"There's a lot of sand in here," Ben says. "Wasn't planning for that."
"What exactly were you planning for?" Rey asks. There's a lump in her throat. She doesn't want him to be translucent. She wants him to be there, holding her hand, touching her face, looking at her the way he had with that beautiful smile on his face right before she'd kissed him. For one glorious moment, she'd kissed him.
He's standing—insofar as ghosts stand—knee deep in sand, and she can't even make it through the door. And he is completely naked. Still.
"Don't you want to put some clothes on?" she had whispered to him the first time he'd appeared before her, completely and utterly naked because the clothes he had died in had not joined him in the Force, some twisted shade of what she'd hoped for when she'd woken up again.
"A cowl, or something?" he'd smirked at her. The clothes had shimmered into being for a moment, though not for long. She couldn't exactly say she was mad about it.
"Why do you want it to be here again, exactly?" she asked him. He doesn't say anything. "You want to tell Luke we were together in his childhood bedroom, don't you."
"Listen, it's the little things that make all this worth it," he replied, moving towards her through the sand. He's so close to her. "Like being able to be with you for the rest of your life." His eyes say the rest. And then for the rest of time.
She swallows. She'd wanted family for so long. And he'd just died.
"Are you sure we'll be able to do this?" she asks him quietly.
"You said Luke caught the lightsaber you were trying to chuck away," he said and it feels strange—his hand against her cheek. A surge of energy. The living Force, pounding in her veins, warming her more thoroughly than the twin suns of Tatooine, warming her more than anything she'd ever felt—more than the hope of him standing there at her side, free from the chains that had bound him at last. "So I think we can do this." He smiles. He smiles, stars, she will never be over his smiles. "We can do this all day, all night." His face is almost boyish as he looks at her. There's a wicked twinkle to his eyes. "For a whole week."
"Not a whole week," Rey cautions. "Finn's getting here soon."
"You're the one who said he was doing this with Rose," he pointed out.
"Yes, but not for a whole week," Rey replies. "He wants to start his training and—"
Ben cuts her off with a kiss—or tries to, anyway. His lips sort of pass into her which doesn't feel entirely bad but definitely doesn't feel right and Rey pulls away a little bit to make it line up better. Yes, that's better. Oh, that's—
"Well, patience is a virtue a Jedi must learn," Ben whispers into her lips. "So he can wait. Meditate. Focus on his feelings."
"Ben," Rey tries to berate but she can't berate him when he's—not really holding her. It doesn't feel as good as waking up in his arms, but she's not alone at least. And she does feel supported. She feels held. She feels some sort of balance in it. Maybe. Actually no—not really.
Because she loses her balance and falls through him into the sand, jamming her chin against it. "Ow."
And he's under her, his lips poking up through the sand to press to her chin. "No ow," he says. "Never ow."
It's not his hands that move her, it's the Force. Or that's what it feels like when his hands press against her shoulders gently, pushing her onto her back.
"I'll never be able to ride you," she whispers to him as he hovers over her.
He looks sad for a moment. Then,
"Something to look forward to when you die, I guess," he tells her.
"Ben," she intones. Why does she want to laugh? When she'd so desperately wanted to cry, losing him like that. Why does it feel like—
Like he'll be with her, always. Like she'll never be alone. Like she has a family who loves her truly. Finn will be here soon to train to be a Jedi, training with her as Leia had trained with Luke, and Ben—
Not even death had been able to keep Ben from her.
"You're going to have to help me here," he says, nodding to her shirt.
"Can't you just—"
"I could," he said carefully, before his eyes began to glow at her the way they had in the throne room on the Supremacy. "But I also want to watch you."
Which is how Rey ends up stripping out of her shirt and shucking her pants down her legs.
"There's sand in the crack of my ass," she mutters as she gets to her feet again, trying to spread her clothes out underneath her. "A bed would have been better. I hate sand."
But Ben's lips are—literally—ghosting over her shoulder.
"You don't have to deal with it," she growled at him, but it was impossible to be angry with him when he was there, when he'd always be there with her, whenever she needed him, whenever she wanted him. A bond so powerful not even death could break it.
He strokes at the skin on the inside of her thighs, sending that warmth through her. She's wetter than she needs to be, given there's no need to ease friction from him, but his fingers slide up and up all the same and the life she feels between her legs...
"Ben," she whispers to him. "I love you. I—"
And he kisses her again and she could keep talking. There's no barrier to her continuing to form words against his lips but he takes her breath away as he does that. He is not hot and thick when he slides into her. He is not solid and stretching. He is buzzing, and bright, and balance, and he fills her in a way that nothing solid could. He permeates every inch of her as he presses deeper, and deeper, and deeper, thrusting his hips and—
"Wait, no," she protests because that was strange. "Too deep. Too deep."
"Organs?" he asks pulling back. He looks like he's completely wild; he looks like he's doing everything he can to control himself—and god what control he has for her now.
"Better," she replies. She looks up at him. Better than losing you. Better than you being gone like my parents. She lurches up to kiss him and her face goes through his, but she doesn't care. She breathes him in as she kisses what should be brains and eyeballs, as he pulls back so his lips can find hers. "Is it strange for me to do that?" she asks him.
"It's not the best," he replies. "We'll work on it. Better than not having you at all. Better than other people who've been in my head," he adds darkly.
She presses a kiss to his cheekbone, then his nose, then his eyelid. He holds very still—inside her just deep enough, the Force flowing through her hair as his hands weave themselves there.
"They're gone now," she whispers to him. "He's gone now."
"I know," Ben tells her. "Just me. Me and you. Always."
She looks up at him. "I go by Skywalker now," she tells him. "Someone asked me when I got here. Is that ok?"
He pauses for a moment. Then he rolls his eyes. "Oh come on."
"Your uncle was there. And your mom."
"Can we not talk about them right now?" he asks, jerking his hips slightly.
"They smiled when I did it," she laughs as he makes a face. "Ben."
"I'm just saying—some boundaries would be good. You don't see me going and talking about Finn while—"
"Stop!" she squeals.
"See? It's weird."
"Ok, I'm sorry, I'm—"
And his face is buried in her neck, his mouth pressing hot warmth into her skin, his chest—his beautiful, chiseled chest, the one she loves so very much—pressing against her own as his hips rock against hers, never going too deep, not again. She murmurs his name and litanies of love, and he promises that he'll never leave her, and that they'll love each other so long they'll ignite the kriffing stars, and when the life of him eventually floods her, she knows they'll be etched in the dust of every nebula, in the light of every galaxy, that they'll live and live and live.