"Reify: the process of making something abstract into something real. Your dual nature is at work even in your name."
He's stretched out on his stomach, chin resting on his folded arms, naked but for the blanket at his hips. The first time he did this, Rey thought he was showing off. If he isn't more powerful, he has the higher intellect. They've been together in these cramped quarters for five days and she has learned talking out loud is his means of processing a new thought.
That and yes, Kylo is showing off.
"I'm not an abstract." Abstracts wouldn't have their hands covered in grease from the ship parts they're hoping will function well enough to coax this stolen shuttle to their rendezvous point. Abstracts wouldn't get headaches from the low oxygen levels they're forced to maintain to save life support power.
There are a lot of things abstracts don't do.
"You existed as an idea before you existed as a person. Your parents thought of you before they conceived you. I had visions of you before we met. Had you not existed, I'm sure some power would have had to create you."
Riddles and nonsense. The low oxygen is getting to him, too. They'll arrive at their destination, weeks behind schedule, and permanently brain damaged from oxygen starvation. Hello universe, here are your last two Jedi: one barely trained, one probably still more evil than not. Changes roll under his skin and in his mind and she is not sure which half will win. She's transporting a bomb with an uncertainty timer.
"That's all I can do with the differential coil from here." She grabs the cleanest of the rags and tries to scrub the grease from her hands. Baths were a rare luxury on Jakku. She's used to cleaning herself without the aid of water. She does hate this smell, though.
"If we divert our course now, we will pass through the Garqi system. We could collect parts and fuel." He doesn't say 'trade for' or 'buy'.
"If we divert, we'll be late for the rendezvous."
"Your friends will wait."
"My friends might die. We're going on."
He seems as though he'll argue. He's definitely considering pushing her mind to acquire her agreement. She's ready. This is almost better than being trained by a wise, gentle Jedi Master who has her best interests at heart. Rey is learning her craft by deflecting move after move made by someone who has tried to kill her and may try again if he sees the need.
"So be it." Kylo thinks he sounds worldly and sophisticated. In reality, he sounds like a boy imitating what he believes someone more worldly and sophisticated would say. He's pretending to be suave. They're all pretending. Finn's terrified and pretending to be brave, hoping if he pretends long enough, he will trick himself into believing. His quirky friend pretends to be merry to cover his despair. Rey lets the galaxy believe she's a Jedi instead of an untrained scavenger with an antique lightsaber and a couple of Force tricks.
They're children in clothes far too big, mimicking the roles they think they should play.
"That's what I'm afraid of," he says, rolling over onto his back. The blanket slides from the bunk to the floor. Rey forces herself to ignore it.
"You heard that?"
"Your mental shields are slipping. The longer we're together, the more your thoughts are open to me." He's watching her now, attention returned from wherever his ruminations took him. Each time he goes, she's never sure if the person who returns will be her companion or her enemy. The threatening undertone suggests enemy who will unwrap all Rey's deepest secrets and destroy her. The inviting touch of his mind and the appreciative expression in his eyes suggests lover who will unwrap all Rey's deepest secrets and consume her.
Not much difference, then.
She opens her mind to him, feeling the familiar blending of thought. She's locked away the secrets which are not hers to share. He'll try those locks someday, and someday she may have to kill him to keep him out.
"Show me," Rey says. Together in the intimate closeness of the small shuttle, claustrophobia nibbles away at them, but he spreads his arm and the walls fall away, revealing a panorama of space and time, gas clouds curling away, great civilizations grown and fallen on worlds circling distant pinpricks of light.
He is more educated than she, and has been taught so much more history of the galaxy. He trained under the same Master, her brief Master, early lessons from his childhood and later among his peers. She listens now, walking through memories of the day he learned Force projections, and the calm voice of Luke as he warned his apprentices to find their inner calm.
They stand like two ghosts at the edge of one memory, watching firelight dance. "I can't find that calm," Rey says.
"I never could. Calm is the opposite of power. You can find your strength in rage."
In the shuttle, their fingers join, merging together with intricate sensation Rey cannot drop behind from her spirit self. She's wearing a light shift, the better to keep the grease off the rest of her, but it tugs over her head easily. She doesn't bother to wear more.
"Find your balance," says the memory of her teacher to children who are dead, killed by the ghost beside her.
She's found her balance, her opposite, the charge negating her frantic energy. They complete like a circuit, minds in commune as she takes him into her body. They don't move after this, too caught inside themselves to maintain both inner and outer control. They dive into another mental world: the history of the Jedi order, as filtered through dry books Kylo read as a child, and wishful stories told by their Master, and the stories told by blood soaked into stones.
"They eschewed violence and embraced warfare. They were soldiers, generals." He's offended by the hypocrisy. Rey chooses not to admit she sees his point.
"You don't have to fight," she says. "We don't have to fight."
The challenge is too much for him to resist. He seizes her arms and flips them both until he lies atop her body. The angle is different here, and physical needs must. His eyes bore into hers as he thrusts. She feels pleasure coiling inside her, as much from the very real danger she senses as from where his hand roams down her body.
"Everything is combat." He pushes a kiss into her mouth, against their usual rules, and she bites down on his lip. She could draw blood, and they could battle now, minds attacking each other. His fingers have found the sensitive place between her legs, right where they join. He rubs at her, hard enough to ache. She wants this badly, wants to feel herself fly apart, but she doesn't want him to win.
Rey flexes her legs and wrenches her back sideways. She doesn't think at all, only pushes her body in a way Kylo can't anticipate. They crash to the floor. The blanket's already down here to cushion their fall, although Rey bangs her elbow on the bunk. She'll have a bruise. She ignores the pain, pressing his shoulders to the floor, trapping him. In a moment, she's easing herself back atop his prick, riding him again.
"This isn't combat," she says, annoyed by the smile creeping over his face.
"It's not love, either. What do you classify this as?"
She sends him a mental image, a picture from a distance of the two of them locked in an embrace. There's a bit more kissing in her mind. Wrapped together like this, she can feel reservoirs of power, stronger than the ones she calls on by any other means. Rising and falling over him, blending her thoughts with his, she can feel the Force bludgeon through them both, at last fully formed and charged and ready to be aimed at their desire.
"We could take the galaxy together," he breathes. He's close now, closer than she is.
Rey tilts her hips and rests her chest against him, breasts heavy and aching with want until Kylo graciously covers them with his hands. "Or we could save it."
She bears down on him in a way she's learning he likes. His face contorts, and as his hips begin snapping the rhythm she knows, her own fingers glide between them to push herself over with him. Inside her mind, she watches him fill with light, feels the sparking pleasure wriggle down his spine. She shares the physical wave, rides it, and focuses the power they summon straight into the shuttle's poor engines.
Rey hears the moan in her own mouth, feels Kylo tug her to meet his, and she groans her climax into his kiss, convulsing with their created energy.
She wants to push herself for a second peak, but she's tired from the exertion. She can feel her lungs fighting for oxygen that isn't there. The shuttle's power surge gives the hyperdrive an extra cough of push, sending them forward that much faster.
He reaches up to touch her face. Everything inside him and out is vulnerable after sex, and she hates this knowledge, hates seeing from every angle the person he could have been. She doesn't like Kylo. He's a murderer, he's more than a little crazy, and he's going to try to kill her again after their mission is complete. But in these moments while they are sated and still joined, when they've pushed their rickety ship along with the most ancient magic, when he's not thinking deep thoughts, she sees someone else inside him she might be falling in love with.
That's a reification she can't risk.