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Making Me A Habit

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The General entered the lift at the exact time that Ren had grown used to seeing him enter. It was 2pm exactly, and the General was heading for his daily observation of Phasma's troops in training, to sign off on their continued obedience and effectiveness in practice survival situations. Ren had just woken up and his hair was a mess under his helmet. Plus, he had forgotten to brush his teeth, so every time he breathed out he got a nose full of his own morning breath. It was gross, and he was sure his nose hairs were singed by now. But he was heading to the gym anyway. He could wash himself after.

Apparently, Hux, like the crazy control freak he was, got up in some maker-damned hour of the cycle and went to the gym then, so Ren, who tended to oversleep in the mornings as he had on this morning, never ran into him there. The only times that Kylo possibly ran into Hux was in this daily ride in the elevator. This short daily meeting consisted of a walk down a small corridor and a very awkward minute ride of an elevator before Hux got off at the floor before Kylo and didn't even acknowledge him once. Kylo never showed his face on the bridge, so there was no chance of running into Hux there. And honestly, it was better that way.

Considering how well he and Hux had got on from the very beginning, it was best that they stayed out of each other's ways, lest their competition became quite petty and led to blood, which Kylo had considered in plenty hot-blooded moments while looking down at the General. He looked easy to strangle, and Kylo had to physically hold himself back from pummelling the man's face in at times. He was mostly just too much. Too into himself, it seemed, too confident in his abilities and way too confident in Ren's (apparent) "inevitable failure". The man had a superiority complex. And Ren mostly couldn't stand to be near him. Just looking down at him from the other end of the elevator, watching him eyeball the steel doors calmly, waiting for them to open so he could spill out into the corridor made Ren's blood boil sometimes. He was so calm and collected at all times. Ren wondered what was going on inside his head more than he did with other people.

On any normal day, Kylo would get up late, go to the gym, work out for hours on end, walk back to his rooms, meditate, practice with his saber again but in his room (very dangerous), probably cry (even more dangerous) and then he'd sit there nursing a bottle of brandy or something similar until he fell asleep (or until the alcohol put him to sleep). Hux would get up early, hit the gym for an hour before anyone was even in there, go back to his rooms to wash, shave, get dressed and look on his agenda for the day. Then he'd walk briskly to the bridge, where he'd have Mitaka give him a run-down of the ship's and crew's current situation. After that he'd take minimal breaks as he'd follow his agenda religiously, until he finally finished for the day and retired to his rooms, taking another shower and sitting behind his desk drinking a glass of wine and smoking a cigarette (very bad) while listening to some music (great, classy, sophisticated) and reading a book. The less time he gave himself to think the better. He would get some more work done afterwards, until his eyes couldn't keep open. Afterwards, at the very sensible hour of 1am, he would retire to bed and get ready to do it all over again the very next day. He'd still wake at a terribly early hour with no trouble. He routinely ran on five hours of sleep. The next day it would be a different book, however. He was a fast reader, and very proud of his collection of very real books that he adorned in his rooms.

Kylo knew this because every day, as routinely as their awkward, silent meet up, he would shove himself into the General's head and poke around freely.

Hux was about as force sensitive as a rock on the ground, maybe even less so, so going undetected wasn't as hard as it would have been for anyone else. He couldn't delve deeply, into past memories and fears and feelings and whatever normal human beings had in their heads, but he could skim over current thoughts, maybe some day-old memories of his, without any realisation or even suspicion from Hux.

If he was being honest with himself (which Kylo rarely ever was), it was the most interesting and distracting moment of his day. Being able to get sucked into the routine of the only other person on this ship that had a slight degree of free will and interest in anything was liberating. Kylo found that after a few days of the same old habit, he was getting invested in Hux's life, in the books he was reading, the music he was listening to, the wine he was drinking. Like a bad holo drama, with a new episode every day that Kylo could get acquainted with. If he focused hard enough, he could taste the cigarette, remember the very details of the reports that Hux had written, remember the words he read the day previous. And it was nice. It was distracting. It helped him see Hux as something more human, which put Hux within Kylo's league. It made him less scary. Because if he was being honest with himself (and in this situation he honestly would rather die than be honest with himself), Hux tended to be scary. Or at least, scary for someone who didn't even have an inch of the force living in their pathetic, wall encased mind. He was determined and had such a large degree of self-belief that it blew Kylo away. Being able to see him as someone who kicked back with a glass of wine, not so far away from Kylo's own activities (maybe only by a bottle and a half), made Kylo feel more powerful. He found he took solace in it. Yet another feeling to mourn late at night but take comfort in in the morning.

The reason why Kylo had enough time on his hands to absurdly start caring about the General's private life and his hobbies was because he was tethered to the Finalizer, not to go on any missions, for an unforeseeable amount of time. Unforeseeable, because his next mission would most definitely involve killing his father. The greatest task Snoke had given him yet.

The existence of his parents, while in the back of his mind, had been shoved and kept there by Snoke for many years, to the point where sometimes it was easy for Kylo to not think of them as his parents at all. They were his enemies, in his mother's case, and in his father's, well... He was somewhere out there, away from Kylo, and that was how it should have been kept. His aloof demeanour towards his parents led to him being unable to predict that Snoke would order him, however indirectly so, to get rid of one or both of them. The way the words had echoed in the room as he said them, as he'd called Han Solo Kylo's father. In his tone Kylo could hear his order.

Since then, meditation and large amounts of practicing will and crying had held him hostage on this ship. Snoke's lack of orders for a mission had cemented the indirect order from his master in Kylo's mind.

