A/n: I really have other things that need my attention, but I NEED TO EXORCISE THIS FROM MY MIND. This is clearly outside of my regularly scheduled fandom. Seriously, WTF is with this pairing in my mind? Anywho, constructive feedback is, as always, greatly appreciated.
I wonder how a girl can feel this much...
...It triggers itself in my thoughts
I'd like to be your
Your beautiful hell
Beautiful Hell, by Adna Kadic
The Force frightened Rey. Growing up on Jakku, the Force had seemed magical and unrealistic. And now that it had been thrust into her life, she discovered that the light and dark sides were both equally daunting for very different reasons. Even Leia's assurances that understanding would come with time didn't set her at ease.
Rey's world was this: tactile, visceral and real. Scavenging was tactile. Abandonment was visceral. And hunger was real. But the Force... If she'd been willing to admit it to herself, which she wasn't, the Force was as much a part of her dreams as a child as were the fantasies of her parents returning.
Both were ambiguous and existed only within the depths of her mind.
Then she'd met him. And her perception had been shattered.
She knew his birth name was Ben—Ben Solo.
Such a little name for such a broken, twisted man.
From the very first meeting, it seemed as if he knew more about her than she knew about herself. As if he had been privy to a great secret and was toying with her. But then he'd teased the power out of her, made her furious, scared, thrilled and enlightened—all in one, divine moment. He'd pulled the Force out the depths of her soul and made it impossible to ignore.
She wanted to hate him, but Rey had been told that hatred was a path to the dark side of the Force. But it wasn't just that, when she'd pushed back with her own powers, when she'd taken control of his mind and searched his feelings, she'd seen the man behind the monster.
A man that was more deeply conflicted than even he realized.
So did Han.
But Kylo Ren... He resisted the pull from the Light.
Can he be saved? It was a silly thought to entertain on the eve of such an important event. Tomorrow, she'd start her training with Luke Skywalker. Tomorrow, she'd go in search of her destiny with the Force at her side. But tonight... Her thoughts were filled with dark, passionate eyes and the strange, twisted compassion that emanated from within Kylo Ren.
Why? Who am I to him?
When he'd first removed his helmet, she'd been surprised at how handsome she'd found him. Not only that, but at how normal he looked. If she'd been expecting evil to wear an ugly face, she'd been sorely disappointed. He was nothing like what Rey had expected.
The First Order tortured their captives, but he didn't touch her. At least, not physically. And when he'd reached into her mind, the way his power had gently coaxed her—questioning, comforting—she'd wanted to give in, and almost had.
When he looked at her, she knew he was hiding the truth, but what could he know about her? She'd seen her death in his eyes, but also life. Fierce, precious and worth fighting for.
"You know I can take whatever I want," he'd said. But it wasn't a threat, more like resignation. He'd do whatever it took to get what his Master needed, even if that meant intruding on her personal, private thoughts, but he didn't seem happy about it. Had he wanted her to cooperate?
If you obey, I'll tell you everything you never knew you wanted to know. The thought had entered her mind, unbidden but insidious in its appeal.
Then she'd fought back. Turned the tables and fought with her own blossoming power, but Rey hadn't been prepared for what she'd find within the deeply conflicted mind of Kylo Ren.
I'm not giving you anything. She'd thought it as much as said it. And when he heard it in his mind, in his surprise he'd let her in. And it was nothing like what she'd expected. Rey had expected darkness, and there was, it pulled at the edges of all his thoughts, but there was light breaking through the cracks in his psyche. Kylo Ren, a man who sometimes, when all was dark, and he was alone, still thought of himself as Ben Solo... Who sometimes wondered... Can I ever go home...? And she found affection—he felt it, and compassion for her, but why? They'd only just met... But there was more within his heart than he was willing to admit, even to himself. Bits and pieces of his life flashed in her mind.
She saw him as a boy, lanky and awkward, but determined to succeed—no matter what the cost.
She saw him as a young man, angry and defiant and latching on to a dark dream that would bring order to his savage mind.
She saw the man, deeply conflicted and warring with what he knows is right, and what he knows will bring him the power he seeks.
And then, she saw herself through his thoughts, and the beauty and heartbreak that was reflected by his emotions nearly brought tears to her eyes.
He was lonely.
He was frightened.
He was unsure.
