part of her, she wasn't really sure why or if it was even her...but she just knew that her Jedi would join her soon.

She was dressed in black, the clothes she had seen herself in before. She strides confidently forward before the huge hooded hologram.

"Welcome... young Rey."  It's voice rumbles through the room.

It made some gesture opening a huge skeletal hand towards her, offering her something. Nothing visible, but whatever it was, she raises a hand and she wants it, she can feel great power, a surge taking over. It's something she can literally hold in her hand, directing it where she wanted it with just a thought. She basked in the warm exhilaration of this pure power at her fingertips. What she could do with this power...

She hears voices around her:

"Darkness rises and light to meet it."

"The device wields great power. In the wrong hands it could bring great devastation..."

"What is thy bidding, my master." 

"You have returned to me, my child."

"She must remain hidden, they cannot find her..."

"The dark side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be...unnatural."

"Fall into the seduction of the darkside, feel its warm power surge through you, let it consume you. You will never feel more alive."

Her own startling voice:

"Skywalker will no longer be a concern."

It was her, yet she sounded so different... she had felt the feeling of being able to use that power, yes, that very power that some feared. Ben possessed it too, only he understood her hunger…

It seemed as though some time had passed, she couldn’t be sure. Was she floating? Her head was facing up and her hair fanned out all around her. She didn’t feel as if she was falling. She felt enveloped in some unnatural creeping warmth, it came from some voice and seem to slide all around and against her. It pushed her up somehow closer to the surface. She awoke from the haze she had been in to a new disturbance...was that a hand reaching toward her? Yes, her heart skipped a beat, she could sense his communication, Ben was here for her.

 

He swam down deeper in the dark cold water, his hand reaching forward to where he knew she was floating, suspended in the water. He grabbed her seemingly limp body around her middle and as he did, he felt her arms at once latch on tightly around his neck. He quickly rose to the surface with her in his arms. Once there, he got her face out of the water. She gasped and sputtered clinging to him as he continued to head to the shore with her. Soon after, he noticed her eyes where closed and her arms had slid out from around his neck in exhaustion. He had carried her once before like this, but at that time he was taking her against her will. Things were so very different now, but he could not completely erase his originating motives or what he was.

He walked out of the water with her, on to the pebbly shore. Falling to his knees, he cradled her cold body against his broad chest in an attempt to warm her. She was breathing, though shallowly.

The rain had almost stopped now as he sat and positioned her so he could cradle her head in his lap. He held her jaw with one hand, looking down at her.

“Rey,” he said to her, gently, holding her face, “Rey.”

Some surge of the Force...he knew she was going to be okay. 

She groaned in response. Her breathing was better; she had held it as long as she could have in the water. She began to cough and he rolled her over on her side just in case, but she hadn't ingested much water at all.

He was gently brushing her hair and debris away that was stuck to her face as he tilted her back to him. She opened her eyes to look up in his serious face.

“How do you feel?” He asked.

They were drenched, her own shirt sticking to her pert breasts. Her head hurt and she was cold and started to shiver...but still looking up into those dark eyes made her heart leap. His muscular arms cradling her were still in black sleeve wraps while the rest of his chest was barely shrouded by a sleeveless under cover. His dark hair was wet and in his face.

Gorgeous.

“I've been better.” She answered shaking, not completely sure where his state of mind was, but she could sense his confusion, conflict and guilt, but also something else...

She felt that familiar warmth rise in her body again from the bond, that missing piece. She had no idea just how much she had missed it. The warmth surged strongly now for some reason, refilling her as it hit between her legs.

"Oh..."

"What is it?" He asked.

She was sure when her eyes darted up that she saw a hint of a lop-sided smile on his face for just a split second.

"Nothing." She quickly answered.

It felt like time had stood still. His hand on her face, his eyes on her, something felt so different, so warm. She now knew that he was clearly free of whatever had been pulling his strings earlier, his normal outward remoteness was still there, but she knew better. He had been trained to carry himself a certain way in most circumstances, to not show too much outward emotion, but he had with her already and she could see right through him. She was falling into his eyes. She had no idea how his looking at her like that...she could sense that he really cared about her and was happy she was safe, would impact her, knowing how he truly felt for her...

A loud crash of thunder hit nearby making them both jump as another storm threatened.

"We...need shelter.” He said as he gestured at some of the old stone huts just in the rock in the nearby cliff.

As he rose, he helped her to sit up. She took in her surroundings and had no qualms at taking his out stretched hand as he helped pull her to her feet.

She quickly crossed her arms over her chest in the chill air, knowing he was right, but curious as to why they were not getting picked up by the First Order...or the Knights..surely they knew where he was.

She began to follow him.

“I am not so familiar with this part of the island.” She said as she looked around, a bit awkwardly, trying to find her bearings while transversing the uneven ground. She had her boots still on, but noticed that he was barefoot...and so human looking. Not the cold, stony apprentice of Snoke in regal, perfectly pressed uniform black, but just Ben Solo, navigating the sand in wet pants and barely a shirt on his back.

Walking a little behind him she noticed how his wet pants where so form fitting, just showcasing that muscular, fit bottom...

She also couldn't help but notice her own lightsaber clipped to his belt and slightly bouncing off his thick upper thigh as he walked.

Approaching the first hut, he pushed open the door igniting his own saber for light. The powerful, static hum jolted her for just a quick second, as the red glow illuminated the small room.

The Caretakers had recently been here for some event they held on the beach just a few days prior. The place would surely be good enough to attempt to warm up in, as it would no doubt have blankets and leftover firewood.

Kylo disengaged his saber as his eyes adjusted to the slight light shining down from a roof port and immediately went to work putting some decent sized pieces of wood in the fire pit. She closed the door behind her and went over to open the small storage container, where she knew she would find a couple of blankets.

Looking up at his wide back, she became momentarily mesmerized at how his muscles seemed to glide under his skin...and in a few places she noticed what appeared to be a few angry scars, from past battles no doubt and...abuse...

And these were just the scars that were physical...

She slowly walked over to him to offer a blanket.

With the slightest movement of his finger, the fire seemed to just start on it's own. He made her wait as he took off the shards that where left of his damp shirt and arm wraps. Hugging the blanket and biting her lip, she was caught by a strong wave of some nervous awareness.

For just a moment she also felt her own guilt...she had added to his scars...

"Thank you," his voice seemed to rumble as he looked down at her, slowly taking the blanket she offered him. He clearly had noticed her momentary admiration. She quickly looked away, face warming.

The crackling of the fire, the wind picking up outside and the rain against the sky port was the only noise. Everything felt so surreal as reality sat in that now they were truly alone. Not as if they had never been together alone before through the bond, but at those meetings, they knew they would leave each other in a period of time in some sort of dream-like state, wondering if any of it was real. Now there was no prediction of anything.

She wrapped her own blanket around herself, shivering once again, from so much more then just the cold. 

"Here," he instructed, having a remaining piece of his shirt in his hand. "You're still bleeding."

She looked up at him as he tipped her chin with one hand and dabbed at the side of her forehead with the damp cloth. She noticed how careful he was with her, how he tried so hard to not meet her eyes with his own apprehension of intense human contact and that bit of guilt at having come for her as Kylo Ren. She knew that it had not truly been him completely, it had been Snoke using pain again to get Ben to submit. It seemed he had been getting abused and manipulated by Snoke for quite some time...and she couldn't judge...she had no idea how any of this worked or how it was to be under something else's influence. 

Except for the other day for just a moment with Luke...when she had been so angry at him for hurting Ben...

"With just a little more training, you know you would have been fine," he said quietly. She couldn't help looking at those pillowy, soft lips move, "utilizing what you have already learned? The raw power you possess, Rey?" He shook his head as he let her go. 

"All you need is more confidence in your ability...with confidence the Force can flow through you more freely, the accessibility is always there, you merely have to envision the results."

"I never thought of it quite that way. Luke always said..." she stopped, her words trailed off. He waited with no expression on his face, just moved to make himself as comfortable as he could on the other side of the fire pit.  

Running a hand through his hair he continued in her silence, "It takes practice, to make quick, split second decisions without panic, to have realized you were falling and to catch yourself, or delayed the moment, that skill takes practice and some knowledge of double vision."

"How does that work?" She asked grabbing another blanket. 

He sat so causally now, one leg down on the floor, knee bent, his other leg up, also bent at the knee, a foot flat on the floor. He had an arm straight out, elbow resting on his knee that was up, hand hanging, his other hand on the floor behind to hold him for support as he lounged. She turned back around and couldn't help but notice how his pants where molded so tight on his large...seeing him in this state of undress and casualness...she felt that twinge between her legs as the heat rose in her cheeks...

"It is a way to use the Force to look at the present, but at the same time, a visual window into the immediate future."

Had he no idea of the way the firelight was dancing across his face and broad chest as he reclined? Gods, he had muscles in all the right spots. Dips and valleys and how fit and cut it was...and it was real, right in front of her...warm and touchable...and gods, how she wanted to run her hands over every last smooth part of him.

It felt like time had stood still with his intense eyes now on her, something felt so different, so warm, some intensity. Surely he could sense some of her thoughts...

She nervously cleared her throat as she spread a blanket down on the floor on the other side of him and the small fire pit. Trying to get her mind off of his body, she sat, draping another blanket over her shoulders, attempting to make herself comfortable.

"Close your eyes for a moment," his intense eyes back on her, "just feel the Force around you."

The soothing sound of his deep voice seemed to just lull in the air surrounding her, commanding her body to helplessly respond.

"All-right," she answered a bit apprehensively, but she trusted him. She sat up straight, crossing her legs, palms up on her thighs as she closed her eyes. It didn't take long for the tips of her hair, even wet, to began to ever so slightly rise.

She was beautiful within her power, her breasts moving up and down under her wet shirt that was peeking out from the blanket over her shoulders, as she rhythmically drew breath. He wanted to brush his thumbs over those hardened nipples, push her down, spread her thighs open wide in his grip and slide all of himself in her right here and now...and he knew that she would let him.

Controlling himself, making a fist, he sent her a different intent to test her...for now.

Responding almost immediately, she held her arms out to both sides then, hands open as she opened her eyes to simply look at the fire as simultaneously both of their sabers flew, as if pulled on a string, one into each of her waiting hands with solid thumps. She looked over at him with a smile, her hair settling.

"You will have to try harder then that to break my concentration."

She shook her head with a smile and heard a slight chuckle from him as she sat the sabers down on the floor in front of her.

She backed up some to remove her wet boots and foot covers. She then wrapped her blanket around herself again more closely as she sat her items off to the side next to their sabers to dry. As her smile faded, she just watched the fire. It crackled in silence as the rain could be heard falling again on the roof. She wondered what had happened with Luke...something had been on fire out there...

"I have no idea about him,” he murmured, as if reading her thoughts...attempting to keep some of the contempt out of his voice, "he is not near."

She looked up at him a bit surprised.

"What about the others?" She asked.

He shook his head at her. She didn't note a bit of disappointment or loss at the destruction of his own Knights...the Knights that he clearly knew could never have defeated Luke's power. 

