Rey still dreamt of the ocean, and the island. She knew now that it was Ahch-To, was a place she had lived and touched and allowed to touch her, but when she dreamed it didn't matter. It was just her island, her ocean.
But this was not her ocean, and this was not her island.
The water wasn’t the same deep blue-grey, and the shore wasn't the rocky shingle of dark stones.
Instead there was sand, fine and golden like the Jakku desert, but unlike Jakku, it was met by softly lapping waves.
She felt drawn to the water, pale blue stretching out to the horizon, but as she stepped forward the water revealed itself to be clear and warm around her bare feet.
She walked, drawn by the rhythmic sound of of the waves and the clear, beautiful warmth, and she was up to her waist before she sensed another presence.
She turned around, already knowing who she would find daring to invade her dream.
His black-clad silhouette was stark against the golden sand, and his eyes were fixed on her.
“Ben,” she said his name, and like the pull and push of the waves around her she could feel how it affected him. That it hurt in a bittersweet way he didn't know what to do with, like she was both trying to cut him and kiss him with a single word.
She didn’t realize she was moving back to him until he took a slow step toward the water’s edge, his eyes never leaving hers. The ocean, once pulling her out into itself, now seemed to be pushing her back, pushing her toward him. It didn’t stop until only her ankles remained in the water, and the toes of his boots brushed the very edge of the tide.
“I’ve dreamt about deserts since I met you,” his voice was soft, like this was a secret between them, “Never the ocean. Just sand, all the way to the horizon. I’m always lost, until you find me.”
There was pain in those words, suffering left unspoken.
“I’ll always come for you,” she answered gently, “You don’t have to be lost anymore.”
His sorrow buried into her chest like a blade, but she pushed forward anyway, pushing herself against him and wrapping her arms around his chest.
She should have done this the moment the last guard fell. The instant they were alone and out of danger she should have been touching him, grounding him, wedging herself into the wound Snoke had left in his psyche and reminding him what it felt like to touch the light.
Sand. He was sand, sliding through her arms and out of her reach as the ocean suddenly rose and pulled her under.
Rey awoke with a gasp, but she was not alone.
He wasn’t truly there, not physically, just their bond through the Force allowing them to see and touch. But in that moment it was enough, it let her pull him against her on her little mattress, let her dig her fingers into the muscle of his back and hook her knee over his.
We don’t have to be lost anymore. Please...