“Ren, you are about as subtle as a Wampa. You may be a Sith in training and have ‘Force’ powers-“ Hux made air quotation fingers and continued. “-but you would be absolutely shit at undercover work.”
He knew he shouldn’t have taken the bait but it was almost too good to pass up. If he had ignored the ginger twat then maybe he wouldn’t be stuck in an elevator in a technician’s uniform, an ugly blond wig and large spectacles perched on his nose. He had just donned the uniform and was en route to the mess hall to blend in with his subordinates when the elevator had jerked to a stop, the backup power kicking in and bathing him in red light. He initially opened the panel on the side and tried to fix the problem, but after a few minutes, it was apparent that he had no idea what he was doing. If anything, he had made the problem worse. Sighing, he used the commlink above the panel to call for help. A technician was apparently dispatched to fix the problem but he had no idea how they would get in to fix it, he was stuck between levels.
He slid down to the floor and waited. Ten minutes had passed and he was quickly growing impatient. A noise above him made him look up and narrowly dodge a small person jumping into the elevator. He stared at the girl that now occupied the room with him as she dusted herself off and fixed her belt.
“Okay, what seems to be the problem?”
Kylo continued to stare at her. Who could blame him? She literally broke her way into the broken elevator as if it was a normal occurrence. “Er, the elevator stopped.”
She rolled her eyes. “Yeah, I could see that, Captain Obvious. I meant, the code number.” At his blank face, she continued. “501? 627? 61?” He continued to stare at her as if she had grown another head. “Okaaaaay, you must be new. We use code numbers so we know exactly what happened so we can actually fix the problem. Any flickering of lights? Noises?”
“Well, there was a loud ringing noise before the elevator stopped. And the lights flickered before the red light went on.”
“Hmm, sounds like 627. These things are so old, the parts are probably jammed with something. Give me a hand, will you?” Kylo looked at her confused and held his hand to her. She cackled. “No silly, I mean help me back up to the ceiling so I can see where it’s jammed.”
Obediently, he hoisted the girl up and through the ceiling hole and waited as she tinkered around above him.
“So what’s your name?” the girl called out to him.
Shit, he hadn’t thought that far. Thank the Force she couldn’t see him flounder at such a simple question. Finally, he replied with the first thing he could think of. “Matt. I’m Matt the radar technician.”
“Ah, radar tech. No wonder you don’t know anything.” Kylo felt the jib in her voice but wasn’t sure if he should have taken offense to it. It’s not like he actually knew what radars did, much less a radar technician.
She jumped back down and moved to the panel, eying the wires he had tampered with. She slowly turned around with an accusatory look. “Did you do this?”
Kylo shrugged and turned away. “I-I don’t know. It was like that when I opened the panel.”
Not believing him, she took some pliers from her belt and snipped some of the tangled wires. After a few moments, she closed the panel with a click and locked it with her key before pressing the start button. “There, all done.”
Kylo sighed in relief as the elevator jerked back to life with a groan and continued its descent. “How about you?”
“Me? I’m an engineer but I was the closest so they got me to come fix this. Usually maintenance handles this.”
He hummed understandingly, slightly annoyed that she didn’t actually give her name like he intended. Before he could ask her again, the doors opened and he was left alone in his thoughts.
Well, at least one person believed his cover, despite how thin it was, even for him.
“A buddy of mine saw Kylo Ren take his shirt off in the shower. He said that Kylo Ren had an eight pack. That Kylo Ren was shredded.”
“What? Your friend’s a liar man. Kylo Ren’s a punk bitch.”
He felt his face go hot with anger and clenched his fist under the table. How tragic would it be if Tim just accidentally choked on his food. Just as he felt the thrum of Tim’s veins in his palm via the Force, he felt himself being watched. He unclenched his fist and turned around to unsubtly stare at the girl from earlier. Now that he was in normal lighting and wasn’t trying to avoid her eyes at the mention of the broken control panel – she totally believed me, thought Kylo – he saw that the girl had the most curious hairstyle of three buns. That, and she looked incredibly boring.
“Hey man, I know you’re new here but you might want to turn down the obsessive staring a notch.”
