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Hux's throat feels warm through his glove.

--

See the weapon, report its power.

Kylo remembers his orders, distantly, while he watches Hux strut through the command room barking orders at subordinates up and down the aisle. Once or twice he smirks behind his mask when weaker subordinates wilt beneath Hux’s scrutiny, but otherwise watches passively, his hands resting behind his back. The barren moon sits at the edge of this star system; they won’t see anything but the flare of energy when it explodes.

After a long flurry of activity, Hux stands beside him at the window, staring ahead at the snow-capped mountains. He takes a breath, swallows - and then he looks over at Kylo, brow still furrowed and his mouth a thin line. "The test fire will commence in three minutes," he says, his voice still sharp, like an order.

"I know."

"Then is there something else you want?" Hux demands, and Kylo catches his own anger before saying anything. He looks at the snow instead.

"Only your success, General. That will cement your new title, won't it?"

"I already have my stripes, Ren; what do you have to show for your authority?"

Kylo rounds on him, turning and closing the gap until he stands eye-to-eye with Hux, his mask close to the general's face. "Do you need to see my power?" he asks slowly, the air thick now with this anger, and while Hux doesn't step back, Kylo can see the tension in his shoulders and feel the little tick of fear in his thoughts.

"Perhaps I do," Hux says, staring at the slit in Kylo's mask. "The Supreme Leader speaks well of you, but the rest is rumor and hyperbole, I believe." Kylo's hand twitches up, stopping only when Hux glances down at the fingers inches from his arm. "Dinner?"

That earns a bark of laughter from Kylo, who steps away from Hux and turns towards the snow again. "I take my meals alone."

"I know, and this is my base, of which you are a guest."

Kylo turns his head to look at Hux again, now smirking, still standing where he had stopped earlier. Kylo thinks of control, revenge, suffering - and he folds his hands again, allowing himself a moment to gather his thoughts before asking, "When?"

--

The heat strikes through him, so much different than the Force and setting him on fire, he wants to scream--and maybe he does, teeth buried in Hux's shoulder.

--

The door slides shut behind him and Kylo sees two meals arranged at the end of a long, black dining table. Hux watches him and waits, sitting at the head of the table with his hands folded in front of him.

"Do you plan on wearing the helmet while you eat?"

Kylo rushes to Hux's end of the table, boots heavy on the metal floors, and he stops too close and too abruptly, just enough to see Hux shift back in his seat. He allows himself a satisfied grin, a long pause for effect, before he schools his face back into a passive face. Then he reaches up with both hands, presses the release, and draws off the helmet, then drops it with a heavy thud on the table. The silverware clatters and Hux jumps, just a tad.

"Is this what you wanted?" Kylo asks.

Hux looks up at him, studying his face, then says: "You're not how I thought you'd be." Kylo lets out an exasperated sigh, fist clenching at his side, but Hux continues, "I thought you'd be disfigured, somehow, or blind--or something closer to a Muun. But you're--"

"Worse?"

"Human." Hux gestures to the other place setting, "Please, sit."

--

Hux grips so hard at his hair, at his shoulder, clutching hard while Kylo drives on, pressing bruises into Hux's hips.

--

It's the first real conversation Kylo has had in ages: there's little mention of Snoke, there's absolutely no mention of the Force, and a lot of agreement on the two-faced New Republic and the platitudes from their senators, their generals, their beacons of hope. Kylo indulges in some of his anger as he talks of the cruelty of empty promises and betrayals, and for a brief moment he thinks he sees delight in Hux's face as they find common ground in their hatred.

"But what can you do?" Hux asks.

Kylo sips at the wine in his cup. The acidity mixes with the metal in an unfortunate way, but it's different than his usual lone meditation; it's company. (Better or worse, he doesn’t know.) "You can destroy them."

"You misunderstand me." Hux sets his fork down, leans his elbows on the table and folds his hands together again, regarding Kylo. "What can you do?"

Kylo pauses, watching Hux watch him. He sets the cup down. "Doesn't my reputation precede me?"

"As I said before: rumors. They say I killed my predecessor in his sleep. Useful, but untrue." Kylo knows this because he killed Hux's predecessor, waited in the background until Snoke decided he was done hearing the man prattle excuses. Hux leans back in his chair. "But what can you do? What makes a man the master of the Knights of Ren?"

"Many things, which you will only see if you earn the right."

"Is it that rare, or are your powers lies after all?"

