Rey gritted her teeth in frustration. That kriffing song was back in her head. She didn’t know its name, had never heard it prior to the last few weeks when it had mysteriously floated into her skull and then came back often to vex her…
It wasn’t a terrible song. It was just that it was always there, lurking in the dark recesses of her brain, waiting to resurface… Soft and gentle like a lullaby…but she only knew the melody. Perhaps her poor excuse of a mother had sung it to her when she was small? With recent traumatic events, maybe sub consciously it had re-emerged to torment her? Just when the thought brought the sting of tears to her eyes, she perished it. What kind of woman would sing to her child a sweet song like this one, and then abandon her for something as minor as drinking money?
“You’re nothing.” Ah, there it was again. Whenever the song wasn’t playing in a loop in her tired brain, she heard the painful declaration from a man she was sure she was falling –
NO, REY. She chastised herself. Don’t think about him. It’s over, it’s finished, there’s nothing there any more. Let it go….
She huffed out an exasperated breath and straightened her back. With Luke gone, she needed to train herself. When she wasn’t poring over the ancient Jedi texts she had secreted away in the Falcon, she would meditate or hone her fighting skills. She knew the day would come, most likely sooner rather than later, that she would have to face him again. She needed to be ready for him.
The idea sent a sharp pain through her heart. Their force bond had quieted since she had seen him kneeling in front of her on Crait. But he was still there. Her nightmares were full of images of him piercing her chest with that vicious sabre of his, and vice versa. She would ram her weapon into his heart, only to watch him look up at her with love in those soulful dark eyes, before they closed forever. She would wake up in tears, covered in sweat, and full of sadness and regret.
Then there were the dreams. Much different than the nightmares of killing him. They always started the same, with them locked in battle, but diverted into something much more satisfying. With hands and lips desperately moving against each other, and when her eyes snapped open she was still drenched, but with an ache between her thighs and a flare of frustration so fierce she had ripped holes in her sheets.
Stupid stubborn man baby, she thought hatefully. If only he had abandoned his ridiculous cause, then maybe he’d be here with me right now and instead of running my fingers over old lines of text, I’d be running them over those godly muscles and –
NO, REY. She growled at herself. She focused her eyes back on the page, and forced them to absorb the information. Just as she was finally settling into a deep concentration, she heard the song again. But instead of the humming in her brain, it was out loud. Her eyes widened in alarm as she turned her head to see a little girl sitting next to her, singing gently in her sweet little voice. She was sitting cross legged on the chair, drawing a picture, and humming happily as if she had no cares in the world.
Transfixed, Rey drank in the sight of her. Her tiny head was crowned with silky dark curls, her adorable little nose was covered in freckles that continued their constellation onto her ivory cheeks. When she finally noticed Rey looking, she stared back at her with wide, bright hazel eyes like her own, and giant smile spread across her mouth.
“Hi, Mommy!” she cried, happily. “Whatcha readin’?”
Rey eyes nearly popped out of her head, and her mouth dropped open. “W-w-what did you call me?” she stuttered, her heart racing fast.
The little girl giggled. “What? Mommy? That’s your name, silly!” She giggled again and shook her head. “Well, it’s not your name! Your name is Rey, but I call you Mommy.”
Rey tried to control her breathing. Had Finn and Poe played a trick on her at breakfast? Had they slipped an hallucinogenic drug in her coffee? This pretty little girl in front her looked extremely real, but it was impossible...
I must be exhausted, Rey thought, shaking her head and rubbing her eyes. All those dreams and nightmares can’t be good for me.
She poked the little girl hard on the arm, but was shocked to see that she felt extremely solid. The harsh gesture caused tears to well in her eyes, and she whimpered.
“Ouch, Mommy! Why did you do that?!” Her whimpers dissolved into tears and she wept angrily. The severe emotion on her face caused a pang of recognition to rise in Rey, but she couldn’t place it….
“I’m sorry!” she replied, rubbing the spot where she’d jabbed, trying to soothe the pain. “I was just checking to make sure you were real!”
That only seemed to make it worse. The little girl cried harder. “Why wouldn’t I be real?” she sobbed.
Rey had never felt so useless. She wasn’t sure how to comfort someone…Instinctively, she reached out and wrapped her arms around the tiny creature who nestled into her as though she’d done it a thousand times before.
She’s mine, a voice whispered inside of Rey, and she knew in her heart that it was true.
“I’m so sorry,” she repeated, burying her face in her daughter’s thick dark hair. “I didn’t mean to upset you.”
“It’s okay, Mommy,” the girl whispered, leaning against her as if it was the most natural thing in the world. Rey was surprised to find that it did feel extremely normal. As though she was meant to be this child’s mother. It was amazing, to feel this kind of love. She had been alone for so long, and with B -- Kylo Ren -- gone from her life, she felt like her debilitating loneliness was to be a life long sentence. But now this beautiful child held onto her so tightly, and Rey never wanted to let her go.
She had a million questions for this tiny thing. But in the moment, she felt it was best to keep her calm and not upset her again. While she cradled the child in her arms, she turned to look at the drawing she had done.
“This is lovely!” she praised. In the drawing there were three figures. She pointed to the littlest one.
“Is that you?” she asked, and the child nodded eagerly.
“Yes, that’s me, Espé.”
“Espé?” Rey questioned.
“Yes, it means ‘Hope’, Mommy.” She turned to Rey, furrowing her eyebrows in frustration and again she reminded Rey of someone…
“Of course, sorry!” Rey replied, pointing to the next figure to distract Espé. “And this is me, I assume?” The figure had brown hair and was wearing an outfit similar to that which she was currently wearing.
Espé nodded again, and Rey slid her finger to the last figure in the picture. It was a figure taller than hers, wearing all dark colours, with a mop of black hair. Even with rudimentary artistic rendering, Rey could tell who the figure was. She suddenly felt sick to her stomach. She choked out the question anyways.
“And who’s that?” she croaked.
Espé gave her an exasperated look, and finally Rey clued in to the resemblance.