A/N: OMG, guys, you are all so amazing. \o/ I never expected to receive so much praise and kudos for "Out of the Darkness...". ❤️ THANK YOU SO MUCH! ❤️
Nor did I ever think I'd get so many reviews and comments asking for more. Well, here it is. :D This prequel of a sorts is dealing with what happened after TFA and how it's leading up to the things taking place in OotD.
And this whole thing has become kind of a series now. Expect more! :)
Disclaimer: I own neither the show nor the characters. I don't earn any money with this piece. I just do it for fun.
Once upon a time he looked upon the light side with hate and disgust, saw it as weak and broken like his first master, there was nothing it had to offer to someone like him, but then he meets that slip of a girl, a mere scavenger from some junkyard backwater desert planet, and everything begins to unravel.
She bests him, gains the upper hand, physically and mentally, and leaves scars on his body and traces of herself in his mind, and he finds himself holding onto that spark of connection crackling between them, a hint of something as strong as the Force but that is running much deeper.
Kylo knows he should sever the connection, break the bond, Snoke would tell him as much, would help him purge her out of his system if he asked, but something holds him back. He tries to tell himself it's because not all hope is lost yet, the dark side could still lure her in and trained by the right master, trained by him, she would bring the galaxy to its knees and restore the empire to its former glory, but then he wakes up one night to the phantom smell of the ocean and ghostly imprint of her touch on his scarred cheek, and Kylo can't deny the truth any longer.
It's not him who calls out to her, not the darkness inside him trying to tempt the light inside her.
It's the other way around — and part of him, the part that once had been Ben Solo and he had thought long dead, slowly stirs at the notion.
Weeks go by, bleed into months, and Kylo can sense her getting stronger, what once had been a raw and untamed enigma is slowly shaped into a form he knows all too well, and there is no doubt in his mind who's responsible for that.
Despite everything, Skywalker has always been a true master of the Force.
The day the Force lights up like it hasn't done in decades, and whispers about the return of the Jedi are heard throughout the galaxy, Kylo puts a dozen Stormtroopers out of commission and lays waste to half of the training ground.
He knows how the story goes.
Snoke observes, studies, sees, and one morning calls for him.
"You seem troubled, Kylo Ren."
Kylo straightens and keeps his expression blank as he meets his master's gaze. "It is nothing, Supreme Leader."
Snoke watches him for another long moment before he beckons Kylo closer to kneel before him. "It is far from nothing." His master reaches out to him and Kylo fights back the sudden urge to block him as he feels Snoke's mind skimming over the surface of his own. "It is the scavenger." It's not a question.
"Yes," Kylo admits quietly, the hand resting on his bent knee clenching involuntarily into a fist, the leather creaking from the sudden pressure. Lying would be a waste of time. "But I assure you she—"
A flick of his master's fingers cuts him off and Kylo grits his teeth. "She is consuming your thoughts. The girl is powerful and dangerous," Snoke says as he steps down from his throne and towards Kylo. "You have failed once, Kylo. I'm giving you the rare chance to redeem yourself."
Snoke comes to a halt next to him, and his hand is a heavy and foreboding weight on Kylo's shoulder. "Find her. Try to persuade her to join us one last time. Should she refuse, do what you have to do. We cannot let the Light have such a strong mind."
Kylo swallows hard, and this time he doesn't, can't meet Snoke's eyes. "Yes, Master." His answer settles like lead in his stomach, weighing down his steps as he rises to his feet and leaves the room.
That night the Force calls to him, draws him in, and he dreams of her, beautiful and fierce, dreams of them and the night in the snow-covered forest on Starkiller Base, but this time it's not the heat of their lightsabers melting the snow around them, and Kylo wakes with a start, his body and mind aching and wanting. His pants stick uncomfortably to his skin, he can feel himself straining against his boxers, and he bites back a curse.
Their bond suddenly flares to life like it had during the interrogation and there's a sudden backlash from her side that slams through him and leaves him breathless. It's confusion and fear, anger at him and at herself, because beneath it all there's a hint of desire, of want that's mirroring his own, and then the rush ends just as abruptly as it had begun as she cuts the connection.
Kylo spends the rest of the night trying to meditate but the dream and her emotions still linger in the shadows at the edge of his mind, and the next morning finds him standing in the middle of his destroyed room, fingertips pressed tightly against the scar on his cheek, his eyes focused on something only he can see.
When the time comes, he will have to make a choice.
He's just no longer sure which will be the right one.
His days become marked by his efforts of locating her, he exhausts every resource at his disposal but every time it seems he's getting close, she slips through his fingers like sand. She is always just out of reach, is always one step ahead of him, and whenever he follows up a lead, her trail has long gone cold and he is forced to start his search anew.
At night, he falls into a restless sleep, his dreams a landscape of blurry images, overwhelming sensations and lingering feelings, and even though he tries to keep tight control over his mind, it's like the dream of them opened a door that he can no longer close properly and now pure light is spilling across his darkness through the small gap.
