The first time she touched him, truly touched him, not the thick fabric of his clothes or his gloves, it hadn’t even technically been real.
It had felt real, the Force allowing them to come together across light years to exchange the barest brush of their fingertips. She had felt his yearning, his desperate desire for connection- for warmth and touch and affection- just as vividly as she had seen her vision of him standing with her, the two of them united.
He still yearned for it, though her vision had taken a lot longer to turn into reality than she had hoped.
Too many years and too many lives, but he hadn’t been ready. Killing your abuser and being free of him were two very different things. She had learned that, and Rey had done what she did best; she waited, and when the time came, she offered her hand to him once more. She was good with broken things, and this tall, wounded man was no exception.
A tall, wounded man who looked so strange in the cockpit of the Falcon, his black, stiff clothes in contrast to the muted grays surrounding them.
He was afraid, she could feel it like a high-pitched note humming through the air, though he was doing his damndest to hide it. She couldn’t blame him; he had taken the first step of a very long journey, and the road before them was not going to be easy. He would not face it alone, not for a moment, but she almost wasn’t sure if he knew that.
“Fancy a detour?” The words were out of her mouth before she could even consider them.
Ben’s blank expression told her they were words that were just as unexpected to him as they were to her, but Rey felt surety suddenly settle into her stomach. She trusted her instincts, they had served her well throughout her life, survivalist as it was. If her gut was telling her that this was the right thing to do, she would believe it.
“Detour?” he repeated her, a crease forming between his eyebrows in confusion, and she nodded.
“You and me,” she said gently. “Big galaxy like this, I think we can slip away for a little while.”
He was staring, and she could practically see his thoughts skittering around, trying to make sense of the things she was saying.
“Ben,” she said softly, turning the captain’s seat a little and giving him a serious look. “Are you really in a rush to go to the Resistance?”
His throat bobbed as he swallowed, and he gave his head a tentative shake.
“Me neither,” she said softly. “So let’s put it off.”
He looked at her for a long moment, his brown eyes flicking over her features.
“Are you sure?” he finally asked quietly, and Rey nodded.
The anxious, frightened tension in his body slowly seeped away, and Rey gave him a small, gentle smile.
“Have a destination in mind?” he asked, and Rey considered, looking out among the stars through the cockpit window.
They needed somewhere isolated, somewhere where their presence wouldn’t raise an alarm of any kind.
“Ahch-To,” she murmured, looking back to him questioningly. “Would be kind of fitting, don’t you think?”
He swallowed, then took a deep breath. “Ahch-To it is, then.”
It was raining when they arrived on the island.
The Caretakers seemed to barely notice, adapted as they were to the wet weather, but they definitely remembered her.
“They don’t seem very pleased to see you,” Ben observed quietly, drawing the hood of his cloak up to shield himself from the rain as they stepped out from under the Millennium Falcon. Rey chortled.
“I was... uh... kind of accidently destructive while I was here,” she mumbled, and Ben raised a curious eyebrow. “I’ll tell you about it later.”
The tiniest hint of a smile tugged at the corner of his mouth, and Rey shook her head with another little chortle, pulling up the hood of her poncho as well.
The hut Luke had blasted apart was rebuilt, and Rey slowed as they neared it.
“What is it?” Ben asked, turning his gaze to it as well, and Rey allowed herself to stare for another moment.
“Rey?” Ben murmured her name uncertainly.
“Luke, when he found me with you.”
Understanding washed over his features, and Rey tried to give him a reassuring smile.
“I thought he was going to kill you,” Ben confessed quietly, and the little smile she had managed to muster up immediately slipped away. “I was sure that I was going to feel you die through the Force at any moment.”
Of course he had thought that; the last time he had seen his uncle, that was exactly what Luke had attempted to do to him.
Rey stepped a little closer, reaching out to touch his arm reassuringly.
“He didn't. He only tried to send me away.”
Ben gave a little nod, and Rey tightened her grip on his arm for a moment.
