SUMMARY: Awkward salesman Ben Solo is in love with the receptionist at his office. Too bad Rey is engaged to the red-headed prick in finance. In order to avoid her wedding and the heartbreak after confessing his true feelings, Ben takes a trip to Japan.
Friendly reminder that this chapter is a completely separate story from the previous chapter! All chapters within this story are separate stories inspired by the beloved show The Office :)
Ben Solo hated his job. Not in the typical sense either—most people hated their jobs. But Ben loathed his. He hated the work he did, how early he needed to wake up, his morning commute, the uncomfortable chair he sat in for eight hours a day, the shitty office coffee, and most of all, the people he worked with.
Well, most of the people he worked with. There was one shining light in his pitiful life of work, sleep, work, and sleep.
A literal shining light if her name was any indication. Rey Jakku was the receptionist in his office. Both of them were unfortunate enough to be employed by Resistance Foods, a packaged goods company that was known for their New England style potato chips and other snacks.
Ben was a salesman. He spent his everyday attempting to get those products into grocery stores. Last month, he negotiated becoming the exclusive snack brand of six minor league baseball teams in the tri-state area.
How was the highlight of his career getting those stupid fucking potato chips into stadiums that averaged three-hundred fans per game?
They didn't even sell sour cream and onion.
But that was besides the point. The only thing that made his life even remotely tolerable was coming into work every morning and seeing Rey's glorious smile. Her arrival never made sense to him. For starters, she was British. Like, from Great Britain.
She never explained to him how she ended up in their Podunk town or working as a receptionist at the central office of a snack food company, but truthfully, he tried not to pry too much. He knew she was orphaned at a young age, and apparently after some digging, discovered her father was American, giving her citizenship.
Apparently, she wanted a fresh start and made her way over. But in doing so, she also brought along her sniveling prick of a boyfriend, Armitage Hux.
Over the course of her six years of employment at Resistance Foods, she had been in a relationship with that red-headed creep, even helping him get a job in their finance department and a green card. Approximately eighteen months ago, that relationship became an engagement.
And while Ben and Armitage did not get along, he and Rey most certainly did. In fact, he considered Rey his best friend. He knew if her boyfriend, no, fiancé wasn't around, they'd do what normal friends did. Go to movies, grab dinner, text each other funny memes…
But Armitage rarely allowed Rey to grab a drink with the rest of the office, let alone text Ben whenever she read a funny tweet.
Which meant somehow for Ben, the simultaneous highlight and worst part of his day was between the hours of 9 and 6. Because while sitting at that desk selling chips was the fucking worst, sitting three feet away from Rey, chatting about their ridiculous co-workers and old SNL skits, was the best.
"Ben!" a soft voice hissed, before a paper ball hit his right hand, "Come here! I have to show you something!"
God, he was going to miss that.
He glanced up from his computer and smiled at Rey. She was wearing a pink cardigan and a cream-colored blouse, Ben's personal favorite.
"What's up? I have to get this expense report to Phasma by five," He explained, leaning back in his seat with a grin, "So you can't distract me."
Rey practically snorted and rolled her eyes, albeit her actions clearly playful. "Oh? I can't distract you? Wanna bet?"
Ben nodded. "Ahuh. Expense reports are important. Phasma is scary when you make her wait."
From behind her desk, Rey tossed another paper ball. "Come on. Get over here."
He let out an exasperated groan before moving behind her desk, smiling the entire way over. "Fine, fine. What is it?"
Rey smirked and opened a pink folder, displaying a drawing. Specifically, what appeared to be a manga character. "I borrowed a book from the library. How did I do?"
Ben laughed and admired the drawing. "Amazing. It looks great. But is that…" He looked at the plain business attire of the man, his long black tie and plain black slacks, "Uh...Me?"
The character had shaggy dark hair, a large nose, and a scattering of moles. But maybe it was wishful thinking.
"It is!" Rey exclaimed, smiling as she signed her name to the bottom of the paper, "And now it belongs to you. Signed by me, in case it's worth anything one day."
Ben swallowed, unsure of what to say or do. A lump grew in his throat as he shifted his gaze between the drawing and Rey. Sweet, sweet Rey…
"This reminds me," He began, his voice soft, "I'm uh… I'm going to Japan. I finally bought my tickets. It's time I took that trip I've always talked about."
Rey's grin was bright enough to outshine the fluorescent lights of the office. "Ben! Oh my gosh! I'm so excited for you!" She quickly opened up Chrome on her computer, glancing back at him, "Okay. Tell me all about the trip. Where are you going? How long as you there for?"
He cleared his throat and hovered over her, desperately trying not to inhale her sweet vanilla scent like a creep. "Oh, well, I'm flying into Tokyo. I'll be there for two weeks, and then I'm taking the train to Kyoto. So, three weeks in total."
She squealed and typed Tokyo into Google, oohing as photos of the city skyline populated. She glanced back at Ben, her smile soft. "Do you have your hotels and stuff picked out yet?"
Ben nodded slowly. "Yeah. My parents are paying for it in Tokyo. My mom is calling it a 30th birthday gift. I argued against it but…" He shrugged, "It allowed me to afford a week in a traditional inn in Kyoto. I'll sleep on a mat and everything."
Rey let out a whimper and began to click through the photos. "That's so incredible. I want to see everything!"
He chuckled and appeased her, leaning over the keyboard to type in the name of the Tokyo hotel. It was some fancy hotel catering to business travelers, and while he typically hated taking handouts from his parents, their kind gift was making this trip a reality.
"Chandrila Plaza Hotel," Rey read, before clicking through the pictures, "Looks fancy. Puts the hotel Armie and I are staying out on our honeymoon to shame." She sighed and clicked on the website, "Just think. I had to beg him to fly to Mexico. He said if I wanted a beach, we could drive to Florida. Can you believe that?"
