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Signed By Ren

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Honestly, Rey did not know what to expect. 

Saturday is long and quite uneventful, the storm has been raging outside her window since she slept through the morning and her roommate has been gone all day. 

So, imagine her surprise when Kuruk and Cardo busted through the door, carrying a less than graceful Ben Solo in their arms, a nasty bruise rapidly materializing on his right eye, his nostrils clogged with rolled up makeshift torpedos to stop it from bleeding and a sharp cut just above his brow bone. 

She gasps, immediately dropping what she was doing. The dirty dishes can wait. 

“What happened?” She followed the struggling trio as she wiped her hands clean with a dish towel, quickly moving to cast the throw pillows on the side so Ben could lay down properly. 

“He, uh, he ran into some guy trying to steal his motorcycle.” Kuruk answered after they had successfully deposited the large man on the couch. 

“Again?!” She can’t help but exclaim. That’s the third time in two weeks! She’s certain she’s never met anyone with such a severe bad luck. 

She rubs her hands all over her temples, trying to reduce the increasing headache before turning to Ben with a tiresome look. 

“You should see how the other guy looks, sweetheart. He had it worse.” 

Her roommate had the audacity to chuckle darkly and slip up to call her sweetheart in one sentence. He’s all sorts of unnerving. She felt conflicted between showering his stupid face with kisses or smacking him upside the head. 

She did neither, however. Crossing her arms over her chest instead, she looks at him pointedly. 

“I told you to sell your motorcycle if it gets you into this much trouble.” 

Her tone betrays to press her point any further however, because as swift as the lightning that flashed into a tendril of white outside their building was, he had her on his lap faster within seconds. 

“And I told you to stop worrying. I can handle myself. I’m fine. See?” He reassured with a gradually softening expression. 

“You’re leaking blood through your mouth and your nose,” She deadpans. 

“You should check for his back too, the guy might have gotten a pretty good hit.” 

“Cardo!” Ben throws the long-haired man a betrayed look. “Not helping.” He added before yelping at being pinched on his side. 

“Ow! That fucking hurts, you know?!” 

“Good.” 

Rey scrambles back on her feet, steering clear from his lap and his grabby limbs, drastically shifting the tides of her mood as she’s clearly more annoyed now. She wasn’t looking forward to cleaning up after Ben’s wounds like it’s a weekly process. It actually pains her to tears, how much he unintentionally subjects himself to bleeding and bruising. 

“Rey–“

“I cooked too much for dinner, so there’s leftovers in the pan, help yourselves. I’m just going to get the med kit.” 

She hears Kuruk and Cardo’s timid thankfulness from Ben’s rising call to her name, deliberately ignoring him as she disappeared into the hall where their rooms are. 

Ben dramatically drops back on the couch for getting the cold treatment, shrieking for forgetting that Cardo was right, he definitely got hit by a baseball bat on the back. 

“You should really stop making Rey worry.” 

He snorts. 

“I’m glad you’re here to tell me this. Kuruk, remind me again why Cardo’s not a fucking professor with wasted teaching potential.” He sarcastically spat, not that it ever affected the two, they’ve gotten used to his crude wits by now. 

“You can be such an asshole after losing a fight sometimes,” grinned Cardo between spoonfuls. 

Ben sits back with a heavy grunt, casually throwing a dark look from the couch to the busy dining table. 

“Losing a fight?” He sputters, reels back before shaking his head profusely. 

“Not to Snoke.”

He can’t afford losing to someone who hides behind his own henchmen. “Fucking plays dirty. I’ll show him what happens when someone misses their chance to kill me,” 

In fact, he already has an idea, something that can’t be done by three people with one of them severely injured. He’ll need the rest of his crew.  

“When I’m fully recovered, get the rest of the Knights.” He tasked Cardo, already itching to land a good fistfuls on the ginger’s arrogant face. “And for the love of Christ, don’t be late next time. I had to deal with ten people by myself before you two came along.” 

“I mean, from where we were standing, you had it all under control,” 

“Fuck you,” 

“Already fighting?” Rey reappeared from the hall, holding an aluminum kit. “I can’t even leave you for two seconds.” 

“Cardo started it!” He sputters in defense. 

“Listen, I’m just eating here.” Cardo made it a point to chew on his food louder. “What’s in this? Cumin?” 

She gets distracted enough from having anyone take interest in her cooking. She’s aware that she’s no Gordon Ramsay, but she was decent when it came to easy meals. A bright smile splits her face in half as she looks onto the guys enjoying her stir fry. 

“A little bit with chives, yeah.” 

“Well, it’s delicious.” Cardo remarked before turning to Kuruk, who’s directly pouring his last bites from the bowl straight to his mouth. “And I’m speaking for the both of us.” 