“I hit him, you know.”
Ben’s eyebrows jerked up in surprise, and she gave him another little smile.
“Right across the back of the head with my staff.” She thunked the back of her own head lightly for emphasis. “Knocked him clear off his feet. And I made him tell me the truth, made him confess to what he had put you through.”
Ben looked somewhere between envious and impressed, and Rey’s smile got a little wider.
“Come on. I think the rain’s coming down harder now, we should get under cover.”
She tugged on his sleeve, guiding them to one of the more isolated huts and shoving open its creaky door.
It wasn't luxurious by any means, but it was dry, and the Caretakers had even ensured that there was a hearty pile of dry wood for the firepit.
“Prepared for anything, they are,” she said, pulling off her dripping wet poncho and hanging it by the door before sliding the bag she had on her shoulder to the floor.
He copied her, and the two of them silently went to work making the place slightly more habitable.
Rey sighed as she got the fire going, holding her hands over it to warm up her chilled fingers.
She glanced at him out of the corner of her eye. He had set their little assortment of provisions on a small shelf that had been built into the wall, then had moved on to setting out a bed roll on the floor.
She straightened, moving around the fire pit to grab the other one and lay it beside his.
Rey didn’t realize he was staring at her for a solid minute, but when it finally dawned on her, she looked up with raised eyebrows.
It was almost jarring; seeing him look at her nearly the same way he had the first time they ever saw each other through the Force. A soft mix of startled and awed, like he couldn't quite believe the sight of her, and Rey felt color rise to her face.
“What?” she asked nervously, her heartbeat fluttering.
“I just thought...” he faltered, pink creeping onto his cheeks now, and Rey’s heart beat a little faster in nervousness. “I left that, for you.”
He nodded at the raised, bench-like stretch of stone along the wall, “I thought you might want to sleep higher up, it should be a bit warmer off the ground.”
Rey glanced at the stone as well, her brows furrowed slightly in hesitation.
“Not big enough for both of us, though,” she murmured, and the soft, vulnerable expression that took over his face nearly broke her heart.
“Rey,” he said her name softly, almost a question, and she reached over to touch his arm again gently.
“I want to be near you,” she confessed. “If that’s... okay?”
He let out a sharp breath of air, looking at her with those intense brown eyes, and Rey bit her lip.
“More than okay,” he said softly. “That’s...”
He shook his head, looking away from her with another puff of air from his chest. “Good. I... good.”
It was strange, seeing him so unsure.
“Good,” she echoed softly.
They silently finished laying out the bed rolls before Rey got up again to find a way to hang her poncho over the window. Even with the fire going, she could feel the chill creeping in, raising goosebumps on her arms.
“Are you hungry?” she asked over her shoulder. “The rations aren't very exciting, but at least I can pack a lot of them in a small space. And they fill you up well enough.”
She managed to stuff part of her poncho into a few pockets in the rough stone wall, and stood back for a moment to look at her handiwork. It wasn't perfect, but it definitely helped.
Ben still hadn’t answered her, so Rey turned around to look at him. He was sitting on the stone bench, his elbows resting on his knees and his fingers laced loosely together, just staring into the fire.
“Ben?” she asked questioningly, taking a tentative step toward him, and again received no answer.
A soft touch to his shoulder jerked his gaze up to her, and she held her hands up placatingly at his startled look.
“Sorry,” he breathed out, reaching up to rub a hand over his eyes. “I was just... thinking.”
She sat down next to him, close as she could without actually touching him. “About what?”
He looked back into the fire, and folded his hands again. “About... you, actually.”
“Me?” Rey said softly, curious at his admission. “What about me?”
“I don't-" he floundered, clenching his jaw for a moment and frowning at the firepit. “I don't... understand you.”
Now Rey was really curious. “What don't you understand?”
He leaned further forward with a sigh, sliding both his hands through his hair for a moment, and Rey was tempted to put her hand on his back encouragingly. He straightened again before she could decide whether it was a good idea or not.