Kylo whipped his head back to Zack with such speed that he was surprised that it didn’t crack. “What do you mean, obsessive staring?”
“At Rey.” Zack jabbed his fork in the girl’s direction. “She’s not one to mess with. She looks harmless enough, especially ‘cos she’s so short but don’t underestimate her. The last time someone did, he ended up in the bactatank for a day.”
“What? You’re just exaggerating now. You make her sound like the most intimidating person in this place. She obviously doesn’t compare to Kylo Ren.” Zack and Tim grimaced at him before excusing themselves to go back to work. Kylo glanced back at Rey one last time, scoffing at his colleagues’ warning, before heading down the hall for his first case as a technician.
A day later he found himself towering over the small girl as she tinkered under a TIE fighter. She stuck her hand out and flexed her fingers. “Hydrospanner please.” Kylo looked around helplessly and grabbed the first thing he saw that looked vaguely familiar. Too late did he realise that he had handed her a calcinator. Rey rolled out from under the fighter and looked up at him with a raised brow. “Really, Matt? A calcinator?”
Laughing nervously to brush off his obvious mistake, Kylo picked whatever tool his hand touched and handed it to Rey. It seemed like the right tool as Rey rolled back under the fighter, much to his relief.
“So I hear from Sasha that you’re pretty hopeless. Too hopeless for her patience apparently?”
“No one showed me what to do. It’s not my fault the training here is severely lacking.” Kylo sniffed disdainfully.
“Well you were meant to come here already trained so that we wouldn’t have to,” Rey stated, deadpan. She finished up with the fighter and got to her feet, wiping the oil from her hands on her overalls. “You can shadow me until you get the hang of things but try not to break anything more than it already is.”
Honestly, how can someone so small be so snappish? Kylo begrudgingly followed the smaller girl for the remainder of the day. He wondered how long he could get away with being a technician before his real duties called to him. He guessed he had at least a few weeks before the Finalizer would leave the system they were currently based in and he would have to go and rein terror again.
Surprisingly, he found out over the next few days that doing small engineering tasks with Rey was oddly comforting. However, he noticed that even in the mess hall, no one would approach her. In the hallways, the Stormtroopers gave her a wide berth and seemed to avoid her at all costs. He tolerated the curiosity for the better part of a cycle before he cracked.
“So…” Rey looked up from the bundle of wires their hands were currently entangled in. “Why is everyone so scared of you?”
A grin spread over her face. “Well, it’s not scared, per se. I think they’re just embarrassed of me? Cautious maybe?”
He looked at her blankly. “You’re like the most innocuous person here.”
“Ha, true, but I think the rumors started when a Stormtrooper kicked my spanner. I grabbed his ankle before he got away and he smashed his face into the ground. After that, it was just bad luck. I was working on an airvent at the time and if that asshole didn’t kick my spanner, I would have fixed it before it started to leak. Unfortunately, the coolant used on this ship is unpredictable when exposed to different pressures and it started to drip on him. Burned right through his armor and into his arm.” Rey looked at him in shock as he let out a bark of laughter. “It’s not funny!”
“No, it’s hilarious. Seriously, I’m going to have to talk to Phasma about how she’s training the stormtroopers.”
Kylo almost bit his tongue in shock at his stupid mistake that was obviously out of place. He was rewarded by Rey’s suspicious look being directed towards him. “You mean, Captain Phasma? I don’t think a lowly technician like you would have the authority to talk to her, no offense.”
“N-No, none taken! I-I meant that maybe I should have a word with Kylo Ren about it.”
“Why would you know Kylo Ren personally?”
He felt his ear pink in embarrassment against his scratchy blond wig. Kriff’s sake, maybe Hux was right. I do suck at being consistent with this technician persona. “I-er-see him in the ‘fresher sometimes! You know…guys…’fresher…” Kylo started the squirm under Rey’s unimpressed stare.
“Riiiight…so…what they say is true then? That you’re a massive fanboy for Kylo Ren.”
Kylo puffed his chest out triumphantly. “Yes, he is a noble leader after all and his accomplishments are nothing short of admirable.”
