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“Hey everyone, this is That British Girl, your Rey of Sunshine live to answer some of the questions you all have been asking.” Rey adjusted her laptop on the coffee table, “For those of you who’ve only heard of me now, I do do live shows every now and again to answer the most common questions you have.” The numbers on the screen ticked up and she smiled hugely at the first question that popped up on the screen. 

She adjusted the pink cat-ear headphones on her head and cleared her throat, “Right then, what am I drinking right now?” She chuckled and looked into the giant cat mug she was holding, “Well it’s dead of winter and I hate the cold so I’m having Mexican Hot Chocolate. It’s my mum’s recipe,” She winked into the camera, “I’ll post it on my social media accounts right after this livestream.” 

More questions popped up as she sipped from her mug. Nights like these she missed her mum. She had been old when she’d adopted Rey after she had been left bouncing from one foster home to another and she tried her best raising the preteen nobody seemed to want. 

“Yes, my mum was a lovely lady. She died right after I graduated high school,” She smiled at the influx of condolences and moved on to other, more mundane questions about life and work and school. She was a YouTube musician, not quite a rockstar yet, but gaining more mainstream popularity.

“Do I have a celebrity crush?” She laughed, “I think I get that question quite often these days. Do I really look that lonely?” She took a long drink, savouring the earthy, spicy taste of cinnamon and chipotle and sighed, “Well, I do have one.” She laughed when the comments was flooded with questions and guesses, “I do believe you all know who he is, he starred in a sci-fi trilogy not too long ago.” She laughed again, “Yes, yes, it’s most definitely Ben Solo.” 

More questions popped up and she took the time to formulate her answer, “Why? I mean, you’ve seen him. He’s not conventionally handsome but he looks nice and has that dimple and he has that intensity,” She bit her lip and shrugged, “I guess I have a thing for big, broody men.” She laughed again, “And I mean, have you all heard him? I don’t know, I might have a voice kink.” More comments about her choice of word, “No, I don’t mean what’s in his pants,” She laughed and felt heat suffuse her cheeks. She wasn’t sure if it was the spice in her chocolate or embarrassment.

“Well, I wouldn’t know about that,” She answered a comment about how he would probably be big all over, “I mean, I don’t think I’ll ever meet him. Not that I do want to, I’ll probably embarrass myself.” She laughed again, “I’m such an awkward bean in real life what more to my celebrity crush, right? Plus he’s older and had like a string of model girlfriends who are like, a head taller than me. Me? I’m just a YouTuber, we have totally different circles.” 

“Oh but do definitely watch the new movie. Personally I love and hate it at the same time,” She sighed, “I don’t know but I do really ship the two characters and I don’t want to spoil so you guys watch it yourselves,” She laughed again, “I know I’m just biased.” 

For the next half-hour she answered some more questions about her life and the album she’s been working on for the past year and a half with her manager. 

“It looks like our time’s up you guys! Stay tuned for more details about the release and I have a gig on Saturday at the Cantina. I hope to see some of you there. Til next time!” 

She ended the livestream and closed her eyes before pulling off her headphones. The apartment was suddenly so quiet. She sat there, her back resting on the soft pink sofa, and wished she didn’t feel so alone. 

 

 

“Guess what,” Hux had always been chipper in the mornings. Ben sighed and rubbed his eyes, wondering why his childhood friend and manager was wandering around in his condo at seven in the morning. 

“What?” Ben sighed again and yawned, pushing his long, unruly hair from his face. He dragged himself out of bed and stumbled into the kitchen where his coffee machine was already bubbling away. Thank fuck he remembered to set the timer. 

“You're trending on Twitter.” He never got rid of his thick British accent even though he moved to the States at such a young age. He was bullied in school for both his hair and that accent. That was how Ben had met him. Ben didn’t like bullies and he had been big for his age. 

“What did I do this time?” Ben sighed, already feeling so tired. Or was it that he’s always tired? He got his cup of coffee and offered Hux one too. The redhead shook his head. 

“Nothing.” Hux continued to grin hugely, “The hashtags are hilarious. Ben Swolo, Big Ben, Celebrity Crush,” Ben rolled his eyes.

“I didn’t do shit.” 

“I know, and the studio called and said that there’s a sudden surge of interest in your movie in the last twenty-four hours from a demography we didn’t expect.”

“Oh?” He tried to sound interested, he really did, but his acting skills were pretty much limited to the studio and definitely not this early in the morning.

Hux didn’t seem to mind, “It’s because of That British Girl.”

“What British girl?” Ben raked his mind trying to remember if he met a British girl recently and coming out blank.

Hux chuckled, “No, you big lug, That British Girl.” He laughed harder upon seeing Ben’s blank expression, “She’s an up-and-coming rockstar type on YouTube. I hear Resistance had signed her on.” He eyed his friend who stared into his coffee, black, of course, with a deceptively blank face.

“That’s nice.” Ben finally said.

Hux cleared his throat and pulled out his phone, “Anyway, Rose loves her.” He opened up the recording of the livestream and Ben was struck by the husky laugh that came from it.

“…most definitely Ben Solo,” Her accent was so very similar to Hux’s but not, and it sent shivers down his spine.

“The comments on this are hilarious.” Hux chuckled, “People are wondering what you’re hiding in your pants.” 

Ben rolled his eyes, “Ever wonder if maybe she’s using my name to promote herself?”

You’re trending, not her.” Hux said and went around the counter so he can lean against it, next to Ben, “I mean look at her, do you think she can do something like that?”

Ben looked at the girl with the cat ears and frowned, no, she didn’t look like the kind who could use someone else to boost her popularity, “She doesn’t look like the type Resistance signs on.” She looked…cozy. The oversized sweater she wore was falling off one  tanned shoulder and it looked as though she was sitting on the floor. She laughed again and his frown deepened. She was cute, that was for damn sure.

“She’s like those Baby Metal types,” He arched a brow at Hux, “You know, Baby Metal, they toured with Judas Priest.” Hux snorted back a laugh at Ben’s blank stare, “The fuck, Solo. What rock have you been living under?” He shook his head, “Anyway, you’re the one trending right now because of her. Her fans are the ones supporting you right now. The press might ask you about it later so I suggest you look her up,” 

Ben scowled. He forgot about the press junket, “You seem to know a lot about this girl,” 

“Of course. You’re suddenly trending and it’s my job to find out why. Aside from Phas has been blowing up my phone since four in the morning. She thinks it’s a good idea for your to go and meet this girl. She has a performance at the Cantina this Saturday; Rose wants to go so I’m taking her. You should come with.”

Ben shook his head, “No thanks. I have no interest in meeting fans.” 

“Come on, Solo. We can just hang out, you know, have a drink. When was the last time we hung out?” 

“No.” 

Hux sighed and shook his head, “Well anyway, you should get ready for the junket, yeah?” He nodded and Hux closed the app and pocketed his phone, “Don’t say anything stupid.”

“I can’t promise that.” He smirked and Hux rolled his eyes, “Gotta make sure my manager works hard,”

“Why are we even friends?” The redhead sighed and shook his head.

Chapter Text

 

As usual the cameras were flashing and the lights were too bright. Ben forced himself to smile and ignore the migraine already beginning behind his eye. His co-stars were asked various questions and he tuned it out until it was his turn.

“Tell us Ben, how do you feel about being the new Internet’s Boyfriend?”  

Ben laughed, “I don’t know about being the Internet’s Boyfriend but I am surprised to say the least.”

“Did you know you’ve been trending for the past twenty-four hours?” He confirmed that yes, he did, “Have you met this girl? We hear she’s a big fan of yours and what’s in your pants,” The reporter waggled his eyebrows and there were a few chuckles in the audience.

Ben forced a laugh, “No, I’m afraid we’ve never met but I am very flattered that she thinks I’m celebrity-crush worthy,” 

“She’s said that she doesn’t want to meet you, does that bother you?” 

It did, in truth. Usually fans tripped all over themselves trying to meet him but for her to openly admit that she didn’t want to meet him and embarrass herself…that was different. “I mean, to each their own. I’m sure she has a reason why and I’m a little worried about not living up to expectations so,” He shrugged. The reporters moved on tasking about his love life or current lack of, and his opinion on the ending of their trilogy, circling back, again, to That British Girl. He still had no clue what her name was, having skipped much of her video only so he had an idea what the potential questions the reporters would give him would be. 

Maybe he’ll look her up again later, see if her laugh affects him now that he’s not feeling like the living dead. Really, Hux knew him well enough that he’s not exactly the most functional adult that early in the morning especially without coffee.

 

 

“Ooo, baby girl, Ben Solo’s talking about your livestream!” Rey almost choked on her gingerbread latte when her best friend Finn started squealing in the coffeeshop.

“You’re supposed to be writing,” She admonished but pulled out her phone anyway to watch the livestream of his press con. 

“…very flattered that she thinks I’m celebrity-crush worthy,” She suppressed a shiver when she heard his deep voice in her ears. Really, his voice should be illegal. She promised herself she wouldn’t watch until after, when she can be safe in her room where she can squeal and giggle and be embarrassed without anyone witnessing. Yet here she was, watching anyway, and definitely getting embarrassed because she didn’t expect that her livestream would make him trend. 

When Poe, her friend and manager called her this morning telling her about it and how Ben Solo’s PR Manager, Phasma had called him, she couldn’t quite believe it. Phasma had even sent her merchandise as thanks, merchandise like the Kylo Ren hoodie she was currently wearing. Maybe she’ll wear it in her next video.

“Man, look at you,” Finn snickered and she waved him off. She didn’t even notice how he took a photo of her to send to Poe, “Poe said he can always arrange for a meet and greet you know,” 

Rey flushed and shook her head, “No. I’d rather admire from afar.”

“Come on, Rey Bey,” Finn scooted over next to her, “You don’t have to be so shy. You’re not the same girl as back then. You’re getting famous now,”

“I’m nobody, Finn.”

“Same as me but look at us now,” Finn grinned, his white teeth stark against his dark skin. 

“Just let me get a bit more famous, maybe then I’ll get enough confidence.”

“Someone might catch him before you do.”

“Then I’ll happily watch from afar,” She said again and pushed him away, “Now go write your thing, you have a deadline.”

Finn laughed and moved his seat back to its original position, “Yes ma’am. You’re even bossier than my editor.”

Rey stuck her tongue out and focused on the livestream. 

 

 

She had a new video. Ben figured it was as good a start as any. Just how many followers does this girl have? He couldn’t figure out what exactly she vlogs about. He’s seen some of her covers, had no idea that cute and rock can go so well together like that, but somehow it worked. 

He’d also looked up Baby Metal. 

The video started as it always did, with her introducing herself. What shocked him though, was what she wore. It was a large hoodie with the Kylo Ren helm, one he hadn’t seen in their line of products before. 

“So anyway, thank you guys so much, someone sent these,” She proceeds to show off the merchandise that Phasma had sent her including a giant mug shaped like, again, his helmet, “From First Order and I would never have gotten any of these if it weren’t for you so as thanks, I would like to giveaway some of the merch the team and I were working on.” She showed a bunch of things, shirts, mugs, strange creepy-looking dolls that people seem to find cute, “We haven’t actually officially released these yet; they’re samples and first prints, you see, and,” She laughed and Ben suppressed a shiver, “Yes, I did ask Poe first if I could do this.” 

He watched the whole thing. She explained how she’d be doing the give-away, again thanking her supporters and laughing that husky laugh that made the hairs at the back of his neck stand.

He wondered if he should join the give-away just because. 

She was awfully cute, with a bright smile and a dimple to match. She linked a website and he clinked on it absent-mindedly. It wouldn’t really hurt, would it? What are the odds that he’d win anyway? 

The website was all soft pinks and greys and blacks with a large banner featuring her soon-to-be-released album. He followed the links and inputted his nondescript personal email. 

He released a breath he didn’t realise he’d been holding and ran his fingers through his hair. What was he doing? 

He started on her livestream video from the previous night. Your ray of sunshine, she said. Whose? He never bothered much with YouTubers, never really had the time to waste watching videos, but something about her; in her eyes, he saw the same loneliness in them that he felt. He continued watching, one video after the other.

She always looked so happy and cheerful but when she sang, he felt it deep in his bones. She was lonely and hiding it well. 

Just like him. 

By the time he looked up it was already nearing four in the morning. He wasn’t even nearly half-way through all her videos. 

He grabbed his phone and messaged Hux.

I’ll be there on Saturday.

Hux didn’t reply, how could he? Ben was sure his friend would be tangled up in bed with his long-time girlfriend. He felt a pang in his chest; when was the last time he’d had a serious relationship? 

A string of model girlfriends she said. She wasn’t all correct. None of them were really girlfriends, they couldn’t even really be considered friends since they all just followed what their managers or producers said, anything for the star power. He was guilty of the same sin. 

He sighed and ran his fingers through his hair again. He should probably try to get some rest. Hux would be on his ass again so early in the morning, and he still had to go to gym and train before attending yet another meeting with the studio.

He closed his laptop and placed it on his bedside table before closing the lamp and settling down in bed. 

He wanted so badly to be different from his parents but where did he end up in the end? In show business, just like them. Granted it was a different kind of show business, but show business nonetheless. 

He closed his eyes and wished for a dreamless sleep.

Chapter Text

Ben met Hux and Rose outside the Cantina. He wore an old, comfortable plain black winter hoodie, hood over his head of course, ripped jeans and a pair of scuffed boots. Hux raised a brow.

“Oof, I haven’t seen you wear this style in years,” He himself wore a leather jacket over a shirt and jeans, “Rose is already inside getting us a table,” 

It was nice to be anonymous every once in a while, still, Ben kept his head down and his shoulders slouched, as though doing so would make him seem just a little bit smaller. 

Hux was right though, he rarely wore clothes this comfortable ever since he shot up to stardom. It was nice. 

“Hey Ben!” Rose grinned when they arrived at the table she secured. It was surprisingly packed with people talking excitedly about who he now knows as Rey of sunshine, and not ray. 

Rose was a cute, curvy Vietnamese girl Hux had met by chance back. His car had broken down in the middle of nowhere and the nearest garage was the one Rose’s family owned. She had gone to tow his car back and the rest was history. 

“I have to say I was really surprised when Armie said you’d be joining us tonight. I didn’t think you listened to Rey Johnson.” She said and hailed a waiter, “Three beers please!” She said with a friendly smile. Her leather jacket matched Hux’s but she wore some sort of frilly, tutu-esque dress underneath.

“I didn’t,” Ben replied, “Hux said it was a good idea.”

Hux snorted, “Since when did you ever listen to me? I bet you’re curious about this girl. She netted you about a million more followers in one night you’d think she’s some sort of magician.” 

Ben only shrugged and accepted his beer from the waiter.

Somebody cleared their throat and they all turned to the small stage at the far corner of the bar. She had worn a pink leather jacket, a fitted black top of some sort, and a frilly black and pink checkered skirt paired with a pair of scuffed boots. 

“Good evening, everyone,” Live, her voice was even huskier, something that should be kept in the bedroom and not in front of the crowd whose attention she so easily held captive. Maybe Hux was onto something, maybe she was a magician because he too couldn’t bear to look away as she introduced herself. Maybe he had a voice kink too. 

He kept quiet, nibbling on nachos and nursing his beer while trying not to sing a long to her like everybody else.

“I always wanted to see her live,” Rose whispered, awestruck, “I told you she’s amazing,”

Hux made a noncommittal sound but Ben knew he liked it. He was sure Rose did too because she giggled. 

He might have listened to her older, online album in the past three days enough times to actually know every word in her songs. The genre wasn’t usually his style but he found himself lost in her music every time he put on his earphones. 

It was ridiculous.

Halfway through she started asking for song requests and he tore his gaze away from her only to meet Hux’s speculative look and smug smile. 

He scowled.

Rey notices people when she’s on stage. She remembers some of the familiar faces of the people watching her and remembers the newer ones, grateful everyday for the new people coming to see her. She especially notices when there’s something different about them like the trio she’d never seen before. 

She knew the redhead and the tiny woman were a couple by the way they looked at each other and that she had been the one to bring him there but she couldn’t fathom who the other one is. She never really had a lot of the macho types as supporters. Maybe that was why he kept his hood up, to hide his shame.

It was sad that there’s such a stigma around guys being supportive of the cuter side to things. When the big one left, presumably to the bathroom, the woman approached the stage with a piece of tissue. 

“Oh, I love this song,” Rey said once she saw what was on it, “And what’s your name?”

“Rose. I’m a big fan!” She said with a grin, “But don’t dedicate it to me,”

“Rose? Like RosiePosie?” RosiePosie had been one of the more vocal of her supporters online and by the way the she squealed excitedly, Rey figured that it was her.

“Yes!” She said and laughed, “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe you recognise me!”

“I try to meet and get to know my supporters,” Rey said with a laugh, “So, who do you want me to dedicate it to?”

Rose thought for a bit before giving a huge grin, “Your celebrity crush, of course,” 

Rey snorted back a laugh and felt the flush rise up to her cheeks, “Man, you guys aren’t going to let me live that down, huh?”

“Nope!” 

Rey laughed again and straightened, mouth to the mic and hand to her pale pink electric guitar. 

“This one’s requested by one of my oldest supporters, RosiePosie. This song isn’t my usual style but it’s so close to my heart it’s a wonder why I never made a cover yet.” She chuckled, “Anyway, I dedicate this to my celebrity crush, Ben Solo. Wherever you might be, this one’s for you.” She winked, ignoring the flush still on her cheeks.

She started to strum softly and closed her eyes, “Hey Jude, don’t make it bad, take a sad song and make it better,” 

 

 

Ben froze the moment he heard it.

He knew that song. Who wouldn’t? But he’d heard it so many times growing up. Han had always sung it to his mother and she had laughed and sang along with him. 

He marched towards the bar, determined not to look at the woman currently tearing his heart to pieces with her song. He ordered another beer and leaned against the bar, bringing his drink to his lips.

“Hey Jude, don’t be afraid,” He stared at her. Her eyes were still closed but he could almost see the sparkle of tears on her long lashes, “You were made to go out and get her,” Why was she crying?

His throat felt tight and he looked down, blinking back tears. He could almost hear Han crooning it softly to Leia as she sobbed at his bedside in the hospital. 

The doctor had just told them that he didn’t have very long, that the cancer had spread too far into his lungs for him to survive. They decided against chemo and Ben hated them for it. 

He gripped the neck of the bottle tightly, unable to stop the tears from falling down his face. He avoided this song like the plague, just like how he avoided his mother. The cancer had come as a surprise. Han didn’t really drink a lot and he was so active and full of life. Then one day he’d collapsed while recording a new a song. 

Stage four liver cancer had metastasised to his lungs. Survivability, less than five percent. 

He had just barely graduated business school.

He squeezed his eyes shut and gritted his teeth throughout the whole seven-minute song. 

By the end of her set, not many were left dry-eyed. He took a long swig of his beer and wished he’d ordered something stronger. He didn’t look up when she finished, didn’t dare to even clap along with everyone. 

He just wanted to leave. 

Chapter Text

Rey didn’t mean to cry onstage. She laughed it off and hopped off the stage, her guitar slung across her back. Her supporters mobbed around her as they always did and she tried to talk to as many as she could.

They took selfies and she signed shirts, “Alright everyone, let our girl breathe!” The crowd parted like the Red Sea to Moses as Poe and Finn strolled right to her, “That was amazing as always, Rey.”

“Thanks,” Rey grinned at her manager, “And thank you for taking time off your very busy schedule to come see me perform.” 

“Of course I would! You’re my little starlet, aren’t you?” Poe laughed, “Besides, I promised Finn.”

Rey gave her best friend a hug, “What about your deadline?” 

“Submitted the draft this morning,” He said with a wink, “I never missed a performance and I’m not planning on starting now, Rey Bey.” 

“Oh my gosh!” Rose muscled her way to her, “That was amazing!”

“Thank you,” Rey grinned at her, “And thank you for that song request. I forgot how much memories I had with it,”

Her boyfriend slid along behind her.

“Fancy seeing you here, Hugs.” Poe said coolly.

“Dameron.” The redhead groused, “Of course you’d be here. I’ll have you know I’m here for no other reason than to support my girlfriend’s love for your star.” He wrapped an arm around Rose and Poe inclined his head.

“Oh, good then.” He said, still suspicious, and Rey wondered how they knew each other.

She knew Hollywood was small but she didn’t think Poe would actually spot someone he knew, let alone the boyfriend of one of her long-time supporters.

“It’s so good to finally be able to watch you live,” Rose gushed and took Rey’s hand, “I moved here because of you,”

“I’m very flattered,” 

Hugs scowled, “I thought it was because of me,”

“That too, but mostly because of her.” Rose grinned and gave her boyfriend a kiss on the cheek.

He sighed dramatically and turned to her, “Armitage Hux,” He said in a suddenly-too-posh British accent and offered his hand to Rey, “Call me Hux,” So it was Hux, not Hugs.

“Rey Johnson,” She said, shaking his hand. His name sounded vaguely familiar, “Call me Rey?”  

“What he means is,” Poe placed his hands on her shoulders and moved her away from Hux ever so gently, “He’s Ben Solo’s manager,” 

Rey felt the blood drain from her face as she sucked in a breath. She turned to Rose, wide-eyed who just grinned at her.

“Oh my God, this is so embarrassing,” Rey grimaced and covered her mouth with her hand, “I can’t believe I dedicated a song to Ben Solo when his manager’s here.” She gave Rose an accusing stare, “You did that on purpose!”

“Of course,” Rose giggled, “I mean, everyone knows you have a crush on him anyway. He’s the new Internet’s Boyfriend thanks to you. And he’s still trending.”

“She’s right, thanks for that.” Hux said.

“Rey didn’t do it on purpose,” Finn said, almost defensively. He placed his hands on her shoulders too, almost over Poe’s, “And definitely not for anything other admiration.”

“Oh, I’m sure.” Hux said, “I don’t believe your girl can do anything like that. She seems too nice,” 

“I’m right here,” Rey said, laughing exasperatedly, “And no, I really had no intention of other than answering fan questions.” 

Hux fished out his metal card holder and gave her one. Poe scowled, “Believe me, we know that.” He chuckled, “In any case, if you’re free give us a call and we’ll arrange a tour for you on set.”

Rey gasped, “No way?” 

“I hear you’re a big fan of the franchise,” She was already nodding her head, “You can even bring your friends, as a show of good faith.” 

Poe pursed his lips but Finn was already nodding, “I’ll go,” He said and Rey snorted back a laugh. 

“He’s a big fan too, he just wouldn’t admit it.” She said and Finn scowled.

“Am not, I’m just there to make sure you don’t break anything, you klutz.”

“I’m sure we can fix it, whatever it is,” Hux said, “Rosie’s broken a good number of props,”

“But I fixed it and made it even better.” Rose said, “I’m a mechanic,” She told Rey.

“Really?” Rey’s eyes widened, she never would’ve guessed that the cute girl in a tutu was a mechanic, “You wanna know a secret?” She grinned, “I am too.”

“No way!” Rose’s eyes widened almost comically, “You look so…so…”

“Small.” Hux said bluntly and Rey laughed.

