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Safe Harbor

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Space was quiet. Blissfully so. The only sounds filling Rey’s ears were the hum of her small ship’s hyperdrive, and the sound of her breathing.

It was funny. She’d been alone for fifteen years on that waste of a planet called Jakku, and when she first found the Resistance, Finn, Poe, Chewie, she’d relished in the constant sound. The hum of activity, the endless smiles, the curiosity. People. Other people who were happy to talk, to share.

All the time, it turns out, especially when everyone thinks you’re the Last Jedi and that’s the furthest thing from the truth.

A Jedi would be able to build their own lightsaber, no problem, she thinks with a frown. A Jedi would be able to gracefully smile and handle all the questions, the prying, the need to get some sort of acknowledgement from her.

And, Rey briefly thought, a Jedi would definitely not struggle with attachments. Especially to a Dark Side wannabe Sith Lord that was currently ruling the First Order. And the galaxy.

A galaxy he offered to her, mind you.

She shook her head, turning her thoughts away from that dangerous path. Where was she? Right.

The truth was, Rey was no Jedi. Rey may enjoy people, friendly faces, smiles, but she also enjoyed privacy. Space. She found that she especially relished having a bit of alone time, preferably without needing to literally locking yourself in a supply closet and hoping no one went looking for more cables. Just so she could think.

Breathe. Breath and be. Just be. Just be Rey and not Rey, the alleged Last Jedi. Not Rey, the Hope of the Resistance. Not Rey, Luke Skywalker’s (begrudging) last Padawan.

And especially not Rey, the almost Empress.

She physically jerked her head at that last one, cursing her traitorous thoughts. But truth be told, he was a big reason why she liked (needed) her solitude. To figure out what had possessed her to flee Ahch-To and run straight into the arms of Kylo fucking Ren, her mortal enemy, thinking she could save him. Her. Some silly uncivilized child from the Outer Rim. To figure out why this damned Force Bond that Snoke claimed to have created still lived on. Oh, and to keep her from getting deemed as a traitor or psychotic when people noticed her arguing with thin air.

She’d told Leia, before the General fell even sicker. She knew the General had questions, could sense things. She’d look at Rey with those dark eyes that pried into her, more like her son than either of them would ever admit. The General didn’t believe that Rey had killed Snoke. No, she’d known something else happened the moment Rey showed her the shattered Skywalker lightsaber on the Falcon. It’d taken her a couple of weeks, but Rey finally spit it out one night while walking with Leia.

“I didn’t kill Snoke. Ben did.”

Leia froze at the name of the son she considered dead, her eyes rising to meet Rey’s, reflecting shock, heartbreak, but also hope.

“Snoke ordered him to kill me. But he wouldn’t.” Rey’s words tumbled out, unable to be contained any longer. The secret was eating her alive, killing her, and here she was, outing herself to the leader of the Resistance and the one other woman who might understand what it’s like to feel your soul burn with hope for Ben Solo.

“Why?” Leia’s voice was so small, so fragile.

“We… we have a Force Bond. I thought I could save him.”

Back in the present, Rey’s heart ached. She missed Leia. The petite, feisty General had become a confidant for Rey, someone who helped decipher Ben. His fears, his hopes. Someone else who’d believed in him.

But eventually, the cost of an untrained Force user being blown into space and saving herself from death by vacuum, combined with the losses of her husband, twin brother and close friend had finally caught up to the General. She’d been bed-bound, comatose for nearly three months. In her absence, Poe and Connix stepped up to lead the Resistance.

And after a month of feeling more and more like a misfit at the Base; as well as a very close call with Finn and a particularly volatile visit from Kylo Ren via the Force Bond, Rey volunteered to handle supply runs. She was a good pilot, she was good at keeping her head down, she could use the Force to bail her out of all kinds of sticky situations, and she could handle being alone. She was a perfect fit.

The first three runs went smoothly, including one to a Mid-Core world under the First Order’s control. Rey would slip in on her ship, meet with a benefactor’s agent, load the supplies, and slip back out before anyone noticed her. No problems at all.

