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the chancellor's gift

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His wet footprints sizzled against the desert sand, blood spilled from the great beast behind him already baking beneath the dual hellfire of the suns above. His tattered cloak fluttered in the harshening wind, mirroring his shadow's path against the cracked earth. The beast had caught the hem of it in its death throes, rending it into rags with its terrible claws so now it fluttered like a pennant over a battlefield, but otherwise, he had emerged from the fray with shockingly few injuries.

He looked down at his clenched hand, triumph trembling through fingers curled firmly around something cradled in his palm. The rough leather was stained red and wet, slicked with blood from where hed plunged it into the beast’s throat. Searching. Years of searching, now finally, come to an end.

And yet, an uneasiness persisted in the pit of his stomach. The sense that something was not right, lurking at the base of his skull. He wanted to squash the feeling, so that he could relish in his hard-fought victory, yet it won’t leave him, lingering like the persistent buzz of a gnat around his head.

He tightened his fist around the object, heavy in his palm, and stalked off to join his brothers, standing like great black pillars, near his ship. Returning home would calm his troubled mind, he knew, and he was eager to switch hostile desert for a clean, gleaming, cityscape. But as he approached, the stoic ritualism of the moment broke, the shriek of his comm interrupting the hum of the desert’s rolling sands.

With his free, unsullied hand, he answered the message. Stilled, every muscle in his body clenching tight with growing fury, one after another, as he listened. His brothers watched, growing uneasy themselves, but they didn’t flinch, not even when he crushed the comm in a burst of rage and hurled it into the sand. The feeling in his belly twisted and grew harsher, a spike of anxiety and anger now burning on the back of his neck, setting the hidden scar there on fire.

He stalked past his brothers like a storm brought to a sudden foment, lashing through the helpless land, his boots hammering a frantic tattoo up the gangplank to their ship. In his wake, they momentarily glanced at each other, harsh sunlight blinking inquisitively off their helmets, before obediently falling into line behind him.

The boom of the ship’s thrusters faded, swallowed up as the desert beneath it continued to howl.

Stark white lighting stabbed into Hux’s eyes when he first pried them open, forcing him to shut them again with a wince. For a moment, he floated on the edge of unconsciousness, mind still unwilling to wake all the way up. It was only when he tried to rub at his face and found his wrists locked together behind his back, that the alarm bells in his head started sounding loudly enough. Something was wrong.

Very wrong.

With a groan, Hux peeked his eyes open, still fighting the brightness that seemed to bathe his entire body. Beyond the stabbing white, he couldn’t see much, but gradually feeling started to return to his extremities. He tried pulling his wrists apart, testing the bonds that held him but finding no give. The harsh friction against his skin told him whoever had trussed him up had used rope instead of metal binders. Hux wiggled his fingers, and hissed lowly as the rope fibers rubbed against his tender skin. Ugh. Nothing like those fine, silk ropes that Ren had brought from the smut markets on Champala, those he had used a week ago to bind Hux up like a Life Day present, promising to be careful around his belly—

His belly.

Hux’s eyes shot open all the way, this time heedless of the pain caused by the bright light. He jammed his chin to his chest, focusing his dizzied vision on the lump of his belly from where it lay beneath the plum-colored cover of his robe. Mercifully, he had been bound on his side rather than his back or front, but still, Hux’s heart leaped into his throat as he concentrated on the sensations within his abdomen, searching for a sign of life, something to calm his racing anxiety.

After a couple of tense seconds, he felt it. His pup kicked twice in assurance, and Hux breathed a sigh of relief, finally relaxing enough that he could properly observe his surroundings.

Whatever complex Hux was trapped in right now looked so filthy it must not have been cleaned in years, if ever at all. There were buildings like that, scattered in pockets throughout the surface of Coruscant, slums like oozing sores on the sparkling face of the city. By the meaty, slightly rancid scent of rendered fat his sharp nose could pick out filtering in from the outside, he reasoned they might be near the processing plants in one of the city’s industrial sectors, but he couldn’t say for certain. And he hadn’t much time to dwell on it further, as a shabby, humanoid shape moved in the darkness, murmuring to several more beside it. After a moment, it stepped out into the circle of stark light illuminating Hux’s surroundings, heavy boots crunching against the debris-scattered floor. Despite the crick in his neck, Hux raised his head to look.

