Before anyone can breathe Rey is being pulled from Kylo's arms and a fist connects solidly with his angled jaw. Rey hisses and flings her elbow back, catching someone, Finn, roughly in the stomach causing him to double over in a gasp of pain. "Ouch. Fuck." Finn gasps gripping his stomach as he wheezes trying to regain his breath. "What was that for?"
Rey's attention is no longer on Finn but the grappling pair on the ground. While Poe's fist had connected well, he wasn't fairing the best against Kylo physically and Rey could feel that he wasn't using the force to gain the advantage, he was just that much stronger than the other male.
"Stop. Stop it." Rey threw out her hands, easily separating the two fighters, flinging Poe onto the couch and Kylo back against the wall. "What in the Force has gotten into you!" She was yelling at Poe. "This is absolutely unacceptable! You're out of line Dameron!"
"Me! He's the one sexually harassing my officers." Poe protests, a loud snort of disapproval coming from Kylo.
I imagine his head would explode if he knew just how harassed you were last night.
"You shut up, you're just making the situation worse." Rey tosses the words over her shoulder to Kylo who has risen to his full height but keeps his back pressed to the wall. The entire room is stunned silent by Rey's sharp words towards Kylo. No one gets away with speaking to him like she has. His nose is dripping blood, a bruise already blooming across the left side of his jaw, but he wears a smirk with one eyebrow raised. Turning her attention back to Poe she sighs gently.
"He wasn't 'harassing' me," Rey tells Poe, tossing hair from her eyes as she stands to her full height arms crossed over her chest. She takes a deep breath before continuing holding her hand up as evidence. "He's my husband, and as much as everyone is displeased by it," She tosses a glare over her shoulder at Kylo "he's allowed to kiss me when he sees fit." Everyone starts talking at once and Rey fights to keep up.
"Husband?" Finn looks like a kicked puppy
"This is treason!" General Hux's face is decidedly redder than before.
"Treason? That's funny coming from you." Connix snaps at Hux.
"You can't be serious."
The Knights of Ren stand when Poe does, Mira and Aza moving to stand at Rey's side, effectively putting a barrier between Poe and Kylo. Rey is tired of this. She just wanted a civil discussion between the two factions, but she knows she will have to make her case fast in hopes it will diffuse the tension.
"E-enough." Rey's voice waivers for a moment and she feels the overwhelming need to cry. A warm hand on her shoulder startles her into looking back to find Aza giving her a soft smile. Rey returns the smile before turning her attention back to the group who is arguing. "ENOUGH!" Even though her voice is small the room falls silent once again at her demand.
"That's enough. You don't have to like my decision but you have to accept it. Kylo and I sat down and had a discussion after the funeral and decided that this is what is best for all of us. This isn't about one side overpowering another anymore, this is about us trying to create harmony. We can't ask people to do something we're unwilling to do ourselves, right?" She looks back at Kylo for a moment before returning to address the group in front of her. "I'm not asking you to be happy with me, or with him or with any of this. However, I am asking that you trust me and my decisions and have faith in me when I say that this union is for the best interests of everyone."
The resistance officers are silent as they listen to Rey speak. "There have been several chances for him to hurt me over the past year. We had a chance encounter on Chardaan, he was present for the gala, and every day we've shared this meeting room or dining space trying to figure out ways to make this better, for everyone." She holds her hand out, and Kylo accepts it, taking a step forward, pulling off his glove off before taking her hand, pressing a gentle kiss to her knuckles, to the delicate ring that rests on her finger. "He's had multiple attempts to hurt me and yet he hasn't. We both want the same thing, we both want peace and this is how we're going to get it."
To Rey's surprise, everyone stares for a few moments before turning, silently, to take their seats at the table. Pressure causes her to shift and she can feel Ben smile against her hair as he presses a kiss there.
Well done, Freykaa. He whispers into her mind before pulling away to take his seat at the end of the table, opposite of Poe.
Negotiations aren't as bad as Ren had imagined they would be. He had expected a lot of arguing, some things broken, and someone leaving, however, he was surprised to note that everything was going well. He knows why he needs to be present, but he feels that his presence isn't exactly necessary and he heaves a soft sigh scanning the room before his eyes find Rey.
She's attentive to the conversation, adding a few bits of her own thoughts into the discussion. Ever since the Force had shifted during their final kiss as Maz bound them she seems...More. Her smile is brighter, she is easier to laugh and overall happier whenever he notices her. After the outburst things settle into a quiet lull of voices discussing plans and ways to make things work. General Hux remains passive, quiet through the exchange, which Ren would find suspect if he was paying attention.
Every time Rey speaks the entire room is drawn in and he wonders, briefly, if they see a love-struck young woman or if they see something else. While the attention is on Rey, he probes the minds of her friends, being cautious to not let his presence known. They're not upset with her but they respect her more for what she has done, the sacrifice she has made.