“Kriff’s sake Matt, you better keep a lid on your crazy or you’ll end up being a loner like me.” Rey slapped him on the back, laughing, and proceeded to drag him to their next job. Kylo had to bite back the anger that bubbled in him at her remark and at the abrasive gesture to him.
It wasn’t until the end of their shift that Rey beamed up at him with humor dancing in her eyes and tilted her head towards the mess hall. “Come on Matt, if we hurry we can maybe sneak into the kitchen and snag some of the good stuff from the kitchens.” Not waiting for a response, Rey grabbed his hand and dragged him along the corridors towards the kitchen, ignoring the spluttering man behind her.
“I can follow you fine!”
“But you’re too slow! For someone who is incredibly tall, you sure move slow.”
Kylo harrumphed and tried not to stare too intently at the small hand that was clutching his own. She was far too friendly with him. It made him feel uncomfortable at how easy it was for her to just slot herself so close to him, with such ease as if he wasn’t imposing or intimidating in any way. Of course, being undercover must be working in some sense if a lowly technician such as herself felt comfortable enough to lay a hand on him. He quietly thanked whoever for their month-long fuelling expedition in the Outer Rim that allowed him this much time away from his normal duties.
However, a few nights later, he realised didn’t take into account that following Rey in all her duties meant that it also included being on standby with her. He underestimated how angry she would be until he saw her at breakfast the morning after. He tried not let his face crack as she passed him in the mess hall, before sitting across from him and chomping on her bland food full of anger.
“Where the hell were you last night? I went by the guys bunks and you weren’t there! I really could have used an extra hand last night!” Kylo tried not to grimace at the foodstuffs rolling around in her mouth as she spoke while she chewed.
He drew the line when she slurped some water loudly. “Urgh, please Rey. Chew like you have a secret.”
The good thing about being Matt was that Matt wasn’t Kylo Ren and that Matt was allowed to show fear and didn’t have to be imposing all the time. He squirmed in his seat uncomfortably when Rey slammed her hands on the table, causing nearby staff to turn to them. She glared daggers into him before leaning over and flicking his forehead painfully. “Better watch yourself, Matt. Come on, we’re already backlogged for the day.”
He ignored the glances being made by Tim and Zack as he quickly followed the smaller girl out.
Later at the end of their shift cycle, he pulled Rey aside before she had a chance to stomp off, and shoved something in her hand. “Here.”
Short of ending his undercover mission prematurely and explaining himself to Rey, there was only so much he could have done to make it up to Rey. So, he stole Sasha’s muffin.
Seeing the dark brown wrapped cake in the palm of his hand, Rey blinked at it stupidly for a good five seconds before a stupid smile spread across her face, eyes lighting up and her anger towards the awkward technician forgotten. “You didn’t.”
Sniffing, Kylo continued to avoid eye contact. He hoped she didn’t notice the blush that was surely painting his cheeks. “I did.”
Light laughter wafted through the empty halls of the lower deck.
“Matt.” Sasha roughly grabbed the collar of his jumpsuit and pulled him close to her face. “I know it’s you, Matt. I don’t know how, but it’s definitely you.”
From the corner of his eye, Kylo could see Rey stoically holding in her laughter as she kept her gaze studiously at the wall. Apparently, taking her muffin wasn’t a one-time thing. Seeing Rey’s face just light up and grinning from cheek to cheek was worth risking his hide by stealing all of Sasha’s muffins from then on. It was easy, of course. No one really watched or cared if Kylo Ren waltzed into the kitchens late at night and swiped all the muffins that was to be served the following day.
“I don’t know what you’re referring to,” Kylo replied nonchalantly, looking bored while trying to eat the mysterious green foodstuff in front of him.
“I’ve got my eye on you, Matt.” Sasha menacingly repeated his name one last time before letting him go.
It took all of Kylo’s strength to keep his composure around Rey as she broke down in a fit of giggles once Sasha was out of sight. “It’s not funny Rey. I’m being falsely accused here.”
His monotone voice only made Rey laugh harder.
He was hovering over a circuit board, with Rey chatting animatedly behind him, when an explosion caught them off-guard. The panel in front of him had fizzed for a second before sparks started to ignite and sent the pair careening to the opposite wall. Kylo felt his head smash against the duracrete with a sickening thud while Rey merely got the wind knocked out of her.