“Well well. Seems like Sleepin’ Beauty finally woke up. Are ya nice and comfortable there, Mr. Chancellor?” The man towering over him was an alpha, dressed in a mismatch of clothes that he probably stole from several different corpses and an orange armband that matched those of his cohorts. He bore a tough face but also an obvious combover, in an attempt to hide his balding scalp. As they were both under the brilliant light, any effect the alpha could’ve hoped to have was lost. Normally, Hux would’ve smirked and commented on it, amused by the alpha’s failed attempt to hide his waning virility, but his baby kicked again, as if in reminder. Hux swallowed. He needed to be careful, curb his tongue, and choose his battles wisely.

“Can’t say that I am.” Hux tried to keep his voice steady and imperious, wanting to appear unafraid in front of his captors. “But then again, does it matter? I doubt I will be here long enough for the accommodations to become much of a bother.”

The alpha frowned. “And why do you say that?”

Alright, Hux couldn’t resist scoffing at that. “You’ve kidnapped the High Chancellor of Coruscant. Surely I don’t have to be the one to tell you that’s a mistake that usually ends in death.”

The alpha, stupidly enough, still appeared unfazed. That made Hux laugh properly, because really now? How could anyone be so foolish as to think that laying a hand on him would result in anything but summary execution? It didn’t matter if he was popular amongst the citizenry and the galaxy at large, or not. It was First Order law. Ren’s idea.

“That’s bold talk coming from a knocked up omega, chancellor or not. I’d be a little less mouthy if I were you.” Hux stilled, biting his tongue as attention was called back to his belly. He felt another kick, but this time it was far less encouraging, what with this ragged, potentially dangerous alpha looming over him and his pup.

“Right. Let’s get down to business, then. What we’re gonna do here, Mr. Chancellor, is make ourselves a little movie. And guess what? You’re gonna be the star.” The alpha sneered, pointing into the darkness behind him. Hux’s eyes, having adjusted, could spot another of his crew, a similarly bulky and badly dressed alpha, wheeling what looked like a cheap, terribly out of date holorecorder right to the edge of the circle of light.

Hux furrowed his brow and looked back at the head alpha. “Movie?” Surely they meant nothing more than a ransom holo, one to be sent to Ren, wherever he had jetted off to this time around. Ren hadn’t even told him where he was going when he had left earlier in the cycle, just reminded Hux of the day’s duties before heading off to the hangar with his knights in tow.

“Indeed, Mr. Chancellor. See, we were gonna just beat ya up a little, but when we snagged you, we saw all this.” The alpha’s dirty hand gestured to Hux’s belly. “Your little secret.”

A chill ran up Hux’s spine at that. He and Ren had decided early on in the pregnancy to keep it hidden from public appearance as best as they could. Baggier robes, less frequent in-person meetings, holos filmed only from the waist up or behind a table. They didn’t fear scandal—at this point, their tryst was a years-old open secret—but the pregnancy would no doubt put a target on Hux’s head, and the head of their pup.

“So. Here’s the deal,” the alpha breathed, leaning down and lifting Hux by the collar, forcing him to sit up against the wall behind him. “You give us what we want, and we won’t broadcast your sorry state, your little secret, to every corner of the galaxy.”

“And what is it that you want from me?” Hux asked.

The alpha held up a hand. “Release of all captive CLF members from your prisons.” He put down two fingers. “And three hundred thousand credits from your coffers, for good measure.”

Hux scoffed. “And you think that’s worth freedom from what is, essentially, the most miserable baby shower in galactic history?”

The alpha smirked. “Well, I thought your secrecy might be worth a little more to you, Mr. Chancellor. But if that’s not the case, we’re gonna have to up the stakes.”

Before Hux could budge an inch, the alpha’s hands wrenched at the fasteners of his robe, ripping them all the way down. Hux screamed indignantly, trying to kick the alpha away was the flesh of his chest and belly was fully exposed to the bright light above, but to no avail. The alpha only laughed at him, pulling the torn sides of the robe all the way until Hux lay only in his underthings—a soft pair of shorts and, more mortifying, the nursing bralette Ren insisted he wear now that his chest was starting to come in.

“What do you say now?” The alpha lowered his voice, fingers lingering a bit too long on the swell of his belly for Hux’s liking, “Surely you don’t want your loyal subjects, not to mention your hated enemies, seeing you like this? With your tits out?”

Hux took a deep, recovering breath. Sure, it would be an utter embarrassment to have his nude, bred body on display for the entirety of Coruscant, the First Order, and even the scraps of the New Republic to behold. Sure, the humiliating stain would most likely never be scrubbed away from his career. Sure, Ren would probably mock him for days on end, even though this entire situation was his fault, for not being there to protect him.