The next trip was when things started getting weird with her ship. It wasn’t that old, and it was in top working shape - Rey made sure of that. It was a small, non-descript personal craft, one that a small merchant or even a family traveling between worlds might use. But as she’d left Corellia after meeting with a wealthy old friend of Leia and Han’s, her ship had jumped out of hyperspace at the wrong location. That was weird. Even weirder was that the small, personal transport ship had dropped out far, far too close to the First Order’s fleet. Her only saving grace was that they were already jumping to hyperspace when her ship appeared behind them.

The Bond had snapped to attention.

Rey.

And then they were gone, and he was gone, and the Bond went back to sleep.

So yeah, that was weird. But the next run went as smoothly as the first ones, and so she’d brushed it out of her head as some sort of weird coincidence and made sure to completely re-build the hyperdrive on her loaned ship.

By the sixth trip, the Resistance had dubbed the ship the Ackbar, a homage to the late, great Admiral. She’d been only mildly annoyed that she wasn’t given the honor of naming a ship that she’d laid claim to, by sweat and blood and possession. On Jakku, possession alone with enough to make it hers, but not here. Not in the Resistance, where nothing was ever truly yours.

Sometimes, for the briefest moment, she misses the simplicity of Jakku.

On the sixth trip, the damned ship rebelled agan, apparently so displeased by its name that its comms system went completely on the fritz. At one point, it started broadcasting a kriffing distress beacon on all known channels. Luckily, Rey was able to quickly use the Force to take all comms systems completely offline before jumping to hyperspace. She’d had to miss the drop because of it.

“How the kriff did your communications system get fried by… are those lightning marks on the wiring?” Finn had asked once she returned, incredulous. A rare visit from her increasingly distant friend.

Rey had just shrugged. “I told you we should’ve named it the Porgcatcher.”

Since Rey wasn’t able to collect the waiting supplies on that run due to her ship’s untimely decision to try to get her captured and killed, she was now out again, back in the silence of space. She’s back on the Ackbar, although she’s been quietly calling it the Porgcatcher, hoping that that, her extensive maintenance, obsessive checking and testing, as well as using the Force to diagnose any issues, would discourage any further mutinies.

‘So far, so good,’ she caught herself almost thinking, watching the soothing blue blur of hyperspace streak by the cockpit window. She’d made it to Dulathia, where Connix’s own well-connected family had supplies waiting. Food, bacta patches, even some of that Dulathian chocolate that Connix wouldn’t shut up about. The Bond had stayed blissfully quiet. It was there, but right now, Kylo seemed content to let her go about her mission without interruption. She occasionally felt a prick of irritation that was not her own, or sweat mysteriously trickling down her head when she was freezing cold, but otherwise, he left her uninterrupted. And while she sometimes felt like she was not alone, that she’d gained an extra shadow, she chalked that up to her ever-present Bondmate in her head and her own excessive paranoia.

Now, she’s flying back to the current Resistance base on Endor’s moon, a reconstituted Imperial installment that had been previously blown to smithereens by General Organa herself.

BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP

A loud alarm, shrill and incessant, suddenly jerks Rey out of her reverie as every light on the control panel seemingly lit up at once. The ship began to rattle, and the streaks of stars making up the familiar blanket of hyperspace began to slow.

“FUCK! Fuck fuck fuck fuck not again! C’mon, Porgcatcher, don’t do this, please!” Rey begged as her hyperdrive suddenly dropped completely out. She saw a distant planet ahead of her, not too far. It was lush and green and familiar.

‘Takodana,’ she realized with a shiver. Maybe, if she could get the ship to Takodana, Maz would be there and she could help her. Find her a ship that doesn’t want to randomly quit at everything.

Rey desperately punched the hyperdrive reset button on the control panel in front of her, but it was no use. It, and her nav computer, were hopelessly frozen. Rey couldn’t help but pound her fists against it, crying out with frustration.

‘Hit the killswitch,’ that inner voice whispered, the one that lived in her subconscious and Rey identified as the Force itself.

Without second thought, Rey reached over to the other side of the dashboard, just under the comms system. There, her fingers found the secret little switch she’d installed after the comms system disaster during the last run. With that, her comms system were all taken completely offline. A less destructive version of what she’d done before, one she could easily reverse.