Kylo takes a little comfort in sensing that she's not faring much better.
One day, while he is listening to one of Hux's boring speeches, he receives notice that she's been sighted on a desert planet he would recognize even with his eyes blind, and Kylo leaves Hux just standing there in the middle of the hallway, his mind already darting here and there.
What could she possible look for on Tatooine of all places?
His grandfather's homeworld has nothing to offer to her, only the beginning of a dark past under a burning sun, and yet she has made the long way there, despite knowing the First Order is keeping a close eye on the planet.
He doesn't bother ordering for a shuttle to be prepared — she has already left the planet again. Instead he pulls up all and every information his resources put together and spends hours trying to solve the mystery.
One file has a video attached, surveillance footage in questionable quality but it's the first time he's seeing her again, and when she looks at the camera, looks at him across the distance of time and space, he reaches out before he quite knows what he's doing, gloved fingertips brushing almost gently across the screen.
Then the screen turns dark, and so does his mood, and when he steps out of the room, the console lies in smoldering pieces.
What were you doing there, he thinks, pushing angrily and frustrated at the border separating him from her, the grey line between dark and light, but she stays stubbornly silent. The air around him turns violent, the Force rippling with his emotions, and for the rest of the day he stalks through the First Order's new base like the Dark Side personified.
When night falls, he is still seething and as a last resort to find his composure again, he settles down to meditate. He sinks into his own mind, into the Force, and finds himself on an island, surrounded by an endless ocean. He's on his back and she's right above him, and for a moment his mind goes blank and his mouth dries out at the sight of her almost bare, sun-kissed skin against his black clothes.
Then she presses her hands to his chest, fingers splaying across his shirt, and sits back in a way that makes him hiss through his teeth and brings him out of his haze. Heat and anger roll through him as he remembers and he sets his hands on her hips, gripping them tightly as he glowers up at her.
"What were you doing on Tatooine?" he demands to know but she simply shakes her head, a flurry of emotions flitting across her face.
"You have", she begins, and when he involuntarily moves his hips just a little bit, she shudders, "no idea, do you?"
Somehow he knows she means more than just the reason for her visit to the planet, she's talking about something else and much bigger, and his emotions bubble up inside him like lava. He lets go of her hip, reaches up to curl his fingers around the back of her neck and pulls her forward. The movement pushes her hips against his and it takes all of his self-control not to groan in response but his voice is still rough as he asks, "What are you talking about?"
Her answer is a laugh, but there's an edge to it as if she's close to falling apart, and before he can question her again, it's actually the dreamscape that's breaking apart, and he's back on the cold, hard ground of the base.
A heartbeat, two, and then red ignites and Kylo burns everything in his rage.
Too bad it can't burn the maelstrom of emotions out of him as well.
He doesn't realize how used he has gotten to their bond, to her presence in his mind until she draws back as far as she can, until all that remains is a thin thread that's pulled so taunt it's threatening to break any time.
It should please him — isn't that what he has always wanted? Instead her action enrages him and he lets her know through their connection in no uncertain terms. She doesn't react at all.
The Force seems to share his feeling (a first and if he wasn't so caught up in her, he would be ecstatic), there's a constant tension in it now, settling heavy on his shoulders, and even Snoke senses that something is going to happen.
When it finally does, Kylo feels like he's being torn in two. Icy-hot pain slashes through him, body and mind alike, like someone is trying to separa—
She's trying to break the bond.
With a roar that echoes off the walls of his quarters, he throws himself into the Force and claws at their bond, pulls and tugs and yanks until he feels it snap back into place and bursts to life again.
He collapses onto his bed, physically and mentally drained, and yet still so angry at her for daring to take such drastic measures. There will be consequences, Kylo vows as he drifts into oblivion to the gentle humming of the Force and her bright presence at the edge of his mind.
When he wakes up, she's sitting across from, watching him warily, and maybe his eyes give him away because she's scrambling to her feet the second he lunges for her. She's not fast enough. He collides with her, hands on her shoulders as he backs her against the wall before flattening his hands on either side of her head.
"Don't youever try something like this again," he snarls at her, and feels his face contort into a mask of fury.
"You don't get to tell me what to do," she snaps back, defiance shining in her blazing eyes as her hands come up to push him away from her, and her renewed rejection cuts deep, his scar burning with the remembered pain of the first time.
Red haze engulfs him and when he pins her roughly against the wall again, she jerks her knee up and he barely manages to shift to the side to keep it from impacting, slides a knee between her legs to hinder her second attempt and suddenly his thigh is pressing right between hers.
Her body arches up into him with a gasp, her fingers curling into his shirt, and Kylo forgets everything but her and the fire between them. His hands drop to her hips, gripping them tight enough to leave bruises, and when he feels her shiver, he flexes his fingers involuntarily. They slip beneath her rugged up tunic, brushing against heated skin, and she whimpers.
