Every muscle in Rey’s body screamed in agony as she struggled with lifting her head to sit up. Together she and Ben looked up at the chaos happening above them. As the roof of Exegol’s temple opened to it’s fullest, it was clear how helpless the Resistance was against everything they were facing.
They felt lost as they turned to look at each other, coming to terms with what had just happened. Palpatine had drained a significant amount of life force from them, and yet for some reason it hadn’t lasted as long as they’d thought it would.
He’d hit them once, draining them of energy as they fell to their knees in front of him. After staring at his fingers renewing themselves for a moment, he’d hit them again just as quickly, as if to confirm what he’d seen.
The second time he’d stopped just as soon as he’d began, before he’d taken enough energy to fully renew himself. They couldn’t imagine why, other than to torment them and make them feel helpless.
The Emperor found himself awestruck as he stared at the hands of his strengthened form again. These were the hands of a truly powerful being. With what he’d just seen from the dyad in front of him, the rest of him would be restored to his true self for all eternity soon enough.
Tucking their two light sabers which he’d just summoned into his pocket, he spotted the two of them struggling to their feet.
“Two there must be.” He whispered to himself in awe.
He'd finally found what he’d been searching for over multiple lifetimes, the same thing the Sith had searched for over countless millennia:
A bond as powerful as life itself.
Sensing their thoughts made him even more pleased. He indeed had them right where he needed them to be.
“Helpless? Is that what you think I wanted to make you two feel? Oh no, no, no, my children, quite the opposite. In fact- it appears it is I that is in need of your help.”
If Ben and Rey had been confused before, they were now totally lost as to what was happening. The strength they gathered from each other’s presence gave them just enough energy to be able to finish pulling themselves up to their feet.
As they faced him again, the sight of them standing together was just what Palpatine had been hoping for.
“It is clear the form I inhabit is a failing one. But the power of your bond- power which I just now drained from you to renew part of myself- it appears to be the one thing I’ve been searching for all this time.”
Ben and Rey looked at each other nervously, afraid of where this might be going.
“None of this needs to happen!” He promised, nodding up toward the chaos taking place above them. “No more of your friends need to die! That is, as long as the two of you give me what it is I need.”
“What would that be?” Ben shot back.
“I would think that had made itself obvious. What I require is the power of your bond.”
“Why would we willingly give you our power?” Rey asked, edging a little closer towards Ben as she said it.
The Emperor chuckled lowly. Seeing the way they stood up for each other, the way they needed each other- everything was working out even more perfectly than he’d imagined.
“Because it is what you both want.” He said triumphantly, knowing it to be true. “Don’t lie to yourselves. There’s no need for deception. The two of you are one being in the Force. Your souls are drawn to each other because of it. You need to be together, in every way. The closer you are to each other, the more your power in the Force grows.”
Ben and Rey's unease grew as a tension hung between them. Together in every way... It wasn’t hard to begin to imagine where this might be going.
“I’ll call off this entire attack right now.” Palpatine went on. “I’ll allow your Resistance ships to flee to safety, but only if you give in fully- by allowing yourselves to have what it is you truly want. You must surrender your bodies to the passions that drive you. You must complete the union between you, both spiritually and carnally.”
The two of them couldn’t help but stare at each other as he said the words.
The heaviness that hung between them made it harder to breathe for a moment.
“How exactly do you mean… surrendering ourselves? ” Ben said, turning to face him and stepping in front of Rey. He knew there had to be more to it than whatever the Emperor was rambling on about.
“My boy… you know exactly what I mean. You left the ways of the Jedi because you knew they could never give you everything you needed. The Sith, on the other hand, have ways of giving the two of you what it is you desire- while also making the most of power like yours.”
Extending his hands out in front of him, Palpatine called upon energy within the temple that made the ground below them begin to shake.
Like the ceiling above them that had opened moments before, the stone panels on the floor began to twist away and open. Ben and Rey stumbled backwards so as to not to fall into the expanse below.
Out of the darkness, something large and solid began to rise. Fixed on top of a stone foundation, a diamond shaped object several feet across rose up like an altar. It’s dark mirror like surface gleamed in the otherwise shadowy space.
As it filed the expanse in the floor that had opened, standing just a couple feet tall, the cult of the Sith eternal began to chant. Their combined power summoned out of nowhere a dark velvet mattress, blanket, and pillows which landed atop the stone.
The bed that had come together from the combined displays of power made things quite clear.
