They weren't able to spend much time alone. The doctors had rushed in and checked her over, pronouncing her to be in excellent health. They'd marveled that her body had retained its strength, assuming it to be another mysterious side-effect of the Force.

Leia has just shown them to their new quarters, heavily guarded of course. They're finally alone again.

He feels a strange mix of feelings coming from Rey and he's having trouble discerning what is actually moving through her. He catches hints of confusion and trepidation. This strange new Bond is weaving through him and he wonders if it will always be a jumble, never knowing who is feeling what.

"Rey …" he says as he approaches her. She's said that she has chosen him, and he knows that he has chosen her. He will not attempt to give her the freedom to go, not now. She's told him over and over again that she wants this and he will try to believe her. He raises a shaking hand to her cheek and presses his long fingers into her soft flesh. He wants to kiss her properly, for the first time in a way.

She closes her eyes and presses her face against his touch and she hums a little sound.

"Tell me what I'm feeling from you; I can't decipher it," he says.

"I'm … I'm nervous."

"Tell me why?"

"Before, you would come into my mind and it was only us. Now there is a whole world." A stab of fear runs through him. Perhaps now that she has had some time to think, other people …

"No! No, not that, never that," she promises.

"Then what? Please tell me."

"Are you truly here with me? You followed Snoke for so long, were so loyal. I know that, in a way, he was good to you. Can you be here and fight with me?"

"You're asking me if I will join the Resistance."


"You're asking me if I can help destroy what I helped create."

"Yes, I am."

"Do you require it of me?" he asks stiffly.

"No … but … I hope it."

He thinks for a long time. He knows he feels nothing for Snoke any longer. The deep sense of gratitude was consumed by Snoke asking too much of him. The crack had been the murder of his father, and the utter destruction stood right in front of him, asking for all of him to follow her, now. Could he do this? He knows if he doesn't, he won't be allowed to stay. The only way the Resistance will accept his presence is if he spills every secret he's ever known about the First Order. In the back of his mind he'd always been aware of that. In a way it is moot, as he has already decided. Choosing Rey has always been much more complicated than the simple yearning of his heart.

She deserves this of him; she deserves everything she could ever ask of him. He has never thought much about politics, governance. He followed Snoke and that was all that really mattered to him. But what is the true answer? Which vision for the galaxy does he believe? Will the First Order bring peace through absolutism? Will the New Republic's messy democracy eventually find its way?

They've been standing there, his hand on her face and her eyes pleading into his while he's considered her words. Rey … she is all that matters. He will trust her as he once trusted Luke Skywalker, then Snoke. She will be his master and he will do her bidding.

"Yes Rey, I will fight. With you. For you."

"But not because you truly believe in the cause?"

"Perhaps in time I will, but for now, is it not enough that I will do whatever I can to aid you?"

He feels her conflict and he wonders how much of what he'd been thinking filtered through this confusing, wonderful new connection.

"I don't want to be your master," she says sadly, answering his unvoiced question.

"And yet, you are."

"I want … I want you to do what feels right to you."

"You feel right to me. Let it be sufficient. Please?"

Her eyes are conflicted, but she nods.

He draws her close, emboldened by his choice. She will lead and he will follow. It has always been thus. He looks into her eyes for a long moment and feels through the Bond that he is welcome. He closes the scant distance between them and slowly, gently, presses his lips to hers. It is different and yet the same. The physical sensations are sharper, more urgent, but the warmth in his chest, the sense of tremulous perfection, it is familiar and exactly what they both need.

Her warm, pink tongue darts through his lips, almost demanding to be let in. He draws her into him and soon they're kissing deeply. She reaches up and fists his hair in her hands, pulling him as close as she can. He clasps her tightly to him, one hand between her shoulder blades and the other at the small of her back, his hand so large it almost spans her slender waist. He feels her fingers pulling gently at his hair and he's consumed by how she's enthralling him. Her scent, her body, her mouth … desire is invading every cell in his body.