That poor girl. One voice whispers, one of the Resistance officers he can't quite place. Marrying that monster to join our factions instead of marrying for love. She's so brave and so willing to give up whatever future she has for people she doesn't know. Poor child.
Ren's heart squeezes painfully for a moment and he lets out a soft sigh as he pulls away from the woman's mind. Had he really forced Rey's hand by being so persistent? Was she really giving up everything to be with him? He runs a hand through his hair before standing to leave. The room falls silent as he goes, the entirety of the room following him with their eyes.
Rey watches Kylo leave and sighs softly. They had been in discussions for over three hours. "Maybe we should take a break and reconvene in an hour?" She suggests, receiving murmurs of approval before easily standing from her chair to follow Ren.
When she reaches the hall she can't see him, but she can sense one distinct feeling that curls painfully in the pit of her stomach. Fear. She follows the feeling to another conference room, several doors down and across the hall from where they are holding the deliberations. It takes a moment, and a considerable amount of physical effort and Force use to get the door open.
The room itself is in disarray, chairs are overturned, a large and very solid wood desk barring the door and the windows are shattered. Ren is pacing like a caged animal, his hair - considerably longer than when they had first met - flutters along the back of his shoulders as he paces. He knows she has entered, she can feel his eyes on her as he passes. "They pity you. Your friends and companions. Did you know that?" His voice is dark, gravely, a tone she hadn't heard used on her since his demand for her to bring him Skywalker.
"Pity me? Why? I don't understand." Rey whispers. She takes a step towards him and he recoils, fear rolling from him.
"Don't you see. I've forced so much from you. You're here in this situation because of me." His breath is shaking as he paces.
"I don't understand," Rey repeats, taking another step. "Ben. Talk to me, please? Why the sudden change?"
"I never meant to force you into giving up whatever future you could have for me." His voice is hard. "Your companions think that you would have chosen differently, that you're giving up a happy future to be with me, to be with someone like me, because you'd rather have peace instead of happiness." Rey's breath catches in her throat as she steps forward again and he lets her touch him, her hand resting on his arm. She makes to speak but he stops her, his hand moving to cup her jaw.
"I never meant for you to give anything up. I-If you don't want this then I can fix that." His voice trembles and she can feel the fear rolling from him -even though it's being presented as anger- and she knows, she knows that he hasn't come to terms with being human, with expressing his emotions properly but she listens, her heart lurching at his words. Before she can protest he's speaking again. "I-If you don't want me that's fine. I never meant to take anything away from you I just… I just want you to have the best of everything. I've seen how alone you were and I just wanted to fix that. I just wanted to make you know that I understand that pain, that loneliness but if you don't want this then I can fix it. Even if that means I have to leave…" His voice finally, finally breaks and it clicks in Rey's head.
"Ben," she whispers, bringing her hand up to mirror his, her hand curling along his jaw under his ear, thumb brushing his trembling lower lip. Their eyes meet and she can see the pain and fear twisting in his mind through the force and she sighs gently. "I chose you, Ben. We chose each other. I could have said no and brokered peace some other way, but I didn't. You've been straightforward with me, but only once have you forced my hand and that was on the Supremacy." She whispers. "I don't want you to leave. I'm not going to make you leave. I want you. I want you here. I want your happiness. Our happiness together is what is going to bring peace. You'll see. We balance the force and that will balance everything else and bring peace. I felt it, Ben."
"I-I'll ruin you." His voice mirrors his pleas from the Supremacy and her heart breaks at the emotions waving off of him, her other hand moving to card up into his hair. It's a stretch but she manages to sink her fingers into the hair by his ear, her eyes sad. "I-I ruin everything. I ruined their marriage, I killed him, I've ruined every good thing in my life and I'll ruin you too." There are tears in his eyes, dark eyes that refuse to meet hers.
As he tries to pull away she remains steadfast, gripping his jaw between her finger and her thumb. "Don't worry about me. I've made it this far, Right? I'll be fine alone…" He's afraid to be alone, she feels it now and when she leans up, using his hair to pull his lips to meet hers her heart breaks for him.
Every kiss they share is an event in and of itself and this one is no different.
The emotions he feels rushing between them like a current overwhelms him and he sinks to his knees. The angle is different and she has to tip his chin up so she can bend and press a kiss to his mouth again, opening her mind to him and allowing him to see all of the acceptance and all of the fight still in her heart. She wants this, she wants him. She's accepted that she cannot change him, only he can change himself, but she wants to be right where she is, wants to be who she is.
A once lonesome girl finding solace in the arms of a broken man who knows the depths of her despair as it mirrors his own in that quietly suffering place locked away behind broken hearts and never, ever, being enough to make anyone stay.
As she pulls away he finally breaks down pulling her into his arms, making her buckle to sit on her knees astride his legs and all he can do is sob into her neck as she cards her hands through his hair.
"Don't be afraid" She whispers and all he can do is nod, tear-stained skin brushing against her collarbone. "I feel it too." He pulls himself from her neck to kiss her gently, sniffling as she brushes away the tears.