“This is the Dyadic Crystal.” Palpatine explained. “It is the altar of an ancient ritual which was once performed between bonded souls like yourselves in this very temple. By giving yourselves to each other, sealing your bond atop the stone, the energy created between you will charge it with your power. That energy will reside within it, to be drawn upon by myself when needed to restore my physical form to it’s fullest potential. Do this for me, and I will order the fleet to remain on Exegol. Do this, and your Resistance fleet will be free to leave.”
Rey couldn’t help but stare blankly at what lay before them. As ancient and sacred as it all supposedly was, they were basically being told they needed to fuck on top of a giant Force battery.
At the same time, as ridiculous as it sounded, the promise Palpatine had just offered wasn’t something she could ignore.
“All of them?” Rey spoke up, her voice barely above a whisper. “You’ll let all of our ships go- and none of those destroyers will leave Exegol’s atmosphere?”
Ben spun to look at her, finding it impossible to believe she was actually considering it.
What are you doing? He asked through their bond. You can’t really be-
More ships are coming. Her thoughts cut him off as soon as she had walls up in place to hide her true intentions from the Emperor. It was an ability she’d gained from Ben when he’d done the same before murdering Snoke. They’ll be here... but they just need time. Something has held them up… I can feel it. If the ships that are here now can get away, they can hold out until the rest arrive. Then, they can return together and hit the fleet with full force. Together- we can buy them the time they need.
She reached forward and gently took his hand. The way her eyes pleaded with him as she said the words through their minds... Ben couldn’t believe what he was hearing.
As unimaginable as it seemed to him, deep within her heart Rey wanted to be with him every bit as much as he wanted to be with her.
It was confirmation of why he’d come to her in the first place. She was the only real truth he’d ever known.
Their shared destiny was the only thing in the galaxy that mattered, and it turned out she really had felt the same way all this time.
The rush of that realization made it take a moment for him to center his thoughts. He knew better than to let himself get swept away in as critical of a position as they found themselves in.
Ben gripped her hand steadfastly as he nodded, doing his best not to get overwhelmed by the thought of it as he agreed to her plan. Together the two turned to face the Emperor again.
“You were saying…” Palpatine said flatly, clearly not amused by whatever pause had just taken place.
Rey spoke up again, but this time her voice was far louder and confident than it had been before.
“You’ll let all of our ships go, every one of them, and none of those destroyers will leave Exegol’s atmosphere?”
“Of course!” Palpatine grinned. “Not one of my of star destroyers will leave Exegol while the two of you remain here as I ask. In addition, your Resistance fleet will be free to retreat to the safety of whatever remote outpost they've been occupying all this time.”
“Do it NOW.” Ben ordered, spotting yet another x wing falling from the sky out of the corner of his eye. He swallowed hard as he prayed and hoped it wasn’t someone he knew and cared about. It was the first time in so long he’d been able to think freely in this way... it took all he had not to let it get the better of him. “Order your ships to stand down and allow the Resistance to leave. Immediately. ”
“Certainly…” Palptine grinned. With a wave, his voice began to thunder up to the ships above, projecting itself to the fighters on each side, just as clearly as if delivered over a comm link.
“Your Emperor orders an IMMEDIATE CEASEFIRE.” His voice boomed. “I command that all Imperial destroyers remain on Exegol. At the same time, all Resistance ships are to leave this planet at once. All of those who have come here to oppose us- leave now or face total annihilation.”
He could sense the confusion those orders caused on both sides, not that it caused any hesitation on the Empire’s part. The absolute loyalty of his Imperial troops was demonstrated as all ties immediately retreated to their destroyers and all destroyers’ guns stopped firing.
The scattered Resistance ships hung in the air for a moment, not firing but also not retreating.
It was clear none of them had any idea what to do.
“What the hell could this be about…” Poe muttered to himself, confused as to what sort of plot Palpatine might be throwing at them.
A ceasefire in the middle of a battle from the side that was winning was an entirely unexpected strategic move- he had to give him that. Whatever he was planning, he had the other side totally unsure of what to make of it, which was exactly where any opponent in a war wanted to be.
It made Poe extremely anxious as he tried to think of what to do next.
“General Dameron? What’s our next move?” He heard over the Resistance troops link.
“Do it.” He heard Finn say in his other ear over the command link.
“Do it. It’s the right move. This is a plan Rey’s come up with… she needs us to follow it. It will give us the time we need to regroup with Lando, then come back and hit these guys full force. ”
Everything he’d just heard from Finn was somehow even more insane than the fact that the winning side had just called a ceasefire.