A famous war hero for a father, a brilliant general for a mother; the burden of expectation had been so much—too much. Anyone would crack under the pressure—anyone!
The dark side is easiest decision...
For so long, he'd resisted. For so long, he'd ignored the obsession with his grandfather and focused on what his uncle Luke taught, but the Force had been a hard-fought battle for Ben Solo. It wasn't easy to stay in the light when the darkness tempted him so completely.
Every battle for the light came at the expense of his own sense of self. His own identity.
Master your emotions, or they will master you.
Rey had felt as his emotions had flowed over her in great, tumbling waves. Desire, fear, anger, love, lust, hate—so much. Too much. He felt too greatly and was being pulled under by the weight of his feelings. She intended to taunt him with what she'd discovered, but the vision continued until one thought—one bright, shining feeling—had nearly caused her to sever their connection.
I want her.
The depth of his emotions for her frightened Rey and should have disgusted her, but they didn't. She was surprised at how her own heart had ached at finally being wanted—and how natural it felt coming from Ren.
Ever discarded. Abandoned. Forgotten.
Here, this dark and dangerous man, tempted her.
But Rey, unlike Kylo Ren, was better at keeping the end goal in mind.
"You're afraid you'll never be as strong as Darth Vader!"
Connection severed and he fled.
And when they met again, they'd nearly destroyed each other. Was it foreshadowing events yet to happen? Rey couldn't be sure, but it felt like more than chance.
It is your destiny. The words that weren't her own reverberated through her mind and being. It felt like she was a part of a bigger picture that hadn't yet been painted. A bright splash on the great canvas of the galaxy. And Kylo Ren—Ben—what was his part in all of this? Leia believed, even after all that had happened, that there was still some good in him and Rey had sensed it herself. But would he see it in himself in time?
Could she help him see it? Or would the allure of the dark side of the Force consume them both?
So many unanswered questions. So much frustration... and temptation.
Finn had asked her once if she had a cute boyfriend back on Jakku that she didn't want to leave, and at the time she'd thought the question ridiculous—and intrusive. As if she had time enough for relationships, she was busy trying to survive. And now, a relationship would get in the way of all that she needed to learn. As removed from society as she and Luke were, it wasn't like Rey would have the opportunity to seek out a relationship.
For the first time, she had friends. She had a place where she belonged, why would she do anything to compromise that? And yet, her mind was filled with visions of a haunted soul, his dark gaze and gentle touch. And this obsession threatened to overwhelm her and throw everything she'd come to hold so dear into jeopardy.
For a man whose dark and tainted soul called to her own.
She knew the name for what happened to her now—Force visions, Luke had explained that they were a natural part of the Force, an expression of the connection they all had with that great power. Some people barely noticed when the Force nudged them with its knowledge and power, others, like herself, had powerful visions—as she had when she'd first come into contact with his lightsaber. They frightened her and pulled her mind into spirals of what ifs and what was and what would never be.
Sometimes, she saw herself join the Knights of Ren, drawn in by one man in particular.
Kylo Ren. She refused to say his name out loud, and even Ben Solo felt like a beacon somehow, as if he'd be able to link minds with her from afar, divining everything she wished to keep secret.
Everything she wished to keep safe.
All her fears.
All her dreams.
All her desires.
And in the deepest, darkest reaches of her mind, part of her wondered what would have happened had she taken Ren up on his offer.
"You need a teacher!" He wanted her to be his student. The thought made her laugh; what could an incomplete student like Kylo Ren possibly teach her when Luke Skywalker was now her teacher?
And yet, she wondered.
And yet, she dreamed.
Sometimes, the visions of Ren were innocuous. Conversations that never happened and never would. He'd make her laugh—some ridiculous trick with the Force or a joke about a shared experience that had never actually happened—and his face would break into that smile. And she would melt. He'd notice, lips curving into a knowing smirk.
"You look different when you smile," she'd remark, trying to sound distant and cool as they sat together, in a place they'd never been, on a planet she'd never seen.
"You like me when I smile," he'd declare, cocky as ever, but he'd lean closer—in that telling way. Not touching, but close enough that she could feel the tendrils of his Force brush out against her skin.
"It just makes you look slightly less depressed," Rey would taunt, ignoring the way her heart flipped, the way her body shivered with want.