Truthfully, he could. Her fiance was a prick and a cheapass. He frowned, watching as she clicked through the photos, knowing he desperately needed to tell her the full details. But before he could even force himself to say it, she beat him to the chase.
"When are you going?" She asked, looking back to him with a smile, "Isn't cherry blossom season in April?"
Ben cleared his throat and met her eyes, knowing he would hate what came next. "Um. I'm leaving in a month, actually."
Suddenly, Rey's glowing smile disappeared. "You're… going in a month? For three weeks?"
He cleared his throat. "Yeah. I leave the fourth."
Rey glanced back at the computer and closed the tab, instead opening her email. Clearly, she wanted to appear busy. "I see."
"I'm sorry," He whispered, hating how pathetic he sounded, "It's just—the timing worked since it's the slow season, and flights were cheap so…"
It was a better excuse than saying "I don't want to watch you marry another man because I'm hopelessly and pathetically in love with you".
She looked back to him and forced a smile. "I get it, Ben. I do. It's the same reason Armie and I set a date when we did." She cleared her throat and began to click through her emails, "I'm just disappointed you won't be at the wedding."
He stepped away from her desk, the drawing clutched in his shaking hands. "Yeah, uh, me too."
His phone rang, forcing him to return to his desk, offering Rey a sad smile. But as he sat down and answered the call from an irritated Phasma, he knew Rey's frown was simply a trial run for when he told her the big news.
Because when he returned from Japan, he wouldn't be employed in the Coruscant office. Instead, he'd be sitting three hours away in the office in Endor. When the regional manager of that branch offered him the opportunity to transfer, Ben considered what was keeping him in Coruscant.
There was only one thing. Or, rather, one person.
And when he returned from Japan, she'd be Mrs. Rey Hux.
The woman he was in love with would be the wife of another man.
He had nothing to stay for.
As he returned to filling out his expense report, he glanced at the drawing Rey made of him, now taped to the corner of his desk.
He'd treasure it forever.
Approximately a month later, a tension unlike any other filled every fiber of Ben's being. It was a Friday afternoon and on Monday morning, he'd sit through almost sixteen hours of flight time in route to Tokyo. On the following Saturday afternoon, Rey would marry Hux.
On the following Sunday night, he planned to sit alone in a Tokyo izakaya, drinking away his sorrows.
At least with his subsequent return to the US, he'd have a new beginning.
But at any rate, he still had the rest of Friday in his office to withstand. No one knew he was leaving except their regional manager, and while Jabba was usually a nice guy, all that mattered to him was money, meaning Ben's departure simply meant a sales job to fill.
He didn't plan to tell anyone he was leaving. They'd figure it out when he never returned from his vacation.
His one exception was Rey.
But that evening, during a retirement party at a local pub for beloved HR Rep Maz Kanata, Ben planned to tell Rey two important things.
One was his new job.
The other was that he was in love with her.
He knew what her answer would be. He knew nothing would come of his confession. But with his new beginning, coming clean to her about his feelings was a must.
He couldn't have his feelings weighing him down anymore.
So, when the clock hit six, and his co-workers grabbed their jackets in preparation for heading to Mos's Cantina, his stomach dropped.
For the last time, he glanced at Rey's desk and smiled, before standing and grabbing his briefcase.
The old Ben Solo died tonight.
The shell of a man would remain, but at least he'd be free of this torture.
Considering Mos' private room always smelled like stale beer and was a bit too small for everyone invited to the gathering, the party wasn't a huge success. But despite the shortcomings of many of Ben's co-workers, the people did know how to have fun.
It was why someone kept ordering rounds for everyone, and his fellow salesmen Poe was quick to request some catchy tunes for the party. Maz, the woman of the hour, looked to be having a great time, accepting tokens of appreciation after almost forty years at the company.
Ben had no issue with Maz. How could he? She was sweet, charming, and made delicious brownies for every work party. But this party, the reminder of forty years of service, scared the fucking shit out of Ben.
It was everything he feared.
Forty years at the company. Four-hundred and eighty months.
But he couldn't concern himself with that fear. Not when there was a more pressing matter.
More specifically a gorgeous brunette wrapped in a baby blue dress, her wavy chocolate locks draped across her shoulders. And, to Ben's delight and relief, her fiancé was nowhere to be found.
He slid beside her and smiled, equipped with two pints of beer. He took a moment to admire her golden skin and hazel eyes, knowing tonight would be the last time.
"Having fun?" He asked, smiling as she accepted the beer, "I'm sad to see Maz go, but look at her jamming out," He laughed, watching as Maz danced, "She still has the moves, even at her age."
Rey giggled and sipped the cold brew. "I know! I'm going to miss her. The office won't be the same without her."
Ben nodded. "Me too. I'm going to miss her so much."
Who her was, however, was up to Rey's interpretation.
"So, uh, where's Armitage?" Ben couldn't help but ask, glancing around the pub curiously, "This not his scene?"
Truthfully, it really wasn't Ben's either, but given his departure, he simply had to go.
Rey groaned and took a gulp of beer. "No, it is not. I had to fight to get him to agree to let me go, and ultimately, he only said yes because he wanted to watch some fancy French film and he knew I had no interest. I guess he didn't want me to complain the whole night."
Ben cleared his throat and nodded. "Well, at least we can have fun, right?"
Her smile was hypnotizing. "We most certainly can. We should dance. Then, play some darts."
He swallowed and nodded. "Yeah, definitely. The board is open now."
Ben would have done anything to spend even a single second more with Rey. Even if it meant showing his terrible dance moves and destroying her in darts.
Most importantly, it allowed him to procrastinate on making the biggest confession of his life.
And that's precisely what he did. They played two rounds of darts, splitting the games, and eventually moved to the dance floor. Ben showed her some awkward moves, but thankfully, Poe, Kaydel, and Jessika joined them on the floor to ease some of his nerves of dancing alone with Rey.