Kylo raises his hand. He watches Hux's eye widen the moment he feels pressure coil around his throat, and Hux stares at him in choked horror as Kylo leans forward. He curls his fingers, and Hux grapples for the arm rests as he’s pulled out of his seat, just a little. "Why are you so curious? Are you trying to eliminate me? My knights? Are you sending Snoke your own report, General?"

He releases the choke, but before Hux can draw another breath he pushes forward into Hux's mind: yes, there's another report, he expected that; there's the anger from the sloppy work leading up to their test fire; elation; anticipation; a low simmering heat and the need to --

Kylo jerks back. Hux slumps in his chair, flushed, gulping down large breaths, but he doesn't flinch or look away when Kylo surges to his feet and slams and open palm down on the table. "What was that?"

"Excuse me?" Hux asks, breathless.

"You know what I'm talking about." Scowling, Kylo leans over the table, his face closer to Hux's, staring into wide-eyes and noting ride of his throat as he swallows hard. "Is that what you intend to do to me? Is that why you invited me here?"

Sitting up in his chair, Hux clears the throat before speaking, and his voice wavers only when he starts, "I wouldn't mind the opportunity--" Kylo raises his hand, "--but you could do the same to me, too."

Kylo's freezes, utterly still as the realization hits, as he flips the visions he drew out of Hux's mind and instead it's Hux on the table, Hux against the wall, Hux pressing his thighs tight on Kylo's sides with every hard thrust -

Hux drops his gaze to Kylo's hand, still poised there in mid-air. "If you're allowed to have that sort of company, Ren."

If he's allowed? His other hand swings forward, and the chair lurches back from under Hux at the same time Kylo moves around the table, grabbing Hux by the neck. As Hux grabs handfuls of Kylo's black robe, scrambling for purchase and footing, Kylo brings their faces close, enough to see the reflections of the wall lights in Hux's bright, clear green eyes. "I can have any company I wish, General Hux; no one gives me permission."

(Lie: Snoke asks him about who he meets, and he'll ask about this, and Kylo doesn’t know what he'd say.)

"Then what are you waiting for?"

Something tugs at him; something like anger but brighter and hotter, and it still feels like his side of the Force: seductive and tempting, and he doesn't resist that, not anymore, and he lets it wash over him as he pulls Hux into a hard kiss.

Kylo doesn't remember the last time he kissed someone. He doesn't remember if he even has, because remembering the before, the light-polluted times of his childhood, pains him like a knife in the gut. He relies on instinct instead, so the kiss is hard and rough and teeth and tongue.

But Hux pulls at Kylo's robe and fights for control of the kiss, pressing forward until he can catch his teeth on Kylo's lip. That earns a growl from Kylo, and his power rolls out in every direction, sweeping cups, silverware, plates, platters, and bottles up the long table or off the side with a circus of shattering glass and clattering metal.

Kylo slams Hux down on the now-clear table, bending over him, pressing their bodies together, and Kylo can feel the heat under his skin, resonating in his power, thrilling him--he only feels this when he fights with his saber, when he has hot, red plasma under his control and a mission to complete. And he wants more. He pulls back and starts to pull at Hux's jacket, ripping the zipper open, as Hux's hands fist in his hair, but when Kylo reaches his wide belt, Hux snatches one of his hands by the wrist, as if that will stop Kylo if he wants to move.

"What?" Kylo snaps.

"What about you? Am I the only one to be stripped here?"

A smirk pulls at the corner of Kylo's mouth as he unbuckles Hux's belt. "I showed you my face," he says, tossing the belt aside. "That's enough for now."

--

Snoke sees them both in the hologram room. They give a joint report about the status of the weapon. Successful. Progress. Glory. Then Snoke dismisses Hux. Kylo looks over, catches his eye, but they say nothing to each other. His boots clicking against the marble path, Hux leaves.

Kylo looks back up at Snoke; his master returns the gaze, amusement in the corner of his wretched mouth, and then he gestures towards the exit behind Kylo. "Will this continue?"

"Do you wish it to stop, Master?"

"Why should it stop?" Snoke says with a deep, rumbling chuckle. "Are you not indulging in aggression? Are you not dominating life according to your desires, using him to your will?"

"You speak the truth, as always." Kylo feels a knot relax in his stomach. "Then it will continue."

"But do not allow yourself to be distracted."

He bows his head in deference. "Of course, Master."