“Oh yeah, Rey Bey can do anything,” Finn said, almost like a proud father, “When we first met she fixed my car for free and demanded I feed her.” 

“You two know each other long?” Hux asked.

“Oh yeah,” Finn and Poe still hasn’t released her shoulders, “We met during our first year in college.”

“Wait, wait, wait,” Rose eyed Finn through narrowed eyes, “Don’t tell me, you’re F.N. Tempest?” 

“Oh shoot, where are my manners.” Rey laughed, a little embarrassed, “We never introduced you, Finn.”

Finn flushed, “Right, so sorry about that. I’m Finn Storm,” He finally let go of Rey’s shoulders to shake Hux's and Rose’s hands, “Rey’s mentioned me a few times in her videos.”

“She did! I read your books.” Rose said, “I really thought F.N. Tempest is a girl,”

Finn laughed, “Well, that was the plan.” 

Rey grinned at a flustered Finn and shook Poe’s hands away, “While you guys are getting to know each other, I’m going to go get some water. I’m parched.”

She waved away Rose’s offer to accompany her and made her way to the bar. She was waylaid a few times by people asking for autographs and pictures but she was otherwise left alone.

The man in the hoodie she thought was with Hux and Rose sat at the bar, hoodie still up and shoulders drawn down like the world sat heavily on them. He seemed to be staring into his whiskey though she couldn’t really tell since his hood covered his face. 

Maybe he wasn’t a fan after all. He probably just came in to drink away his problems like any other person. 

“I’d like a glass of water, please.” She told the bartender who smiled and nodded. 

“That was one helluva cover,” His voice was soft and scratchy, deep. He didn’t look at her.

“Thank you, I think.” Rey said sheepishly, “It was my mum’s favourite song,” She accepted the glass gratefully and sipped, careful not to drink too much too fast. 

“Yeah? Mine too.” His long fingers fiddled with his glass and her heart went out to him. He seemed exhausted. 

She placed her hand on his arm and he flinched slightly. She didn’t let it bother her, “You look like you’re having problems.” She said softly, “Whatever it is, I’m sure things will start looking up if you keep moving forward.” She patted his arm, “You’re allowed to feel whatever you’re feeling right now but don’t let it define you.” She smiled and laughed a little even though he didn’t look at her, “Sorry, I always had a terrible habit of doling out advice and comforting people. I do hope you feel better though.” 

She thanked the bartender again for the water and made her way back to her friends. 

Chapter Text

Ben thought she recognised him when she put her hand on his arm. He was grateful that she didn’t. She couldn’t have known he was here when she dedicated that godforsaken song to him. Hux probably put Rose up to it.

Dickwad. 

He had been witness to his childhood too, having been over many times. He’d seen Han and Leia singing together. He had even been there when Han died. 

He sighed and glanced back. Rey and her friends, he was sure she’d be friends with Dameron too, were gone and Hux and Rose looked like they were trying to find him.

Hux spotted him first and he and Rose walked over to him hand-in-hand.

“Where were you?” Rose asked with a frown.

“Did you tell her I was here?” He took a sip of his watered-down whiskey.

“Of course not,” Hux said, “She’d be even more embarrassed than she already is.” 

Ben glanced at him and arched a brow.

“She’s so down-to-earth and honest.” Rose said, “She’s exactly how she is online,”

“I’m surprised, honestly.” Hux said, “One would think there’s some difference in her online presence versus in real life but I just…” He shrugged, “It seems like she’s really just like that in life and online.” 

“Hm.” Ben looked into his glass and tipped back the rest of his drink, grimacing at the sharp burn in his throat. 

“Ben, are you alright?” Rose asked and he gave her a tight smile.

“‘Course I am.”

“Ben,” Hux only ever called him Ben when he was serious, “Look I’m sorry about the song,” 

Rose looked back and forth between Hux and Ben with a frown.

“What are you apologising for, Hux?” Ben sighed and spun around in his seat, leaning his elbows on the bar, “It’s been years. It’s fine,”

It was not fine. He knew he looked like shit, that his eyes were bloodshot and his nose probably still red, “You can’t avoid her forever,” Hux said simply, “She’s been calling the office you know,” 

Ben sighed and closed his eyes, “I know.” He hopped off the stool, “I’m going home.”  

“Did you bring a driver or a car or?”

“I’ll walk.” It wasn’t that far anyway. A walk would clear his head.

“It’s dangerous to walk alone, let us give you a ride.” Hux said and Ben arched a brow, “Yes, yes, you’re big and tough but come on, Ben.”

“I’ll be fine. I’ll text you when I get home, how about that?”

Hux looked like he wanted to argue but Rose placed her hand on his arm and shook her head. He sighed, “Alright. The moment you step into the lobby,”

Ben gave him a two-fingered salute and left, hood still up and head still down. 

He hadn’t seen nor spoken to his mother in years, hadn’t even stepped foot anywhere near Resistance. Not since Han’s funeral. 

He rubbed his chest absent-mindedly and sighed. Her voice still echoed in his head, telling him that things will look up if he just keeps moving forward. Was he really holding on to the past so much? 

Let the past die, kill it if you have to. The thought came unbidden in his thoughts. Maybe that’s why Kylo’s character spoke so much to him, that he insisted on auditioning for the role the moment he saw the script. 

Remember to let her into your heart, then you can start to make it better. 

He sighed again, lost in thought. The cold winter air felt good on his cheeks. 

Soon he found himself standing outside his building. He hesitated before going in. The guard and receptionist greeted him and he gave a half-hearted reply. Nobody waited for him in the penthouse.

He texted Hux as promised and when he entered the elevator he dropped his hood and ran his fingers through his hair. 

The movement you need is on your shoulder. He hummed softly as he exited. The keypad beeped and he pushed open the door to his dark penthouse. 

He didn’t bother opening the lights. His phone lit up with Hux’s reply and he ignored it, opting to open his email. 

It didn’t register immediately that he had an email from Rey’s website. 

He stared blankly at the email, wondering what it was and remembering belatedly that he had joined her give-away a few days before. 

He clicked it open and held his breath.

It was a mug of some sort. Two of a kind according to the email, one of which Rey used. It was the first two samples of Rey’s merch, the ribbon on one of the cat’s ear’s being a checkered black and red thing. They had decided, after the first two, that they’d release the mug in her website but the ribbon would be in pink and black instead.

He was dialling Hux before he could stop himself.

“Miss me, already, Solo?” Hux drawled and Ben scowled. 

“I won a contest.” Ben said, “I need you to pick up the prize for me.” 

“What contest?” He could hear Hux’s frown on the other end of the line, “You didn’t tell me you joined anything.”

“I didn’t really think much of it.” Ben mumbled, he continued reading the email and frowned at where he was supposed to pick it up, “Just get it for me.” 

“Alright, alright. It’s not some kinky sex thing is it?” 

Ben snorted, “Yes,” He said, dripping with sarcasm, “It’s a cock ring under the name Armitage Hux.” 

“Fuck you,” Hux laughed and then sighed heavily, “So what is it?”

“I’ll forward you the email,” Ben muttered. He could feel the flush rising on his cheeks. Why would he even join something like that in the first place? His phone whooshed, signalling that the email had been sent, “Sent.”

There was a moment of silence on the other end before Hux burst out laughing, “Man, Rosie’s been hoping to get this. Would you let me buy it from you?”

Ben scowled, “Fuck no. That’s mine.”

“Are you sure? I promise I’ll be in your debt,” 

“You already are, so no.” 

“Why do you even want it? Scratch that, why did you even join this thing?”

Ben didn’t answer.

“You’re smitten!” Hux said in an accusatory tone and then laughed out loud, “Jesus Christ, Solo. You’re smitten,”

“Who’s smitten?” He heard Rose’s voice and Hux mutter his name, “Really?”

“Shut the fuck up, Armitage. I’ll get it myself if I could.”

“Well you could but then Phas would get on my ass for letting you out like that. The paps would have a field day if they see you coming out of Resistance with…that thing.” 

“Obviously I won’t hold it out and show it around. I’m not stupid.” 

“Dameron would know if I went.” Hux said, “I could say it was for Rosie but…”

“He won’t believe that. He probably has access to the website.” Ben frowned.

“I’ll send Mitaka.” Hux chuckled, “Are you sure you don’t want to meet her? Rosie has a date with her you know.”

“Are you talking about Rey? Ben’s in love with her?” Ben winced at Rose’s excited tone.

“No, not yet, darling,” He could hear Hux say patiently, “Just smitten at the moment.” 

“Oh my God, this is hilarious,” 

“Ha, ha, please, do laugh at my expense.” Ben growled, “Just get the damn thing for me.”

“Aye, aye, captain,” Hux said and ended the call.

Ben sighed and got ready for bed, “Son of a bitch.” 

Chapter Text

Rose was lovely. She and Rey had so much in common and they got along so well that it was almost like they’ve known each other forever. 

“My sister Paige, she almost had a coronary when she met Armie,” Rose said, laughing, “She was a big fan of Nastia Unamo and Armie was her manager too before she retired.”

Rey laughed too, “Your sister seems like a hoot,”

“You tell me! She’s never been as proud of me as when I brought him home. She was really disappointed when I left Hays.” Rose sipped on her iced caramel macchiato, unaffected by the cold, “So what about you, do you have siblings?”

Rey frowned, “I’m not sure,” She said, “I never knew my parents and my mum never had children or adopted anyone else,” 

“Oh.” Rose looked down and flushed, “Sorry, I had no idea. You never really talked about those in your videos.”

Rey grimaced, “I mean, I try not to talk about sad things in my channel. I made it to make people happy not feel bad for me.” 

“I don’t feel bad for you,” Rose said and flushed, “But I always wanted to be friends and it’s…nice, having coffee like this with you.”

“Of course we can be friends,” Rey said with a laugh, “You’re one of my first subscribers. I can’t even begin to explain how excited I was that somebody other than Finn liked my videos enough to actually subscribe.” 

“Well yeah, you’re so relatable and I love your covers.” Rose grinned, “Paige always complained about how I could never hear her if my earphones are on while I’m working on a car and when you started releasing your own songs?” She shook her head, “You’re an amazing person,”

Rey flushed, “Thank you, really. I try to be open and honest. I was just really lucky that Poe was in that bar where I was performing. That’s how he and Finn met you know? At first Finn was just posturing like hell. We had this thing that we pretend to be in a relationship to get out of sticky situations.” Rose giggled, “But turns out Poe was only interested in me professionally and was more interested in seeing what was in Finn’s pants.” This made Rose laugh even harder.

Her phone vibrated and she excused herself. Rey smiled and took a sip of her gingerbread latte. She loved Christmas but really despised the cold. 

“It’s Armie,” Rose said, “He’s asking if we’re still hanging out.”

“Boyfriend missing you already?” Rey smiled wryly but felt a slight pang of jealousy. She wasn’t interested in the Brit of course but she hadn’t been in a relationship in so long she forgot how beautiful it could be. Rose’s eyes lit up every time she talked about Hux. 

“Always,” Rose laughed, “But…” Her brows furrowed as she tapped away on her phone. Then her brows shot up, “Oh my gosh, Rey!”

“What?” Rey sat up, alarmed, “What happened? Is he okay?” Is Ben Solo okay?

Rose squealed and hopped up to slide in next to her on the couch seat, “You’re famous! Like, trending famous!”

Rey’s brows furrowed, “What?” 

Rose handed her her phone, opened to a BuzzFeed article. The headline read: Ben Solo brought to tears in rising star’s bar performance.

“What?” Ben Solo? She read through the article, her brows lowering even more at a blurry picture of what looked like Ben Solo in a nondescript hoodie and jeans hiding his face in his large hands. 

Ben Solo was seen at up-and-coming Resistance rockstar Rey Johnson’s live performance at The Cantina. Johnson, known widely by her online persona as That British Girl, revealed in a livestream that she had a crush on A-list celebrity, Ben Solo, and was recently signed on by record label Resistance. A popular Beatles song was requested by a fan and was dedicated to Solo. It is currently unknown as to why actor Solo was there, nor why he was in tears after her performance. BuzzFeed News has reached out to reps of Ben Solo for comment. If you have a news tip, we’d like to hear from you. Reach out to us via one of our tip line channels.

There was a clip of her dedicating the song to Ben Solo and she flushed, mortified. She followed the link to a video on Twitter; the caption read: Go get him, sunshine! #Reylo #CelebCrush #SoftGirl #SoftBoi #LoveLoveLove #OTP #Ship #DreamCouple #ReyJohnson #BenSolo #TBG.

Rey covered her face with her hand and handed the phone back to Rose with a groan. 

“Oh hey, there’s fan art!” Rose giggled while scrolling through Twitter, “Oh, hello. The ship has sailed, Rey Rey.” 

“I don’t want to see it,” Rey groaned.

“Are you sure? Because some of these are hot,” 

“I can never show my face again.” 

“I wonder if Ben knows,” 

“I hope to God he doesn’t. This is so embarrassing. This never would have happened if I didn’t admit to actually having a crush on him.” 

“I’m sure he’s curious,” There was a glint in Rose’s eyes she didn’t like, “Are you sure you don’t want to meet him?”

“And what would I say, Rose? Hi, I’m Rey, I like you.” Rose laughed, “Knowing me, I’d just clam up and stutter.” 

“I’m sure it’ll be fine.”

Rey shook her head, “As I’ve told Finn, I’m more than happy to watch from afar. And being friends with you, who actually personally knows him? I’m happy with that.” 

“I knew you became friends with me for a reason,” 

Rey sat up straight, “I didn’t mean that seriously,”

Rose laughed, “Of course you didn’t, silly. I was just teasing. I know you’re not that kind of person,”

Rey sighed, “Some people are just meant to look, you know?” Then she frowned, “Wait,” She thought of the headline and all the blood from her face drained, “He was there?” She remembered the other person with Hux and Rose. He was wearing a hoodie too. Could it be? “He was there and you acted like he wasn’t!” 

“Well I mean,” Rose sipped her drink calmly, “Armie said not to tell and Ben didn’t want you to know he was there either.” 

“But why?” She looked at Rose, heart pounding, suddenly terrified. There’s no way someone like her would actually want to be friends with someone like Rey, right? “Is this some kind of sick joke?” She looked around, paranoid, “He and Hux aren’t here or listening in, are they?”

Fuck, she hated it when people played around with her feelings like this. 

All of a sudden she couldn’t breathe, her mind shifting back in high school when people pretended to be friends with the orphan only to laugh about her behind her back. She’d cried to her mum so many times. 

“What?” Rose’s brows shot up, “No, of course not!” She stood to stand closer to her, “I really do want to be friends!” 

Rey blinked back tears, “I, I just remembered I-I have something to do.” She grimaced, “I’m so sorry, we’ll hang out again some other time.” She didn’t look at Rose as she stood.

Rose grabbed her sleeve, “Rey, I’m sorry I didn’t tell you. We didn’t want you to get embarrassed or anything and Ben’s always been a little shy. Please don’t be mad,” 

She coaxed Rey back to her seat and she just wilted.

“I didn’t want to sound like some sort of crazy fangirl,” Rey mumbled and rubbed the back of her neck.

“You don’t! And people are rooting for you,” Rose showed her some of the tweets.

Rey pulled out her phone and opened up her own Twitter account. She only really had the public one.

It was flooded with both encouragement and hate mail. She winced. She didn’t think she’d actually earn the ire of Ben Solo’s fans. She showed Rose who scowled and took screen caps to send to Hux.

“Poe is going to kill me.” Rey muttered.

“Nah, I mean, any publicity is good, right?”

“His fans are saying I’m only making noise so people would notice me.”

“That’s not true and as both a friend and a fan, I know what you’re capable of.” 

They both jumped when Rey’s phone rang. 

It was Poe. 

Rey bit her lip and met Rose’s suddenly-worried gaze. She nodded and Rey picked up the phone.

Chapter Text

 

“It seems you weren’t as inconspicuous as we’d like,” Hux was in his condo again.

Ben groaned and rolled over, pulling the sheets over his head, “What the fuck are you doing here?”

“Bringing you your prize,” Hux said mildly, “Unless of course you’ve changed your mind and agree to sell it to me.” 

Ben sat up, pushing the duvet away from him, and scowled.

“Didn’t think so.” Hux looked smug as he handed Ben the package, “You’re trending again. Soft Boi Ben, as in, Boi with an ‘I’. Seemed someone spotted you tearing up at our little miss sunshine’s performance.” 

Ben scowled at Hux’s choice of words but instead of retorting, giving him more ammunition to tease him with, he busied himself by opening his package.

Inside the plain brown box was another, smaller box, this one in pink. It had That British Girl’s logo and a crudely done drawing of a cat. 

“Mitaka said that Rey herself had drawn that.” He pursed his lips, “Not a very good drawing at that but then, there’s a reason she's a singer songwriter and not a graphic artist.” 

Ben grunted and opened the box as gently as he could. Inside was a giant mug, one surprisingly big enough to not look small in his hands. It was in the shape of a cat’s head. 

“Cute.” Hux said. Ben sighed and got out of bed. He placed the mug on his study, right in front of the bed, and kept the box in one of its drawers, “Maybe I can get Rey to design one for Rosie.” 

“So what did I do this time?”

“Aside from cry your eyes out at the Cantina? Nothing.” Hux shrugged, “‘Course, Rose says Rey is mortified to know that you were, in fact, in attendance last night. Phas, of course, is having a field day. She wants to capitalise on this to make you even more famous. Girls do love a sensitive man. She thinks she can turn you into a sex icon overnight.”

Ben scowled, “No, thank you.”

“Don’t tell me that. She does have another option but I told her you might not be open to that.”

“What other option?” Ben didn’t like the sound of that. Phasma has been needling him these past few months trying to turn his image of a broody, angry, violent person into a soft and romantic, complicated man. 

He wasn’t exactly violent in the first place but a few well-timed photos of bar-brawls and the paps had made it look as though he’d gone off to kill people with his fists. It didn't really help that his breakthrough character was an asshole.

“Well, quite a number of your fans, both hers and yours, have taken to ah, calling Reylo.” Hux scratched his cheek and avoided his eyes.

“Calling what?” Ben scowled, it better not be what he thinks it is.

“Like, Brangelina, except, Rey and uh, Solo.” 

Ben’s scowl deepened, “And what does Phasma think of this?”

“She finds it hilarious, of course.” Hux smirked, “To be fair, I do too, seeing as how taken you are with this girl.” He cleared his throat, “Phas wants you to date her.”

“No.” Ben’s scowl deepened. He knew that crazy amazon would think of something like this, “I don’t date fans and I’m pretty sure she does not want to meet me.”

“Yes, that is true.” Hux shrugged, “Rose said that Rey said she’s content to look at you from afar. Bit of a stalker vibe if I didn’t know any better. But I don’t think it would hurt to actually get to know one another. It’d be good publicity for both of you.”

Ben glared at Hux, “No.” 

“Noted,” Hux chuckled, “I’ll tell Phasma that then. Rose would be heartbroken, too. She’s already gone and joined the Reylo bandwagon. Moving on, why don’t we go out for lunch, eh?” 

Ben made a face; did he really want to go out at a time like this? But his stomach grumbled and he remembered he didn’t really eat much the night before.

“You’re buying.” He told Hux who laughed.

Me? You’re the actor. I’m just a poor manager.” 

“Says the man in a four thousand dollar suit.” 

“Hey, what can I say, the suit makes the man.” Hux shrugged, “I can change. I’m sure I still have some clothes leftover here.” 

“You should. I don’t want people to notice me too much.” 

Hux chuckled and made his way to the guest room where some of his clothes were kept for emergencies like this one. Though, seeing how swimmingly things are going with a certain music starlet, he wondered if he should bring them home soon. 

Chapter Text

When Poe called her, she didn’t expect that he’d ask her to go to the studio. It was a Sunday and usually people were off, but apparently not today.

She’d bid Rose goodbye and drove to Resistance in her vintage baby blue beetle. The guards knew her well enough to let her in without question. 

“Leia wants to meet you,” Poe said once they were in the elevator. 

She froze, the blood draining from her face, “Leia, as in the Leia Organa?” 

“The one and only,” Poe chuckled and brushed his wavy black hair from his face, “She heard about your show stopping performance last night and wanted to put a face to the voice.”

Rey swallowed audibly. She was not ready for this. What she was wearing wasn’t even nearly appropriate enough to meet one of the biggest names in music history. She was practically royalty.

“Hey, relax, sunshine. Leia’s nice.” Poe wrapped his arm around her shoulders, “It’s going to be fine. She just wants to meet you, is all.”

She looked at Poe apprehensively and nodded.

He led her through the mostly empty offices and knocked on a nondescript wooden door.

“Enter,” Her voice sounded stern and Rey swallowed again.

“Hey, Leia.” Poe swept in with a flourish, dragging Rey along with him, “Here’s our girl of the hour, Rey Johnson.” 

Whatever Rey expected, this was not it. Leia was barely any taller than her and the brown vintage leather jacket Leia was wearing over her blouse and slacks was not something she expected either. 

“Rey, this is Leia.” 

“H-hello,” Rey looked down and flushed, “Ms. Organa.” 

“Please, call me Leia,” She said and smiled. Her perfectly arranged hair was a stark contrast to the old jacket she was wearing and Rey couldn’t wrap her head around it, “I hear you’ve been making waves online recently.”

Rey laughed nervously, “Believe me, it wasn’t intentional.” 

“And yet, your value as a star has suddenly shot up, almost overnight.” 

Rey shrugged, “Poe sent me a copy of the video of your performance.”

“She’s great, right?” Poe said enthusiastically and dragged Rey to sit on the overstuffed seat in front of Leia’s heavy wooden desk, “Even I couldn’t stop myself from crying.”

Leia snorted in a most-definitely unladylike manner, “Please, you cry about everything.” 

“Aw, that hurts. I don’t cry for everything. Just most things.” Poe was still grinning. He was always so happy. Rey wondered if that’s what she looked like to other people?

“Anyway, I just wanted to meet you. You’ve sung a lovely rendition of Hey Jude.” She smiled wistfully, “My husband used to sing that to me so long ago.” She sighed, “It was my favourite. So thank you for that.”

“O-oh, uh, sure.” Rey’s brows furrowed. Did Leia call her on a Sunday because she wanted to talk about The Beatles?

“Moving on though, I hear you’ve touched base with First Order as well.” She said politely and Rey flushed.

“Oh, uh, Hux just wanted to give me a tour of their set. As thanks for the sudden spike in interest on their movie.”

“Yeah, she had unwittingly made Ben the Internet’s Boyfriend.” Poe chuckled.

“I see. Armitage is a polite boy, I’m sure he’ll take care of you.” She cocked her head sideways, looking at her like she was an interesting new bug to dissect. Rey suppressed a shudder at the intensity of her stare, “Well, you are exactly the type Resistance needs. We’ve had a very limited roster of women rockstars as of late but you…you have raw talent. Poe said you two have been working on an album?”

“Yes ma’am,” Rey said, “Just a few songs I’ve written over the years.”

“Have you thought of what persona you’d like?”

“Well, I’ve always just been me.” Rey laughed awkwardly.

“A little cute, a little innocent, but also sexy.” Poe explained, “She has a good number of male and female supporters online.”