"Surely you figured..." the look in his eye answered that question. She knows he won't justify his actions, he never has, he accepts it all as a part of him...and apparently she had already accepted this part of him as well. She knew this, but noted that she really needed to stop asking about things that she wouldn't like the answers to.

She sighed, "What now?"

"What now?" He smirked, his mood suddenly becoming dark, "I don't know Rey, that is entirely up to you." 

"It's not that easy..." she began, her own mood instantly growing into irritation.

"No?" He said snidely, looking away from her and back at the fire, "it is easy, Rey. He left you, again, do you really think he is going to come back to teach you anything more? He lies and hides...it's what he does." 

"So am I to just, what? Up and leave everything I believe in?" She held her hands out in a pleading motion as he turned back to her, "Ben, I don't and I won't believe in your cause and don't you dare tell me how I should think!"

In due time he knew she would better understand, when he got her further away from certain influences. No matter that now, he just wanted her with him. He could sense her apprehension...of leaving behind what she thought might have been her place or what she may become, but that was why the Force connected them, her place was as his equal by his side...not waiting around for his uncle to decide that he needed to eliminate her.

He looked at her. "You're still holding on...let...go."

She couldn't hide how she felt, not from him, but she could feel his churning emotions, and they all seemed to be centered around her. 

In all her young years she had been forced to learn and care for herself. She was impressive, strong...when it came to battle she was a formidable adversary, but when it came to accepting that she can just trust someone else, she was unsure, tentative.

So much pent up tension...but he had a cure for that...a cure of which he knew she craved...

It was time, time to remind her of what awaits, what she can have, if she lets go of the past.

Movement. She could hear him, as she watched the fire, her body instantly responding, her heart racing. Was he actually crawling on his hands and knees closer to her?

He would help her attain her true potential in the Force...but she really had no idea what that could be. Some of her dreams or visions, her by Kylo Ren's side in battle, feeling comfortable and confident in that...it was unsettling.

"Skywalker will no longer be a concern."

That version of her could never be true, it was just some manifestation of the fear of the unknown...right? Was she doing the right thing here? This doubt, why was she still allowing herself to feel it?

She had to go with him and help him see, but at the same time she hated the feeling of being backed into a corner with no other choices...

Even if her choice was so unbelievably sexy...

He would fitfully deny and fight any part of her true cause: to help him see the light, to see Ben Solo return.

“It will be what it is supposed to be," he purred near her ear, "but you know I can't just sit here and not touch you."

Just at the sound of that sultry hot voice so close, she could feel a cool, paralyzing wantonness instantly wash over her body deeming her immobile. She closed her eyes.

He sat close to her, on his legs, hands on his thighs. She turned to face him. 

That chest...that body...

She met his eyes as a tear ran down her face. He reached over to wipe the tear away with a thumb.

"But how..."

“I know, obligations,” he said softly, taking his hand away from her face and looking down a moment. “But you won't be satisfied anywhere else.”

She shook her head. "Don't tell me you are...satisfied...with everything...," she sniffed.

He didn't answer and yet he had the audacity to look vulnerable, sitting there in all his glorious half naked beauty wanting her. 

His eyes met hers again. She couldn't help the few more tears that ran down her face at her emotions.

“Teach me," she said quietly, lifting a hand to the side of his face, "I want to understand this power.”

"I am right here," he looked in her watery eyes.

The lightening streaked across the sky as the rain began to fall once again and come down harder.

He leaned forward, his lips so close. She felt mesmerized. 

“There is no where I can go where they won’t find me,” he admitted quietly, his warm breath in her ear, “but for now, the tracker is at the bottom of the ocean...”

It wasn't lost on her what he was implying, making her body go completely languid with building anticipation. His soft, hot lips now touching, kissing down the side of her neck.

She kept her eyes closed as she felt him find her lips. A desperate noise came from her as the flood gates of their emotion went spilling out in a streak of lightening, at the first simple touch of those warm lips on hers. The kiss felt as passionate as it had in their visions, but so much more as his tongue slowly and sensuously worked its way into her mouth. His pure intensity and detail that he put into everything he did was certainly not at a loss in this moment, either.

The reality dawning over her at what she was doing and who she was doing it with, it turned her on even hotter. She was growing tired of always having to push it aside, to pretend she didn’t want him. Here, alone, for just a short while at least they could really feel each other.

He seemed to throw his whole body into everything he was doing as he nipped at her chin, kissing down her neck, her ears, back to her lips, his breath hot and erratic.

Her heart was going to beat out of her chest. He pulled back a bit, his hands on her face now, his thumbs rubbing her soft cheeks, to look in her teary eyes, her lips slightly parted as she drew in some air. Her eyes full of desire, it was driving him crazy...he wanted to be inside of her more than anything he had ever wanted. She was beautiful and he couldn’t believe that she wanted him.

His lips were on hers again, gently now on and off, teasing, as he rose up on his knees to tower some over her holding her face up, hands on either side of her neck, his thumbs gently on her throat, he slowly came down to her with his lips.

She couldn't help the low vibration deep in her own throat as she opened her mouth for him, her hands slid down his chest and made their way down the outside of his pants. It felt so impossibly hard through the material...so thick...she felt apprehension, but decided within a split second that she didn't care...along with that went her slight fear of him devouring her alive with his current state of some desperate need. 

He let out a hissing noise, still holding her face kissing her, as her hands explored him. She started to unfasten his pants as he began to gently push her back on the blanket by his sheer momentum, his hands now on the floor on either side of her, hovering over her, his mouth still on hers. Her hands on his muscular biceps. She could feel his warmth on her hard nipples and his partial weight slid against her, his thickness so hard putting pressure on her, she couldn’t help but push her pelvis up against it and spread her legs as he let a desperate noise escape his throat.

He was kissing her lips more frantically, as he held himself over her. He wanted to take his time, but there was no time, they were in some desperation, both feeling the return of the bond at a heightened peak, over flowing in some insatiable desire. 

"I want you so badly." A desperate whisper in her ear. 

She looked up at him, her eyes hooded, drowning in her desire for him. She looked so beautiful under him on the blanket.

"I want you, too," her voice was hoarse, "now...please." 

He got back up on his knees to reach down and pull her pants off with her help and then her shirt, as it accidentally ripped off of her in his haste, freeing her breasts. She could instantly feel the cold air on her heated wetness and hardened nipples as she lay before him. He pulled his own pants down enough to release that thick, impossibly hard cock, she almost gasped at just the sight of it, at the memory of the feel of it inside of her. 

His hands coming down, to run his thumbs over her pert nipples, her back arching, offering as he lowered himself down to pull one in between his lips, making her squirm, his teeth grazing, sucking, licking over to the other one, her fingers now clawing in his hair. He hovered over her, trailing a hot, wet tongue slowly up her chest, her neck, his lips back to hers, tongue languorously exploring her mouth. 

Whimpering through his kisses, she felt paralyzed, wanting the small ache between her legs to be full. He began to slowly push the tip of that hard cock in between her legs, in and out just little by little. She held her thighs open a little wider, her feet off of the floor, panting, not sure if she could wait. She could feel him trying to keep his control as he didn't want to hurt her. He held himself up and pushed a bit more, his breath ragged, erratic, his soft hair hanging down, touching her face, as his lips barely left hers.  

She could feel his desperate need. They shared in each other's pleasure and desperation through the bond but she needed more.

"Please," she demanded hoarsely, instructing him to take her now, she didn't care, her fingers gently running over her wetness to make herself even more ready.

He pulled back a moment to rock on his knees, grabbing her hands away from herself. It surprised her, but only for a second. His intense eyes held hers as he put her wet fingers in his mouth to slowly suck them clean. Then with her wrists in his hands, he pulled them up slightly, one on either side of her head, holding them captive down on the blanket. That heated gaze in his eyes surely would have frightened her at one time, but no longer...she trusted him and his current actions shamefully turned her on. Her breath became more erratic with anticipation as she watched him. He pushed her legs wider as he leaned over her to push into to her, restraining her, she felt the slight pain and fullness then quickly turn to full on pleasure, gasping as he then all at once pushed in his thick, long length, his lips eating her cry.

He could feel what his cock was doing to her and just how his actions turned her on, as he gave her body only a minute to adjust to the thickness inside of her before he began to pump in and near out of her with long, swift strokes.

His now shaking sweaty body began sliding over hers, his hot breath, soft lips and the rhythmic fullness of him as he moved and stretched her holding her down, some unbelievable feelings of ecstasy arose as she was almost forcefully accustomed...but the pleasure....it had only intensified, it was too much, unbelievable, but exactly what she wanted, what she needed. At the same time they had to feel each other's pleasure through the bond.

He hovered over her, kissing her lips and her neck while she felt his quickening meticulously long thick strokes. She moaned moving her pelvis to meet him quivering in the feeling, just letting herself go, letting him lead in his haste as they connected. What ever noises where coming from her throat she wasn't sure, but she could not contain this feeling, if he wasn't holding her down she would be uncontrollably clawing at him.

They both let who they are, and their outside loyalties fall away in this moment of passion. In their shared undulation, a deep connection was felt, one mingling in the pleasure and something so much deeper. It was something that had always been there, a destiny being in each other's minds, experiencing some of their pasts, each other's deepest fears, lies, hopes and loves. They had never felt this closeness, this deep intimacy in all of their lives until now. They were one half, now a whole.

She understood him in this pure feeling, this pure pleasure. It was unlike anything she could ever imagine. The emotion brimmed over into the tears that ran down her face as he moved in her, kissing her tears away. She could feel his power, like spikes in the Force. His emotions where conflicted with regret, confusion, pain, loneliness, and sorrow. But also...something new, she was sure of it, a sort of discovery buried deep inside of him, a spark of light. It came through in what he felt for her, the confusion that had begun to chip away at his cold interior. The conflict within him. His thoughts of caring for someone and having someone care for him after so long...awakened human feelings, a need...what she was sure was love...something she was never sure of feeling in her own life, but was sure that if it were real, that this was what it would feel like. 

He could feel her emotions as well. He had been here before when he had been in her head so completely on Starkiller, but so much had changed since then. Her darker feelings of betrayal, anger, loneliness where ran through with her light. This light, the light that his dark training had taught him was dreaded, this light that was a part of her. This light that had somehow made it possible for him to feel again but with that came the feeling to fear again and to have compassion again. This light that spoke to the trace amounts lingering within himself, it was addictive and made him experience pleasure and some sort of euphoria under the surface that somehow he had been missing, light, as if the sun was shining through as the window covers where drawn away. Something he had experienced before, but it had been so long ago and so different. He felt her darkness too, as it naturally spoke to him, her deep animalistic need of him was just a part of her as much as his light and actual emotion was a part of him. 

Instead of allowing the outside to come in, for right now, they basked in the emotions and pleasures that they somehow completed within one another. It was just the two of them making love by the fire as the storm outside raged on. 

