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Practice Makes Perfect

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Rey bolted out of the office. It was raining, of course it was, but she didn't care. She needed to walk.


She walked and walked and walked, across Ballard and up the hill to Phinney Ridge and then down again, to Greenlake.


What had she expected? She had been very clear with Ben about how this entire situation was casual. Why would he think any differently? She knew that he liked Jess, she kept telling herself that. He had been too nervous to even attempt these things with her, and he seemed almost at ease with her, eager to try.


She thought about his face, so open and honest, the awe in his eyes as he looked at her, the way he bit his lip and groaned when he jerked off. The way he had been so intense in learning her, determined to be the best.


She felt like she was losing her mind. Why did this matter? Nothing had really changed, she hadn't lost Ben.


She had never had him.


She sat down at one of the benches and fished out her phone.


She had three missed calls from Ben and a text.



hey are you ok ?


Was she okay? No. Not really. She took a shaking breath. She didn't want to do this anymore, that was for sure. Ben deserved for his first time to be with someone he really liked. She wasn't going to take that away.



im fine, forgot I had a doc appt



do you want to hang later?



i think it's better if we don't actually,



can we talk?



i was just thinking and you know… you've rly got the hang of this now

and it would be nice to have your first time be w someone special, someone you rly like.

someone who you have a future with

i had fun tho, no hard feelings right?


Rey closed her eyes, her heart was racing.


She saw the dot dot dot appear. She swallowed.



i get it.

thank you… for everything.

it meant a lot to me.


Rey felt tears prick her eyes and drew in a shuddering breath as they began to fall.


This was for the best.



me too, Ben.


Rey let herself cry by the lake for a long time.

Rey hardly slept that night, she kept waking up every hour with the feeling she was being chased or running out of time or watching the world end.


At 7:00, she figured she wasn't going to sleep anymore so she got up and showered and made coffee.


It was dark out, raining, it had been raining for days.  


Rey put cartoons on, she did a load of laundry. She made eggs.


She didn't want to see Ben today, she had no idea how she was going to handle it.


She stood by the window and watched the rain.


Ben had made a choice. Beyond that, Rey had made a choice; no one tricked her into doing this, she had wanted to help Ben and she had. She should feel good about it.


This is just a crush. It will pass. It will pass.


She kept repeating it to herself as she ubered to work (where she left her car) and walking into the building.


It's fine, it’s just a little crush, it's done.


It was empty. She sat behind the desk, heart racing.


Poe came in a few minutes later, waving sleepily,


Then Finn, distracted and on his phone.


And then there was Ben.


His hair was wet from the rain and his eyes were on her immediately, wide and sad.


Rey looked away. She was not going to look at him. She wasn't.


She tried to school her breathing and get to work.


She was processing payroll which meant she was allowed to work uninterrupted since everyone wanted to get paid. She let her mind blank out as she worked, using the payroll deadline as an excuse to skip lunch. Instead, she ate alone in the breakroom when she knew Ben was on a long conference call.


She managed to smile and be not totally awkward for most of the day, and only sort of cried once, in the bathroom, when she was alone.


It hardly counted.


She knew that she was being petty but this was what she needed right now to move on. She contemplated quitting, and this seemed like a better alternative.


By 6:00 the idea of beer was a welcome one. She really didn't expect Ben to show up, he tried to avoid awkward situations, but he was already at their normal table, next to Poe, when Rey and Rose and Finn came in.


He looked like a kicked puppy. It made Rey’s stomach drop. Why did he look so sad? He was getting everything he wanted.


Rey slid into the booth and tried not to make eye contact. She could feel Ben’s eyes on her.


“So, Solo, you excited for your date tomorrow?” Poe asked.


Rey snapped her head back to the conversation.


Ben was already looking at her.


“Sure, I guess. I mean I don't really know her-- it might be totally awkward.”


“Nah she's into you, dude,” Finn said, smiling, “I have no idea why, but she clearly is.”


Rose threw a straw at Finn’s head.


“Just be yourself, Ben, she's gonna have fun. Right Rey?”


“What?” Rey moved her head to focus on Rose. Nothing was making sense.


“Ben's going to have fun on his date, right? Nothing to worry about.”


Rey swallowed, looked at Ben.


“She'd be crazy not to like you,” Rey said.


Don't cry, don't cry.


Ben blinked at her.


“I'm gonna get us more beer,” he said, slipping off to the bar to order.


