Sunshower: a meteorological phenomenon in which rain falls while the sun is shining.
The sound of quick, rhythmic thudding against a wooden table seems to be magnified in the house's eerie silence, deafening as it echoes impatient fingers. A paranoid gaze falls over the contents lined up at the kitchen counter: brand new boxes of flour and icing for baking, bowls, sizing cups and spoons.
Hux feels his heart stuck at his throat—oversized, beats so loud and consuming that they seem to merge with the sound of his fingers. His anxiety had already made him burst several pink balloons that should've been blown and attached to chairs already, but should he be made to wait in the unknown for a minute longer, his heart would explode exactly like the balloons had.
It’s Lara's first birthday today, but Ren had taken her to town for yet another medical appointment.
She had been ill for several weeks now, with symptoms so strange that none of the doctors that they'd consulted had been able to provide a diagnostic. It wasn't so much that the symptoms were rare per se ; she had been feverish most of the time, and some days she couldn't hold in food, while on other occasions she'd simply display signs of deep fatigue, staring at her parents with such sadness in her eyes, without wanting to move from the bed. They figured none of these conditions were odd, but what was unsettling was that they didn’t add up to a specific disease. Today’s appointed doctor was their last resort.
Being alone in Naboo (with Hux in hiding and Kylo making his way around with mind manipulation) was a hindrance when seeking appropriate help. They had no one to turn to in their exile, no one to guide them on their journey through parenthood, no one to trust. Except, of course, for Kylo’s own instinct.
Despite what Hux ranted about daily, Kylo was the one parent who knew best, thanks to his Force sensitivity. He merely complied with Hux in seeking medical help, to avoid further conflict, but he already knew that his partner’s logic was weak, and no matter how many times Kylo tried to reason with him, it always ended up painfully badly.
Hux, being only the most stubborn man Kylo knew in all the galaxy, would not shut up until he got his way. He tried to convince himself that Kylo’s mystic talk was nothing but crap, and that the reason for a child’s illness was simply to do with their organism, not a higher power. Though so much time had passed that Hux was beginning to go mad when none of Lara’s medical analises came back with a clear answer.
Kylo had had the premonition that Lara’s initial sleep disturbance would only progress to harm her physical self sooner or later. He knew , for he had lived through the same kind of pain, only at an older age. Lara’s disease didn’t have a name because it was designed for her by the same monster who ordered her conception. The same monster that had robbed Ben Solo. The one that had promised to take her as soon as she knew how to walk.
Snoke was cunning that way. A master in how to break his rogue subordinates once and for all.
He had been brewing up a plan to separate them simply for the sake of it, since the very first time he had seen a flicker of curiosity in Kylo’s mind towards his fellow General (if they had learned to work together efficiently, Kylo Ren and General Hux would’ve been invencible, bringing nothing but glory to the First Order. But Snoke never wanted to share success with two insignificant boys ).
Despite having played them against each other for so long, Snoke had been appalled at how their infatuation skyrocketed even when they seemed to hate each other’s guts. Snoke’s plans had backfired against him but it didn’t matter...he had seen how weak his once desired apprentice truly was when faced with love.
Two meager runts of the litter is what Kylo Ren and Armitage Hux were to him, but they would learn...if Snoke milked their only salvageable traits into a perfectly engineered warrior--raised since birth to obey him, the First Order would finally be victorious and rule the galaxy like it was supposed to do since the beginning.
So the time had come for Snoke to secure his precious invention, making his presence evident in the pathetic domestic life that the two lovers had built for themselves. He toyed with them, finally breaking them up slowly as they feared and fought for the life of their daughter, who was progressively weakening as she grew helpless to the forces twisting her from the inside.
They’d become lost in vicious circle, a paradox. Hux refused to listen to Kylo and Kylo preferred not to give into Hux’s whims, on and off again. Kylo tried to reason with Hux multiple times, to make him see that the aid of some doctor was pointless. And he kept trying to build shields around Lara but Snoke broke through them with ease. Kylo’s failed attempts only served to infuriate Hux even further, so he barked at Kylo about getting off his own ass and find their daughter legitimate, professional help. Kylo resented Hux’s disbelief in him and Hux was desperate with Kylo’s mediocre way of dealing with things.
Once they had promised to communicate more--to be frank and upfront about their feelings. All the progress they had made on that first year at Naboo went to absolute shit as Lara continued to get sicker. Their conversations would quickly evolve into screams and insults--something they were oh, so familiar to. When those arguments would reach their peak and words were naught to express their stress and desperation, it was only the natural course of things, for anger to translate into physical strength instead. But then the ruckus of dishes smashing and thrown chairs breaking, would propel a tantrum out of Lara, adding to their mutual irritation towards each other. They would retreat to themselves and not talk until their anger had dissipated somewhat.
They had never expected their time at Naboo to be easy, but what they were up against was of a colossal magnitude.
They had even gone without sex for weeks in a row because of how tense things were between them, and that was something that truly saddened them, with sex being such a cherished ritual for them both.
Now, as Hux sits alone in their kitchen, his mind drifts to the ups and downs they had encountered on that year as he waits for his daughter and partner to arrive, praying to the nurturing force that guarded their little house that they'd arrive with a cure for his poor baby…
One year ago.
It had been tough. Like getting up unaided after being hit by the force of a hurricane. There was some kind of relief, nevertheless: their own private paradise, if it could be called that; a life without the burden of the Order at last. But that paradise had soon proven to be an illusion, their bliss opaque with the emotional challenges they struggled with every day.