He pulls his mouth from hers and begins to kiss down her neck, starting at the point just below her ear. Her hair whispers against his face as he tastes her delicious skin. He reaches the base of her throat and sucks at the sensitive flesh. She moans and pulls his hand to her breast. He remembers how much she likes it when he touches her there and he snakes his fingers under her shirt. He draws her nipple between his questing fingers and marvels as she gasps as it tightens beneath his attentions.

He fixes her with his gaze, her eyes are slightly unfocused and her face is flushed, heat blooming across her pale cheeks. A lifetime of sun has faded after months on a cold ship.

"I want …" He can't find the words to tell her that he wants to seal their new Bond and his fealty with their bodies. She had said she wanted to wait until she was awake, but now that she is, does she still want this? Want him half as badly as he wants her?

"Tell me, tell me what you want, Kylo." That name, a source of comfort and belonging for so long, suddenly feels wrong and he's spiraling into confusion.

"What, what is it?" she asks hurriedly.

"I don't know if that's my name any longer."

"Do you want … do you want me to call you Ben?"

"I don't know, Rey. Just don't … don't call me that any longer."

"I don't care what your name is." She catches his lips again and she's kissing him so deeply. Soon he's not sure he can even remember what any of his names are as she builds such fire in his belly.

She shifts and breathes into his ear, "Tell me what you want …"

"I want … I want to make you mine in all ways."

"Yes, yes," Rey murmurs against his cheek.

He lifts her into his arms and walks them over to the bed, never taking his eyes from hers. Her arms go around his neck and he feels her excitement, her joyful acceptance. He stands there for a moment simply looking into her and allowing that she wants him to seep into his veins. He lays her back on the bed and sits next to her. He runs his fingers through her hair until her chestnut waves are fanned out against the pillow. She's breathing quickly and her eyes slide shut at the feeling of his tender touch.

"I love your hair," he says with reverence.

"I know you do."

"Will you still let me brush it for you?" Years tumble through his mind, then. Him behind her, brushing out her hair as she lets it grow. The clarity of this vision makes him ache and he wonders if she's felt it.

"Oh yes. That was one of my favorite parts of the day, your gentle touch as you worked. It always made me feel … cared for."

"Loved," he corrects.

"Yes, loved." Her lips turn into a small smile.

He trails his fingers from her crown down her face until they're at the opening of her shirt. His hands shake as he begins to undress her. Yes, he's seen her, breathtaking in her near nudity before him, but this is different somehow. She had pulled the clothing from her body then and the few times after, and now he's unwrapping her. He remembers she had said she'd hidden scars from him and he knows he'll kiss and soothe every point of pain, make her feel as desired, as whole, as she had made him feel.

He parts her garment and bares her lovely, small breasts. He sees then what she had meant. There are fine lines and nicks all along her torso where a lifetime of struggle has left its mark. He feels her insecurity then.

"Shhh, they're perfect, they are you." He bends over and runs his tongue lightly along a small starburst just below her collarbone as he pushes her shirt over her shoulders. He lifts her until she is seated and pulls the cloth from her body. He sees a long slash along her back and wonders how it happened.

"I fell; my line broke and I was caught on a jagged piece of decking." He smoothes his hand along the textured skin.

"You will never struggle like that again. I won't allow it."

"And you will never be alone and desperate again. I won't allow it," she promises fiercely. Her hands come up and she's lifting his shirt from his body and soon they are looking at each other as they truly are, no distortion from hiding or misremembered details. He can't help the moment of fear as he is exposed once again.

"You are still beautiful," she whispers.

"And you, you are exquisite." He pushes her back on the bed and his fingers tremble as he begins to pull the last of her clothing down. Now she is entirely naked before him and he's seeing all of her for the first time. He's fascinated by the apex of tight curls he finds and is seized by the desire to bury his face there, inhale her, taste her, know everything he can about her pleasure.

"I want to taste you, too," she says shyly. His cock jumps at the thought. What would it feel like to have her warm mouth, so delectable in kisses, wrapped around him like that?

"We'll have to find out, won't we? Every night, we will find something new," she says.

"Every night?"