It was one thing to ignore your parents, to leave them behind. And another entirely to kill them. And yet Snoke had been clear. If his father were to get involved here, he would have to prove himself. He would have to get past his last and biggest test. His final step to joining the dark side. Severing his ties to whatever Snoke believed held him back. And Kylo had not believed previously that anything did hold him back, but now that he was faced with this task, it was easy to see how entangled in light his life still was. In the weeks after the talk with Snoke, he'd realised it in moments of weakness and anger in his rooms, the fuzziness that hit his chest at the thought, like holo-call static. He was weak. He was weak, and he was not worthy of Snoke's guidance because no matter how much he wanted to want it, he didn't want to kill his parents.

And as if this emotional turmoil wasn't enough for him, he also had to struggle and fight to hide it from Snoke.

He hadn't hidden much from Snoke in his life before. As a young teen he hadn't been able to hide anything, Snoke's presence constant and his mind too untrained to shut him out. After his victory against Skywalker and his official indoctrination to Snoke's side, Snoke had let up on his monitoring, a sense of trust coming from his master that Kylo was more than happy with. As the years had gone by since then, now at the eve of his thirtieth year, Kylo could say that he had most of his privacy in his own head, Snoke but a little thing in the side of his head, like a little itch that felt it needed scratching every now and then, when Kylo would call to him for guidance or Snoke would check in on him during some more mentally and physically gruelling tasks of his. But Kylo had never attempted to hide thoughts from him. Though keeping his mind masked was a skill he had mastered very early on under Snoke's supervision, he had never attempted to mask his mind against his own master. Had never found a reason to. But the more the thoughts of his family, and mostly his father, occupied his mind, the more he found the need to urgently figure out how to hide his distress from his master. If he knew that Kylo felt this way towards this task, he would be very disappointed, and no one wanted that, least of all Kylo.

Snoke had given him a big speech in the weeks that came after. Snoke had seen conflict in his apprentice's future, and told him he needed to centre himself, find the dark side, blah blah blah, all the things that Snoke was especially good at saying. Kylo did not enjoy being hitched down to a ship, and the Finalizer could get especially boring in the company of mindless drone warriors, military officials on the bridge and of course, the aforementioned co-commander himself, Hux.

So, here we are. Back again in the elevator. Away from the thoughts of his father, and possibly killing his father, and Snoke's disappointment and, oh for kriff's sake, maker himself and all his stars, Kylo's breath smelt really fucking bad.

As far as current thoughts from the General, Kylo had found, to his intense delight, the General rarely was thinking of something to warrant his moody and stony look. He was just thinking of things, weird things, small things, insignificant things, things he'd read about. One time, Kylo had even caught him with a song stuck in his head, playing over and over as Hux looked at the doors of the elevator with a blank look on his face. And Kylo found it endlessly interesting and amusing. Of course, he'd run into him plenty of times where all the man could think about was work, his orders from Snoke, how the weapon was coming along, how it was expected to destroy the Hosnian system very very soon.

Detecting traces of human emotion in the man was more comforting than anything else Kylo thought it was going to be. He thought maybe he could rub this emotion in Hux's face, see him get mad and flustered and red in the face. A strangely appealing sight, whenever Ren had been lucky enough to catch it.

This was his life now, he'd had the depressing thought after taking himself halfway through a brandy bottle one night. Another, at least. This was his fucking life, where his father was taking over his head, Snoke was no help whatsoever, Hux's thoughts were comforting to him and he was beginning to see that leering military presence of a man as an actual human being without him even being aware of it. Not even brandy could fix that.

This is elevator ride number twenty three. Snoke is getting impatient. Kylo knows because Hux knows and he's nervous in the ride. It even shows on his face slightly, if Kylo concentrates on it. There's a slight snarl in his lip but it looks more scared than threatening. Kylo notices that he's standing closer to the General than usual. His height and general difference to Hux seems more evident at this angle, even with Hux's greatcoat to make his thin shoulders swell further out.

Hux is caught up in his thoughts and he hasn't realised how close Kylo stands to him. Thank the maker for that one, he probably would be more than okay to take his emotions out on Kylo if he noticed him out of line.

Kylo catches glimpses of Hux's mind, his last night of self-medication. He'd read another history book the day before. Hux seemed to be a huge fan of those. Most of his real-life books were history books, detailing battles and historical events of all kind. Hux seemed quite the dedicated historian, because unlike some others would while reading history books, he did not once get upset or annoyed over reading about losses that he didn't agree with. He tended to root for a team, as many did when it came for past battles, but never once did Kylo sense him get annoyed or mad at the fate of the 'team' that he had sided with in warfare. He was sure that if he asked Hux how he managed to stay so opinionated and removed and unbiased at the same time, Hux would say something like "It's history, it is the documentation of past events and nothing more. Willing my 'team', as you so crudely put it, Ren, to 'win' will not change the course of the past. The best we can do is learn from their mistakes and not repeat them in the present. And I, presently, have the power to do that".

Ren is startled by his own ability to emulate that annoying voice in his head so realistically. Before he can get truly worried about it, the General is out of the elevator, and the buzzing of his head is getting further and further away.

He lets a breath out as the elevator doors close and immediately regrets it. Fuck's sake, he should learn to remember to brush his fucking teeth.

***

Elevator ride number twenty seven. The weapon is going according to plan and Hux can afford to think further about his last night's reading, which leaves Ren perfectly stunned.

When Hux walks into the elevator thinking about the force and ancient old documents that Ren remembers Luke detailing briefly, Kylo almost falls over into a laughing fit. He almost shakes Hux to check that he's real. The irony of it all makes his head feel weak.

Hux hates the Force. He thinks that it's weak, that it's useless compared to technological advancement. After all, the jedi had the force, and look what happened to them. They're all kriffing dead in a ditch. So if Hux thinks all these things, and voices them so passionately to Ren at any given opportunity, then why is he reading about it?