“You never gave up,” he whispered, finally turning his head to look at her. “You never gave up on me, and I...”
He shook his head, his jaw clenching again before he continued, “I can’t fathom why.”
“I believed in you,” Rey said without hesitation. “I felt the light in you, and I couldn't believe for a second that anyone who wanted so much to do the right thing would let darkness keep him forever.”
His expression was vulnerable and desperate, and Rey wanted so badly to ease the turmoil that still churned inside him; about whether he deserved this second chance, about whether he was strong enough to bear it.
“You’re not alone,” she murmured, just as he had once, in one of these very huts.
He let out a shuddering breath, and she could see tears welling in his eyes.
Then, just like the last time they looked at each other in a little hut on Ahch-To, Rey slowly offered her hand.
Ben glanced down, and let out another shuddering breath that was almost a laugh.
“No one to interrupt us this time,” she encouraged with a little smile, and Ben looked to her face again.
“No, I suppose there isn't.”
Rey’s heart sped up as he slowly pulled off his gloves, and the whole scene was so hauntingly familiar that she was almost afraid it wasn't real; that she was dreaming about Ahch-To, dreaming about him.
Then his fingers brushed hers, and they were shocked by another vision.
Rey gasped, and Ben’s hand clasped around hers as flashes of the future poured into their minds.
They were snapshots, barely glimpses of a future they could have, but Rey felt tears run down her face anyway.
A kiss. A moment of battle, standing side by side and facing it together. The Falcon, the two of them in the maintenance hatch, working in perfect harmony. A bed, tangled warm and close and safe. A dark haired child asleep on his chest. A place they called home, together. Peace. Rest.
The vision faded, leaving her reeling, and Ben’s hand tightened around hers, his eyes brimming with tears and his gaze filled with longing.
“Yes,” Rey gasped, squeezing his hand in return. “Yes, I want that. I want all of that.”
He made a little wounded, overwhelmed sound, and Rey pushed into his space to wrap her arms around him. He was shaking, breathing unsteadily, and it felt like Rey’s touch alone was the only thing keeping him in one piece.
They needed this. They needed some time, they needed to be able to figure out how they fit together.
“I’ve got you,” she whispered, her hand coming up to cradle the back of his head as he pressed his face into her shoulder, his arms tight across her back. “I’ve got you.”
Being able to touch him like this- feel the warmth of his body, the softness of his hair, the strength of his arms- made a strange kind of calm wind through her. There were no light years separating them now, no masters to tear them apart.
She could feel his tears soaking into the shoulder of her shirt, his breath still staccato and ragged, so Rey softly moved her hands over him, stroking his shoulders and back in a gentle, rhythmic path to ease him down.
She didn’t shush him, didn’t tell him not to cry, she only touched; listening to the crackle of the fire and the sound of the rain mix with the crash of the ocean.
It almost put her in a daze, the rhythm of her hands, the ebb and flow of the quiet sounds, his warmth and solidness. Like they existed outside of time, a moment only for them.
His shaking slowly calmed, his breathing evening out, and he raised his head from her shoulder. She reluctantly loosened his arms, sitting back a little to look at him, but she kept one arm around his shoulders comfortingly. He took a deep breath, one of his arms still wrapped low around her back and the other tentatively settling just above her knee.
His eyes were red, his face a little flushed, and his arm tightened around her waist slightly when she reached up to gently cup his face.
“Alright?” she asked softly, stroking his hair back from his face, and his eyes slipped closed.
He swallowed and nodded, taking another deep breath before opening his eyes again, and Rey pressed another stroke over his hair.
“Sorry,” he murmured, and Rey gave her head a little shake.
“Don’t be,” she assured him. “You’ve seen me cry an embarrassing amount, I think I owe you.”
He gave a little chortle, and a tiny smile tugged at the corner of Rey’s mouth as she stroked his hair again. Then it was his turn for a small grin.
