When Ben was a young boy, neither of his parents were overly affectionate. He supposed this was a blessing. But it taken him well into adulthood to realize that that his mother withheld physical affection much more for his sake than her own. He could remember falling on the playground as a little boy, his mother rushing to gather him in her arms and how much that made it worse. She didn't know how to comfort a son who didn't want to be touched. For years, they had worked to develop their own language. Leia almost never touched Ben without him giving her a cue. When he was very young he had a hand signal for it, because it was hard to find words when he was overly emotional. He had one for yes touch and one for no touch. Leia was patient with him.
Han wasn't. He never understood Ben's outbursts, and although Ben was sure his father did love him, there was more disappointment and disconnection and it tainted the water.
It had taken him years to learn the truth of Han Solo, that he was a con man and a thug, and Han had never taken the time to learn the truth of Ben.
Ben couldn't get out of bed. He didn't go to work that morning, it was the first time in three years he had called in sick. He felt like death, or like dying, some kind of slow rot. He couldn't believe how badly he had fucked up. He must have really misled Rey. He thought that she understood the safety of sexting vs the reality of touch, he thought that it was him proving that he did have those desires, he did think about, he didn't think it meant he had to act on them right away. She had been so insistent, seemed to need something from him that he couldn't give and he wasn't sure exactly what he could have done about it.
If Rey needed him to sleep with her, he would. It didn't have to be for him, he was willing to give her that if it meant she would stay with him, but the thought had turned rapidly from this exciting thing he was working toward to a finish line he would have to drag his body across. He wasn't looking forward to it anymore and that came with its own crushing weight. He thought she got it? How was he so wrong again. He pressed the heels of his hands to his eyes.
Ben's moods has always seemed to come full force, his anger, his sadness, his love, all of it unmasked and overwhelming. He was feeling more now than he had in a long time, had less control over everything. Maybe it was better to let her go. This was hard, too hard, and again his mind circled around one fact: you're not enough for her.
Ben looked over the clock, it was after 10:00pm, Rey would be at work. He could go see her, tell he was sorry, offer to sleep with her. His stomach roiled and he buried his face in his pillow. Let it go. Let it go.
He heard his phone buzz. He knew there was no way it was Rey, she was at work, so he risked a glance at it.
I am so sorry, I'm such an asshole. I really need you right now.
Ben was confused first and concerned immediately after.
She was typing... She seemed upset, but if she was reaching out to him maybe it wasn't about him?
Hux showed up, made me dance for him. He tried to fuck me and when I said no he attacked me. Ben I'm so sorry I was so awful yesterday, all of this is my fault please I just need you right now.
Ben saw red. His fists balled and he jumped out of bed. His mind was spinning. He recalled his own confrontation with Hux just a few days before, he should have warned Rey. Hux ATTACKED her? Ben was going to kill him.
Fuck. I'm on my way, just stay where you are. I'm coming, I promise.
Back of Rebel Girls, by the dumpster.
He jumped out of bed and pulled on his coat, not bothering to change out of the sweat pants and plain tee shirt he was in. Within seconds he was out the door.
Rebel Girls was only about half a mile from his place, so he ran. He made it there in about 5 minutes.
Panting, he rushed around back and his eyes found Rey. She was in a little dress and ugg boots, sitting on the stone step by the dumpster, crying into her hands and fuck, there was blood on her arms. It made him dizzy.
"Rey," he said, rushing over. She stood up, shaky, but didn't reach out for him.
"I'm sorry, I know you probably don't want to see me after how horrible I was but I didn't know who else to call and you're the only one I wanna see right now and I'm so sorry Ben, I'm so sorry."
Ben shook his head, she looked wrecked, eyes and lips swollen from crying, shoulders shaking. He stepped closer and wrapped his arms around her, pulling her against his chest. She was so small against him, a little lamb. He stroked her hair, her back.
"You don't have to be sorry," he said.
"Yes I do," her words were muffled against his chest.
Ben pulled back and got down on one knee, hands on Rey's hips, holding her away from him. He was looking up and down her body, where had the blood come from?!
"What did he do to you? Show me, Rey I promise you I'm going to kill him."
Rey kept her hands still on Ben's shoulders, not gripping him, cautious, he realized.
