They stand over the Emperor’s lifeless body together. It’s just the two of them—she and him—in the end, the way they were always destined to be.
Rey’s heart pounds in her chest so loudly he can feel it. He turns to face her, and his chest is heaving too with the enormity of what they’ve just done.
“You came back,” Rey says, looking, sounding, like she hardly believes it. It’s almost too much for him, the way her voice breaks on the last word.
He can feel her breath on his cheek and her arms around his neck before he even realizes she’s moved towards him.
Yes, he wants to tell her, as she buries her face in the folds of his sodden cloak, as he wraps his arms tight around her body. Of course I came back. He could never have left her to face the Emperor alone. (He could never have left her at all, really—and he wants to tell her that too, but his courage doesn’t stretch that far.)
Rey’s lips on his lips are a revelation. Like air in his lungs, or the Force —s omething critical, necessary for survival, now that he has a taste of it. His arms tighten their hold on her, pulling her body even closer, before she has a chance to change her mind and leave him again.
But she doesn’t leave. She shoves him, hard, up against the wall of this ruined place, needing him, needing this as badly as he does.
“You came back,” she murmurs again, kissing him harder, and he can taste how much it means to her in the salt of her tears.
He loses track of how long they stand there, kissing, the rain falling down around them, their bodies pressed so close together not even the Force could tear them apart. Like it would dare to even try. She cups his face in her hands, pushes the wet hair out of his eyes.
Her fingertips tracing the rough-hewn lines of his face set fire to his veins.
“Ben…” she murmurs, hesitating.
He hears the question in the words she doesn’t say.
“If you want me to be,” he whispers back.
(He doesn’t know if he can really be Ben again. It’s been so long, and the name sounds strange to his ears when Rey says it. It feels wrong in his mouth when he does.
But when they finally reach the Falcon she kisses him again, loving and tender and true.
For Rey, he decides, he will try.)
The others don’t want him here.
He can see it in the way they look at him when Rey brings him to their base, all stony glares and cold silences. Poe, the Resistance pilot he interrogated a lifetime ago, nearly throws him out of the room on sight.
He is prepared to leave her again if she wants him to go, even though the act would kill him. She deserves better than him, has always deserved better than him.
He’s done nothing to earn her forgiveness or her love.
But as Poe stares him down Rey puts her hand on his arm. Protecting him, the way she’s done from the beginning. Her hand is so soft, so warm, and he wishes he and Rey were alone right now — kissing, maybe; or maybe even more than kissing — instead of being interrogated by all these people he once despised.
“He saved me,” Rey says to her friends, her stubborn chin jutting out in defiance. She squeezes his arm—soft, reassuring—and his heart swells impossibly larger in his chest.
No , he thinks, but does not say. You saved me .
Poe continues to glare at him. “I don’t like this at all,” he mutters. “Or you.”
But in the end, they let him stay.
The bed they give him at the old Resistance base is too small, its mattress too thin and far too hard. But he doesn’t complain or ask for different quarters.
He knows he’s lucky they haven’t executed him for his crimes.
As he tosses and turns that first night, and tries to find sleep, his bond with Rey flares to life unexpectedly. A sudden wave of terror grips him.
Rey—wherever she is—is trapped in a nightmare.
He can’t see what she sees while she’s sleeping. Not really; not as clearly as she can. He can only just make out the fuzzy outlines of things, and the way the horrible images make her feel. Her fear is so sharp he can almost taste it, its icy cold tendrils squeezing his heart like a vise.
He’s running down the corridor towards her quarters before he’s got his pants all the way on, sprinting in the direction the Force tells him he will find her. There are other people in the hallway—shouting things at him, probably—but he’s only vaguely aware of it. He ignores them because they don’t matter, nothing but finding Rey and soothing away her fears matters, and he will tear this base apart brick by brick if it will get him to her faster.
She’s fast asleep, tangled up in her bedsheets, sweating and whimpering, when he finds her. He wastes no time, climbing into her bed and gathering her up in his arms within seconds of bursting into her room.