"How could I be depressed when I'm next to the most beautiful woman in the galaxy?" he'd tease her, because he knew how much it bothered her to be called beautiful.
"Is that all that I am to you?" she'd growl, and he'd laugh—which would delight her enough that she'd almost forget what she was upset about.
"You mean more to me than anything. You are my reason, Rey." His hand would reach out towards her face, curled fingers gently caressing the curve of her cheek.
"You reason for what?" she'd barely whisper.
"Everything." He'd lean in and time would freeze, seconds stretching to minutes and minutes to hours, as he pulled her close. She was shy and unused to this kind of attention and the deep and unrelenting affection he had for her.
Rey would gather herself awkwardly onto his lap and give him a little nudge with her shoulder. He'd tuck her head under his chin and hold her close. As his lips brushed against her brow, he'd murmur again, "Everything." And in that moment, she knew, even if it was just the two of them, there'd never be a more perfect moment in the galaxy than this.
This vision was always the most disorientating to wake from, the most unfair.
Clutching her pillow, she could make out his warm, masculine scent as it lingered at the edges of her memory.
He is so tempting...
The dark side is so alluring because it is so easy...
Rey didn't want to believe in destiny, but she knew she was meant to meet Kylo Ren. Knew it was her destiny for him to push her out of Jakku and into the Force. Was it her destiny to pull him back into the light? What could a scavenger do to turn a powerful nemesis away from the pull of the dark side? Time passed quickly. Soon, Rey was stronger than she'd ever thought possible, living a life she'd never believed could be real—fantasy and reality combining into a heady mixture that often left her mind reeling.
And through it all, he found her in her visions. Called to her. Laughed with her. Fought with her. Tempted her. She wasn't innocent, never had the opportunity to be, but the darkness in him fulfilled her in ways she'd never thought possible. Like two halves of a broken whole coming together—darkness mingling with light. Tempting and forbidden.
Part of her wondered whether he knew that she had visions of them together, that their connection through the Force reached out through the expanse of the galaxy, inexplicably linking their minds. And part of her knew.
The next time they met, it would be on equal terms.
The next time they met, he'd know her better than anyone in the galaxy, and she'd know him. He'd use every secret, every bit of knowledge to try to pull her to the dark side and she'd use every kindness, every hidden memory to bring him back into the light.
She was stronger, but he had more passion.
He was cunning, but she was determined.
She was afraid, but he knew better than anyone how to rid her of those fears.
Together, they could rule the galaxy, but it was her goal to convince him that the galaxy and all of its inhabitants didn't need rulers, it needed balance and respect.
Even now... Even after what he's done? Can he be saved?
Luke Skywalker hadn't been entirely pleased to see her when she'd first arrived, nor was he caught unawares. He was resigned, as Kylo Ren seemed to be, to his fate. He'd be the teacher and the surrogate father she never had, whether his guilt wanted to allow it or not.
And he taught her. And it was hard. And she considered leaving. Giving up. Through it all, she could feel the pull, the allure of the dark side. It was easy where the light took constant meditation. And, what was worse, she could understand where the adherents to the dark side were coming from. She had compassion for them. Luke said this could be used as a tool against them as much as they could use it against her. As long as she guarded her feelings, they needn't be able to take that knowledge and use it against her.
But how could she guard her heart when she nightly let Ren in?
She couldn't resist asking Luke about Ben Solo. She told herself it was because she wanted to know how to avoid the same fate, but truly she was curious about him.
Luke told her that the ways of the Jedi did not come easy to Ben. Each success was hard-fought. Where other younglings conquered specific tasks with ease, Ben always had to work twice as hard to achieve the same result. And he grew to resent the other students.
And one student in particular.
But Luke would say no more on the subject. He said that didn't want to dwell in the dark past when their success lay in the present.
A Jedi is part of a greater order and meant to keep balance, Rey. We work together toward a brighter future, not to stand out. My nephew... He understood, but refused to use the Force for the light.
And Rey trained. And fought. And grew.
She could tell Luke was both proud and terrified of the kind of student she'd be come—at how easily the Force came to her, but she was used to fighting, so fighting for the Force was just another mark on the long list of accomplishments that she'd had, despite her hard childhood.
But of all the training she received, she enjoyed learning how to utilize the lightsaber most of all. In her heart, she knew it was because it made her think of the first time she'd used a lightsaber, and who she'd fought.