She couldn’t help but feel a little triumphant, like she’d bested the ship at its own game.

She stood and stalked back past the small sleeping unit and towards the engine room. In there, she found the switches for the main and auxiliary power feeders to the engine, hyperdrive, and navigation system, and switched them all off, leaving only power and functioning to the life support systems. The ship went dark for a moment before only the emergency lights flickered on.

It took a minute for her eyes to readjust to the darkness. She could only hear her breath now, the slow, steady breathing mixed with that low hum of the Force that signaled -

‘Oh, FUCK.’

==================

She really didn’t need to deal with Kylo Ren right now. Her ship was throwing some sort of monumental temper tantrum that even he’d be impressed by; she was definitely in First Order controlled space; she had no nav system; and he looked far, far too amused by her whole situation for her comfort.

“Problems with your ship?” he grinned. He was sitting, but with his feet propped up on something (a desk?) wearing his usual all black ensemble that he’d refused to change even after assuming the title of Supreme Leader. His shiny black hair looked freshly washed and soft, like it was begging to be touched.

Rey struggled with her mind, begging it to behave long enough to get the Bond back under control so she could focus on her ship.

“No,” she swallowed, trying to look as cocky as possible. “I’m just testing some things out.”

“Mmmhmm.” Kylo was not convinced. “Are you sure that it has nothing to do with the fact that last time this happened, your ship started screaming that Rey of the Resistance was stranded just off of Corellia?”

She narrowed her eyes at him, hating how his lips twisted into a smirk. The bastard knew…

“Of course I did. You think our Intelligence wasn’t all over that? Anything to do with you comes straight to me.” The way he said that last part was almost possessive, and his gaze darkened for a moment.

“Also, Hux is the bastard, I’m just a -“

“Asshole!”

“There it is.” He was smiling now, throughly amused by the rising fury in his nemesis. Rey knew she should calm down, breathe, be a good little Jedi.

But she wasn’t a Jedi. She’d learned how to float rocks, meditate, and that Jedis tended to be even more self-righteous and infuriating than Dark Siders, and that was it. Plus, she was really, really pissed and Kylo Ren was such a fun target.

“I don’t suppose you’re going to offer anything other than witty commentary?”

Kylo’s face sombered for a moment, like he was honestly considering helping her. Maybe, she hoped, he was a little more Ben Solo today, and would let his compassion come through.

Then again, she ruined any compassion he had for her when she left him unconscious on the floor of a burning Throne Room, turning down his offer to join him.

“Nope, just witty commentary.” The devilish sparkle was back in Kylo’s dark eyes. He really could be quite handsome sometimes, and her heart twisted on itself for a second. That familiar yearning feeling rose deep in her chest, in her core, and she had to clench her fists to keep herself from getting too caught up in him.

“Not even going to come chase me down? After all, I’m the perfect target right now. A sitting duck.” Rey scowled, trying to goad him into saying something, something horrid and cruel that would cause her to hurt and the Bond to sever, as if desperate to shelter each other from their ugliness.

He didn’t bite, but he did move his legs off the table, slowly. He put his elbows on his knees and shifted forward, towards her, his chin resting on his hands. His eyes, those damned expressive eyes, were now inquisitive, searching her, as if trying to decipher her very being.

Her breath hitched in her throat.

‘Oh, no, no, no, no. Do something. Piss him off. Stop this, NOW!’ another voice in her head, the one called self-preservation, shrieked.

“Or is the great Supreme Leader too afraid of some weak little half-trained Padawan?” she went right for the ego on that one, knowing that Kylo’s wounded pride would always awaken his infamous temper.

For a moment, she thought he was taking the bait. His eyes flashed, dark and violent, and his body began to rise out of the chair in indignation.

“I’m sure you and your little Resistance friends would love for that, but I am not that easily fooled.”

I thought you knew me better. This is too obvious, even for you.

Rey paused, confusion flooding her mind as he started to root around in it for answers. Normally, she’d kick him out, but something else was off. This whole situation was off. And what did he mean, “too obvious?” And why did he think her friends were -

You don’t know. Even in her head, the shock in his voice matched the one now apparent on his face. He leaned back, a brief huff of breath escaping him.