The Hundred-Year Darkness was the current whispering of Hux's mind, and Kylo could barely hold himself back from criticising Hux's almost primitive and simplistic view of the Force. He guessed that if you didn't use it, it was harder to understand it.

Before Kylo could even realise it, the doors were opening and Hux was strutting confidently into the corridor. Kylo felt his legs move but he didn't realise fully that he was following Hux until Hux twisted around and looked at Kylo in the way one might look at an annoying child, sighing.

"Alright, Ren," Hux said forcibly (FORCE-ibly, Kylo's mind said and dared have a laugh about it too). "What do you want? I'm busy doing things that are actually important to the survival of this Order."

"Do you ever wonder," Kylo started before his mouth was even aware of moving, his voice coming out muffled through the helmet's filter. "How a midi-chlorian count is actually measured?"

Hux quirked an eyebrow and somehow managed to keep a sane expression on his face, even though Kylo could sense the surprise and slight pinch of panic in his mind.

"What?" Hux said after a second of stunned silence in his imperial accent. "Why would I care about your force banthashit, Ren?"

"Oh, so you know of the midi-chlorians?" Kylo said, his tone coming across as slightly accusatory.

Hux's mouth gaped a bit like a fish's, his face going red hot as he tried to think of a response. For once, Kylo had left him speechless. Kylo took this as a good sign that he had some time to speak before Hux inevitably tried to murder him and continued talking.

"The higher the count the more chances of being able to use the force, right? After a certain number of midi-chlorians, you can actually be in touch with the force, but under that certain number and you can only use it subconsciously. Some can't even use it at all." Kylo said, a matter of fact tone. Hux continued to stare at him. His mind was blissfully blank when Kylo checked. Like he'd had a bit of a malfunction and was struggling to get it back up and running again.

"But is it an actually measurable number? Can you even measure midi-chlorian activity with an actual, quantifiable number? Or is it just something you can sense in general terms through the force? Like right now, I can sense that you have low midi-chlorian activity, in the same way Snoke could sense that my midi-chlorian activity in my blood stream is high, when he chose me as an apprentice. But I can only get a feeling. As actual organisms, surely, we can quantify them scientifically, right?" Ren felt the words jump out of his mouth without any will of his own being involved, but he couldn't find himself caring much, as Hux's face was absolutely priceless. He had that lovely red colour in his face again, surprised and speechless. And he bet the use of the word 'scientifically' made Hux cream his pants.

That is, until he finally regained his senses as Ren went quiet and said, surely with less venom than he actually meant to have in his voice.

"And why exactly are you telling me this?"

Ren only smiled under the helmet and shrugged his shoulders, turning around and walking back to the elevator as he said.

"Dunno. Thought it'd be something interesting to think about."

***

The next day, Hux didn't speak to him as usual. Kylo didn't even jump inside his mind. Hux may have been aware that something hanky was going on, and he'd be able to tell much easier if Kylo jumped in there. Kylo tried to imagine what the inside of his head looked like.

And if he'd been able to go in there he'd know that Hux was positively charmed. The exact opposite of anything he actually wanted to be, but he was. Because the only possible way to get the General to respect you was to outsmart him. Not that Kylo was even close to doing that, please, he wasn't even in sight of Hux's level, but he'd offered Hux something to think about. Something to mull away at and look in his books for and wonder about. And no matter how much Hux hated that, he liked that Ren had offered him something as such. He would rather get eaten alive by porgs than to say those words out loud.

***

Day thirty one in the elevator. Hux caved in.

"Okay," His voice is icy and terrible, like he hates that he has to ask. "How do they measure midi-chlorian counts?"

Kylo turns his head to him and smirks under his helmet. Hux isn't even looking at him. His face is stony and cold, and his blush is restricted to the tips of his ears. How is he controlling his blood flow like that?

"Because I can't find it anywhere. I've looked in every source I can conceivably find and I can't find an answer." Hux sounds pained to spit out the words. "So tell me."

Kylo chuckles under his helmet and Hux's face snaps towards him at the sound. Kylo doesn't give him the satisfaction of looking back at him, and he can feel Hux's annoyance so vividly without even looking in his mind.

"I don't know." He says finally, and Hux gapes again.

"What do you mean you don't know?" Hux's voice is incredulous and louder than his previous statement. His eyebrows are furrowed in thought. Kylo catches sight of it, his tentative green eyes looking expectantly at Kylo, and huffs. Cute.

"I mean, I attempted to kill my previous master before I got to find out. Isn't that funny?" Kylo laughs. Hux doesn't seem to find it so amusing.

He huffs and looks at the door again, walking out like he's about to wage war the second the doors open. Kylo feels better than he has in decades. Plus, watching Hux walk away with his coat billowing and his red ears isn't a half bad sight either.

***

Day thirty four. Kylo doesn't expect Hux to speak.

"It's a blood test." Hux says, and Kylo is as speechless as Hux was only a few days ago.

"They measure the number through a blood test. The highest number ever recorded was for Anakin Skywalker. Over twenty thousand." Hux said, matter-of-factly. His pride was insufferable. "Not even Yoda had a count that high."

"And you found this out, how?" Kylo questioned. He wasn't necessarily annoyed. Actually, he wasn't annoyed at all. More impressed.

"By reading." Hux had the nerve to smirk. Kylo found he had the incessant need to punch it off. Or to just wipe it off however.

"Huh." Kylo said. Some stupid, stupid part of him smirked back. Hux couldn't see him anyway, he was wearing his helmet and Hux wasn't even looking at him. "By reading?"

"Yes."

"Actual books, or..?" Kylo had the nerve to ask. He knew the answer already.

"Don't you know the answer already?" Hux said smugly at him, not seeming that annoyed. Crap.

"Why do you say that?" Kylo said, trying to play innocent. Hux didn't dignify it with an answer. He walked out of the elevator. Did Hux always have such a nice, lean back, or did Kylo just notice?