“How exactly do you know this?!” Poe asked, dumbfounded by the position he found himself in.
“I can feel it.” Finn replied.
Those four words confirmed something Poe had suspected about his friend for some time.
Like the best friend he’d grown up with, and like the friend Rey had become over the past year, Finn also had the Force.
Against all logic, Poe suddenly realized what he needed to do.
The biggest mistakes he’d ever made had involved not listening to Force sensitives about their insights into the mysterious power that flowed through them- especially when they had a hunch something was coming.
It was time for him to listen when those with the Force had a feeling about something…
…no matter how ludicrous it might sound.
“Alright….” Poe searched his scanners for a nearby planet to retreat to. “XLTF-593. It’s an unnamed planet in the next system. Everyone get to it as quickly as you can and rendezvous there. We’ll orbit the planet until we pick up Lando and the others.”
He paused before what he said next.
He didn’t need the Force to feel the truth of it.
“Once they join us- we’ll come back and hit these sons of bitches with everything we’ve got.”
Rey looked down at the bed, her heart pounding as she came to terms with what was about to take place. As they stood together, she and Ben could sense a power resonating from inside the crystal.
Echos of past dyads rippled from inside it, like faint beeps from a droid that had suddenly come to life only to realize it didn’t have the power it needed to function. Those reverberations were all that remained of the pairs who’s power had once been stored within the stone’s energy field.
“I… uh… don’t suppose we could have a little privacy?” Ben asked looking back towards the throngs of Sith that Palpatine had summoned earlier.
“Those who came before you never needed it.” Palpatine scoffed. The massive life support arm that kept him alive lowered him to sit back atop his throne as he settled in to witness the ritual. “Take your time... We’re in no hurry.”
The faint chuckle with which he said those last words had Ben’s blood boiling. His anger at the Emperor’s callousness might have overwhelmed him more, had his concern for everything Rey was feeling not been even stronger.
The nervousness burning inside of her had reached a fever pitch.
They stared at each other for a moment, realizing they were thinking the same thing.
The most intimate moment they’d shared up to the point hadn’t gone any further than touching hands.
Now they found themselves expected to do so much more- and in front of every Sith lord that had ever existed.
Rey found it even harder to breathe as she looked up at the cathedral like space filled with dark hooded figures. Had the present moment not felt so overwhelming, she might have laughed at the ironic realization of how nothing between them had ever gone normally.
Her thoughts were interrupted as Ben put a hand under her chin, pulling her gaze back to him.
If you don’t want to do this, we don’t have to do it. I’m sure we can figure out another way.
Rey already knew the truth of that.
Look around us… there is no other way. We have to do this to give the Resistance the time they need.
Ben thought about it for a moment. As her words sank in, he realized just what needed to be said.
He leaned close to her to whisper in her ear. He knew she needed to hear the next words he said out loud.
“In that case I’m not looking around at anything else. All that maters right now is you and me.”
Rey pulled back for a second to look up at him, her eyes filling with the love for him she kept hidden for so long. His words had been everything she’d needed to hear from him since the moment they’d first found each other.
Suddenly, the greatest wonder Ben had ever known up to that point in his life occurred. Taking his face in her hands she paused, then slowly brought his lips to hers in a kiss that was unlike anything he’d ever felt.
His arms immediately wrapped around her as he pulled her in closer, totally swept away by the feeling between them. He’d only ever held her once before- when he’d taken her as his prisoner on Takodana. This time, she was in his arms because she wanted to be there. It was the most extraordinary blessing he’d ever been given.
As they lingered in the joy of their lips connecting, a smile began to spread across the Emperor’s face.
“Good….” He hummed, sensing their arousal climbing. “Just as we’d hoped…”
Rey pulled away as her gaze shot back toward him. Ben stopped her, putting a hand up to her cheek to turn her to look back at him.
“Remember what I said? Just you and me right now.”
Rey threw her arms around his neck, running her fingers through his hair as she kissed him even more desperately than before. It was all the encouragement Ben needed to make the next move.
He reached down, gripping his hands under her butt and lifting her up. Rey wrapped her legs around his waist, continuing to kiss him as he carried her up and onto the bed.
The power of their bond simmered around them as the fire inside them continued to build. By some mercy, as the field of energy that bonded them became stronger, it began to drown out their awareness of everything else around them.