Her lips, mouth, teeth on him as he rode her, his movements becoming more deliberate, more frenzied, harder as he lost himself to how he felt inside of her, his mind lost in waves of a primal over powering warmth and passion. He let go of her hands and was leaning on his forearms now as close to her in every physical way possible. She had her legs wrapped tightly around him, his tongue in and out of her mouth, his erratic heavy breathing mingling with her sweet moans and that deep growl coming from her...he was able to look at her in all of her heated ecstasy.

Neither wanted it to end, but both knew the climatic surge was building and inevitable.

She opened her eyes to look at him, as their eyes met, some shared tumultuous wave culminated as a result of their emotions and that power that had found them completely vulnerable. Some past ancient thread came crashing together...parts of them had lived before, been aware long before now.

He was up again, his hands flat on the floor on either side of her head for stability as he quickly moved. She could feel his great tide of urgency and strength in his rhythmic strokes wash over them with each fill. The pleasure they shared as she was completely comfortable to let herself loose control without confines, as they together rode such a wave of ecstasy beyond anything ever felt before.

Her mouth was open in almost a silent scream as she leaned up on her elbows, her head back panting frantically as he grabbed her knees pushing her legs impossibly wider as he gritted his teeth and pistoned hard into her. She couldn't move, she could only bask in the wondrous pleasure his rough repeated intrusions into her offered.

Watching his slick self rapidly moving in and out of her, her breasts jarring at every rough return into her as she was spread before him, quickly pushed him over that edge as he panted and grunted loudly, filling her as her walls squeezed, pulling her into him a final time as he dropped between her legs in some crippling ecstasy, clinging to her. He was dizzy in the wave of his thunderous release. His lips back on hers, as she pushed and rocked up to keep him fully in her.

Listening to her sweet noises, her spasms around him made him utterly hers as he was now at her mercy as she held him tight. Close to near passing out, he relished in the soft, wet, yet strong pull of her enveloping him as she writhed with him in this shared feeling.

Finally calming down after a bit, as most of the waves had passed, she felt the fluid coming out of her as he slowly pulled out his now heavy cock, rolling over to the side in an attempt to not crush her with his weight. Panting, sweating and fighting for air in the small space was giving them a challenge. The smell of sweat and sex clung some in the air as the rhythmic rain continued to fall.

He finally moved his head to the side to look at her. She was just lying there with her eyes closed, sweaty, so sated, so naked and so relaxed. He felt he wanted to say something...

What did he want to say? Did he have to say anything, was it even necessary? How could he put his emotions into words? 

He didn't quite understand all of the mixed confusing emotions he was feeling now, but he knew one of those feelings all too well...fear. He felt afraid of what to do, afraid that there may be no returning to being who he had become...who he had chose to be...at least not completely.

She opened her eyes, also feeling his emotions, as he looked down at her. She reached a hand up carefully to push a lock of his hair off to the side so she could see both of his eyes. He looked concerned at her, his eyes watery, his mouth closed, jaw slightly moving, grinding his teeth, as he did at times of deep thought, as if he wanted to say something, but didn't know what. It made her think of that confused, scared little boy. Finally he put a hand on the side of her face to bring his lips down to slowly kiss hers. She knew, she understood his confusion. Neither was entirely sure where they went from here but for this moment they chose to just be together.

She had already made progress with him, she had so much hope to hold on to...

She turned toward him on her side to get close to him, her head fit just right under his chin as he embraced her. 

She heard a passing thought in her head:

"'I'm not leaving."

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

21.

 


Equivocal  [ih-kwiv-uh-kuh l]   allowing the possibility of several different meanings, deliberately ambiguous

 




"I am doing everything I can...Rey..."

His voice...

She breathed a sigh of relief. She saw him across the dark, cavernous space walking closer to her, sweat on his face. Fire, ruins of some battle that they had fought all around them. His shaking hand extended to hers. She had anticipated this. Together they could return to the Resistance...

"Join me...please..." he begged her taking a step closer...

Join him...to be with him, never alone again.

She had already made the choice, in the tree portal, to look past his “destiny”, to see him for who he is, not for who he had become...her own hand lifting to reach for his...

Wait, what was she doing? She couldn't actually join him! He had to go with her! There was still good in him, surely he knew this, as much as he tried to deny it.

At one time she was almost incapable of forming close attachments to any other person, but because of him, he set her free from her own captivity of her past. Now she was able to start thinking more of her future ..he had helped her, he cared for her, that was the light in him.

Now standing in the rain on that cliff again…something she had remembered...

“Are you just going to continue to lie to her, uncle?”

Luke had lied to her, hadn’t he?

"Yes, child...lies...all of it."

Luke had lied about her past, not telling her how he had tried to hurt Ben…never letting her know that she had been to the academy, that she and Ben had met before, if only for a few days as younglings…she wants to remember…

A boy was laughing next to her; she looks up at him, a smile on her face, too. She had made him laugh…he didn’t do that often…nor did she...

"Be careful of the Jedi, Anakin,” a voice warned, “only through me can you achieve a power greater than any Jedi. Learn to use the darkside of the Force and you will be able to save your wife from certain death. Yoda will only tell you to let go of her..."

She sees him, out in the field, the Resistance all around.

"NO!!" She screams as she runs towards him. But it is too late, the blaster bolt having singed through his back and burst out of his chest. She could feel the pain as she screams...her tears fall down her face as she drops to her knees, such agonizing pain...something she never wants to feel...him ripped away from her again. She feels as if she would give anything, would do anything...

Is this why, Anakin?

"Careful you must be when sensing the future Anakin. The fear of loss is a path to the darkside...death is a natural part of life. Rejoice for those around you who transform into the Force. Mourn them do not. Miss them do not. Attachment leads to jealousy. The shadow of greed that is...train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose."

How does one do this after falling in love? How do you deny it? His love for Padmé…she felt his pain…his tears…his conflict…

Cannot let that happen...not again...cannot loose Ben that way...

“The Force is…an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us, penetrates us, and binds the galaxy together."

"Only the darkside has the ability to change the future and it calls to you..."

What would she do to keep Ben? Just how far would she go if his life depended on it?

"Always in motion is the future and many possible futures there are."

 

She awoke with a start, her eyes popping wide open in the dark. Was this what the Force was trying to tell her through the tree portal? That some part of her had some connection to all of this, Anakin, Padme, Ben...something she could do to make the future right...finally right for all of them?

"Only the darkside has the ability to change the future..." 

This can't be true! But why? Why can only the darkside change the future? And why would it need changed? She already knew that Ben would return, didn't she? 

But, had it already been too late? Anakin had somehow known that Padme would die...and she had just seen Ben die.

Stop this! It was only a dream! A nightmare.

It was true that the Jedi speak only of detachment to material and human things. They only lived their lives as a vessel for the Force, forsaking personal relationships and emotions. Their morals were single-minded and made clear distinctions between light and darkness with no consideration to middle ground, no recognition of the good that can be found in both the light and dark. No room for someone like Ben, as he possessed both traits.

She did, too, didn't she...her anger and her fear? 

The dark was strong and passionate while the light was dismissive of death and human devotion. But to try and say only one way is the correct way? She had learned enough to now know that this closed mindedness was just untrue...Ben had showed her that...and yet he himself still clung to the terms of the darkside...or so he thought...

She knew better, she could feel his conflict, the way he felt about her, how he had helped her to move on from her past.

It was Snoke...it was obvious that he held something over Ben, had taken advantage and had offered him some kind of understanding when his family and Luke did not. He was beholden to Snoke. She knew he could not just walk away, not yet, not when he was led to believe he wasn't strong enough without him...without Kylo Ren.

And she doubted Snoke would just let him go...

She understood him, but she knew that if she didn't do something, Ben would remain under Snoke's power...

But how was she to free him from his master?

He had to believe in his true self, in Ben Solo again.

Maybe she was the only one who had felt and experienced that light in him, his potential for good. It came out of him every time he laid eyes on her, she could feel his love, his desire for her.

Movement then disrupted her thoughts. She could feel him naked and so warm against her back. The hand from the thick muscular arm that was around her came up to hold her throat, as he pulled her even closer to him. She felt the warmness begin to gather in the pit of her stomach…an ache reminding her that this was only temporary.

His warm lips danced across her ear and she knew that this overwhelming feeling was not hers alone, she could feel him, his warm breath on her neck, the beat of his heart...something within communicating to her without real words but rather a feeling hidden deep inside of him...and it spoke to her.

"I don't know if I can be what you want me to be...but I can't go back now that I've found you again."

All that was left was a shared need, a hot circuit, channeling through their bodies. His soft warm, solid chest spooned against her back began to heat, a large hand slowly sliding down her body, reaching down lifting her thigh to separate her legs as her body instantly became wet with excited anticipation, his lips on her neck. She let out a moan as he held her, gripping her thigh, leaning some on her and began to slowly push in to her.

She was still a little sore from their earlier session, but he could feel it, and took half of her discomfort into himself as he pushed in her slowly yet fully, his damp abdomen tight against her backside. She undulated back on to him as he began to slowly and repeatedly move in her.

One hand in her hair, the other on her waist…his eyes closed as he took in her sweet smell and her soft sounds of pleasure that he caused her to express as he moved...it only drove him more wild as she became calm, paralyzed in his confident possession of her, her back arched to him, his movements meticulous, full and thorough. He knew how he made her feel as his heartbeat and his breathing became more erratic.

He had at one time, not so long ago, foraged through her mind, uncovering her hopes and fears. These things had changed him, brought their intimacy deeper on some level and had revealed his own deeply hidden feelings.

Now the doors were open through the bond, her hopes about him somehow changing, somehow returning to the light...she had certainly made him begin to question the very foundation of Supreme Leader Snoke’s teachings. Parts of this, feeling her love for him, had surely changed him, but a return to the light? That she would have to learn was not his destiny...

In fact, he could still feel her own conflicting darkness searching to be released, looking for that outlet and so attracted to his own. This is where he knew she would find her real self…where he had seen her future. She had no expectations placed on her of a family, of living up to a famous name. In contrast, he had his birthright, that he was not in any way ready to abandon…even as he was sure what he felt for her was also love…

Somehow, on Starkiller, she had turned his mind probe's effect back upon him, entering his mind, and was able to access some of the powers at his command - even though she didn't understand them. Her darkside held this knowledge…it was almost instinct. This was something that he would soon have her face and admit to. With her use of the darkside, it was as if his training had become hers, an already powerful woman becoming even more so.

Truth. Destiny. He would have to unravel whatever his uncle had imposed on her in the short time she had been with him…but she was his now. The process would not be easy for her but he knew with her strength she would do it.

He smiled to himself.

Even as she would surely fight him the whole time.

She wasn’t fighting him now. Her small resilient body so warm against his, experiencing so much pleasure, so soft and open to him. She had reached a hand up and behind her to grab on to his neck for leverage as they moved together slowly in some fierce ecstasy, his hot breath on her neck, thick fingers touching her slick sex in tandem with his movements inside her, coaxing out her crippling orgasm. Sharing her experience only brought him to his own release as he pumped into her, hands now gripping her tight, his own orgasm ripped through him as she whimpered helplessly as he filled her.

Sated, in the quiet, they remained listening to each other's breath as he rolled out of her. She tucked her torn shirt between her legs to catch the fluids.