Rey sighed deeply. “I am actually not feeling great, I'm gonna grab some air.”


“You want company?” Rose asked.


“No! No I'll be back,” Rey smiled.


She walked outside into the gentle rain.  She was shaking a little bit, so she clasped her hands together and took a steadying breath. Counted to ten. She could go back in there and fake it, smile and chat about Ben and his upcoming date, or she could get in her car and go home, crawl into bed, watch old movies.


She pulled her phone out to text Rose.




Rey looked up, Ben was walking toward her.


“You okay?” he asked.


“Yeah? Why wouldn't I be?” she said, and her voice was harsher than she meant it.


“I don't know Rey, you tell me. You've been weird since yesterday, running out of work, not talking to me?”


“Not everything is about you, Ben,” Rey snapped.


“Wow, that's real fucking cute, Rey.” Ben was angry now, and Rey realized that for all the times she had see Ben snap,  she had never seen his anger directed at her before. “Let's not have a fucking normal conversation like functional human beings--”


“Oh so throwing a tantrum and cursing at me is a normal conversation? Sign me the fuck up, Solo.”


Ben’s jaw clenched and his eyes flashed.


“You know-- never mind, Rey. You're right, this-- whatever this was-- it's a good idea that it ends right now.”


“Good,” Rey said.


“Okay then,” Ben said.


“Then you can go back inside,” Rey said, and she hated how her voice broke. She turned away from Ben so he wouldn't see her crying and started walking.


She heard him call her name as she got into her car, but she didn't look back. She drove away into the rain.

Rey decided she was gonna go full on into feeling sorry for herself. She had the whole weekend to mope. On Saturday, she went to the market and bought two pints of ice cream and a frozen pizza and a 12 pack of beer. She went home and changed into her comfiest, most well worn pajamas and settled onto her couch.


She started with Disney, working her way through Moana and Frozen and Tangled and then switched to old rom coms, starting with You've Got Mail.


She kept breaking down into tears, replaying her fight with Ben over and over in her head.


Why didn't she just tell him?


She kept trying to rationalize it.


It wouldn't have been fair, it was a little too My Best Friend’s Wedding, making him choose at the last minute. She had a lot of time to tell Ben how she felt before his actual date and she just… didn't. Why didn't she do it before?


She had been so unsure and by the time she was decided, it was too late. It wouldn't have been fair to Ben. Right?


It didn't matter now. It was definitely too late at this point. Ben was certainly meeting up with Jess, smiling at her in that open, honest way he had sometimes looked at Rey.


She was probably leaning up against him, pressing her fingers to his cheeks and his taking his hand in hers and-- kissing him.


She looked at the clock; 8:34pm.


They were probably eating, laughing over wine. They were gonna go back to her place, or his, and someone else was going to know what Ben felt like as he moved inside her.


It wasn't for Rey to know.


She was crying again. Meg Ryan closed her book store. Rey opened another beer and attempted a few bites at her pizza, now congealing and cold.


When the movie ended, she grabbed a knit sweater and turned on her heat. The storm outside was fierce, harder than it normally rained in Seattle. Her windows rattled. Rey dumped out the rest of her beer and put on the kettle for tea instead. She put on While You Were Sleeping and zoned out, she was hardly paying attention, the rain was as loud as the movie. The lights flickered. She sipped her tea.


It was 10:14pm.


The knock on her door scared the crap out of her. She jumped up off of the couch.


“Who is it?” she yelled.


“It's me,” and it was very clearly Ben’s voice. Rey started hyperventilating.


She opened the door. Ben was absolutely soaked, his hair was plastered around his face and his jacket was heavy with rain. No one in Seattle owned a damn umbrella.


“Ben?” Rey said, bewildered.


“Can-- can I come in? Sorry-- I should have called. Phones dead. Can I?”


Rey stepped back, acutely aware of the fact that she was in a holey sweater and ratty pajama pants and oh god-- a Star Trek tee-shirt. She had clearly been crying, her eyes swollen and puffy.


“What-- what are you doing here?” she asked.


“Okay just-- let me get this out because I am really bad at this, okay?”


Rey nodded.


“I couldn't do it,” Ben said, dripping on her welcome mat. “I never even wanted to go out with Jess, and yeah the reality of my-- inexperience -- was definitely the ‘ reason ’ that I wasn’t going to, but I wouldn't have even agreed to this date if it wasn't for your-- proposition.”


Rey's head was spinning. She had a million things she wanted to say but Ben wasn't done.