They kicked off their boots and crawled under the blanket together as they settled in, thankful to have a visual barrier between their bodies and the silent crowd of Sith watching their every move. Underneath the blanket Ben climbed on top of her, straddling his legs on either side of Rey as he positioned himself above her. He hoped his body shielding her view of the congregation behind him might make things easier for her.
Remembering the way she’d looked at him through their bond once, he thought of another distraction that might help. In an instant he had his shirt pulled over his head and cast aside.
The sight of his muscled chest above her was spell bounding. Rey hadn’t seen him like this since their bond on Ahch To. Her hands went up to him, running over his shoulders and down his chest as she marveled at the sight of him. Like his face, every sign of the scar she’d once given him had disappeared.
You’re perfect. She said through their bond as their eyes met.
Far from it. She heard him say, biting his lip as if that affirmation had overwhelmed him.
He’d never dreamed he’d hear those words from anyone.
Hearing them from the woman he’d always dreamed about - it was just one of many realizations about just how perfect she really was.
His hands shook with anticipation as he began helping Rey remove her clothing. Her assortment of armbands and gear were a lot more to remove then Ben had to deal with. Once he had them cast aside, he pulled her shirt up over her head. The wraps which held and supported her breasts proved to be a bit more difficult to remove however.
“Here...” Rey said sitting up and reaching back. She began unwrapping them, a task which he gladly finished for her as he saw how it was done.
Her breasts freed from their constraints, the sight of each other’s bodies was more than either of them could handle. Rey leaned up and in immediately for another kiss. Ben reached back and began loosening her hair, allowing it to fall freely to her shoulders as he did it.
Artist Credit Jade Belle
He’d thought about the way her hair had looked down since they’d last been together in Snoke’s throne room. He’d suspected how much he liked it had something to do with the fact that she’d kept it up ever since he’d failed to join her when he’d first had the chance to.
Now that they were together again, he couldn’t wait to see her beautiful brown locks set free again.
Rey’s hair fell across the pillow as he laid her out below him. Ben settled in, laying on top of her and wrapping his arms around her as he began kissing her. As he did, her own arms and legs wrapped around him, pulling him to her as she craved more of the closeness they were creating.
The feeling of it had him kissing her even more passionately than before. Drinking in the feeling her body pressed up against him, his cock burned to dive inside of her. Right away he remembered there’d be more he’d need to do before they got to that point.
He began letting his kisses trail off, down her cheeks and down her neck…
Ben dove under the blanket as he prepared to get to work. He was no expert on women’s bodies just yet, but figured he’d need to warm her up substantially before she was ready to take all he had waiting for her. The last thing he wanted to do was hurt her and make this any more uncomfortable than it already was. He was determined to do all he could to make sure she enjoyed it somehow.
It was too dark to see much of anything under the blanket, but thankfully he could sense all she was feeling. He closed his eyes and allowed the Force guide him to where she needed to be touched. His mouth found it’s way to her tender nipples, lingering there for a bit as he felt her senses heightening. Already he could sense the bundle of nerves below, tingling with arousal… Every erotic spot on her body stood out to him in the Force as though they were stars shining brightly in the beautiful depths of space that was Rey’s body.
Finding herself alone above the blanket, Rey gripped the fabric to her chin as she stared up at the stars above her. The sight of the night’s sky gave her something to focus on to avoid being drawn back to looking at those watching what was taking place. As she looked at the stars she began to relax into the feeling of Ben’s warm lips planting kisses along her chest, pausing on her nipples for a while as he gently sucked and teased them. Eventually he moved on, trailing more kisses down along her belly.
She couldn’t begin to guess what all he was doing, but she wasn’t about to question it.
Each and every kiss and touch felt more and more extraordinary...
Above her the stars appeared to shine brighter as her skin bristled with anticipation.
As his kisses found their way below her navel, they began to head across her hips...
She gasped to herself as she realized where his mouth would be going next.
His large hands pulled her leggings and panties down and removed them, then took hold of her thighs as he spread her legs apart...
Her eyes widened as her head pushed back into the pillow below her, bracing herself for what she knew was about to happen.
She did her best to remain focused on the stars above, counting them and trying to memorize just how they were spread out in the sky...
It hit her just how quiet everything had gone out there since the ceasefire had been ordered.
Rey’s thoughts of the outside world were suddenly pulled away...
Her eyes rolled shut the moment she felt Ben’s tongue slip between the folds that enveloped the most tender part of her body.