Sure, it would probably be the worst moment of his life in years, something he might’ve, in the past, chewed through his own tongue in order to avoid.

But Hux refused to let his ego compromise the integrity of their work at Coruscant. Not this late in the game. He had learned that there were some things more valuable than his own pride.

“Well?” the alpha growled, getting in his face.

“Well, what?” Hux shot back bitterly. He curled his lip in a defiant sneer, jerking his chin towards the holorecorder. “Go ahead. Make your stupid movie already.”

A bemused look took over the alpha’s face, as if he hadn’t been expecting that, believing Hux too proud to not crack. But he shrugged and rose to his feet, turning away and walking slower, as if he expected Hux to recant his decision, and beg to be hidden from the holorecorder. But Hux bit his lip and held firm, staring all the insurgents down, determined not to flinch, not even when every fiber of his body wanted nothing more than for him to curl up in the comfort and safety of his nest back at the palace.

As Hux thought on it, anger quickly overwhelmed his fear of humiliation. The memory of Ren's sudden departure this morning rushed back to him, making his teeth grind. Damn that man and his inexplicable ways, his lack of consideration for the well-being and safety of others, even those closest to him. If only Ren hadn’t taken such an ill-timed excursion off Coruscant, then Hux would be at home right now, relaxing in his private quarters. Perhaps indulging in the nice baths of milk and rosewater his skin had been favoring lately, or putting his aching feet up in front of a melodramatic holofilm while he nursed a cup of tea.

Hux gritted his teeth. Stupid Ren. His incompetence as the Supreme Leader and as a partner, having lessened over the years, still managed to strike at the most inopportune moments, and leaving Hux to deal with the fallout. Usually, that involved cleaning up some military bungle or diplomatic snafu, but rarely it ended up in something far more dire. In this case, his kidnapping by—Hux squinted, finally getting a better look at the shabby orange armbands his captors sported—marked with the Coruscant Liberation Front, by the looks of it. A lightbulb went off in Hux’s head. Ah, of course. CFL. No wonder the alpha wanted those prisoners released.

Well, that was wonderful, wasn’t it? Hux grimaced to the realization. They were among the sharpest, most annoying thorns in his side when it came to his reign over the city. Hux knew very well that their ranks despised him, even more publicly than the rest of the insurgent groups. They were very active in the realm of digital and holo propaganda, having already spread unfounded, often lurid slander about himself and Ren alike. No wonder they were so over the moon to reveal his pregnancy to the masses, they were starved for his humiliation. Even as they set up the holorecorder they took every opportunity to leer at him, like he was a meal they couldn’t wait to gobble up, pick their teeth clean of his daunting and impeccable legacy as chancellor. He certainly looked the part, like a plump goose ripe to be plucked and cooked. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a whole lot he could do to hide his current state, what with his wrists cuffed behind his back. So he sat, legs drawn as far as he could with the swell of his belly, gnawed the inside of his lip, and fixed his eyes on the holorecorder. He glared at it, wishing for a brief moment that he possessed Ren’s unnatural power, so that the voyeuristic machine might burst into a shower of crackling sparks. Alas, his meditations continued bearing no fruit, and the holorecorder flicked on, capturing Hux’s helpless position in full. His kidnappers squabbled amongst themselves for a moment, adjusting parts of the machinery, until they seemed to figure it out and their chatter died down

“Last chance, Mr. Chancellor,” the alpha gibed from beyond the edge of the spotlight, “else all of Coruscant, the whole galaxy, sees what you’ve been hiding under your robes.”

Hux tipped his chin to his chest, looking down the length of his body. Now in a sitting position against the wall behind him, his entire body from toe to tip was bathed in the light from above. With his robes open, his belly and chest surged out freely, round and rich, so soft, so vulnerable, like the inside meat of a hard-shelled fruit. There would be nothing hidden from gawking eyes once that holorecorder turned on, no way for him to shield himself. Not only would the citizens of the galaxy realize that he had been hiding his pregnancy, but they would also see that underneath the rich robes and stern posture, there was only the soft, unremarkable body of an omega. He would never be able to live this moment down.

Hux’s lips quivered around a breath. Slowly, he lifted his head to look at the smug face of the alpha, looming out of the dark like a wicked specter. Hux narrowed his eyes at him, keeping his gaze sharp. Even if he was shaken to the core, he wouldn’t show them any fear.

