Kylo is being unusually passive today, and Hux finds it incredibly unnerving.
Normally by this point in one of their trysts, she's already had her way with him – right now, though, they're both still fully clothed, and Hux is sucking a bruise into her neck, and though her eyes are closed and she keeps making little sighs of pleasure, Kylo's brow is furrowed and her body is tense. Hux feels like he's been handed a bomb and asked to carry it around for a bit, only he has no idea whether it's live or not. It's disconcerting, to say the least.
"Alright," he huffs finally, sitting up to peer at her with his most serious expression. Kylo opens her eyes, startled, and looks up at him from where she is lounging against her pillows. "What is it?"
"What are you talking about?" Kylo says, frowning.
"You know very well what I'm talking about," Hux snaps, although perhaps she doesn't – she flits in and out of his head seemingly at random. "What's the matter with you? I feel like I'm necking with a corpse."
She curls her lip in disgust briefly at that comparison, but then schools her expression. "Nothing's wrong. Come back over here."
"No," Hux says, aware that he's being a bit petulant. Oh, well. Kylo could use a taste of her own medicine every now and then. "I've got better things to do than lie about with you, Lady Ren." Less pleasurable things, certainly, but better for the First Order.
He starts to get up from the bed, and predictably, she holds him in place with the Force until he relaxes, at which point she releases him. "Don't be a child, Kylo," Hux says irritably, only noticing seconds too late that he'd slipped and used something other than her title. "You were the one who summoned me here. If you're really this bored with me, I'll take my leave."
She lets out an irritated huff, then says, "I have a lot on my mind, General. I was thinking."
Hux swallows a retort – she really does make it too easy sometimes. However, mocking her rarely ends with an orgasm on his part. "About what?" he asks. Her passing whims are hardly his most pressing concern, unless they involve her damaging the ship, the crew, or Hux himself.
"About the days since my last cycle," she says.
Hux feels like an unseen hand has just dropped an icicle down the back of his shirt. "What?" he responds flatly.
Kylo has the decency to look slightly uncomfortable. Finally, she sits up, pulling her long legs in to sit cross-legged. "It's late," she says. "I think. I don't really keep track of it."
"Of course you don't," Hux says exasperatedly. He doesn't have the proper equipment for that sort of thing, but he's fairly bloody certain – pardon the expression – that if he did, he'd keep up with what went on with it. "If you're pregnant, it must not be mine," Hux adds, although he's actually not that sure. He can't honestly say he's never spent himself inside her, but he really doesn't want this to be a problem he has to deal with.
Kylo looks a bit murderous now. "It can't be anyone else's but yours, General," she says darkly. "Not unless my abilities with the Force have progressed further than even I know."
He really doesn't know what the Force has to do with all this, and he honestly isn't sure he wants to. Hux pauses and collects himself, reaching up to pinch the bridge of his nose in an effort to ward off the headache he knows is coming.
"Well, what are you waiting on?" Hux asks finally, in what he hopes is an even tone. "Go down to medical and have them take a look at you."
"No," Kylo says immediately. "I don't trust your doctors, and besides, I don't want this sort of thing on any record."
"Oh, for fuck's sake," Hux growls, immediately annoyed once more. He gets up from the bed again, and this time Kylo doesn't stop him. She watches silently as he straightens his uniform and attempts to manage his hair, which she always insists on wrecking.
"I'm going to fetch a nurse. They will be discreet," he says firmly. Kylo looks like she wants to protest, but apparently she sees reason, because she remains quiet. "Stay here," Hux adds sharply, and she arches an eyebrow at him but still says nothing. She must be more worried than she lets on, then, because Kylo doesn't take direction well.
Hux leaves Kylo's quarters and heads directly to med bay. He keeps his stride casual but purposeful; people already think he is sleeping with Lady Ren, and to be seen dashing about in her area of the ship will only add more fuel to that sleepy fire. Upon arriving in the medical ward, Hux picks a nurse who looks unoccupied – a young woman, in the off chance it will make Kylo feel more at ease, and thus less inclined to raise a fuss.
"Come with me," he tells the nurse, not even bothering to glance at her identification tag. "I need you to perform a pregnancy test."
She freezes in her tracks, giving him a rather befuddled look. Hux sighs. "Not on me. Now – and be discreet."
"Yes, sir," the nurse says obediently. Hux waits the few seconds it takes for her to collect her equipment, and then he leads her back to Kylo's room. The nurse is silent and seems nervous; Hux doubts she's ever interacted closely with someone in the upper ranks, save for perhaps assisting a doctor during a routine health exam. When they reach Kylo's corridor, he distinctly hears her suck in a steadying breath, as if she has already guessed whom she is being brought to see.
