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Oops, Engaged

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Hux rarely acknowledged the civilian side of his planet’s culture. Clenemis was a harsh world, and its people were harsh, and the gods they’d once worshipped were harsh.

But it did have some manner of rugged beauty, he thought, as he looked out across the churning ocean from the cliffside. It was the first time he’d been in the traditional Clenemistic garb since he’d left for the Academy. It itched. Looking back over his shoulder, he had to stifle a smile; his cousins were eyeballing Ren, the only one not in funeral garb. He’d been touched, and wary, and a little horrified when Ren had offered to accompany him to his mother’s funeral. In the end he’d only accepted the unexpected and awkward offer because he wanted to watch his cousins gossip. Not because Ren was any kind of emotional support, not when he was a brooding mess of melancholy at the best of times.

Ren walked over to join him, and Hux absolutely did not notice what lovely hair he had. For once he wasn't wearing head to toe black, but a mix of dark teal and purple, with a touch of gold woven into the fabric. His great aunt had insisted. “Black is bad luck at a funeral,” she’d said, and had replaced his clothing with her own woven garb while he slept. Hux had to admit he looked good in it, the sashes accentuating his broad shoulders and slender hips. His usual look did more to disguise the shape of his body than display it. But he wasn't thinking about the shape of Ren’s body at all.

“That was a lovely ceremony,” Ren said, “though I don't think I understood most of it.”

“I don't think most of us did either. The priestly language is so ancient it hardly resembles the common tongue anymore. I trust my family has given you no grief?”

He shook his head. “Except for the bit with the clothing, they’ve been quite kind.”

“They are that. I hope you don't mind Brin’s garb.”

“It itches.”

“Yeah it does.”

“What’s the agenda for the rest of the day?”

Hux adjusted one of his sashes. “Drinking, dancing, eating. Proposals, if anyone’s so inclined.”

“Proposals?”

“Yes. Tonight is a celebration of her life and of our continued life, so it’s also when people propose. Usually it’s been arranged in advance, and the couple has to wait around for someone to die before they can announce their engagement. Which is the same as a wedding here, since marriages last a year minus a day. So on the anniversary of a loved one’s death, couples either go their separate ways - another kind of death, I suppose - or they marry again.”

“Sounds complicated.” One of Kylo’s sashes had come loose and he was trying in vain to recreate the structure.

“Not really, not once you’re used to it. And it's a very simple ceremony, there’s a plate of flowers, and you give one to your beloved - are you even listening?”

“I’m trying to fix this.”

“Oh let me, you bedraggled creature.” Hux took the sash from him and draped it over his shoulder. “Under this one and over that one, same in back, and under your belt. See? Simple.”

“You keep saying that about complex things.”

Hux sighed. “It’s a good thing you’re pretty, you’d never get by on your brains.”

Ren processed slowly. Then, “Did you just call me pretty?”

Hux walked past him and back to his cousins. There was just no talking to some (Ren) people.