“Do it,” Hux hissed, and shut his eyes tight.

For a moment, all was silent. Hux waited, tensed, expecting to hear the holorecorder start up, along with a chorus of triumphant jeers as his exposed state was broadcasted to all reaches of the galaxy. But instead, the silence deepened, grew longer and more unsettled. Suddenly, Hux heard a series of thumps, muffled but growing louder, which confused him until he heard a choked whimper coming from the other side of the room.

“C-Commander, there’s someone…”

Hux’s eyes flew open with a sharp, revelatory inhale, moments before the room’s uneasy static exploded into chaos.

Whatever barricade the insurgents had set up in front of the room’s only door splintered as something barreled through it, leaving nothing but twisted durasteel and broken furniture in its wake. The two betas that had been flanking the barricade had only a split second to scream before an invisible force crushed them into the wall so hard Hux found only smears of blood and clothes were left behind. His eyes, still dazzled by the bright light, struggled to keep up as bodies flew across the room, batted about as if by invisible paddles until they flopped, lifeless, to the floor. But Hux knew the huge, raggedy black shape that drove through them with all the savagery of a shark ripping apart a helpless school of fish, even before that familiar red lightsaber ignited through the screaming head of one of the captors.


The Supreme Leader didn’t heed his chancellor’s call, too embroiled in the rage of battle to do anything but cut down the next enemy, like a crackle of red lightning hopping from one conduit to the next, burning out their souls from their bodies before setting upon the next, until there was only one left.

The leader of the insurgents screamed something incoherent as he lifted a blaster right at Kylo’s head, but his finger barely had a chance to brush the trigger before all his digits suddenly bent back with a vicious snap. He screamed again, this time in utter agony, before his voice died away in a gurgle, the Force yanking him into the air by the throat Kylo, his arm outstretched, stalked towards the helpless, face impassive but pure rage tonguing the air around him, rendering it so stifling Hux himself felt that for a moment, he shouldn’t dare breathe lest the wind be stolen from his lungs. It had been years since he’d see Kylo consumed in such pure viciousness, and though it should frighten him, it didn’t. On the contrary, he was reveling in it.

Do it. Kill him, Hux thought, hoping Kylo would understand him better this way, through their bond in blood, in the Force.

“P-Please…” the alpha croaked, but Kylo didn’t hear him and even if he did, Hux knew he wouldn’t have hesitated anyway. With a powerful clench of his hand, Kylo caved in the alpha’s skull, crushing it until it was nothing but a fountain of red.

The body had barely hit the ground before Kyo was kicking it aside, dashing madly towards Hux. Though difficult with his wrists still bound behind his back, Hux straightened up as best as he could to meet him.

“Ren, the holorecorder—”

“I had the signals jammed before they even began,” Kylo answered hurriedly as he skidded to his knees in front of Hux. The Force tore his bindings to pieces as Kylo’s hand went to the Hux’s belly, panicked. “Are you alright? Are they?” Kylo’s eyes raked over Hux’s bare skin, incandescent and acerbically alpha rage inside him growing hotter and more palpable with each passing moment. His hand curled into a fist, and he slammed it against the floor so hard the leather split and knuckle bled. “Kriffing scum, I’ll bring them back just to kill them again, and again, and again —”

“You’ve done a fine job killing already.” Hux’s freed hands found Ren’s bloodstained cheeks, gentle movements drawing the alpha’s attention away from his mate’s forcibly exposed body. “Now, please just take me back home.” It sounded too much like a plea for Hux’s liking, but he was too exhausted by the events of the day to school his tone.

But Kylo remained shaken, unable to cast off the clutch of his alpha instincts. Hux could still feel the adrenaline, the rage, shuddering through Kylo’s body, like the aftershocks of some horrible cataclysm. His bloodlust, obviously, not yet satisfied despite the fact that all enemies lay dead and mutilated. He stared at Hux for a long moment, lost in a storm of overwhelming emotion, cold black fighting brown warmth in his eyes, until Hux brought their foreheads together, guided Kylo’s hand back to his belly.

“Ren,” he softened his voice to a low murmur. “Come back to me. Come back to me, and take us home.”

It took a long moment, punctuated by soft whines and the gentle movement of Kylo’s hand against Hux’s belly, but the alpha eventually fell away from the brink, the feral energy dissipating. By this time, the knights and accompanying troopers had ventured into the room, to catalog the carnage and scare out any stragglers that could be made a public example of. Kylo left them to it, gathering Hux up in his arms and stealing him away to his ship, to the palace, to home.