“Know what?” She demanded, her voice pure steel now. What was he playing at? What did he mean? Why had that yearning feeling in her stomach turned into a heavy swirl of dread, coating her insides?

“Know what, Kylo Ren. Tell me. What do you mean?” She stepped towards him.

“Ah, so I’m Kylo Ren today.” He almost sounded sad.

“At least I call you by a name.” She shot back, reminding him that he refused to even lower himself to allow her name to fall from his lips. As if saying ‘Rey’ would damn him to all eternity.

The look on his face made her wonder how close to the truth that was. But he didn’t force his face to return to cold impassivity like he usually did. His face was now a confluence of emotions: concern, fear, sympathy, anger, and something else. Something she hadn’t seen since the Throne Room, since he watched Snoke torture her before him, screaming and writhing in pain.

“Your ship conveniently keeps sputtering out on you when you’re alone and in First Order territory. Kriff, it tried screaming out and begging me to come find it! You know there’s nothing wrong with it. Force, you even came to me asking if I’ve heard of something like this. I suspected then, but I never thought they would dare risk something so precious, so important…” he trailed off, and for a second, Kylo Ren was completely gone from his features. The soft look, the worry creasing the pale skin around his eyes, his deep voice becoming more velvet than steel.

This was Ben Solo before her, and Rey felt her traitorous heart sing with hope for a brief second, before his words, the implications sank in.

No.

“They wouldn’t,” she croaked, stepping back as if facing something more horrifying than a rancor.

“No? It’s just coincidence that this keeps happening?” His voice started to rise. “It’s just coincidence that your ship locks you out so that even you, a mechanic, one of the most powerful Force users in the galaxy can’t get it to work? It’s just a coincidence that your friends are waiting, just on the dark side of the planet, hoping that it all works this time?”

“No!” Tears are stinging at her eyes, the sick feeling in her stomach rising into her lungs, her heart. They couldn’t be, they wouldn’t, they didn’t know and even if they did, they wouldn’t…

Would they?

She reached out with the Force, in desperation, flying out with her mind into space, around the curve of Takodana’s swirling cerulean and emerald, to the shadowy side of the planet still bathed in night. She hoped to find nothing there.

What she found broke her heart.

Three squadrons of X-Wings lay in wait, Black Squadron posed in front. The leader ship, further out than the rest, monitoring the situation, was black with gold racing stripes down the side. Black Leader’s new ship, recently replaced to match the one destroyed on the Raddus. The pilot was all too familiar to her, olive skin, dark, teasing eyes and dark, curly hair to match a roguish smile.

“C’mon, Ren, where are you?” Colonel Poe Dameron hissed.

“Maybe we should’ve put her in the lingerie,” a voice, male, familiar, crackled over the radio with a laugh. A fellow Resistance pilot, one that (in the beginning, at least) had been desperate for her approval. Her hope.

Rey let out a choked sob as she sank back, her mind returning to her body as bile rose in her throat.

“I never thought they’d be so stupid. To endanger you like this, to use you as -“

“Bait,” she cut him off, tears now flowing freely. She was bait for Kylo Ren. Her friends, her family had betrayed her, had put her up like an offering, like she was…

Somehow, Poe, Connix, Finn, all of them knew. They knew about the Force Bond. They knew about her and Ben. Kylo. And they responded not by shunning her, not by branding her a traitor, no.

They used her. Just like the slavers on Jakku, like Unkar Plutt. Like her parents, willing to barter her life, her soul to get them a little closer to their happiness with no regards for her own.

Like she was nothing.

Rey let out a strangled scream, one of heartbreak, rage, anguish. She hadn’t screamed like this since the night after Crait, when she’d cried into her pillow for hours on end, her brain chanting ‘Stupid, stupid girl’ over and over again.

Ben started up, moving towards her, as if to grab her, comfort her. But the Force was cruel, and at that moment, the connection broke, yanking him from her in her most desperate hour.