Groaning, Kylo rolled onto his knees and crawled to where Rey was lying sprawled on the floor. He shook Rey roughly, hoping that she was okay; ignoring the steady stream of blood leaking from his temple. With his heart in his throat and his heart thumping loudly in his chest, he silently panicked and waited for the girl to move. After a few moments, Rey groaned and sat up, clutching her chest and regaining her breath. She turned to look at Kylo and let out a yelp.
“Matt! You’re bleeding!!”
He dismissed his injury with a wave of his hand. “We need to get you to the medbay first! My injury is just a flesh wound.” He scooped up the smaller girl in his arms and carried the girl towards the closest medbay. He expected Rey to resist, making some stupid argument about being carried, but none came. He looked down at her and saw her face buried in her hands. “Does your head hurt?”
Rey looked sharply at him, causing her to wince at the sudden movement. “Y-Yeah. Maybe I did hurt myself more than I realised.” She quickly looked away and avoided his eyes.
Kylo looked at her questioningly before handing her over to the medical droid.
“Seriously, I’m fine,” Rey sighed as the taller technician fussed over her in her bunk.
He put a glass of water on the table next to her. “You won’t need to attend to any of your other duties for the rest of the day. Just rest.”
“What about all the cases we haven’t gone to yet?”
“I’ll talk to Kylo Ren and have it assigned to someone else.”
Rey was far too tired to make a comment at the familiarity Matt had with the dark Jedi so she just nodded at his reassurances. As her lids grew heavy, the last thing on her mind was that Matt didn’t even get himself checked by the medical droid yet.
“What in Kriff’s sake happened to you?” Hux asked when he saw the bacta patch on his forehead.
Kylo dismissed the question. “It was nothing. Sparring session with a droid that got out of hand. Could I take a look at the technician schedules? It has been brought to my attention that the technician in charge of sector C is unavailable and I need to see who is for the repairs in that section.”
The General raised a brow in disbelief and handed the data pad without a word. Being stationed in this waste of a system must have driven even Kylo Ren into taking an interest with the workings of the ship, Hux guessed.
“I hear there’s a die-hard fan of yours within the technical staff.” Hux was looking at the papers in front of him and didn’t notice Kylo freeze and look at him with shifty eyes at the comment.
“O-Oh really? That’s nice.”
“I would have expected you to have taken a personal interest with him.”
Kylo scoffed. “I have better things to do than that, Hux.”
Better things included getting comfortable to the simple life of a technician. It made being on the Finalizer infinitely more enjoyable. Since he still had to keep up his appearances as Kylo Ren, he made the appropriate appearances throughout the day – mind-numbing meetings and updates with Phasma and Hux – before starting his shift cycle in the later portion of the day. His shift would end with a few spare hours to meditate and get a bit of rest before repeating.
Today was no different.
It had been a full week since Rey had returned to work. The pair was making the way down to the ‘fresher to clean up before retiring in their respective bunks when Rey stopped him. “I wanna show you something.”
With a questioning look, Kylo followed Rey past the familiar corridors until it was part of the ship that he wasn’t familiar with. It was a large ship, afterall, and Kylo Ren had better things to do than to explore the spacecraft - yet he had time to pose as a radar technician for the better part of a month but Kylo dismissed that thought.
After a few twists and turns, they arrived at a rickety ladder dangling above them. With confident ease, Rey jumped up and pulled the ladder down towards them before climbing upwards. Kylo looked around them to see the hall deserted. Shrugging, he gripped the metal bars and followed.
The sight he was greeted to caused a sharp intake of air. The ladder had led to a small circular room near the upper quadrants of the ship. He pulled himself up from the small trapdoor and took in the sights of the small dome-like room. The main feature was the floor to ceiling glass window that allowed them to see the endless mass of stars around them. There were no solid walls so for all he could see, it was just stars and the blackness of space.
It was different to being in a spacecraft or a fighter, since one would always be strapped in a chair with mechanical buttons and controls within their reach. Here, seeing the vast emptiness of space, seemed to calm him and forget all the responsibilities he ever had. Forget that he was still a powerful dark Jedi Knight and not someone Rey wanted him to be.