If only a good shower could wash away a day’s unpleasant memories entirely. But nonetheless, it did a fairly good job relaxing Hux as it sent the filth from the kidnapping into a cathartic spiral down the drain.

The water’s pleasant, cleansing scent clung to Hux’s body as he ambled out of the stall, careful not to lose his balance. His belly threw off his center of gravity, and his legs were still weak from bein bound beneath him for several hours, but he had eschewed Kylo’s help when he offered it and wanted to stick to his choice. He was pregnant, after all, not infirm or broken.

He loosely toweled his body off, then slid into new his favorite robe. His old go-to—knee-length, black, pleated pockets—sadly no longer fit over his belly, so he’d replaced it with this number. Deep scarlet with gold embroidery, and a good deal fluffier than his last, but the material was comfortable against his stretched skin and big enough that he still had room to grow into it as the pregnancy marched on.

Sliding into a pair of loafers, Hux nudged the refresher door open and waddled out into his bedroom. He expected Kylo to have already left, but to his surprise he found him standing, facing away, large and imposing even against the floor-to-ceiling window overlooking Coruscant’s sprawl. His arms folded behind him, silent, not reacting even as Hux ambled ungracefully over to his side of the room.

“You know, you could probably use a shower too. I’ve never seen you...implode people like that,” Hux fanned his fingers in emphasis as he drew close enough to Kylo, but the alpha still didn’t respond. Shrugging, Hux settled on the edge of the bed with a soft oomph, wondering if he should just turn in with a nice Empire-era holobook and pretend Kylo was a piece of unusually bulky furniture, when the alpha finally said something.

“It wasn’t just some run-of-the-mill mission today.”

He sounded a little put-off, maybe even upset with himself. Hux supposed he couldn’t blame him—it had been a trying day—but he wasn’t in a mood to babysit Kylo’s emotions. Not tonight.

“Ren,” Hux sighed, “I’m not upset with you any longer if that’s what concerns you. Of course, ideally, I would’ve liked to avoid being kidnapped by such mongrels, but you came through admirably.” His earlier frustration with Kylo’s bad timing had mostly evaporated, and now all he wanted to do was rest, whether Kylo joined him or not.

But Kylo wasn’t finished. “I went to Tattooine.”

Hux’s eyebrows rose. “Why?” He paused. “...Was it Skywalker?”

The way Kylo’s shoulders tensed at the mention had Hux thinking it might have something to do with his uncle, but Kylo shook his head. “No. I was hunting a krayt dragon.”

“Krayt dragon?” Those were creatures Hux had only read about in holo-records. As far as he knew, they were vicious beasts, feared and revered by the locals on Tattooine but without many other notable qualities. “Why would you do something like that? If you needed a sparring partner, Ren, you could do a lot better than some dusty desert monster.” Despite his dismissive words, Hux sat up straighter, now more intrigued by Ren’s mission. He settled a hand on his belly, stroking over the gentle kicks of his pup as he listened.

“It wasn’t just to test myself,” Ren continued. “It wasn’t a matter of proving I could kill it. I knew I could. I’ve killed beings far greater than it could ever be. That wasn’t the point. There was something inside of it. Something I could take for my own. Something I could use to protect you. To help you protect yourself.”

Ren turned around. Though it was a little difficult to see with the moon behind him silhouetted his frame, he had both hands held out. In one, a long object, sheathed in a velvety black cloth. The other, wrapped in a tight fist, hiding something within.

“What are these?”

“They’re yours,” Kylo murmured cryptically, walking over to kneel at Hux’s feet. He presented the Chancellor with the long object, allowing Hux to unravel the cloth, letting it drop to the floor. He gasped.

In his hands now sat the hilt of a lightsaber, but like no lightsaber Hux had ever seen before—and that was saying something, considering the vastness of his collection. It resembled the fencer swords he had used back at the Academy, with an elegant basket hilt that wound around a flawlessly sleek orichalc handle all the way down to its end at a smooth red pommel stone. Mindful of the gold ignition switch, Hux slid a finger over the hilt, searching for any imperfections, but found none. The construction was solid, impeccable.

“You’ve grown a lot more refined when it comes to design,” Hux commented, turning over the saber in his hands. It felt light but well balanced, good in the hand. “I don’t feel like this thing might explode in my face, which is certainly a plus.”

Kylo cleared his throat. “Yes, I...I’ve been observing how you design for a while now. Tried to pick some things up.”