Eventually, the crowd began to thin out, and Ben knew the time of his confession was coming. Rey was collecting her coat and wishing Maz a final goodbye, meaning he had mere moments to collect himself.
He felt sick. Like he'd vomit up his dinner of greasy pizza and two pints of beer before taking another look at her.
But suddenly she appeared in front of him, and he knew his time was up. It was now or never.
"I'll walk you to your car," He choked out, staring at her rosy cheeks and glossy hair, "Assuming you're good to drive."
She laughed and waved her hand. "I had one beer two hours ago. I just get white girl glow."
Ben smiled and nodded. In silence, they left the local pub, occasionally shouting a goodbye to a co-worker or offering an impassive wave.
It was only when they reached Rey's Prius, a little silver thing that Ben recalled her obsessing about for weeks before putting an offer in, that he realized what was about to occur. Again, his stomach coiled, and his palms began to sweat.
"Rey?" He began, desperately trying to keep his voice calm, "Can I talk to you for a second?"
She hummed and unlocked her car, tossing her purse inside. When the door shut, she leaned against the car, her smile wide. "What's up? Already need to set another round of darts since I whooped your butt in the second game?"
He cleared his throat. "Erm, no, that's not-"
"Oh, come on Solo! Just admit that you're a sore loser." She giggled and shoved him gently, "Next time we'll place a bet. Maybe ten per-"
Ben cleared his throat and interrupted her. "Rey, there won't be a next time."
She rolled her eyes, clearly not understanding his meaning. "Oh, come on! We had fun. Next time, we'll do foosball or something then if you're such a sore-"
"There won't be a next time because I'm transferring," He interjected, cutting off her words with a shaky voice, "I was offered a position at the office in Endor and well… I took it."
Rey stared at him, her mouth opening and closing as she seemingly struggled to digest his words. Finally, she frowned, nodding slowly. "I see. Well… Um, congrats? Why didn't you say anything sooner? When are you leaving?"
Ben rubbed at his face, willing his heart to calm down. "Today was my last day."
Her eyes widened, golden flecks within the hazel shining in the light of the street lamps. A frown took over her beautiful face. "-what? What do you mean today was your last day?"
He cleared his throat. "I mean… I leave for Japan on Monday, and when I get back in three weeks, I'm not returning to Coruscant. I'm starting in Endor."
Silence remained between them. Ben couldn't help but stare at her, getting his fill before he'd leave for the final time. Rey, however, seemed upset, her lips quivering ever so slightly.
"Oh," She began, her voice small, "I see." She nodded slowly, meeting his eyes, "I'm… I'm sad to hear you're leaving. You're one of my best friends so… I'm going to miss you."
Ben swallowed and stepped forward. "I'm going to miss you too," He whispered gently, "But it had to be done."
Rey frowned. "Why? I thought you liked Coruscant."
He shrugged. "There's more to it, Rey."
For once, he almost wished Rey wasn't so curious. He wished he could simply give her a hug and hold her close before walking away, not having to utter his deepest secret to her.
But he couldn't. Otherwise it would follow him around for the rest of his life. It was time to get closure.
Starting his new life meant leaving the past behind.
"Like that I'm in love with you," He finally admitted, surprised by the steadiness in his voice, "So in love with you."
Time, he swore, stood still. Under the glow of the street lights, the night air whipping around them, Ben couldn't hear the music from the bar or the sound of traffic with how intensely his heart was beating. In fact, he wondered if his heart would jump out of his chest.
Because there was nothing to do but stare at her, waiting for any sort of reaction. He willed his breathing to calm down, knowing fainting from a lack of oxygen wouldn't help the situation.
He couldn't read her face, either. In his years of knowing Rey, he usually felt he could read her like a book. It was easy to tell when she was happy, or sad, or tired, or even hungry.
But in that moment, he wasn't sure of anything. Her glittering eyes gave nothing away—well, nothing but sadness.
And what did that sadness mean? Was she sad he was leaving? Sad he had confessed when she'd simply have to turn him down? Sad because she felt the same way but wouldn't leave Armitage?
"Ben—" She croaked out, her voice shaking.
He shook his head, knowing he wasn't ready to be shot down. Not yet. "I—I know it doesn't mean anything," He forced out, his eyes flickering between her quivering lips and the asphalt of the parking lot, "But I just needed you to know."
Looking into her sad eyes proved to be too much. As soon as she started speaking, he forced himself to look away, despite knowing these would be some of the last few moments he'd ever gaze upon her beautiful face.
"I don't—I don't know what to say," Her voice cracked as she spoke, "I'm engaged to—"
"Armitage, I know," Ben cut in, knowing he couldn't bare standing there through her gentle let down, "I know it's probably uncomfortable for you to hear but I just had to tell you."
He tested a glance back at Rey, who continued to stare at him, her eyes wide and red. "I can't—" She explained, her voice sad, "But you know how much your friendship means—"
Ben shook his head and stepped away, the bile rising in his throat. "No," He mumbled, his eyes locked on his shoes, "Don't do that. I don't want to hear that, Rey. Your friendship means the world to me too but it's not enough. I want to be more than that."
When he finally looked back at her, ignoring the tears in his own eyes, he knew it was over. She reached forward and gave his hand a squeeze, offering a sad smile.
"I can't," was all she whispered, like a final nail in the coffin of his heart.
He squeezed her hand back and smiled sadly. "I'm sorry, Rey," he whispered, staring at her for the final time, "I'll miss you."
Admittedly, he was surprised when she charged forward, wrapping her arms around him for one final hug, but of course he was thankful for the action. Holding her close one final time was like a dream come true.
It gave him one more opportunity to remember the smell of her skin, and the silky smoothness of her hair, or even for him just to imagine what it would be like to hold her thin frame in his arms.
And maybe it was during that imagining that his body got a mind of its own. It was the only way he could think to justify how his hands moved to grasp her cheeks, or how his lips ended up pressed smoothly to hers.