"Every night. You're mine now, and I will never let you go." His throat is tight at the thought that she truly intends to keep him. He'd been cast away so thoughtlessly before. They both had.

He cradles her face in his hands, his strong fingers holding her firmly. "I will never abandon you. I will stand by you, with you, for the rest of my days. You are what I have been seeking my entire life," he vows fiercely. Her eyes go wide and tears gather under her lashes.

"I believe you."

He nods once, firmly, and stands. He pauses for a moment before taking this final step. He removes the rest of his clothes and lies next to her as she moves to face him. He takes her in his arms and wraps one long leg around her, his stiff length pushing against her thigh. They still and let their skin hum together, the pulse of this Bond moving through them. He can sense how much she likes the feel of his warmth pressed against her, that he's making her feel safe in a way she's never known before.

"You make me feel safe, too," he breathes against her cheek as he drags his lips to hers. Their tongues are tangling again and he instinctively grinds against her. Pleasure glints and shudders through him as he shifts until he's over her. Her soft, wet curls touch his hard cock and she pulls him closer to her still. Soon he's pressing against her center and he can feel that he's nudging against that absolutely marvelous bud that transports her so. She wants him to touch her again so he reaches his hand between them and finds that perfect node and begins to stroke. It's hard and slick against his fingers and he circles his fingers firmly.

This is different than in her mind, the newly forged Bond assaulting his senses as he feels their twin want. Each pass of his fingers against her jolts deep inside him as he experiences what she's feeling. All of his concern and fear has left him as he feels her desire for him grow and he thinks it might be time.

"Yes, please, yes. Be with me, deep inside."

He moves his hand from her and grasps himself. He's not quite sure how the mechanics work. He nudges his head against her warm, wet folds and gasps. She feels like velvet and heat and he tries to push into her, but the angle isn't quite right. He starts to feel nervous again, that he's failing her, when she reaches down and helps him, moving her hips to give him better access. There, his head has slipped in and Force, just that feels so good. What if it's over before it's begun? He's already so close, his cock weeping and his balls so tight. He's never wanted anything the way that he wants Rey.

He's hovering over her, just barely within her, and she's panting, "Please, please, I need you." He focuses on Rey and gently pushes inside her. He feels every single millimeter of her as he slides into her, tight and warm. Then he senses … pain. Pain―he's hurting her! He immediately pulls out, panicked, and scrabbles to the end of the bed. How dare he, how dare he touch her. He feels an aching loss at the absence and he's not sure whose feeling that is.

"I'm sorry!" he gasps, his hands out in supplication.

"No―what? No!" Rey's eyes are wide with confusion.

"I hurt you; I felt that I hurt you." Self-loathing beats in his chest, howling that he will always hurt her.

"It's only because I've … we've never done this before. It's normal." She moves towards him, reaching out, trying to take his hands in hers. He pulls back; he's afraid, so afraid of hurting her ever again.

"How do you know?" he asks fearfully.

Rey tries again to approach him and this time he lets her. She sits in front of him and twines her fingers with his. "The old women in Niima would talk about it sometimes. It passes. It's supposed to be quick."

"I don't want to hurt you," he whispers.

"It was already fading." She pulls her hands from his and goes up on her knees so that he's looking up into her eyes. She strokes her fingers along his frightened face and then she's kissing him again. He doesn't respond; he's so angry at himself for hurting her.

"Shhh, love, shhh. I know you don't want to hurt me. And it didn't really―it was just a pinch. I would have warned you, but I thought you knew." She kisses him again and this time he kisses back tentatively. He hesitantly puts his arms around her waist and begins to knead his fingers into her firm warrior's body.

"I love the way your hands feel on me," she breathes against his lips. She's pulling him back to her and he feels himself begin to stir again. She shifts and soon she lowers herself, wrapping her legs around him until she's nestled in his lap, his growing erection trapped between them. She grasps his hair and pulls his head back quickly and trails her tongue along his neck. She sucks gently at his flesh while continuing to firmly keep his head back. There's something about how she's pulling at his hair, the slight pain juxtaposed with the intimacy of her lips against his skin that scrambles his thinking. He moans out, "Rey …"

"Yes, come back to me, come back to me …" He tries to pull from her grasp and kiss her but she holds him fast, continuing to lick and kiss along his neck. Then she starts to bite tenderly and her sharp little teeth make him spark with want. He feels her loosen her grasp and he growls and lifts up slightly as he pushes her back on the bed, again hovering over her. He searches her eyes and feelings and finds nothing but pure hunger―for him.