They return to the meeting at the designated time, he gives her a gentle, lingering kiss at the door before they enter and she can't help but smile every time their eyes make contact across the table.
Hux's mind is churning as he watches the Supreme Leader make eyes at the Rebel scum for the rest of the time they're set up to meet. It takes five more hours before everything comes to a head and the adjudicators leave with the intent to draw up a charter claiming peace to be returned and signed the next day.
Hux is the first to leave while Kylo lingers so he can walk Rey back to her rooms. Her hand slides into his, her cheeks and nose tinted red as the simple act makes her blush and he dips his head to hide his own.
The walk back to his rooms is an easy one since the First Order is staying in the part of the old Senate building that had been renovated, not far from the Rebel encampment. He misses the relaxation that comes from being in Rey's presence but he knows that his mission, and hers, is an important one that may benefit the entire galaxy as a whole and he wants it to work for selfish -he will get to have her by his side- and unselfish reasons. The ring on his finger is hidden under his gloves, the weight foreign to him still, is unnoticeable to anyone who isn't paying attention, but it makes him think about his lovely wife and makes him wonder, for a few moments, what she is doing.
He hears a noise that pulls him from his thoughts and turns to face Phieus who stands at his elbow. "Supreme Leader. We have a problem if you'll follow me." Kylo nods and follows falling easily in pace with his knight.
The room they enter is dark and before Kylo can get a real feel from the room there is a sting at his neck and he is frozen in place, unable to move. "What is this?" He demands eyes seeking out bodies he can not find.
Phieus chuckles dark and low into Kylo's ear. "Nu sûshitsinizi j'us ir zo kota iw rokatsa. Zo tutsimia an dondnuma j'us is qyâsik, mnirji j'us an tu'iyia Jidai midwan." I imprison you in a wall of light. A fortress to block you from the Force, blind you to your Jedi powers.
Kylo struggles against whatever is holding him before everything blooms into pain, his breath halts in his chest and consciousness leaves him completely.
She's dining with Chewbacca on the Falcon when she feels it. The pain overcomes her entire being and the world warps, her vision warps, and she's on the floor of the middle of the Falcon, her hands on her head as she screams. Chewbacca and bends to scoop Rey up from the floor but as soon as he touches her he's thrown back by the force and he can feel the splintering of the force thrust upon him. He turns and lopes from the Falcon to find someone who may be able to help.
The entire forces feels like it's fracturing inside her head and all Rey could do is scream. This feeling was worse than losing Luke and even worse than Ben's reaction to losing his mother. This is sheer blinding pain and terror and she feels herself fracture and scatter. She screams and screams until the world falls blank and goes silent and her consciousness breaks away.
She's not sure how long it is before she wakes up, how long she has been asleep but the entire world is dark around her. She stands, trying to get some semblance of the world around her but it is eternally dark. She feels panic and turns before trying to run, but without light, she can't tell whether she's actually moving or not. "Please." She cries out, unsure why but the word bubbles from her mouth and tears stream down her cheeks. Falling to her knees Rey tries to look around again before closing her eyes and trying to reach, trying to find someone, something in the dark.
Ben? Ben where are you? Where am I? They had been able to openly communicate through their bond for some time, but no response comes.
"Ben? Hello?!" She yells out verbally and through the force. A sense of calm falls over her suddenly and she shifts to sit on her backside, knees aching from kneeling.
Rey starts in surprise and opens her eyes to look around but finds nothing in the darkness.
No, child. He is gone. His connection has been severed. Rey's heart plummets and she stands to look around in terror.
Who are you? What have you done?
It was not I, He was betrayed.
I would never betray him!
You assume I mean you, dear child. No, one of his own has betrayed him. He is gone.
But I can get him back, right?
He is gone, child.
Who are you?
I am you. I am He. I'm the bond that binds all things.
If you wish to call me that.
What do I do? How do I save him? Tears well up in Rey's eyes again and she can't prevent them from falling.
Rewrite the stars.
How? How the kriff do I do that?
Wake up, Rey.
Rey startles awake, sitting up so suddenly that she smacks her forehead against a hard object she realizes a moment later is the hard head of Poe Dameron and suddenly she's in his arms, clinging to him and sobbing.
Finn and Rose look on in surprise, sharing a look before Finn moves forward to pull Rey away from Poe. When the pilot is free Finn wraps his arm around Rey. "What's going on Rey? You just checked out on us there and wouldn't let any of us near you."
"The Force…" Rey's voice was rough from her loud sobs. "I saw the force... And the force saw me and Ben…." She let out another heart-wrenching sob as she feels her heartbreak, a painful shatter in her chest and all she can do is sob. Rose steps in then kneeling next to Finn to rub Rey's back and Rey lets the comfort of friends lull her into a fitful sleep, her body and spirit exhausted and scattered among the stars.