The first couple of weeks, their bones felt too heavy; they didn't move from the bed at all. The excitement of their long-awaited deflection had been short lived--vanishing the very moment their eyes opened to see another day, the morning after their heartfelt conversation when Kylo confessed about being involuntarily connected to the Scavenger through the Force.
While they were content, they were immensely tired, so they slept for most of the day. They would wake up at the sound of Lara’s rustling and with great effort, Hux would get up to change her while Kylo reluctantly followed to the kitchen to prepare breakfast for everyone. Afterwards, they’d return to their bedroom and let the day brush away until it was time to get up again to eat and tend to Lara.
Only Kylo got out of the house for his usual trip to town to stock up on supplies. Without their special cleaning machine, Lara threw diapers away like crazy, making them realize just how huge of an expanse having a child really was. Kylo had even begun fretting that sooner or later the store owners he frequented would start to suspect him. For that reason, he made sure to be quick in his trips, anxiously awaiting to return to bed as well. They both did--always longing for sleep even upon waking.
They were promptly falling down a rabbit hole. It felt too great to remain buried in the safety of their bed, compensating for what seemed like an eternity without a decent sleep. They neglected their days as well as their own bodies—their descent into depression evident in the way they woke up with more scruff on their faces than the day before, and how the bags under their eyes never disappeared, no matter how much they rested.
Without them noticing, two months had passed. Two whole months that they had wasted, rotting away in a bed, with a false sense of security from the war they abandoned but feared, nonetheless, that it might find them again. The only thing keeping them sane was Lara. She was the very rope that fell from the surface of the pit to help them climb back up. And they struggled, but they were hanging on.
As she had proven upon her first breath, she was active and demanding, never fully tranquil until she was coddled by her parents. So having her amongst them in bed--having to interact with her and stimulate her with words in order to help her cognitive skills, kept them going.
They had been warned by Dr. Vigil that she might develop quicker than the average baby due to her force sensitivity and the conditions of her conception, which indeed she had. Merely weeks after her birth she had already been so aware of the world around her, a quality that became even more evident in those first two months. Kylo could swear that it felt as if she knew, somehow, about the turmoil within them. As if her connection to them made her sensitive to their internal agony, and in turn she’d make the effort to help her parents stay awake —in every sense of the word.
Sometime along the middle of their third month of wallowing, something amazing happened. It was around mid morning and they were tucked in bed as usual, with Lara in between them. They had been pleased to witness how her gurgles and little sounds had started to become more articulated in time.
On that very morning, she appeared to be having a very lively conversation with her stuffed animals that only she could understand; she would shake one before motioning to the other in reply--changing the pitch of her sounds accordingly to each character and laughing to herself in delight. She would turn to her parents as if to ask them “Are you seeing this?” with the brightest smile on her face, to which they cheered in response.
Suddenly, as if it was the most common thing in the world for her, she pointed at Hux first--face serious as she firmly said, “pah!” and then returned to her imaginary conversation with her toys.
Their eyes widened and their hearts stopped.
“What was that, honey?” Kylo was the first to ask as they had begun to rise from their lying position to sit closely to their daughter.
She turned to Kylo but said, “dah” instead.
“That's perfect! darling, that's right” Hux cooed, eager for Lara to keep repeating herself until her mumbles transformed into fluent, well formed words so that she could begin telling them every funny tale from her imagination--every thought, every question, every need. She seemed to have sensed the pride beaming from her parents so she kept repeating those sounds over and over again enthusiastically, immensely content at being kissed and nuzzled.
Both of their chests were flooding with a certain kind of warmth that they had never felt before. No matter everything that had happened, it seemed to dawn on them that it was all real. That they were now fathers to a gorgeous little girl who needed them to be strong, or else they would miss all the special moments that would follow on Lara’s life. She was the reason they had escaped the First Order in the first place, and they were no use to her if they kept moping around, hiding under the sheets of an old, creaky bed.
After that, things took a positive change. They dusted themselves off and started again.
Now they took Lara to play in the living room or even out for walks in the gardens. As months passed, things were beginning to look up for the little family.
Ren had begun exercising again and would usually integrate the baby on his routines--from doing pushups with Lara on his back, to having her on his shoulders while he did squats (all the while, with a laughing girl who was delighted to be moved about by her dad). While Hux had taken up his engineering drawing again to keep himself occupied; his first project would be the little radio device that would hopefully pick up the transmissions sent out on the advancement of the war. Only then he would be confident to go out to the city with Kylo, who had started taking Lara out with him (both to get her to a different environment, as well as to make her try out her clothes before getting them. Another thing they had noticed was that in just 7 months, she kept growing out of them ridiculously fast.)
Kylo had made a habit of taking a detour to a nearby park to play with Lara before returning home. Once he had been so afraid of her--jealous of how easy Hux had adjusted to fatherhood. But his confidence grew once he started spending more time with her alone. Besides, her love for him was loud and clear in her aura. Pure, unconditional love.
There was one time when he had been so enthralled by rocking his baby in the air and making engine noises (like they would do when playing spaceship), sitting on a park bench, that he hadn’t noticed the woman that had approached him.