Rey. She could’ve sworn she heard, but it was no comfort this time as she found herself truly alone, betrayed and heartbroken, floating aimlessly in space.

==============

She spent about five minutes taking every ounce of her rage out on her ship, screaming, crying, kicking, beating, thrashing every thing she could. Her hands bloodied, she broke a toe kicking something hard and sharply angled, but the pain seemed muted, far away. She used the Force to pry containers loose and toss them around.

At the end, she stood there panting from exertion, face red and blotchy and tears still streaming down her face as she surveyed the damage.

Even Kylo Ren would be impressed, and she didn’t even have a lightsaber.

An odd, eerie calm took over her, fed partially from her Bondmate who seemed desperate to reconnect. She looked around, and her brain, (always a scavenger) started planning.

Next move. Next moves.

She had to get away, clearly. For her safety, as she couldn’t guarantee that Hux wouldn’t be dumb enough to take the bait and Force only knows how far they intended their little plan to go.

But also for his.

She would not let their Bond, let her be used to bring him to his death.

No.

She had to get away, but she needed a new ship. She wouldn’t get far in this one. Luckily, she had the Jedi texts (though they were absolutely worthless to date, filled with leaping platitudes about serenity) and the shattered pieces of the Skywalker lightsaber with her. She never left them behind. So no need to return to base, which was good, given how she could feel how unbalanced she was.

How close the Dark was, she realized.

Give in,’ the Dark Rey that lived in her head hissed, spinning her promises of vengeance, of retribution, and something else, something that Rey was not anywhere ready to admit she wanted.

She took another deep breath, trying desperately to center herself. Unsurprisingly, Luke’s paltry lessons weren’t enough to truly silence the darkness, but it did allow her to reach some sort of compromise.

Her lips formed a determined line, pressing into themselves. She stepped over some shredded pieces of metal, back to the engine room entry way. She flipped the power switches back on, and the ship lurched back to life, the surge of energy audible as it returned.

She strode back to the now-silent cockpit, sliding back into the captain’s chair. Everything was back to normal, and she had to quickly punch in commands on the keyboard in front of her to stop the ship from jumping back into hyperspace and onto her previous course.

She took another deep breath and let the cold numbness wash over her, stabilizing her.

She reached out with the Force, letting it guide her through the cables and connections into the operating system itself. Let the coding speak to her, telling her, guiding her to what she needed. The Force felt different now, more like it did when she fought Kylo back on Starkiller Base, when the Dark Side called. It was tainted, inky black tendrils seeping into the light, but she didn’t really care.

There. She found the override codes - belonging to Poe - allowing him complete control over the nav system, comms and hyperspace controls, carefully hidden where no one would find it unless they knew exactly what to find. Using the Force, she reached out, delving deeper into the system and erasing the overrides completely, freeing her ship. She also disabled the trackers while in there, before pulling herself back out, satisfied.

‘Step one: check.’

Her hand reached back beneath the dash, and flicked the comms killswitch off. It then moved up, almost as if acting on her own, to her own comms mic.

She flicked it on, keying in the code for Black Leader’s comm. Except, when she did so, she used Finn’s access code, one that she’d committed to memory back when he started avoiding her.

‘He knew,’ she realized, and for a second, the Darkness almost took her again.

“Finn, buddy, no news yet. I don’t know what Ren is waiting for-“ Poe’s voice crackled over the distance, flooding the cockpit.

Rey narrowed her eyes in his directions. If looks could kill, Poe Dameron would undoubtedly be a dead man.

Lucky for him, Rey was not a Sith, and also not a Jedi, so her glare was, currently, non-fatal.

“Maybe you should’ve gone with the lingerie, Dameron.” Rey’s voice was cold, but almost a purr.

“Rey! What-! How-?” Panic radiated off of his voice as the Colonel realized just how fucked he was.

“Jedi, remember? I can read your mind, Dameron.” She lied, and it was an effortless one. But then the raging black got the better of her, and she didn’t wait for a response. “How far did you intend for this to go? Were you going to let them take me? Torture me? Kill me?”

