Rey is immortalized on the billboard outside his apartment once more, her black tutu of Odile changed to suit the needs of Sugarplum. Perhaps he should buy it. The inclement weather doesn’t diminish the glittering captivation that has always held him.
Months since Swan Lake and he is still teasing new delights from her. Right now, Rey is grace personified above him as he kisses the bony landmark of her hip, nuzzling the seam of her thigh and smiling when she jerks and gasps in his grip. Toned calves boxed in his biceps, framing his pale skin with golden legs. Slow, languid, nature at it's more beautiful. His hands pressed down on the curve of her lower back, forcing her to spread her thighs wider.
Immediately, slack hands slide over her skin as his grip loosened abruptly, a shiver chasing them.
Sleet patters on the windows of his apartment. The gray morning light bleaches Rey's skin, painting her otherworldly and glowing, and deepens the shadow of each toned line of her lithe body. Rey rocks her hips gently, barely brushing against parted lips and two days worth of stubble dusting his jaw.
"I— what?" He blinked up at her through his reading glasses now sitting askew and forgotten on his nose.
"I said if you want it." She leaned back against him and tilted her head expectantly, "beg for it."
Rey didn't miss how his hips jerked, smiling like a non-merciful angel.
Softly and too much of a groan to be a sigh, "Please."
"Please what?" she murmurs, carding fingers through his mussed hair, pushing it away from the color high on his cheekbones.
She shifts when his hands tightened on her thighs, the pads of his fingers pressing into the junction of her hips.
"Let me taste you, prima."
Rey hums as if she needed to contemplate, decidedly enjoying herself but not how his tone was demanding instead of desperate. With her lip between her teeth, she settled over him. A jolt seared through her when his nose pressed against her clit. A breathy moan rasped in her throat as tongue and lips moved to unravel her.
His eyes were on hers the entire time, narrowing at the sinful smile that graced the curve of her mouth. Hands fisting in his hair and her hips rocking into his groan.
"Fuck, sweetheart, please." He kissed the skin of her thigh. Breath hot washes over her, he can feel his voice reverberate into her skin. Ragged and undone. "Please, Rey, I want you to come on my tongue."
He’s not gentle when he finally has his mouth on her. They were past tame kisses and slow teasing. Ben wasn’t the type to play with his food, he devoured. His chin is immediately soaked and he works to taste every drop. Distantly, his cock throbs heavily against his stomach.
Ben pulls his legs up for purchase and winces when an ache tightens his ankle, gasping into her.
“Fuck,” he garbles, “I’m sorry, I—”
“It’s okay,” Rey tells him firmly as she shimmies around his broad shoulders. “I’ve got you.”
“No, I can—”
“Lay back, Ben.”
He does so with half-hearted reluctance, wanting to please her in any way she sees fit. Rey sits back on his thighs to pump his cock gently, too softly until his hand wraps around hers to tighten her grip. A proud smirk curves the corner of her mouth when he huffs.
Her sartorius muscle of her thigh defines sharply in the low light when she reaches up on her knees, every inch a professional athlete. He wants to taste it, to knead tension from it, to wring her body of every pleasure.
She’s slick and searing and sublime against the head of his cock as she rubs herself against him and positions herself for the final slide. The tight pressure of Rey’s cunt makes him go slack with contentment. Brief anticipation quickens his breathing knowing she’ll pause to accommodate him with a short mewl. Something male in him purrs at the noise in satisfaction. Ben pants into the freckled skin of her clavicle at the first slow rock of her hips, his hands engulf the curve of her ass.
On days that the weather makes Ben's ankle throb, each pulse of pain is met with memory on stage and a rock of Rey's hips against his. Her lips are nearly red under the clouded sun as he brushes his fingertips over them, watching them part, feeling her warm breath, and wet velvet of her tongue.
He doesn't have the mind to return her light kisses, not she's using his neck to balance herself. Her small fingers curl and press along the column of his throat until his vision blurs. She lowers herself slowly, making every inch a lifetime, then she grinds to rub on her clit against him.
"You're so good— fuck, Ben— you're so good to me," she whispers.