“I wanted to spend time with you , Rey, and I was willing to take it as it was. Temporary, casual, no strings attached. I knew you were never gonna feel the same way about me that I felt about you, but that was okay,” Ben said. His eyes were huge and wet, cheeks red from the cold and he was shaking a little bit. He closed his eyes, steeling himself.


“But then you -- I thought maybe -- something changed between us. But I didn't wanna be that guy, I didn't want to be the one to mess up what you were very clear was just a casual arrangement but I thought-- maybe you--”


“I do,” Rey said breathlessly.


Ben took a shaky breath. “Rey, I'm sorry-- about Jess in the office. I am so sorry, but what was I supposed to do right there? With everyone watching? It would have meant having a conversation with you that I was terrified of and in front of everyone, Poe wouldn't have let it go-- and I tried to find you but you--”


“I ran--” Rey said, and she was crying, tears hot and thick on her face. “Ben I was-- I was stupid and I felt like if you really liked me like you did Jess you wouldn't have-- I figured you were nervous with her because you liked her and you seemed so at ease with me--”


“Because I'm crazy about you, Rey, because you're the first person who has been one hundred percent worth the risk of embarrassment. The only one who I was willing to even try with.”


Rey knew she was sobbing, that she must sound crazy through her tears.  “I didn't want to mess up anything for you, I didn't wanna make you choose. I tried to be okay with it but-- Ben I like you so much, I can't stop thinking about you and I was so fucking sad you went out with Jess tonight.”


Ben was suddenly pressed against her, he was soaking wet and his clothes were cold but his skin was so hot. She slanted her mouth against his and began unzipping his wet jacket.


“I want it to be you , Rey,” Ben whispered. Rey felt the words reverberate through her body.


“Me too,” she whimpered, moving her mouth down to nip along his jaw. His jacket landed with a thud on the floor. “Boots,” Rey said. Ben bent down and unlaced them hurriedly, kicking them off. Rey grabbed Ben by the belt and started backing toward her room.


She couldn't keep her hands off of him, she was grabbing at his shirt and his shoulders and his hair. Rey sighed against his mouth as Ben's hands came up under her clothing, rough fingers tracing along her side and back and ribs.


“I love touching you,” he whispered. Rey pressed her mouth against his again, overwhelmed. “You're so soft.”


Rey whimpered as she unzipped Ben's jeans. He pushed them off and Rey pulled her sweater and shirt up over her head. She had no bra on.


Ben groaned and backed Rey up against the edge of the mattress, easing her down. He moved to mouth at her tits, teeth catching her nipple. Rey cried out, bringing her hands to his hair to pull him closer.


“Can I?” he asked her, and Rey had no what Ben was asking but the answer was yes . She nodded furiously.


Ben moved his mouth down to her ribs and began to suck new marks into her skin, alongside the yellow fading ones already there. Rey gasped. Yes .


She wanted to be marked. “Don't stop,” she said.


Ben bit and sucked along each of her ribs, down to her pelvic bone. He sucked marks there too, and then put his hands on the waistband of her pants.


“I wanna taste you,” he breathed. Rey nodded again. “Tell me what to do,” he said.


Rey was dizzy.


“Pull my pants down,” she said.


Ben tugged on her sweats and they fell easily. She had plain black cotton panties on, and they were soaked .


“Are you wet for me?” Ben said, more in disbelief than in a teasing way.


“Very,” Rey said.


“Lemme see,” Ben said.


Rey bit her lip and nodded. Ben peeled her panties down.


He was studying her with such rapt attention. His head was between her legs, eyes wide on her. Ben brought a finger up and rubbed at her clit. Rey arched her hips off the bed, little shocks of pleasure ricocheting out from her core.


“I love watching you twitch like that,” Ben said, working her clit. Rey gasped again and groaned. Ben placed little kisses on the inside of her thigh, trailing upward, then he pressed the flat of his tongue against her opening and moved upward to her clit.


He began licking at her clit, using his tongue in much the same way he had used his fingers, while two of his fingers pushed inside of her.


“M’fuck, Ben,” she whined. She could feel him smiling against her cunt and he continued to work her. He grabbed her thigh, hiking her leg up and pulling her closer, hand under her ass. His mouth was moving across her entire cunt now, licking at her clit, drinking her down, working his tongue in and out of her, switching back to his fingers.


Rey was a sopping mess, it felt so fucking good.


“How are you so good at this already?” she asked.