Moments later his strong arm came back around her, to cuddle up, lips on the back of her neck, a deep satisfied hum in his throat. She smiled to herself thinking of that emotion she had sensed from him. She doubts he had even been aware, it came from such a hidden place within him...

"I can't go back now that I've found you again..."

His deepest hidden thought, it is Ben Solo, hiding from himself and from his master, but somehow, she just knows this is truly him somehow reaching out to her, wanting her help...

And he truly loves her.

 

 

Master Yoda's wish was that Luke would pass on his lessons to a new generation of Jedi, while Luke just wanted to go on expeditions to collect artifacts, learning the history of the Jedi. He knew that after the Empire had been defeated, that the remnant factions around the galaxy would rise up and once again attempt to end the history of the Jedi. 

In his travels he had uncovered that Emperor Palpatine had a contingency plan in case of his death, to ensure that the Empire would not outlive him...part of that involved the conservatory on Jakku that they knew about. As a Sith Lord, he had no plan of delegating his Empire to a successor. He had wanted to destroy everything and rebuild with a few trusted survivors, but because of Leia, leader Mon Mothma and their band of rebels, they had been able to stop most of the destruction and win the war.

No one publicly knew, but Luke had been there, briefly. He had been undercover and had sent aid to some of the rebels that had crashed landed in the desert of Jakku. He had been a wanted man due to his destruction of the Death Star and there were Imperial holo vids out showcasing him as enemy number one of the Empire. He met up with an Imperial defector, who introduced him to Lor San Tekka, a local artifact hunter and supporter of the Church of the Force. Tekka had helped hide him and they recovered many artifacts together.

When Leia and Han had welcomed their son into the world and named him after Ben Kenobi, as a symbol of hope of a future of peace, Luke considered what Yoda had told him of passing on what he had learned with a training temple and academy.

Evil still existed in the galaxy and for a time he believed that the Jedi Order would, in fact, rise again with Ben as his eventual successor. At one time he hadn't wanted to die as the last Jedi, but when he gradually came to sense the rising darkness within Ben, he let his fear for the people he loved take over. Fear, the path to the darkside itself.

He was a master, how could he have failed so spectacularly? 

But now he found himself sitting within the Millennium Falcon beside Chewbacca heading back to some Resistance base to meet his sister. Now he knew that the Jedi Order would not die with him, as he had begun to train Rey, and it was because of her that he was here now. 

It made him recall times as a child playing with the model spaceships that old Ben had later told him that he had made for him, leaving them behind to be found. Unbeknownst to him at the time, it was Kenobi who saved him when he had naively stood up to Jabba's thugs, trying to take back the water they had stolen from the farmers of Tatooine, or the time he had snuck his way out to help Uncle Owen when he had been kidnapped for a bounty. It was Kenobi who had defeated the bounty hunter and freed his uncle. He always had someone there to guide him. As he was, in turn, there for his nephew when he got in to situations as a youngling...or so he had thought.

But the fact that Snoke had somehow been there since the beginning and had turned Ben right under his nose...

No one even really knew who this Snoke was. He seemed to have taken over somehow when the natural successors of the First Order arrived on the dreadnought that had awaited them in the Unknown Regions. Luke had learned that this is were the fragment left of the Empire had hid out to rebuild.

Over the years the remaining Rebels told stories of him and his adventures as a Jedi, making him into some legend while the First Order taught their followers that he, of course, was an enemy who helped destroy the Empire. Despite the knowledge about him, the mystical elements of his life, as well as the Jedi in general, were seen as mythic rather than historic. 

He never thought that some might figure out what he was seeking and that there remained a way to find him. As always, there where those still trying to seek out the Jedi temples scattered across the galaxy, with the aim to prevent anyone from discovering the lost secrets of the Order. 

Now he found himself once again in the thick of what he had been attempting to hide from. But seeing the hope in Leia'a eyes, knowing Han's last wish would be for his son to return and Rey...she felt she could be the one to bring Ben Solo home. She was a last hope...and had a long hard test ahead of her. He only hoped she was ready.

 

 

Holding the blanket tightly around her, the door opened to the hut. He had returned, now dressed in a black tunic and issue pants, looking again every part Kylo Ren. It even appeared as though he had run a brush through his hair. In his hand he held FO issue clothes. Her original look of curiosity at his investigation of the shuttle that had landed, fell at the sight of the material in his hands. Reality came crashing into her harder then she thought it would.

Couldn’t they just stay here on the island a little longer?

He shut the door behind him, blocking out the light of day. She watched his face as she approached him silently to take the clothing from him, eyeing him expectantly. His eyes tracked her even though his face remained impassive as their fingers touched. She turned, walking a few steps away, her back to him, letting her blanket carelessly fall down her body to the ground, exposing her naked backside. A corner of his mouth went up in heated admiration as he watched her.

Once dressed, she turned back around, her hair falling across her shoulders as she slipped on her boots. Looking for her saber, she found that it was not there. For some reason this made her feel instantly irritated. She had been on her own most of her life and didn't like the feeling of someone else touching her belongings...especially her weapon.

“Where is my saber?”

“I have it, it is secure,” he answered plainly.

"You have to have it?" She asked annoyed. 

Avoiding that question he answered, "my shuttle is being prepped and then we can go.” 

He seemed a bit different…he would have to be, she supposed, as he slipped back into his role of Kylo Ren…it really was to be expected, she should know this…but she didn’t have to like it.

“Tell me this isn’t how it is going to be, you pretending not to care about anything?” She asked hotly, gesturing at his stony face.

He knew she would have to accept that things would need to change some for a while. She would, and could, handle things better than this. He had to withhold certain information, the less she knew, the better off she would be, especially when it came to his master. He had responsibilities and their true relationship, he would not jeopardize. She would have to take a few steps back and take her place as his student if they were to survive with the FO until he was able to take his rightful place as leader.

“You know that isn’t true, Rey,” he said rather firmly as he took a few steps closer to her, “you knew and agreed to what position you are putting yourself in, so don’t get defensive when I have expectations to live up to and have to act accordingly.”

Turning away, she wrapped her arms around herself. She wasn't feeling very strong in the moment, her back to him, “I’m sorry…I know, it’s just…what exactly are we doing? Just come with me…”

He stepped closer to stand right behind her, his arms encircling her with his warmth, his lips near her ear. Her eyes flutter shut, leaning back against him.

“I can’t do that for many reasons, Rey,” he said gently, “we have discussed this and you have much to learn and more training with your abilities. There will be some changes you will need to get accustomed to, follow my lead...the Force wants us together...this is the way we do this.”

And going with her was not his destiny. 

She could feel his conflict, but understood that even if he wanted to go with her, he still could not, as his life would be in grave danger from Snoke and the First Order, but also, he was not ready…she knew this. He still felt obligated to serve his master and it would take time for her to be able to work on him…to help him see the light…the very light she knew deep down inside that he craved. No matter how badly she wanted things to be different, she knew this was how it was...for now. Perhaps she just wasn’t completely prepared for the reality of it all after their time together.

She sighed, her arms encircling his arms as he held her, “do I need to be put in cuffs or some other show of…”

"My power over you?” He purred, a wicked tone in his voice, smooth lips and hot breath in her ear, “no…no cuffs...at least not for right now.” He let her go as his hands moved slowly down her sides to rest on her waist. Such a simple gesture it was, but with his grip on her waist and that tone in his voice, she had felt that instant tingle spread from between her legs. 

“Sir.” There was a knock on the door.

He let her go slowly, with a sigh, walking to the door. Before he opened it, he looked back at her. She straightened her clothes giving him a quick nod.

He opened the door to a stormtooper.

“Your shuttle is now prepared for departure, sir.”

“Good,” Kylo waved at the trooper to walk ahead.

“Yes, sir,” the trooper said, turning on his heel to head for the ship.

“Come,” he waved his hand at her as she walked up to him. She turned her head around to take one last look at the hut, the hut they had stayed in...the time they had spent together...

He surprised her by taking her hand, and had her walk by his side to the shuttle, not as a prisoner this time, but as something so very much more.

 

 

"It appears that destroying or capturing Skywalker was again a failure, Supreme Leader."

What he meant to say was "your pet has failed once again. Failure seems to be what he excels at."

Snoke looked at him unimpressed. He could feel the simple man's mind...he wanted some reward for his report, so jealous of Ren, was he. 

Of course they didn't get Skywalker! It wasn't important at this time...nor did it involve Hux in any way.

"General, put your efforts into assembling your team, finish the implementation of the tracker."

"I will collect only the best, Supreme Leader."

He needed only the best, engineers that understood the technology used in the hyperspace tracker. Scientists to control the complex static arrays of databanks and computers that were utilized in localized hyperspace fields to accelerate their calculation speeds to unimaginable rates...but he knew the Supreme Leader wasn't interested in the mechanics of the how, he was only interested in results...and results he would personally deliver.

It would all be theirs and the Resistance would have no where to hide. Finally the chaos in the galaxy would be no more.

Hux bowed, before turning to leave the throne room, on his way to the new weapons laboratory.

Snoke knew his apprentice had been...preoccupied. He had been more than happy to wait on sending the recovery team until it was later in the morning on Ahch To. He wanted them to depend on one another, their weakness was his strength to hold over them both.

The ancient Jedi, had wrongly believed that the Sith were eradicated when they had finally defeated the ancient Darth Bane, however, the vendetta Bane held against the Jedi was finally fulfilled during the Clone Wars when Darth Sidious transformed the "Chosen One" that was to bring balance to the Force, into Darth Vader and the Galactic Republic into the Galactic Empire. The Jedi Order was then destroyed.

But Luke had, in spite of Vader's immersion in the dark side, still perceived something else that endured within his father and was convinced that he could be restored to the light side of the Force. Vader did indeed eventually turn as Luke had hoped, ending Sidious' life, but at the cost of his own. The deaths of the last two Sith Lords brought the Force back into balance, finally fulfilling the ancient Jedi prophecy that Anakin was the Chosen One. By sacrificing his own life, Luke's father found "redemption" in his final moments of life and therefore died in the light as Anakin Skywalker...however, the balance is not to totally eradicate the darkside, like the arrogant Jedi had assumed. Balance was necessary for them to achieve their goal...and for him...the goal was to tip the scales in his favor. Let it be unbalanced, with him and his apprentices they would be so powerful, they could defeat whatever stood in their way. 

Rey would soon be under their custody, here to be in his possession. She was what was important now and her mind was only becoming more and more susceptible to his musings...he could feel more of her darkness and fear through his apprentice. He knew that her life had been built around some lie she had created about her family, believing that one day they would return. Somehow believing this had been easier than deciding who she wanted to be. 

Eventfully she would come to realize that without Kylo she would be alone. She had been so desperate for a family, for a destiny, afraid to leave Jakku because of it. He knew that her "friends" that she believed accepted her, would have only turned their backs on her...much like Skywalker had. She couldn't be still, she was restless, and hiding out with the Resistance would only make her more unsettled as she tried to hide her skills from insignificant people who had no clue how to wield or accept real power. Only here would she be able to unlock her true potential.