He wonders if he uses his fingers first, opening her up to him that way, perhaps it might hurt less? He strokes his hand down her body, reveling in how he's certain he will never get enough of her skin. He delves his fingers between her soft folds, still finding them wet and hot. He enters her shallowly with one finger, then another, and soon he's thrusting three fingers deep inside her. She's pushing back, keeping time with his pace. There's something different about the texture of her in one particular spot so he curls his fingers and strokes along his new discovery. He feels her surprise as she throws back her head and cries out. He keeps moving his fingers within her, her pleasure building. He feels himself responding intensely to the tension he's creating within her.

"Now, please, oh please, now," she begs.

He breathes in sharply and gently pulls his fingers from her, almost sad to stop. He wants to know what would have happened if he'd kept going.

"Remember, we have all the time in the galaxy. Don't make me wait any longer," she pants out.

He grasps his cock and positions himself at her entrance, managing it without her help this time. He looks into her eyes and slowly, so slowly, presses into her. This time he senses no discomfort and his eyes roll back in his head as he experiences what it's like to be buried within his love. It's beyond words. It feels like everything he's ever wanted. He's inside her, as he's been in her mind. He knows she feels it too, he can feel her awe at what it is to be so filled. He stays like that for a long time, just letting what it's like to join with her in this way flood him, take him, transport him.

"I love you," he says, willing her to understand what he's trying to say with the only words available to him.

"Oh, I know, how I know. I love you." He's on his elbows, his face very close to hers. He doesn't think it could possibly feel any better when she rolls her hips, encouraging him to move. Her slick, taught walls caress him and he moans, deep in his throat. He begins to thrust into her slowly, each press back into her pushing her slightly up the bed.

"Oh Maker, yes; you feel incredible," she whimpers as her fingers dig into his shoulders.

He starts to feel more comfortable with the rhythm and speeds up. Oh Force, he's never felt anything, anything like this. Each stroke ratchets him higher and he's coming undone. There are no boundaries between them, the physical and emotional sensations are bleeding into each other and somehow touch is love and devotion is flesh.

He'd wanted to be gentle, but he can't and soon he's pounding into her wildly, desperate sounds of passion torn from his throat. He is hers and she is his and he's not even sure whose orgasm is licking at their heels. Her quaking, quivering walls are spurring him to thrust in as hard as he can. His back bows and he roars out, "Rey!" Blinding, exquisite, total bliss courses through him as he spills himself inside her. He's as deep as he can possibly be as he begins to be able to breathe, see, think again. Her walls are still pulsing around him and little aftershocks run up his spine. He looks down into her delicate face and finds it full of wonder; he hopes he's not been alone in this singular experience.

"No, no, I felt it too. I'm not really sure what was you and what was me, but I felt it, oh I felt it," she says eagerly.

"Did you …?"

"I think so? It certainly felt like I did. The Bond made it so intense … by the end I couldn't separate who was feeling what," she says as she smiles. She lifts her hand and strokes it through his hair, now slick with sweat.

He suddenly realizes they're still joined and he starts to pull from her. "No, please, stay. Just a little longer."

He settles back down and he peppers her face with kisses. He's so full of all that she is to him; he wants to tell her, he wants to make sure that she knows.

"I know. I know. But … do you know?" Rey asks.

"Know what?"

"Know that everything you feel for me, I feel for you?"

"I … yes, I sense it, but I do find it difficult to believe."

"I hope, in time, you won't doubt me so much."

"I've told you; it's not you I doubt."

"Then what?"

"I doubt that I could ever be worthy of this love that you give me."

"Lucky for both of us that it isn't up to you."

