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Snoke's Wager

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As soon as she turned the corner, Rey recognized the menacing figure in black. She’d felt his presence as soon as she’d landed on the planet. She drew her light saber, and he drew his - the smooth blue hum and the red crackling energy filled the empty stone room. Long moments passed as they circled the perimeter of the room, sizing each other up. Rey took long, slow breaths, letting go her fear of Kylo Ren. Fear and rage would not help her now. She began to close the distance between them, and he mirrored her, until they were near the center of the room.

Then Ren did something unexpected. He held his saber vertical, as if in salute … and turned it off. Rey made no move, fearing a trap. Ren knelt on the stone floor in front of her, placed his saber hilt in front of him, and removed his helmet. His face was marked with a fresh red scar, healed but still angry. One day it would fade to pink, then white, but that was still years away. If he lived that long.

“Hello Rey,” he said, the corner of his mouth twitching with what might almost be the beginning of a smile.

“What are you doing here? What do you want?”

“You,” Kylo said. “Or, more precisely, Snoke wants you. Not as his servant, or even his apprentice, but as … an ally. A means to structure and lasting peace in the galaxy. He knows better than to tempt you with power alone; the Dark Side’s sheer potential isn't enough for you, is it?”

“The way it was for you?” she hissed, light saber still raised.

“It’s never so simple. Regardless … I am Snoke’s messenger today. He’s sent me with a message for you. An offer.”

“What could he possibly offer that I would want?” Rey said.

“Me,” Kylo said simply. “He’s offering you me. First as a teacher, to guide you in the ways of the Force. Don't look like that, I know perfectly well how to harness the Light as well as the Dark. And as I observed before … you need a teacher.”

“I already said no to you once. I’ve heard this offer before.”

Kylo held up a hand. “That’s not all there is to it. We would not have a typical master-apprentice relationship, for I am here not to master you, but to serve you.” He tilted his head, studying her, and a bit of his unruly hair fell over his forehead. “Wouldn't you like for me to call you Master?”

Rey stared, wrapping her mind around the concept. “Why would he - you - do that?”

“The risk of losing me to the light is worth the chance of bringing you to the dark,” he said simply. “That outcome is up to you. And in the meantime, I would be not Snoke’s weapon, but yours.” He spread his long fingers across the tops of his thighs. “Wouldn't you rather wield me than allow me to continue as Snoke’s weapon?”

Rey lowered her light saber, but did not turn it off. “You would take my commands. No matter what they were?”

He inclined his head in agreement.

“Pardon me, but you don't seem the obedient type.”

“Mm, that’s fair. I can only give my word. And admit that it would be a great relief to me to not take Snoke’s commands anymore. If redemption for me is possible at all, it could only be through your hands.” A look of vulnerability came into his face, and he dropped his eyes. “I am not handsome, but I am strong. And I’ve been told I’m … pleasing. If you chose to take pleasure in me, I would not resist you.”

Rey tried not to look shocked. “That would not be appropriate, with such an imbalance of power.”

“Hardly. Snoke gives me to you as a servant, bound to your will. If your will is to take me to your bed, then I would endeavor to please you.” He raised his eyes, glancing at her face. “Such gratification is hardly less appropriate than commanding me to kill, or to utilize my skills with the Force, or to turn against my former master.”

“I see,” she said, and the look on her face was more one of pity than anything else. “You’ve gone this far, why draw the line at intimacy?”

He inclined his head slightly. “You can't tell me you’ve never wished for a lover you could command.”

Rey closed the few feet between them, though she didn't turn off her saber. She lifted his chin to look him in the eye. “You’re wrong,” he said. “You are handsome. Even with the scar. Beautiful, even.”

Long moments passed with her studying him. He raised a hand to his shoulder, reached under the fold of his cloak and undid a pair of fasteners. His cloak and shirt fell away from him and the fabric puddled around him. Rey bit her lower lip and walked a slow circle around him, her eyes drinking in the sight of his muscular form. She trailed the pads of her fingers over his shoulders, and he trembled at the touch.

“I like your freckles,” she said at last. “And your hair, and the rest of you. But you would only lead me into corruption, Kylo. I don't want to wield power over a lover; I want an equal. So take my answer back to Snoke: no. You’re tempting, alright, but I like my soul the way it is.” She backed away from him, raising her saber back to guard.

At that moment Finn came around the corner into the room. “Rey! I found you! Thank the stars. What’s HE doing here?! Why’s his shirt off? Did you use the Force or something?”

“We’re leaving,” Rey said, grabbing Finn’s arm. She pointed the saber at Kylo. “Don't follow.”

He spread his hands. “I came here only to deliver a message.”

Rey nodded, and gave him a last lingering look as they left. “Alright. And Kylo … If you ever turn back to the light … Come find me.”