She wasn't an entirely selfless person, and he would remind her if she had forgotten, she went against everything she was supposed to be as a Jedi. She had too much passion, anger, strength, her own will. She would come to see that the darkside was not actually everything wrong with the galaxy...

After all, he smiled, she feared only one thing really...losing Ben Solo.

...she would do anything for his apprentice, this he now knew.

She would be turned and he would send her back to the Resistance to bring him Skywalker's head.

 

 

She had been summoned shortly after he had returned to the Finalizer.

“My lord,” the knight slightly bowed to him, “Skywalker…” she began in her own voice, as she had removed her mask.

Kylo raised a gloved hand, his gaze once again looking down on the galaxy seemingly set before him outside the portal of the observation bridge.

“Not a concern at this time.”

He slowly turned to face her, holding his own helmet in the crook of his arm. "You can chose your replacements for the lost knights."

Her head slightly nodded in understanding as her green eyes met his as she awaited further instruction.

He walked closer to her. Showing no real emotion, he instructed,  "I need Rey safe at all times...discretely, she has no need to be aware."

He knew his most trusted Knight would choose who to place where and when to be sure she was always safe...and the knight knew Kylo had good reason and must care for this woman, so it was her job to guarantee Rey's safety.

“It will be done, my lord,” she answered.

She had been with him since the beginning, his faithful servant, since she was one of the chosen to leave the academy with him that night.

The door had blown off of it's hinges, she had heard the screams and shouting. Quickly dressing, she had known, this was it, her chance. Through the Force she had found him, in the middle of the chaos and his destruction, a few other students standing near him. He looked up slowly from his hands, in sort of a trance, as their eyes locked.

"Get a ship, we're leaving." His voice was slow, menacingly dark and hoarse. She was able to secure something big enough for them and the few other students that had followed. Whatever became of them, she neither knew nor cared, all she had known was that this was where she was supposed to be...following greatness.

She had been interested in the mysterious order of elite warriors who followed the darkside of the Force. As an accomplished fighter and Force user, she had only to renounce the Jedi, which was not difficult for her. At that time, she personally did not pledge loyalty to any side, only to power. Walking away from Skywalker and the academy was no great task. When Kylo had became Master of the Knights of Ren, she had already proved her ambition and loyalty to him and became his most trusted Knight.

He never told her why he had made the choice to walk away from his famous family, and they didn't have the sort of relationship that would allow her to even ask, but she had always had some idea that out of anyone at the academy, he would be the one to break away and make something of himself. 

She and her men had aided in the search for the remaining Jedi so that the "Jedi Killer" could personally see to their elimination and she had given Kylo the intel on the whereabouts of defector, Del Meeko, in order to find Lor San Tekka on Jakku.

Currently she had eyes and ears on Hux. Lord Ren had reason to believe that the General needed watched and didn't put possible acts of treason past him.

"Report tomorrow on your plan. That will be all." He said as he dismissed her.

She walked to the door as she replaced her helmet and left the room. 

As a Knight of Ren, she was to keep her true identity as conspicuous as possible. The rest of the time, she was barely recognized as Agent Kaerhi of the First Order Security Bureau, leading varying intelligence-gathering missions against Resistance forces and receiving ample income. This allowed her the freedom to travel on artifact recoveries and other special missions for the Knights of Ren or whatever private project Kylo set before her.

Currently the FOSB sought action against the top Resistance starfighter pilot, Poe Dameron, and his Black Squadron...this was at the top of her list.

She rarely got personally involved in the physical missions, that was not to say she couldn't handle herself, she had been involved in many a battle as a Knight, but in this position, such battles were left to the disposable field operatives. She was aware of all of their missions and had been instructed via Captain Phasma that Leader Snoke prohibited First Order agents and other FO military forces from seeking rogue unsanctioned open hostility against forces aligned with the New Republic.

Agent Terex had failed to seize Dameron and he had gotten his fleet wiped out, when First Order forces arrived, for his insubordination when he went after Black Squadron on Ovanis. She was glad the arrogant moof-milker had failed. There was a correct way to plan an assault and a wrong way. Thought and strategy was always necessary, going out half-cocked and full of yourself is how you fail.

Dameron and his squad were responsible for countless atrocities against the First Order, the biggest being the destruction of Starkiller base, and that after one of their own stormtroopers had helped him escape. The chaos in the galaxy was spurred by such individuals, this was war and her duty was to battle as a Knight loyally at her dark master's side.

She could not deny the fact that she would love nothing more then to see enemy number one, Dameron, killed, and she would like to be the one to enjoy the satisfaction of delivering the killing blow...this would not only please her, but her master as well, if a chance ever presented itself. 

She just may have to make sure, that somehow, such a chance did. 

 

 

Once in his own rooms, he sat in his usual spot in the mediation chamber. All he felt when he entered was a faulty righteousness, strength, but his thoughts and deeds in question. Had he become some sort of a traitor to his birthright?

No, not at all, why should he feel like this?

He could feel the intoxicating strength of the darkside as it permeated in the Sith artifact in the cell and all around him. He breathed in the slight pain as it heightened his awareness. It brought to mind his last training session, battling every droid, tearing the room to shreds, he had wanted to kill even the Supreme Leader, as he had laughed wickedly, and encouraged Kylo to reach for a new level.

He had to be here, part of him told himself, he could not have any weakness about him if he was to obtain his place and properly train Rey…it all had to remain hidden deep inside of him until he could make some sense of all of this.

He knew the Supreme Leader was using him, but Snoke was merely a tool in his way to claim his birthright. He had submerged himself into the darkside for years, sure of his master, until this Force bond…

...but when she fell in the ocean…it went beyond what it should have, it broke something within him.

The painful thought of losing her...

"Let's go," he had said to the little girl. She was years younger then him, but for some reason she had showed up here and they had gotten along in some sort of a silent way, like he didn't even have to talk to her much, she just seemed to follow him and for some odd reason, it didn't irritate him. In fact, when she was around, he felt more calm. That was crazy but he just didn't tell anyone. And she seemed so much more then just a little kid, her eyes seemed so much older and it seemed as if....as if he somehow already knew her.

As he whipped the tarp off of something, she looked up at him with a grin on her face. He had taken her over to the garage where he kept an old black market 74-Z speeder bike. It had been hidden here, he had no clue why, but he had stumbled upon it one night when he was just out exploring. He had stripped off the machinery that was unnecessary to maximize speed, so yeah, it could be a death trap, he supposed, but he had worked on the terrain sensors as well, and they did alert to things off in the distance.

He had found it and had repaired it in his spare time, when he had to get away from uncle and the other students. 

The little girl's eyes lit up.

He handed her some goggles and she took them in her small hand and just knew what they were for and how to put them on. He picked her up under her arms,  making her giggle, so she could straddle the seat behind him, and he carefully got on himself.

"You ready?" he asked her, "This can go super fast, you really got to hang on to me."

She shook her head up and down rapidly, "yeah,"  answering him enthusiastically. 

"Ok, hold on." 

He could feel her little arms wrap around his middle securely. The engine started up after a few sputters and they were off gliding across the flat terrain.  

The girl only hung on tighter to him and laughed, as the world whizzed by, she seemed to love this as much as he did.

Their destination was to sit on the side of the rock by the cliff and watch the sunset. The sky had many different colors this time of day, and he secretly enjoyed the peace and beauty and was happy to share it with someone...someone who he felt somehow...connected to and who wouldn't judge him. 

Her eyes widened as she sat next to him. He turned his head to glance at her and caught the smile on her face, and it made him smile, too. 

He remembered that smile...he knew her light was calling to his hidden light...even back then for the few days they were together. At the time he naturally hadn't understood what was going on, but over time it was forgotten...until he had uncovered that lightsaber in Cloud City a few years later and had found, that at times, he would see her again when he touched it. However, the hatred and betrayal the sword had been witness to, at times, he could hardly touch it, but at other times, he could risk it just to glimpse her again. It had been put away years ago as artifact, so much had happened since he was a sub adult. 

He had forgotten about her until lieutenant Mitaka had the update of the escaped stormtrooper who had been aboard a freighter and he had gotten help from a girl.

But she was back again and now he knew that she had darkness within her, and his darkness called to her. She would have to learn to accept this, as it was her pathway to unlimited power.

They completed each other. It was destiny. 

He knew that he could not bring her before his master until she had a few more lessons, enough to properly defend herself against Snoke and his tests...and he would be sure of this, she would possess the skill and confidence. He had some time before his next contact from the Supremacy, time to see just how strong she had become in her Jedi training and time to control the effects of the bond.

He had a feeling nothing much could be done to stop his mother and her...pilot, from planning some half-cocked rescue of Rey...but she would soon accept the darkside within her and by the time anyone managed to get close enough to her again, she would be ready to defend her new place by his side and destroy them all.

Together, they would be more for each other, more than anyone else they have served or fought alongside.

He let the darkness enter him in his meditation, to realign his allegiances. He could feel her, her softness and calm cut through him...she was aboard this ship with him now...so close.

He could sense her comfort. She would receive every luxury she had been kept from in her life. She would never want for anything. For now she needed her sleep to regain her strength for her instruction to begin and to learn to take her place as his new apprentice. 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 22.

  

Surreptitious  [ sur-uh p-tish-uh s ]  Kept secret, especially because it would not be approved of

 

 

"I got a few on my tail!" Poe excitedly announced as he jettisoned through space while trying to head off the the couple of TIE fighters that had been trailing him and his small fleet for some time now.

"I can cut 'em off at the pass," Jess announced in his ear monitor from her X-Wing.

"We need to split up, take a few of them off towards..." Snap began.

"Stick to the plan, it will work. Snap, take your crew off to the mission, the rest of us, lets show them what we got. Don't let any of them go. Keep 'em busy. They might be a small group, but they will be easy to distract and out maneuver."

"Copy that, Blackleader." Snap answered.

It was a successful plan, and pretty impressive what they could pull off with just a few X Wings. Poe had an antagonizing nack for getting the TIE fighters to give him chase while the rest of his squad could lead the enemy out to a false rendezvous point where they would be able to take them out. 

Poe chuckled to himself.

They seemed to always be gunning for him for some reason...huh.

Slowing up and jetting off while the rest had been preoccupied, Snap, Karé and Jess were able to move out and continue on to complete their mission for the General, the mission to find other Resistance members that had been lucky enough to have not been on Hosnian Prime, all while keeping tabs the best they could on the whereabouts of the Supremacy and any other First Order blockades. Having to go about it in person was a big issue, but in this quadrant they had little choice since it was occupied...and they couldn't risk communications being intercepted. 

That was the last time he had heard from them.

 

Poe took a deep breath as he came out of his reprieve to survey the information in front of him, raking a hand through his dark hair. The rest of Black Squadron had returned after that last successful mission...except Snap, Jess and Karé.

He looked at the communication Kaydel had been able to decipher, a new message they had received. He knew to look at this with interest when it had come in, since it had been wrote with an older code, it had to be them.

The stakes where high but there had been little doubt that they were still alive. The enemy must have been there to intercept at planet fall or had already been there awaiting them.