***

"The Lasats call it 'the Ashla' instead of the force, you know."

"And the Chiss call it 'The Third Sight', I know." Hux rolled his eyes at him. Kylo felt more amusement that annoyance.

"And the Dianoga Omi call it just 'It'." Kylo says, and Hux stays silent that time. Kylo knows it's because he didn't know that one and he doesn't want Kylo to know that he didn't know.

His profile is starting to seem more attractive the more Kylo gets to look at it. His cheeks used to look hollow, but now Kylo realises his cheekbones are just sculpted. His eyes used to seem cold and empty as the green sea, but now they just seem charmingly bright and clear. Like they hold all the world's knowledge. His red hair Ren had always admired, but now he wants to see it without the slicked back look of pomade. Under his hands.

Hux grows to have a deeper understanding of the force than someone who can't use it should have. This knowledge cannot possibly come from books. When Ren selfishly and terribly voices this thought, he is greeted to Hux's smug look and talk of how books are everything, like a kriffing nerd. Hux can tell he took Ren's comment as a compliment, and he's glad for it.

The narrow mindedness of the General fades away the more he thinks about it, and soon he knows by Hux's own words what he already knew from his head. Day forty and Hux has mentioned his cigarette, his wine and his music. By forty one Kylo knows about his twice daily showers. Hux probably already knows that Kylo already knows. He has hinted as such before. You'd think he'd make an effort to stop me, Kylo first thought, but he realised that by acknowledging him in the first place and quietly passing judgement, he'd already gotten Kylo to stop doing it without even getting into conflict. Man, he was good. This was why Hux covered public relations and went to all the fancy balls in neutral ground to find out more about the resistance. Kylo hadn't even realised he was being played until he'd given Hux his way without even knowing it.

Hux doesn't seem to mind talking with Kylo about the force. Kylo knows more than him, Kylo can describe it with his own words from his own experience. Kylo would even demonstrate if Hux asked him to, and the thought makes him feel like a show pony, but he doesn't particularly mind. Hux's clear, green eyes have lulled him to bloody submission once every day for a minute tops and he doesn't even care. Because Hux is haughty and prideful and good looking and smart and he cares about the force, and he wants to ask Kylo about the force.

And Kylo was always one for pretty boys who care about his hobbies and talents. By day fifty, he finds out Hux was always one for boys as well. It feels like a spectacularly targeted comment, and Kylo can't help but hope that Hux was giving him an all clear. Which seems insane. Ridiculous. Absurd. Outlandish. Perfect.

***

"How did you come by a book collection?" Kylo asks one day, boldly. They haven't once said hello or goodbye to each other. Conversation picks up where it left off the day before.

"A few were gifts from my father," He says that in a removed fashion, his emotions unattached to the statement. Kylo is tempted to but doesn't poke in his head. "Some were gifts from others. A few I bought from markets."

"So they're mostly gifts?" Kylo asks, his interest piquing at the statement.

"Yes. Why do you ask?" Hux doesn't really sound like he cares about the answer. In fact, since mentioning his father, he doesn't seem to be involved in their minute-long conversation anyway.

Kylo just shrugs. Hux walks out of the elevators without looking at him. Kylo can feel his muddled presence all the way across the ship for the rest of the day. He imagines that Hux goes to his room and thinks about him. Changes around his routine for Kylo. He waves the thought away only after he's jerked off to it. Minimal guilt is involved. If it keeps his mind off his father and makes him feel better, where's the harm in it, no matter who else is involved? He dares to think that maybe Hux is having the exact same thought in his own quarters.

***

Kylo doesn't have to ask about his father, and he wouldn't have anyway.

"I haven't read any of the books he gave me." Hux says simply. He is once again detached and cold in the force.

"Why?" Kylo asks. He feels like Hux wants the prompting, so he can spit out what he wants to say.

"I didn't want to. I didn't want anything to do with him." Hux says. The ride is almost over and Kylo can feel all the things he has to say. The room is full of things that Hux somehow wants to tell him. Somehow, he feels safe spitting it out.

"You can tell me." Kylo says.

"I know." Says Hux. He walks out of the elevator.

***

The next few days they don't talk about it. They talk more about the force, a bit about Kylo. Kylo has been returning Hux's favours of listing his daily routine, minus the jerking off and the crying. He briefly brings up his father. His assignment from Snoke. He briefly mentions doubt, however masked in pretty words. He mentions the brandy and Hux hums in appreciation. Kylo finds a bottle of brandy in his rooms the next day. The really good stuff, from Arcanis. Hux has mentioned he was born there. Maybe he has a stockpile. Kylo drinks the whole thing and lets himself get lost in Hux's green eyes guilt free, in his imagination.

***

"He is a terrible person." Hux says. "He's the one that got me into this shit." It's a terribly bold and incriminating statement. It's dangerous to say it. But Kylo can feel how much Hux has longed to say it without even trying to reach inside his mind much.

He stays silent for most of the rest of the ride and Hux joins him in it.

"Would you kill him, if you could?" Kylo finally asks. Hux has the nerve to let out a little nervous laugh. His smile doesn't reach his ears. Kylo smiles under the helmet at the sound.

"No. And neither should you."

If Snoke had heard him, he'd have been dead in a second. If Snoke had heard any of their conversations, death would be the least of their fears. But they both knew his words weren't an option anyway. There was no 'don't do it'. Not when Snoke commanded it anyway. Kylo began to realise that was the reason Hux stuck around in the first place.

***

Kylo begins not wearing his helmet to the gym. If Hux cares, he doesn't comment on it. Kylo thinks that he may care in a positive way, but that may be the loneliness getting to him. The stupid, relentless need that grew inside him, on the basis of very meagre human interaction about the force of all things.