Hux looked up at him and smiled, full of combined awe and affection. “I can’t believe you actually bothered to learn something from me. And here I thought I have been wasting effort this entire time.”

“I’m not as bad of a student as you thought. And neither are you.” Kylo’s hand joined over Hux’s, clasping around the saber. “I’m going to teach you how to properly use this. To protect yourself,” his other hand settled over Hux’s belly, “and our pup.”

Hux blushed, his heartbeat quickening. He felt the pup shift inside his belly, pressing against Kylo’s hand, as if sensing him. A flutter of a smile crossed Kylo’s lips. The pup moved again, softer, before settling. Hux wondered if Kylo had sent them some kind of message, or a feeling rather, calming them back down. It always gave him butterflies, to feel Kylo using the Force around their pup.

Wanting to inspect the lightsaber further, Hux turned the handle over and found an empty chamber cut into the side, spherically shaped like the empty setting of a ring. He raised a brow at Kylo. “Does it have a crystal? Please tell me I don’t have to scrounge for my own like a filthy Jedi…”

Kylo chuckled softly. “You don’t. And there is.” He lifted his closed fist, opening it up before Hux’s eyes. In his palm, sat a perfectly spherical black pearl, its otherwise flawless surface marred only by occasional flecks of glowing scarlet.

“A krayt dragon’s pearl. The creatures often swallow rocks to help them break up food in their gullet. But because of their long lifespans, and indiscriminate hunger, they’ll...occasionally find and eat kyber crystals instead.” Hux’s eyes widened, the pearl suddenly feeling weightier in his palm now that he knew its origin. Kylo reverently stroked its surface, and Hux swore the glowing spots of kyber brightened at his touch.

“Go on and take it,” Kylo purred, closing Hux’s hand around the pearl, “it’s yours now. This is your crystal. Your lightsaber. The weapon you will wield alongside me for decades to come.”

With shaky finger and Kylo’s mute encouragement, Hux rose, carefully slotting the pearl into the lightsaber, and switching it on.

His mouth fell open in wordless awe when a pearly pillar of plasma blossomed forth, illuminated every inch of the darkened bed chambers. A quiet whistling, almost like the far-off howl of an ancient beast, sung through Hux’s mind, and it hit him—the enormity of the life that Kylo had taken, to fashion him such a weapon. He felt as dwarfed by it as he did empowered, and for a moment he nearly lost himself to the lightsaber’s vast, numinous presence, when he felt Kylo come up behind him, touching his hips. Bated breath curled on the back of his throat.

“You are going to be the greatest chancellor this galaxy has ever seen, Hux. As radiant a warrior as you are a sovereign.” Kylo kissed the shell of Hux’s ear, teasing wet warmth on the downy hairs there. “Our children will thrive for generations in the regime you carve from this wretched galaxy. So much power still lies dormant inside of you, waiting to prosper and grow.” Hux shivered at that, the reality of that unfathomable power, so close within his grasp, coursing throughout his body, from the belly that held his child, their heir, to the hands grasping the very weapon he would use to bring order down upon the heads of those who opposed him.

Finally, he brought himself to shut the lightsaber off, submerging the room in darkness once again. On shaky legs, he moved away from Kylo and towards the window, where an elaborately crafted display stand had remained empty for so long—until now.

He thought his new lightsaber looked lovely there, keeping watch over his city like he often did.

For a moment, Hux remained quiet and a little breathless, just gazing out the window, through his reflection, absorbed in the magnanimity of the moment. “Will you be retiring now?” he finally whispered, breaking the silent lull as he turned to face Kylo. He gave Kylo the option, even though deep down he wanted nothing more at this moment than to be close to his Supreme Leader, his mate, the father of his child. And he supposed, from this day forth—his teacher. Teacher. A smirk twitched at Hux’s lips. How amusing was that? The old Hux, the unavailable general, would’ve balked at the idea of learning anything from Ren.

Now, the boundaries between them were becoming increasingly blurred.

Kylo gave Hux a knowing grin, effortlessly picking up on his desire. “Only if it’s beside you, my dear chancellor.” He leaned back against the bed, arms opened in inviting, eyes warm and earnest, mind laid bare.

Like that, there’s no force in the galaxy strong enough to keep them apart.

So, with his alpha warm and nuzzling at his back, his pup settled in his stomach, and his new lightsaber silhouetted by the rising Couscant moon, Armitage Hux finally slept the day’s unpleasantness away.