The First Order had spread quickly across the galaxy, their military finding Resistance and their allies and killing or arresting them. For worlds that they had an interest in, they would over throw the local government and put their own people in control. You either acquiesced to them or you were quickly replaced. There wasn't a lot of argument to be found...and the planet they were trying to get access to, was to get some of their allies out. 

BB-8 swiveled his head back to look up at Poe with a sympathetic beep.

He had a plan to find them and get them out but convincing the General to risk her better judgment on his plan, had become a challenge. He knew the other pilots were here waiting to hear his strategy and what they could do to help.

It was his turn to talk.

"Let's do this, buddy." He answered the droid.

BB-8 happily rolled over to the side as Poe took a deep breath, standing up, to meet the the Resistance gathered before him. 

"You know," he started, a finger nervously tapping against the counsel table he had walked over to, as those in attendance gave him their immediate attention.

"I've been thinking about all of this. Thinking about the fight. I don't think it's about heroes," he looked up to meet some of his team's eyes, "good and evil isn’t just fought by heroes and villains, but by ordinary people. I used to think it was the Jedi or the best pilots winning against impossible odds..." he took a deep breath to continue, "nope. It's not even about saving the galaxy. It's about saving your galaxy...the one within reach. You choose right over wrong," he pointed, "when it's dark, you try to bring some light. You end your journey knowing you made things brighter. If everyone made that choice, and I think everyone can, just think of what we can achieve. Maybe others out there just need to see how to," he held his hands out, "I think that's the fight. We've lost a lot, but we still have it in us to pick ourselves up and just do what needs to be done. We can still win. We even have a history of victories. Of course there are some losses, but also a lot of great achievement...we just have to be that spark...the spark of hope. So can we all do this?"

The faces around him looked at him in wonder, some even moved by his words...words this rag tag group of rebels needed to hear. Finn let out a "woop" that started the sporadic applause that broke out.

As those assembled were taking in Poe's words of encouragement, General Leia met his eyes from across the room, a big smile on her face. 

Listening and witnessing his growth as a leader, she could now see why he reminded her of Luke, he was passionate, an outstanding pilot and dedicated to doing what was right, it was why she had offered him the opportunity to join the Resistance in the first place. Sure he had stumbled some along the way, who doesn't, and now was the time for her to witness him being the leader she always knew that he could become. 

Never to take away from Poe, but deep down she would of preferred to be witnessing the growth of her own son...

She remembered her talk with Poe just a few days ago. 

"The Resistance...there are so few of us left," she had told him, "we caused some damage, but the First Order...they have an immense military. I have to be sure every decision we make is perfect, everything is at stake."

She had turned down his first request to rescue his pilots stranded on Ikkruk...he hadn't obtained enough solid evidence that they had even made it.

But now? What was she to do? She was a leader and she was in this fight for life. She couldn't exactly go hide and run from responsibility, like Luke had done, this was so much bigger then her. These people where counting on her, she was their inspiration of hope...and she had never lost her own hope...not entirely anyway...

"I would rather be a monster that believes in something, that would sacrifice everything to make the galaxy better, than be someone who sits on the sidelines and watches as if it has no consequences to them."

She remembered her own words and knew that failure was an option, one she had hoped to avoid, but sitting around doing nothing would get them no where fast. Poe had finally presented the evidence and had said the words she needed to hear...the words they all had needed to hear.

"Your right, Poe," she said, as she walked slowly towards him from the back of the room, "this is something we need to be doing right now. We can save these Resistance members but we can also publicly show the galaxy what we are willing to do, despite the threat from the First Order. The Starkiller is gone, and I know a lot of our allies are hiding and are afraid to join the fight, but now we can get our message across, and show that we are still out here, the rebellion is still very much alive, something that they so desperately need to hear at this moment."

His eyes on hers, she smiled standing in front of him now. "Poe, your plan is rash but we could use some rash these days. Foolishness and passion are often confused, and passion is something we desperately need."

BB-8 beeped in encouragement.

Not too sure if that was a compliment or not, Poe looked at the general with a surprised look.

"Yes, really," she answered him with a smirk and slight shake of her head, "so get moving, every passing moment only straightens their hold on the galaxy."

"Thank you, thank you, General," he said excitedly as he practically leaped up over the counter to meet with his pilots to share the plan Leia was in reference to.

Smiling, she left the room to go meet up with Luke. He was in her private room for a few briefings. He didn't want to walk in like some hero to save the day...in fact the less people that knew where to find him, the better, or so he thought. 

He had arrived some time ago, but they had been able to keep it quiet, for the most part.

 

"I am not some damn hero or these people's savior," he had said to her after she got done delivering a few painful punches to his arm.

"That's fine," she had warned him, "we need whatever help we can get and would like some assistance...when you are ready to grow up."

"Not too sure what I can do." He shrugged, resigned.

Leia gave him a incredulous look. 

"Just stop. Stop with all the bull. You know exactly why we need you here right now...your guidance in the Force."

He looked down sheepishly. He was being a bit of an ass to her, he supposed. Really, he owed her and he knew it. They had had a long discussion over some wine. "Sorry," he had said shaking his head, "I will do what I can... for all of you, but I don't want to deliver some false hope, either." He had admitted.

"Well now is certainly not the time for those people," she jabbed a thumb towards the Resistance pilot's meeting room, "to hear any negativity. It really doesn't matter what we think it looks like, without hope, we have nothing. I can't believe for a minute that you could settle for that."

Luke met her eyes, shaking his head up and down slowly in agreement. It was words that he knew he had to hear...and really it wasn't so much that...it was his guilt, that he had failed with Ben. These people needed someone they could count on to not fail. Leia didn't know the extent of his failure with her son. It was something he figured he would always carry with him...

 

Finn built up his nerve, he needed to know about Rey and no one else was telling him anything, or they just didn't know either. He took a deep breath and walked in to the room. 

Leia caught his eye.

"General Organa, Master Skywalker." He greeted them both respectfully.

Luke gave him a quick nod. 

Leia knew what the young man was going to ask...he cared for his friends and had a right to at least know Rey was safe. Still, his question was going to be difficult to answer.

“Can I ask where Rey is?” He couldn’t keep an ominous feeling from falling over him.

You can ask whatever you want...but getting an answer? She smiled.

“Of course, she is fine,” Leia answered, reassuringly, "carrying out something personal that she had wanted to do."

Finn looked doubtful. To him, the general's answer was just vague and unconvincing, but before he could open his mouth again, Poe walked in.

Once again to save the day.

Leia had filled him in earlier so that he might help some with explanations. She knew the news would come better from a close friend.

“She is on a mission and knows exactly what she is doing, Finn.” Poe said, walking up to him. “She is smart and strong,” he grinned, “you know our girl can more then take care of herself.”

Finn considered his words still not liking any of this.

"Does she have anyone with her? A way to contact us?"

A few other Resistance leaders that could be there, entered the room to take a seat for a briefing. Poe looked behind him giving them a head shake and a smile of welcome.

“She surrendered.” Luke informed Finn.

Leia rolled her eyes at her brother's response. He just shrugged.

“She what? Why? To who?" He caught a flinch in Leia's eye. "No, no, no, not...how do you know he won't hurt her! The First Order is not a safe place for her! He..." Finn stopped short before he could say something he may regret.

"I mean, what guarantee do we have..." he asked, lowering his voice.

Leia answered him with a smile, “Yes, Finn, she does know exactly what she is doing. It was her idea, she felt she could help from the inside, she has an "in" and had her mind made up. We made sure that she has everything she needs...including a way to contact us. You need to just trust her."

Finn had so many more questions, but the look Leia shot him told him that now was neither the time nor the place. This discussion was over. He leaned a shoulder against the wall, a bit resigned but knew that he wasn’t going to get anything else answered at the moment.

"Rey is where she needs to be."

Maz’s words again replaying in his head...just what that was supposed to mean, he had no idea. He only hoped that she was safe, that he didn’t hurt her. He knew she could take care of herself, that she had been working with Luke, and they sure didn't seem very concerned. But still, he would kill him if he found out that he hurt her...then he stopped that train of thought. This was Leia’s son he was talking about. That sure made this whole situation more than awkward.

“Come on, Finn.” Poe smacked his shoulder, “let’s go, buddy. I have some intel to update you on...we need you for this."

“Right,” Finn agreed.

As Poe strode by, he gave a secret look to a smiling Admiral Holdo.

Finn noticed the secret exchange. 

As soon as they had left the room and was out of ear shot, Finn asked, "Hey, something going on?" 

"Hopefully...soon." Poe smirked back at his friend, "For now I just need to bring the rest of my squad home before anything else," he said suddenly very serious. 

"I just don't understand what Rey thinks she is doing."

"It's not for us to know at this time, really," Poe explained, "it's about whatever she, Leia and Luke have going on and Rey trusts them, I trust Leia. I know it's not easy and doesn't make a lot sense to us now, but maybe we can find out more along the way."

Finn sighed. Poe stopped them as they faced each other.

"You know we aren't going to just abandon her. And its normal to be concerned for our friend, but Luke has taught her plenty and you knew she was already able to throw down from the get go."

Finn chuckled in agreement, looking down a moment, remembering how they first met: her flattening him with her quarter staff when she thought he was a thief.

"Your right, okay," Finn agreed with a sigh, "for now."

They continued on their walk.

"But, General Organa said it was personal?"

"Yeah, well," Poe looked ahead for a moment. He really had no clue himself, but from what Leia had sort of alluded towards, it had something to do with her son. "It's her business," he shrugged. "Could be some Jedi thing. I am sure we will hear from her soon." He finished, reassuringly. 

 

Finn and Poe had left and the others who were meeting with them were getting seated. He could feel her eyes on him.

"What," Luke shrugged, "look, he came to his own conclusion of where she is and he needs to know or the few people privy will just keep asking...they need to know that we respect her decision, that she is working on something for the Resistance." 

"Right, but maybe use a bit more tact." Leia smiled at him. 

Actually, this was something else that they needed right now...Rey had hope...

Hope in her son to once again see the light.

 

 

As he slowly removed his mask, the familiar cool air of the dark, cavernous room hit his face.

When he had returned to the Finalizer with his "prize" the Supreme Leader had wanted an immediate update.

His gloved hand touched the transmitting device. Within seconds a visage of the Supreme Leader appeared in front of him.

"My apprentice," it spoke, "I trust all is going according to our plan."

"Yes, my master," Kylo answered, his own deep voice echoing in the large, dark room as he knelt before the larger than life image of the Supreme Leader upon his darkened throne.

"Good, good. I will send for you to join me on the Supremacy within time, for now, begin training the girl, break her of bad habits and find out what she knows...but take caution."  

"Caution...my master?" He reluctantly questioned as he gazed down in his reverence.

"Yes. You don't know her true intentions, so be decisive, especially with further inquiry of your...unique bond."

At this, Kylo's head involuntary shot back up.

"What? Did you think I did not know of this?" Snoke asked in feigned innocence as a smile stretched across his grotesque face. 

Kylo already knew that Snoke had knowledge of their bond, he had even interfered with it to somehow make it stronger. He was however, momentarily caught off guard by his master's sudden candor regarding the connection. 