"No, I suppose it isn't. Besides, it doesn't really matter. I am entirely yours and if you're foolish enough to want that then I shall not dissuade you."

She smiles up at him and cranes her neck to kiss him. He closes the distance and kisses her deeply. He pulls back again, wanting to keep looking at her lovely face. Her eyes are growing unfocused and her lids are heavy.

"Sleep, we need sleep," he says.

"Only a little bit."

"Morning is many hours away."

"Who says I'm letting you stay asleep until morning?" His brows rise at that and, impossibly, he feels himself growing hard again.

Her eyes immediately widen and her drowsiness is gone in an instant.

"Or …" she says suggestively as she captures his lips with a possessive kiss.

"You're willing to assist the Resistance?" Leia asks. He and his mother are in Leia's office.

"Yes, anything I know you will know," he promises.

"And you'll be willing to work with us to take down Snoke?" Leia presses.

"I will do everything in my power to bring down both the First Order and the Supreme Leader." He has given Rey his word and he has always kept his word to the best of his ability.

"Why, what has changed?" Leia cocks her head to the side and she's listening intently.

"I am loyal to Rey, she is loyal to you," he says simply.

"But you do not feel any personal connection to the cause." Leia purses her lips and sits back in her chair.

"Do I need to? I have always done what I vowed to do, and I vow to you, here, now, that I will see this done." He's already told Rey that he would fight for the Resistance, this is just a formality.

"It would be easier to make the case to the other leaders if you had experienced a genuine change of heart."

"I did. My heart is hers."

"I'm very happy that it is," Leia says softly, a gentle mother's smile filling her face. "Rey is an amazing girl, you are lucky to have found her."

"I know." He still can't quite believe that she wants to be with him, that she gave herself to him. What's more, she seems to genuinely want to twine her life with his, this new Bond a welcomed development, not a burden she must carry. He worries that she will come to regret it and he knows he will do all in his power to live up to the faith she has shown him. He will be the man that deserves Rey. He knows he has found his true purpose.

The Resistance has given him provisional permission to stay so long as he continues to cooperate. He and Rey are walking along the edge of the base, shadowed by two discreet guards. A few personnel give them strange looks, but they are left alone.

"How are things with … Leia?" Rey asks cautiously.

"My mother … as you said, she's my mother." She reaches out and curls her fingers around his. He treasures the way she always seems to want to touch him.

"So … better?" she asks.

"It will take time, but I believe we have made a beginning. She likes you quite a bit," he says as he smiles at her. He's not sure how he will mend all that he's broken, but he will take this chance that Rey has given him. He feels as if he's waking up, and he's aware the he has missed his mother very much.

"I'm glad, that makes things easier," Rey says as they walk.


"We're going to have a lifetime together and it would be tricky if your mother didn't like me."

"It wouldn't matter." He is cautiously hopeful about his relationship with his mother but Rey is his true family, now.

"It would matter to me. I've never known what it was like to have a family. I wouldn't want to get in the way of that."

"Well, it's good that this is not an issue. Besides, I hope you know that you do have a family now. Me. You will never be alone again."

"And neither will you."

They walk for a long time, simply enjoying the freedom of time together. He senses how much she has missed the sun.

"So you're really staying, we're fighting, together?" Rey asks, a little whisper of lingering insecurity running through the Bond.

"I go where you go, Rey."

"Oh, Kyl- right, sorry," she says sheepishly.

He stops them walking and turns her to face him. He takes her face in his hands and looks deeply into her eyes as he says, "Ben. Call me Ben."


Thank you to my incomparable beta and dear friend, Meaghan M/Juulna. We did it again! I can't believe that we finished up another one! *grabs a startled Meaghan and dances her around the room*

There were many people who read a chapter or 15 on the way to getting this sucker finished. Thank you Hannidae, MeganD1, MissHarper, The Dark Becomes You, Terapid, and ArtemisBare for all of your support. *blows kisses*

Thank you readers! You consistently blow me away with your insight and generosity. I am incredibly lucky that you have given this story your time and attention. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.