Leia was nodding. She had a twinkle in her eye, as though she knew something Rey didn’t. It made her nervous.

“Well, I’m sure First Order appreciated the help they received. I do hope they don’t try to poach you,”

Ah, so that’s what the whole point of this meeting was. Rey smiled, “I’m sure they won’t and if they do, I’d be sure not to accept. I’m very grateful to have this opportunity to work with Resistance. I never thought I’d actually be signed on an actual record label,” 

“You’ve a beautiful voice, dear.” Leia said, almost dismissively, “I’m surprised they didn’t find you earlier than we did.”

“I say it’s fate,” Poe interjected.

“I’m sure that’s just your dick talking,” Rey’s jaw fell and Poe cackled, “I hear his boyfriend’s your friend?”

“Ah, yes. I do believe he noticed Finn first.” Rey chuckled.

Rey looked at the strange woman in front of her and decided that she liked her. 

Chapter Text

It wasn’t until weeks after that Hux scheduled her tour. Ben Solo and the movies was all everyone could talk about and it had even invaded the comments section of her channel and social media accounts. 

The ship has sailed according to Rose and it didn’t look like it’d sink anytime soon. Rey had tried her best to play it down in her videos. After all, she’s never even met the man. Hux said it was fine and the still-faceless Phasma had sent her another round of merch, still very Kylo-centric, telling her explicitly that she should show it off. 

So, she did, with Leia and Poe’s blessing.

It was strange; she always thought Resistance and First Order were’t exactly friendly but she supposed personal opinion don’t really matter in business. 

Of course, all the merch created even more buzz that kept the Reylo ship going. Paparazzi was starting to take note of her and she’s seen a few wandering around near her usual haunts. It wouldn’t be long before they figure out Rose is the girlfriend of Ben Solo’s manager. What would people say then?

Finn would be joining her on the tour. Hux said he’ll meet them at the studio and will be sending a man named Mitaka to take them. 

“Can’t you dress in something cuter?” Finn asked, frowning, “I mean, this is a private tour of the actual sets they’re using. Not like Universal Studios or something,”

Rey frowned and looked down at what she wore. It was winter so wore a heavy old rose knit sweater dress, fleece leggings and her scuffed boots. 

“What’s wrong with what I’m wearing?” She asked, deftly tying her hair back into three buns, “It’s cold and I’d rather not freeze my tits off.” 

Finn rolled his eyes. He was, as always, dressed to the nines in a black turtleneck sweater, black slacks and a soft brown leather jacket that she was sure was Poe’s, “You’re lucky you’re so cute you can wear whatever you want and still look good.”

Rey’s frown deepened, “I think what I’m wearing is cute,”

“Yeah, but not for a studio tour.” The bell rang and Finn shook his head, “Never mind, let’s go.” 

“I’m going on a studio tour, Finn, not a photoshoot or a performance.” She shrugged on her shoulder bag and linked her arm with Finn’s, “Besides, I don’t think it really matters. My supporters don’t mind what I wear.”

“But Ben Solo’s fans might,” Finn opened the door to a neat-looking blond.

“Good afternoon Mr. Storm, Ms. Johnson,” He said with a smile, “I’m Dolpheld Mitaka. Mr. Hux has sent me to get you,”

“Hi!” Rey said cheerfully, “Please, call me Rey.” She stuck her hand out and he flushed, looking baffled and stricken before shaking her hand tentatively, “Thank you so much for picking us up.”

“Please, it’s my job.” Mitaka led them down the elevators and into a nondescript black sedan. He even opened the door for them and blushed again when Rey beamed at him.

The drive to the studio wasn’t very long, only half an hour, but Rey had taken advantage of that time to ask Mitaka questions.

“Do you go in everyday?” She asked to which Mitaka answered in the affirmative, “What do you do other than drive people around?”

“I’m hired as a driver but I do, do some security work either for Mr. Hux or Mr. Solo, or both.” Mitaka answered, “Sometimes I do errands as well.”

“So, you’re like an all-around man.” Finn said, “Cool,” 

“So you know Hux well?” 

“Not quite as well as Mr. Solo, miss.” Mitaka said, “They grew up together.” 

“Really?” Rey knew she was being nosy but any information she could get about Ben Solo she just gobbled up. Finn snorted back a laugh, “Rose never mentioned that. Is he nice, Mr. Solo?”

Mitaka glanced at her through the rearview and smiled, “He’s very distant and he has a bit of a temper but I think he’s nice. He’s a good boss though he’s quite hard to actually protect.” 

“Why is that?” Finn shuffled forward so both him and Rey are leaning in to listen to Mitaka.

“He’s big.” Is all Mitaka said and Rey giggled.

By the time they arrived in First Order, Rey can safely say that she’d gained a new friend in Mitaka.

Chapter Text

Hux brought them around, showing them the different sets and explaining how everything worked. He even showed them Ben Solo’s dressing room. Finn had elbowed her and she elbowed him back just as hard. 

“This is the hallway you see pretty much in almost all of the scenes where a hallway is required,” Hux said with a chuckle. 

Rey looked up and spun as she walked, trying to pinpoint exactly what made this specific hallway special. The lights were definitely different compared to the others and she could still see some of the props that made it look more high-tech, “Your design crew must be amazing,”

She was still looking around and up and didn’t hear the loud clomping of boots. She didn’t notice how Finn and Hux stopped walking. 

She slammed into something hard and she squeaked.

“Oh my gosh, I am so, so, so, so sorry, I wasn’t paying attention and I…” Black. It was something black. She followed the line of dots decorating the costume up…and up… and up, past a large scar on his cheek, to meet his dark eyes. 

Her eyes widened and she sucked in a breath sharply. His lip quirked up, “Hi,” He said in a voice that she’s only ever heard in her dreams, “I’m Ben.” Amusement twinkled in his eyes and a dimple flashed on his cheek. 

Rey could feel the heat travel up her neck to her face. She took a step back and looked at his proffered hand, gloved, and flashed back into that one scene in the movie. At that time, she had just about screamed at the heroine to take it.

Now she understood how she would’ve felt. Her hand shook and she looked up again at his face. He arched a brow and looked as though he was trying very hard not to laugh.

“Rey,” She said weakly and shook his hand. The leather felt cool against her skin and she shivered.

“I know.” He smiled again, flashing her those dimples. Her cheeks felt too hot, “It’s a pleasure to finally meet you, Ms. Johnson.” He squeezed her hand.

She was aware of so many different things happening at the same time; of Finn and Hux discreetly taking pictures at different angles, of the way her heart pounded and her mind raced, of how strong his grip was underneath the cool leather.

“Please, it’s just Rey,” She managed to say and he chuckled.

“As you wish, just Rey.” He still hasn’t let go of her hand and she felt like she was about to spontaneously combust. 

And he was still smiling at her, like he knew exactly what it did to her. She looked down at their hands again to avoid his eyes. 

Her hand was tiny in his and she didn’t think she could turn even redder than she did.

“Mr. Solo, it’s almost time,” Somebody called out. Ben looked to his right and rubbed his thumb on the back of her hand.

“Alright,” He said before looking back down at her again, “I’ll see you around,” His voice was soft now, “Rey.” 

He let go of her hand and it fell limply to her side. He turned sharply and marched towards what she assumed was another studio facility.

His cape swept back, floating behind him dramatically. She didn’t even realise he’d been holding Kylo Ren’s helmet loosely against his hip.

When he was almost at the door to the studio, he turned back to look over his shoulder and met her eyes.

She blinked and flushed. He smiled again, flashing a dimple and winked before entering the room.

Rey sucked in another breath and squeaked a little. Somehow she’d forgotten how to breathe. 

She’d officially died and gone to heaven. That had to be it; she must’ve tripped and died somewhere along the way when Hux was giving them a tour.

“Earth to Rey?” She heard Finn’s voice vaguely, like he was somewhere far away, or she was underwater, “Hello?”

“Well, Rose would’ve loved to see that.” Hux chuckled. 

“I think your boy Ben broke her.” 

“Maybe it’s time we go see the on-site cafe, hm?”

“Great idea, Hugs.” 

She felt Finn’s hands on her shoulders, leading her away. Still, she looked at the door where he’d disappeared into.

Chapter Text

Hux did it on purpose. Ben was sure he did. As his manager, Hux was the only one who knew his precise schedule. He set it up and led her around so they’d just so happen to bump into each other at that exact moment. 

Of course, Ben had been distracted too and didn’t notice the tiny slip of a girl about to slam into him. She was a lot smaller than he remembered, the last time he encountered her he’d been sitting down and didn’t really get a good look. 

But she looked warm and cozy. His lip twitched up at the thought of how she’d turned almost as pink her oversized sweater when she realised who he was.

Thank fuck he knew how to act, otherwise things would’ve been even more awkward than it should’ve.

She was cute. The look on her face when he’d winked at her.

Then he realised what he did and flushed. Holy shit, he winked at her like a fucking dingus. What had gotten into him? Hux would never let him live that down for sure. 

He groaned softly and covered his face.

“You alright, Ben?” 

“I’m good,” Ben said, resisting the urge to rub his face and ruin his make up. He looked up, “Ready.”

They were only supposed to shoot a few promotional videos and take a few pictures for the new rides at Disneyland so it wasn’t really that big of a deal. 

He placed the familiar helmet over his head and brought his hood up.

“Ready when you are,”

He was glad they started with the helmet scenes. It’d give him time to school his features. 

He couldn’t seem to stop himself from smiling. 

Chapter Text

Ben Solo winked at her.

Ben Solo winked at her.

Ben Solo. 

Rey couldn’t wrap her head around it. He knew who she was and just…winked at her. She flushed again. Has he always been that charming? He could probably charm her panties off without breaking a sweat. 

“I think she’s coming back now,” She could still hear Finn talking to Hux. Somehow she had her fingers wrapped around a mug. When did that get there? 

“I’ve known Solo since we were children but I’ve never encountered anyone who’s reacted to him that way before.” Hux laughed.

“Well, that’s our Rey. Awkward to the bone,”

She finally snapped back into herself and looked up to meet Finn’s eyes.

“Finally back, baby girl?” Finn asked, his chocolate eyes twinkling with amusement. 

Rey made a sound between a whinny and a squeak. Her eyes were still wide and her cheeks flushed.

“Yes,” Finn said patiently, like he was talking to a child, “Yes, you did just meet Ben Solo.”

Rey made another sound. 

Hux looked between them with fascination.

“Yes, he did introduce himself and you’re not dreaming. No, you weren’t entirely too awkward. You didn’t faint, for one.” Finn continued.

“Amazing, you actually understood what she’s trying to say,” Hux said.

“Eh, you stay together long enough you’ll understand everything. We used to be roommates,” Finn said with a shrug, “And trust me she only ever gets like this for Ben Solo.” 

Hux’s brows shot up, “Wait, are you telling me she’s been crushing on Solo for…years?”

“What, you think it’s just recently?” Finn’s brows rose too. He took a sip of his tea, “Nah, dude. Rey’s been crushing on him since J. Edgar.” 

Hux’s jaw dropped and he stared at a squirming Rey, “Wot,” 

Finn laughed, “Rey, you broke Hugs.” 

“Jesus, that’s around the same time you both started your careers and he had like, less than a minute of screen-time there!” Hux gaped and Rey shrugged.

“Nobody really asked until recently.” She mumbled, “And I thought he was cute.” 

“You wouldn’t believe how many movies she’s dragged me to, sometimes twice, just because he was there. Keep in mind we were broke college kids then.” 

“I have no idea what to say,” Hux looked amazed and bothered at the same time.

Rey groaned and finally took a sip of her tea, “This is so embarrassing,” 

“I think he’ll be flattered,” Hux said and Rey sat up straight.

“Don’t tell him, please.” She begged, “I’m already humiliated enough.”

Hux chuckled, “I can’t promise that. I am his manager and I try to do what’s best for him. By the way, when did you say your album’s release was?”

“We haven’t announced it yet but we were thinking next month, first week.” Rey said, grateful for the change in subject, “I’ll be working all day tomorrow with Poe for last minute promotional stuff. We’re just about ready. I’ll probably post the release date online too.”

Hux nodded, “Do save me a CD for Rose.” He said, “I’m sure we’ll be there but I’ve seen your fans. They’re wild,”

“Of course,” Rey said with a laugh, “You don’t have to ask. Rose can have as many as she likes,”

“Thank you. Shall we continue on with our tour then?”

Chapter Text

Rey didn’t mention the tour or meeting him in her next video. Ben was slightly disappointed. Hux had slipped him her phone number and though he already had it saved in his phone, he still hadn’t gotten the courage to actually call her.

She glossed over her excitement for Resistance’s office-wide Thanksgiving dinner and announced the launch date of her album and he took note of it. 

Maybe he’ll drop by.

He glanced at the mug still sitting on his desk; he was sure he’d drop by. 

Hux didn’t mention their encounter yet but he knew the redhead was only waiting for the right time to use it against him. Reylo, he said, was still gaining traction and Rose had even sent him a few fan art, some of which made him flush with embarrassment. 

“Um,” Rey’s voice drifted from his laptop speakers, “I’d really like to take the time too, to thank you all again. I might not be able to speak to everyone or thank everyone the way I want to but I really do appreciate your support. I would never have made it this far without you.” She sounded sweet, but tired. She still wore the outfit she was wearing for the promotional pictures she said she’d been doing, “I really look forward to the launch. We’ve already posted the links to where you can pre-order the album, and of course, it’s up on my website too.” 

She cleared her throat, “And since I’ve been so busy lately and I’ve gotten so many requests for this, I figured I’d do it now, as a thanks and an apology too. Please bear with me though, it’s not my usual style.” She laughed softly and it sent shivers down his spine like it always did.

Of course it was ‘Hey Jude’. It, along with them, has not stopped trending since that night in the Cantina. He’d gotten a lot of messages from his co-stars asking if he really was seeing the starlet and asking why they’ve never seen her before.

He answered as honestly as he could, that no, they’re not dating and they’ve never even met, and had diligently avoided paparazzis and interviews. 

Because despite what he said before, he really would like to date her. 

He just hasn’t figured out how yet. 

He listened to her sing, the ache in his chest still raw even after all these years. He could still hear Han’s voice, softly, in his head. Sometimes he was terrified that one day he’d hear this song and won’t be able to remember his father’s voice anymore. 

Han never recorded himself doing a cover. Ben wished he did. Han and the Chewies was different from Han Solo, his dad. He was goofy in a typical suburban dad way, and he loved to work on that beat-up Ford Thunderbird he'd so lovingly named 'Falcon'. Ben wished he wasn't so eager to get away when Han asked him to help. 

Don’t carry the world upon your shoulders.

He should call his mom.

Chapter Text

Launch day. 

Rey fidgeted nervously in her seat. Rose and Hux were already there with Finn and Poe while the rest were waiting for the doors to officially open.

“You’ll be fine, sunshine.” Poe said, “Definitely better than how you did with Solo.”

Rey flushed bright red and Rose laughed, “Shut up, Poe. It’s been a month, I’m sure he’s forgotten that.”

“I doubt,” Hux said, “As I’ve said, it’s not a usual occurrence.”

“You shut up too, Hugs.” Rey hissed, “You promised not to tell anyone,”

“Actually, I don’t remember saying that at all.” Hux chuckled. They were all in leather jackets, Rey in a black one over a black and red dress and black tights. She shivered.

“You want coffee?” Rose said with a sympathetic smile, “You look like you need it.”

“I didn’t really sleep much last night,” Rey said, “And I’m not wearing nearly enough in this cold.”

“We’re inside, baby girl,” Finn said, “And it’s not that cold today.” 

“Shut up, Finn, you know I grew up in the desert.” Her teeth were chattering. She wished she’d worn a sweater instead but Poe had insisted on a leather jacket because ‘it’s part of her image’. 

“Oh, the only person she hasn’t told to ‘shut up’ is Rose.” Poe said with a laugh.

“Of course she won’t, I’m her number one fan.” Rose said, grinning, “I’ll go get you that coffee. What about you guys? What do ya’ll want?”

Hux offered to go with her while Poe and Finn gave them their orders. 

“Be right back,” Rose said and linked her hand with Hux’s.

Rey took a deep breath and sat on the chair provided by the venue. 

The venue itself wasn’t very big, just a box decorated in soft pinks and heavy blacks. Poe had gone off to test the sound system and her voice piped in softly, increasing in volume until her manager was satisfied. 

“It’s going to be okay, Rey.” Finn said, “Just breathe. Think of it like a book signing,”

Rey’s gone to every book signing Finn’s ever had, helping him get more books, more pens, coffee, even lunch if he didn’t get a chance to eat. 

But that was Finn’s gig, not hers. 

And what if nobody came? 

It was a ridiculous thought really since there was already a line forming outside the venue but it terrified her to be left high and dry and alone. 

“It’s going to be fine.” Finn said, almost like he was reading her mind, “We’ll be here with you. You’re going to do great.”

She gave Finn a watery smile and took a deep breath.

“Almost time, sunshine!” Poe called out, “Ready when you are!”

She closed her eyes and took a deep breath, forcing a smile, “Ready.”

The doors opened.

Chapter Text

Ben didn’t think there’d still be so many people at three in the afternoon. The launch ran until six so he thought by three it’d start winding down but he was surprised at the number of people still lingering in the venue taking pictures with Rey, her standee, even Dameron and Rey’s dark-skinned friend. He realised he was too busy looking at Rey when they met to actually notice the man and introduce himself to him too. 

He kept his head down and his hood up. He’d even tied his hair back so they don’t slip out. 

Hux wasn’t there anymore but Rose still was. He knew Hux was busy at the studio at the moment but he knew he’d popped by early this morning to show his support. He knew because Hux wouldn’t stop texting him and sending him pictures.

He got a CD and a shirt for good measure. Nobody spared him a glance, not with so many people wearing crazy outfits like it was Comic Con and not an album launch. 

Cat ears seem to be a recurring thing. 

Rey herself was wearing a pair of fuzzy red and black cat ears. He got in line, watching her through his lashes as she smiled and chatted with her fans. She looked tired.

She had a black tumbler of some sort of drawings and text next to her and she took a long sip from the straw before turning back to the next person waiting for her to sign.

He moved, wondering what he’d say. Would any of her friends notice him? Would the paps find out? He hoped not. 

She was still smiling when he quietly handed her his copy of her CD.

“Hi,” She said cheerfully, “And who should I sign for?” She wasn’t looking at him.

He cleared his throat and couldn’t help smile, “How about Ben?” 

She froze and looked up slowly, the flush rising up her throat to her cheeks. She squeaked, “Y-you, you’re…”

“Hello, Rey.” He said and she opened and closed her mouth and looked down before scrawling on the CD case.  

Murmurs started behind him and people had started to notice Rey’s unusual reaction to the man in front.

“Is that…” He heard someone whisper.

“No way…”

“Ben Solo?” More murmurs. He ignored them, focusing on Rey’s bowed head, instead.

She met his eyes shyly and smiled, “Thank you,” She said quietly, holding the CD up with both hands, “For your support,”

He took it, brushing his fingers over hers, making her blush even more. He smiled, “No, thank you.” He placed the CD back into his bag and moved to the side to let the next people in line through. He leaned against the far wall, still in line with her sight. 

She watched him a tad too long before focusing back to her tasks. Her smile was a little brighter, her eyes a little less tired.

“Um, Mr. Solo?” He glanced up at a pair of teens with cat ears. They were each holding a similar bag to his, “You are Mr. Ben Solo, right?”

His jaw tightened; he really didn’t want to be noticed but it couldn’t be helped now. He gave a little sigh and a wistful smile, “Ladies,” 

They squealed a little too loudly, getting him a few more curious glances.

“Can we take a photo with you?” They said and he looked past them to see Rey still busy signing and taking selfies with her fans.

“Sure,” He finally said, albeit a little defeatedly.

They squealed again and took a photo with him one by one. He hoped his grimace could pass off a smile.

“When Rey said she had a crush on you,” One of them chattered, “We couldn’t really see it happening because she’s like Rey of Sunshine and you’re…” They gestured wildly, “But then Reylo happened and all those fan art and we watched some of your old movies…”

“And then we could see it.” The other one completed with a nod, “And now you’re here,” 

They talked as though he’d been magically summoned there by sheer wishful thinking, as if he was doing this as fan service and not for himself. 

He shrugged, careful not to give too much away, “I’m here.” 

More people gathered to where he was, directly after chatting and signing and selfie-ing with Rey, like he was some sort of sideshow. Maybe he should go somewhere else.

People took pictures with him, some asked him to sign things. He refused to sign on Rey’s CD.

“Look,” He said, “I’m not going to disrespect her by taking over her thing. I’m just here as a…sort of fan, like you.” He said and flushed. More whispers. He knew he, and Rey, would trend within the next twenty-four hours. 

“Solo.” The crowd parted for Poe.

“Dameron,” Ben inclined his head, his lips tightening. He knew Poe very well. His parents worked with his for years.

He still hasn’t gotten the courage to call his mother. Or Rey. 

“What are you doing here?” Poe was suspicious, as he should be. He didn’t really have a reason to be here. 

Ben arched a brow, “You want to talk about that, now?” His inclined his head, gesturing with his eyes to the crowd that had gathered. It’ll be in the tabloids come morning whatever he said, if he said something. 

Poe laughed, a little exasperatedly, “You’re right, I’m sorry.” He cleared his throat, “We might get late finishing up. The crowd’s still coming,” 

“I can see that.” More people came to ask for photos, some with him, others with Poe, “I’m not here for any other reason than just because.” A young man took a selfie with both him and Poe. 

“I see.” Poe said, a little cryptically, “Don’t worry, you’re always welcome. Rey’s over the moon.” 

“There you are,” Rey’s friend approached them with a curious smile, “Mr. Solo,”

“It’s Ben.” He said, “And I’m sorry I didn’t get to introduce myself to you, last time.”

“Finn Storm. Call me Finn.” Finn shook his hand and grinned, “Don’t worry, you were busy. I’m going to go for another coffee run,” He held up Rey’s tumbler. Ben saw it had spiderwebs and cats drawn on it, “You two boys want anything?” 

“The usual for me, babe. Thanks.” Poe grinned and Ben arched a brow at him. Last time they saw each other, Poe had a girlfriend.

“What about you?” Finn turned to him.

“A vanilla cream cold brew would be great,” Ben said, rubbing the back of his neck. 

“Got it.” Finn gave him a thumbs-up. Ben reached behind him to grab his wallet from his back pocket and Finn waved his hand, “Nah dude, it’s fine. I’ll be right back.” 

Chapter Text

Ben Solo was here. Rey could barely concentrate on chatting with her fans and signing things for them. 

Because Ben Solo was here. 

Did Hux put him up to it? Rey’s brow furrowed, she didn’t want him to be forced to come.

Rose was busy on her phone but she acknowledged Ben’s presence by pointing him out to Poe. 

She couldn’t breathe, couldn’t even begin to remember what she was talking about to the guy in front of her. She smiled, “Thank you so much for your support,” She said and he moved on. 

Maybe he’ll go to Ben next for a picture. He didn’t look too happy though; did he really think he can pop in and not be noticed?