“Thank you.” 

Ben’s friends have always been nice to her.

For how mean-looking and tall they were, with sleeve tattoos and this all black ensemble they seem to be sporting, they’re the biggest softies Rey has ever met. It’s quite amusing to tell people that she lives with a man the size of a double-doored fridge, and said appliance-sized friends hang out in their apartment from time to time. 

Would you believe that they play D&D every end of the month like an unspoken rule? The looks on people’s faces gets her every time. 

And don’t get her started on Ben Solo, bless this man’s heart for exceeding every woman’s standards. But only if you don’t let the permanent scowl and the scar that bisects his face in half fool you from knowing who he truly is. 

It was quite a huge plot twist on her part since they first met and her initial thought was alarming her that he might be an escaped convict pretending to look for an apartment. And she can’t chide her past self hard enough for being so incredibly wrong, so when she went with her gut and agreed to take him as her roommate, she came to know that Ben Solo is the sweetest man of them all. 

Two years later, she all but can’t help herself from falling in love with him. 

Well, right now, she’s supposed to be mad, at the very least. 

Rey musters her best cold stare as she turns to him, looking like a wounded animal, it doesn’t help that he actually had such melted chocolate puppy dog eyes as well. It isn’t fair.

“And you, just sit tight before I make your condition any worse.” 

Kuruk and Cardo snickered in the background while she approached her roommate. 

There’s a strange expression on his face that she can’t quite read while he keeps watch of her. Never breaking gazes as if it’s interesting to watch her take out antiseptics in the kit. 

“Oh, someone’s in big trouble.” joked Kuruk in a sing-song voice. 

“Someone’s sleeping on the couch tonight.” added Cardo, their laughter growing louder as Rey occupied the space beside Ben on the couch, already so tired from their childish teasing. 

“Grow up, you two!” She glared before assessing her roommate’s injuries.  

Ben keeps himself as still as instructed. 

Thankfully, it’s not anything too bad. Well, nothing as serious when you’re used to patching up a hazard prone man. He needs a few stitches and his wounds cleaned, which should only take a moment. 

She was free to smack his arm for being so reckless though. 

“Ow!” 

“You’re lucky Kaydel has taken the night shift.” She continues to glare at him. 

Not that she’s anywhere near threatening, it’s odd how his brain functions. One moment he’s fuming with rage, more than enthusiastic at getting back at Snoke, and the next, he’s finding Rey all sorts of pretty even when she’s mad–especially when she’s mad. 

“Indeed I am,” He grins, that crooked, dimpled smile he does. “I have my beautiful roommate to take care of me.” 

While he was being particularly cute on her, Rey deliberately uses more force than what’s necessary in applying the antiseptic. She just needs a way to shut him up without using her mouth on his like her traitorous brain suggests. 

“Ow, fuck! You’re pressing too hard!” He jerks back, scowling at her heavy hand. 

“Stay still!” is all she had to say as she pins him down by the shoulder, cross-legged on the couch. 

In the corner of her eyes, she sees the duo clean up after themselves from the small dining area, clearly finding the whole thing entertaining. 

“What the fuck, Rey? Are you trying to kill me?” Ben snapped as he plucked the harmless cotton ball from her fingers. 

“Don’t be such a big baby. We’ve been over this. It’s supposed to sting like that!” 

“Okay, we’re going to head out now,” Cardo concluded after putting the dishes by the sink, the pair too busy to notice them inching towards the exit. 

“Rey, Ben better be alive when we get back here!” hollered Kuruk before the door closed after them. 

“Heard that? You should—hey! Drop it! I’m actually in pain here!” 

They find themselves committed to... Whatever this is. With Rey's supposed treatment doing the opposite effect and Ben dodging most of her advances until they eventually tire themselves out.

In the end, it's Ben clasping her wrists on her lap, not trusting to let go of her just yet, not when he can see the storm in her own eyes as clear as a copycat of the rigorous weather.  

She's definitely mad at him. 

"Look, Rey. I'm sorry." He breathed heavy. "I'm so sorry for making you worry like that. I have no excuse, I know I should have been more... Careful." 

She peruses him for a long moment before she must have seen what she was looking for, because she altogether softened, dropping her shoulders like the strings that held her rigid and stiff were cut loose. 

"It's just that... I just know that you're going to run out of luck soon. Who knows what would happen next? I don't want to be the one to see you being rushed in the hospital myself, one of these days," 

It's a terrible time to feel like his heart is about to burst with too much emotion, but her words make him extremely happy. If he still had his dotting parents, Rey wouldn't be the only person important enough to fill that gaping hole in his chest. And so, he can't help his next move of pulling her close, slipping his arms around her torso and nuzzling her hair, overwhelmed by her warmth all at once. 

