The first time it happens, it’s the actual worst time for it to happen.
(They may laugh about this, fifteen or so years into the future, or perhaps in some alternate universe where Kylo does not want to stab himself with his lightsaber every time it is brought up.)
They are in the throne-room, which is a hallway more than a room. It’s vast and oddly clinical, retaining only the basest of features from Snoke’s reign—
The throne itself, of course, is one of them.
Hux—Emperor Hux, of the First Order—has Kylo down on his knees in front of the throne and between his legs, eyes wide and mouth on his cock. This isn’t an entirely uncommon event, but the novelty of it never quite wears off.
They must have made quite a sight; Kylo’s black-as-night robes pooled on the floor, back bare and almost luminous in the silvery half-light of the freezing room, head bent over and bobbing on occasion, and Hux with a lazy grin on his face, resplendent and unruffled, fingers wound in Kylo’s hair while he whispered filth that made them both shudder.
“Look at you,” Hux croons, gloved hands running almost lovingly through his hair, “the fearsome Lord Ren, on his knees, on my cock—if only your men could see you now.” Hux pauses, hums appreciatively as Kylo does something pretty fucking amazing with his tongue. “But no, they wouldn’t be too surprised, would they? They all know—” he tugs at the hair in his hands, and hisses, “they all know you’re mine.”
(It is an accepted fact in the Order: Kylo Ren belongs to Emperor Hux, and Emperor Hux belongs to Kylo Ren. They are both feared in equal measures by everyone in the Order—well, besides Phasma, but Phasma is nearly incapable of actual fear. Wariness and skepticism, maybe. But not fear.
They all fear the man who managed to take over after Snoke, who ruled with a ruthless, iron fist and rebuilt the Empire in his vision—
—and they fear the man who destroyed the last Emperor and casually handed the throne to his lover.)
Kylo whines, and the sound makes Hux grin wider, and whisper, “You are mine.”
Which is when Kylo’s head jerks up, Hux’s cock slipping out
with an obscene pop. Hux doesn’t have time to react, before Kylo whips his head back and forth with a baffled look on his face, and turning to look behind him with utter bafflement on his face.
(Hux cannot know it yet, but Kylo just heard a very angry and familiar voice yell out, “WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING TO MY SON?”)
“What?” Kylo yelps eyes trained on some spot below them, down the shadowy steps leading from the throne. “I—I fucking killed you!”
(Because that is definitely his enraged and very dead father looking up at them from the foot of the stairs, vaguely luminescent and shouting further abuse at Brendol.)
(To be accurate, “GET YOUR DIRTY BANTHA-FUCKING DARKSIDE FIRST ORDER HANDS OFF MY FUCKING BABY BOY!” is what he yells.)
“What?” says Hux, blankly, as his lover apparently loses his mind.
Kylo only groans and slumps forward, head landing on his lap
and very close to Hux’s wilting cock. “My life is a travesty,” he whines.
“So,” says Brendol, carefully. Kylo can tell that he’s being careful because he has that strangely guarded look, and he’s rubbing his thumb contemplatively over Kylo’s knuckles, which would be soothing if not for the third person in the room. “So your dead father, who isn’t actually Force-sensitive, somehow came back as a Force ghost, and caught us having sex?”
Kylo scowls. “I’m not crazy,” he insists, and pulls his hands away to cross his arms over his still-bare chest, lips twisted in what is most certainly not a pout.
They’d vacated the throne room when Kylo had attempted to stab the ghost, which wasn’t the most intelligent decision he’d ever made in the heat of the moment (but, of course, it was also not the least intelligent, which says a lot about him), and relocated to Brendol’s private chambers.
Where Kylo explained that there is a fucking apparition of his fucking dead father following him around telling Hux a number of creative—and painful—things to do with his penis.
“Ren,” says Bren, closing his eyes in exasperation, “You just told me that only highly trained Force users can come back. And that Solo was not Force-sensitive.”
Behind Kylo, from where he had been hovering throughout the walk to Hux’s chambers, looking as scruffy and as unimpressed as ever, Han Solo says, “I dunno, maybe the Force likes me.”
Kylo gives him a wild sort of look. “And so you come back to haunt me?” he shrieks.