Hux had left at around lunchtime for his meeting at the studio, leaving Rose with her. Soon after, Mitaka had dropped in with his young daughter. Even Leia dropped by. 

But she didn’t expect Ben freaking Solo. 

And he was just standing there, looking so comfortable talking to Finn and Poe like they’ve known each other forever.

Rose jumped next to her and grinned, excusing herself. Hux must be done with his meeting. She was talking animatedly to the side, laughing at whatever her boyfriend was saying. 

“OMG, Rey,” The girl in front of her was practically bouncing on her toes, “I love your ears, where did you get them done?” 

Rey smiled and pointed her to the direction of a cosplay designer Kaydel Connix. She looked her up instantly, her eyes lighting up. She told her her name and Rey signed the CD and the t-shirt the girl handed, “And is that Ben Solo?” Her eyes were huge and Rey laughed a little awkwardly.

“Yes,” She said and the girl squealed, her phone still out. She was typing really fast, “My dreams are coming true.” She said, “Hashtag Reylo,” Rey smiled and the girl asked for a picture. She obliged and the girl took the selfie and squealed again before moving away, towards the direction of Ben. 

This was getting out of hand but she couldn’t get herself to be annoyed at Hux for sending him over. She can probably die happy now.

Finn came back with her coffee and she smiled gratefully at him, “I love you,” She said.

“Love you too, Bey.” He said with a wink. He placed Rose’s drink on the table, “Your boy Ben apparently likes cold brew,” 

Rey flushed and looked at him sharply, “He’s not my boy,” She hissed and hoped nobody heard him. God knows what rumours would come out of that.

“Whatever,” Finn said, laughing. He tweaked one of the ears on her head, “Imma head back there.” Rey waved him away and turned her attention back to the girl waiting patiently in front of her.

Rey smiled.

Rose skipped back to her seat a little off to the side next to Rey, “Thank me later,” She whispered and giggled.

Rey glanced at her with confusion, “Thank you for what?”

“You’ll see.” Rose grinned, the apples of her cheeks flushed, her eyes twinkling with excitement. 

“Okay,” Rey turned back to her fans again, trying her best to concentrate. They deserve that much. 

She heard Poe on the mic, announcing the last giveaway of the day and breathed a sigh of relief when the attention was taken away from her. It’s been a long day. Maybe they can go for pizza after.

It’d be nice if Ben could join them. She flushed again, since when had she started thinking of him as just Ben?

Poe announced the winner and she continued signing. 

It was nearing six-thirty when they finished. She took a few more photos with her lingering fans. Hux had come back around an hour ago looking tired and mildly annoyed at Ben. Maybe he was pissed Ben had been spotted? But then what’s the point of him actually coming if not for publicity? Something to feed the rumour mills?

She shrugged. Maybe they’ll tell her later. Poe didn’t seem to mind. It’d be good publicity for her too, more so than him. He didn’t really have much to gain from showing up at a nobody’s album launch. 

She winced, remembering the comments on her page and the tweets about her using Ben Solo’s fame for her own gain. 

She sighed.

Chapter Text

“You should’ve told me you’re here,” Hux hissed. Ben arched a brow.

“You’re the manager, Armitage,” He said pointedly. Hux winced at the use of his first name, “I thought it’s your job to figure out where I am at all times? I don’t think it’s that big of a deal.”

“But you’re here. I think it’s a big deal,” Hux huffed, “And I was here too you could’ve at least warned me.” Then he turned to Rose, “And you,” Rose grinned at him and he wilted, “You little minx,” He sighed and rubbed his hand on his face, “But this is fine. Phas is over the moon after she finished chewing me a new one.” 

“What happened?” Ben’s brows furrowed. He just took a few pictures with people, what could be so wrong with that?

“You could’ve at least dressed better.” Hux said, “Something that’d at least fit Rey’s thing,” 

Ben looked down at his clothes. It was a simple black v-neck sweater under a zip-up hoodie, jeans and boots, “What’s wrong with my clothes?”

Hux scowled and gestured at the Rose and Finn, “Look at their outfits. I was wearing something similar earlier.” Ben’s frown deepened and he looked over to Poe who stood with Rey as they bid her fans goodbye. 

He was wearing a leather bomber over his t-shirt and jeans. 

“I don’t have a leather jacket with a hood,” Ben said and Hux’s scowl deepened.

“You really think a hood would hide you? You’re a fucking giant, Solo.” Rose snickered and Hux turned his scowl on her, “Don’t think you’re off the hook here, Rose.” 

“Aw, come on. You said so yourself, Gwen was happy about it, right?” Rose looked up at her boyfriend with wide eyes and Hux groaned. She smiled, blinking innocently, knowing full well that her boyfriend was wrapped around her little finger. 

“What did we miss?” Poe asked. He had Rey in tow but she didn’t look up at him. 

“No idea, Hugs just came in and started scolding everything.” Finn said.

“I always did think he had a stick up his ass,” Poe said with an exaggerated sigh. 

“Shut up, you twat,” Hux hissed, “Did you know he’d be here?”

Poe arched a brow, “You’re his manager, how would I know he’d be here?”

“I didn’t do anything,” Ben grumbled, “I even took pictures with people.”

“Exactly! If that doesn’t say Reylo, I don’t know what does.” Hux growled.

“Ah, therein lies the problem then.” Poe chuckled, “I don’t really see much of a problem really, I mean, it’s all good publicity for my charge.” He wrapped his arm around Rey’s shoulder and pulled her close. 

She flushed.

Ben scowled. 

Finn snorted back a laugh and they all turned to see him chuckling at something on his phone, “Oof, your boy’s right Rosie you are a minx.” 

Rose grinned hugely, “I know right? Aren’t I amazing?”

Finn laughed, “Definitely retweeting that.” 

“Retweeting what?” Rey asked and as always, her voice sent a shiver down Ben’s spine. 

Finn grinned, “You should check your phone, baby girl.” 

Rey frowned, “My phone died ages ago.”

They all turned to Ben who raised his hands, “I don’t have social media.”

Poe sighed dramatically and pulled out his phone, opening the app before laughing his ass off, “Oh, baby, I should hire you.” He grinned at Rose who grinned right back.

“Oi, hands off my girl,” Hux scowled at him.

“I haven’t touched her yet, idiot.” Poe laughed, “Besides, I’m very happily in a relationship,” He winked at Finn who blew him a kiss.

“What is it?” Rey scowled. It was the first time Ben’s seen her with an expression that’s not anywhere near happy and cheerful and he found himself entranced, waiting for another show of emotion. 

He didn’t doubt that she was a genuinely cheerful person but there was always something deep in her eyes that called to him. 

“Here, look.” Poe motioned for Ben to come closer with the arm that was still wrapped around Rey’s shoulders, “You too, Solo. You’re going to want to see this.”

Ben grumbled and pushed away from the wall he’d been leaning on for the past three hours. He stood close enough to feel her tense and hear the hitch in her breath.

It was a photo of him leaning casually on the wall, looking all big and intimidating holding a very distinct baby pink plastic bag. Rose had taken the photo and posted it with the caption “OMG I’m at #BabyRey @That_British_Girl Rey’s album launch and #DaddySolo is in the house!” He flushed and looked down at the back of Rey’s head. He had an idea of what she looks like judging by the colour of her neck and ears. 

It had been retweeted over four thousand times in over three hours and has had more than two thousand replies and retweets. 

“Rose!” Rey screeched.

Rose cackled. 

Ben…was oddly okay. Maybe it was the shock. He wasn’t used to being viral for months on end.

“Yes, Daddy Solo is a thing now thanks to you.” Hux said acerbically, “Do you have any idea how many people is currently using that hashtag?”

Rose looked at him with an innocent smile and he sighed, more irritated at his inability to stay angry at her than anything else.

“This is gold,” Poe said with a laugh, “I’m keeping screenshots of this.” 

Ben stepped away from them and cleared his throat, “I understand how this can be taken the wrong way.”

“You think?” Hux’s voice was dripping with sarcasm.

“Don’t be mad at him, Hux. It’s not his fault,” Rey said, still pink in the ears. She met Ben’s eyes briefly and looked away, “If anything it’s probably mine for doing that livestream,”

“Aw, sunshine, of course not.” Poe pinched her cheek, “It’s going to be fine, Papi Poe’ll make everything better.”

She turned bright red and shoved him away roughly, “Jesus Christ Poe, I don’t want to know all the kinky shit you and Finn do!” 

Ben snorted back a surprised laugh at her outburst. He’d never actually seen or heard her curse before, especially not since he’d only really been watching her videos but judging by the look on Rose and Hux’s faces, neither have they.

Rey groaned and covered her face in embarrassment, “Poe brings out the absolute worst in me.” Her accent had gotten more pronounced and Ben found it fascinating. Does she notice that? Can she control her accent in the same way he could? 

“For the record, I don’t call him Papi, he calls me that.” Finn clarified and Rey screeched.

Ben couldn’t help it. He laughed. 

Everyone turned to him, surprised, “I’m sorry,” He said, trying to hold back and hide his laughter, “I just…” He snorted again.  

“You know what, this is your fault,” Rey told him and he laughed again. She blushed, “I mean it,”

“I know you do, sweet thing.” Rey turned an even brighter shade of red, “Should I start calling you ‘baby’?” 

Rose screeched and Hux clamped a hand over her mouth, arching a brow at Ben’s uncharacteristic display of charm. 

“No!” Rey shrieked and he chuckled. Then, she quieted and the glint in her eyes when she met his again made him swallow nervously. Maybe he shouldn’t act like they were friends. They’ve only met twice after all, “Unless…,” She said, still looking at him with an innocent look that he wasn’t sure he liked, “Unless you want me to call you ‘daddy’?” She fluttered her lashes in a decidedly not innocent look.

He sucked in a breath and felt the flush rush up his neck to his face and ears.

This time, everyone burst out laughing, even Hux.

“Oh shit, she got you there, Solo.” Finn said between laughs, “Jesus, baby girl, where you been? I was wondering when you’d stop gawking and blushing and turn that wicked sense of humour on him.” 

Rey smiled innocently. 

And fuck if hearing her say that didn’t make him want to hear it again. 

Chapter Text

“I’m going to change, it’s way too cold.” Rey said, already taking off the ears. 

“You want me to go with?” Rose asked and she shook her head.

“I’ll be back soon,” She grinned and bounded to the direction of the restrooms with her satchel. 

She made him blush. 

Rey giggled. The way he laughed and called her baby; hearing it firsthand sent shivers down her spine. Did Ben have a secret Daddy kink? She didn’t think anyone else noticed the way his breath hitched or the way his eyes darkened before he looked away. 

Or was it just her imagination? Either way she’d love to find out. 

She shook her head and smiled at herself in the mirror, pulling her hair up in a messy bun and washing away the heavy makeup. She adored large sweaters, had spent hours in thrift stores looking with Finn. She still did sometimes. 

Ben seemed like he had large sweaters. She flushed again and fidgeted with her hair before taking a bracing breath.

She should really stop thinking about things like that. Maybe they’ll become friends, eventually, but he didn’t seem like the type to let people in easily. 

There was a coldness in his gaze that kept people an arms-length away. 

She smiled when she saw them waiting for her.

“I think it should be safe to go out now,” Poe said, “Unless of course there are still people hiding in the bushes trying to catch Solo.” 

Ben made a face and pulled his hood up. His hair was still pulled up and she almost laughed at the way he tried to cover his ears. 

“I don’t think that’s going to work anymore,” Hux said with a sigh, “If anything you’ll be even more noticeable.” 

Ben sighed and dropped the hood again before untying and shaking his hair out. He ran his fingers through them for good measure and her fingers twitched, wanting to do it for him instead. 

It must be hard being as famous as he was. 

“Try not to punch anyone,” Hux said with a sigh, “Just let us handle it instead.” 

Ben snorted, “You, punch anyone?” He shook his head, “I’ve never seen you punch anyone in your life.”

“I have,” Rey said and grinned up at Ben, “I’ll do it instead of Hux.”

Hux scowled and Rose raised her hand, “Me too!”

“No,” Poe said, scowling, “Sunshine, I’m trying to keep your reputation spotless.” 

Finn laughed, “Let’s just go, I’m starving. Pizza?”

“Of course,” Poe said, “I scouted one nearby when I was arranging the venue.” 

“Is that why you chose this place?” Rey asked and Poe laughed.

“Of course,” He said shamelessly, “I know how much you love pizza and I heard this place is great.” 

“How about the milkshakes?” Ben asked and Rey looked up, surprised, “What?”

“You’re not allowed to drink milkshakes,” Hux said and Ben scowled.

“Fuck off, Armitage.” Ben grumbled, “One milkshake wouldn’t hurt.” Hux raised his hands and shrugged. 

“I hear it’s great too,” Poe said, “Rey loves milkshakes and pizza so of course I’d look those up.” He had a speculative look in his eyes as he looked at Ben, “I didn’t know you liked milkshakes, Solo.”

Ben arched a brow, “I don’t remember us being close enough for you to know that, Dameron.” 

Rey looked between Poe and Ben, wondering what she was missing. Even Hux seemed to know what was going on but she, Finn and Rose were all left in the dark. What happened between the three of them?

They walked to the pizza place, getting quite a bit of looks and double takes. Phones were brought out but so far nobody approached. 

When they arrived the had to wait since it was packed. Rey didn’t mind. Poe never insisted on special treatment for her and it seemed Hux was the same with Ben. They stood at a corner, waiting. Some people approached them to take photos with Ben. Others had come directly from her launch and took more photos with all of them. 

After a few minutes, a manager approached them and they were seated in a round booth. She sat between Ben and Finn. 

She flushed at the sudden proximity. 

Poe was the one ordering. He’d taken everyone’s order, ignoring Hux’s squawking about Ben’s regimented diet.  

“Shut up, Hugs.” Poe said, “Let the guy live a little. You’re not shooting anything right now, right?”

Ben shook his head, “It’s fine, I have a fast metabolism.” 

Poe grinned.

It was a noisy affair as it always was. Rey marvelled at how easily Ben and Hux fit in their little group, bantering and arguing with Poe and Finn like they’ve known each other for years. Knowing Poe though, he probably did grow up with Ben and Hux.

“You alright, Rey Rey?” Rose asked, “You’re pretty quiet.” 

Rey smiled, “Just a little tired,” She said, “And…I’m really happy.” She shared a look with Finn. There was a twinge in her chest and she grinned wider to cover it up. How long would they all get along like this? 

She hoped they could all stay like this forever but show business is tricky, people aren’t always so honest and temptations are everywhere. 

They continued eating and she pushed away the mellow thoughts, determined to enjoy the moment, “Bloody hell, Rey.” Hux’s eyes were wide, “Just where do you store all that food you’re eating?” 

Everyone turned to her and she flushed.

Finn laughed, “Rey Bey always eats a lot. Like, a lot, given the chance.” She could feel her cheeks turn even hotter.

“Oh yeah, I was so surprised when I first ate with them. She ate a whole goddamn pizza and it wasn’t even thin crust.” Poe added and Rey wanted to sink into the floor and disappear, “Actually now that I think about it, Finn eats a lot too.” 

“Christ,” Hux shook his head, “You two really are made for each other.” 

She realised he meant Ben and she squirmed. 

“Good pizza’s good pizza,” Ben said with a shrug. He’s probably eaten the same, if not more than her and he’s still eating, “I don’t see the point in holding back when you’re hungry,” 

“Right?” Finn nodded, “Rey and I always ate a lot when we could since…” He stopped and his lips thinned.

“Hm?” Hux looked at him curiously.

“Since we didn’t always know when we could eat again.” Rey completed quietly and Finn grimaced, “I guess it became a habit.” 

Chapter Text

Ben couldn’t imagine what she had to go through. He was stunned when she admitted what she and Finn had to do before. 

“Oh, Rey,” Rose looked sad and Rey grinned. It didn’t exactly reach her eyes.

“It’s fine, we like to eat anyway.” She said and changed the subject.

He always had food to eat even if his parents were too busy. Besides, his grandmother was always there. Rey had said in her videos that her mom died just after she graduated high school. What happened between then and now? He wanted to find out.

He wanted so badly to ask but he couldn’t, not when everyone was around, not when they’ve just met. 

He wanted to erase that look in her eyes and take care or her. 

He rubbed the back of his neck and frowned at his pizza. 

He’s taken so many things for granted. 

“Who wants another milkshake?” Poe asked and Hux groaned when Ben raised his hand.

“Screw it.” Hux laughed lightly, defeated, “I’ll just tell Phas you never listen to me.”

“Then what’s the point of you being his manager then?” Poe arched a brow.

“Please, don’t tell me our little starlet listens to you all the time.” Hux snorted. Ben suppressed a scowl and Hux glanced at him with an arched brow, as though daring him to say something. 

Dickwad.

“Excuse me, Hugs, she’s my starlet. She has nothing to do with you.” Poe sniffed and threw a fry at him. 

“Oi,” Hux scowled, “You’re wasting food.” 

Rose giggled when Hux picked it up and put it in his mouth. 

The two continued arguing and Ben leaned back, highly aware of the woman sitting next to him chowing down on pizza like she didn’t have a care in the world. 

She looked exhausted but happy.

“We should take a picture,” He said suddenly and the table quieted. He cleared his throat, “To commemorate the occasion,”

“He’s right! I totally forgot!” Rose exclaimed and pulled out her phone. She was the very edge of the booth and scooted forward to take a group selfie, “Get closer and smile, everyone,” 

People shuffled closer and suddenly Rey was pressed tight against him. He moved his arm back and around her shoulders. She stiffened slightly and he glanced down at her blushing face.

“One, two, three, smile!” Rose counted and Ben gave a close-lipped smile. She took another one and hailed a waiter to take a more formal photo of them.

He still hasn’t let her go. She fit neatly under his arm and he found that he liked having her there. 

Rose called out to the server to take a photo for them and scooted back to lean against Hux. 

“Thank you!” Rose said brightly. 

The server looked at their table and stammered, “C-Can I, can I take a photo too? With you, I mean?”

“Oh, sure you can,” Poe said, smiling his usual charming smile, “Are you a fan of any of them?”

Ben looked up; the kid was bright red and couldn’t meet anyone’s eyes.

“M-my sister,” He said, “She was sick and couldn’t go to the signing,” 

“Ah, Rey’s fan then.” Hux said simply, “What do you say, little starlet?”

Rey looked up and smiled hugely, “Of course,”

The kid stammered his thanks and pulled out his phone, taking a quick selfie with the table.

“What’s her name, your sister?” Rey asked. Ben still had his arm around her and he wondered if it’d be awkward if he took it off now.

“Ah, Lisa.” Rey smiled again and scrawled on the paper placemat, telling her to get well. She gave it to their server who flushed and thanked her before leaving.

“Well, that was nice.” Poe said, chuckling.

They continued eating. 

Ben moved his arm away as inconspicuously as possible.

Hux caught his eyes and raised a brow. 

Ben scowled. 

Chapter Text

It was almost ten by the time they finished. 

“That was fun,” Finn said and stretched his arms back, “We should do it again sometime.”

“Oh definitely.” Hux said, “I better call Phasma tonight, though.”

Rose chuckled, “Gwen’s not bad.”

“Ugh,” Hux rolled his eyes.

“She seems nice,” Rey said.

“Of course she does,” Hux muttered, “Fucking man-hating amazon, that woman.” 

“And yet she’s Solo’s PR Manager,” Poe said, “And she makes him look good.”

“I am good,” Ben snorted.

Rey was about to agree when she sneezed. They all turned to her, concerned.

“I think you should go home, sunshine.” Poe said, “Do you want us to bring you or—,”

“I can drive,” Rey interrupted, “It’s probably just the temperature change.” She sneezed again, “Bloody hell, it’s cold.” She frowned at the puff of smoke that came out of her mouth when she spoke.

Ben shook off his jacket and threw it around her shoulders, tucking it close around her.

Rey sucked in a breath and flushed. 

Finn arched a brow and tried to hide his smile.

“I-I don’t need it!” Rey squeaked. Ben arched a brow and she turned an even brighter shade of red, “You might get cold.” She tried to take it off but he held it tight in front of her. 

“I grew up in Mishawaka, sweet thing,” He said, “This is nothing.” 

Rey looked down and tucked her hair behind her ear, “Thanks,” She mumbled.

Hux cleared his throat and looked at his watch, arching a brow. 

Rey felt her ears get even hotter.

“We probably should start making our way back, ” He said.

“Yes,” Rey said clearing her throat.

“You’ve had a long day, Rey Rey,” Rose said, linking her arm around hers, “You should sleep the moment you get home.”

“No, no,” Poe said. They were all walking back to the launch venue where their cars were parked, “Rey has to charge her phone and tweet her appreciation first.”

“I know,” Rey said, laughing slightly, “I won’t forget.”

“Don’t comment on anything first. I’m sure there’d be a lot of questions regarding,” Poe glanced back at Ben, “Daddy Solo,” 

Ben stumbled and scowled at him. Poe chuckled. 

“I won’t comment or answer anything,” Rey said dutifully, not looking at Ben. 

“You really did it this time, Rose.” Finn said.

“I mean, that ship sailed like a long time ago. I’m just, you know, fanning the flames, giving wind to their sails,” Rose shrugged, “I am a big fan too.” 

“I don’t think that’s how you use that term, darling.” Hux said, frowning, “Or is it?”

“In fandoms you do,” Rose said, “And there is a growing fanbase for the two of you.”

“That’s a tad bit embarrassing, innit.” Rey muttered. 

“Ben doesn’t mind,” Rose glanced at Ben who walked slightly behind them, “Do you?”

Ben shrugged and Rey sunk lower into his jacket. 

“Are you sure you don’t want us to drop you off, sunshine?” Poe asked when they’ve arrived at the parking lot, “We can always come back and pick up your car tomorrow.” 

“I’m okay,” Rey said, “I’m not that tired that I can’t drive.” She turned to Ben and started taking his jacket off.

He shook his head, “Keep it,” He said, “It looks better on you anyway,” He gave her a half-smile, “See you around.”

“Th-thanks,” Rey looked down again, “And thank you for coming today,”

Their friends were standing a little off to the side, away from them, giving them some space. It was nice thinking of them as their friends. 

Ben shrugged, “You’re a good artist,” He said, “And I wanted to meet you.”

She looked up, surprised, “Really?”

“Okay, maybe I was a little hesitant.” This time he was the one to look away. He scratched the back of his head, “I didn’t want to disappoint you in case I didn’t live up to your expectations.” 

Rey blinked up at him. Really? He flushed and shuffled, “You’re a lot different in person but I don’t think that’s a bad thing,” She said and he smiled, dimple popping. She flushed and cleared her throat, “See you around?”

“Yeah,” Ben said and nodded at Hux, “See you around, Rey.” He turned to leave. Hux and Rose bid their goodbyes as well and walked off to catch up to Ben.

“That was nice, wasn’t it,” Poe said, putting his hand on Rey’s shoulder, “I can totally see the connection,”

“Yup,” Finn stood on her other side, his hand on her other shoulder, “It’s definitely there.” 