Ben looked up at her from between her legs, face shiny.


“I was born to eat your pussy,” he said, and oh my god he looked so serious. Rey threw her head back and laughed but a second layer her laugh dissolved into a choked off moan and Ben pounded into her with his fingers, head resting on her hip, watching her.


“I love fucking you with my hand,” he said.


“Just-- just think about how good-- ah-- it will be when it's your c-cock,” Rey panted.


“Fuck,” Ben groaned, and he dipped his head to press little kitten licks against her clit and Rey cried out, fingers tight in Ben’s hair as she came.


Rey lay panting and boneless as Ben pressed little kisses against her skin. She realized after a moment that he was waiting for her, unsure of what to do next. Rey sat up on her elbows. She nodded at his briefs, they were tented and she could see the outline of his dick. “Off,” she said.


Ben scrambled to kick them off. He was breathing heavy, chest rising and falling rapidly. His hair was in his face, it hadn't really dried, so it was damp and curlier than usual. He was so beautiful.


Rey got up on her knees and brought both hands up to Ben’s face. She wanted this to be good for him.


“You're sure, right?” she asked. Ben just looked at her for a moment before leaning down and capturing her mouth with his. His hands were so big, they spanned her entire rib cage. He nipped at her bottom lip, and then pulled back.


“There's a-- I have a condom? I can grab it--”


“I'm on the pill,” Rey said, running a finger along his face. “I'm clean too, I don't-- it's been a little while. So I mean if you want to-- I wanna feel you.”


Ben squeezed his eyes shut, catching his breath. He opened them and black had swallowed brown.


“Okay,” he said, and he looked a little lost. “I uh-- I don't know-- what do I do?”


Rey pressed a soft kiss against his neck and then whispered in his ear, “How do you wanna fuck me?”


Ben's hand came out to grab her side and he groaned.


“I don't know-- Rey-- I just wanna be inside you,” he said, and he sounded a little frantic. He was shaking.


Rey kissed him and moved so she was pushing Ben down onto his back.


“Okay, I got you, just lay back.”


Rey straddled Ben, letting her wet pussy settle onto his abdomen. She rocked a little, Ben’s dick nestled against her ass. He was breathing fast and blushing.


She reached back and gripped him. Ben jerked up, gasping.


“Shh, you’re doing so good,” Rey said, lifting her hips. She let Ben’s cock move against her folds and then slid back so his dick was nestled between her pelvis and his stomach. She rocked again.


“Oh my god, Rey, please,” Ben begged.


Rey leaned forward and kissed Ben, lifting her ass and using her hand to guide him right to her center. She kept kissing Ben as she backed up, letting the fat head of his cock push inside of her.


Ben gasped against her lips, his kiss turning sloppy as he breathed against her mouth.


Rey sunk down further and Ben pressed his face into her neck.


“Fuck, baby, you’re thick,” she said, arching her back, bracing herself on Ben, one hand on his chest, one on his shoulder.


Rey rolled her hips, taking Ben deeper until her hips met his.


Ben snapped his head up to look at her, he was panting and still trembling. His hands on her hips. He was rocking a little bit beneath her.


“Oh my god,” he whimpered, and his head rolled back, “You feel unbelievable,” he said. He sounded worshipful.


Rey lifted her hips and began to move, fucking herself down onto him.


Ben's hand came up to rub a thumb along one of Rey’s nipples and he let out a strangled little sound as she moved.


Ben was big . The stretch of him inside her was intoxicating and Rey let out a sobbing gasp.


“Ben,” she groaned.


Ben sat up, hands firm on Rey's hips so they were suddenly chest to chest. It wasn't quite as deep but it was closer , and she could kiss him and hear every little sound falling from him lips.  


He looked glorious. Skin sweat damp and dark hair curled and thick where it fell in his face. He pushed his hips up, meeting her thrusts. It was like he couldn't get enough of her, his hand and mouth seeking every inch they could reach.


“Rey,” he gasped, and his breathing was uneven now. “Can I get on top?”


Rey nodded enthusiastically and lifted herself off of Ben. Flipping while fucking was not a first time move.


Rey laid back down on the bed, legs open, and Ben settled between them. He took his dick in his fist and lined himself back up, sinking into her.


The drag of his skin against hers was delicious, and Rey wrapped her legs around him as he braced himself on his arms around her and pistoned his hips.


Rey cried out as Ben slammed into her, she knew he was close, he was fucking her for real now, grunting as he bottomed out. He grabbed her leg, hiking it up higher and, yes there .