The snap of his hips breaks the lazy pace she had set, he's too lightheaded and beside himself to apologize. The back of his hand drifts over her ribs, feeling how vibrant and strong she is as they expand. His palms drag down her sides, kneading her skin, trying to find purchase. In sharp contrast, his hazy mind is worried that he's leaving bruises along the taut muscle of her thighs so he doesn't lose himself completely.
"You feel so good," Rey whimpers, reaching between them with one hand to guide herself up and back onto the over-sensitive head of his cock. Ben groans, the noise muffled under her palm, and his hips snap up.
When her hands shift into his hair he sucks in breath with a whimper. Finally finding himself, Ben pulls down on her hips, burying himself in her and finding solace in her heat. He savors her moans between kisses on his chest and the warm puffs of breath along his collarbone.
"You're so beautiful, I remember how you move, so beautiful, Ben."
She brushes his hair back, tracing his ear with her fingernail, all while working up his throat with her mouth, peppered with small nips and his own groans.
"So powerful, I've never seen anything like you."
"I remember saying that to you, prima."
He knows what she's doing, and he loves her deeper for it. For this, for replacing things haunt him onstage with things that happened off, but far more enjoyable. Poor weather comes with memories spent between them in her dressing room, tucked away in the wings, one time during rehearsals between rows of Lincoln Center with his hand over her mouth. Always Rey murmuring secrets in his ear, flooding his senses until he can't be bothered to think anything else. The pain of his ankle and deeper wounds of his past are forgotten. She presses herself against his chest, rolling her hips into his short thrusts. Her arms wrap around his neck until her back stretches and arches, the angle incredible. His blunt fingernails run down the ridges of the curve of her spine. Ben closes his eyes before they roll back.
"What did else do you remember from that night?"
Everything, he wants to say. The black tutu he ripped, the way her spine arched when he first entered her, how her ass contrasted against his wool tuxedo pants, how her eyes met his in the mirror and watched. Always such a good girl for him, only for him. A possessive thing in his chest stirs at the memory.
He thinks of his soft confession whispered into her neck, how his face was damp. Impossibly harder he presses himself into her.
“It’s like you were created for me,” Ben had said, telling her again in his bed.
He rolls them now, hooking her knee over his shoulder and hoisting her hips up into just the right angle. Rey sighs and whimpers at the slow drag of his cock. He slows his pace, positioning her leg around his waist.
"Do you still think I'm made for you?" she asks with a thumb brushing over his cheek, smearing that overwhelming emotion that’s already all over his face.
"I love you, Ben."
He buries his face into her neck.
Ben looks up disdainfully at the cheerful Christmas décor wrapping the street lamps and large wreaths hanging on the sides of buildings.
"I hate Nutcracker season."
Rey looks at him from the corner of her eye as if he confessed he murdered Santa Claus and roasted the fable caribou over an open fire. She tucks herself deeper into her endlessly long scarf wrapped countlessly around her neck as the wind assaults the street. The out of place desert creatures takes refuge behind his back, her hands creep under the hem of his leather jacket seeking warmth.
Beneath the bulky arch of the Rose Studio, Rey asks, "Why?"
"Mom was always working and Han didn't know how to light a menorah."
Ben only had a handful of awkward memories over take out.
"You were in Nutcracker for several seasons," she points out.
He shrugs so he doesn't have to explain that performing on stage was better than performing for a family he didn't know how to interact with. An added bonus was to avoid Luke and his white Russians which were always slightly blue. A pang goes through him to remember that he was also avoiding her as well, the forgotten adoptive ward of his uncle.
"I stayed in London because I thought the work was more important than coming home for Hanukkah. After— After I retired, I figured it was too late to reach out."
"I think your family would very much love to have you home," Rey says in her ardently earnest voice that never fails to make his heart jump and squeezes his hand, "but, if that's too much, I've never celebrated Hanukkah before, so maybe just you and me this year?"
A brief flash of panic spears his mind when she says the exact thing he needs to hear, far too soon for her to have crawled under his skin and know him wholly the way she has. Far too soon for him to love her so deeply for it.
"You and me," he murmurs.
“I’ve never really had anyone to celebrate the holidays with since I moved to New York,” she tells him shyly. "Finn didn't see the appeal when we couldn't afford gifts and now he spends it with the Ticos. I've been invited, but... I don't— well, you know that feel of being out of place."
“You’re not alone, sweetheart.”