“Shut up,” Rey muttered, unable to keep her eyes off of Ben’s retreating back, “He’s just being friendly. Maybe First Order put him up to it,”

“I don’t know Rey Bey, he’s a good actor but I don’t think you can fake that.” Finn squeezed her shoulder, “Plus I think he thinks you’re cute.” 

“Oh, for sure,” Poe chuckled, “I mean I have a good eye for these.” 

Rey rolled her eyes, finally tearing her gaze from Ben, “You’re a sap. I’m going home,” 

They walked her to her car, “Don’t forget to charge your phone and tweet,” Poe reminded her and she saluted half-heartedly.

“Yes, sir, Mr. Manager, sir.” Poe ruffled her hair.

“Cheeky. Drive safe,”

Rey grinned at her friends and waved before driving back to her apartment. 

When she saw the little brick building, she sighed. She missed going home to someone. 

She had loved living with Finn. There was always someone to cook for, or cook with, and generally just someone to talk to in the middle of the night.

But now Finn has Poe. 

It broke her heart when Poe asked Finn to move in but she was happy for them. Finn deserved all the love in the world and Poe made him so happy that he’s just about ready to propose. 

Which was funny because Poe is getting ready to propose too. 

Rey wondered if she could somehow get them to propose at the same time. Maybe Rose could help? 

She went in her empty apartment and plugged in her phone before getting ready to take a bath.

The old clawfoot tub was what sold her to this apartment. Her mum didn’t have one but she’d bought a plastic storage bin large enough to fit Rey so she could have a soak, and every Christmas her mum would gift her a bath bomb. 

Rey would slice it in four just so she could have more uses out of it. 

She still bought herself one every Christmas just to continue the tradition. 

She sighed and sunk into her tub. The water was hot, just the way she liked it. 

Today was a good day. She was happy.

Most of the time though right after, something gnawed inside her. When everything has gone quiet and she was left home alone, she felt it, the gaping hole in her chest that years of being abandoned had carved out. 

She sunk lower and closed her eyes. 

Why did her parents prefer the bottle over her?

Why did they give her up?

She must’ve fallen asleep because the next thing she knew she was jerking out of the cooling water in the tub.

Her phone was ringing. 

She stumbled out and wrapped a towel around herself, shivering at the chill. 

Chapter Text

Ben wasn’t sure if now was a good time to call. It was nighttime and he was sure she was busy, maybe asleep. Besides, she didn’t even know his number. Should he text first? 

He ran his fingers through his hair and stared at her number. His finger was hovering over the call button but still, he hesitated. What if she didn’t pick up? What if she thought it was just some random unknown number calling?

He shut his eyes and pressed the button, putting his phone to his ear.

It rang and he almost cancelled the call.

But he really should stop pushing it away, it was bound to happen sooner or later.

His heart was pounding so loudly he barely heard her answering.

“Hello?” She said again and he opened his mouth to say something. He couldn’t. He swallowed the large lump in his throat, “Hello, is anyone there?” She sounded annoyed now, “Is this some sort of joke? I’m warning you, I don’t take kindly to prank calls.” 

He breathed in deeply and let it out slowly. He could hear his breath quiver and he swallowed again. 

“Hi, mom.” He finally said, quietly. He wondered if she heard him. 

Leia sucked in a breath and he heard something clatter. She muttered a curse and he couldn’t help but chuckle. 

“Ben?” She sounded stunned that he’d call her, “Is that you?” 

“Yes.” 

“Oh my God.” She breathed and didn’t say anything.

He didn’t say anything either and the minutes wore on. Should he say something? He wasn’t sure what. Maybe he should’ve rehearsed first. Everything was easier if there was a script. 

He cleared his throat the same time she started talking, “You go first,” She said.

“No, it’s fine.” Ben said, clearing his throat again, “What were you saying?”

“How,” She cleared her throat, “How are you?” 

Pleasantries? “I’m fine,” He said awkwardly, “You?”

“I’m…” He expected her to say she was great but she hesitated, “You’re okay, aren’t you? You’re not sick or anything?”

“No,” Ben said. His brows lowered, “Are you?” Panic made his chest tighten. Leia was getting old and from what he understands she threw herself into her work in Resistance when Han died. What if the stress got to her? What if she has cancer?

“I’m fine,” She said quickly, “I’m fine. I’m healthy as a horse,” 

Ben sighed softly. Thank fuck. Then he remembered. That’s what they said about Han too and panic gripped him anew, “Are you sure?”

She laughed softly, “Yes, I’m sure. I’m very glad to hear from you, Ben.” 

Ben cleared his throat, “I’m sorry I didn’t call sooner.” 

“I’m actually surprised that you did,” Leia admitted, “But I’m glad,”

There was another moment of awkward silence, “Do you…maybe,” He hesitated before adding, “Do you want to have lunch sometime?” 

She didn’t answer immediately and he wondered if she was looking at her schedule, trying to see when she’d be free.

“I,” Her voice quivered, “Are you sure? I, I mean, I would love that! How does tomorrow sound? Oh, but won’t you be busy? Oh wait, it’s a Sunday isn’t it,”

Ben snorted back a laugh and she quieted.

“You sound so much like your father when you do that,” She said softly.

Ben sighed, “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“That’s great I, I… see you soon.” 

He’d never really heard his mother so at a loss for words, “I’ll text you the details. We probably shouldn’t meet in the area,”

“You’re right,” 

“Good night, mom.”

“Good night, Ben.” 

He hung up and stared at his phone. 

He was having lunch with his mother who he hasn’t seen in almost a decade. 

Chapter Text

Hatchet Hall was in West Los Angeles about half an hour from his penthouse. He could have met Leia somewhere and the two could have driven to the restaurant together but he wasn’t quite ready for that yet.

He barely slept. 

“Where are you?” Hux’s voice interrupted AC/DC blaring on his radio, “You weren’t answering your phone,”

“I’m out,” Ben said, driving expertly on the highway. He didn’t think the paparazzis were aware of his black pickup. Still, he kept his hood up and sunglasses on until he reached the highway. 

“Yes, but where?”

“It’s Sunday, Hux.” 

“Yes, but my work is never done.” Hux said patiently, “And I need to know where you are.”

“I told you, I’m out.” Ben said slowly, almost mockingly, “And I won’t cause any trouble.”

Hux snorted, “You already caused enough trouble. Twitter is blowing up with tweets about you and BuzzFeed’s been trying to get in touch again.” 

“I’m sure you and Phas can handle it.” 

“You could at least show a little more concern,”

“I don’t think it’s anything bad,” Ben pressed the horn angrily and resisted the urge to flip a finger, “I didn’t hit anyone.” 

“Are you…driving?”

“Yes, I do know how to drive.” Ben said, “I am a fully functional adult.”

“Where exactly are you headed?”

“West LA if you must know,” Ben sighed, “Don’t worry.”

“What will you be doing there?”

“None of your business. I’m driving, I gotta concentrate and you interrupted ‘Highway to Hell’.” He ended the call, ignoring Hux’s protestations. 

I’m on the highway to hell. He sang along.

He knew how to sing. Of course he did, having both parents in the music industry meant starting piano and guitar at five and voice lessons at seven. 

He’d made reservations before leaving and his mother had confirmed that she’d meet him there. He was nervous. What would he say to her? 

How would he apologise? Hey mama, look at me I’m on my way to the promised land. 

--

There were quite a bit of people when he arrived. Leia hadn’t texted him that she’d arrived so he assumed he got there first. They sat him on a table at the far corner of the restaurant, away from prying eyes. 

“Would you like a drink first, while you’re waiting?” The server asked.

“Just water for now, thanks.” Ben said and gave her a small smile when she gave him the menu.

His phone dinged and he looked at it. Leia had arrived. Hey Jude, don’t be afraid.

He took a deep breath and turned to look at the entrance where she was giving the woman at the reception the reservation name. She led her to where Ben was. You were made to go out and get her. 

Ben stood and the two stared at each other.

“Mom,” He said. She was smaller than he remembered, older. In his mind she’d always been this larger-than-life person that can stare down people twice her size but looking at her now, wrapped up in Han’s old leather jacket, she looked tired.

“Hello, Ben,” She said softly and Ben snapped back to himself, remembering the manners his grandmother had so painstakingly tried to teach him when he was young. He pulled out her seat for her and she smiled, sitting down. 

She was looking around the restaurant when he sat back down in front of her. The server came back with two waters and another menu and told them to please call her when they were ready to order.

“It’s a lovely place,” Leia said conversationally, “Very cozy.” 

“Yeah,” Ben mumbled, “Food’s pretty good. They change their menu a lot so it’s always something new.”

“Really?” She looked at the brunch menu. 

Ben called the waitress back, “I’ll have the rarebit and the skirt steak,” He looked at his mother, noting the new lines around her eyes and mouth.

“I’ll have the trout, please,” Leia said, smiling at the girl.

“What about your drinks?”

“The Sunrise Spritz would be lovely, thank you.”

“Irish Cold Brew, please.” Ben said. The girl repeated their orders and told them that she’ll be back with their drinks. 

He drummed his fingers on the table and silence reigned. 

The server came back with their drinks and flounced away again. 

More silence. 

Leia looked like she wanted to say something but didn’t.

Ben didn’t speak either.

He didn’t really have a good relationship with his parents. While he was growing up, Leia had been too busy trying to get Resistance up and running while Han toured around the country with his band. They spent a lot of time in Hollywood, only going back to Indiana every couple of months to see him and his grandmother Padmé. 

Sometimes his uncle Luke joined them. 

His lips thinned at the thought of his uncle. That there was another relative he hasn’t seen or spoke to in years. 

Their food arrived and they started eating, still not speaking.

Maybe it was a mistake to call her after all.

Her fork clattered on her plate and he looked up, surprised. His mother had always been so composed so seeing her look so miserable made his throat seize, “I’m sorry,” She said softly.

“No, mom, I’m sorry.” He said automatically, putting his utensils down and reaching over. He hesitated before taking her hand. Her hand was cold.

“No, I am,” She said, putting her other hand over his, “This is…this is all our fault,” She said, “Han and I…” She swallowed almost audibly, “Han and I were so busy and we never…” 

Ben squeezed her hand and grimaced, “You never asked for my opinion,” He said softly, “You always said that everything was fine.” He voice had gone hoarse and he forced himself to continue. He pulled his hand away from hers to grip his knife and fork again, “Both of you said everything was fine but I could see how much pain he was in.” He grimaced. And anytime you feel the pain.

“Han refused to go through chemo,” Leia said softly. Her hands were on her lap now, “He said,” Her voice cracked and she cleared her throat, “He said he didn’t want to become a shell of who he was, that he wanted to—to spend as much time lucid as he could. He didn’t want you to see him like that,”

Ben started slicing at his steak roughly, just so he had something to do with his hands. He wanted to throw something. Anger he thought he’d controlled and punched out in the Marines came rushing out from inside him. Hey Jude, refrain.

He hated both of them. 

He wasn’t ready for Han to leave.

“None of us were ready,” Leia said. He must’ve spoken out loud. She blinked back tears and Ben wanted to do something, to make her feel better but he didn’t even know how to make himself feel better, “He didn’t want any of us to worry.” She gave him a sad smile, “That was Han, always worrying about us, never about himself. I’m so sorry we didn’t…” She swallowed back heavily and took a sip of her cocktail, “I’m so sorry we failed you.”

“You didn’t fail me,” Ben said softly. He kept his head bowed, staring at his food unseeingly. He wanted to hurl his plate and shout and cry but he was in public and he had an image to maintain. 

She did too. 

Sometimes stardom felt like a noose tightening around his neck. Don’t carry the world upon your shoulders.

“Yes, we did.” She sounded so resigned, “We should’ve…” She sighed, “We should’ve done so many things differently.”

“I just…” His tears finally fell and he wiped them away angrily, “I just wanted time.” For well you know that it’s a fool who plays it cool by making his world a little colder.

“I’m sorry,” Leia said again. She reached over and placed her hand over his and he sighed. 

“I’m sorry too.” He said, “I’m sorry I didn’t answer any of your calls.” Hey Jude, don’t let me down.

“Your father would’ve been so proud of you,” She said, “I am proud of you.” Remember to let her into your heart.

Ben let go of the knife and fork and buried his face in his hands. His shoulders shook and he let out an uneven breath and sniffled. He promised Hux he wouldn’t make a scene. 

He shouldn’t have suggested lunch. 

Coffee might have been easier.

Leia didn’t say anything as he cried. She was never really the doting mother type, not like his grandmother. 

When he’d cried it all out, he sighed and rubbed his face.

“I should’ve ordered something stronger,” He mumbled darkly as he drank his cold brew.

“You sound just like your father,” Leia said softly and gave him a small smile, “He always did love his coffee and whiskey,” 

“Dad didn’t drink,” Ben said. He eyed his cold steak and sighed before continuing to eat. 

“He did back when we first met,” Leia said, chuckling softly, lost in her memories, “That man can drink a barrel of whiskey and still sing like he wasn’t drunk off his ass. He was like a fucking pirate.” 

Ben frowned. He’d never heard his mother talk or curse like that before. Did he really not talk to his mother enough that he didn’t even know how she spoke?

“He stopped when we found out I was pregnant.” She continued, “He was determined to be a good father,” Ben looked away and grimaced, “Didn’t really do a good job though, on hindsight. The stage was like a siren, calling him. I wanted to support him.”

“You both left me.” Ben said and ran his fingers through his hair.

“We did.” She admitted with a sad sigh. She started nibbling on a carrot, “We didn’t think touring with a band was a good environment for growing child,” 

“It wouldn’t be convenient that’s for damn sure,” Ben had thought about it for years. His parents never brought him with them whenever Han went on tour, “The lead singer with a son. It doesn’t fit the image,” 

“Ben,” His name was a sigh.

“It’s fine. I get it. I’ve come to terms with it,” He wasn’t as important as the band and its image. Music had always been their firstborn, the love of their lives, which was why he was determined not to follow in their footsteps. So let it out and let it in.

“I’m sorry,” Leia said again and he shrugged.

Let the past die, kill it if you have to.

They continued eating as though nothing had happened. 

“I hear you’re getting even more popular,” She said, expertly manoeuvring back to a safer topic, “Especially on social media.”

“I’m sure Dameron’s told you all about it.” He muttered sullenly.

“I can see the news myself. I’m not that old.” She said almost teasingly. He wished they had an easier relationship, “And of course I do have to keep track of my stars.”

He stilled. Did she mean Rey?

“Had I known you were going to drop by the launch I’d have stayed a bit longer,” She continued, “It would’ve been nice to talk to you.” Hey Jude, begin.

“We’re talking now, aren’t we?” 

“Yes, I did wonder why you called me up so suddenly.” The Leia that he knew was back, the show earlier nothing but a mirage. Leia had always been strong. She didn’t even cry when they lowered Han’s casket into the ground. 

But he knew she did, when she went back to their suddenly empty home. She’d broken down and cried. For all their faults, his parents loved each other. Han’s jacket over her shoulders was a testament to that. She never got over him. 

He wanted that kind of love too for himself.

“I just thought it was about time.” He said when he realised that she had been waiting for an answer. Don’t carry the world upon your shoulder.

“So, it has nothing to do with a certain girl whose album we just recently released?” She arched a brow and Ben couldn’t stop himself from blushing. He grimaced, “She’s nice,” She said with a chuckle, “I think you’d be good for each other.” You’re waiting for someone to perform with.

Ben didn’t say anything but deep down he was glad that she thought so. 

Maybe things are looking up now that he was moving forward.

The air had lightened considerably. It was still awkward and stilted and tense at times, but it was better now that they’ve said what they had to. They even shared a pie. 

“This is for you,” Leia said, sliding a brown envelope towards him, “Open it once you get home.” Ben recognised the worn handwriting in front. It was from Han, “I wanted to give this to you but you never answered my calls and I didn’t think it was the right time.” 

He took it gingerly, like it was a bomb just waiting to explode in his hands.

“When you’re ready,” She said and he nodded once.

He paid for their meal and they walked out together.

“Thank you,” She said, “For calling me,”

Ben rubbed the back of his neck, “Thank you for coming.”

“Maybe…” She looked up at him, all doe-eyed and hopeful, “Maybe we can do this again sometime? Or maybe we can go for coffee?” The movement you need is on your shoulder.

Ben gave her a tight smile, “Okay. I think I’d like that.”

“Great,” She breathed a big sigh of relief. Her hand trembled and he knew she was just as nervous as he was, “That’s…great.”

They stood awkwardly for a moment, not saying anything. “I’ll walk you to your car,” He said and she nodded. He took her hand and tucked it in his elbow and she squeezed. 

“Thank you,” Leia said quietly once they reached her white sedan, “Again.” Take a sad song and make it better.

They were both so unsure and Ben sighed softly, spreading his arms out, wondering if she’ll take the bait and take the olive branch he was trying to offer. The minute you let her into your heart.

She looked stunned for a moment and he almost dropped his arms, when her lower lip quivered and she took a large step towards him. She held on, tighter than he would have thought possible from someone with her stature. 

His mother broke and she wailed in his chest. 

He wrapped his arms around her and closed his eyes.

Then you can start to make it better.

Everything was going to be alright. 

Chapter Text

Rey almost forgot to post the video, just like how she almost forgot to tweet her thanks the night before. Poe had been the one to call her after about an hour of no posting. He knew her well enough to know that she’d have forgotten. It wasn’t the first time and she was grateful that he didn’t scold her.

She posted the video before making her way to the gym. She wasn’t really the health buff and she’d always been naturally slim but she had to keep her stamina high if she wanted to go on tour someday. That, and so she could dance and sing at the same time. 

She didn’t dance a lot before but when she’d signed on with Resistance, they’ve given her a variety of dance lessons, yoga and even some voice lessons to fine-tune her skills. She’d even done some backup for Resistance’s bigger names like jazz king Lando Calrissian. Really, she wouldn’t be where she was if it weren’t for Poe taking a chance on her. 

“You’re early today, Rey Bey,” Finn was already there, warmed up and ready to go. The first thing he did when his novels started taking off was rent a slightly bigger apartment in a better neighbourhood for himself and Rey, and get a gym membership to at least maintain the body he’d honed for college football.

Rey had followed him to this gym soon after. She grinned, “Still buzzing from yesterday,” 

Finn chuckled, “Have you been on Twitter today?” 

“No, why? Poe said not to answer anything yet,”

“Yeah, you probably shouldn’t. There’s a literal war going on.” He got on a treadmill and she got on the machine next to his after warming up.

“A war about what?”

“Your fans and his fans,” Finn wasn’t even breaking a sweat, “Your fans are mostly all for Reylo but some of his are a little…”

“They don’t like it,” She said, increasing the pace, “I know what they’re saying.” She sighed, “Besides, I know I don’t deserve to even know someone like him personally.”

“Rey,” He sounded like he was sighing, “Rey, you deserve everything the world has to offer,”

“I’m just a nobody who got lucky,” Rey mumbled and shook her head, “Anyway,” Her heart started racing and she started to pant, “It’s alright, I’m not bothered.” That was a lie; she knew he knew. She always ran away from her problems or ignored them, hoping they’d go away on their own. It was easier that way, to pretend like she didn’t really care. 

“You should’ve gone into acting instead,” Finn said drily.  

“Oh, shut up,” 

 

After gym Rey and Finn always ate a corner cafe. Today was no different. Rey loved schedules. She adored the routine and knowing what was going to happen and when. What she didn’t expect was an extremely tall blonde woman in a tailored white suit coming over to their table.

“Rey Johnson?” Rey looked up and blinked. She had to crane her neck back to meet the woman’s eyes.

“Yes?”

The woman stuck her hand out, “Gwendoline Phasma. You may call me Gwen or Phasma or Phas, whichever you’re comfortable with.” She spoke clearly in a very distinct Southern British accent. 

“Oh, hello!” Rey grinned, stood and shook her hand, “So you’re Phasma. It’s so nice to put a face to the name. Rose talks about you a lot.” 

“I’m sure.” She chuckled drily as she handed Rey her card, “Would you mind if I join you?”

“Um, not at all, go ahead.” Rey motioned at the seat in front of her; Finn always sat next to her, and sat when she did, “So, how can I help you?” 

Finn kept quiet, chomping away at his chicken sandwich. 

“I’d like to ask you a few things,” She said.

“Me?” 

“Yes.”

“Sure, I guess? But first would you like to order anything?” 

“Whatever you’re having is fine,” 

Rey called for another sandwich and smiled tentatively, “So, what did you want to ask?”

“First of, I’d like to thank you for your role in Ben’s sudden surge in popularity,” 

“I didn’t really do anything,” Rey said, “And he’s always been famous.”

“Even so, thank you for making my job slightly easier,” Her sandwich arrived, “Even though he tries his damnedest to make it harder than it is.” 

“I didn’t do it on purpose and I certainly didn’t expect my video to go viral,” Rey grimaced.

“Your videos are very relatable to the everyday girl,” Phasma shrugged, “What do you think of him?”

“Of who?” Phasma arched a brow and Rey flushed, “You mean Be-Mr. Solo?”

Finn choked and Rey ignored him, flushing slightly. Phasma’s brow rose even higher.

“Mr. Solo, is it?” She chuckled, “I assume you haven’t been online yet.” Rey shook her head and Phasma slid her iPad towards her, “This was posted late last night and has since been shared over eight thousand times on Twitter and Facebook. BuzzFeed has been ringing nonstop and so have TMZ so I’m certain that it’s not Mr. Solo.” 

It clearly a photo of them standing outside the pizza place. Ben’s jacket was around her shoulders and his hands were clutching the two parts of it together in front of her. It was a very intimate photo and she could understand what other people would assume if they’ve seen it. 

Her face felt hot, “I, I had no idea someone took this,” She said, “I’m sorry.”

“Oh? You’re sorry? Whatever for?” She sliced her sandwich expertly and used a knife and fork to eat, “Ben’s image has greatly improved since he’s been spotted crying in your little concert last month. What was once a beastly, violently turbulent man is now,” Her lip twitched up in a smirk, “A very passionate and sensitive ‘Daddy’,” She made finger quotes and Rey felt herself turn bright red.

Finn choked again.

“Are you quite alright, Mr. Storm? I feel like the longer you are in my presence the shorter your life gets.” 

Finn finally laughed, “Jesus lady, you’re very blunt aren’t you?”

“Quite.” She shrugged, “I don’t see the point of being otherwise.” She turned back to Rey, “Anyway, I didn’t quite expect that but I suppose I should credit Rose for the term. I could easily work with that and with you around…”

“What about me?” Rey frowned.

“I ask you again, what do you think of him now that you’ve met? After all you’ve made it clear that you didn’t want to meet him and Ben has admitted to being afraid of not living up to expectations and yet here we are.”

“I think…,” Rey chewed on her lower lip, “I think he’s nice.” Phasma arched a brow again and she looked away, “He’s…he’s surprisingly warm and thoughtful and charming. A little quiet and distant but not exactly shy and…” 

“And?”

“And he has a very intense presence which, to be honest isn’t really much of a surprise.” Rey laughed a little, “I have probably read all the interviews and literally everyone said he has an intensity about him. I just never expected to actually be in the presence of that.”