“No, Rey, listen, kid-“

“Don’t you ‘kid’ me. Don’t you fucking dare, Poe Dameron!” Her voice rose, and fresh tears threatened to escape. “How dare you treat me like some piece of meat, like some… sacrifice for your precious little victory! I trusted you, Poe. I trusted you, and Finn, and Leia, and Connix - I thought you were my friends, my family!”

“You weren’t exactly honest with -“

“Oh, don’t even start. I had every right to hide the Bond and obviously I was right to do so!” The last words were a shriek, and Rey paused for a breath.

“Rey,” he started again.

“No. I gave up everything for you all. For the Resistance. Because I thought you were my friends. Because I thought -“ Her voice broke. Damn her weakness to Hell.

“I thought you were different than them.” Her voice was now a whisper, and she had to gulp back that wretched bile and another sob, finding the strength for the next line.

“But now I see that I was wrong. You’re no different than Hux. You’re no different than the First Order.”

She knew she hit deep with that one. She could sense it from here, a planet away. He was silent, and she used that opportunity to end the comm. She switched the killswitch back on and immediately punched in new coordinates to a place where she could easily disappear.

The stars outside twisted and screamed as she jumped into hyperspace, leaving the Resistance behind.

The last almost-Jedi then curled into a ball, burying her head deep into her knees and finally let the sobs of a broken, abandoned child flow free.

 

===================

 

Poe Dameron was a dead man.

The red saber cut into another training droid, not that Kylo even noticed it’s presence. His rage, his fury was far too consuming at this point, and all he could do was destroy.

Sure, the Resistance leader was already a dead man. For starters, his position made him persona non grata in the First Order. Add to that the few times Kylo had caught him trying to flirt with Rey - his Rey - while the Bond was opened and Poe’s fate was sealed. That he was also Organa’s willing lapdog (the son she always wanted) didn’t help his case.

But the fact that he’d not just gambled with Rey’s life, but had hurt her so deeply, tearing her soul apart through his callous betrayal? Poe’s number was up. Kylo vowed that it would be prolonged and incredibly painful when he killed the obnoxious pilot.

Something, he realized, he could do sooner rather than later.

The familiar inner conflict roiled over Kylo, one that he struggled with every day (although much more calmly now that he was mostly alone in his head). The one side of him, the dark, reckless side that ran on sheer emotion and ego demanded he go blow Poe Dameron out of the sky. He knew where their base was, he could meet him there just as he returned from Takodana. Then he could immediately go to Rey and force her to come back to the Finalizer with him. Where she’d be save from anyone and everyone who would try to hurt her to hurt him.

Except if he did that, he’d not only likely have to confront his mother; something that he’d avoided for the last couple of months. And he’d end up back at square one with a very pissed off Rey who likely would not see his chivalry and instead do all in her power to hurt him until she escaped. Probably take out a couple of ships, too.

Which meant that was not an option, said the stronger, calmer, more rational side of him, the always purposeful scientist, the son of Leia Organa and grandson of Padme Amidala. The one who’d grown up watching political machinations and manipulations, acts he detested but had quickly learned as Supreme Leader were … essential.

He’d worked very hard since then to learn to calm the rash, emotional and slightly unhinged part of him. He didn’t chain it up or wall it off like a Jedi, no. That side of him was still important and essential to who he was. But, unlike a Sith, he refused to be enslaved by it. Something he’d struggled very much with until he sliced his old Master in half using his grandfather’s lightsaber.

He always wondered how much of his instability was Snoke’s machinations.

His newfound patience and willingness to engage in long term strategy had helped cement him as Supreme Leader. After the humiliating debacle of Crait, Kylo Ren faced a coup on every level if he didn’t reform quickly. The officers and the troopers all hated General Hux, but they at least thought Hux would be competent enough to lead, and easy to overthrow once he wasn’t. Kylo spent weeks on damage control, making sure his temper never showed in public, endearing himself to the officers and improving the Stormtrooper’s rations and leave.

Because Hux may have been competent, but he was openly sadistic, cruel to anyone whom encountered him. The officers especially had no lost love for him, his tactics, his brazen ambition that had led him to having his father assassinated for power. With Hux in charge, they knew the Order would flourish but they would be crushed.