“Your baby is beautiful” she had coquettishly said, extending her hand in greeting. “I’m Miri”
He had gaped at her, thrown out of his element by having a beautiful woman strike a conversation with him. He had noticed her around before, always working out--either running laps around the park or doing yoga. She was svelte, yet curvaceous in her tight exercise clothes, and she had her long hair pulled up in a ponytail. What had Kylo stumbling with his words was the intense waves of flirtation and interest that she was unconsciously projecting.
“Thank you. I’m uh--” How would he introduce himself!? Not Kylo, surely? “-B-Ben...Hux ” That last bit, he had said in auto-pilot. As if to establish himself as taken, although she wouldn’t have gotten the hint just by that.
“I’ve seen you around here a lot. Today, I thought, why not ? Might as well take a shot and talk to the handsome stranger with the baby”
He had blushed involuntarily by having been called handsome. Although he had always known he was attracted to men, he had never had anyone from any gender at all flirt with him before. It had given him a very needed confidence boost after having spent so long cooped up at the cottage.
“Yeah, I bring her here for a change of scenery. She likes playing in the open air.”
“What’s her name?”
“How beautiful! she’s so beautiful--I mean, how could she not be?”
If only Hux was here to see this, Kylo thought. He would be laughing his ass off. Or marking his territory. I certainly wouldn’t mind that...
“Thank you. What do you say, honey?” he had cooed to Lara, but apparently someone hadn’t been that happy to share the attention of her dad--nor about the woman’s intentions with him. She had only grumbled, turning her head the other way. “She’s a bit shy”
“You’re so sweet with her” Miri had tried to get closer, but Lara resisted. “She looks so much like you! She must get her green eyes from her mother, I bet...Where is she, by the way?”
“Yeah, she does. He’s at home”
“Oh” she hadn’t expected that. “Well. I better be going now. Hope to see you around some other time” she obliged herself to add, for her interest had fallen quicker than an ancient X-Wing in battle.
It had been a bizarre encounter for Kylo and Hux had had the time of his life hearing all about it, back at the house.
“I had the strangest thing happen to me today” Kylo had begun recounting during lunch.
“This lady at the park approached me today, but she was flirting with me. It was so weird”
Hux cracked up. “Was she?”
“Yeah, it was practically pouring out of her, I could feel it. It was so strange, Hux”
“She probably saw your ears and went weak at the knees”
“I’m serious too. Your ears are your most attractive feature” Hux choked out, face scrunched up as he snickered.
“Ha ha, go fuck yourself”
“Well. While I entirely understand why she would flirt, she didn’t withstand a chance. You’re mine.”
Hearing that coming out of Hux’s mouth got Kylo all flustered--heart pumping erratically while all the blood in his body travelled to south. Hux had never been openly affectionate. He was possessive in his own way, and it drove Kylo mad with want whenever Hux would let comments like that slip.
Hux had repeated, later on that day when they had put Lara to nap and eagerly made their way to the bedroom.
Like a starved man, Hux had attacked every inch of Kylo’s neck with kisses and bites as he laid on top of him--the burn of his bushy beard, entirely divine to Kylo, who had been reduced to a mess of wanton moans by Hux’s touch.
“Ugh, Hux...never shave this off, please ” Kylo groaned, caressing the ginger hairs that decorated Hux’s chin and jaw. While Kylo had shaved his own scruff off and trimmed the tips of his hair before it got any longer, Hux had opted for the contrary. He looked so different...so carefree and unkept, where he used to go for a pristine, clean-shaven and gelled-back look before. It made him so unbearably attractive, so striking and masculine.
“Mmm, do you like this?” he hotly whispered as he kept rubbing his face against Kylo, in tune with the motion of his undulating hips against Kylo’s clothed erection.
“Fuck yeah…” He whined as he had forcefully pushed Hux’s boxer-shorts and shirt off of him, leaving him completely bare as they kept kissing. Kylo took advantage of that move by grabbing a handful of Hux’s ass to sensually knead those perfectly round globes, pressing Hux’s groin more insistently against him to seek out more friction on his dick.
Hux started a path of messy kisses from Kylo’s neck, down to the hollow of his mole-dotted throat and collarbones, stopping to bite at each of his broad pecs. He aimed to leave angry-red hickeys all over that smooth skin as he taunted him, “Did you like her, throwing herself at you, hmm?”
Kylo couldn’t even answer--muted by the wet feeling of Hux sucking his nipples. “Y-yeah ”
“Did you? did you like the attention?” Hux started trailing lower--prickly beard and hot puffs of breath igniting a fire all along Kylo’s abdomen and navel, places where Hux had chosen to stop at to thoroughly worship with his tongue.
“Mhmm…” Kylo hummed, grabbing a fistful of soft, ginger locks, beautifully lose from a lack of the usual gel. So much easier to gather and pull . “Not as much as I like the sight of you in between my legs”
“I’m sure she imagined herself in my place. How about that?” Kylo’s heavy erection bounced up when it was freed from his shorts. “Oooh, so gorgeous, ” Hux murmured, taking it in his hand and loving how the weight of that thick length felt. “All filled up for me ”
“Yes” Kylo groaned, “Only for you.” He had tried angling his hips up to meet Hux’s mouth but was ignored. Hux instead rubbed the expanse of Kylo’s inner thighs with his beard--exploiting this newfound thing that his partner enjoyed. “Fuck, that feels so good, Hux...”
“Does it…? Wouldn’t it feel nicer with that nice lady here, sucking on your cock, instead of me?” And Kylo melted into the bed at the feeling of Hux’s tongue lightly licking his head while fisting the base of his dick.