“You like my hair, don’t you?” he asked softly, and pink flushed across Rey’s cheeks, her hand freezing before awkwardly removing itself from his hair.
“What gave it away?” she decided to joke, and his gaze was warm as he looked at her.
“I... I don’t mind,” he murmured. “I don’t even know the last time someone touched my hair other than me. It’s... it’s nice.”
They looked at each other for a long moment, then Rey slowly brought her hand up to his hair again, running her fingers through it slowly.
“It’s so soft,” she commented with a little grin, and he gave an embarrassed laugh.
He was smiling, and suddenly Rey’s heart felt light as air.
She wanted to kiss him, so she did.
Ben froze for a moment, startled and astonished, but an instant later his arms were crushing her to his chest and both of Rey’s hands were tangling in his hair.
“So long,” he whispered between their mouths. “I’ve wanted... for so long...”
“Me too,” she whispered back, tightening her grip on his hair, and he gave a little moan that stole her breath.
He tried to pull her closer, his mouth pressing against hers again, but sitting side by side like they were made it awkward and uncomfortable.
“We need to lie down,” Rey groaned breathily. “I can’t touch you properly like this.”
Ben gave a full-body shudder, and suddenly she could feel his mind, pressing against hers, begging her to let him in. She gasped, and it was almost instinct to open to him, the Force coiled inside her thrumming with recognition at the call; there you are, I’ve been waiting for you. Rey was done waiting.
He wanted; there was such a fierce longing in him to be touched, and it made Rey’s heart beat in a rapid frenzy in her chest. There was sharp desire there; a primal, needy lust that made heat spread through her, but there was an aching longing just for simple affection too. Too long had he been deprived of a gentle hand on him, his reaction to her touching his hair was proof of that. Rey wanted to give him everything.
“Ben,” she murmured, tugging his hair a little and moaning at the sharp spike of arousal that shot through him; kriff, she’d definitely experiment with that later. “Bed rolls. Now.”
He shuddered again, finally pulling back, and the glazed, heated look in his eyes was sinful, but he stood up, offering his hands to her to pull her to her feet.
They somehow managed to stumble to the bed rolls without either of them tripping into the fire pit, which Rey considered a small miracle.
Then it was just them, side by side on their makeshift bed, and Rey was running her fingers through his hair as his hand tentatively slipped under her shirt to press against her lower back.
Another kiss, warm and eager and hungry, and Rey was suddenly aware that there were far, far too many layers of fabric between them.
She scrabbled for the fastenings of his tabard, and with hurried, jerky movements, he helped her undress him.
“Who’s idea was it for you to have such complicated clothes?” she murmured, half in jest and half serious, and Ben gave a breathy laugh.
“Mine,” he groaned. “It was a good idea at the time.”
They paused when he was finally bare-chested, Rey running her hands over him for a moment before going for her own clothes. Her arm bands took the most time, and Ben smirked at her as they each took an arm to unravel.
“You were saying something about complicated clothes?”
She nudged him with her knee, but couldn’t help but grin as he got the cloth caught up on her bent elbow. She had to pause in order to help him get it past the crook of her arm, then they quickly managed to get them the rest of the way off her forearms.
She had long ago abandoned her makeshift breast band from her days on Jakku, so it was only a matter of tugging her newer, single-piece one over her head and off before she was as bare as he was from the waist up.
Ben’s breath left him in a shuddery pant, a sharp spike of desire from him making heat pool in her belly, but his touch was soft, tentative. His fingers ghosted over her arms, the barely-there touch making goosebumps break out over her skin, and his eyes drank her in.
Rey bit her lip, putting her hands back on him, her palms skirting up the edges of his abs and over his chest warmly. His skin was soft but his body solid, firm under her hands and practically radiating heat that she desperately wanted to be close to.
There was no reason for her not to be, so she moved closer, pressing them together and ducking her head under his chin to kiss his neck. He gave a little gasp, angling his head up and running his hands over her back encouragingly.