As he turned around to take in the sights, his eyes fell on Rey, the small girl sitting on the floor with her knees pulled up for her to hug. “I like to come here every now and then when I need to get away from all the machines.” Not knowing what to do, Kylo awkwardly shuffled forward until he was standing right next to her. Rey patted the space next to her for him to sit. “I figured, since you’re kind of a loner like me, that you would appreciate a place like this.”
It was hard for Kylo to sit down with his long legs so he opted for the same curled position as Rey. “It certainly is calmer here.”
“This is probably the furthest point from the engines so you can’t even hear the noise. It’s almost as if we’re floating in space.”
Rey and Kylo sat together in comfortable silence, heads tilted upwards to watch the stars slowly shift around them. At one point, he noticed a small potted plant on the floor by her feet. “What’s that?”
“Oh,” Rey mumbled. “It’s just a plant. I grew up on Jakku, which is a waste of a desert planet, so when I left and saw plants for the first time, I fell in love with them. Being on a planet where it’s just sand for miles makes you enjoy the small things in life. When I saw my first plant, I wanted to start a garden but since I was to be stationed on the Finalizer, I couldn’t really take a lot of personal things with me. So this is the only thing that’s mine that I have around here.”
Kylo watched as she held up the small potted plant to her face. She smiled softly as she admired the green leaves and the blue petals of the small flower she had grown. “What about your parents? Surely they would have showed you something like that?”
“They died when I was a baby. I was a scavenger for most of my life until the First Order visited my planet to look for recruits.”
Ah, he remembered that trip. He had begrudgingly accompanied Phasma to the desert planet a few years ago to assess the recruits. He had taken a break from rummaging through their minds, for anything they would be hiding, when he had come across a girl who was, from the looks of it, arguing with a large thing of a Crolute. He remembered and was quite impressed with her knowledge of the small scraps that were in her hands at the time. He could tell – and as far as he could see, everyone else in the vicinity could also tell – that the girl was being swindled by the junkboss. However, he was the junkboss on a lawless planet, so what could she have possibly done to ensure that she could get what was fairly hers?
Kylo remembered being captivated by her determination and bargaining abilities, scrounging another half portion to her payment. He had sent an impulse towards the unknown girl, leaving the seed of the idea, the possibility of joining the First Order, in her mind; leaving it up to her to act upon it if needed. He wasn’t sure what had happened to the girl after that, brushing off the encounter out of his mind.
Now that he realised the girl was Rey, everything became clearer – her natural ability with machines, her unaffected attitude to being isolated by everyone else and her fondness towards the quiet nothing of space. He also realised that he was probably the first person she had opened up to, or was actually around long enough to talk to often.
He felt a softness lean against him and looked down at the brown head of hair that was leaning against his arm. Before he realised what he was doing, he wrapped his arm around Rey’s shoulders and pulled her towards him, her body fitting snuggly against his.
It was times like this that he hated that he wasn’t actually Matt, the radar technician.
“So I’ve noticed that you’re not around as much anymore,” Hux commented offhandedly one day. They were finishing up yet another unnecessary meeting – we’re based here for another week, what could possibly change that required this many meetings?! – and Kylo had almost made it to the door when Hux had stopped him.
“Whatever do you mean, General?”
Stopping in front of Kylo, Hux scrutinized him. “I don’t know what you’re up to – frankly, I don’t care – but make sure you don’t destroy anything unnecessarily.”
From behind his helmet, Kylo rolled his eyes at the ginger General. “You need not worry yourself with such trivial things, General.”
“Hmm, we’ll see. I don’t want to have to fix another control room.”
“Did you guys hear General Hux’s speech on the steps? Some people say that Kylo Ren’s would have been better. That he would have had music.”
Rey tried to hide her grin at Matt’s obvious enamour at Kylo Ren. He was a dork, but a lovable one.
The grin slipped off her face as she felt a heavy glare on their table. She looked past Matt and froze at the sight of General Hux hovering in the doorway, obviously hearing the whole spiel from Matt. She tried to catch Matt’s attention, coughing overly loud and dramatically, but Matt just seemed to do his stupid head tilt at her, oblivious to the world around him.