He remembers saying that to her on the audition stage, tapping the arch of her pointe shoe with his foot in a desperate attempt to levity the heaviness of his words.
“Neither are you.”
Ben presses a kiss to his forehead and pulls the door open for her. His hand itches to grab hers but instead, he shoves them into his pockets when she already has to dance around assumptions of nepotism from being raised by ballet masters. Since Swan Lake, she is a permanent piece in arts and dance sections: The Legacy Child, The Prodigy of Luke Skywalker, The Orphan Ballerina and other many clever titles were given to her by journalists that will never know the word of professional ballet as intimately as they do. The New York City Ballet knows how diligent she is to shed the assumptions of others and building a reputation of her own. Ben has joined more often at rehearsals to keep her from burning out or working herself to the bone, her teachers and choreographers finding him a welcome sight.
He misses teaching his own classes, cutting his schedule with his students to twice a week and rotating teachers full time until the professional season is over. He has until the summer to convince Rey to be a guest during the supplementary programs. Her confidence since the beginning of the fall has soared with her career, something that makes him want to bow at her feet. She catches him staring and gives him a confused look.
“What? Do I have flyaways?” she asks and pats down her hair.
“You look perfect.”
She rolls her eyes and pushes his chest before heading toward her morning class. He sheds his leather jacket from the last cashmere sweater Rey had yet to squirrel away to her apartment and stands outside of his mother’s office.
“Come in,” she says before he has the chance to knock.
Leia looks up from the latest stack of costume photos, circling stitches she doesn’t like and making notes to add more lace appliques before opening night in three weeks. She smiles softly in a way that makes his ears red before she composes herself into the image of perfect professionalism.
“Kylo,” she says with a mock seriousness around his stage name that he’s kept for the halls of the Rose Studio, his own business, and the rest of the ballet world. The tone hits below his threshold of patronizing he can tolerate so he chooses not to say anything and knows they’re both trying in their own ways.
Leia pushes a to-go cup across her desk to him.
“I know you picked up the habit of drinking tea in London, I thought this might help get through your meeting with the choreographers.”
He took a sip and nearly choked on the amount of honey stirred into the green tea, tasting like it was merely touched a tea bag to hot water for a brief, hurried second. Ben only drank a black breakfast blend. He gave a slight smile and took another drink for her.
“Remember the board of directors is still deciding on hiring you professionally and you’re only acting as a consult,” she reminds him, “don’t interject too much.”
The idea of Hux having any power over his career makes him want to tear down each meticulously planned board of set design, lighting, headshots of principals, and costumes off the wall. Rey’s cheeky, full-tooth smile hints from behind a fabric sample and his skin cools. He sits still and forces another drink from his cup of liquid honey.
“I understand what I have to do,” he sighed and ran a hand through his hair to push it back.
“Poe Dameron is retiring this year,” Leia says slowly, but she might as well have blurted it out with the excitement crinkling the corners of her eyes.
“He is forty,” Ben responds, “That’s a good career.”
“The thing is, he’s looking for a place to work. Wants to try his hand at teaching,” she hints to him and his prestigious ballet academy, which he has business cards in his pocket for next to the black credit card that paid for them.
“You want me to hire him?” he scoffs into the rim of his cup, would rather swim in honey than have this conversation. He wasn’t not open to the idea of having Dameron as a teacher. He was passionate about the work, with a lifetime of knowledge, but it didn’t translate into being a teacher, providing that knowledge to the future generation. He chews on his cheek and concedes, “I’ll talk it over with Amilyn.”
“No need, I’m dinner with her tonight,” she says primly.
He pinches the bridge of his nose.
“I know she’s your friend but she’s my business partner—”
“And godmother and the teacher you poached from me—”
“Mom, we've talked about this,” he groans, then looks at her sharply, “I wouldn’t say offering a better salary poaching.”
“Still hurt,” Leia sniffs.
“Don’t guilt me,” he snaps without any heat behind it. “Let’s have an actual meeting next week, the three of us with Dameron.”
She nods, appeased for the moment, then gestures to the clock. “You’re going to be late.”
He unfolds himself and trips over a half-completed tutu. The red fabric makes him ask, “Are you doing Don Quixote?”
Rey looks ethereal in red, he almost tells her.
She waves him out.
“Don’t forget your tea!”