Maybe, Ben's common sense yelled for him to stop, to back away with screams of how she was engaged and that she didn't want him. But, it didn't really matter—not when suddenly, her soft lips were kissing him back.
Her lips tasted like lemonade on a hot summer day. Like a cooling balm to the worst sunburn. Like promised whispers from above that everything was going to be okay.
They were soft and perfect and so fucking urgent. One of his treacherous hands moved to her jaw, holding her face steady, as he practically ate at her mouth with a sort of hunger he didn't know existed within him.
But he wasn't alone. Not when one of her hands moved into his shaggy hair, grabbing a handful of the wavy locks, while the other practically fisted the fabric of his favorite blue button-down.
Under the street lights, with the soft purr of the wind and the tiny noises she made as they kissed, Ben swore he was in heaven.
There was no possible way life could get any better than that very moment.
And perhaps it was naïve of him, given that he knew the moment would end. It didn't matter if things couldn't get better—they could certainly get worse.
Before he could caution himself, to remind his cracking heart to cherish this moment forever, Rey practically ripped her body from his, jumping far enough back that a minivan could probably park between them.
She stared at him with wide eyes, her mouth equally as open. Ben knew the look. She was shocked.
He was too.
"Rey—" He began, himself not knowing what to say, "I—"
But she finished the line of thought for him.
He watched, too destroyed to say anything else, as she climbed into her Prius. And as she drove away, he begged, pleaded, that she'd turn around and look at him. That she'd give him one final glance of her gorgeous face.
But she didn't.
And so, Ben made the decision for himself.
He didn't go home.
He went right back inside and ordered himself another beer. At least Dameron's incessant talking would keep him company.
The next few days were a bit of a blur for Ben. He woke up on Saturday morning with a massive hangover, instantly regretting his decision to get plastered after Rey broke his heart. It made his morning infinitely more difficult—a moving van was due to arrive in a little less than two hours.
So, Ben had to drag his sorry ass out of bed and Uber back to Mos', just to get his car and turn back around. Thankfully, it wasn't as if his place had all that much in it. He didn't own much.
Not much had ever really mattered to him.
By the early evening on Saturday, he was already settled in his new apartment in Endor. It was slightly nicer than his place in Coruscant, and given how little he had, unpacking took no time at all.
Rey's drawing hung as the single piece of art in his living room, a constant reminder of what he left behind and could never have.
He easily settled into his new routine.
He fell asleep on his couch in the unfamiliar home, drunk as could be.
Even though he had left Coruscant, his thoughts hadn't.
He thought about how gorgeous she'd look in white.
Sunday was just as pathetic. He had breakfast with his parents, nodding along as his mother requested he take pictures of every place he visited, and his father made some lewd comments about geishas that earned a smack from his mother.
He spent his evening packing and reviewing his travel plans for the next day.
And when it came time to board his sixteen-hour flight, he just felt empty.
But also, thankful he was going somewhere where nobody would speak his language.
He'd feel alone.
Fitting, since he already felt alone enough as it was.
His flight left at 11am on Monday, getting him to Tokyo in the early evening on Tuesday. Han had cracked a few jokes about traveling "into the past" on his return home. Usually, Ben would have humored his father and laughed at the corny humor, but Ben simply didn't have it in him.
But when he stepped off the plane, into the chilly, rainy air, he did feel free. He turned his phone on Do Not Disturb, meaning he was completely separated from email, text, and calls. In fact, aside from texting his parents that he had landed safely, he planned to have zero interaction with anyone digitally for an entire three weeks.
His phone was meant to take photos and get directions.
He looked forward to it.
In fact, for the first few days, things were incredible. He spent his time wandering through shops and old temples and curvy streets, absolutely invigorated by the freedom of hearing everything and understanding nothing.
Even when people stared at him because of his height, or his face, or the few times he was forced to speak English, it didn't bother him.
He enjoyed the novelty of ramen shops meant for businessmen to dine alone. He loved that people minded their own business, never to smile or make eye contact.
He thanked the heavens for the mental vacation.
Because for approximately four whole days, he thought of nothing but his trip and the places he had always wanted to see and the food he had always wanted to eat.
Which was naïve, considering this trip wasn't simply about checking off his bucket list.
It was an escape.
And by Saturday evening, he was sitting in the hotel bar, staring at the wall of windows and the Tokyo skyline in the distance.
It was like a pathetic version of Lost in Translation. Because even in that movie, Bill Murray found company eventually.
He glanced at his watch.
It was 9AM in Coruscant. Two hours before the wedding. What was Rey doing? Allowing her friends to primp at her hair, twist her beautiful locks into loose curls that would frame her stunning face? Would the streaks of gold in her hair stand out in the sunlight, making her look even more like an angel than she already was?
And what would her dress look like? Would it be traditional, with a big, poofy skirt that would make Rey look like Cinderella? Or would it be a silky satin, hugging her curves like a second skin?
Who would walk her down the aisle? Would she ask her dear friend Finn, who had also grown up in foster care and moved to America? Would she walk alone, again proving that she needed no one?
Ben groaned and took a gulp of beer, his heart beating in his chest. He already felt sick.
So, he did what was easy, despite knowing it made him weak. It was the exact reason he elected to get drunk at the hotel with a bartender that spoke English. He ordered his favorite drinks, and when he was just shitfaced enough to forget, but still sober enough to get back to his room, he knew it would be time to turn in for the night.
Which he did. At 12:30AM.
He drifted off to sleep, wondering if Armitage cried when she walked down the aisle. He wondered if that man knew just how lucky he was.
Ben cried and he didn't even get to see her.
He spent Sunday in his hotel. Maybe, thirty years from now, he'd regret that decision, given that he had a gorgeous foreign city at his fingertips. He could have wandered along endless streets, snapping Instagram-worthy city shots that he'd recolor black and white.
He could have taken a sushi-making class that his Uncle Lando recommended, located in a famed restaurant in the Ginza district.