“Hm,” She smiled coolly, “I suppose that’s a very apt description of him. He’s a deeply complicated man. So what is your opinion of him, now that you’ve met and spent time together?”

Rey wasn’t sure how to answer. Should she tell Phasma that she likes him still, more so now that he seems more human?

“Rey?” She looked up; Phasma has that magnetism that forces you to look at her even if you didn’t want to.

“I…,” Rey bit her lip again; it was a horrible nervous habit. Poe had repeatedly told her not to do it since it makes her bleed sometimes and she doesn’t realise.

“I can answer that,” Finn finally said, “If you’ll let me, of course.”

Phasma turned to him with her striking eyes, “You’re Dameron’s author boyfriend, are you not, are you her spokesperson now too?”

Finn shrugged, “I know Rey well enough to explain to you what she’s thinking. ‘Course, only if Rey thinks it’s fine.” Rey nodded and he turned to face Phasma, “She likes him.” Rey turned to him sharply, “What? You said I can explain,”

“Don’t worry, this is all off the record.” Phasma said, waving a perfectly manicured hand at her.

“Rey likes him, like a lot. She always did, and meeting the guy in the flesh and actually hanging out kind of solidified his presence in her mind and heart. He’s not just this bright star now and I think seeing him up close, in the same level as us, made her more aware of the different facets of him as a person.”

“That is true,” Rey mumbled, “He seems more real now, not just an actor I admire from afar.” 

“I see why you’re a writer,” Phasma said, “Personally your novels aren’t my cup of tea but you know Rose, once you’ve gotten her to talk she’s not likely to stop.”

Finn shrugged and Phasma turned to Rey again. 

“For the record, none of us knew how he would react to your video.” She said, “Generally he’s very indifferent to fans, even famous ones, but it seems he’s rather fond of you, even going so far as to make an appearance in your album launch.” 

Rey flushed and looked down at her sandwich like it was the most fascinating thing in the world. I never realised the bread here was so soft, “I think,” She stammered, “I think he’s just really curious and Rose is a long-time fan.” 

“Possibly. Who knows what goes on in that boy’s head.” She sighed, “Even so, how would you like to date him?” 

Rey looked up sharply, “Excuse me?”

“Date him. Ben.” Phasma met her eyes evenly as she took a sip from her cup of tea, “First Order thinks it’s a splendid idea and would open up tamer, more romantic roles for him. People’s image of him is already changing because of you. Of course, being Ben Solo’s girlfriend would also open up more doors for you in the industry.”

Rey felt the blood drain from her face. Was that how everyone saw her? “I, I don’t think that’s a good idea,” She stammered, “I don’t want…” She wanted to say that she didn’t want to date him but she knew Phasma would know it was a lie straight away,  “I don’t want to date him because of that.” 

Phasma’s lips spread wide into a large smile and her eyes lit up unexpectedly, “Hux was right after all.”

“What do you mean?” Why did she always feel like she was missing something?

Finn snorted back a laugh, “Okay, what is this really about? Are you even here as Solo’s PR Manager or as his friend?”

“I would say as both but then that would be a lie,” Phasma shrugged and took another sip from her cup, “Good sandwich, this.” 

“You were testing me?” Rey frowned.

“A little, yes.” Phasma said, “Hux trusts people far too easily and I wanted to know for myself if that innocent face is real or fake,”

Rey scowled, “That’s terrible, I’d never do something like that for fame and fortune.”

“I don’t believe any of Dameron’s stars would,” Phasma agreed, “He’s a good judge of character but you can never be too sure. After all, I’ve arranged my fair share of publicity dates for my stars.” 

“You mean Ben’s girlfriends?” Finn asked, “The models and actresses?”

“Of course,” Phasma shrugged, “It’s show business after all. You get seen together a few times, go on a few very public dates, both get talked about and their value as artists rise. It’s a mutually beneficial agreement.”

“So it’s all fake?” Phasma scowled when Finn’s voice rose, “Sorry,” 

“Yes, they’re all mostly for publicity.” She shrugged again, “Of course, I’ve never encountered a popularity spike caused by a third party happen so organically before. Usually we have to promise a sponsorship first.” She eyed Rey again, very intently, like she was trying to figure out how to solve a very tough puzzle, “Who are you, Rey Johnson?”

“I’m just a nobody,” Rey said automatically. She didn’t miss the slight twitch of Phasma’s brow, “Just a regular girl who likes an actor.” 

“You do your own marketing?”

“More or less. Poe gives me a lot of advice and turns me to a specific direction sometimes but he mostly leaves me be. Creative freedom and all that,” 

“I see.” Phasma inclined her head, “Well, there’s a reason why we never really got along.” She shrugged, “You seem like a good girl though. Not quite a good actor but a good girl nonetheless.” She finished her tea and sandwich and paid for their meals.

“You didn’t have to do that,” Rey complained, “We would’ve paid for yours too,”

Phasma stared down at her, curious, “Now why would I let you do that? I was the one who ambushed you. See you around, Rey, Finn.” 

Finn waved and Rey frowned as she left.

“She doesn’t think we’re poor,” Finn said, “Don’t overthink it.” 

Rey let out a wavering sigh, “That was weird.”

“A little, yeah.” Finn looked at her, “Are you alright?”

Rey nodded. The encounter left her exhausted and on edge. She knew she wasn’t technically poor anymore but there are times when she could almost feel the stares and hear the whispers about the girl who fixes up cars in exchange for food and dumpster dives for furniture and junk she could sell. She was lucky she met Finn in her first year of college, otherwise she’d have to have slept in her beat up old car in the dead of winter. 

She really, really hated sleeping outside when it was cold.

And she really didn’t want people taking pity on her. 

“She seems nice though,” Finn continued and Rey smiled.

“She does,” She said, “I’m sorry for being a little off today,”

“Oh, you noticed?” Finn arched a brow, “Come on baby girl, I’m your best friend. You know you can talk to me and I’ll be there for you for life, right? You’re my ride or die bitch.”

Her smile turned into a grin and she laughed, “Poe would get jealous if he hears you say that.”

“Meh. Please. Bros before hoes; you know that,” Finn winked, “Unless of course you do get with Ben Solo then I’d totally take the backseat and watch.”

“You are insane,” Rey smacked his arm playfully and laughed, her gloom already forgotten.

Chapter Text

Ben sat on the area rug between his couch and his coffee table where the envelope Leia had given him sat unopened. Han’s blocky script glared up at him. He traced the heavy lines with his eyes, wondering when he’d written it since by the time he’d died he couldn’t even hold up a pen let alone write anything.

He didn’t want to open it. 

He was terrified at what he’d find inside. 

His phone rang and he jerked, “Hello?”

“You met with your mum,” Of course Hux would find out. He always did. 

Ben sighed, “Yes.” 

“…how are you?” He grunted, still staring at the envelope, “Why don’t I pop by later for dinner? Rose is sleeping over at Rey’s and it’s kinda lonely with her.” 

He knew it was a lie but he grabbed it with both hands anyway, “Okay,” He said, “I think I can make pasta or something.” 

“Great,” Hux said, “Tell me if you need anything from the store. See you in a bit,”

Hux ended the call and he sighed heavily, burying his face in his arms. 

Sometimes he wondered who needed who more, him, or Hux? When they’d met more than twenty years ago Hux had been an abnormally scrawny, sickly thirteen-year-old fresh out of boarding school. Of course the other kids picked on him. Ben, recently moved from Indiana to LA, had been on the way home from school, walking again, since Han had forgotten to pick him up, when he saw a bunch of older kids harassing the redhead.

He’d gone home that day bruised and bloody but nobody dared to bully Hux again. 

They’d been fast friends ever since. 

Ben had been the one to get him into football and they even went to university together. He always thought Hux needed him but maybe it had always been the other way around. 

He got up to prepare dinner.

The sauce was simmering by the time Hux let himself in.

“Something smells good,” He said, dropping the bags on the counter. He started rummaging in it and bringing out wine and whiskey and a bunch of snacks, “I can make cookies,” 

“No!” Ben said quickly, “I’ll make it,”

“Oi, I know how to make cookies now.” 

“Last time you tried you almost burned my goddamn kitchen,” Ben scowled, “The smell lasted weeks and I had to get the cleaners twice.” 

“Oh come on, it was an accident. Besides, Rose taught me,” 

Ben waved him away, “You can do the mixing or something,” 

“Where’s your grandma’s recipe box?” Hux had met Padmé only once, when Ben went to visit her at the hospital before she died.

“On the bookshelf,” 

Hux made his way to the bookshelf near the large glass windows overlooking Downtown LA and the ocean. The mahogany box sat at the centre surrounded by worn paperbacks.

Padmé’s cookie recipe was at the very front, considerably more worn than the ones at the back. He grabbed it and made his way back to the kitchen. 

“What’s this?” He knew that handwriting too. He’d been a big fan of Han and the Chewies growing up, “Ben?”

“Hm?” 

“Did your mum give you this?” Ben didn’t answer immediately, “Are you going to open it?”

“Maybe.” He finally said, “I don’t know yet.”

“Ah.” Hux cleared his throat and went back into the kitchen. 

They kept quiet as they cooked. Ben distracted himself with the spices and Hux prepared the cookie dough. 

“When are you going to propose to her?” Ben asked when the silence grew thick and unbearable. 

“Soon,” Hux said, “Already have a few options for the ring. I was thinking maybe Christmas. You’ll be there, right? And I think Rose has already invited Rey. Of course, if Rey’s there then we’re going to have to invite Finn and Dameron too.” He didn’t sound very pleased with the thought of Poe Dameron attending the Christmas dinner he and Rose held annually.

“Of course I will,” Ben said, “You know I won’t miss it. I’ll bring a camera,”

“Maybe you can tell me later what you think about the rings,” 

Ben made a non-committal sound deep in his throat, content to let Hux yammer on about GIA certificates and clarity and cuts. 

Chapter Text

Rey met Leia in one of the multiple hallways of Resistance.

“Rey,” Leia said. She wore the same leather jacket she always did over her white pantsuit, “Busy at work?”

Rey grinned, “On my way to meet Amilyn Holdo,” She said, “Poe said she wanted to do a collab and I’m so excited. I’m going to learn so much from her,”

Leia chuckled, “Amilyn’s a good one,” She said, “She was one the youngest stars we had. Kind of like you now.”

Rey flushed, “My growls still need a lot of work so I was hoping she could give me a few tips.”

“Oh, I’m sure she would. You’ve only just started but you’ve already achieved so much.”

“Thank you, that means so much to me,”

“How about you come to my office later once you’re done and we’ll have lunch together?” 

Rey’s eyes widened, “Me? Lunch? With you?” Her smile widened, “Really?”

“Of course. I like to get to know my stars and you’ve been very famous online recently.” Rey flushed and muttered a small ‘thanks’, “Would you mind if my brother comes with us though? I haven’t seen him in a while,”

“I’m not sure when we’ll be done,”

“It’s alright, I’m sure Luke wouldn’t mind. How does Italian sound?” 

“Great!” 

“Wonderful. Come see me after you’re done,” Leia patted her shoulder twice before leaving her in the hall.

Rey squealed with excitement and ran to the meeting room where Amilyn and Poe were waiting for her.

“Well, someone’s happy today,” Poe said with an arched brow when she burst in the room, “Learn anything good? Someone finally text you a ‘good morning’?” 

“No,” Rey rolled her eyes, “I met Ms. Leia on the way here and she asked me to lunch.” She grinned hugely and finally noticed the woman with the lilac hair and pink sequinned jacket, “Oh!” She flushed and Amilyn Holdo smiled at her, “I’m so sorry for keeping you waiting. I’m Rey.” 

Amilyn shook her hand, “Don’t worry, we all come at the right time,” 

“And here we go with the Holdo-speak,” Poe laughed, “Well since you’re here, let’s start,” 

Amilyn, Rey learned, didn’t have a manager but she did ask Poe questions every now and then, which was a little strange since she had seen Poe in diapers. 

“Amilyn worked with my parents,” Poe laughed, a little embarrassed.

“Yes, he was an adorable child, very curious with that mop of curly hair. I always thought he’d be a performer himself,” 

“Eh, the stage can’t handle this,” Poe motioned to his body, “So I’ll help pretty young starlets like Rey instead. Speaking of, what exactly do you want from Rey?”

“I wanted to change my image up a little. I’ve always been more on the wilder side but change is always good.” She shrugged, “I’ve been trying out softer tones and pastels a bit more,”

The three of them brainstormed about Amilyn’s new single and what role Rey would play. She was very easy to talk to and work with and by the end of their meeting, they’d hashed out most of the details.

“I’ll take Amilyn to lunch,” Poe said, “You go find Leia,” 

Rey smiled and shook Amilyn’s hand again, “It was so nice to meet you and I’m looking forward to working with you.” 

“And me with you,” She replied tranquilly, “Enjoy your lunch, young one.” 

Rey waved goodbye at the two of them and made her way to Leia’s office. She knocked and waited for Leia to tell her to ‘come in’ before she entered.

“Hi, Ms. Leia, we’re done,” Rey said.

“I told you,” Leia said with a small laugh, “Leia is fine.”

“Or General, General is good too with how she works everyone,” The man sitting calmly on one of Leia’s overstuffed chairs. His hair was long and his beard was neatly trimmed. Rey assumed he was Luke, Leia’s brother, but they looked nothing alike.

“Luke Skywalker,” He said, standing and reaching out for a handshake.

Rey shook his hand, “Rey Johnson,”

“Oh, I know,” His bushy brows rose, “Didn’t expect you to be this small though,”

“You probably already guessed, this is my brother.” Leia sighed.

“You don’t look alike,” Rey said, a little shyly. She eyed Luke’s black leather jacket and thin t-shirt, wondering why he wasn’t shivering with cold. She herself was shivering despite the fuzzy baby blue jacket she wore.

“We’re fraternal,” Leia said, “I obviously got our mother’s good looks. He, I think he’s more a changeling than anything.” 

“Hey, I resent that,” Luke huffed, “It’s hard to believe we’re twins.”

“Luke will be joining us for lunch.” Leia swung her jacket on and grabbed her purse.

“Yes, I’ve heard so much about you,” Luke eyed her with eyes so bright a blue it seemed unnatural, “The YouTube girl with the golden voice.” 

“Hardly a golden voice,” Rey ducked down and flushed, “I just got lucky.”

Luke snorted, “Leia’s not going to get just about anyone you know. You should have more self-confidence.”

He threw his arm around Rey’s shoulders and ushered her out the door. Leia locked her office and Luke tucked her in under his other arm, “Look at me, I have two pretty women in my arms,”

“Don’t tease the poor girl, Luke.” Leia said, “Rey’s shy,”

“Nah, we’re family, aren’t we?” Leia elbowed him, hard, “Ow.”

“You can file for harassment, I won’t mind.” Leia told her and Luke huffed again, “I won’t bail him out either and your record will remain spotless.” 

“Oh, come on, let me enjoy myself a little. I always wanted a daughter,” 

“You would if only you’d get yourself a wife.” 

Rey had never had siblings and she never stayed in the foster homes long enough to be able to build relationships with the other kids so seeing Luke and Leia interact was fascinating.

Luke eventually let go of both of them, opting instead to walk alongside them, chatting about his work.

“Luke’s a travel photographer and journalist so he’s never in one place for long,” Leia explained.

“I have a wanderer’s heart,” Luke said, “There’s just so much to see in the world,”

Was there, really? Rey had only ever been on a plane once, when she was brought to the States from the UK at six and she’d been too poor to go on vacations. 

They walked and Rey shivered. 

“You’re very prone to the cold, aren’t you,” Luke pointed out, “Have you ever tried a heated jacket? Or a down winter coat?”

Rey wondered how she should answer. 

“To be fair none of those would fit her image,” Leia said, “Her character’s very cute and friendly.” 

“Yeah, but look at her, she’s freezing.” 

“I’m fine,” Rey said, trying to suppress another shiver, “I just didn’t expect the wind today, is all.” Luke frowned at her, “I spent a lot of time in Nevada.”

“Winters are cold there though,” Luke pointed out. 

Rey shrugged, “My mum always had hot chocolate around during winter.”

They went in the restaurant, still busy despite it being after noon, “For three please,” Leia said and they were let to a table, “You should try the burrata salad, it’s lovely.” She told Rey who chewed her lip nervously. 

LA has always been an expensive city so restaurants with tablecloths and table napkins weren’t her usual haunts. True, she wasn’t poor anymore but old habits are hard to get rid of. 

“Why don’t you order for me?” Rey said, “Since I’ve never eaten here before.”

Leia’s face lit up and she called the waiter to order.

“Don’t order so much,” Luke warned, “You always order a lot,”

“Oh, shut up, you. Rey’s a growing girl, she needs nourishment. And experience different food.” 

Rey sunk a little in her seat.

“She’s not a child,” Luke winked at her and she flushed, “From what I hear she’s being paired with a certain someone on the internet.” 

Rey sunk even lower when Leia laughed, “Yes, they’re causing quite a stir online.” 

“So, kid, are you dating him?” Luke asked, his eyes twinkling. 

Rey shook her head, “No, we only met twice and people kind of just…” Her cheeks felt hot, “Assumed?” 

“You look good together,” He said and eyed salad as it arrived, “You have that whole little red, big bad thing going on.” 

“I don’t think that’s a very good comparison,” Leia frowned at him and smacked his hand when he tried to slice the big white ball in the middle of the salad, “You have to remember big bad killed grandma and ate little red,”

Luke snorted, “Going back to the original lesson of the story it’s more about sweet, innocent girls falling into the hands of evil men with evil intentions.” 

“Why don’t you cut the cheese, dear?” Leia told Rey before turning back to her brother, “Are you trying to say that Ben’s an evil man with evil intentions?” 

Rey sliced the cheese and watched fascinated as cream oozed out. 

“I’m not saying that, but you have to admit he’s a little wild.” 

Their pastas arrived and the siblings continued arguing about Little Red Riding Hood and Ben Solo.

Rey wondered if it was rude if she were to start eating without them? She cleared her throat and the twins stopped arguing. Leia flushed, “Oh dear, that was quite rude of us.” 

“It’s okay,” Rey said, smiling, “It’s nice to watch you two. I never had siblings so I can’t really relate,” 

“You’re an only child then?” Luke asked, dumping salad and cheese on Rey’s plate.

“Sort of?” Rey thanked him and took a small bite, resisting the urge to wolf it down because, come on, it’s cheese. Cheese is always good, “I never met my bio parents and my mum never had children or adopted anyone else,” 

“Oh,” Luke frowned.

“Oh I’m sorry dear,” Leia said softly, placing a hand on her arm.

Rey shrugged, “It’s okay. Mum was a great person,” She hated the look of pity in their eyes. This was why she didn’t really tell people that she was adopted. Nobody needed to hear her sob story. 

“Anyway, I heard you’re working with Amilyn,” Luke said, “Great gal,”

“Yeah, I’m really excited to work with her. Of course, we’re a bit tight on time since she wants to release by early next year and it’s already December,” Rey frowned.

“Speaking of December, what are your plans for Christmas?” Leia asked her.

“Um, I guess I’ll buy a few gifts for my friends and bake? Rose and Hux invited us over for their Christmas dinner so that’s nice.”

“I see. They seem to be good friends,” Leia said slowly, “Even though they’re from First Order.”

“Bah, let the girl think for herself.” Luke looked at her, “Don’t let work interfere with your personal life. If your friends are in First Order, don’t let the biases of Resistance taint it.” She nodded, “Of course, I still think you should be careful when dealing with young Solo. That boy has issues.”

Rey looked down at her plate and shrugged, “I mean, everyone has issues, right?” Is this what it feels like to actually have a father? All of a sudden she remembered Rose’s infamous tweet and flushed. 

“Yeah, but if you’re not careful, you could get hurt.” Luke shrugged and changed the subject. 

He asked her about her work, admitting that he only looked her up because she’d started trending online.

“I’m more of a Rolling Stones fan myself,” He said, “Of course, I loved your cover of ‘Hey Jude’,” 

Rey flushed, “Thank you,” She said, “It was my mum’s favourite song.”

“Oh? It’s Leia’s too. Han used to serenade it to her especially when she was angry at him.”

“Han?” Leia never told her her husband’s name.

“Oh, Han the Space Pirate,” Luke chuckled, “You weren’t born yet when they were popular but,”

“Wait,” Rey turned to Leia with wide eyes, “Your husband is Han Solo, as in the Han Solo from Han and the Chewies?” 

Leia took a sip from her wine; when did she order that? Her lip twitched up a little but didn’t say anything. 

“He sure is. We snuck out one night to attend the concert, she didn’t even want to go but I convinced her and it was like,” Luke gestured with his hands and made a whooshing noise, “Love at first sight, just like that.” 

Leia flushed and Rey grinned, “They didn’t say that in the interviews,”

“Of course they didn’t publicise it,” Luke chuckled, “Han does have an image to maintain.” Of course he did, stars always had a certain image they had to protect. Poe himself was always going on about how she has to maintain her image and keep her head down.

“That is amazing though!” Rey laughed, “I remember when my mum picked me up the first time she was listening to ‘Wookie Jam’. She said it was so ridiculous it was bound to make me laugh and break the ice,” 

“She seems like a wonderful person, Rey.” Leia said and Rey’s eyes stung. She was the best person she’d ever met.

“Great thoughts on music too. I told him it was a stupid song but it stuck, kind of like a Weird Al kinda thing.” Luke said, “But more importantly she seemed to have raised a great, talented girl,” 

Rey gave him a watery smile and mumbled ‘thanks’. 

“I agree. Of course, Poe did recruit you and he’s always had good instincts.”

“Right, how is that little Dameron boy?” 

Rey listened to the two talk, gleaning more information about themselves and Poe and Resistance. 

It must be nice having a sibling. 

Maybe someday she’ll have children. 

At least two, since she knew how lonely it was being alone. 

Two is a good number. 

Chapter Text

“Your trainer is going to kill me,” Hux muttered darkly, “I’m not supposed to let you eat so much junk,”

Ben grunted and took a large bite of his burger, “Fuck off, Armitage.” Everything was so bright and his head was pounding. He should’ve just taken the day off. 

“Who told you two to get drunk off your asses on a weeknight?” Phasma scowled, “We’re not in college anymore.” 

“I have never felt so old in my life,” Hux groaned and drank his soda, “But I was lonely and—,”

“Oh, cut the crap Armitage,” The blonde snorted, “We all know Rose didn’t spend the night at Rey’s.” 

Hux’s lips thinned and he glared at her through his sunglasses.

“You’re never really a good liar,” Ben said, “Thanks though.”

“What are friends for, yeah?” Hux chuckled.

“And none of you thought to invite me. I’m hurt,” 

“You’ll probably throw out all the alcohol if we did.” Ben said.

“True. So, what do you want to do?” Phasma asked, “Thankfully nobody got a clear picture of you and your mother but somebody’s bound to dig something up if they’re determined enough.” 

Ben shrugged, “People would find out eventually. I’m wondering if we should just be done with it and tell everyone.”

“That might be a bit more complicated. Leia is notoriously hard to read and very private too,” Hux said in between chews, “So you’re going to have to talk to her again.”