"You cannot hide anything from me." He reiterated with an air of disdain. 

Kylo's jaw clamped tight as he thought of what to say.

"It wasn't hidden..."

"No, my apprentice?"

Kylo stared at him, trying to hide his rapidly beating heart as a feeling of dread had bloomed and slowly slid coldly through him. With it was doubt in his own ability to free himself of such a hold, in finding a way to gain enough strength to even challenge Snoke.

But he was Vader's one true heir. The galaxy was rightfully his. He would have to find his strength...this was his test...

The holo sighed.

"She is your weakness," he spat, "you have an egregious human desire for her flesh clouding your every judgment."

Kylo cleared his throat. "No, I know what I have to do."

"DO YOU?" The huge unnerving face of the hologram boomed around the room as it moved closer to him.

"I have seen the mighty Kylo Ren...the Jedi Killer, assassin, powerful destroyer of worlds," his hand gestured, "my worthy apprentice...but I have also seen his spirit split to the bone,"  his fist slammed down on his chair arm, "which...are...you?"

Kylo could not do much as he listened, his eyes diverted down as he was taught to do in his master's presence.

"Your father was a fool, not destined for greatness, he, like the rest of your family, never understood, they would have abused your power, held you back."

Kylo could feel a far away part of himself, something foreign as he fought a prick in his eyes, the reason he was here, stuck in some trap.

"Who was there for you, young Solo? Who is the only one who understands you, who has always understood you?"

Snoke smiled with his simple reminder that Ben Solo's family, through their abandonment and betrayal, had turned their back on him...not to mention an uncle who had tried to murder him. It all made flipping that switch within him that much easier.

As with any Skywalker, that option had been purposely placed since the beginning.  

Kylo forced his face to become stone as he looked up at the hologram in continued reverence, the memories of his own family being a threat to him, giving him no choice but to turn to Snoke, presently dragged to the forefront of his mind.

He quickly addressed the slight quake in his voice as he answered, "you have been there, my master, you have put me on the path to ultimate power, and showed me my own destiny."

"Yes, my boy," he slightly shook his alien misshaped head in agreement, "only you have the potential to be the next Vader, to fulfill your birthright and obtain what is truly yours."

"It is through your teachings that I gain my strength."

"There is much more to learn. For now, you need to break the girl down and build her back up, you are her master,"  he explained, showing an edge of mania, "she came from nothing...Skywalker has had time in her head with his manipulations, you need to show her the truth in her own potential, as I have for you, and make her into something." 

Snoke tapped his hand on the arm of this throne in some thought, the clicking noise of the backside of his obsidian ring that adorned his thin, bony finger  heard momentarily over the holo.

"She must submit and become what we want her to be, to face her only true destiny...and limit your bond, she cannot have too much access to your intentions."

Then he delivered, with a certain amount of glee, the stake that would keep his apprentice on task.

"The bond and her power...she still has little control or understanding of...if she were to obtain too much knowledge in any of this...," his voice trailed off in a question... "she is powerful and will only become more so, but left unconstrained and not properly mastered, if you should fail I fear then her demise would be...inevitable." The last part he shook his head in feigned regret.

He contemplated Solo. He was very strong at one time, never beaten or tempted by his light side until the Force had awakened. The galaxy had been theirs and they had the master thread, Skywalker, once again under control and doing their bidding. He knew it was only a matter of time, as it always was with the Force and its natural search for balance, before someone rose up as the champion of the light. Regardless of Solo's weakness, with the girl, the light's champion, it would be snuffed out and they would reign once again.

Ben bowed his head as his master's visage faded, clenching his gloved fists at his sides. He finally looked up in his seemingly dazed state, not wanting to truly believe all he was being told, but his master had not lied to him, not entirely, and he did need his guidance to make Rey see the truth. But he could not give her the reigns to the bond. If she discovered too much...as was alluded to...he had been alone most of his life, alone to trust only Snoke. If she were to learn too much...or if he should fail as a master himself, right now she wouldn't understand that she was his destiny...but without her, he would truly be alone. He could not loose her again.

She would learn the ways of the darkside and stand by his side as he had foreseen. 

He pushed away his weakness. Replacing the mask on his head, he felt a renewed composure as he was able to once again hide his fears.

He would not be his grandfather...always second to the Emperor, no. He would become the Supreme Leader. He was second to no one...and this thought he had kept successfully hidden. He would complete what grandfather had set out to do.

He turned, readying himself for meditation in his rooms. His legs moved rapidly in determination as he stalked out of the room, nearly running over Hux on the other side of the door. Lost in his own thoughts, he didn't feel the glare that followed behind him as the General narrowed his eyes in hatred.

 

 

What was that sound? A siren…she was ready for combat...but is this really her?

...part of it feels as if...she looks down, her boots where heavy, the armor on her was heavy, picking her head back up she realized that she was looking through the lens of a mask…she held an opposing weapon, a lightsaber, yellow light streaking out of it…

the power...

A tall, formidable phantom is next to her in similar black robes with gold tone armor...and a battle mask, a terrifying long muzzled mask. It slowly turns toward her from under a hood and she can only figure that he (she knows this is a man) can see her through the small cut slit across it. There was something truly unnerving about staring into a faceless mask, it made the wearer more intimidating and seem more powerful, as was the point of it. The disturbing design of it rivaled…

 

"It should not have surprised anyone that he turned Sith. He knew you cannot fight the darkside without first understanding it…”

“It is more than just a space station, in ways it is like a living creature…it hungers, feeding off of the darkside in all of us.”

“That thread…a thousand generations live in you, it is why the darkside calls to you, you hunger to taste it.”

 

That siren…a call to arms…

"I wouldn't want to change anything, if it hadn't happened, I might never of found you."

She awoke when the chrono went off.

No, no siren, it’s just a chrono. Throwing a hand out, she acknowledged it with a rough slap, rolling back over in the comfortable bed with a moan…more sleep.

Wait, a comfortable bed?

Her eyes popped open...and closed.

For a split second, she had forgotten where she was. Opening her eyes again, squinting, she saw the grey walls, and the sunless dark port, dark with outer space...she remembered the events of the day before.

 

She had been paraded off of the shuttle, hands bound in unnecessary cuffs.

They were just for looks, the cuffs, she was pretty sure..

Kylo had prepared her on their travel, told her of what to expect as stormtroopers came over to escort her to the medical bay. He would get tended too as well, but in the officers’ level of the ship. For now, she had a part to play, for more reasons than anyone knew.

She couldn't help but feel a little guilty regarding her true motivations and that she had made this decision with Luke and Leia...however, after what she had learned, combined with her feelings for him, she couldn't see any other way to do this.

...and absolutely no one knew they were secretly lovers.

However, the minute the doors had opened on his shuttle, opening to the massive destroyer hangar, he had instantly changed...changed into Kylo Ren...mask in place. He walked out in front of her, she behind, with a trooper. He felt different, his aura, as if, as if they were back in the forest again and he was formidable and frightening. This was a side of him...that was not Ben.

A quick flash of fear had instantly run through her, this environment, the way he had to be here...his show of power. Would being here make her hopes more difficult to achieve than she had originally thought or would his feelings for her be enough for him to rise above? 

"I don't know if I can be what you want me to be, but I can't go back now that I've found you again..."

She didn't look at him as she was handed off to a trooper, Kylo being immediately surrounded by officers trying to keep up with him, reporting updates as they trailed behind him, his cape billowing, long legs briskly walking with some other purpose, straight into another world...the one apart from her.

She refused to show any sign of defeat or weakness, she held her head up as she walked. No one paid her any mind, hauling prisoners through the expansive ship was probably quite a normal sight and she was already in issue clothing. She was going to keep strong if she was to make this charade believable. She was here with a purpose...but it still didn't ease all of her fears.

The ship was enormous inside and there were so many people. She noted that it seemed twice the size of the Empire’s old destroyers recognizing some of the layout from having scavenged through a downed Star Destroyer in the grave yards of Jakku, however, some of the schematics had changed. She remembered the rumors of a new class of destroyer that had been built in secret shipyards somewhere within the Unknown Regions. The Finalizer was not a solitary vessel, but the flagship of a massive fleet of similar capital ships...spread all across the galaxy.

"What rebel scum it this?" The corridor guardsman asked as they checked her in.

"She is in Lord Ren's custody," the modulated woman's voice answered from within the stoomtrooper helmet, "with orders to be treated as such."

"Hmm, okay," he murmured with little care, his eyes raking over her body head to toe, making her feel really uncomfortable.

Rey could feel the anxiety that shot through the other troopers in attendance at the mere mention of Kylo Ren.  

"Do you have a problem?" Rey lurched out suddenly, the trooper keeping her back. She couldn't stay silent as Kylo had advised, this man was disrespectful, he had immediately annoyed her and for some reason she could feel her anger just below the surface.

The guardsman had flinched back in surprise. "No, no," he sneered, "no problem..."

He shot her another uncomfortable glace, but she refused to let him belittle her. She narrowed her eyes, kept her head up and never once looked away.

The trooper holding her arm tightened her grip in warning before Rey said anything else.

"Don't look like too much of a mess, a bit rabid, however," he continued, hands moving over a keyboard, "but we have to be sure your clean so...ahhh," he said looking at his monitor. He looked at the trooper, talking low in some code.

Happy to be finally moving away from whatever that was, she was escorted forward through a set of large doors.

The med bay beyond was typical, she supposed, having never seen one…it was cold, white and sterile. Her cuffs were removed, and the trooper left her.

She was treated well, but given little privacy, well it was just medical droids, to remove her clothes and stand naked in a decontamination stall. Once able to put on a gown, the tech scanned her body with a device, and then another med droid came over to clean and dress her head wound with the appropriate bacta. They found the rest of her injuries where just scratches.

It all felt so surreal as she was then escorted to an inner room and given a black tunic, pants and black slipper like shoes for her feet. She pulled her hair back in a tie.

A doctor came to speak with her and asked questions about her monthly cycle...something she had not experienced before. Rey was caught totally off guard with the questions. She was offered a way to eliminate a cycle completely with an injection to prevent pregnancy. The doctor was a woman, but Rey couldn’t help but feel somewhat on the spot with her questions, she felt some embarrassment, but yes, she agreed. She was sure there was no way anyone could know it was Ben...she had never thought of such a thing. Having very little knowledge growing up on Jakku, she knew this was true, but it just hadn’t occurred to her for some reason that she could actually become pregnant by having sex.

Ben's child.

Wincing, as the needle went in her arm, she thought about how the First Order did take care of their people...but they could afford to. They had an unfair, forced advantage. She tried to not think of all the evil they were doing or where they got their funding from.

She was starting to feel small in a huge world she knew very little about. Going through the motions and returning to the stupid cuffs, she was escorted out to a lift. She had no idea how many levels they rose, her mind kept drifting, but upon exiting the lift, she found that she was not headed for a detention block. Instead she was handed off to a young woman with curly brunette hair tied neatly back and in some kind of deep navy uniform. It appeared troopers were not allowed past a certain point here.