“No, fuck no, only you... please ” He had desperately tried to guide Hux further in by the hair, and was rewarded with a long, thorough suck, with Hux hollowing out his cheeks--releasing Kylo with a loud and obscene, popping sound.
“Who do you belong to?” Hux had darkly growled as he stroked Kylo with his tightened fist.
“ You, baby, only you…Hux, please...” He was going to cum if Hux kept torturing him like that. What had him so worked up was having all of Hux’s attention to himself--basking in the intense waves of lust, possessiveness and craving radiating from him--all centered on Kylo. It left him feeling like a spiraling TIE-fighter, falling into the vast space.
“Who does this big cock belong to?” Hux demanded as he incremented the strength of his stroking.
“it’s yours, Hux, all yours!”
“Mhhmm, damn right it is” Hux gobbled the rest of it down, deep-throating Kylo, up and down, again and again...All of Kylo’s nerves were alight with fire and he felt a puddle of warmth gathering low in his belly. He couldn’t help but take hold of Hux’s hair and force him down until his nose was practically nuzzled against Kylo’s pubic hair as he kept swallowing.
“Hux, Hux, Hux, Hux…fffuck, Hux, I’m gonna cum!”
“Not yet! not yet, my darling boy...” Kylo let out a long, guttural whine in desperation. He was right there at the cliff, and yet...Hux had pulled him out of his mouth to harshly bite at the meaty flesh of his inner thighs, while his palms massaged the planes of Kylo’s hard abs to calm him down.
“Please, Hux...please ” he had almost screamed the last part if it wasn’t for the awareness of a sleeping Lara next door.
“Shh...or you’ll wake the baby” Hux devilishly grinned as he returned to his ministrations--a wet heat enveloping Kylo’s dick so, so heavenly. “How badly do you want to cum?”
“ So, so, bad, baby, I want to come in your mouth, please!”
“Are you going to be thinking of her when you cum?”
“No, Hux, only you, baby, only you, I want it so bad, please…” He babbled and begged over and over again at the mouth-watering sensation of Hux’s tongue on him. Helpless, Kylo went to grab one of Hux’s hands while he kept sucking him, neck arched when a very distinct, overwhelming tingling in his groin started pulsing and spreading all over his body in delicious waves. He was right there...so he had squeezed Hux’s hand in an attempt to anchor himself. “FUCK! Hux!”
Without wanting to stop blowing him, Hux lovingly stroked his thumb against Kylo’s nuckles, granting him permission, sending in thought, “Cum for me, my boy” as he increased the speed of his mouth without a care in the world for his sore jaw.
That, plus the vibration of Hux’s loud groan against Kylo’s cock propelled him out into a mind-shattering orgasm, as thrilling as that first instance when engaging the hyperdrive of a ship.
Hux had swallowed everything up, gulping down greedily as he admired how precious Kylo looked: showered in an innocent kind of relief at having been pleasured and donned and loved so sweetly. All muscle and power, and yet so boyish, laying there completely satisfied, still holding onto his lover’s hand like a lifeline as his chest rose and fell with effort.
When Hux pulled off from Kylo’s dick, he was still connected to him through a thin thread of cum, which he obscenely licked into his mouth, making a show of savouring it. Afterwards, Hux had climbed his way back up to Kylo, who immediately attacked his lips, wanting to taste himself on him.
And how the scratch of that beard did things to him...Kylo had firmly wrapped his arms around Hux to trap him right in as Hux, once again, nuzzled his face into the crook of Kylo’s neck.
“So that’s a deal. You’re never shaving this off again”
Hux had faintly laughed, exhausted but tremendously happy; he would never admit out loud how much he enjoyed spoiling Kylo from time to time. Made him feel truly content, even if he hadn’t been taken care of yet. But Kylo was an attentive lover, so he had returned the favor shortly after they had cuddled for a while. He had had Hux’s legs tightly wrapped around his head like vices as Kylo enthusiastically blew him.
After that one time, the two had been at it like animals; fucking in every corner of the house, at any hour of the day. That’s when they knew that they had passed their recovery with flying colors: when their sex drive had been restored to normalcy, at last.
Once, they did it at the sofa: Kylo gripping the back of it so hard that his knuckles had gone white, since Hux been teasing him for an eternity before he gave him the blowjob of his life. The minute Hux had sank himself into that cock though, Kylo had been too far gone to last long.
They did it quite frequently at the kitchen; with Hux holding on to that counter for dear life as Kylo rimmed him like a hungry dog, opening him up to take his length. Or, the other way around, given the occasion.
There was one time that they had woken up so horny, that it had been nearly impossible to handle the day’s chores. That morning, they had found their erections naturally rubbing against one another upon waking. They had tried to get off with sleepy kisses and languid dry humping, but Lara’s cries had interrupted them just when they had found a perfect pace. The promise of continuing where they had left off had had them antsy all day, so they made sure to tire Lara out quickly to escape to the bed as soon as she fell asleep. They had been so eager--much too desperate to withstand proper foreplay--so they ended up with Hux on top of Kylo in a 69 position, to pleasure each other simultaneously. They had finished quite quickly, to their dismay. But it allowed them more recovery time before round two.
Only one issued remained.
Kylo, as requested, had brought Hux all the parts that he needed to start tinkering with the radio he had designed. It took him a couple of tries, but he prided himself the moment it began functioning flawlessly.
Every morning, Hux would sit at the kitchen table, cup of caf in hand, waiting.
