Rey dragged herself back to her quarters. She wanted nothing more than flop into bed and sleep a solid twenty-four hours. Instead of that, she went into the shower, hoping the warm water would ease some of the knots she felt in her muscles. It didn’t work. She was so stiff that she had to choose her least complicated clothes. That’s how she ended up wearing one of the old tunics she had inherited from Luke. She walked to the study room feeling like a total dork, wrapped up in a shapeless whitish cloak as big as a bed sheet.
Luke had the decency not to smirk when he saw her. He didn’t seem to suffer any after effects of the stupid exercises. Rey couldn’t shake the sensation that he was two different people. When they were working out or sparring, when he was teaching her how to use the Force or how to handle the lightsaber, he was stern, demanding, relentless. He didn’t seem to care if she got hurt, and appreciated the effort she was putting into the work more than the results themselves.
And then there were the other moments. The off-duty, cooking, eating, walking around moments, in which he seemed calm and laid back. During their other lessons, like this one about the history of the Empire, he seemed more interested in finding ways to keep her engaged in the subject matter, rather than see her forcing herself to pay attention.
They were ten minutes into the lesson when Rey was so captivated that she forgot to stifle a groan when she moved. He stopped in mid-sentence and looked at her concerned.
“I’m fine,” she said before he commented.
“Where does it hurt?” he asked ignoring her lie.
She opened her mouth to deny it when he put a hand on her shoulder, his fingers already exploring her muscles. There was no hesitation in his touches, and what was even more surprising, he was already unknotting a particularly bothersome spot. Before she realized, she was already turning her back to him to give him better access.
“Lower,” she said after that spot was already feeling like a tiny nugget of happiness.
Luke obliged and he went on into his charitable mission. Rey let down any mental defenses she still kept in his presence, and she let him in. He picked up on every clue. His hands danced on her flesh as if he himself was in her body. It was pure bliss. He had worked his way on her entire back and they were still sitting on the hard bench of the study room.
His hands her on her neck, rubbing circles with his thumbs. Rey leaned forward and the fabric slid a little, uncovering her skin. His hands stilled at the contact with the bare flesh. Her skin was burning under his unmoving hands. When he took them away, she sighed, but the pain was gone. She felt utterly loose. She was so light she felt she could fly.
“That was wonderful! Oh, thank you, thank you thank you! If I knew you could do that I would have told you when we started this form!” she said turning around.
Luke folded his hands into his lap and smiled. He seemed very pleased with her compliments.
“It’s ok to tell me when you’re hurt. I noticed you’re not taking to these exercises. You’re doing extraordinarily well for someone who doesn’t enjoy them.”
She understood that he appreciated her determination to succeed at whatever task he put in front of her, but she sensed something else underneath. He was happy to have been able to take away her pain. She wondered if there was more where that miracle had come from.
“So you’re not disappointed in me?” she asked.
“For what? For the fact that you were hurt and still came here for your lesson? For accepting a little help to ease the pain?”
Time to push her luck.
“Well… then it’s ok to tell you that it’s not just my back that hurts?”
He smiled again.
“I’m not surprised.”
This was as much as an invitation. Rey certainly took it as such.
“My feet really hurt. Could you… do the same as you did for my back? I mean I was moving like C3PO when I came here and now...”
She rotated her torso one way then the other to prove her mobility. She arched her back and sighed at the sheer pleasure of being able to do that without hurting. She managed to hide the thought that her front would have also benefited from the same kind of attention. Her breasts tingled at the treacherous thought. She ignored it and focused on what she wanted to get from him at that time.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to… It’s just you said I could tell you…”
“It’s ok,” he interrupted her almost sincere floundering. “But I don’t think this is the right place. Can you walk?”
“Of course,” she said and stood up immediately.
She winced as the pain shot through the soles of her feet. She hadn’t meant it as a way to arouse his compassion, but it did just that.
“There are times when you have to let someone else take care of you,” he said. “May I?” he asked holding out his hands.
She didn’t understand for what he was asking permission, but nodded because she could never say no to him. He picked her up and Rey almost sighed. The pain disappeared as soon as her feet no longer touched the ground. Luke carried her to the meditation room and placed her gently on one of the mats. Rey tried not to think that it was strange to be laying on her back while her Jedi Master knelt at her feet. This became easier the more she concentrated on what he was doing instead of who was doing it. She watched the man remove her soft leather boots. She was faithful to her Jakku footwear and she loved the natural way in which Luke’s fingers found all the right places to undo them and pull them off.
The back massage had been on top of her clothes. This skin to skin contact was so much more intense. At first her whole body tensed, almost undoing the effects of his earlier comfort, but soon she was lost in the pleasure of his soothing touches. She let down the barriers again and Luke used her perceptions guide his movements.
When a small whimper escaped her lips, Luke froze. Rey opened heavy lidded eyes.
“Go on,” she whispered, catching his gaze to add weight to her request. “Please.”
He obeyed. He looked down again and resumed his ministrations. All too soon, there was no trace of pain left. Rey tried to hide the thought from him. It worked for a while. His fingers were still on her skin. The earlier functional massage had turned into a caress which was building up her pleasure to a level Luke couldn’t help but notice. He wrapped his palms around her feet for a few moments before standing up. Rey remained on the floor of the meditation room, feeling as if she was about to float like a cloud.
“Luke,” she called when he was at the door.
He turned to look at her.
“Thank you,” she said and she saw his smile dance in his eyes and on his lips.
He bowed his head a fraction.
“Happy I could help.”