"He didn't hurt me, just tried to force himself on me. I elbowed him in the nose...there was a lot of blood but it was a his. He accused me of sleeping with you for money," her voice broke on the words and she was crying again. "He told me he would double it. I told him to fuck off, he didn't like that."
Ben was shaking. He stood up slowly, fists balled so, so tightly. He couldn't think of anything besides slamming his body into Hux, knocking all of his teeth out.
"I'm going to fucking kill him," Ben spat out.
"Ben please don't," Rey whispered, she was shaking. She didn't understand, he wasn't going to stop. He hated Ben, he did this to get at him, not because of Rey. He had put her in this danger.
"Come home with me, please?" Ben said.
Rey nodded, coming to stand beside him. She didn't touch him now, holding her body a few inches away. He could feel her shaking. He reached down and took her hand in his, he could feel it sticky with blood. They set off into the night.
The walk back to Ben's apartment was slower than his sprint to the club. It took them more than ten minutes, and when they got inside Rey was shivering.
"Do you wanna take a shower?" Ben asked her. She nodded and he led her back to a guest room with an attached bathroom. He got her some towels and closed the door behind him. Once he heard the water running he went and got some clothes, a plain white tee shirt and a pair of his boxers and left them on the bed for her.
He came out into the living room and started to pace.
Hux with his hands on Rey, pulling her toward him.
Hux watching her dance, hungry eyes and wandering hands.
Hux offering to pay her to fuck him, jesus he was going to fuck him up, nothing in the world could stop Ben from beating Hux to within an inch of his fucking life. He tugged on his hair, fought the urge to smash all of his plates. If Rey hadn't been in the next room he would have. He knew that nothing had happened but he couldn't keep the image of Hux kissing her out of his head, and worse, of her kissing him back, of Hux being able to satisfy some part of Rey that he couldn't. He was losing it, he felt his eyes sting. He wanted Hux dead.
"Ben," her voice was soft behind him. He spun around. She was wearing the clothes he left out, the white tee shirt, clearly no bra beneath it, his red boxers rolled up high on her thighs. She was toweling off her wet hair. His anger quieted, his head quieted, just his heart was hammering. Her hair was wet around her shoulders and her eyes were red.
"I think we should talk," she said. For a moment he thought she meant about Hux, but then he realized that probably wasn't whole reason she was crying. Right.
"Yeah, yeah okay." Ben moved over on the couch and Rey came to sit by him.
She was still teary-eyed. She took a deep breath.
"I'm sorry, I know I said already that but it's the thing I want you to hear first. Also that I am so, SO crazy about you. Like, can't stop thinking about you, want to be around you all the time kind of thing."
Ben was watching her as she spoke.
"And Ben I like YOU I like who you are and I like your baggage and your issues and I just haven't been upfront about mine, so I'm going to be and then if you don't want to see me anymore after that I'll understand."
Ben couldn't think of anything that would make him want to stop seeing Rey but logically he knew he didn't have all of the information yet, and so that was subject to change. He nodded.
"My parents left me when I was really little, maybe four? They just... left me on the street. And I lived like that by myself for a while. I don't know how long, I was eating out of trash cans and sleeping behind buildings. I was so shy, so scared. I just thought they must be coming back, and I should stay quiet and nearby and wait."
Ben's heart was hammering, he tried to picture baby Rey, alone in London. It was horrifying.
"Eventually the authorities found me and they put in me an orphanage. There were hundreds of kids, nowhere to go, like a god damn Dickens novel, I can't explain to you how horrible it was. I lived there for about two years. The older kids they... they were awful."
Rey hugged her arms around herself.
"They would hurt me, they were always trying to get me and the only person I trusted was one of the grown ups, his name was Jim. He kind of, kept me safe. When I was six he started letting me sleep in his bed instead of mine, where people would mess with me. And he was soo nice Ben, no one had ever held me before. No one had ever touched me and so I didn't know... I didn't know what he was doing when he would put his hands down my pants."
Rey squeezed her eyes shut.