"Don't antagonize her," Hux warns the nurse, swiping at the keypad on the door to request entry. It hisses open immediately, no doubt answering Kylo's push from the Force, as she is nowhere in sight. Hux leads the nurse into Kylo's quarters and points toward the bedroom, where she is no doubt sulking. "In there."
"Yes, sir," the nurse says again, before straightening her shoulders and disappearing into the other room. Hux nearly follows, but then decides against it. The nurse will have no doubt already assumed why he'd been the one to come and fetch her, but Hux doesn't like the thought of hovering about uselessly. It will certainly draw Kylo's ire.
Such a test surely cannot be complicated with the availability of a medisensor, but it takes enough time for Hux to start pacing. He curses his own foolishness. He had never insisted on contraception, or even inquired about it. He had let Kylo's recklessness rub off on him. Hux isn't exactly nervous about the potential pregnancy itself; terminating it will surely be Kylo's first step. Her second, however, might be to unsheathe her lightsaber, and that will certainly be an ordeal, assuming Hux survives. After that, well – she will no doubt cease contact with him, and it startles Hux quite a bit to realize that he finds that thought unpleasant. Once he could hardly stand Lady Ren's company, but he's only recently grown comfortable with this strange sort of arrangement they have. To lose it so suddenly would be disappointing, to say the least.
He can hear voices in the other room, but Kylo had closed the door once the nurse had entered, so Hux can't even guess at what they're saying. Quite suddenly, the door slides open, and the nurse emerges, completely unscathed. Hux feels he's witnessed a miracle.
Immediately ceasing his restless pacing, Hux commands, "You will tell no one of this – not even your superiors."
"Yes, sir," the nurse says yet again. Bizarrely, she sounds utterly not traumatized after her private conversation with Kylo. Perhaps she is made of stronger stuff than he'd realized. Either that or Kylo is capable of behaving herself on occasion, and simply prefers not to.
"Rest assured if you do, she will know," Hux adds, because it's true and the girl deserves to know what she's in for.
The nurse nods. "Understood, sir."
Hux studies her for a second, mostly to intimidate her just a bit more and ensure her cooperation. "You're dismissed."
The nurse leaves the room, her quick pace betraying how glad she is to be leaving. Hux waits until the door clicks into place behind her before heading into Kylo's room, crossing his hands neatly behind his back. He looks foolish, he knows, but the posture makes him feel as if he is on the bridge, and that is one place where he has total control. This is no such place.
Kylo is removing her helmet as he enters, and the sight nearly pulls a bark of laughter out of him. She is utterly ridiculous – insisting on wearing her helmet in front of a single and unimportant nurse – but then again, Hux hadn't really expected any less from her. "Well?" he says, once he's quite sure he's not going to laugh.
"The test was negative. She also gave me an injection, so that I'm not at risk any time soon," Kylo says, holding her helmet in her lap as if she doesn't quite know what to do with it now that it's off. There's something strangely fragile about the sight. Hux loathes weakness, but some unrecognizable compulsion has him crossing the small room and perching on the edge of the bed next to Kylo. She seems just as surprised as he is by the gesture, but she doesn't complain.
Hux honestly isn't sure of Kylo's actual age; she'd once made a throwaway comment about being not yet thirty, but somehow she looks very young with her expression full of relief the way it is now. "You really were afraid," Hux muses, eyeing her. "I've heard that terminating a pregnancy is a relatively simple procedure, if that's what you were frightened of."
Kylo gives him a baleful look. "I wasn't afraid," she says. "I simply didn't want to disappoint the Supreme Leader. He would be very – upset, if I allowed this to happen when we are so close to finding Skywalker."
"Yes," Hux agrees. "Well, rest assured that it wouldn't be your head leaving your neck, in the end."
Kylo raises her eyebrows at him, and Hux sighs. "I'm more replaceable than you are, as you've told me in the past," he points out dryly. "Snoke would be furious at you, but he would kill me."
Kylo looks away, seemingly contemplating that. The Supreme Leader no doubt knows about what they do – something about the sneer in his voice every time he speaks to Hux gives it away – but if he ever thinks that it has become a distraction for Kylo, Hux's fate will be sealed immediately. Hux hasn't had time to give the idea any thought in weeks, but once more he is confronted with a reality he's always accepted – the day he becomes more trouble than he's worth, the Supreme Leader will order Kylo to execute him, and she will do it.
As he gives her a brisk, slightly uncertain pat on the arm and rises from her bed, Hux wonders – when that day comes – whether or not Lady Ren will at least allow him to die with his dignity untarnished.