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Longing For What Could Have Been

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Rey sits silently in her room. Pieces of her staff and the Skywalker saber surround her as she works on transcribing one of the old Jedi texts.

Rey sweeps a piece of her loose hair from her eyes as she shifts her position on the cool floor of the temporary resistance base. Being stationed in the old rebel base on Dantooine wasn’t agreeing with her. All too often she finds herself bored and longing for something, no, someone she can’t have.

She’s passed the months away in her hole in the wall room spending countless hours studying and training.

Rey had studied so much that in nearly every sense she’s considered a Jedi, with one exception. She doesn’t have a fully functional lightsaber.  

Frustrated, Rey slams the old book and throws it across the room. No longer afraid of damaging the books that were at times useless, Rey doesn’t bother checking if it ripped on its journey across the small, cold room.

Rey stands with stiff joints and rolls her neck to relieve the growing tightness. Rey totters before she slumps onto a hard bed in the corner of her minuscule quarters. Rey winced as her heavy body fell ungracefully onto the mattress that offers no give.  

Rey extends her hand as she uses to Force to pull her HOLO Pad over to her. She groans as she leans into her flat pillow. Her fingers slide past countless news articles discussing the new Supreme Leader’s one-year anniversary of being in power. Rey is dreading the event; the galaxy is set to celebrate the event with countless parties and an unfathomable amount of Corellian wine. Meanwhile, Rey is forced to sit back in her small room in a cold base on Dantooine surrounded by people who only think her weird.

Rey finds herself stumbling across an article discussing the new Supreme Leader’s fashion choices. Rey hardly cared what Ben-Kylo wears, but she still enjoys indulging in the articles from time to time. They remind her of what could have been. She imagines what it would be like if she were the one the articles were written about. If she had taken Ben’s hand, they would be talking about her fashion instead of his hair and gorgeous eyes. Those eyes. Rey thinks back to the last time she’d seen them in person.

She’d been on Crait. Has it been that long? Rey realizes it has. Nearly a whole year. A year since she almost took his hand, a year since she almost let him become her everything.  

It has been a year since Rey made the biggest mistake of her life.

Rey lets herself fall into her emotions as tears begin to cloud her eyes. Rey grips her sheets as she plummets into another inescapable hole of dread, regret, and longing.

“Dammit, Ben!” Rey screams into her palms.

Rey is so lost in her own thoughts that she fails to sense her other’s.

Distant in her mind, Rey feels Ben. Goosebumps slowly trickle across her skin as though the goosebumps themselves are afraid of what is to come. Rey feels the air turn tepid as all sound is sucked from her room.

Rey doesn’t have enough time to wipe her eyes before she is greeted by Ben. His breath is what greets her first. It’s fast and fills her ears until it’s all she can think about. His quick breaths were the first warning sign that something was wrong. His appearance shocks her to her core.

Ben takes a moment to look at Rey wide-eyed before refocusing his attention on what he’s doing. Sweat covers Ben’s features as he takes desperate breaths with his demanding lungs.

“Ben?! Are you in a fight?” Rey’s voice shrieks, slicing violently through the silence that plagues the air.

Ben’s saber is ignited, slicing ferociously through nothing. Rey wishes she could see what was happening, she yearns for a gage on the battle that Ben is seemingly wrapped up in.

Who is he fighting? She wonders.

I’m fighting a group of blasted Resistance and don’t you tell me you didn’t know they were staging this fight! Ben swings his saber violently through the air, it crackles and hisses as Rey assumes it makes contact with someone.

“I didn’t. Ben, where are you?” Rey hopes he responds in his voice. She craves hearing the deep, husky notes like she would crave a meal on Jakku. She was hungry for it, starved of him.

“No!” Ben shouts at Rey as he blocks more invisible attacks. “I’m not telling you that!”

“Ben, I didn’t know!” Rey stands from her bed and walks towards Ben, relieved to have heard his physical voice.  

Ben’s adrenaline is pumping as he violently thrashes at his attackers.

“Ben, I’m sorry,” Rey whispers.

Rey’s apology and pleading eyes break Ben’s attention long enough for him to freeze. His dark brown eyes look into Rey’s. He opens his mouth to speak but before he can muster any more words he collapses to the ground with a lurch. He wails as his heavy body finally makes contact with the ground.

Rey runs to Ben and grabs him from across the bond. His hands are desperately compressed over a gaping wound in his side.

“Ben, let me help you!” Rey prepares herself to Force heal Ben. Her hands locate the wound and she begins channeling the Force but Ben interrupts her with a strong shove. He pushes her backward forcefully, letting her collide violently with the wall in her cramped room.

Rey lets her tears come as she scurries back to the Supreme Leader’s side.

“I’m going to help you!”

“No,” Ben speaks in a stern, shaky voice. He coughs and a trickle of blood escapes from the corner of his mouth.

“Ben, you’re going to die.”

“It’s better to be dead than alive alone in the galaxy without you.”

Rey grabs hold of Ben’s shirt and tilts him towards her. She gently places her lips on his. Tears begin to flow from both of their eyes as Rey pulls away.

“You never lost me,” Rey whispers, but it’s too late.

Rey’s hands slowly find themselves holding nothing but air as the connection closes. Rey sits alone in her room once again. Tears stream down her cheeks as she screams in frustration. Miscellaneous objects in her room begin to float as she curls herself into a ball, letting her emotions get the best of her while absentmindedly using the Force.

Crying freely, Rey can still taste Ben’s lips. He was sweet but burdened with blood leaving the taste of iron behind on Rey’s lips.

Rey hugs her knees as a part of her mind slips away. The part of her mind that was once occupied by Ben is gone. The part of her that was always connected to him despite their dormant bond, is gone and Rey can’t do a thing about it.  

Rey finds herself drowning in regret as her heart breaks. She gasps for air as she remembers his eyes.

Those eyes.  

If only she had taken his hand. If only she had forgiven him like he’d forgiven her. If only he’d let her heal him.

If only.