Once they had an alternative that was not only competent, but seemingly less inclined to make them die a slow, cruel and tortured death, most of the officers gladly allied themselves with Kylo.

Hux was still a problem. The insufferable weasel wanted him dead, still lusted for Kylo’s power. His throne. Felt that Kylo never earned such a position; and also believed that Kylo’s hands were covered in the former Supreme Leader’s blood. Something which he didn’t fault him for, as had Hux had the balls to try to off Snoke himself he would’ve, but something he very much intended to use against Kylo when the time came.

Luckily, Hux had not decided to re-adjust his attitude, meaning that the officers and rank and file still hated him, giving Kylo some much needed security as the Supreme Leader.

Security that would be undermined if he flew off to kill Poe Dameron at this very moment.

No. Poe Dameron’s end would come, but Kylo had all the time in the world. Right now he needed to focus on Rey. She was hurting, he could feel it through the bond. Like a wounded animal, she’d lashed out at him, and he’d almost lost control. He needed to be even more careful when it came to her, but he couldn’t ignore her pain, her heartbreak right now.

One that he knew all too well.

He told himself he was doing this because it was the perfect opening to bringing her to his side and ending the war and the Resistance. If Rey fell to the Dark, or Hell, just to him, there would be no hope for the murderers, traitors and thieves still fighting him, despite all the improvements he’d made.

He wonders how much news his mother and Dameron allowed to filter through.

Kylo deactivated his lightsaber, closing his eyes and opening his mind up fully to the Force, to the Bond, to her. All the stars in space and that silvery cord anchored in their minds was the clearest thing he could see, calling him home to her. He could sense her more clearly the moment he reached for the Bond. She felt more still now, her mind more open than before. Signs that Kylo now knew meant she was asleep.

The familiar hum of his star destroyer’s engines faded away, his heartbeat thrumming in his ears. He opened his eyes to see her, only her, curled up in what he imagined was the pilot’s seat. She’d brought her knees to her chest and fell asleep hugging them tightly to her, as if trying to protect her broken heart. Tears still slipped out of her closed eyes every so often, her head resting on her knees. A broken sob slipped out, her dreams forcing her to relive that moment of betrayal over and over again.

He slid down onto one knee, bringing him to her level so he could study her more closely. His hand trailed over her head, not touching but still soaking in the warmth of her freckled skin, much like he’d done on Starkiller Base.

She shivered slightly, although he didn’t know if it was from the cold or something else. Before he realized what he was doing, he unhooked the durasteel clasp of his cowl and wrapped it around her, enveloping her in darkness.

She sighed gently, and shifted into it.

“Ben.”

Hearing his name, even that name, sighed through her pink lips in such a manner did things to his soul and his cold, black heart. He felt it stutter in his chest and his mind shot him a picture of Rey saying it in the same way while wrapped in his embrace, eyes hazy and half-glazed with passion, those pink lips swollen from his own.

'Down, boy,' he reminded himself. 'Now is not the time to press your luck. If she woke up to that, she’d probably slice you in half with your own lightsaber.'

He had to be patient. After all, Poe Dameron and the Resistance had given him such a lovely gift, had they not? Before, he was agonizing about how to make her see that she was just a tool, a weapon, a body wielding the Force to them. Just like he was to Snoke. And that they were not the holy saviors of the Galaxy she thought they were.

But then that idiot started sending her on these little missions, while making sure to basically broadcast on all systems that Rey, the Last Jedi, the Light of the Resistance, was traveling alone and unarmed to a Core Planet and was ripe for the taking.

They were lucky that he was able to easily convince Hux that something so obvious was obvious either a trap or purposefully bad intel. Had Hux captured her, he would’ve probably tortured Rey within an inch of her life before Kylo could save her.

The Darkness roared, and he dug his nails into his thigh to calm himself before she sensed it and woke up.

Once he had Rey, she would be safe. He wouldn’t have to worry about Hux finding her first; Hell, maybe once she saw into Hux’s mind she’d kill her himself (and he’d gladly let her).

'All in good time,' he reminded himself. He’d never been a patient man, but Rey was worth the wait.