“Rey, maybe if you chewed your food more carefully, you wouldn’t be choking on it.”
Rey’s face went red with a mixture of embarrassment and disbelief. Someone needed to teach this guy to take a hint. Before she could give Matt a swift kick under the table, the tall ginger beared down on the table, glowering at them as he strode across the room. “So, you’re the fanboy I’ve been hearing so much about.”
With unease at the obvious tension filling the room, Rey, Tim and Zack all leaned back on their chairs as if it would distance themselves from the angry General. Rey almost wanted to pull her hair out at the obvious attitude Matt had towards the senior officer.
“Ah, General Hux.” She saw Matt nod at the ginger, oblivious to the danger he was in.
Hux squinted at the badge pinned on the blond man’s vest. “Matt, is it? Come with me.”
The trio watched the bespectacled technician follow the General out, back stiff as a board.
Another week passed without a mention of what happened to the radar technician. The spaceship had pulled its dock and left the system they were based in, before proceeding to travel to another planet on the Inner Rim. Whenever Rey tried to ask Zack about Matt, the Lt. Colonel was none the wiser of what happened the awkward technician.
After two weeks, Rey gathered all her courage and rounded the corner to the room where she knew the senior officers met frequently. She timidly knocked on the door before it slid open. She took in the sight of Kylo Ren and General Hux in deep conversation before standing stiffly in the doorway.
General Hux turned to her and gestured her to come inside. With a bundle of nervous energy, she shuffled into the room, noticing Kylo Ren from the corner of her eye. Surprisingly enough, he didn’t have his mask on. Rey would have stared at the man for longer, admiring his thick hair and his sharp features, if General Hux hadn’t cleared his throat, prompting her to start. “Sir, I was just inquiring after a radar technician. Matt,” Rey reminded him. “He was the one in the mess hall that may have come across as insolent towards you.”
“Yes, I remember who you are referring to.” Hux side glanced at Kylo who was so obviously eavesdropping on the conversation. “Unfortunately, his services is no longer needed and his contract has been terminated.”
“O-Oh.” Rey tried not to look disappointed in front of the two most senior officers on the ship. “I understand. Good day, sirs.” She did a quick salute and hurried out before she could be formally dismissed.
Once the door slid closed behind her, Hux turned around to the dark man. “You may have gone undercover too long for other technicians to actually miss your presence. Did you even help with repairs or did you make things worse?”
Kylo lifted his hand to caress his scar on his forehead, thinking back to the incident. He grunted. “If you’re worried that I’ve unintentionally sabotaged the ship in some way, you can rest assured that I didn’t. I was supervised most of the time anyways.” He brushed past the shorter man, hoping that he didn’t notice Kylo’s pinking ears.
Cycles seemed to move slower now that Kylo had returned to his duties. He would intentionally go to the lower decks where he knew Rey was stationed to see her, but whenever he got close to her, his chest seemed to grow heavy and painful. Always at the last moment, he would veer off course and continue past the small technician, neither acknowledging the other. Rey had an excuse though, she didn’t know that Matt was really Kylo Ren. Kylo, on the other hand, had no excuse to be simultaneously, avoiding and stalking Rey at the same time.
It became so tedious to go about his day the way he used to. He underestimated how attached he had become to the slip of a technician that fell into his life, literally.
His hands gripped in anger as he watched another technician talk to Rey, casually caressing her arm to get her attention. He had to get a hold of himself if he wanted keep Matt a secret. He couldn’t help feeling the blood in his veins boil in rage as the technician looped an arm around Rey’s shoulders, practically hugging her.
“Technician! If you have time to socialise, then you’ll have time to clean the ‘freshers on the upper decks!” he barked sharply, causing the couple to jolt. With satisfaction, the technician stuttered his apologies and quickly stumbled away. He turned and looked at Rey through his mask.
“Should I go to the female ‘freshers to clean as well, sir?”
“No,” Kylo said softly. “You can go about your business.”
He ignored the curious look from Rey and stomped off to go wreck a control panel somewhere for that unknown technician to fix as well. Hux could complain to him all he wanted but he needed to let off some steam.