"It got worse, and I started to be afraid of him, started hiding from him but he was this all knowing powerful adult and I was what, not even seven? I got placed in a home a few months after that, and it just messed me up Ben I didn't ever have the right kind of affection and suddenly I was starved for it, I just needed to be held and acknowledged and the only way I knew how to do that was to act sexy, to befriend men and I hate it because it always worked. Every home I was in I could get special treatment, it kept me safe, it became a tool to barter with. A lot of them didn't touch me the way Jim did but they liked my attention, they all made me feel special. When I was eleven I came to live with my uncle. One night I tried to get into bed with him and he started crying. He told me he was so sorry, he got me a therapist, he put me in dance. I spent years coming to terms with what happened to me and I feel like most of the time I am in such a good place but there is this part of me that will always feel worthless until I can prove my worth. And my friends brought it up to me, and I started to panic that you didn't want me, and that I could never make you stay, that you were going to leave and I thought if I could get you hooked on me the best way I knew how, you would stay. And it's fucked up and I'm sorry. I don't need anything from you that you can't give me Ben. I'm gonna work on me, and if you don't want to be with me I get it, I just needed you to know. My brain is...confused. Sex and love seem so tangled to me and you don't deserve to be dragged into that."
Ben didn't know what to say, he let out a shaking breath and brought a hand to his face, it was wet. He had been crying.
Rey looked so small, so sweet and fragile beside him. He wanted to touch her, he wanted to hold her, he wanted to make her feel loved.
"That's so fucked up Rey," Ben had never been the best at comforting people, but he was trying. "No one should have to deal with that, especially not a kid. I can't imagine."
He reached out and took her hands in his.
"But I do know that you are so brave and so strong, and that all of these things have combined to make you this amazing person."
"Do you still wanna give being with me a chance?" She asked him, sniffing.
"More than anything, I was so sad when you left. I thought it was my fault."
Rey started to cry again, she sat up and moved closer to him.
"No! Ben no not at all."
"I can see that now," Ben said with a smile.
"I don't want to do anything you don't want to do. Please I promise."
Ben thought again about Hux, about his hands on Rey, about what Rey needed, about her body under someone else's hands. His gut churned.
"I'm exhausted, I want to go to bed, and I want you to come with me. How does that sound?"
Rey smiled a watery smile.
Rey followed Ben back to his bedroom. She was drained, but somehow still wound tight. She felt like a coiled spring. Coming clean to Ben had been a relief, and she felt closer to him now than she ever had. She wasn't going to push, she wasn't. She wished she had gotten herself off while she was showering earlier, that would probably ease a lot of this tension. But she had been to shook up and too sad and now she was left frustrated, trying to ignore her baser instincts as she got into bed with the man of her dreams.
Ben laid down next to her, not touching her, and they were quiet. There was light coming into the bedroom from the attached bathroom, soft and warm.
"You know I do want you, Rey," Ben whispered.
Rey felt her heart contract in her chest.
"It's just, there's a part of my brain that kind of shuts down when I try to act on it and it becomes...difficult and painful and it's overwhelming. I'm just not used to it, it isn't about you I mean," Ben rolled over so his head was cradled in his hand, he was watching her, "You're perfect."
Rey rolled to face him.
"Is it overwhelming when you touch me or just when I touch you?" Rey asked. Ben looked thoughtful.
"I don't know, usually both things are happening. But being touched is definitely more intense."
"Do you...wanna touch me?" Rey hated how nervous she sounded, but she didn't think she could take him telling her no.
"So much," he whispered.
"It doesn't have to like, be a sex thing," she said. "You can just touch me if you want, I want to feel your hands on me."
Ben looked down at her, he looked excited. He was so close, so warm, she could smell his soap and the musk of his body. She shivered.
His fingers came down to trail along her arms, raising goose flesh on her skin. She laid down on her back, letting him
Curl up along side her, his body gently pressed against hers, groin against her hip, stomach along her side. He let his hand come down from her arm to her belly, pushing her shirt up to touch the skin of her stomach. She felt her body twitch, muscles clenching and loosening.
"Do you like it?" She asked him, the rough skin of his fingers dragging down her ribs.
"More than anything," he said.
"It's not too much?"
Ben shook his head, pushing her shirt up further. She sat up so he could take it off completely. Ben bit his lip as he looked down at her body, he looked like he had stumbled on a lost city, some forgotten treasure that had only been heard of in myths.
"You're amazing," he whispered, let his hand trace the skin of her tits. His fingers came up to pinch her nipple and she let out a little gasp of encouragement. Ben pressed in closer to her, letting his hand cover her entire breast, dragging his palm across her hard little nipple, and then doing the same on the other side.