“Ren” Hux almost didn’t hear the transmission one time, with Kylo and Lara’s loud giggles in the background.
At 8 months, Hux had learned that Phasma was now in charge (which, Hux thought, she actually deserved. She was the most capable, ruthless soldier he had ever met). They were still looking for them, since they never found their bodies upon Starkiller’s destruction.
“Okay, okay, I’ll shut up now, damnit”
“This is FN-9792. Still on the lookout for Hux and Ren’s bodies, no signs of them yet. Over.”
He exhaled a sigh mixed with relief and unsease at the same time. He had a nagging feeling at the back of his head that Phasma knew that they were hiding, even when the results of their search proved negative.
Two months later though, it seemed that their luck had changed.
“Ren! listen to this”
Kylo had left Lara in the playden as he reached closer to Hux in his usual place at the table. They listened to an unknown (yet, a little bit familiar? they couldn’t point it out due to the distortion of the transmission) female voice speak to Phasma.
“It’s been 10 standard months, General. There hasn’t been a trace of them anywhere--the troops have covered the majority of the galaxy by now--it’s the fastest, most efficient raid we’ve done. Still, no trace. They might have been consumed when Starkiller blew up. We need to reevaluate our strategy--focus all forces on the Resistance. It’s said Skywalker might be back with them but we haven’t received confirmation.”
“You’re right. Make a public announcement declaring their deaths. We mustn't let the Resistance slip through our fingers, it’s time to move. IMMEDIATELY.”
“Understood, General Phasma.”
It was like an unbearable weight had been lifted off their shoulders.
Later that same evening, upon finishing their dinner, another announcement came through.
“The First Order declares today that former General Armitage Hux and commander Kylo Ren are dead. I repeat. Armitage Hux and Kylo Ren are dead.”
They couldn't find words to name that overwhelming feeling dancing inside their chests at the news. They went about the remaining affairs of the day in a haze until nighttime came. Still in that wonderful high, now made tangible with an unhurried, lengthy, love-making session as a celebration; each lying on their sides as Kylo gently pounded into Hux--mouths locked in tender kisses and sighs, hands cradling the sides of their faces as they timidly smiled in ease.
“It’s done” Kylo had whispered, breath tickling Hux’s face, who quietly laughed.
“It’s done! It’s done, my love, it’s done, we’re dead” Hux kept murmuring. They remained tangled in a cozy embrace as they continued to move until they both came together with hushed, relieved moans; Kylo emptying himself inside of Hux, as their kisses became lazy and imprecise--more hot breaths exchanged, than anything.
They were too comfortable to move, so they fell asleep in each other’s arms in a loving hug, all through the night, until morning arrived to greet them to another day filled with possibilities now that they had freed themselves of one less worry.
They had decided to wait for the news to spread until they went out together as a family for the first time, which happened two weeks later at Kylo’s proposition of going to the park he frequented. That day, it had been sunny but chilly, so they had all gone out dressed in snug clothing; Lara with a yellow sundress and a lavender cardigan and beanie; Hux in a blue, knitted sweater, and Kylo dressed in all black as usual.
“Easy there, son of darkness, wouldn’t want to go unnoticed, would you?”
“Shut up, Hux. You look like an old man in that thing”
“I am an old man”
They had playfully bickered all day as they strolled through the park, both of them alternating their hold on Lara (which was paradise to her--the thing she had come to love most in the universe was the warmth of her father’s arms, equally). They had even ran into Miri, who perplexedly watched them interact from afar, and stood petrified when Hux made a show of dramatically kissing Kylo specifically for her discomfort.
“Eye’s preem, daddy!” Lara had cheerfully babbled while tugging at her father’s sweaters. As usual, when Kylo would take her to the park they would often stop by a quaint ice cream shop that sold treats that somehow changed color--Lara’s favorite being the one that went from bright green to orange and then purple.
“Let’s ask your papa--Hux, do you want to try one? she really likes the ice cream there”
“Eye’s preem, papa, pleese!? Papa!”
How could he say no to those resplandescent green eyes? “With what sort of monstrosity have you been spoiling our daughter with!? Hux jested--a good-hearted defeat by having been won by the adorable look of his child. “They don’t happen to have a Tarine flavored one, do they?”
“Wow. That has to be the lamest thing I’ve ever heard”
“Shut up!” He gave Ren a playful shove before faking reluctancy when following them to the store. Although he was in fact appalled by the looks of the desserts: endless rows of pastel and neon-colored pastries and ice-cream--maker knows what sort of ingredients they had. His eyes nearly fell from its orbits when he saw the the big scoop of ice-cream that the blue-skinned, Twi’lek man had served Lara.
“Relax, they’re all made from local produce” Kylo snickered at Hux’s scandalized face.
“That doesn’t mean they’re not a sugar fest, you moron! She’s just started teething and you’re going to give her cavities already!”
“She’s strong with the force, she won’t get cavities” Kylo had been joking, of course, but he had said so with a fully serious tone to further poke fun at Hux. Oh, his reaction had been priceless--he looked funnier than a stormtrooper with windshields on its helmet, or so Kylo thought.
“I’m kidding, I’m kidding! Relax, Hux, children eat sugar, it’s no big deal to have it once in a while. It’s not like she only eats junk at home, we do our jobs right”
We do, don’t we? It suddenly struck Hux, that for two First Order commanders who had never had close contact with babies and knew absolutely nothing as to how to raise one, they were doing just fine. They were a great team--as good tacticians, they acted on whatever curve Lara sent them; with every need that arose, they managed to adapt and provide. With lots of love, always. They aimed to make sure that Lara never had an inkling of doubt of their love for her, considering what their own childhoods had been like.