Maybe Hux feels the same way. He shares a lot. Maybe he feels he needs to. He doesn't say that if Kylo betrays this trust in any way he'll end up dead in a ditch, but he doesn't need to anyway. And why would Kylo do that anyway. Why would he throw away the only willing feel good thing he has in his life anymore? What's left without a minute every day? His father, Snoke and his guilt.

***

Kylo has one book in his possession, and then he has none. It's a book that he found in a market place somewhere, detailing the ethereal realm of Mortis and all theories around it. Kylo had never once picked it up. He wasn't much of a reader anyway.

He hands it to Hux in the elevator instead.
In return, Hux kisses him. And then all of a sudden there's no doubt about it and Kylo's mind is ablaze with need.

Hux has pushed him against the wall, his neck craning up as he kisses Kylo, his grip of his gloved hand on the front of Kylo's robe, on his chest, pulling him closer. Kylo's hands fall to Hux's hips. His lips are warm and his tongue is warmer, Kylo is subconsciously glad he didn't forget to brush his teeth that morning. Kylo wants to mess up Hux's hair, wants to lift him up and hold him close and suffocate himself against his lips, he wants too much for one minute.

Hux pulls away and his green eyes are on fire, his lips are well-kissed and covered in a thin layer of spit, and his cheeks are red in the way that Kylo likes seeing them, flustered.

"Thank you." He murmurs, and Kylo realises he means thank you for the book only after he's said.

"Anytime." Hux smirks at him and then he leaves. Kylo jerks off in his room imagining Hux's lips. Too soft for the words that have come out of them.

***

Days crawl closer to the First Order's move. Kylo and Hux are avoiding the inevitable. It's a matter of who caves in first and invites the other to their quarters. But Kylo knows Hux wants it. He's almost delirious with it every time he walks in the elevator. The air is so thick with it that Kylo wants to push him against the wall and take him right there. Hux is holding out for him to make the invitation.

Proper gentleman like. Kylo has no delusions about what this means, and he knows he and Hux are both very lonely. He cleans his room. He takes out whatever is left of the brandy Hux gave him. He hides his grandfather's helmet. He invites Hux to his room. Hux says yes.

***

Hux looks impossibly better when Kylo knows that he's at his quarters looking to get fucked. The knowledge leaves him wanting immediately. Kylo offers him a drink. He can taste it later when they kiss. Hux is wearing his greatcoat. His General's insignia. It is, somehow, even hotter than Kylo imagined.

Hux's kisses are tentative, so much so that Kylo could even wonder if it was inexperience, if it wasn't for the way he knew how to use his tongue, how to push forward and turn up the heat when he wanted to, how to take control and then how to give the control to Kylo, if he wants to. It leaves Kylo thinking that maybe Hux is just a desperate romantic, he wants the kisses to start off soft, sometimes maybe he'd even want them to stay that way. The thought is laughable but all too realistic.

The drink is too fucking good, and it buzzes through Kylo and leaves his legs feeling numb. They become number when Hux pushes through the kiss and straddles his lap on the chair he sits on. Hux's body is warm and wiry, thin but powerful feeling. Kylo wraps his arms around Hux's middle, marvels at how they come straight back around to himself, marvels at his hips and then later his ass, grabbing on tightly and being spurred on by Hux's high pitch whine. Hux's hands are in Kylo's hair, and he's thinking so loudly that Kylo can't help but catch the thoughts of everything that Hux wants to do. He groans against Hux's lips. Hux bites his bottom lip gently as he holds him by the cheek. His green eyes enticing. Kylo genuinely thinks he may be in love with him, by the maker, he's so fucking hot. How did he spend his time around him for so long without even realising how Hux's lips are full and pink, his eyes are cold and confident, his body is harmonious and pale, freckles adorn his nose and then, Kylo finds out later, his shoulders. He realises his mouth is hanging open as he looks at Hux even after Hux has let his lip go. He slams it shut and trails it to Hux's jaw. He threads his fingers through Hux's hair and tugs him back, delighted at the noise that falls from Hux's lips as he bares his neck. Kylo bites on his jaw lightly and trails kisses down. Hux murmurs, Kylo can barely realise what he's saying.

"Want you to fuck me, Kylo, hells..." His voice may embarrass him later, high pitched and whiny, wanting. Straight into Kylo's ear. Kylo shivers. Hux must feel it under his thighs, because he shakes with a little laugh. Kylo's tenting his boxers and they're not even close to started. Hux's dick is hardening against Kylo's stomach though, so he doesn't care.

Kylo nods against Hux's neck. "Want me to fuck you?" He asks just to hear him say it again.

"Yes, yes..." Hux is delirious with it. He doesn't even sound shamed, which, all things considered, he possibly should be. But Kylo doesn't care either, so who is he to judge?

Kylo picks him up with a certain ease that he senses makes Hux feel very hot. He carries him to the bed and puts him down slowly, lowering himself over Hux's writhing body. He's almost whimpering. Kylo takes off his own tunic and minimal clothing until he's in his under things and Hux is positively drooling. He runs a hand over Kylo's abdomen and pushed him around so he's on his back. Hux pushes himself to his knees over Kylo's body and pulls off his coat, then his shirt and then his tank top, his dog tags in a chain around his neck. His shoulders are pale and covered in little brown spots. His stomach is flat and slightly toned, his muscles reflecting in lines as he twists his body. A small trail of ginger hair trails down his abdomen and into his formal pants. He stands up to pull them off and Kylo is treated to the sight of long, lithe legs. He imagines them pulled over Hux's head, imagines his own head buried between them and he doesn't even know how he wants to have him first. Hux is puffing with effort and there's a slight redness to his chest and shoulders, flush with want. Kylo runs a hand over the flat chest tenderly, and Hux does the same with Kylo's stomach, his fingers getting caught over the waistband of Kylo's underwear as he leans down to kiss him, slowly. His legs are once again encasing Kylo's body. Kylo desperately wants him to grind down. Kylo's hands run through Hux's hair, loose without the pomade, and then down his back and over his ass. Hux pants into his mouth. He finally shifts his hips and they made such perfect contact with Kylo's own that Kylo has to moan, delighted to hear Hux do the same.