Fuck, Rey saw stars when he kept her nipple in between his fingers, tugging on it, rubbing in rhythmic circles. It was sending electricity through her whole body, she wanted to touch herself so badly. She wasn't sure if Ben was trying to tease her or if he was just genuinely lost in touching her. She wasn't going to break this spell, even if it killed her. She knew she was soaking the boxers she had borrowed from him.
Ben let his hand fall lazily from her tit, nails scraping against her ribs to her hips, then the skin of her thigh. He sat up suddenly so he could use both of his hands. He came to sit between her legs, hands reaching out on both sides to touch the creamy expanse of her thighs.
Rey arched her hips up without meaning to, trying to get closer. Ben smiled and brought one large hand to rest on her abdomen, well below her belly button but too high to be really touching her, he pushed her down into the bed, his other hand coming back to circle her nipple again and god damn, he had to know what he was doing now, no WAY was this inadvertent teasing, this was beautiful torture. Rey whimpered. Ben tugged harder at her nipple before slowing down and rubbing those maddening circles again and again and again. Rey was taking shallow little breaths now.
"Oh my god Ben," she whispered. She needed more, couldn't ask for it, was going to lose her mind!
Suddenly Ben's lips were on her neck, one hand still holding her flat again the bed, one still circling slowly, slowly, slowly on her pebbled little nipple. She let out a little gasp and her hands jerked to touch him but she stopped herself, keeping them pinned to her sides. Ben should have tied her up. The thought sent another jolt through her body and she felt her pussy gush again into his underwear.
Ben was watching her so closely, his eyes overbright and lost.
"Do you think you could cum just like this? Without me ever touching your pussy?"
Rey whimpered because she had been thinking it too, the pressure of him holding her down, the lazy, ridiculous rhythm of his fingers against her swollen nipple, it was so intense, so overwhelming, she loved it. It felt like walking through fire. She had never been more turned on in her life.
"Fuck maybe, but if it doesn't work will you help me out? I've never been this wet in my life."
Ben's eyebrow shot up, she knew it was kind of a cheap trick because he was gonna wanna see just how wet she was but good, fuck she needed him to touch her. She needed it so badly.
Ben lowered his face to hers and kissed her, tongue pushing into her mouth, she raised up a bit to get closer, he was still pinning her down. She was gasping as his lips left hers to bite softly against her neck and collarbone. His fingers tugged roughly at her over sensitized nipple and she cried out, she could feel tears building in her eyes.
"Ben oh my god, baby please," she whimpered.
"Please what?" He asked.
"Feel how wet I am for you."
Ben groaned and dragged his hand from her breast to the hem of the shorts.
Rey had totally meant it when she said this didn't have to be a sex thing but that was before Ben had teased her to the edge of her fucking sanity.
Slowly, Ben came to lay down alongside her again, his hips pressed into her thigh and she could feel that he was hard in his sweat pants, it made her dizzy to think about. Keeping that intense pressure on her belly, holding her down alongside him, Ben let his fingers drag through her wet curls.
He let out a low sound of amazement.
"You're so wet," he said.
"Told you," Rey said.
Ben kissed the side of her face as he dragged his fingers down her slit. She worked her hips against him, finding friction among all that slick.
"Your pussy is so hot, like a little furnace." He whispered, pressing closer to her. He let his fingers find her clit, and then he was rubbing it fiercely. Rey let out a small scream, body arching off the bed. Ben kept his hold on her, not letting her thrash too much, she brought her hands up to her face to keep them from finding him, tugging at her hair and biting her hand.
"You look so good like this," Ben said.
"You, only you do this to me, no one else," she panted and Ben suddenly had two of his huge fingers inside of her, her leg kicked out and she felt the fire inside of her threaten to consume her.
He was fucking her with his hand now, pumping in and out and she could hear the sounds it made and felt tears streaming down her face and she couldn't breathe.
"Ben I'm gonna cum," she said. Ben roughly tugged the shorts the rest of the way off her so he could watch her spread her legs, she looked down at the place where his hand disappeared inside of her. His thumb came up to rub against her clit and she was done, she felt her body contract and she could feel herself cumming, harder than she ever had, soaking Ben's hand and the sheet below her. She couldn't breath, could only feel her body transcend whatever prison it had been living in to float above them. She was sure she was screaming, she didn't care.
It was white hot, she saw stars, and then every neuron in her body was tingling, sensitive and raw. Rey knew she had tears streaming down her face, she must look fucking wrecked.