He could have hit the shops, on a quest to find the perfect gift for his mother to bring back home.
He could have done anything.
But he didn't. He slept until noon. He kept the curtains closed, content in the darkness.
By two, he relented and ordered room service, disgusted with himself as he ate western-style chicken fingers in his boxers while watching a Japanese home shopping network advertise a juice maker.
By four, he cried himself to sleep again, wondering how soft the bed was that Rey and Armitage were sharing, in some chain hotel in a touristy beach city in Mexico.
He wondered if her wedding night was everything she wanted.
By seven, he woke up with a pounding headache, and finally decided to take a shower. The endeavor was challenging, given how low the showerhead was, but by the time he finished, he at least felt a little rejuvenated.
Enough that he was willing to walk across the street to the 7-Eleven. At least that was a touristy thing to do.
By eight, he was back in bed, eating a collection of readily prepared foods that put his mother's cooking to shame.
By nine, he was happy, almost. Relieved, if anything. The worst of it was over. She was married and now he'd never have to see her again.
Things would only get better.
But at approximately 10:48PM, just as he was willing himself to watch more Japanese late-night television that he wouldn't understand, his phone rang. And not his cell phone, his hotel phone.
"Uh, hello?" Ben asked, picking up the corded phone with awkward limbs.
"Good evening, Mr. Solo," A polite employee began, their English perfect despite their heavy accent, "We have a guest waiting for you in the lobby."
Ben blinked a few times, not quite understanding the call. "A guest? For me?"
"Yes. She asked for Benjamin Solo. Would you like us to send her up or would you prefer to retrieve her?"
He stared at the television, momentarily distracted by the couple fighting in a tub of what Ben thought was red bean paste and cleared his throat. "I'll come down. Thanks."
Ben jumped to his feet and slid into his sneakers, on edge. He wondered which of his thoughts was worse.
The first was that his Uncle Lando finally followed through on his pushing for Ben to get a massage and did something stupid like hiring a masseuse.
The scarier, and most concerningly possible explanation was that Han, in his very skewed concepts of geishas, did something totally out of line and hired Ben a prostitute.
And even more pathetically, in Ben's fragile state, he wondered if he'd even be able to turn one away.
Of course, neither of those options came to fruition as he entered the regal front lobby of the hotel. Travelers and tourists roamed in and out, equipped with suit cases and shopping bags and damp umbrellas from the rain.
Earlier in the evening, he couldn't have looked more out of place in sweat pants and a rain jacket, holding bags from 7-Eleven.
But none of that mattered anymore.
Not when he saw her.
Like a dream, she stood by the front desk, shivering in a Coruscant University hoodie and a pair of yoga pants. She was soaking wet, leaving trails of pink and black makeup to run down her beautiful face.
Her hair was falling apart, but the remnants of an updo with sparkles and pearls remained.
She carried only a tiny black suit case and a beat-up backup.
Ben was paralyzed, unable to do anything but stand and stare.
Thankfully, she saw him and moved first.
"Ben!" She practically sobbed out, abandoning her bags to rush into his arms, "I found you!"
He gulped and nodded, pulling her closer, uncaring of how wet she was making him. Admittedly, he was having trouble voicing his obvious questions, only able to squeak and nod.
Finally, Rey pulled away gently, her eyes red. She sniffled and nodded towards the elevators. "Could we go to your room?"
Ben nodded dumbly, following Rey to the elevators, only stopping to retrieve her discarded bags. They stood in the elevator in complete silence, sans Rey's sniffles.
He was convinced he was in the middle of a lucid dream, brought on by too much sleep or an over-indulgence in what he thought were soda flavored hard candies that made his tongue buzz.
But Rey was very much real, and very much in his hotel room. He set her bags down and sat on the edge of his bed, only nodding and half paying attention to her words as she expressed the desire to take a shower.
He was mainly focused on the tiny pearls she was extracting from her beautiful, shiny hair.
When she disappeared into the bathroom, one of the hotel issued robes in her hands, he proceeded to pace the length of the room, which given his size and the limited open space in Tokyo, wasn't very expansive.
But nothing could distract him. Especially since without her in his direct eyesight, he could finally digest what the hell was going on.
Rey was in Japan.
Rey had found him.
Rey was in his hotel room.
And then she wandered out of the bathroom, clean-faced with wet hair, dressed in only the hotel robe.
Before he could say anything, she stumbled upon the hotel desk, littered with the ridiculous amounts of food he had purchased from 7-Eleven only hours before. He watched as she retrieved a melon loaf, a piece of onigiri, and a Japanese Kit-Kat that based on the wrapper, he believed to be strawberry cheesecake flavored.
"Oh, I'm so hungry," Rey muttered, before dropping into the desk chair, quickly ripping into the melon loaf. As soon as a piece of the green bread hit her tongue, she let out a soft moan and chomped away, "That's good. Taste like melon."
Ben was stunned by so many things he just…
He didn't know where to start.
Rey was wearing a fucking robe.
And he still didn't know why she was here!
He thought he'd be polite and let her eat, especially since he knew how exhausting the flight to Japan was.
He had done it mere days before.
When she finished her onigiri, he forced himself to speak.
"Rey," He finally choked out, his eyes locked on her form, "What are you doing here?"
She swallowed her last bit of rice and seaweed before grabbing the Kit-Kat. She bit into one of the pieces and held one out for Ben. "Want a piece?" She asked.
Ben cleared his throat and politely shook his head. Not only did they need to talk, but he also had eaten approximately six different flavors since landing earlier in the week.
"Rey…" He began, his tone cautious.
That seemed to do it. He watched as she set the remainder of the chocolate bar down and proceeded to burst into tears.
Immediately, he jumped to his feet, approaching her on shaky legs. "Rey, please—"
She wiped at her cheeks and continued to cry. "I'm so sorry," She hiccupped, using the white sleeve of the robe to wipe at her cheeks, "I just—"
Instead of finishing, she merely shook her head and choked on a sob.