“You smell so good,” she sighed, rubbing her cheek against the side of his neck before kissing down the juncture where his neck met his shoulder, and Ben gave a soft moan.
“So do you,” he murmured, and Rey smiled against his skin.
“Can I...?” he trailed off, hands shifting to her sides, and Rey’s smile widened against him.
Ben breathed out shakily as his hands shifted around to her breasts, his touch soft and exploratory, and Rey shifted onto her back to give him room to touch her.
His eyes riveted to her chest, gaze admiring and soft as his thumbs traced the sides of her breasts before moving to rub lightly over her nipples. Rey reached up to run her fingers through his hair, encouraging him close enough to kiss.
You’re gorgeous, the thought drifted from his head to hers, and Rey found herself blushing. I mean it, Rey.
She knew he did, she could feel his sincerity across their connection, and she deepened the kiss in answer. He gave a gentle bite to her bottom lip, experimental and questioning, and Rey groaned at the hot jolt of lust it sent down her spine.
Kriff, that’s good, she thought dazedly, then smirked at the bubble of pride it created in him. Yeah, alright, put that mouth of yours to good use, won’t you?
He gave a surprised laugh against her mouth, pulling back slightly to look at her, and she gave him a pleased little grin.
“Like this?” he asked softly, slowly lowering his head to her chest, and Rey shivered at the first brush of his lips along her clavicles.
“Yes,” she sighed out breathlessly. “Yeah, like that.”
He steadily moved lower, hiked up on his elbows over her and laying lingering, soft kisses along her skin.
Rey couldn’t keep her fingers out of his hair, brushing through it gently and tightening her fist against his scalp at the first little nip of his teeth.
She squeezed her legs together, the throbbing want inside her making her squirm. He noticed, of course he did, and gave a weak moan as he kissed and licked and gently bit his way across her breasts.
Ready to lose more clothes? he asked shyly, his tentative hope that she’d say yes painfully endearing.
She didn’t answer with words, just went straight for the fastenings of her own pants. Ben moaned in response, pulling back and doing the same.
She carelessly kicked her pants and boots away, taking a moment to breathe before letting herself turn her attention back to Ben.
He huffed as he struggled with his boot for a moment, and Rey smirked as she ran her fingers up his back. He twitched and shivered, finally getting his clothes off and shoving them just as unceremoniously out of the way.
Then he was laying back down with her, and Rey couldn’t help but look.
She wasn’t ignorant, she knew what men looked like. But it was him and that made it different, made it matter. It mattered that he was allowing her to have him like this, keyed up and wanting, his cock hard and flushed from desiring her.
She looked up to his face, found him blushing and biting his lip, anxiety over her opinion of him creeping insidiously into his arousal.
She almost scoffed at him, but thought better of it. She knew his worry was unwarranted, that there was no aspect of him that would disappoint her, but he didn’t. She had to tell him, show him.
She moved closer, pressing them flush together, and Ben gave a little moan as his cock pressed against her lower belly.
You’re so beautiful, it was her turn to press along the bond, her mouth otherwise occupied with kissing wetly along his chest, and he trembled with a breathy pant.
She couldn’t keep her hands off him, the temptation was too great, so she trailed her hand across his hip and between them slowly, asking permission to touch. He gave it with an enthusiastic moan, his fingers digging into her back as she wrapped her hand around him.
She had never touched anyone like this before, so she curiously explored the texture of him. Skin soft and hot, with the muscle underneath stiff and throbbing with eagerness, and the thought of him being inside her sent a thrill down her spine to settle between her legs.
She knew he picked up on the thought by the way he tensed, shuddering and breathing rapidly, and Rey risked a glance up from his chest as her fingers trailed along the head.
His face was flushed and his eyes were closed, his head turned into the bed roll in an attempt to hide from the way she was overwhelming him.
She let him go, and his eyes snapped open to look at her. He was gorgeous, his pupils blown out with lust and his lips red from biting and licking them, looking at her like she was the center of the universe.