“Unless of course we do something drastic to distract everyone.” Phasma gave them a smile and Ben shivered.

“I don’t like that look on your face,” He said, “It’s never good for me.”

“Please, we’ll just give them a few things to talk about.” Phasma kept smiling, “And I won’t need anything from you so don’t worry.” 

Hux eyed her thoughtfully, “You already did something, did you.”

“Of course,” She shrugged and nibbled on her salad, “I do my best to keep my stars out of trouble,” 

“What did you do?” Ben sighed heavily.

“Nothing too bad, I assure you. I just maybe a little, leaked a little project your darling is doing.”

“What?” Ben scowled, “Does Rey know?”

“Oh? I don’t remember saying it was Rey.” 

His scowl deepened and he shot a glare to Hux who was snickering. 

“I did speak with Poe Dameron about it and he was very relaxed about it.”

Ben rubbed the back of his neck, “I don’t like using other people to get attention away from me.” 

“I know that and obviously I won’t use the girl you seem to adore against you.”

Ben’s scowl did nothing to hide the flush that made its way to his cheeks.

“Don’t deny it, Solo.” Hux chuckled, “Everyone with eyes can see.”

“Most of the public’s opinion on social media is approving of the relationship anyway,” Phasma added, “And I’m sure I’ll be able to wrestle your fans into place.”

“Why?” Ben’s brows furrowed, “What do you mean?” 

Phasma raised a brow, “You don’t know?”

Ben arched his brow too, “Does it look like I have social media?” 

“Well, a lot of your fans have been talking shit about Rey.” Hux said slowly, eyeing Ben as though he were a wild animal and not a human man, “Saying she’s just using your name as a stepping stone to stardom,”

Ben grimaced; he had thought that too. Has it only been two months since he’s first heard of That British Girl? 

Phasma watched the emotions flashing through his face and smiled, amused, “Well, I don’t know about you boys, but I have work to do.” 

They finished their meals quickly and made their way back to the meeting room Phasma had reserved for them for the day. 

 

 

Hux had stepped out and left Phasma and Ben alone.

“Yes?” Phasma arched a brow and Ben scowled, “Was there something you wanted to ask?”

His lips thinned and Phasma kept smiling as the silence grew longer.

“Help me set up a Twitter and Facebook account,” He finally said through gritted teeth. 

Phasma’s predatory smile widened, “You do know Hux and I will have to have access to it, don’t you?” 

Her expression was positively gleeful and if Ben were honest to himself, it kind of scared him a little. Gwen Phasma was generally not a gleeful person.

“Yes,” He grimaced, “Yes, I know that.” 

“Why the sudden change of heart, Benjamin?” 

He scowled and she chuckled, handing him her iPad. She coached him on the details of his account and told him to use his official First Order email and verify the account. 

“That’s the checkmark that appears next to your name,” She said, “Would you like an Instagram account, as well?” 

“I’m not likely to use that,” He said.

“Might as well, you’re already here anyway. Besides, I hear she uses that more often for photos.” 

“…fine.”

And so they proceeded to create an Instagram account for him and Phasma linked it to the newly created Ben Solo Facebook account.

“See, easy peasy,” She patted his shoulder, “Do be careful of what you’ll post though. You’re a public figure so people will see what you post or who you follow and that can make or break your career. Of course, I did set your Facebook on private. ”

“This is why social media terrifies me.” He muttered. 

Chapter Text

Rey was exhausted by the time she arrived home. After her lunch with Luke and Leia, complete with an obligatory picture on Instagram tagging the reclusive travel journalist, she had to go back to brainstorm some more with Poe and Amilyn.

Then someone had let it slip that she’s working with the punk rock queen of the century so Poe had her confirm it and post photos of the meeting itself.

She took a quick shower and crashed into her bed, ready to sleep when her phone rang.

“Oh. My. God. Rey!” Rose squealed on the other end, “I swear Armie and I had no idea.”

“Huh?” Rey frowned, wondering what her friend was on about.

“We didn’t know either,” Finn was in the call too, “Poe’s just as surprised as you are,”

“What’s going on?” Rey asked.

“You don’t know yet?” Poe asked; Finn must have them on loudspeaker. 

“Check your social media accounts. Like, now.” Rose said excitedly.

“Does it have to be now? Poe worked me to the bone today,” Rey mumbled and yawned.

“I did not.” She could almost see the scowl on Poe’s face, “Amilyn did.”

“Trust me you might want to see this one,” Hux said in his usual reasonable, calm, manager voice. Rey supposed Rose had her on loudspeaker too. It was strange having a three-way conversation between five people and it made her feel a little cold and lonely that both her non-industry friends had a significant other living with them.

“I am so excited,” Finn gushed and Rey sighed.

“Hold on, let me put you guys on loudspeaker.” She yawned again and opened Twitter first. 

Her notifications was buzzing with mentions. She frowned, “I didn’t do anything,” She said, “Did I?”

“Check your new followers,” Finn said. 

She did and bolted straight up with a gasp.

“Did you see?” Rose asked, “I never thought I’d see the day!” 

Ben Solo started following you.  

She clicked on his name; it even had that little checkmark telling her that it’s an official, verified account, and found nothing. His account was blank, the description empty. 

He’d joined today and he already had more than a million followers and the only account he was following was hers.

“Hux are you messing me with me?” Rey asked, not sure whether she should laugh or get mad, “This isn’t very funny,”

“I assure you, I had nothing to do with this.” Hux said evenly, “I was just as surprised as you.” 

“Check IG and Facebook,” Finn suggested.

She did and sucked in a breath when she saw that he was following her on Instagram as well. Again, there was nothing on his profile, just a few pictures of his movies and some of the sets. 

“Phas and Solo did all this when I went out of the meeting room for a bit,” Hux said, “He’s always been adamant about not having social media. Phas and I both have access to the accounts but…”

“He added me,” Rey said, dumbfounded, “On Facebook.”

“Girl, what are you waiting for, add him back,” Finn said.

“And don’t forget to follow him back on Twitter and Instagram,” Poe said, “This is really, really good.”

Rey hesitated. 

Was it really him and not her friends messing with her? Her finger hovered over the ‘Add Friend’ button and she shut her eyes when she clicked it.

“Follow him back,” Poe said insistently and she did.

She bit her lip, wondering what the backlash would be come morning. 

“This is amazing!” Rose squealed, “I can’t believe he made those accounts without telling us!”

“Are you sure you didn’t know anything Poe?” Rey asked, “I mean I won’t find it strange if you had something to do with it. Did you talk to Phasma or something because of all the hate mail?”

It would, ideally, make his more hateful fans tone down their ire if Ben Solo showed public support for her. They were mostly right, she was a nobody who’s only recently becoming more mainstream. 

“Nope,” The ‘p’ popped, “I swear to all kinds of gods that I had nothing to do with it. Which reminds me, I should call her and ask what that’s about. I’ll let you know.”

“Yes, I will have to call Ben too.” Hux said, “He didn’t really explain anything either and he hasn’t added me yet.” Rey smiled; Ben Solo added her first? Even before his own manager and childhood friend? 

“This is so exciting,” Rose gushed and Finn agreed, just as excited.

“Our little Rey of Sunshine,” Finn said a little dramatically, “All grown up and making friends with her crush. I’m so proud,” 

Heat suffused her cheeks and she was grateful nobody could see her. 

“Our child is leaving the nest,” Poe added, equally dramatic, and Rey laughed, “Is this how it feels like? Hugs!” 

“What?” Hux snarled, “And why the bloody hell do you keep calling me that?”

“You always looked like you need a hug or two.” Poe said.

Silence.

Then, Rey laughed, “Sorry,” She said and heard Rose giggle, “I mean, I’m not laughing at you.”

“To be fair when we first met, you looked like you had a stick up your ass.” Rose said, snorting and then laughing. 

Hux grumbled.

“Make sure your child takes care of ours,” Poe finally said, “Or I’ll cut you.”

“Oh, please, Poe. You can’t even cut cardboard straight,” Rey said, chuckling.

“Well, I mean,” Finn said and Rose laughed even harder. 

“You all are ridiculous,” Hux sighed.

 

Chapter Text

Ben’s phone dinged with a notification and he had half a mind to ignore it. Since he made his accounts and downloaded the apps, his phone ran almost non-stop notifying him that he had new followers and mentions and it was driving him insane. 

Phasma had only laughed when he asked how to shut it off.

Technology sucks. 

His phone rang and he jumped.

“What?” He snarled, not looking at the caller.

“Well, hello to you too. I see this is a bad time.” Ben grimaced and flushed at her dry tone. It felt like he was back in high school again, listening to his mother scold him for the first time in his life. 

He’d watched, wide-eyed and fascinated as she'd tried to keep her cool and failed miserably. 

“Mom.” He said, “Sorry.”

“I was hoping we could meet up sometime, for coffee?” They’d only met the other day and Ben frowned, “I know you’re very busy but it’s almost Christmas and I’d like to make up for lost time.”

His frown deepened and he rubbed his chest. He was guilty; seeing his mother again after so long and realising how old she looked. In his mind she’s always been and probably always will be, this dark-haired tornado, energetic and unstoppable, rushing into your life so quickly it leaves you dizzy and wondering where she went as soon as she left.

And she left a lot. 

She and Han did. He spent a lot of time over at Hux’s house, more times than Hux has in his. 

Then, they sent him to uncle Luke’s to ‘mellow’ down. 

It didn’t exactly go as planned.

“I guess,” He said when he realised she was waiting for him to answer, “But I don’t want him there.”

Leia didn’t say anything immediately. She knew who he meant, “…okay.” She finally said, “That’s fine.” She paused again, “Would you like to go Christmas shopping with me?”

“What?” Did he ever go Christmas shopping with her?

“I haven’t decorated the house since…” She cleared her throat, “Since you father and…I think it would be nice to start again. And you know how notorious my parties were back in the day,” 

Ben frowned. She sounded so sad and he rubbed his chest again. She didn’t really have that many Christmases left and she didn’t have anyone left either except for that dickwad. Even then, he wasn’t even in the country most of the time.

Still, he knew his mother. He knew she was planning something.

He sighed, “Okay.” He finally said.

“Great!” She said, suddenly cheerful again. He rubbed his face with his hand and suppressed a groan, “How about Saturday? Oh, why don’t we have lunch again while we’re at it? Then we can go get coffee after and go shopping,” 

This time, he did groan. He knew he got his talent for acting from somewhere, “How about dinner too, while we’re at it?”

“Marvellous idea!” Leia said excitedly, “I can’t wait, I’m so excited. I want to hear all that I’ve missed these past few years,” A decade isn’t exactly a few years but she seemed happy enough, “Of course, I’ve been following your career but it doesn’t really say much about what you do outside of it. And I always knew you’ll be great at whatever you put your  mind to.” 

“Thanks, I think.”

“And I hear you’ve finally got yourself on social media! Do add me,” Then she quieted again, “I know kids these days won’t add their mothers though but,”

In his mind’s eye he could almost see the teary look she’d give him with those wide eyes. It was a look that she often gave Han who crumbled every time. He didn’t really get it at the time.

He sighed again, “I will.” 

“Wonderful!” She laughed, “I’m so glad you got in touch with me. Now, I can die peacefully,”

He tensed, “Don’t say that. You’re not that old,” 

“Yes, but if it does come sooner than expected at least I got to talk to you again,” 

“You’re not sick or anything, are you?” His heart started to pound, “Did you do your annual checkups?”

“We just had this conversation last week,” She reminded him, “I’m fine. I can even email you the results of my checkup.”

Please.” He gritted out and she grew quiet again, “Mom?” He swallowed the thick lump that formed in his throat.

“We really fucked up, didn’t we?” She said quietly, “I’m sorry.” 

Ben sighed and rubbed the back of his neck, “Yeah,” He said, just as quietly, “Yeah you did. But hey, at least I didn’t end up an axe murderer,” 

She chuckled and it felt good to make her laugh. 

“I missed you, Ben.” She said.

“I missed you too, mom.” His chest ached; it seemed to ache a lot recently. Maybe he shouldn’t eat so much junk after all. He could already imagine the headlines: Promising young actor found dead in bathroom after apparent heart attack. 

Chapter Text

Of course Ben Solo would be trending again. Rey bit her lip and eyed her feed. The more hateful tweets had been mostly buried by people mentioning her and asking her questions.

@That_British_Girl are you dating @BenSolo ? #Reylo for real? 

@BenSolo follow me too! #ImBabierthanRey #Joking #Reylo4Eva

@That_British_Girl how is #DaddySolo treating our sweet #baby princess? 

@BenSolo please don’t hurt our #BabyRey @That_British_Girl she’s smol and sensitive. 

That last one had a photo of Bubbles from Power Puff Girls and it made her laugh a little. 

There was even fan art of them. Some were cute, others were a little creepy. 

Then there was that old movie scene with the high-waisted pants and bare chest. She flushed at the amount of people tagging her asking if he really was as massive in real life as in the movie.

She scrolled down some more and bit her lip when she finally saw the picture taken outside the pizza place. She didn’t really get a good look when Phasma showed it to her but now she took her time. His jacket was so obviously huge on her. She still hasn’t returned it.

She saved the photo and flushed; it’ll be her dirty little secret. No one would know she saved the photo, right?

The app refreshed and she saw a new tweet from Rose. 

@AndorsPizzeria is a great background for a budding new romance <3 #nofilter #Reylo 

There was a photo attached and she sucked in a breath. It was a beautiful photo really, she and Ben stood off to the side and the neon lights of Andor’s Pizzeria tinged everything a soft red. It looked more like an artsy shot than anything; Ben was smiling at her and she was looking up at him, wearing his jacket. She didn’t even realise she'd been smiling back.

She flushed. When did Rose take that? Andor’s Pizzeria replied almost immediately.

@rosieposie Lovely photo, mind if we share it on our social media accounts? 

Rose replied in YES in all caps. 

Rey’s breath hitched and she called Rose.

“What are you doing?” She asked almost hysterically.

“Saw the photo, did you?” Rose laughed, “Pretty right?” 

“Yes but what are you doing,” 

“Just you know, feeding the gossip mill, keeping the ship going,”

“This is embarrassing, Rose, please stop.” She didn’t want Ben to think she was desperate but Poe wouldn’t let her shut down the dating rumours. 

She’d like to really, now that she’s thought more about it. She really would like to date him but she’s scared that he’d be doing it because of the PR and not because he liked her. Phasma herself had said she’d arranged publicity dates for him before. 

She couldn’t bear it if it turned out it was all fake too. 

“Don’t worry about it. If Ben had a problem with it he’d be the first to cuss Armie out,” It didn’t make her feel any better, “And I’ve known Ben for a while now too and I like to think I know how he’d react to my fangirling over the two of you.” 

Rey groaned.

“He’s pretty chill once you get to know him. We didn’t get along at first.” Rose continued, “I remember when Armie first introduced him. He thought I was dating him because he’s his manager. Armie did too but now look at us,” She laughed.

“What did you do?” 

“I shouted at the both of them and left.” 

“What?” 

“I mean, if he thinks so lowly of my love, he’s not worth my time.” 

“I bet you made him grovel,”

“Oh yeah,” Rose laughed again, “Ben too. Don’t worry, Rey Rey. It’s going to be fine; hey, are you free today?” 

“I have another meeting with Amilyn and Poe later,”

“Aw, I was wondering if you can go gift shopping with me. How about Saturday? We can have brunch! I always wanted to have brunch.”

Rey did too. She never had brunch before, “Sure, Saturday sounds good.” 

“Great! I’ll pick you up!” Rose ended the call.

Rey sighed and saved the photo.

Chapter Text

Ben made a YouTube account so he could watch her livestream. He didn’t ask Phasma for help this time.

As always she was very cheerful, answering questions as honestly as she could. 

“Am I dating Ben Solo?” The speakers on his laptop didn’t do justice to her voice now that he’s heard her up close and personal, “Well, no.” He frowned and waited, “Would I want to? Um, I don’t know. I’d like to be friends, that’s for sure.” 

He could do that, once he’s gotten the courage to actually call her.

“We’ve only met twice,” She laughed and a shiver ran down his spine; he’s supposed to be used to it by now, “He’s very nice and very large.” She laughed again and he could see even through his screen the flush that rose prettily to her cheeks, “Not that. But um, I think it would be nice to, to be friends. I didn’t expect that I’d meet him, in my lifetime.” 

He wondered if he wanted to post a question. Would people figure out it was him? 

He typed it in and pressed send.

“If he asks me out on a date, would I accept?” She didn’t answer immediately and he grew a little nervous. The chat filled up with people urging her to accept if it did happen, “Maybe? I mean, he knows I like him, everyone does,” She laughed a little, looking slightly embarrassed. The cat-eared headphones weren’t centred on her head and he found it adorable, “I just…worry a little. I didn’t expect that my last livestream would go viral and he’d notice me.” 

Comments of ‘notice me, senpai’ appeared and she laughed. 

Ben wondered what that meant.

She did a short recap for the new viewers before continuing, “The Great Jacket Incident,” She laughed again; he loved hearing her laugh, “I grew up in the desert so I’m more used to the biting heat of the sun. Now I know the nights are cold there but I didn’t make it a habit to go out at night.” He listened intently as she explained a little of her childhood, “I didn’t sleep much the night before since I was so excited for the launch, which again, thank you all so much for making it so successful. And we had milkshakes in Andor’s; great pizza by the way! And I sneezed which is a little embarrassing,” This time her laugh was airy, almost sheepish, “I mean who would want to do that in front of the guy they like, right?”

Ben’s heart started pounding a little quicker; how many times had she admitted now that she liked him? She was being so brave putting it out there on the internet and all he did so far was follow her social media accounts. 

What a fucking loser.

How did you react when he started following you on social media? Well, surprised to say the least. I may have screamed a little, I’m not sure, we’re going to have to ask my friends that. They’re the ones who first noticed.” She said, “I was a little busy with work that day and it was exhausting. Poe was like a drill sergeant the whole time.”

Someone asked her about marriage and kids and Ben sat up straighter, “Kids?” She flushed again, “Well, I’m not married yet,” Comments on her choice of word, asking if she had intentions of getting married someday, “Of course I do. I do want my own family someday. As for kids? I’m thinking at least two. I know what it’s like to be alone and I think it would’ve been nice if I had a sibling or three,”

He could relate. His chest ached a little, imagining little Rey playing all by herself. He wanted a sibling too, when he was a child. A twin like his uncle Luke and his mom. 

“Is he really Daddy?” Ben almost spat his hot chocolate on his screen. He’d stumbled upon the recipe on her Instagram account and he’d printed it out to keep in Padmé’s recipe box, “Um, I’m not sure how to answer that,” She laughed a little and he could see her squirm, “Maybe I shouldn’t. I mean, RosiePosie had been the one to declare that so maybe we should ask her,”

He looks like he could take care of you, baby girl!

Someone whose name had a bunch of numbers commented and he snorted, of course he would. 

She snorted back a laugh and he looked back to her face, “Please ignore that,” She said, “That’s just my friend teasing me,”

Friend? He vaguely remembered Poe’s boyfriend calling her that. At the time he didn’t think much of it. 

The comments all agreed that yes, it seemed like he could take care of her.

He added his own agreement. Then he asked, “What would you do if Ben Solo was watching this livestream?”

She read his question and bit her bottom lip, “I…did not think of that.” She laughed a little, “I mean, embarrassed, probably, I’ve never… I mean we didn’t really talk much. And Ireally think he’s a very busy person so he wouldn’t really have time to watch my livestream. At least, not at this exact moment.”

Ben scowled and grabbed his phone. He hesitated only for a second before he pressed the call button.

She jumped slightly when her phone rang next to her computer, “Oh, sorry about that,” She laughed a little, “I forgot to mute my phone.” 

“Who is it?” He sent out the question.

“Um, I’m not sure,” She bit her lip, “I’m not really in the habit of answering unknown callers,” 

More comments ran up the side of his screen as he watched, asking her to answer, that she’ll be okay since she was on a livestream and they would know if something happened to her. 

She bit her lip before sliding the headphones off, leaving it around her neck. She answered, “Hello?” The livestream was about a millisecond late.

“Hello, Rey,” He said softly.

He watched as he heard her suck in a breath and flush onscreen. She almost dropped her phone as she scrambled to reach for her computer, to end the livestream?

“Don’t,” Ben said and she paused, “Don’t end it.” 

Questions of who is was flooded the chat-box and she hesitated.

“Go on,” He told her, chuckling, “You can tell them.”

“Ben,” She breathed. Her voice was so soft it barely got picked up by her microphone. But they heard and the comments just exploded. His computer lagged a little and she laughed, “Oh, my god, slow down, please.” She said, “My computer’s going to break.”  

The comments kept pouring in. They wanted proof that it was him and she was already shaking her head.

“Put me on loudspeaker, sweet thing,” Her face turned an even brighter shade of red and speculations about what he could have said rose.

“No,” She hissed, still embarrassed, “How did you even get my number?” 

The viewers kept increasing, “Hux gave it to me. Put me on loudspeaker,” 

“No way,” 

He pursed his lips and wondered just how far he could push her, “Baby girl,” He crooned and her eyes widened. Her whole face was a deep shade of red now, “Be a good girl and listen to Daddy,” 

“Jesus Christ, Ben,” She looked away from the screen and put her phone down. She pressed the button, “You’re on loudspeaker,” 

“I just wanted to let you know that I would love to be friends,” He said and the comments exploded again, “And yes, I have been watching from the start.” She squirmed, “I can see you, and I think you’re adorable.” 

She leaned her elbows on what seemed to be the coffee table and covered her face, “This is not going the way I planned.”

“This is a livestream Rey, in my experience those things never go according to plan.” She groaned again and he laughed, “To those of you who’ve just joined us tonight, this is Ben Solo, hijacking Rey Johnson’s livestream.” 

“What are you doing?” She laughed a little.

“Nothing, I mean, this is all very one-sided and I figured it was a good time as any to call you. I mean, I’ve just been looking for an excuse to call, you know?” 

Holy shit, Solo, took you long enough, you bastard.

“Oh, shut up, Finn.” 

“Well, that’s all the time that we have today!” Rey said abruptly, not looking at the camera, “That uh, didn’t go as planned and um, thank you for tuning in and Jesus, Ben don’t hijack my livestream, you can always text or call like a normal person.”

Ben laughed and the livestream ended.

“What are you doing?” She asked again, “This is doing nothing to control the situation,”

“And what situation would that be, sweet thing?” He wished he’d done FaceTime instead but he didn’t think she was ready for that just yet.

“The ship,” She hissed. He could imagine how red her face is, “You’re just feeding into it more,”

“Were we supposed to shut it down?” 

“Were we not?”

“I don’t know, Rey, I didn’t really get a memo or anything.” 

“You,” She groaned and he chewed the inside of his mouth, “Why are you doing this? What did I do to you?”

“Nothing.” You’re perfect, “Like I said, I just wanted to have an excuse to call you.” 

“But why?”

“Because,” Because what? Did he go too far after all? “Because I wanted to get to know you,” He finally said, softly.

She sucked in a breath.

Chapter Text

“…I wanted to get to know you,” Did he really? “Rey?”