“Ben!” Rey cried out.


Ben was lost, digging his nails into her thigh and grunting into her ear as his hips picked up speed, rutting into Rey with abandon. Rey brought a finger down between her legs and began to rub her clit. Ben pushed her hand away, bringing his own down to bring her over the edge.


She was close, the heavy weight of Ben pressing inside and outside of her, relentless and perfect, combined with his eyes, intense and locked onto hers as sweat rolled down from his temple and he whimpered.


Just for her.


“Ben I'm gonna--”


“Yes,” Ben grunted, “Wanna feel you you come on my dick.”


“Fuck,” Rey cried, unable to hold back the desperate sounds Ben was fucking out of her. “Please. Come for me, Ben, I wanna feel you come in me.”


Ben let out a strangled sob and his hips stuttered, his eyes squeezed shut. Rey felt his dick twitch inside of her and then she was coming, a white hot wave of pleasure cresting from her heart to her toes.


She felt him release inside of her, the hot rush of something new and not hers flooding her.


Ben pressed his mouth against her neck as his hips pressed against hers fully and she could feel the muscles of his stomach ripple against her skin.


Slowly, he let his weight come down on top of her, heavy and comforting.


Rey pressed kisses against his jaw and the bridge of his nose and his eyelids.


“Ben, Ben, Ben,” she whispered, and he tilted his head to kiss her lazily.


“Rey,” he whispered. “Thank you.”


Rey pulled him close, tangling her limbs and hair with his on the bed, and let the sound of their mingled breathing rock her to sleep.




The following Friday found Rey and Ben walking up to the pub together.


They had managed to play it cool all week. Well, pretty cool and a lot lucky, since no one caught them making out in the courtyard or the breakroom or in Ben’s car.


“Why are you so nervous?” Rey asked.


“What? I'm not!” Ben said.


“Please, Solo, you're shaking,” Rey said, and she tugged him by the hand to a stand still. She leaned up on her tiptoes, pressing a small kiss to the corner of his mouth and then settled back on the soles of her feet. “Look I like sneaking around as much as the next girl but I also really wanna be able to tell Rose so I can talk about you all the time and also then we don't have to hide or wait to be caught.”


“No I know, trust me I want the entire world to know I'm with you, I just know Poe is going to pry and everyone is going to want all the details and--” Ben shrugged.


“The details are that you secretly liked me, and I secretly liked you, and I got very jealous about the Jessica thing and made out with you before she could get to you--”


“And sucked my dick,” Ben said, winking at her. Rey rolled her eyes.


“Yes okay we don't have to tell them that part but-- yes, anyway. I made the first move and tried to pretend like it was no big deal, blah, blah, you show up in a rainstorm, very nice touch , and viola.”


“That's the story then?” Ben said with a smile.


“That's what all the papers are saying, seems legit to me,” Rey said with a playful shrug.


Ben leaned down and kissed her.


They walked into the pub holding hands.


Everyone was already there and Rey wished she had her phone out because really, their faces were priceless.


Finn looked mortified, Poe looked downright disbelieving and Rose was smiling like an idiot.


“Oh my god… EXPLAIN!” Rose said, squealing.


“Yeah uh-- please explain,” Finn said.


“I knew it,” Poe said, shrugging and sipping his beer.


“Oh my god no you didn't,” Rey said, swatting Poe.


“I did! He's been way too calm the last few weeks. And you,” he pointed at Rey, “cannot stop giggling when he walks by. You're not that subtle.”


Rey felt her face get hot. “Oh whatever,” she said, rolling her eyes and leaning into Ben. He put his arm around her in the little booth, pulling her flush against his side.


“I can't believe you didn't tell me!” Rose said.


“I wish you hadn't told me, I've got this image now--” Finn said, face scrunching, “How do you not crush her, man?”


“Finn!” Rey said, burying her head in her hands for a moment before looking at Ben. She had no idea how he was gonna take a comment like that.


“Oh, I just squish her,” he said, shrugging. “She's a scrappy little fighter, always digs her way out.”


Rose and Poe broke off into hysterical laughter and even Finn smiled.


Rey shook her head. She couldn't remember even being this happy. She grabbed Ben’s face and tilted his head down for a kiss.


“Okay, well, tell us everything,” Rose said, “How did this happen?”


“Actually,” Rey said, smiling, “we should really send Jess a thank you card.”