He wakes her with gentle words and whispered kisses.
“Rey,” he breathes against her lips.
She wakes up slowly — and then rolls over on a choked sob and throws her arms around him, pulling him closer.
“I dreamed…” she begins, her voice gone gravelly and rough. She buries her face in his chest, and that’s when her tears begin to fall. They soak him straight through the thin fabric of his sleeping shirt, all the way down to his skin. “I dreamed that they took you.”
He freezes, goes rigid beside her, overwhelmed and a little terrified that the idea of something bad happening to him could frighten this brave, fearless woman this much.
He would ask her who they were; but he already knows.
He closes his eyes tight, willing his own tears not to fall, and swallows around the lump in his throat.
“Rey,” he murmurs into her hair. And then, more fiercely, willing her to believe it: “I’m here.”
She looks up at him. Her beautiful face is lined with the tracks of her tears. He will devote the rest of his life to making certain she never has cause to cry again, if she’ll let him.
He leans in, and kisses her cheeks dry.
“Do you promise never to leave me?” Her voice is low. Earnest.
He nods solemnly.
“ Never .”
They don’t sleep apart anymore after that.
Rey’s face is pinched, drawn, and she’s biting her lip like what he’s doing to her is causing her pain.
“We don’t have to,” he tells her through gritted teeth, even though it takes all of his strength to get out the words. Her tight little cunt is gripping him so perfectly, better than he’s ever imagined, soft and warm and wet, but this is hurting her, so he tries to pull back because no amount of physical pleasure is worth her suffering.
Before he can pull out all the way she slides her hands down his back and grips his ass, hard. She squeezes him, coaxing him back inside until he is once again at a full seat inside her body.
“Just go slow,” she whispers, her cunt clenching and unclenching irresistibly around him. She is ethereal, perfect, every instinct in his body is screaming at him to fuck her as hard and as fast as he can, and he thinks he might come soon just from the trusting look in her eyes.
But she wants him to go slow.
He can do that.
He can give her what she needs.
He takes a shaky breath, and nods.
He goes as slowly and gently as he can until, at the end, she cries out in pleasure and comes, and begs him to speed up again.
Ben looks up from the repairs he’s making to the Falcon at the sound of Rey’s voice. She’s walking towards him from the house, dressed in the simple beige clothing the farmers on Tatooine wear in the summers to keep cool. The dawn has brought with it a welcome cool wind from the south, and it blows the loose tendrils of her hair back from her face.
She is the most beautiful thing he has ever seen.
They’ve only been here for two months; just long enough for the worst of their wounds to heal and for the galaxy to start to forget about them. Something about the way Rey walks towards him now, though—the rising desert suns illuminating her beautifully from behind—makes Ben wonder what it would be like to wake up with her here in their bed, day after day, for as long as the Force grants them life.
It does something to him, the thought of growing old with her by his side, in this place his ancestors called home. It’s more than he deserves, and far more than he ever dared dream he would have.
“Hi,” he says, smiling, when she reaches him. He pulls her into his arms, and presses eager, loving kisses to her lips. Her body is warm, and her mouth is sweet with the fruit she must have eaten at breakfast. “I missed you.”
Rey rolls her eyes at him. But she is smiling, too. “You were only gone two days.”
He moves his hand lower, until he’s cupping one of her breasts. Every inch of her body is perfect, like it was made just for him, and the simple act of touching her like this over her clothes, after two days without her, is enough for his cock to start getting hard.
“Let’s go back inside the house,” he murmurs urgently against the sensitive skin of her throat. He squeezes her breast, kneading her sweet flesh until the tender bud of her nipple pebbles up against his palm.
She sighs, breathlessly, and melts against him like butter on a warm day.
The Falcon is a mess. They will need to get to those repairs, and soon, if they have any hope of salvaging the thing.
But Ben has Rey in his arms, smiling coyly at him as they move into the privacy of their little bedroom. And so for now the Falcon, the galaxy—the rest of it—can all wait.