Ben frowned and tentatively pulled her into a hug, immediately relaxing the moment her warm form was enveloped in his.
"Rey?" He asked again, his voice soft.
"My flight was delayed," She finally choked out, burying her face in Ben's shoulder, "By almost two hours. And it was the only flight that had any seats left on Saturday!" She hiccupped and started shaking, "And to think I thought I almost missed it. I had to break into the office."
Ben pulled her closer. "You…Why did you break into the office?"
Rey let out a whimper and sniffled. "I had to check my computer history to see what the name of your hotel was."
Her words left him stunned again, despite the logical part of him knowing she must have known somehow. At any rate, they sat in silence, only Rey's soft cries breaking through the tension.
He wasn't sure what to say.
There was one question on the tip of his tongue, and he was just too chicken shit to ask it.
"Of course, when I landed, it was pouring," She started again, her voice shaky, "And I packed for bloody Mexico, so it's not like I had much to protect me. And my taxi driver didn't speak English, so he dropped me off at the wrong hotel, and my phone died and, and, and—"
She let out another sob, prompting Ben to pull her closer. "You're here now," He whispered, before pressing a kiss to her head, "And that's all that matters."
His words seemed to startle Rey. She pulled back, finally looking him in the eyes. And despite how red and swollen they looked, the hazel still took his breath away.
"Oh my god," She croaked out, shaking, "I walked out on my wedding and flew to bloody Japan!"
Ben had been waiting to hear confirmation of just that. But now that he heard it, nothing was audible over the sound of his heart beating.
"You… didn't get married?" It sounded stupid coming out of his mouth, but he simply had to ask.
Rey sniffled and touched his cheek, her lip quivering as she studied him. "No. How could I, Ben? How could I marry another man after that kiss?"
Suddenly, his stomach plummeted. He swallowed and looked away. "I don't think a kiss is a reason to call off a wedding, Rey. I'm sure he would have understood—"
She shook her head and grabbed his hand, holding it to her chest. "No, you bloody idiot! That kiss changed everything. I've never felt anything like that before with Armie. With anyone. Except you."
Ben struggled to find adequate words to express himself after her confession. Could Rey really feel the same about him as he felt for her? Was it even possible for a woman so beautiful, so kind, so pure-hearted, to want him too?
"At first, I just thought it was cold feet," She began, her voice tinged with a newly found resolve, "That maybe your confession was just giving me second thoughts because how could it not? You're handsome, and sweet, and frankly, the whole package."
Internally, Ben screamed there was no way that was true, but he also knew she wasn't finished speaking and he simply had to know where she was going with her words.
"But then I got to the church," Rey explained, her voice shaky, "And the stylists Armie insisted I have started doing my hair and makeup. Finn and Rose dropped in and I just thought… Why am I filled with dread right now?"
She sniffled and shrugged her shoulders, sad. "They started putting these stupid bloody pearls in my hair, insisting I had to wear my hair up even though I just wanted something simple. And eventually, it occurred to me that what would make me happy in that moment would be to see you. To play a prank on Mitaka, or to share tea and some memes, or even just make funny faces from our desks."
Rey pressed a soft kiss to his hands and met his eyes, her own filled with tears. "I realized that walking down that aisle and seeing Armie would never make me happy. The only thing that would was seeing you. Being with you."
Ben reached forward and caressed her cheek, letting his fingers wipe away her warm tears. He smiled softly, his heart hammering in his chest. "You flew all the way to Japan to tell me that?"
His words made her giggle. She sniffled and nodded. "Yes. The stylists went to get my dress and I sort of just… Flipped. I don't know." She shrugged and covered his hand with her own, "I grabbed my suit case, drove to the office, and actually broke in to get to my computer."
"You really broke in?" He smiled and stepped closer, practically hypnotized, "Just so you could figure out where I was?"
She nodded and met his gaze. "I didn't want to call. I didn't think you'd answer. When I got the name of the hotel I just…" She blushed and looked away, "I went to the airport and bought tickets on the first flight I could." She hiccupped and touched his cheek, "And now I'm here. With you."
Ben took another step forward, instinct screaming for him to kiss her. "Nothing has ever made me so happy," He whispered, taking a moment to study the flecks of gold in her hazel eyes, "I've been miserable since I got here, thinking about you with him."
Suddenly, Rey stepped away, putting his body on high alert. She hurried over to her backpack, emptying it on the bed, causing various items like her passport, boarding pass, landing card, and an empty bag of spicy hot Cheetos to cover the white sheet.
She shifted through the items, until she found a large journal. Ben recognized it immediately—it was a sketch book.
He had bought it for her for Christmas.
Rey hurried back to him and blushed. "I drew something while I was on the flight."
Ben nodded, watching as she flicked through the pages, landing somewhere in the middle of the book. Even in that moment, he couldn't help the way his stomach flipped when he realized how frequently she must use it.
Finally, she held it open for him. He wanted to obsess about her delicate use of colors or her incredible skills, but instead his heart jumped to his throat.
Because on the page was an almost identical drawing to the one she had given Ben weeks ago that was currently hanging in his new apartment. It was him drawn in the typical manga style, wearing his favorite blue button down and sporting a very typical Ben-like scowl.
But instead of posing alone, like in the drawing back in Endor, he was joined by a smiley woman, one with three buns in her hair and a tiny hand that clasped the man's.
He looked back to Rey, his voice hoarse. "Is that us?"
Rey sniffled and nodded. "Yeah. It's us."
Unable to wait any longer, Ben did what he had been waiting to do since the moment he found Rey in the hotel lobby. He charged forward and pressed a ravenous kiss to her lips, his traitorous hands immediately landing on her hips.
She responded eagerly, kissing him back with a sort of fervor he had only ever imagined her capable of. Her hands slid into his still damp hair, pulling at the shaggy locks with a tiny moan.