Rey sighed as she finished up her shift cycle. Now that Matt wasn’t around, the silence around her became almost unbearable. The extra hand not being around anymore also didn’t escape her notice. For a failure of a technician, Matt did help Rey more than she expected. She did, however, think it was odd for Kylo Ren to take a personal interest in her. Ever since they had changed star systems – ever since Matt was no longer around, she reminded herself – the cases she was getting were the simpler ones that she found interesting. She no longer had to the small trivial tasks that she had always complained about to Matt. She thought maybe it was just a coincidence but after her encounter the other day with Kylo Ren, it made her suspect that the tall ex-Jedi had changed her rosters personally.
She shook her head at the absurd thought and continued through the ship. As she made her way up to the upper levels of the ship, she arrived at the rickety ladder. She stopped short when she noticed that the ladder had been pulled down already, as if someone was already occupying her small ‘star-greenhouse’, as Matt had once nicknamed it.
With a weary glance, she climbed up the ladder and poked her head through the trap door to see who was in her secret room. She didn’t expect to see the back of Kylo Ren, the dark heavy fabric of his cape pooling around his feet and almost filling the small room. Just as she was about to turn around and leave, not wanting to get involved in whatever her superior wanted, Kylo’s voice stopped her. “Please, come in.”
She cautiously pulled herself up and ventured towards him, careful not to step on the fabric. “With all do respect, how did you find this place, sir?”
“A buddy of mine told me about it. Matt.”
Rey froze. Shit, Matt was telling the truth about personally knowing Kylo Ren. She focused her eyes ahead of her, too confused to continue the conversation.
“He told me that he would miss the engineer that helped him when he first started. That he was regretful that he couldn’t say his proper goodbyes before he was terminated.” She shivered at the imagery his deep voice conjured. “He’s sorry to leave you alone again.”
With a shaky breath, Rey forced a smile and turned to him. “It’s fine, sir. You don’t need to worry about me on his behalf.”
“Don’t do that.”
She looked at him, not understanding what he wanted. “Don’t do what?”
She didn’t know how to react when a gloved hand moved towards her and cupped her cheek. She stared at the mask of Kylo Ren with wide eyes, heart loudly beating in her ears. “Don’t force that smile.”
“What?” she squeaked.
With a heavy sigh, the gloved hands withdrew and unclasped the latch on the mask, pulling it off to reveal a mass of curly blond hair. Matt’s blond hair. “Matt?”
Kylo shook his head and pulled the prickly wig off his head, running his hands through his natural black hair. “No, Matt never existed.”
He didn’t expect Rey to push him in anger.
“Was this all a joke to you? Were you just bored and decided to terrorize the lowly technicians? And it was just bad luck that you were assigned to me?” Rey was beyond pissed. She didn’t even care that the man she was shoving was one of the most powerful on the ship.
Kylo raised his hands to defend himself. “No, no! It wasn’t like that! I needed to prove that I can actually do undercover work! It was a dumb goal I set against Hux – not that he even noticed – so I guess I was successful?”
Rey rolled her eyes and stopped assaulting him. She dropped to the floor with a huff and glared at her small plant that sat innocently in the corner. “So now what?”
She heard him sigh and felt the heavy fabric brush against her legs as he folded his long legs next to her. “Now nothing. Nothing changes.” She hummed in understanding. She didn’t know what she was expecting. She missed Matt and now that she knew who he really was, she didn’t expect the older man to stick around for her.
Awkward silence fell between them. Kylo broke it first by pulling out something from inside his robes. “Two is better than one.”
Rey looked down at what was in his hand and felt her heart skip a beat. In the outstretched hand was another small pot plant with pale red petals. She gently took it from his hands and examined it closely.
Kylo watched the smaller girl, hoping to see her smile again. Fortunately, he was rewarded with a bright smile across her face, along with a soft chuckle.
“So, this can still be my secret place?”
“This can still be our secret place,” Kylo corrected. She beamed up at him in happiness, warmth spreading in his chest as he pulled her towards him, dropping a soft kiss on her head. “You don’t have to worry about being alone anymore, Rey.”
She buried her head in the mass of thick robes, unable to keep the grin from her face or the blush from her cheeks. “Thank you.”