And the darkness that she'd overcome in not taking that final, killing blow.
But it also frightened her how close she'd been to relenting—to taking Kylo Ren up on his offer to train her. Then, for the first time in her life, she'd been sought after by not just the Resistance, but the First Order as well.
She thought that she'd made the right decision, but sometimes, late at night, she'd wonder... They say the lightsaber is an elegant weapon, but when Rey and Kylo Ren fought in her visions, there was nothing elegant about it. It was hard, each stroke coming with great cost to the other, almost as if they both knew what the pain it would cause to their own psyche if they actually landed a killing blow. Rey kept her expression neutral though she wished she could see his scarred face. He wore his emotions on his sleeve and she suspected that the helmet was another way he maintained his distance—and his darkness. There was strength in this game of theirs, each baiting movement, his feint drawing out an anticipated block from her saber, her lunge redirected by a hard block. They tired each other out as their sabers clashed again and again. She lunged and landed a sharp blow to his sternum with her elbow, but he turned along her back, caging her against his body with his wild and untamed lightsaber.
"What do you hope to accomplish, Rey? We both feel it, the way the dark side calls to you." The rapid expansion of his chest against her back made her intimately aware of how close they were, at the exact points of contact between their bodies. He towered over her, simultaneously frightening and thrilling.
"Only the dark side?" she taunted, her own saber held in check by the one at her throat. Heat emanated from the blade, but instead of feeling threatened she felt like he was the one who could barely contain himself. At her words, his lightsaber dipped slightly before he regained control.
Do I affect him so strongly?
The dark side amplified emotions, without the light to temper the Force, it would grow unwieldy, calling out the basest of emotions. That wasn't to say the light wasn't without its own failings—a tendency to dismiss strong emotions as weakness was one, but with the light and the dark, balance was needed. Rey understood that calm was necessary, even if her mind warred with desire and hate.
"I could show you so much," he managed, his mask warping the words into a dark hiss.
"The light could redeem you," she offered honestly. Even Darth Vader found redemption at the end after all the darkness that he'd perpetuated in his maddening fight. Luke had never stopped believing as Leia never would for Ben. And in a moment of madness, Rey found herself believing—and trusting—in the light.
At the release of her finger, the lightsaber at her side deactivated before dropping to the ground with a heavy thud. A twitch of his fingers was all the sign Rey got that he'd noticed. Slowly, she raised her hands up and back, her fingers nervously sliding through his strong arms. He warned her with a low hiss, but made no other move to stop her. With difficulty, her fingers slipped against the hard metal of his helmet, searching blindly for the release before—right there—she pressed and the mask unattached itself. He was too tall for her to be able to pull it off his head, but inexplicably, he slid a hand up to her own before removing his helmet and barrier to her.
The lightsaber at her throat deactivated, but his arm remained tight against her body.
"What game are you playing at, Rey?" Without the obstruction of his helmet, his voice sounded unsure—mortal.
"This is no game, Ben." She carefully turned in his arms to face him. Exposed, vulnerable, confused—it all showed on his handsome, scarred face.
"My name is Kylo Ren," he weakly retorted.
Rey shook her head. "Search your heart, as I have mine; you might not be wholly Ben anymore, but neither are you completely Kylo Ren."
He looked down on her open, determined face. She was not a princess, or a damsel, Rey was raw, beautiful and somehow knew she was everything he would have wished for—before... but now?
"What do you know, Rey?" he mocked.
"Only what my heart tells me," she replied, her gaze drawn to his full lips, the way he darted his tongue out as if preparing for a kiss...
"And what does your heart say?" Somehow she knew that he had to know what she was thinking. He was obsessed with knowing. Obsession with knowledge—both light and dark—had been his downfall once, would it be his downfall with her?
"That when you reach out, you make connections. Whether you want to or not. Whether you deny it—they exist." Her voice was breathy, both from their fight and... something more.
"What connection?" he growled low as his hand slowly lifted. He was careful with her, always had been with her, even though she didn't need it. At the first, tentative brushes of his fingers against her cheek, she pulled away on instinct, but when his careful press was replaced with a slow, lingering caress she responded with her own touch. And it was neither careful, nor halting. In a blur of movement, she tangled her fingers in the edges of his cloak before pulling him down—hard—to where she could reach him.