And just when he thought he would combust, Rey pulled away, her lips dusting across his jaw in the process. She offered him a bright smile that nearly shattered him.
"I love you," She whispered, her words like a band aid to his damaged heart, "And I'm sorry it took me so long to realize it."
Ben simply shook his head and pulled her into his arms.
"Never be sorry for saying those words to me."
She grinned and put her head on his chest. "I love you."
"I love you too."
The rest of the week in Tokyo was even more incredible than Ben could have ever imagined. Of course, they still had a lot of to figure out upon their eventual return home. One of the lows of the week was Ben sitting on the closed toilet, desperately trying to hear any part of Rey's phone conversation with Armitage.
Of course, he was happy Rey was with him, but he did pity the guy. Armitage deserved an explanation for her change of heart. Ben knew what it was like to have his heart shattered.
So, he happily held Rey in his arms when the phone call was over, letting the pair of them simply sit in silence, knowing the worst of it was over. Rey didn't tell him what they discussed and frankly, it wasn't his business.
There was of course the issue of Ben's job change, but they had come to a surprising conclusion. While Ben was initially open to seeing if he could simply relocate back to Coruscant, Rey voiced her desire to join him in Endor.
Apparently, she liked the idea of being close to his parents, as well as finding a new job. He had no issue with that.
His new apartment had plenty of room.
But he knew talking about her moving in was probably moving a bit too fast.
And, since Ben was scared of ruining this new-found happiness by going way too fast, they hadn't slept together yet. Well, they had slept together every evening, sharing the very much not a king hotel bed, but they had not slept together.
It was difficult, especially when Rey enjoyed prancing around in the hotel robe or just one of his t-shirts.
His own torture aside, the week was magical. Rey was incredibly reactive, 'oohing' and 'aahing' at every shrine and brightly lit building, insistent on buying post cards and cutesy items at every tourist attraction. Huge stretches of time were devoted to her taking photos, as well as the occasional stop that saw her pulling out her trusty sketch book and outlining a fun building or a character she really liked.
But really, his favorite part so far was watching Rey eat. Ben knew she had an appetite—he had spent years eating lunch with her, and frequently abandoning his leftovers or food his mother dropped off so he could enjoy watching Rey eat instead.
Given Japan's status as a food mecca, they obviously ate as much as they could. But Rey was on an entirely different level. Every hour led to stops at street vendors selling takoyaki, dango, yakitori, and Ben's personal favorite, taiyaki, or runs into 7-Eleven where Rey proceeded to shove as many interesting looking candy and snacks into her purse as possible.
Ben was already dreaming about their honeymoon. He'd have to take her to Italy, or France, or Korea. Somewhere else known for incredible food, a place where she could stuff her face until she couldn't walk.
He knew it was silly to be thinking that far ahead, but he was certain of one thing. She'd never have to beg him to go anywhere. If she wanted the beach, they'd go to the beach. If she wanted to fly to fucking Antarctica and freeze, he'd do the impossible for her.
Eventually, their time in Tokyo came to an end, and in approximately twelve hours they'd take the bullet train up to Kyoto. Ben had paid an egregious amount of money to extend his reservation at the ryokan to two people, but the thought of sleeping on a mat with Rey beside him made it absolutely worth it.
Ben strolled out of the bathroom, his hair wet, and watched as Rey comically tried to shove all the trinkets she bought into her tiny suitcase. He smiled gently and offered her one of his virtually empty backpacks.
"Just use this. I didn't pack much, and you know I don't buy much," He explained, before trailing over to his sole shopping bag, filled with traditional Japanese sweets he bought for his father. He still hadn't decided what to buy his mother, but he figured Kyoto would have something worthwhile.
Rey smiled and accepted the bag. Ben watched, his eyes amused, as she filled the sleek case with what he assumed to be at least seventy-five dollars' worth of convenience store food. He sat on the corner of the bed, his eyes on her form.
"What did Jabba say?" He inquired, knowing Rey had called her boss during his shower. While Rey had taken time off to go on her honeymoon, she was supposed to be back to work in approximately two days.
Given their additional eight planned days in Japan, there was no way that was happening.
Rey stopped her packing and plucked a matcha-flavored Kit-Kat from the backpack, turning to Ben. "Oh, he barely cared. He didn't even remember I had taken off. Apparently, he thinks Mitaka and I look the same, since a man taking his calls and bringing him his coffee didn't register."
Ben chuckled. "Well, he's not the most competent. But I'm glad he didn't make things difficult."
She shrugged and grabbed his hand, her smile wide. "If he had, I would have just quit. It would have given me the out I needed."
Her words made his heart soar. "Well, this is best. Better to use your vacation time than lose it."
Rey nodded excitedly and plopped on the bed beside him, watching him curiously. "So… I have to be honest. You keep talking about a ryokan and that being a traditional Japanese inn but um… I don't know what exactly that means."
Ben scooted closer to her and took her hand in his, unable to stop the way his thumb ran along her smooth skin. He smiled at her curious eyes.
"Well, they're known for a few things. First, you sleep on the floor on mats. And they have hot springs, called Onsens. They're usually separated by gender because you do them nude. You also wear Yukatas, which is like a casual kimono," Ben explained, his cheeks flushing pink, "Or at least that's what Trip Advisor forums and my years watching anime has led me to believe."
Rey grinned and nodded excitedly. "That sounds fun. I wish there were private hot springs though," She explained, her hand moving to Ben's sweat pant clad leg, "I'd prefer to be nude with you."
He nearly choked. "Oh. Yeah, uh, there are some mixed gender onsens but I don't think ours is—"
She pouted and scooted closer. "I don't care about seeing other men nude. Just you."
His cheeks were impossibly pink. In fact, that flush had probably traveled to his ears. Rey didn't seem phased, and simply leaned forward, pressing a soft kiss to his jaw.