Hux pushes himself back down to the edge of the bed, his knees hitting the floor at the end of it, and Kylo brings his body over the edge of the bed, realising what Hux means to do with reckless anticipation. He brings himself to sitting position, his knees over the edge of the bed, and he watches Hux look up at him from his position on the floor. Hux has an almost hungry look in his beautiful, clear eyes, and Kylo smiles down at him and gives his head a gentle stroke through the hair, coming around to hold him by the jaw, gently still. He leans down, reaching his lips to brush over Hux's, hearing his hitch of breath as he straightens up his body in sitting position to aid the kiss. Before he can keep kissing him, Kylo pulls away, and Hux smiles at him, almost wickedly. He shuts his eyes and presses his face to the inside of Kylo's thigh, inhaling deeply. His mouth slowly moves over to breathe hotly over Kylo's crotch. Kylo's dick twitches in the thin garment that covers it. Hux softly presses his mouth over the tent and sucks gently, making Kylo gasp. Before Kylo can ask him to hurry up he has his hand on Kylo, pulling him out of his boxers and licking his lips as he looks at him. Kylo knows he likes what he sees.

"Come on, then." He urges, and Hux laughs.

"Eager?" He seems proud of the fact.

"You're one to talk." Kylo says, and with his foot he pushes against Hux's bulge, where it almost reaches the floor from the way Hux sits there with his knees spread. Hux presses his face to the inside of Kylo's thigh to moan, his grip tightening on Kylo's dick. His hips involuntarily thrust forward from the want and Kylo can't wait to make him come.

Hux gets himself together and cups Kylo's balls with one hand, the other tightening around the bottom of the shaft as he licks a thick stripe along the bottom of it, tracing a vein that pops out. Kylo grips Hux's hair painfully tight, and Hux groans against the cock.

Hux puts his lips over the head and dips down, gently to get his throat used to it, and Kylo knows not to move his hips yet, no matter how much he feels he needs to thrust into the heat. He lets Hux go with his own pace and get his bearings. Neither of them have gotten laid for a while, and while Hux clearly knows what to do with a cock, he can't be too in practice.

Soon enough, Hux gets more of a rhythm going, taking Kylo down far enough to make him see stars but controlling it heavily so he doesn't trigger his gag reflex. Kylo lets him control it, finding it's easier to push his hips down to the bed and enjoy it, his hand loosely in Hux's hair. Hux seems to keenly be enjoying himself, and a peek in his head finds nothing but want to please him, enjoyment at the fullness of his mouth. He can't wait to be full elsewhere as well and Kylo can't wait to make that dream a reality.

Kylo was already warmed up and ready to go way before this blowjob from heaven, so it doesn't take him very long to stop Hux. He's panting with the effort of it when he pulls off, and Kylo finds he's panting too. He leans down to kiss Hux again and finds that he tastes himself on Hux's tongue. Maker, it almost makes him come right then and there.

"Come on." He murmurs against Hux's lips and Hux nods back against his own, letting himself be pulled up to the middle of the bed, where he straddles Kylo's hips again, a position they both seem to be huge fans of.

Kylo wills the slick over, and initially calls a rubber too, but Hux throws it away before Kylo can even touch it with his physical hand. Hux leans down to put his lips over Kylo's chest.

"Want you to come inside me." He murmurs hotly and Kylo honestly felt dead and in another realm of reality by then. His legs were going numb again. From the pleasure this time, clearly.

Hux pulls off his own underwear and Kylo barely gets to admire his cock, framed by a nice redness, before Hux is pulling Kylo's hand to his mouth and sucking on his fingers. It is completely unnecessary, a part of Kylo thinks, they have the slick right there. A small, aware part of him chuckles inwardly at the realisation that it's just for show, but the larger, horny part of him in up in the seventh cloud by now and can't process thoughts properly. All he knows is that Hux's lips are red from the kissing and the dick sucking and now they're puckered perfectly around his fingers, all the way down to the knuckle. Hux has grabbed the lube as he does this, and he pulls Kylo's fingers out to lube them up. He lifts his hips to aid Kylo's hand there and moans sweetly as Kylo shoves in two fingers, straight off the bat.

"Fucked myself on my fingers thinking about this.." Hux admits to him and Kylo smirks at the thought. He is tempted to take it straight from Hux's head so he can admire it, but he's too lost in the moment, in Hux's tight heat. He brushes his fingers over Hux's prostate and Hux grinds down his hips and force and a gasp.

"Yeah, baby? Imagined my cock inside you?" Kylo spurs him onwards and Hux can only nod, his eyes shutting and his head tilting back, meagre tilts of his hips urging Kylo to put another finger in.

"Yeah. Thought of you kissing me, holding me down..." Hux says finally as Kylo pulls his fingers out and slicks up his cock. Hux is kissing his neck, watching him get ready. "Imagined it as I jerked myself off."

"I did too." Kylo thinks it's only fair to tell him the truth as well. "Thought about all the pretty noises you'd make as I fucked you into the mattress."

"Oh, maker." Hux moans and Kylo has just about had enough. However, he lets Hux lift his hips and line up Kylo's cock instead of doing it himself. Hux lines it up and slowly sits down on it, his head thrown back with a gasp and a moan. Kylo catches only a peak of his bruised neck and jaw before he shuts his own eyes from the intense pleasure.