Their eyes meets for a second, his own conflicted feelings reflected in hers, and then his mouth is on hers, wet, hungry, and his hands drag her hard against his thigh.
For one long moment it's just him and her, passion and desire, and he's losing himself in her, but then she shoves him almost violently away and he catches a glimpse of something akin to guilt and shame, and he lands hard on the floor of his quarters.
Winded from more than just the abrupt transition, Kylo lies there for a while, feeling hyper-focused and unfocused all at once, and it's only when the cold floor has sapped the fierce need thrumming in his veins that he manages to crawl back to bed.
Instead of answers, he has only found more questions.
She doesn't try to break their bond again but she's dead set on keeping her distance, and while it works most of the time during the waking hours, it's a completely different matter when they're asleep.
They slip through the cracks and fractures of each other's mind, guided by the Force, and though they don't meet face to face again, there are flashes of warm skin and soft sighs - her hand gripping him before she takes his length into her mouth – his mouth on her breasts, tugging lightly at one nipple with his teeth – his tongue sliding against hers as he kisses her hard – him rocking into her slow and deep, and in those moments between sleeping and waking, he can feel her heart beating as wildly as his own.
Snoke comments on how dedicated Kylo has become to his task of capturing the girl, and while it's still true that he wants to teach her, wants her at his side, wants to rule the galaxy with her, the seeds of doubt that had been sowed the day he first had laid eyes on her are slowly growing like sparks in the darkness.
When he bows his head and accept his master's praise, it's not pride skittering along his nerves, but anxiety.
Time is slowly running out.
Whether it is hers or his, he doesn't know.
A few days later, one of his spies contacts him and tells him they have astonishing news to report but only in person — and only to him. It will take them a day and a half to arrive, and throughout the day, Kylo's thoughts always find their way back to the question what could be so important that his spy is willingly to risk Snoke's ire.
No one passes over the Supreme Leader.
He spends the night tossing and turning, feels the Force wrapping around him, pulling him under, and from one moment to the other, they're in the Millennium Falcon. He's sitting on his old bed with his back to the bulkhead and with her in his lap, his fingers tracing mindless patterns over her skin as they rock together, slow and sure. She rolls her hips and he slides more deeply into her, his hands finding her hips as he groans her name before his mouth finds her throat.
He nips at her skin and and her head tips back as she gasps soundlessly, her fingernails digging into his shoulders as she presses herself closer and tightens around him in one movement. This time, he chokes on her name, buries his hand in her long hair and pulls her mouth back to his, kissing her hard.
Heat rises between them as he thrusts up into her, again and again, driving them forward, toward the cliff, and his name falls from her lips as they tumble of the edge together. He closes his eyes for a second as he turns his head into the warmth of her neck, her skin damp against his forehead, and when he opens them again, Kylo is alone in his room, sheets twisted beneath his fingers, his heartbeat echoing in his ears and sweat beading at his hairline.
Something felt different this time but he has trouble pinpointing what exactly it is Instinctively he reaches out and from her side of the bond comes a faint echo of the emotions he's drowning in. Then it's gone and he's left alone again.
Eventually, he falls back asleep but when he wakes up hours later, he feels un-rested and surreal, like he's been out of place and time.
The galaxy spins very slowly and neatly out of control while his spy speaks, and there's a tight feeling crushing his chest as Kylo sinks into the chair behind him.
Rey Skywalker. Luke Skywalker's daughter. Leia Organa Solo's niece. His cousin.
And she knew. She knew. She knew.
Everything makes sense now, everything she had done and had tried to do, and power begins to gather as fury surges through him, a storm of darkness, and he's barely aware of dismissing his spy as he gets up.
If the situation wasn't was dire, Kylo would laugh at the twisted sense of humor the Force apparently has because...because he still wants, still wants her, despite their relation.
Flickering red illuminates his mask and then he's slashing and slicing until the room looks like a battlefield, until his breath comes in harsh, short bursts, and yet he still feels the anger churning inside him.
For a moment, for one insane but tempting moment, he thinks about reaching out to her now, opening the connection and let it all come to a head, but a faint voice in the back of his mind reminds him that here and now is not the right time to have that confrontation. He needs a place to clear his head and where he is without observers when he seeks her out — and there's only one where he can do both.
No one stops him or steps into his path as he strides towards the hanger and boards a shuttle. With a single-minded focus he sets a random flight path and is about to sit down to meditate when the ship's alarm starts to blear, telling him one of the thrusters has burned out.
Cursing under his breath, Kylo tries to stabilize the ship and sets course for the nearest planet. His landing is less than stellar but when he steps off the ship and walks into the small village's square, all thoughts about repairing his ship are forgotten, and he can't say who's more surprised — her or him.
He feels his control slipping, disappearing in a tidal wave of angry swirling red, and when she turns and bolts for the woods, he follows without a second thought.
Time has run out.