Ben thought he'd never get used to it. 

"I won't let that happen. I promise." 

He feels her fingers rub against his scalp. 

"That's a pretty big promise to make, Ben." She retorted apprehensively. 

"And I'm telling you, I'm keeping it." He whispers with so much conviction before pulling away to look at her directly.

"You're pretty violent when you're mad." 

She was just about to slap him by his chest again when he caught her hand swiftly. 

"No more of that." He can feel the cut on his head irately being itchy and aching. "I seriously need to be treated though." 

Rey does feel a little bad because he felt more roughed up than he looks, she knows when he's trying to downplay what he actually feels, just so she would stop worrying. He has done that a handful of times, and this is one of those moments. 

She relents with a sigh, patting a hand on her lap. 

"Lay down." 

Just like an established routine, he immediately perks up at the offer. He doesn’t need to be told twice to move further back and sink on the soft cushions with his head on her lap. It doesn’t matter that his legs are too long for the couch to accommodate, it’s a small sacrifice to make. 

“Can you massage my head as well? You’re really good at that.” 

She dramatically rolls her eyes, even though she’s already carding her fingers through his hair. 

“Again, you’re a big baby.” 

He just groans in response, accepting the soft caress of her delicate hands as she simultaneously takes care of his injuries and massage his temples. 

Rey would never get over it, but Ben has the softest hair ever, all silky and smooth, it’s such a shame that he takes this blessing for granted, not bothering to maintain or even use a comb instead of wringing it with his fingers after a shower. 

She was going to chide him for it when she hears him make the softest noise of approval. He’s purring like a cat now, leaning more into her touch further as if to wordlessly tell her not to stop. 

“All better?” 

He hums in thought, not bothering to open his eyes. 

“Definitely. You always work like magic.” 

His words were simple enough, cheesy even. Rey would most likely cringe if someone else said it, but with Ben, he makes her feel and sound special, and she swoons and flutters and blushes all the same every time. 

She can just hope her unrequited feelings doesn’t show on her face from this angle, because he is looking up at her in wonder.

“Oh, I never got to ask. How’s your day?” 

Ben remembering to ask immediately lit a bright smile on her face. He never forgets to, as if it’s important for him to know the answer. 

“Best rest day I could have asked for. You know, for the first time in a long time, I don’t smell like iodoform and restlessness,” She grins while shaking her head. “And I expected that you’d be here, we could have binged watched the Office. Still boggles my mind how you haven’t seen one episode.” 

He chuckles at her, blinking blearily as if he was trying really hard not to fall asleep. 

“We’ll watch it next time. I just had a few errands to take care of.” 

“Oh! Which reminds me,” Her brows scrunches together softly. He always found the expression adorable every time something confused her.

“Something really weird happened outside the grocery store this afternoon.” She started. 

He makes a sound in the back of his throat to indicate that he’s listening. 

“Well, I was on my way back here and I was passing by all these parked cars by the sidewalk, right? When one of them opened and it was still raining, so the guy had accidentally opened his umbrella near me,” 

She can’t fully explain it, not when Ben wasn’t there to see it for himself, but, 

“It’s really weird. I just got a little wet but he looked so... Terrified when he saw me, like actually terrified. If it wasn’t raining, I could have sworn he was about to cry. And that’s not even the weird part,”

Her brows folds further as if trying to examine a puzzle, while a pressure pinches low in his belly. 

He thinks he knows where this is going. He readjusts himself so he’s turned on his side to avoid seeing her face. 

“The weird part is, he kept on apologizing and begging me not to tell Mr. Ren... Isn’t that odd?” 

Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit.’ 

“... Very.” He almost choked. 

Anxiety tinged with worry grips him by the chest, erratically shaking his heartbeat as he tried so very hard not to tense up. 

Thankfully, Rey remains oblivious to notice anything. 

“Who even is Mr. Ren?! I never got the chance to ask, he just took off!” But the question and name was enough to make him uncharacteristically react. 

He swallows thickly, still remaining turned on his side in case he was doing a terrible job at keeping himself indifferent. 

“Your guess is as good as mine.” 

She hummed in deep contemplation, he could just about note how the cogwheels in her head started turning. It’s nerve wrecking. Ben bites the inside of his cheeks, praying to God she wouldn’t notice how much he’s sweating in the span of a minute. 

Well, not until she shrugged her shoulders. 

“Must have mistaken me for someone else.” 

In the end, it was just one very random and totally unrelated event that trumped over her curiosity for the mysterious figure, which should remain that way for the rest of time. 

On the other hand, Ben releases a long exhale of relief, feeling his whole body sigh all at once.