Han sighs. He looks younger than when he died, but old enough that there are lines around his eyes and on his forehead, and his eyes certainly look ancient. “Look, kid. I’m here to guide you onto the right path.”
“I DON’T WANT TO FIND ‘THE RIGHT PATH’,” Kylo says, a note of hysteria in his voice, glowering at Solo. “So you can go back to whatever distant void you crawled out of!”
“The kriff I am,” Han huffs, and gives Brendol a dirty look, “if this is what you’re doing!”
Hux looks between them, lost. (Or, more accurately, he looks between Ren and the air that Ren appears to be having a spirited argument with.)
Kylo actually stops his semi-hysterical raging, and sputters, “What—what is that supposed to mean?”
“You were blowing some Fist Order asshole,” says Han, incredulously, “Son, you need to rethink your life decisions. And on a throne? This guy can’t be good for you—”
“What the fuck.”
“—I mean, if he’s going to go for the power play bit, you gotta be sure that won’t bleed into other aspects of your relationship, and all that possessiveness can’t be healthy—”
“DO YOU EVEN HEAR YOURSELF,” Kylo moans into his hands, mortified. Then, he looks up sharply, and says, “You’re one to talk, Han Solo, I’ve heard the stories—!”
Han huffs, “I always treat whoever I sleep with, with total respect!”
“—and anyway, I like the power play bit!” he goes on, as though Han never spoke.
There is a moment of silence, before both Hux and Han, sputter, “…what?” in what can only be the most ironic synchronization in goddamn galaxy.
“I’m not even surprised anymore,” says General Phasma.
What’s really funny, though, is that none of the officials that she had been meeting with had actually been all too surprised when High Emperor Hux and his Right Hand burst in half-dressed babbling about Force ghosts.
(This is because Hux is terrifying enough that he can do anything, being Emperor, and Ren is physically incapable of giving a shit.)
She’s pretty sure that this particular episode would have joined the gossip pool if Ren had not threatened to rip the intestines out of anyone who talked, as they scrambled out.
Hux levels her with a steady look. “This is an actual problem, Phasma.” He looks actually disheveled, which is entirely novel, and it only adds to Phasma’s amusement.
“Like the time with the ‘faulty’ TIE fighter?”
(Note: this refers to the One Fucking Time They Let Ren Fly a Ship without Supervision.)
Ren makes a strangled noise. He’s got something like drool on his chin. Phasma does not want to know. “He’s still here,” he says, eyes wild and trembling with rage.
“Do not smash my meeting room,” is what Phasma replies with. Ren makes the noise again, sinking into a chair and screaming into his hands.
Hux looks at her, and mouths, help me. He looks desperate, this Emperor with armies at his command.
She can’t help it. She takes off her helmet and laughs, doubling over and wheezing slightly.
(She cannot know it, but Han looks at her face, turns to Kylo and says, “Hey, they’re allowed to laugh?”)
Kylo glowers, and spits, “Do you think you’re funny?”
Even he isn’t sure which one of them he’s addressing.
This is the thing: He doesn’t fucking go away.
“So,” says his dead father, scowling at the Stormtrooper that marches past them, “so is that why you went Dark Side? For the promise of dick? Because son, you can do better than that.”
Later, BR-3876 would report that Lord Ren aggressively stabbed the wall near the back of her head with his lightsaber, telling her to shut the fuck up and go back to being dead, for no apparent reason.
“You do realize that Snoke is using you, right?” Han says on the third day, after Hux told Kylo to take the week off. “I know I’ve already told you this, but Ben, these people are just using you.”
(“I AM NOT CRAZY!” he’d screeched.
“I’m aware,” says Hux, mildly. “But you’re tired, and you can get rid of the problem faster if you don’t have any other responsibilities.”)
Kylo looks up from where he is attempting to meditate, trying to Force the annoying man into oblivion. It isn’t working, but he doesn’t have anything to do—week off means no Hux, because Hux has a fucking empire to run.
“Snoke’s dead,” he says dully.
“What,” says Han.
“I stabbed him,” he sighs, “and gave Bren the throne.”
Han stares at him in disbelief. “What?”