"If these inns don't have beds, we probably should take advantage of this one," She whispered, before pressing a soft kiss to his neck, "Because somehow I imagine getting busy on the floor won't be the comfiest."
Ben cleared his throat and met her eyes. "Are you sure, Rey? I didn't want to rush anything. I mean—"
She silenced his words with a kiss. "We don't have to do anything you're not comfortable with, but I've been thinking about what's under those dress shirts since the moment I met you."
Again, her words had a way of rendering him speechless. She took that as a hint to continue. "Besides," She moved closer, setting both of her hands on his thick thighs, "Isn't Japan known for kinky stuff? Like tentacle porn? Love hotels? Let's not waste an opportunity."
Ben nearly choked, nodding his head dumbly. That pleased Rey, if her giant smile was any indication. He watched with wide eyes as she stood, dropping one of his t-shirts and her yoga pants to the ground, leaving her in just a pair of Pikachu printed underwear.
He remembered her buying them three days ago.
His eyes zeroed in on her chest, taken by her smooth golden skin. She climbed over him, forcing him to lie back, and offered him a naughty grin.
"I think I always had a crush on you," She explained, as she expertly removed the t-shirt he was wearing, "You were always so handsome. Even when I was taken."
Ben swallowed and captured her lips in a kiss, absolutely drunk on the feel of her soft breasts pressed against his bare chest. He couldn't help but run his hands up and down the smooth skin of her back, delirious with the feel.
After a few more chaste kisses, Ben allowed her to pull down his sweat pants, reveling in the feel of her hands all over him. In fact, he was only knocked out of his reverie when her hand wrapped around his aching length.
"Oh, fuck," She moaned, pressing another kiss to his lips, "You're a work of art, Ben."
He was again unable to speak, only croaking out pathetic noises as she moved her hand up and down, pressing kisses along his chest and neck. Eventually, he ran his hands to her smooth legs, and greedily snuck his fingers inside the cotton fabric.
Rey let out a squeal as his thick fingers found her warm center, his hand moving expertly against her quivering flesh. He pressed a thumb against her clit, forcing another cry from her lips, before easily sliding one finger into her depths.
"Fuck, Ben!" She cried out, grinding against his stomach as he moved his hand against her, "You feel so good."
He took her praise to heart and continued his rubbing, deciding to add another finger at one particularly throaty cry from Rey. With his thumb flicking at her clit and two fingers moving hungrily, she let out a cry and shook against him, her tight walls fluttering.
Rey cried out again, her hand still wrapped tightly around his throbbing length, and gave him another kiss. Ben thought back to her mention of Japan's notable sex culture and couldn't help but bring his hand to his face, eagerly drawing his wet fingers into his mouth.
She watched, wide-eyed, as he cleaned each digit, a smile across his lips. He moaned and sat up, pulling her closer, enjoying the way she nuzzled against him.
"God, who would have thought Ben Solo had a naughty streak in him?" She hummed out, contently squeezing his thick cock, "Because that was fucking hot."
Ben chuckled and flipped her over, expertly sliding her ruined panties down her legs. He brought the garish yellow fabric to his nose and inhaled, laughing as she shrieked and kicked him.
"You know, it's rumored that vending machines here sell used panties," He explained, before tossing the underwear on top of his suit case, intending to tuck them away for later, "Apparently they're just… scented to seem so but you could sell those, Rey. They're a drug."
She flushed and tried to kick him again, but just laughed as he hovered over her. She pressed a gentle kiss to his lips and ran her hands through his wet hair, her eyes shining with something Ben struggled to comprehend.
"I love you," She whispered, bringing her hands to wrap around his neck, "And I'm so happy to get to be with you."
Her words were all Ben needed. With a breathy "I love you too", he pushed in, groaning at the feel of her wet core.
Staring down at her quivering form was all Ben had ever wanted. In fact, he had dreamed on far too many occasions of what it would feel like to hold her in his arms, fucking her so well that she wouldn't be able to walk.
And now he finally had the opportunity. Her hands were wrapped in his dark locks, her lips locked on the soft skin of his neck. He continued his eager thrusts, letting his mouth lick and kiss and suck at every exposed inch of her gorgeous skin, only satisfied when red marks began to cover her neck and chest.
As he got closer, he dropped his hand between their bodies, rubbing at her clit, his inner cave male simply purring at the noises of delight she made at every thrust of his hips and flick at her flesh.
When her lips met his again, she lost control, her body shaking beneath him. The fluttering of her core proved too much for him to take. With one final push, he saw stars, shaking as he finally felt complete.
He collapsed beside her, desperate to catch his breath. He heard Rey giggle, before feeling her roll into his arms, throwing one warm leg across his naked body. He palmed the soft skin and let out a content sigh.
"What's next?" She asked, her tone playful, "I call you senpai?"
Ben groaned and gave her ass a soft smack. "Christ, what type of anime do you watch, Rey? You made fun of me for being a Naruto fan in high school."
She leaned over and gave him a kiss. She giggled. "Maybe I watch the dirty kind."
His head flooded with images of what that meant. Embarrassingly, his cock began to harden beneath her leg.
Rey snorted and smacked his chest. "Alright, not that kind. But I admit, my foster brothers used to watch Dragon Ball Z and I kind of got into that."
He pressed a kiss to her head. "Ah. Good choice."
She smirked. "Do you watch the dirty kind?"
"I plead the fifth."
Rey gasped and straddled him. "We're not in America anymore. I don't believe that's a thing in Japanese law."
Ben shrugged and kissed her. "And if I did?"
She bit her lip and shrugged. "Then I'd say notice me, senpai."
Ben groaned. "Fuck, I love you."
She laughed and leaned closer. "Don't you mean Dai Suki?"
But Ben shut her up with a kiss.
And later that evening, as they drifted off to sleep entangled in each other's arms, he thought back to his miserable job in Coruscant and how desperately he hated being a salesman.
But with one look at Rey in his arms, he decided that job was the best thing to ever happen to him.