Ben was on her suddenly, his weight as much of a relief as her orgasm has been, and he was kissing her. Kissing her mouth and her face and her eyes.
"Ben, Ben, Ben," she kept saying his name like she couldn't believe he was real.
"Can I- do you want me to?" She nodded down at him, the bulge in his pants but he shook his head.
"No that was perfect, you're unreal," he said. "I've never made anyone cum like that."
Honestly Rey wasn't sure what exactly Ben's experience was, he had mentioned a girlfriend in college so she assumed he wasn't a virgin but she had NO idea what that was. Was it even an experience thing? Was it just a connection thing? She didn't know and she didn't care, she loved it. She loved him. So much.
"No one has ever made me cum like that," she said with a little laugh, and then more seriously, "Only you."
Ben was kissing her again, and she felt safe in his arms, safe in his bed, in his world. They fell asleep curled around each other, and Rey never wanted to be anywhere else.
Ben woke up happy, he was curled around Rey, a small little heater. He couldn't believe he had her back, just 24 hours ago he had been convinced that she was gone forever. His happiness was immediately encroached upon by his anger. Hux. Fucking Hux. He couldn't let it go.
He had gotten lost in Rey last night, in her body, her noises, the way she arched and spasmed. He had needed to prove himself to her and to himself, prove that he could give her what she wanted and that he could enjoy it and he had, the memory made his dick twitch.
It was just that he couldn't let it go. Hux had to pay for what he did.
Rey sighed and curled against him. He had sent an email to work from his phone saying he was still sick so he could stay in bed with her this morning, but he had to get to the office at some point this afternoon. He didn't want to wake her, she looked so peaceful, like she had found peace despite everything she had told him about and found it in his arms. He didn't know what he had done to deserve this.
"What time is it?" She asked, voice rough with sleep.
"Shit Ben don't you have work?"
"It's okay, I'm going in soon."
Rey stretched beside him, rolling over and slouching off the bed to head into the bathroom. She came out a minute later, face wet and smiling.
"Last night was amazing, seriously Ben thank you."
"I really enjoyed it, I like watching you lose control like that."
Rey blushed. He wasn't trying to be dirty. Just honest.
Rey came and sat down, she held her phone in head.
"Okay, can I tell you a secret?" Rey asked. Ben's heart skipped. He moved to sit cross legged beside her.
"I auditioned for the San Francisco Ballet."
Ben's eyes went wide.
"Did you get in?! Of course you did, who am I kidding."
"I don't know yet. They emailed me yesterday but I was so sad about how things went with you and then I forgot about it with the commotion with Hux and obviously, other things, and I didn't read it yet. I wanted to be with you when I opened it."
"Open it." Ben said eagerly. Rey laughed.
"Okay but if i didn't make it, you have to buy me breakfast."
"I'm buying you breakfast either way. Open it."
Rey clicked her phone. Her eyes were skimming the screen fast.
"Dear Ms. Kenobi, we are pleased to offer you a spot as a soloist with the San Francisco Ballet- oh my god Ben!" Rey jumped up, she was crying but these were tears of joy. Ben rushed up beside her and pulled her in for a kiss.
"I can't believe it," she said against his mouth.
Ben had taken Rey out for breakfast to celebrate, she had mimosas but he didn't want to drink before work. She had been so happy, just a ball of energy and light and he could almost forget, almost. But not really.
He went into his office late, responded to emails, checked over numbers and waited.
At 5:00 he went down to the parking garage. He never drove, but Hux always did. He waited by his car.
It took Hux about ten minutes to come down and longer to realize he was being watched. He was so stupid. Ben stepped out of the shadows.
"Solo, creeping around dark places is a past time of yours, is it?"
Ben slammed Hux against his car. His hand came up to his throat to choke him.
"You touch her again, I'll fucking kill you."
Hux was sputtering. Ben let him go, and then slammed his fist full force into the other mans face.
"You go to the cops, I'll fucking kill you. You know who my father is right? I'm not kidding. You have no right to touch her, she was fucking distraught."
Ben slammed his fist into Hux again, the other man was bleeding, one eye already swollen shut.
"Tell me you understand me," Ben spat.
"I- I understand!" Hux screamed.
Ben let him go, shook out his hand, and left the parking garage.