Kylo slumps backward, and says, quietly, “I killed him only because he wanted me to kill Bren.” He looks at Han, who looks a little shocked. He isn’t sure why. “And the high treason part was only incidental. We figured that Bren would be the best candidate for Emperor, and so he became Emperor. It’s as simple as that.”
What he doesn’t say is: I gave this man a fucking empire
What Han hears is: I love this man enough to give him an empire
“Huh,” says Han, looking at Kylo with an odd expression on his face. He seems older, all of a sudden.
The rest of the night passes in silence.
Two days later, Kylo Ren dons his armor and marches back into the throne room, in the middle of a Council meeting, and takes his place by the Emperor’s side.
(Which is, of course, where he always will be.)
After the meeting is concluded, and they are alone, Hux turns to him and says, “Kylo, I thought I gave you the week off.”
Kylo smiles tightly. “The problem has been taken care of.”
Hux raises an eyebrow, but does not press further, because he has other, very urgent engagements. But he gives Kylo a sharp look, one that says, we’ll talk later.
It also says, I’ve missed you. Despite it being less than three days.
This is what the problem has been taken care of means:
“I want to, to get to know you, Ben,” said Han, softly. “Again.”
“You’re dead,” Kylo pointed out, “And my name is not Ben.”
Han gave him a look. It was an unnervingly fatherly look.
Kylo sighed. “Fine,” he grumbled, as though he was not warm on the inside, “but you need to stop following me around all the time.”
“Why?” said Han quietly. “I’m not mad anymore, son. But why did you kill me?”
Kylo breathed in shakily and shook his head. “I don’t know, alright? It was—was meant to make me stronger, cut off my weak links and, and make me better.”
Silence, and then, “…did it?”
Kylo covered his face. “No,” he admitted. “It just made me…more conflicted—” broke me, I think “—and Snoke just got me more under his control.”
Kylo rubbed his face, and whispered, “I wish I hadn’t done it. I wish—”
Han smiles gently. “Then you’re not so far gone.”
It also means:
“CAN YOU PLEASE NOT?”
“LOOK, SON, WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT HOW THIS IS TECHNICALLY WORKPLACE HARRASSMENT.”
“HE’S A FUCKING EMPEROR.”
“AND YOU MIGHT LOVE HIM, YOUNG MAN, BUT I’LL BE DAMNED IF SOME LITTLE SHIT BREAKS MY BEN’S HEART.”
“I AM FEARED THROUGHOUT THE GALAXY, I DO NOT NEED THE PROTECTION OF A FUCKING DEAD MAN.”
“AND DO YOU PRACTICE SAFE SEX? DO YOU USE SAFE WORDS? SAFE WORDS ARE IMPORTANT.”
“WHAT THE FUCK.”
Though mostly, it’s:
“Look,” said Kylo, eyes narrowed, “Brendol isn’t Snoke. The Order is different, we’re more focused on stabilizing ourselves and running our current territories than taking over more of the galaxy. And our people are happy. Mostly. So you can go shove your Light Side bullshit up your—”
“Are you happy?” Han cut in. “Does this—this Right Hand business, and this thing with that redhead Emperor creep—”
“—make you happy?” Han finished, in a way that meant that he wasn’t taking any of Kylo’s bullshit. “Are you happy, son?”
Kylo actually goes silent at that, blinking.
(Because somehow, without noticing, slowly and insidiously and no, actually, this isn’t a surprise at all)
“Yes,” he says, smiling unwillingly. “I am.”
“Then,” Han says, face splitting in a grin, “then I’m fine.”
There was a companiable silence, warm with sweetness and feelings that Kylo refused to acknowledge.
“I’m still evil, though,” Kylo reminded him cheerfully, after a full ten seconds of feelingsy silence.
Han mock-glares at him. “We were having a moment, kid.”
They are in Hux’s chambers again, sprawled on the bed, hands entwined. They’re also fully dressed, armor and boots and all.
“So he won’t come back?” asks Brendol.
(“YOU BETTER NOT GO PAST HANDHOLDING, BUDDY,” Han yells, from his position beside the bed, arms crossed. “And if you fucking break his heart, I’ll find some way to get back, and break you.”
Hux, of course, is blissfully unaware.)
“More or less,” says Kylo, grinning sheepishly.