"This connection," she declared before her lips met his. And at that first, blissful touch, they lost themselves in the intimacy of their connection. His hands threaded into her loose, messy hair. Her hand latched around the back of his neck, holding him tight and close as their tongues swirled, as his teeth erotically nibbled and pulled at her own, as a hand lowered to her back to pull her tight and exactly where he wanted her.
He let her back him against something sturdy and solid as their hands frantically touched, searching for weakness, eliciting the kind of pleasure that could only come from passion.
He'd be her downfall, if she let this go on for much longer, if she didn't gain control of her vision, but at that moment, in the secret places of her mind and heart, Rey wished. And her call was answered by the desire of another, darker, deeper—an obsessive quality that should have frightened her, but only drew her in. Tempting her to draw out the light she knew was within him. Seducing her with his words, with his lips, with his hands—he knew exactly where to touch her. They'd been together enough in her visions that they were both acquainted with the shared knowledge of their dark pleasure.
Rey pulled at his belt.
He slipped the shoulders of her shirt lower, exposing the curve of her neck.
She slid her fingers beneath the fabric of his clothes, searching and seeking for a skin to skin connection—and finding it. Hand trailing a path over his chest, his rapid heartbeat against her palm the telltale sign of his need.
"You need a teacher..." he managed to choke out as her mouth trailed a path along his exposed chest.
"I have one," she replied, lips brushing against his sensitive skin. His fingers tightened in her hair, curving her head away from his prone body and exposing the column of her throat to his needy lips.
He growled against her skin. "A teacher that can show you how to harness your powers—show you the power of the dark side."
And all at once, Rey remembered.
The important truth she'd ignored for momentary pleasure. A false light obscuring the darkness of their coupling.
She shook free of his hold and she could tell he recognized the change in her, almost as if he'd been waiting for it, as it always came when they were together—like clockwork.
They pushed and pulled each other until one broke.
This night, it was Rey.
Another, it would be Ren.
"Give yourself over to the light, Ben. I know you can feel it. It brushes against my fingertips and at the edges of my mind. You can't hide it from me."
"And neither can you hide the darkness that grows within you. I know you grow frustrated with the pace of your training—with how long it takes to learn anything of value." His hands moved to her shoulders, holding her firm. His eyes were fierce and passionate. He wanted her for the dark side, but more than that, he wanted her for himself.
She knew it, she wanted him back, and still she resisted.
"That's the true power of the light, Ben. To stare into that darkness and resist its call. It's patient, true and always willing to welcome a wayward warrior. Once the darkness has you completely, it's so hard to get yourself back. Surely you must see that Snoke is just using you for your power..."
This time, it was Ren that pulled back, her words mirroring his father's—and pushing him away.
"I'm here for you, Ben. Luke is here. Your mother is here, always—there is goodness in you. We can help you!"
He turned away and the connection between them was broken once more. With a cough, Rey woke, groggy and disoriented.
She could smell him on her skin—taste him on her lips.
Soon, one of them would break for real, and she didn't know if she had the power within to keep it from being her.
I'm going to make this as clear as I can because there's much debate about this subject. In this story, Ben Solo/Kylo Ren and the lovely and mysterious Rey are in absolutely no way, shape or formrelated. Period. This isn't Flowers in the Attic at all. I don't care what you're into, or what you're not. That's your prerogative and I simply don't have time to care what other people do with their imaginations because I likewise DO WHAT I WANT. And in my mind, they are not related because seriously, that UST!? Come on. I love a good Death/Persephone story because, don't we all? THE REDEMPTION ARC WILL BE GLORIOUS. Anyways, even if it's revealed that they're related, this story will exist outside of official canon anyways, because it's fan fiction and I can do that. If you're not into darkness, I'd stay the hell away from this pairing because maaan, do I want to watch as they burn. ENJOY AS I GO SEE STAR WARS AGAIN. I really just had to get this out of my system because I've been OBSESSING. It's my own little piece of madness.
Any mistakes are my own. I do my best, but I'm sure I've missed something. Thanks for reading and I hope your obsession isn't as crippling as mine. Like, ugh.
The lyrics up top are from Beautiful Hell, by Adna Kadic as is the name of this work of fan fiction, from which I am making noooooooo money. Which is sad, because I really should be getting paid for an obsession this unfreakingreal.