So enthralled were they on their conversation, that they hadn’t noticed how the shop owner was intently staring at them...as if trying to recall where he had seen them before. He recognized the black-haired man with the girl, sure, but the redhead…
“Excuse me, i’m sorry if this is improper, but, do I know you, mister?” The old Twi’lek squinted his eyes, trying to put a name to a face.
Hux tensed immediately. Oh no, he recognized me. “Me? I don’t think so” he tried to act cold and distant but maybe that had been a wrong choice. General Hux always appeared cold and distant in every First Order propaganda.
“I’m sorry, you seem so familiar...maybe I’ve seen you around these parts?”
“No, I don’t think so, and I must ask you to stop this, my partner and I are just visiting”
Hux had hoped that the vendor couldn’t see the beads of cold sweat that were trailing from his forehead nor hear the overwrought beats of is heart.
“Ah, so that explains the accent! It sounds almost like older Nabooian...Coruscanti, even…” As soon as the vendor started name-dropping planets of the old Empire, he started to hyperventilate, and all sound was fuzzied by the ringing in his ears.
Before matters escalated, Kylo quickly stepped in with an outstretched palm, making sure that there weren’t other people at the shop to witness his powers, “You will forget this conversation!”
Bewildered, The Twi’lek turned to Kylo, “Excuse me?”
“You will forget this conversation” he repeated with conviction.
“Are you--a force user!? Wait! Are you--I know you! You’re-you’re--”
“You will forget this conversation!” Passion dripped from Kylo’s words as he tried with all his might to trick the clerk before he realized that it was none other than Ben Solo, back from the grave.
To them, a second felt like a century until the he finally fell into a trance,“I will forget this conversation”
“You will forget our faces!”
“I will forget your faces”
“Let’s get out of here, Ren!”
They had ran as far away from the ice cream shop as possible, but Kylo hadn’t wanted to let a beautiful day go to waste.
“Wait! Hux...it’s so nice here outside, we never go out together. Let’s just find a bench to sit at so that Lara can eat her ice cream. We’re safe now, it’s alright”
“Are you crazy!? Absolutely not!”
“Just until Lara finishes with that thing”
They had sat in a bench in one of the farthest, most secluded areas of the park, but given the time of day, it was still pretty crowded and Hux couldn’t help but feel observed. He felt thousands of eyes on him--pinned down by gazes hiding in bushes and trees, felt that he could even read people’s minds, whispering, “The Starkiller, General Hux!” repeatedly."General Hux, General Hux, General Hux, it’s him, it’s him! The Starkiller, General Hux” Over and over again until the sound accumulated and transformed into a shrill, buzzing noise that reverberated in his brain.
He regulated his breathing as he tried to focus on his family instead, but when he looked around the area, he found a couple passing by who were staring right at them--right at Hux --in the same way that the Twi’lek had. A dizzying sensation passed over him--with blurry eyes and nausea--when he noticed that the woman had inched closer to her companion to say something while pointing over to him.
“Hmm?” he mindlessly replied as he cleaned the corners of Lara’s mouth with a tissue.
“What’s the matter?”
“Let’s get out of here…”
“I SAID, let’s go! now!”
A single look at Hux’s eyes told Kylo everything, and he berated himself for having been so distracted that he hadn’t paid mind to Hux’s palpable change in his aura; adrenaline had been pouring out of him in tons--why couldn’t he have been more attentive?
Back at the house, Hux collapsed. He had been feeling deprived of air until the moment he stepped foot in their home--chest desperately widening in an effort to take as much as air it could at once. H
He broke down--like he never had before--in front of Kylo.
“I’m never going out again! You hear me!?”
Silently, Kylo had knelt at his side to soothe his back, before guiding him back to their bed, where Hux kept repeating the same mantra while sobbing and hiccuping, “Never again, I won’t do it. They’ll find me…”
Kylo never left his side--gently hushed him to sleep once he had calmed. Even Lara had accommodated herself close to Hux’s head so she could brush his hair.
Not a word on the matter had been said after that. Hux had been too ashamed of being openly vulnerable in front of them, even when Kylo didn’t mind it--welcomed it, in fact, with open arms. He was always so strong, always the clear-headed one; Kylo wanted him to know that it was okay to unwind, it's what he was there for. To catch him when he fell and love him until he healed.
Their routine continued as it was before, but with a somber cloud looming above them. Inquietude and angst slipped through the once impenetrable walls of the cottage. They constantly felt anxious for no reason, found off-putting the tiniest of details. Hux had even shaved his beard and trimmed his hair again because he felt a compulsive need to take control of things, even over the most insignificant ones.
That had been the beginning of their downfall.
After their failed attempt of a family outing, Lara began to get sick.
It started with rough nights of interrupted sleep by nightmares, then to wake up with a fever.
She wouldn't be able to eat for weaks; her sensitive stomach throwing up whatever it was that they gave her, even the lighter meals.
On the other end of the spectrum, she would sleep all day and no divine power would wake her.
Slowly, the brightness of their child’s energy had dimmed. A house that was once full of laughter and joy became hollow. And just as they had begun, they found themselves demolished once again by the vengeful and malevolent puppet master that had always kept a secured hold on their strings.