Hux sits himself down fully fairly quickly, and he sits there with his palms supported on Kylo's chest and his head thrown back for a little while, getting used to the stretch and the burn. He likes the pain though, and Kylo could already tell.

Slowly, after what feels like an eternity, Hux lifts his hips up, a slow shifting movement, and brings them back down. The next one is fuller, his legs putting in the work to have him go up and then come back down, harder, making a nice grind and making them both moan. Kylo's previously useless hands grip Hux's hips like a life line and he shifts his hips up as Hux comes down the next time. Hux almost sees stars, he whimpers.

Hux speeds up the rhythm until they've worked it up, Hux in a constant stream of high pitched whines and Kylo in breathy groans, moaning out Hux's name every now and then. Hux replies with his own and Kylo runs his hands over Hux's chest as he watches him perspire and work up his effort.

It's when Kylo feels the steady build up in his stomach that he pulls himself out and flips Hux over, dipping back in after to the accompanying sound of Hux's groan and setting a faster rhythm, regular and stifling, his breathing coming out in huffs as he shifted his hips to find the perfect angle. Hux's moans come out thick and heavy now, at a quicker rate as he starts to jerk himself off in time with Kylo's thrusts. Suddenly, Hux's eyes snap open and he cries out loudly, pulling Kylo down to kiss him through the stars in his eyes. The kiss becomes loose and open mouthed, less of a kiss and more of them breathing against each other.

"There, fuck! Oh, fuck me." Hux was whispering filthy words against Kylo's lips and Kylo moaned in response. His hips sped up almost without his own accord.

He was so close now. Hux was too, judging by the sounds he was making. Kylo slapped his hand away and jerked off his cock, digging his thumb into the head and opening his eyes just in time to see Hux throw his head back with a blissed out expression, red hair splayed against the mattress as he came. The sight and the clench of Hux's ass was enough to push Kylo over the edge as well, and he came inside Hux.

He gasped as he rode the high and then collapsed with his head against Hux's chest. Hux put his arms around Kylo's head almost protectively, holding him close to his chest as he also panted. Kylo pulled out slowly as he softened, feeling Hux wince a bit. He had to get a towel and take off Hux's come, warm between them, before it dried. Hux whined when he pulled away from him. He smiled at him and kissed him before he went.

***

Kylo lay with his head against Hux's chest, his body over his and probably crushing him to a degree, but Hux didn't seem to care. He was carding his fingers through Kylo's hair and sighing softly as he read over a book, his eyes only fleetingly running over the lines. He'd read it before.

"Hux?" Kylo started up, and Hux, feeling a conversation coming on, put down his book.

"Yeah?" He asked, his voice gentler than Kylo had ever heard it. His fingers were soft against Kylo's forehead as they brushed there while running through his hair, making him feel safe and at home. The feeling urged him to speak.

"I can't kill my father." He spat it out like it was horribly dirty, a bad admission, a mistake and something he should have kept to himself. Hux didn't answer at first, but he did not for a second berate him or make him feel sorry for the words he had said, something that he may have done if they had not shared everything they already had.

"Okay," was all he said at first "And what are you going to do about it?" Hux was the practical thinker as always. Kylo didn't feel like answering. Instead he asked Hux a question.

"Did you mean it when you said I shouldn't do it?" He asked, his voice sounding scared and childish even to himself. Once again, Hux didn't seem to care.

He sighed softly and pushed Kylo off his chest so he could lie next to him and look into his eyes. Kylo stared back, eagerly drinking in his pale green eyes, clear as always.

"If I'd regret killing my father, who sounds marginally worse than yours, then all I know is that you will regret killing your own." Hux says and it makes more sense than anything Snoke has said in his life. Maybe it's because he wants it to make sense.

"What did he do to you?" Kylo dared to ask, feeling brave by the openness of Hux's soul.

Hux looked taken aback, but all he did was smile sadly. "He made me who I am."

"And that's such a bad thing?" Kylo asked, and his tone didn't sound joking at all.

Hux laughed, seemed strangely charmed. But his eyes were watery. His look sad.

"Sometimes I see him in the things I do and the things I say. And it makes me sick. It makes me realise I'm just like him." Hux said and Kylo was very aware of the fact that it was the most open and vulnerable that Hux had ever been in his life. He brought himself closer to Hux and put their noses together, then joined their lips for a bare second.

"You don't have to be like him. If he's the one that made you this way, that brought you into this shit. You don't have to be like him. Just like I don't have to kill my father." Kylo's words make sense to him and they must make sense to Hux as well, because he looks as hopeful and scared as Kylo feels.

"Well then, what do we do?" Hux asks, looking into Kylo's eyes with a fear that Kylo just wants to wipe away forever. He kisses him and he doesn't answer.

They never talk about what they are, but Kylo knows after the same thing happens again and again that it's not a fuck, and it makes him happier than he has ever been in his life.

***

Hux gives the order to get rid of the Hosnian System. His speech beforehand is heartfelt, loud and encouraging. Kylo feels that he is the only person in the whole of the galaxy who hears the tremor of Hux's voice. Who feels his fear in his stomach. Regret for something that hasn't even happened yet.

Hux gives the order and the red light reflects in his eyes, his clear green eyes. They are clouded with the light of it and Kylo feels more fear than he has ever felt before. More fear than he felt when Snoke spoke to him the first time. He doesn't know how to describe Hux or himself or what he feels and he doesn't care much for describing it, giving it a name, as long as it's there. What he does care about is the fact that neither of them know what to do. They're stuck. They have no way out. Hux has dinner with his father once a month and comes back to Ren's room after to cry. He doesn't talk about what his father did or what he said, but the memory is always fresh in his mind and he's told Ren he can take a peek if he wishes to. Ren doesn't poke further back in the memories that the meetings with his father bring up from the past, but he has a sneaking suspicion that he doesn't want to know.