The hall was dark and quiet, it had more of a residential feel. She was escorted to a room at the end of whatever hall they were on. She was ordered to step into the room, as the agent removed her cuffs, shutting the door behind them.

“This is a private sector,” the women said, collaborating Rey's initial thought.

Clipping the cuffs she removed to her belt, the woman continued, “no one else should be down here except with permission from Lord Ren.” She glanced down at a communicator on her wrist for a moment at some update that had come in, hitting a few buttons in response, then she looked back up at Rey with a much softer look on her face. 

She pointed at her rank badge, Agent Kaerhi, it read on her uniform. “Lord Ren will be in contact but if you should need anything in the interim, you can contact me via the chrono in the sleeping area,” she then held out a hand to Rey with a quick slight smile. Rey looked at her hand a moment and then back up at her pleasant face as she took the agent's offered hand. They shook with a couple brisk pumps, “welcome aboard," the woman said.

“Thank you,” Rey said awkwardly as the agent turned to leave.

The door was shut behind her, locked, leaving her alone. She was still a prisoner after all. However, it would take her no time to learn how the doors maneuvered and then she could use the Force for escape. Kylo must have figured this and...also knew that she wouldn’t try it, at least not now.

She looked around the room as she rubbed her wrists. Everything was as dark grey and black as she had expected, however parts of the floor had dark, soft, rug like areas in the small sitting space she currently stood in and in the bed area that she could see over by the far wall. As she slowly walked through the sitting room, passed the small couches facing each other, she noticed how soft these areas where on her feet. A small table had a few packages of food on it. She wasn’t sure what it all was, but there were some things that looked like bread and in a box some strange looking fruit. She grabbed a bright looking round fruit that she could hold in her hand, without hesitation, and began to eat. She was hungry and this tasted so good and sweet.

And it wasn't from the sea. 

Continuing her investigation, she found there was a small refresher behind a sliding door. The shower stall and fluffy towels caught her eye. As she slowly continued to eat the fruit, she walked up one step to the bed platform. The bed was a decent size, surely bigger then she needed. As she sat on it, she noticed a container of sorts that had liquid inside of it sitting on a side shelf. She tentatively touched the black covers on the bed to find they were some of the softest material she thinks she has ever felt. It made her think of his soft, thick, dark hair. She finished her food and ran a hand over the material again. The bed itself was plush, surely not a cot in some faraway hidden base. She couldn't help but smile slightly as she got in under the soft, warm covers.

 

She came back to her current surroundings. There was a message on the computer screen. She was to meet Lord Ren in some dining room. She sighed, so it begins. 

She got out of the bed slowly, sitting up and stretching then walked to the tall armoire, opening it's doors. Inside was comfortable dark colored clothing, all in her size. She looked up as she chose a tunic and pants…and the softest undergarments.

How long had he been preparing for her? It's like he just knew...for how long?...Something had always been there, since they were children. She had wanted to stay with Ben then...but who was he truly now? She knew who he thought he was...

As her bare feet stepped across the soft, thick carpet headed for the small refresher, she had to admit, as she turned on the water, that having privacy and a good amount of warmth to bathe in felt wonderful. The hot water falling across her sent pleasurable relief through her body and on her sore muscles. Her mind had started to wander, as it seemed to always do lately, to the feel of his big hands on her, gripping her tightly as he sank into her...

Stop!

She quickly finished her shower, fearing what time it would take if she let her thoughts run off too freely as she lathered and washed her smooth skin. She was able to dry her hair, binding the front of it back, the rest hanging free. She dressed and checked the computer for directions to where she was to go. With one last look around the room, she felt empty handed…her utility belt, her saber, her staff…nothing was here.

The door just opened at her approach, she was apparently free to be on her own, at least in a couple of sectors that didn't require some sort of clearance.

It wasn't too far, just down a level. The computer informed her she was indeed in a partial residential level for some officers, but she saw no one on her way to her meeting place.

Soon she walked in a room full of wondrous smells that made her stomach growl. It was a small little dining area, appeared private; no one was there except a couple service droids bringing out food. She took a seat at the lone table that already had juice and service settings.

No sooner had she gotten comfortable, did he walk in. It was hard for her to drag her eyes off of him. He was formidable and simply demanded attention, even just walking into a room. She was remembering how good he looked on the beach, how he took over making love to her by the warmth of the fire.

His eyes found her immediately with a slight pull up on one side of his mouth, that little half smile that he tried to hide. Barely noticing the droids, he came over to the table and took a seat.

She felt excitement rise in her and couldn't help the warmth growing in her cheeks. 

This was Ben.

“I trust you slept well?” He asked, trying to clear certain thoughts from the dirt of his mind, memories of their time together, how warm and soft she felt sliding against him, climbing him...how inviting she was as she took all of him in, her legs spread for him...

"You look beautiful, Rey."

A very clear thought, in his voice, but in her head.

"Thank you. I…I did...sleep well." She silently answered back, captivated by his eyes, a bit caught off guard at how easily he was able to connect with her mind, it must be their close proximity. Their eyes locked a moment more.

"That will be all," Kylo waved a hand nonchalantly at the droids for them to leave, "and take the caf," he added, annoyed. 

He could drink it at times, but didn't want the extra sitting there where he could smell it too much. There were certain varieties of it that only brought back old memories of a seemingly caf-obsessed kitchen droid from childhood...

She could feel his instant turmoil from some thought, it all but suddenly filled the Force around them with his typically intensity. Anyone would be affected, as even those not Force sensitive were still part of life and part of that Force.

As his eyes came back to her, however, she sensed that now familiar calm spread from her to him.

On a more mundane level, this was very awkward, dining with her lover that she had to not lead on to in public...not that anyone else was here at the moment, but dining with…Kylo Ren…Jedi Killer, murderer…

No! He is Ben Solo...A Skywalker...

“The room was better than I had expected.” She had to say something and quickly didn't like what she had said.

“Rey, I want you here with me. You're not some detainee of the First Order," he said with a sniff, choosing his next words, elbows leaning on the table, engaging her, "I know you have been told and promised things, lied to...(he didn't say Luke's name)…but I will keep my word with you.”

She looked back into his eyes. His words should of brought her comfort, and they did, there was just an underlying feeling of being trapped just under the surface, something not quite right. She could feel his intent, he did want only the very best for her, and he was not about to abandon her...but wasn't there any other way to do this? She hated feeling even slightly vulnerable...especially since she had to keep her true intentions hidden.

"I know," she said, acknowledging his truth, "you have kept your word...I think, it's an adjustment, I mean, I'm not used to any of this," she gestured at the room. 

"Of course not," he smiled, "but you deserve only the best, Rey. You have been through a lot, but now," he sighed in relief, "you're here with me, where you should be."

She knew his intent was valid, but...she was here for so much more.

"However, always stay aware, there are eyes, as I am sure you assumed, everywhere in most of the more...public...places here."

"That's not surprising," she answered aloud, with a bit of snark, which he simply seemed to ignore, looking down, taking a bite of his food.

How does someone find that a comfortable way to live? 

"So...training?" It was time to get to one of the parts of why she was here before she started an unnecessary argument...at least for now.

He took a drink of his caf.

"I have time allotted and the use of a private training room that will suit our needs." 

She took a bite of her own food and looked back up to meet those suddenly sultry eyes.

"There is a certain...approach... to all of this, a starting point. I can bring you to your full potential, Rey," he smirked, "but we have to start at the beginning."

"Something tells me I am not going to like where this is going," she said, narrowing her eyes, "so what is this approach?"

"Rey, you need to let me be your teacher," he sat up straighter, leaning even closer to her across the small table, "in every sense of the word," he intoned.

She was instantly captivated, she knew what he meant with no explanation. Regardless of their current "relationship" she would have to limit her own independence to him. She obviously knew that they couldn't freely wander around the Finalizer as a visual "couple", he was Kylo Ren and his personal business had to remain his own, for many reasons, including the most obvious one, she was the "enemy"...she knew this...but there was more...so much more intent behind his words than something so simple.

The hardened intensity in his eyes caught her, that mix of dangerous, dark excited anticipation began to pique in her stomach. How could he command her body like this, with just a look, that tone in his deep voice?

Her back was against a wall, her top down exposing her breasts, his tall form between her legs, pumping into her as her legs held tightly around his waist, her hands in his damp hair holding his head, his erratic hot breath as he worked, her moans of pure pleasure...

She swallowed her food, breaking their eye contact, looking down to take a big swig of the fruit juice in front of her. 

"It begins now with your sense of control," his head leaned to the side slightly as he studied his effects on her with a slight smile of arrogance. 

"I can do that, I am just fine." She said, almost hotly, instantly not enjoying his teasing.

His voice in her head: "Rey, I know the affect I have on you, the control I have over your body...I can feel it."

She felt the hot blush rise in her face as she fidgeted with her food. Did he really just say that? Suddenly, her embarrassment triggered her anger to began to rise.

A memory, a thought? 

That voice in her head: Kill him!

"I have beat you in battle", she began sternly, even more bothered by that voice than by anything Kylo was saying.

"Can't wait to fight...so violent," he purred, "don't let one victory make you insolent. It can be used against you as a weakness. Your untamed, angry, used to having to constantly defend yourself both physically and mentally. You will have to let that all go. You have to let it go to learn that control, only then can you let the Force guide your intent to learn."

A thought: It would be so easy to just give in, and really, would it matter what side she was on to just have him? 

What? 

It was true he was more proficient with the Force, more polished, having had more formal training, still, it was hard for her to listen to someone point out her faults. It was ingrained in her to be on the defensive, growing up in such a harsh environment and then having someone who could be as pretentious as Kylo Ren pointing out why she needs to change to fit in to his conceived notion of normal society and how to properly wield the Force...to let herself go and trust another person, that was the hard part for someone who pretty much only had herself to depend on for almost 20 years. 

That voice: Embrace your darkness as it was meant to be, fulfill your destiny.

A flash of herself in that dark clothing with her red saber...pure intoxication running through her veins, that rush of power. 

It can all be yours...

"You don't trust easily," Kylo was saying.

"I trust you," she said in a defensive tone.

"Not entirely, not when you think only your way is the right way."

"I told you..." she began as he cut her off shaking his head. 

In her head he said: "You are going to have to get over that and yield, forget what you think you know, I am your master now."

Those heated intense eyes bore into hers.

Some thought: The galaxy was already theirs to rule, together.

"You wanted me to teach you, this is how it begins," he continued in her head, "you won't learn anything until you accept this fact. This is how it is done."

Voice, or was it a memory? Embrace your darkness as it was meant to be, come to me and fulfill your destiny.

She didn't have a problem yielding to him in certain other situations, when he was pleasing her...she did already trust him more than she knew.

Looking down as she tried to mentally shake that voice, unsure of where it had come from...it seemed to somehow sense her anger...the voice that had told her to kill him at one time...

Yes, let your anger rise, my child. 

"This is what you agreed to." Kylo reminded her.

Their time together in the secluded hut was definitely over. 

A memory: You cannot fight the darkside without first understanding it...

"So, are you ready to learn?" 

"When do we start?"