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Then

[Unable to connect. Retry?]

 

“You’re kind of awful at your job,” she says peering over his shoulder. “Have you done anything in the past hour?” 

 

The small vent cover clatters to the floor.

 

“Excuse me?” 

 


 

Before 

[Select connection network]

 

Matt, this fake persona Kylo’s mind recently made up, itches, literally. The last minute blonde wig seems to be trying its hardest to make sure he’s had a bantha butt day, and he’s just about had enough. 

 

But… 

 

He cares about his employees. He really does, or tries to, at least. Not really. They serve a purpose, as he does. He winces. In a last ditch attempt to find happiness in the desolate halls of the base, he looked to the mass of warm bodies, his underlings, in attempts for a shoddy attempt at life, or at the minimum, an invigorating conversation. So far, nothing close. 

 

Someone complains of the caf (unsweetened and lukewarm), another of the level ten faulty lift buttons (an officer got stuck in an elevator), and the somewhat dreary atmosphere of the lifeless walls. 

 

Worst off, in his trek to the commissary, a superior officer actually pulled him aside (his stolen radar technician uniform a bit too recognizable) requesting a repair in level sixty port side hallways vents. Great. However. the task would surely bring him to another more close to others… right? 

 

Wrong. 

 


 

Then

[Try again?]

 

“You’re using the wrong tool,” she comments, neck sticking out, “you’ve got to use the other driver in your belt.” 

 

“I think can handle a few wires,” he bites, his large hands squeezing between the narrow gap, a furrow cementing itself between his brows, “I’m not incompetent.” 

 

“Hmm, that’s not what your superiors think.” 

 

“Well I’m their superior.”

 

“At the moment, you’re not.” 

 

Ben only huffs. The soft sound of snickering fills the silence of the hall, and finally Rey takes the small step forward, hands settling over his large digits, deftly maneuvering them into their correct position to the wires.

 

“There,” she says, shifting away, “all done.” 

 

His eyes guide his head to turn, sight settling on Rey’s crouched form an arms length away. A slight smile graces her lips, the slight upturn the only indication of mirth. 

 

“And what was the driver for?” he asks, pulling the head of the tool out of his belt. 

 

She only holds her hand out in response, and he places the handle into her open palm. 

 

“For this,” she straightens up from her crouch, then slams the butt of the driver handle into the vent cover snapping it into place. 

 


 

Before 

[Password accepted!]

 

“What the-“ a feminine voice reaches his ears as he adjusted the cheap blonde wig for what was probably the fiftieth time already that morning. He hadn’t even left his quarters yet. “Ben?” 

 

His eyes snap to her reflection in the mirror, incredulous expression meeting his currently annoyed one. 

 

“What’s this?” Rey asks, moving to circle him, “what uniform?” Her eyes flick up, “my god your hair.”  He feels the soft scratch of her nails run against the plastic strands of the wig. 

 

Kylo feels a second hand join her first in continued curiosity, and the poor fit can’t take it anymore, the blonde falling off his head. Rey yelps, jumping back in surprise. He tries to hold back a laugh, but her expression of terror, eyes wide in an indication of a mix of confusion and fear was just too good. 

 

“Did you think it was real?” He breathes, struggling to rein in his laugh, “it doesn’t even feel real.” 

 

“Yes I was beginning to realize,” she huffs, quickly bending to retrieve the now fallen wig, “the bond was a bit blurry. I would have believed it if I didn’t touch.” She steps in front of him slapping the wig back on him haphazardly, fingertips stretching to reach the top of his head. 

 

“Allow me,” he responds, sinking down to one knee. His face is now breath away from her torso, eyes aligned just below the cross of her sashes. He hears her inhale, his sudden move to a position of supplication, a surprise. 

 

He waits for the sensation of the wig to settle against his hair, but the familiar drag of the pads of fingertips soothes his scalp instead. Ben closes his eyes, placated. Bliss. 

 

Like clockwork, a second slender hand combs through his clean and lovely hair, strands parting with each gentle stroke. 

 

She takes the smallest step forward, and the textured material of her tunic rubs against the side of his face, He bows his head, cheek settling at her hip. Her hands only continue to move through his hair, calluses barely scratching, his mind truly at peace in such a vulnerable moment. 

 

He quietly placed his hand on her ankle over her worn boots, thumb barely skimming over the skin atop the shoe. Rey hands shift, mimicking his smooth and calming ministrations. 

 

“The officers, the stormtroopers, all them,” he mumbles, “ are miserable,” he sighs into her hip. “They hate it here.” 

“And what about you?” she softly responds back, “what about the-” she moves back, and he feels her hand move to the nametag on his vest, “what about the radar technicians?” 

 

Her knees bend, and they are now eye level. 

 

I’m miserable. 

 

Her hand only gently holds his cheek, thumb softly running over the scar. 

 

“I think,” he breathes, “that I’m ready to come home.” His eyes fall upon the smile tugging at Rey’s expression, and her tears that fall down. “Will you help me?” 

 

A blubbering laugh of relief, of hope, of happiness, escapes her.  He sees her smile widen, and she takes no action to wipe away her tears. Ben does it for her, and they both bask in the quiet bubble the bond allows for them. 

 

“Yes,” she hiccups, tears and air mixing, “yes yes yes!” A sudden lunge and outstretched arms come flying at him, and he catches her, his legs solid, supporting her enthusiasm. The bond sings, the force seemingly at peace with the vision of them in their arms. He only tightens her arms, and Rey happily reciprocates, snuggling deeper into his embrace. 

 

Moments, or maybe forever passes when Rey pulls back. The bond seems to start to close, sounds slowly filtering into their senses, however it allows them a few moments before the connection breaks. A giddy smile still paints Rey’s mouth when her eyes take something of a determined look; it screams adventure. 

 

“Send me your coordinates Ben,” she says conversationally, as if relaying her lunch plans; not the tone of someone about to upend his life for the second time, “I’ll pick you up.”