Hux halts and jumps out of his seat immediately, pulled from his memories at the sound of a motor engine at their doorstep. He runs to open the door but trips back when Kylo beats him to it.
“My darling girl, what happened!?” he sadly coos when he's greeted by the sight of his daughter slouching miserably against Kylo's neck. Hux gently cradles her tiny head between his palms and kisses her all over the face before separating.
“Papa” she begs, and without further ado she's exchanged from Kylo's arms into Hux's but not without a departing kiss at her temple from Kylo, who now sulks around around the house in grumpy circles.
“What happened?” Hux demands coldly, in fear of hearing the worst as well as general irritation towards Kylo. He tries to calm himself by nuzzling Lara’s freshly-smelling curls, which had been styled with a flower-shaped pin, especially for her birthday.
Kylo just grumbles something incoherent--frown threatening to split his tense skull in two and eyes clouded with annoyance as he steps past Hux to grip the kitchen counter.
“Everything’s wrong, Hux, for fuck’s sake. How many times have I told you that this is all a WASTE OF TIME!?”
“A waste!” Oh this is just priceless, Hux thinks. He had spent the whole day with tachycardia, all for Kylo to respond with such a petulant tone. Unbelievable.
“A WASTE!?” And... there it is. Hux’s ire didn't need that much to be poured out, all it had taken was a final look at Kylo’s conformed pout and he exploded.
“I'll tell you what’s a waste!” And he stomps forward to Kylo’s hunched form at the kitchen counter, whipping him around by the collar of his black sweater to face him--fist shaking with anger as he shouts, “YOU parading around the house all day, doing nothing! that’s a waste! While I’ve been worrying my ass off, trying to find help when you know damn well I cannot go out! What ON EARTH is wrong with you!! Are you purposely letting our daughter DIE!?”
Kylo had felt like a bomb waiting to detonate, all day, and Hux is pushing all the right buttons to do so. He violently grabs the fist that was pulling at his collar and spits back.
“And that is awfully convenient, isn’t it, Hux!? Ordering me around under that excuse! Still afraid of Resistance members coming to get you!? How DARE you say that!? I’ve done nothing but keep you both safe and you KNOW IT! I’m the one who's been taking her out to her appointments, the one getting medicine and food!”
As he speaks, his volume only increases and he feels the need to let his anger out. Kylo raises his hand on an impulse as if to slap Hux’s arrogance from his face, but the redhead is quicker.
“GET your FUCKING hands off me!” he yells as he quickly grabs Kylo by the forearm, pushing him hard enough to harshly stomp against the kitchen wall.
Kylo extends his palm to retaliate with the Force, but stops midway when he sees just how the brutality of their argument disrupts Lara--who howls and whimpers in anguish, shying from their conniption by tucking her head against Hux’s neck and tightening her grip around him.
“Shit!” Kylo mumbles, finally registring what they had just done.
Hux also stands back, shushing Lara in a poor attempt of an apology.
When Kylo looks back at the scene in front of him he wishes the ground would swallow him up. He hates that Lara has bear witnessed of so many outbursts like those over the past weeks. He fears that one day he will push his family away, history repeating itself all over again.
In the back of his mind, a faint entity cackles in morbid amusement.
Kylo approaches them cautiously once Lara has calmed down (although tears still stream down her rosy cheeks). She looks up at Kylo with fear and rapidly hides away from him behind Hux’s neck. To say Kylo feels defeated is an understatement.
“Hux…” he quietly pleads, but his heart sinks to his stomach when Hux just regards him with eyes as cold as the chilling tundra of the planet Hoth, and walks past him to put Lara to sleep in their room.
Hux tucks himself and Lara inside their bed as he tightly cradles her to his chest. How he wishes he could just cure her by the strength of his hold alone.
Once Lara has drifted off, Hux returns to the kitchen where he finds Kylo going through the stacks of ingredients at the kitchen, looking lost as ever--as if it hadn't been his idea to get all of that stuff to bake their daughter a birthday cake. It's a charming sight if he's honest with himself...but that doesn't mean he's less mad.
Kylo stops fumbling around and sighs before answering, eyes cast down in cowardice.
Good, Hux thinks. Let him wallow in his own shame.
“The doctor prescribed a bunch of medicine she's too young to take. He couldn't even admit that he didn’t know what he was doing. He kept avoiding my questions and justifying my worry on me being a new parent.”
Kylo gripped the kitchen counter so hard his knuckles were turning white, and the contents lined up before him started shaking, as he remembered the doctor’s condescending demeanor towards Lara.
The appointment had been doomed from the start, with Lara perturbed from the moment she stepped into the consulting room--restless in Kylo’s arms and eyes watery for reasons other than her distaste for doctors in general. All throughout her examination, Lara’s gaze never left her father’s, begging for the torture to be over--queasy at the feeling of foreign hands on her.
They flew from the clinic with Kylo carrying her in his arms like the delicate treasure that she really was, trying to amend for all the careless palping that his poor girl had to suffer through. He rewarded her composure with an ice cream from that shop she liked, as well as a lengthy shower of kisses.
But even all of Kylo’s snuggling was not enough to alleviate her pain. She simply settled herself against her father’s warm chest and basked in what comfort she could get in her condition while weakly eating her treat. This isn’t fair, Kylo thought on their way back home, she's innocent.