He cupped the back of her head, coaxing her up toward his face, and Rey moaned into the greedy, hungry kiss he pressed against her mouth.
Can I touch you? he thought frantically, practically begging already. Please, please let me...
Of course you can, she moaned against his lips as she sent the thought to him, pouring her desire for him along with it. Kriff, Ben, yes, touch me.
She shivered as he pulled her leg up onto his hip, the exposure of air to her cunt making her realize just how wet she was, and Ben moaned breathlessly against her lips as he softly brushed his fingers against her.
Delicate, exploratory, and Rey wrapped her arms around his shoulders as she silently willed him to touch her throbbing, desperate clit. Either he understood her wordless command or he was just too eager to please her to wait any longer, but Rey tensed with a soft cry as the pad of his finger traced around the sensitive bundle of nerves. A moment later he hiked up onto his elbow to more easily trail his mouth over her neck, and Rey arched her head back with a pant.
“More,” she whispered, her fingertips digging into his shoulder and her hips grinding forward into his hand, and he obeyed without second of hesitation.
More pressure, his finger no longer just dancing around it, and Rey tensed and squirmed at the direct touch to her clit; the pleasure crawling up her spine intense and perfect.
She fumblingly reached down, moaning sharp and desperate as she guided his first and second fingers inside her.
Ben made a wrecked sound, pulling his head up from her throat to look at her with awed eyes, and Rey bit her lip as she returned his gaze.
His fingers were a stretch, so much bigger than hers when she did this, and she clenched around them desperately. She showed him how to grind his palm against her clit as he rocked his fingers inside her, the sharp pleasure of it paired with the incredible, full feeling of his digits making her whole body clench and moan as she rocked into the touch.
All the while he watched her, enraptured and worshiping, and she kept his gaze as long as she could before shaking apart with sharp gasp and a cry.
“Fucking hell,” she heard him rasp, coaxing her through it. His forehead pressed against hers, their noses brushing, and Rey too caught up to realize she was digging bruises into his shoulders.
She came down slowly, spasms of shockey pleasure still jerking through her pelvis, squeezing her around his fingers tightly.
He was desperate, she could practically taste it in the air, and with one swift move she shoved him onto his back to straddle his hips.
“Oh fuck. Rey-” he started to stammer, grabbing her hips desperately as she took him in her hand and guided him inside her.
His eyes practically rolled up into his head, a strangled sound in his throat as he jerked her the rest of the way down with uncontrolled, desperate hands.
Rey didnt mind; he felt good, he felt incredible, and she started up fast, tight thrusts that left them both gasping, her hands braced on his broad chest.
He didn’t last, she didn't expect him to, but she also didn't expect the way watching him come- back arching, face flushed, amazing, wrecked noises coming from his throat as his burst of pleasure poured over their bond- would make her ready to come again too.
She cried out as she hunched over him, grinding her clit against his pelvis and squeezing around his still hard length until her second orgasm shook through her in a hot rush.
Ben whimpered, overstimulated and overheated under her, and Rey panted hard as she lowered her forehead to his chest.
His heartbeat was rapid, she could almost hear it where it was thumping wildly against her face, and she angled her head to press a kiss there.
He shuddered, his hands coming up to stroke across her shoulders and back, and Rey hummed contently.
She didn't pull away until he had gone completely soft inside her, both of their breathing evening out to a calm, slow, sleepy in and out.
He turned onto his side, pulling her against him, and Rey wrapped her arms around him with blissful contentment.
Between the fire and his body heat, Rey felt cocooned in warmth, and she petted one hand over his hair sleepily.
Ben all but melted, a soft moan escaping his mouth dreamily. She had felt his longing before, his desperate desire for simple, affectionate touch, and Rey sighed happily as she gave it to him; his tight embrace more than enough to satisfy her in return.
The Resistance was still waiting for them out there, the two of them the final pieces that would topple the whole First Order and being peace to the galaxy.
It would be worth it, a final fight that would let them find the peace the Force had showed them.
But for now, they slept.