The plans for Star Killer were Hux's. He sat down and made them and ordered the things they needed to build it and oversaw its building and reported about it to the Supreme Leader, and then he gave the order that used it to wipe out billions of lives. But most importantly, he came back to Ren's room after and let Ren hold him while he screamed out his pain. It was better when they both pretended that they couldn't feel anything anymore.

***
Kylo is busy thinking about Hux when he comes face to face with his father. He's busy thinking about his lovely skin and his tears and his guilt and everything he wishes they had together. Every conversation they'd had to date and every single moment that Hux made him feel better than he was. It was something, it was there. They had it. And Kylo realised in moments like these, where Hux was away from him, their ship under attack, and he was worried about him, about whether he was safe or not. He turns and comes to see his father, further down the bridge and walking steadily towards him.

This was it, right now. Moment of truth.

"Take off that mask." His father's voice rang out and he felt his eyes tear up under said mask. "You don't need it".

"What do you think you'll see if I do?" He challenges. His father doesn't lose momentum.

"The face of my son." He says clearly and with such belief that Kylo almost does believe him. Almost throws himself over the edge for having to make this choice. Instead, he takes off the mask. His face is stony and cold, a look he's seen on Hux many times before.

"Your son," he spits out, "Is gone." He sounds weak to himself. Sounds like he wants to cry. "He was weak and foolish, like his father. So, I destroyed him."

If only Kylo Ren were not as equally weak and equally foolish. What did he do? Go ahead and fall in love with the one man in this establishment he should have stayed away from. Might as well have fucked Snoke. Went ahead and let himself be weak and let himself talk about his feelings and listened to Hux when he did too, and he made love to him and admitted his deepest fears to him as if it was going to fix things. And it landed him right back down to the gutter like he'd been before. Back here again, ready to make the choice of his life time all over again but this time having to consider variables.

Like Hux. Where was he now? What was he doing? What would Hux do if he was in Kylo's position. Something probably much smarter.

"That's what Snoke wants you to believe." His father says, and he was so lost in thoughts about Hux that it took him a second to realise what was happening again. "But it's not true. My son is alive."

"No," Kylo feels like he barely has the strength to argue anymore. Snoke had been there all his life. He had been there more than Han had, at times. But it was either to leave him or to kill his father. And he'd already agreed with Hux that he couldn't do that. "The Supreme Leader is wise."

"Snoke is using you for your power." Han came closer still and Kylo felt anger surge up inside him but he had nowhere for it to go. "Once he gets what he wants, he'll crush you. You know it's true."

Kylo thought of Hux's words. If he killed him, right now. He would regret it. Hux had been right. So what else was there to do? He couldn't turn away now. Not when it'd been so long.

"It's too late." He said, and his voice was quiet and weak. Weak like Ben Solo.

"No, it's not. Leave here with me, come home." And by the maker did that sound good. Too bloody good. "We miss you."

His mother. Cold and hard but good and loving. His eyes teared up once again and he knew his father could see it.

"I'm being torn apart." He confessed, a choked sob in his throat. "I want to be free of this pain. I know what I have to do but I don't know if I have the strength to do it." Hux's mouth, pink and warm. His smile when he looked at Kylo, a smile he never thought he would see. His mother, too many expectations, but love. So much of it. His father, barely there sometimes but loud and warm. What would Hux do. What would he do. Would he come with him? He told him not to kill Han, but did he mean defection? He had been in the order his whole life, would he really ditch it all for Kylo? "Will you help me?" The words came out before he could stop them.

"Yes," Han was quick, to his credit. "Anything."

Kylo felt tears run down his face. It was hard to believe. That he'd gotten here and been turned back by something so simple as the concept of love that Snoke so constantly denounced.

He dropped his helmet by his feet, and with a kick send it spiralling down into the darkness. Hux's green eyes in his mind's eye. The way they clouded with red after the weapon was used. The way he'd cried about it after and his tears had clouded up Kylo's shirt, and Hux had had the nerve to apologise for it, for his shirt of all things. And Kylo had just held him, and kissed him, and told him things were going to be okay, even if they may not have been. And Hux had done the same for him. No way in hell was he getting off this rock without Hux. No way in hell was he letting him go after he gave him this strength. He wasn't ever letting him go. And suddenly he was sure that Hux would come with him. The more he thought about Hux's guilt, his insistence that his father had placed him here. The more he thought about it the more it made sense. What do we do now?, they'd asked. Leave. Simple as that. Snoke and the elder Hux wouldn't hold them back anymore. That foolish sense of hope filled him and yet he felt better than he had in years. All he needed to do now was find Hux. That's all.

"Han," He said, ignoring the way his father's chest fell a little. One step at a time. "There's someone we have to go grab first."

Han's eyebrows furrowed but he nodded determinately, putting a hand on his son's shoulder.

"Lead the way."

***

The ship was a mess of officers running left and right. They'd been attacked pretty viciously, and this ship was on its decline. Running the halls with a wookie, the girl, a defector and his father didn't seem like a smart idea, but Kylo had enough power inside him, running purely on adrenaline, to mask their presence entirely, so only he was present to the masses. It made his head hurt, and feeling the doubt from other members of the party certainly didn't help him out, but they didn't matter right now anyway. All he had to do was find Hux.

He would storm this entire place to find him.

An officer ran past by himself and Kylo recognised him as Lieutenant Mitaka, from Hux's memories. He tapped into his mind to find Hux's location. He was in the hangar, getting evacuation pods out. They were retreating, as per Snoke's request. They'd lost their ship. Hux was in the hangar.

He changed his course to the elevator as quick as that, and tried not to think about how this was the last time he would be on this elevator. He would find Hux. And he'd get the hell out of there with him. Fresh start. Starting now.