“Hux…” with that he finally turns, and Hux is surprised to see Kylo’s red-rimmed eyes and swollen face. He looks miserable. “That was our last hope...I'm begging you to believe me...this is something else.”
Deep within Hux’s gut, he knew that Kylo was right, but he couldn't let the irrational part of him give in. He wanted to be confident with the possibility that if they just seeked help in the right place, Lara could be all right. But as Kylo had said, that had been the last doctor that they had managed to track down, indeed, and he never even looked trustworthy to begin with.
“I know. I’m sorry,” For everything, he means to say, but refrains. Kylo will hear him anyway. “I’m just not sure of what else to do”I feel like we're being slowly choked to death and I don't know how to fight this back with you.
They meet halfway in a tender embrace, hoping that their hold will traduce the apology they’re too proud to express with words.
They had vowed, long ago, that they would remain a team through better or worse. And they both might feel at odds, and they might be afraid and helpless, and they might quarrell and yell and bite, but they were a unit. And so as a unit, they would stand tall and keep fighting.
As if sensing that her stubborn fathers had finally made up, Lara’s loud babbles call them through the hallway, so Hux goes to pick her up and bring her back with them, settling her inside the playden at their living room.
When Hux is reassured that she's fine, he goes to the kitchen again to help Kylo with the cake. They forget about the frail subject at hand for a while, letting the mundane matters of their little improvised, birthday “party” for Lara occupy their thoughts instead. They work at ease at the kitchen; mixing ingredients and lightly goofing around as they try to figure out together the logistics of baking a pink cake. It dawned on them, the domesticity of the situation, and it spoke volumes of how resilient their bond really was.
“Why don’t you go handle those balloons you ruined and let me handle this here!” Kylo was equal parts annoyed and entertained by Hux’s bullying at seeing his nule cooking skills.
Once the preparations had been set and the evening had arrived, they both gather Lara in arms and take her to the dining space while singing happy birthday to her. They present her with a 3 layered-cake (a cake that was made with plenty of effort and way too big for the three of them) lit with a single, sparkly candle, as well as a room filled with pink balloons all around.
“Happy birthday, dear Lara! ” they chant in unison, “happy birthday to you!”
If one could only see them... singing out of tune and bouncing up their little girl in their arms, no one would’ve ever guessed that those two had been the former commanders of the First Order.
Lara happily claps and laughs in utmost fascination at the marvelous scene in front of her--eyes huge with awe at never having seen such beautiful things in her home. She is attacked with kisses and snuggles on her tummy by her two dads, which makes her giggle uncontrollably as she’s seated at the table next to her cake.
“Alright, darling, just how we practiced!” Hux exclaims, to which Lara replies with an excited, “yep!”
She purses her lips but somehow forgets how to blow her candle, getting jittery with frustration. Ren decides to give her a tiny push, just as he had done when she had learned how to walk when she had turned 11 months old. Just a slight prompt in order for her to gain control over the Force and do the rest by herself.
“Okay, honey, you got this” he murmurs right next to her ear while gently soothing her shoulders in encouragement. “Make a wish and concentrate on that candle” He puts his forehead against hers, tuning his energy alongside hers and feeling the engines of her mind twirling around and focusing on her goal, growing stronger with the aid of her father.
With a swift exhale, the light of the candle extinguishes, finally!, and she joyously laughs in triumph and blushes at the cheers and claps of her dads.
“Well done, my darling! that was brilliant!”
“There you go, honey!” Kylo couldn’t have felt prouder. Lara is truly a splendid child and he only hopes that unlike himself, she learns to yield her powers responsibly in the future. He would never hide or numb down her abilities--that had been the exact reason why he had fallen. He figured that if he accompanied her on every step of her development, if he was there to answer any questions and teach her from the very beginning, maybe she would lead a healthier life as a force-user. At least, that’s the treatment that he would’ve liked to have had as a boy, instead of having been sent away to his uncle when the going got tough.
Despite the rough start, the evening had been most pleasant and fun. The cake had actually turned okay, and they remained the rest of the evening sitting at the dining table conversing, with Lara as the center of attention (as she loved to be.) They had even brought some of her stuffed toys to the table to play silly games and tell fantastic stories, straight from the couple’s imagination.
Lara was, without a doubt, the most treasured gift in their lives; they had the chance to relieve their own childhood through her.
It was well into the night and they were still up celebrating (something they wouldn’t normally allow, but they took a break from being responsible parents this once), when something unnamable started creeping into the cheery ambient.
Lara feels it first--turning around constantly to look at the door and mumble an unclear word. Kylo notices this and looks into his own senses--chastises himself for only paying attention to this shift after Lara had.
It’s the faint sound of a familiar engine landing far from the house. Kylo would have recognized the chirps of that piece of junk on a mile’s radius.
The distinct aura of a force-user approaching taints the previously festive mood, and Kylo and Lara’s change in demeanor is so evident and sudden that even Hux tenses, intently fixing his gaze on Kylo to discern the coming threat just by the intensity of those brown eyes.
“Ren? What’s wrong?” Hux flinches at the sound of banging against their door before Kylo can even answer him.
“Stay with Lara”
“Shh...It’s alright, just stay with Lara”
Hux doesn’t like that tone one bit. His heart is rocketing against his chest, skin cold and clammy as anxiety eats him up for the second time that day.
Kylo cautiously opens the door but does not budge at the sight that greets him. Only then does he understand that when Lara had mumbled “Whey, whey, whey!”, she had meant: Rey.