“Y-yes, I’m here.” She chewed on her lip, “Sorry, I’m just…I’m just…so shookt.” She laughed, “I really didn’t expect that you’d be watching, much less, calling.

“Are you mad?” 

“No! I mean, it was a little frustrating because I really don’t like things happening without me knowing and then you call all of a sudden and…” Her heart hasn’t even stopped pounding yet, “I just have a really hard time dealing with things being thrown at me so suddenly and…I’m rambling, aren’t I? Sorry.”

“No, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to surprise you like that.” He said, “But I mean it. I really do want to be friends. So can we? Be friends, I mean.” She bit her lip, there it was, a tiny crack in his armour, “Rey?”

“I’d like that,” She finally said and he breathed a sigh of relief. Was he as nervous as she was after all? Was his confidence and bravado and charm all an act to hide who he really is? “Are you sure? I mean, I don’t really have much to offer and you’re already popular,”

“I don’t want to be friends because of the popularity,” He said, “I just thought it’d be nice to be friends and since you’re already good friends with Hux and Rose…I feel kind of left out and got a little jealous.” 

Was she intruding on their friendship? The blood drained from her face, “Oh my god, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to intrude or anything,”

“What?” He sounded so genuinely confused and she explained that she didn’t want to intrude on his and Hux and Rose’s friendship especially since they’ve all known each other for years. 

Friends were important. 

He laughed and she shivered at the deep timbre, “No, I didn’t mean it like that. I—,” He took a deep breath and sighed, “I got jealous because you’re friends with them but not me,” He said softly. 

Rey sucked in a breath, “Oh.” He chuckled.

“That’s it? Oh? I like you, Rey, so I would really like to get to know you better.” 

She didn’t know what to say. What did he mean he liked her? Did he like her as in, I-want-to-date-you or, I-like-you-so-I-want-be-friends-with-you?

“I don’t know how to react,” She decided to be honest, it always worked for her before so why not now? “I mean, you know I have this huge crush on you and…” She bit her lip, could they be friends? “And I mean huge.”

He chuckled again, “I know,” He said, “I mean, you going mute the first time we bumped into each other kind of told me that.” She could hear him smiling, almost see his ridiculously deep dimple in her mind’s eye. 

“I’m not sure how we can be friends?”

“Scared you’re going to fall in love with me?”

“Yes.” 

He paused and she wondered if she was too honest.

“Oh, okay. Um, wow. I didn’t expect you to admit it that easily.” He sounded stunned and she couldn’t help but grin. 

“I mean, I don’t see why I have to lie about that.” She chewed on her lower lip, “You’re a very dangerous man, Ben Solo.” 

“Hm,” He hummed and she shivered again, “Only to you, sweet thing.” Was he actually flirting with her? She kept chewing her bottom lip. Should she flirt back?

Yes, yes she should, “I thought it was baby,”

He paused and laughed, sounding a little breathless, “You saucy little minx,”

“Got that from Hux, did you?” 

He laughed again, this time harder, “Christ Rey, you,” He laughed, “I don’t even know how to describe you.”

“Rey.” 

“Sure, sure, let’s go with that.” His laughter quieted a little, “There’s no one quite like you,”

She wanted to scream. Ben Solo was on the phone with her, flirting and telling her that there’s nobody like her. She heard him curse silently, “You okay?”

He sighed, “Phasma’s calling.” 

“Oh, shit?” Was it a good thing or a bad thing? She is his PR manager and Rey had no idea if Ben’s earlier stunt was good or bad for him.

“Exactly.”

“I guess you have to go?”

“Yeah,” He sighed again, “I’ll see you around?”

“Yeah, sure!” She bit her lip, “See you around.”

“I’ll text you,”

“Um, okay,” 

“Bye,” 

“Bye,” There was an awkward silence and she giggled, “I think maybe we should end the call?” 

He chuckled, “Yeah, yeah, you’re right. Goodbye, Rey.”

“Bye, Ben.”

This time he hung up and she stared at her phone. 

Ben Solo called her in the middle of her livestream. 

She squealed.

Chapter Text

She was scared she’d fall in love with him. That was the only thought running in his head as Phasma alternated between screaming at him and congratulating him because that three minute cameo was enough to shoot him back up the trending charts. 

“Benjamin Organa Solo, are you listening to me?” He winced at Phasma’s use of his full name.

“Not really,” He said honestly and she sighed.

“If you’re going to do a stunt like this, you tell me. Christ, Solo, what if you said something you’ll regret? Are you drunk? You’re not drunk are you?”

“Of course not. I don’t drunk dial people,”

“Uh, huh, right. Need I remind you of that time you and Hux called me at two in the fucking morning on a weeknight to serenade me with, what was it, ah yes, Big Balls.”

Ben scowled even as his face grew heated, “Jesus, Phas. That was how many years ago,”

“I’m just saying, you need to warn me about these things so I am prepared for the possible backlash.”

“It was just a spur of the moment thing,” Ben sighed.

“You really like this girl, don’t you,” He didn’t answer and she sighed, “Fine, fine. Don’t warn me, I’ll do my best to keep things positive for both of you.”

“Thank you.”

“Hm? What was that? I didn’t quite hear that, was Ben Solo actually thanking me?”

“Oh, fuck off, Phas.” 

She cackled and ended the call.

The next to call him was Hux.

“Oh. My. God. Is that Ben?” Rose screamed from the other end and he winced.

“Yes, darling, it’s Ben, obviously.” Hux said drily, “Who else would I call at this hour?”

“Am I on loudspeaker?” He scowled.

“Well, you didn’t seem to mind when Rey did it.” Hux pointed out, “What the hell was that, Ben?”

“You know,” He shrugged, “Just a friendly chat.”

Rose laughed, “Friendly, right, Ben and the word friendly don’t exactly mix.” 

“She’s right.” Hux said, “You never really made it a point to be friends with anyone.” 

“Somebody’s in love,” Rose said in a sing-song voice, “Have you asked her out yet?”

“No. We’re going to be friends,” Ben frowned, did that mean he’s in the friend-zone? Did he do that or did she? “First?”

“You blundering oaf,” Hux sighed, “Is that Kylo charm only reserved for when you’re in costume?” Ben’s scowl deepened, “Is it really just method acting? You bloody winked at this girl and stunned her for chrissakes and now you can’t even get her on a date?”

“He did what?” Rose shrieked, “You didn’t tell me that!”

Ben groaned and covered his face with his free hand, “You know how I get when I’m on set.” 

“Yeah, you live your character but come on,” He could almost see Hux rolling his eyes, “You’re so hopeless.” 

“Well, what am I supposed to do? She said she wanted to be friends first.”

“Wait, hold up, didn’t you say he said he didn’t want to date fans?” 

Ben’s mouth thinned and blood rushed up to his cheeks. Shit. 

“Oh yeah, he did say that.”

“Fuck off, dickwad.” Ben growled and ended the call at Rose’s laugh. 

Everybody was laughing at him today. What the fuck did he do?

Chapter Text

As promised Rose picked her up Saturday morning for brunch. Rey had forgone her usual sweater and leggings for a heavier green and baby pink winter coat, jeans and a large knitted scarf.

“You look cute,” Rose said, grinning, “Let’s go, I know this really place with really good tomato soup,” 

Rey had no idea what Christmas shopping entails so she let Rose take the lead. She chattered as she drove the bright orange vintage mustang.

“I like your car,” Rey said, admiring the sleek leather interior.

“Yeah? I rebuilt her myself. I call her Liberty.”

“She’s gorgeous, how come you’ve never used her before?”

“Oh, Armie insists on driving me or having me driven somewhere,” She rolled her eyes, “He’s a little paranoid. He doesn’t want people to find out I’m connected to him and get kidnapped,”

“Has that happened before?” 

“Almost, there was this girl back when Ben was just starting out. She was convinced that I was his girlfriend since I hung out with them a lot.” She shrugged, “Anyway we cleared that up quickly but Ben’s image took a bit of a hit. Gwen wasn’t really happy with that.”

“What happened?”

“You know those pictures in the bars and Ben beating people up?” Rey nodded, “He was just trying to help Armie who noticed somebody spike my drink but the paps made it look like he was a violent drunk. Even Gwen couldn’t fix it,” She glanced at Rey briefly, “Until now, that is.” 

They arrived at a cute street-side cafe with outdoor seating and Rose somehow found them a parking space nearby. That in itself was a miracle seeing as it was a Saturday in Hollywood. Tourists were everywhere and she ducked a little when people did double-takes and eyed her, trying to place who she was. 

She wondered if she’ll get as famous as Ben, that people would recognise her instantly. How did he keep himself under the radar when going out and about? Wearing hoods obviously didn’t really help much. 

They sat near a window and ordered their food; a big bowl of soup for her and a grilled cheese sandwich for Rose.

“So,” Rose smiled wryly, “What happened after you livestream ended?” She blinked innocently and Rey flushed. 

“Nothing really,” She squeaked, “We just talked a little,”

“And what did you talk about?” 

“Just…that he wanted to get to know me better? So I guess we’ll probably hang out sometime?” She wasn’t really sure. Ben had texted her as promised but he didn’t ask her to hang out or anything yet. 

“That’s so unlike him, you know,” Rose snickered and thanked the server when she delivered their drinks, “And of course you guys literally broke the internet.” 

“He did, not me,” She laughed, “I really didn’t expect that.”

“Have you read the tweets recently? And BuzzFeed did another article on you and TMZ’s saying you two are secretly dating.” Rose paused, “You’re not, right? If you are you’d tell me?”

Rey laughed, “Of course. And I’m pretty sure I don’t really have to since Hux would tell you,” 

Rose pursed her lips, “Oh pooh. I want to know it from you first,” 

“Alright, I promise I’ll tell you in the unlikely event that it happens.”

“Why is it unlikely? I mean, he’s going out of his way to pop in your solar system,” 

Rey laughed again, “I really think he just wants to be friends,”

Rose looked like she didn’t believe her one bit. To be honest she wasn’t sure if she believed herself either. Their food arrived and the continued to chat about her increase in followers and popularity.

“Seriously, we need to have a group chat now that Ben has Facebook. Then it’d be easier to send you all those fan art,” Rey flushed crimson, “I mean those are hawt and did you know there’s fan fiction now?” 

Rey groaned and looked down at her soup, “I don’t want to know, really. It’s like watching myself perform and I just…cringe.” 

“You and Ben are so alike,” Rose pouted, “Did you know he never watched any of his films? Where’s the fun in watching your friend’s film if said friend isn’t there to make fun of? Oh, you know what I want to see?”

“What?” 

“You and Ben playing Hades and Persephone,”

Rey rolled her eyes, “Halloween’s over,”

“Yeah, but you two totally have the aesthetic, seriously. All you have to do is stand next to each other and be your usual selves,” Rose suddenly grinned and Rey squirmed uneasily, “I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks so,” She started typing on her phone and almost instantly Rey’s notification alerted her that she was mentioned in a tweet.

She groaned, “Rose, what did you do?”

“I’m asking your fans if they think so too,” She grinned hugely. Rey’s phone buzzed in rapid succession and she eyed it a little apprehensively, “Oh, they do,”

Rey groaned again.

Chapter Text

Ben picked her up this time. 

Leia still lived in the same Beverly Hills house he’d spent a good part of his high school years in. She was already waiting by the porch and beamed when she saw his pickup drive up her driveway. 

As usual she was wearing Han’s jacket. His chest ached when he saw. He got down and she gave him a hug and motioned for him to bend down so she could give him a kiss on the cheek. He obliged her.

“You look sketchy with that thing on,” She said and he snorted a laugh at her language. Sometimes he wondered if she was more updated with slangs than he was, “And do you really think a neck warmer and hood would hide who you are?”

“Worth a shot,” He grumbled, his voice a little muffled by the neck warmer, and opened the passenger door for her. She beamed again when he helped her in, “Where do you want to go?”

She told him and he drove her like any good son would. She didn’t seem bothered by the silence.

“How have you been?” She asked when he’d found a parking spot, “I hear you’ve gotten more attention for yourself.”

“You heard or were you watching?” He shut off the engine and got out to open the door for her and help her out.

She chuckled, “I was watching. Rey’s a lovely girl,” He could see her breath in the air but she didn’t seem cold. They walked into the restaurant and sat at a corner table. He let her order for him, “She said she was adopted,” 

“Yes, Rose mentioned.”

“Armitage’s girlfriend. I met her during the launch. She’s very lovely too. They’ve been good friends to you, haven’t they?” 

“Yeah. Yeah, they have,” He tapped his fingers on the table and forced himself to continue, “Hux met Rose when we were in college. She’s a mechanic. Dad would’ve liked her.” 

“I didn’t really get to talk to her much. I just popped by to say ‘hi’ and ask how she was doing,” She chuckled, “She was a mechanic too.”

“Who?”

“Rey,” Her eyes twinkled a little and he wondered what the fuck his mother was planning now, “I heard she was a mechanic before she started singing on YouTube.” 

“Oh.” Their food arrived and they started eating, “I didn’t really talk to her much either.” He didn’t really know a lot about her now that he thought about it. True they texted a lot over the course of the week but it was mostly about how their day went. He frowned, he really didn’t know much about her. 

“Is this insecurity I see?” She arched a regal brow, “You’re my son, you have nothing to be insecure about.”

“It’s because I am that I’m fucked up,” He muttered and she laughed.

“You’re sounding more and more like your father,” She said with a sigh, “I bet you would’ve done well as a musician,” 

He shrugged.

“Do you still sing?”

“Sometimes.” He said, “In the shower when no one’s looking,”

“Why? You’re a wonderful singer, dear.”

“You’re just biased,”

“I’m serious,” She laughed again, “I’m speaking as a producer, not as a mother. Plus, your grandfather was a great classical musician too,” 

“Yeah, if he didn’t commit suicide,” He mumbled, “Grandma never really recovered from that.” 

Leia sighed then, “Us Skywalkers have always loved too deeply. We never really recover when we lose our other half.” She smiled sadly, “Your father was it for me and when he left I…” She sighed again, “I guess I just drifted.”

Would he be like that too? 

“But we’re strong,” She said, smiling again, “We move forward until the day we can be whole again.” 

Ben sighed, “Well, we’re all moving forward, right?”

She smiled toothily, “Yes, I’d like to think so. And I’d like to be able to meet my grandchildren too,” 

He snorted, almost spitting out his drink. Then, he coughed, because the soda went up the wrong pipe, “Jesus Christ, mom.” 

“Are you okay, dear?” She handed him a few tissues and he blew his nose, “I mean, Rey did touch on the topic of family and children in her livestream,”

“We’re not dating!”

“Not yet, you’re not. Speaking of, when are you going to make your move?” She frowned, “You’re slower than your father was.” 

“We just met.” 

“I’m not getting any younger. I do want to have a grandchild or two to spoil before I get too old and die.” 

“Jesus,” He ran his fingers through his hair, “Don’t talk about dying like that. You’re  only fifty-six,” 

She shrugged. 

Was everyone trying to get him to get with Rey now?

He groaned.

Chapter Text

Christmas shopping was pretty enjoyable. Rose dragged her from one shop to another, asking her what Finn and Poe would like. She in turn got to ask what Hux and Ben might like.

Rose had given her a look and a smug smile and said Ben would like anything from her. She flushed bright red and changed the subject but she did get some gift shopping done too. It was still strange for her to actually have money to spare. A few years ago she’d never have thought she’d be able to afford this gorgeous Tiffany blue 10-piece tea set for Finn. It would look perfect in the Santa Monica home Poe was eyeing. 

“Is that who I think it is?” Rose grabbed her arm and she looked at where she was pointing.

Rey frowned. It couldn’t be, could it? Half of his face was covered by his neck warmer and the hood over his head covered the other half but the sheer massiveness of the guy was suspicious. 

He leaned against the wall outside the restrooms, multiple paper bags by his booted feet. He had his phone out and she could barely make out his features.

“I think it is!” Rose squealed and took a deep breath. She shouted before Rey could stop her, “Ben!”

The man froze and looked up; she’d know those eyes anywhere. He pulled down the warmer from his face and gave them a half-smile. A dimple popped out and Rey flushed.

“Rey,” He purred and she shivered.

“And Rose! Hi!” Rose said, laughing, “Fancy seeing you here.”

Ben arched a brow at Rose, “Rose.” He said blandly. 

“You don’t look very happy to see me,” Rose pouted, “I brought Rey here so you should be thankful,”

“Wait, did you know he was going to be here?” Rey asked her and Rose grinned.

“Of course not, it was a total coincidence. I’m just saying,” She said and turned to Ben, “So what are you doing here?”

He gestured at the bags, “Shopping.”

“That’s a lot of shopping,” Rey said, wondering who it was for. He was an actor, he’s bound to have a lot of people to give stuff to, right? 

“I usually do my shopping online,” He scratched the back of his neck and sighed, “But my…mom likes to shop physically.” He seemed to cringe when he said mom and she wondered why. He never really mentioned his parents and neither did Hux.

“You know you and Armie never mentioned your parents before. I thought they’re dead,” Rose said bluntly and Rey winced. 

Ben winced as well, “My dad died a long time ago,” He said, “And my mom and I didn’t really talk until recently.” 

Rey couldn’t really comment. She’s only ever had a mum and she’d been her best friend.

“Ben, who are you talking to?” Rose’s mouth opened in an almost perfect ‘O’, “Oh, hello!”

Rey blinked, “Leia?” 

Leia smiled, “Why hello, dear, what a coincidence! Are you shopping too?” She eyed the one bag Rey was holding. 

“Yes,” Rey squeaked and looked accusingly at Ben. 

He shrugged, brows furrowing, “What?” He mouthed.

“And Rose, too! Hello, dear, how’s Armitage?” Leia smiled at Rose’s still-stunned expression.

“You’re Rey’s boss,” Rose said and Leia’s smile turned puzzled.

Rey blinked again, confused. Leia Organa was Ben Solo’s mum. Leia, whose husband Han died a long time ago. She blinked again. Han Solo. Her husband was Han Solo from Han and the Chewies, and Ben is Ben Solo. All of a sudden things fell into place. Everything made so much sense now, Luke’s cryptic comments, Leia’s amusement at her fascination with Han and the Chewies, even Hux and Poe because they knew all along. Why didn’t she realise earlier?

She turned to Ben sharply, “Your dad’s Han the Space Pirate!” She shrieked and he jerked back a little, eyes wide. She gasped and covered her mouth, almost dropping her bag in the process, “Oh my gosh, sorry, I didn’t mean to say that so loudly,” 

She could feel Leia and Rose eyeing her and she flushed, embarrassed. Her hand was still over her mouth.

“Um,” He cleared his throat, “Yes?”

“Oh, my.” Leia cleared her throat too, “I thought you figured it out when you found out Han was my husband,” 

Rey turned to her then, dropped her hand and shook her head, “I really had no idea,” 

Ben snorted and her head whipped around so fast back to face him it was a wonder why she didn’t get whiplash. 

The laugh he’d been trying so hard to contain burst free and she flushed again. 

“Aiya,” She heard Rose mutter but she was too fascinated by Ben’s dimples and uneven teeth, “Yeah, Armie said she did that too the first time they met,” 

“I have to say, I haven’t quite seen my son laugh like that in a long time,” 

Rey sucked in a breath when he met her eyes. His eyes were twinkling and his dimples kept flashing at her. 

Ben Solo should be illegal.

Or he should come with a warning label: Warning, might cause dizziness, palpitations and fainting.

“Rey?” His grin grew bigger, “Are you okay?”

She blinked and looked away, shaking her head slightly, “I’m fine,” She chirped.

“Why don’t you two come with us for coffee?” Leia interjected, “Ben promised we’d have some but as you can see, it’s getting late in the afternoon and we have yet to have any.” She gave Ben a pointed look and he scratched the back of his head again. 

“We would’ve gotten if you didn’t decide to go into every goddamn store,” He said with a sigh. He picked up the bags and raised his hand, “Gimme your bags,” He said and Rey looked down at the one she was holding.

“Ooo, what a gentleman,” Rose teased and handed him her bags easily. 

“Um, it’s alright, it’s not that heavy,” Rey mumbled, avoiding his eyes.

“It’s fine, give it to me.” She shook her head and he sighed, “Rey, give it to D-me.”

She frowned at him and he arched a brow. 

She handed it to him quietly, hesitating, “Good girl,” He rumbled and she shivered. Jesus, his voice.

“I feel like I just saw something I shouldn’t,” Rose said and Rey flushed again.

Chapter Text

He’d almost said Daddy. 

In front of his mother. 

Christ. 

He carried all the bags and Leia had linked her arm around Rey’s, walking ahead of him.

“So…,” Rose slowed to walk next to him, “Rey’s boss is your mom.”

“Yes.” He said simply.

“And you never thought to mention this?”

“Nope.” 

“And Armie didn’t mention it either.”

“Nope.”

“Why?”

“I told you, we haven’t spoken in a long time.” 

Rose pursed her lips, “But now you do,”

“Yes.”

“Don’t have a lot to say, do you?” She was tapping away on her phone again. He hoped she wasn’t tweeting; Hux had given her rules on what to tweet, didn’t he?

“No, I don’t.” He said, “I don’t like talking about it.”

“Obviously,” She rolled her eyes, “We’ve known each other for years and none of you ever mentioned it.”

“Would it have made a difference?” He looked straight ahead, wondering what his mother was telling Rey to make her giggle so much. 

He frowned. Was he jealous of his own mother now?

“Well no, not really. She’d still like you,” Rose nattered away, oblivious to Ben only half listening to her.

They neared the coffee shop and Leia waved him away, “I’ll buy,” She said, “You go wait outside,” Ben scowled. She turned to Rey, “Why don’t you wait with him, dear?”

Rey glanced at him and flushed. Leia pushed her towards him gently and she walked hesitantly towards him.

Rose skipped to Leia’s side and grinned, “Don’t worry, I know both their orders.” She said and escorted Leia into the packed coffee shop. 

There was fountain and a bench right outside and he placed the bags on the ground before sitting. Rey remained standing and he arched a brow, “Aren’t you going to sit?” She jumped a little and flushed. She sat next to him stiffly, “Why are you so nervous, sweet thing, I thought we agreed to be friends?” 

“We’ve only met in person twice,” She said, “And agreed to be friends last week.” He nodded and waited for her to continue, “I’m just trying to wrap my head around it, is all.” Then she turned to face him and he was struck by how wide and innocent her eyes were, “Leia’s your mum.”

“Yes,” He said patiently.

“You said you didn’t talk to her for a long time,” He nodded, “You were that guy at the Cantina.” His brow shot up, “You said it was your mum’s favourite song.”

“Yes,” He admitted, “And I wouldn’t have had the courage to call her if you didn’t tell me to move forward.” 

She looked away and flushed, “I always had a bad habit of giving people random advice,” She laughed a little, “It doesn’t always go well.”

He shrugged.

“Why weren’t you and Leia…,” She paused and bit her lip, “Why weren’t you speaking, if you don’t mind me asking?”

Didn’t Rose just ask him the same thing? 

So why was he so comfortable telling Rey? “I hated them.” He said simply. She looked at him curiously and he sighed, “I grew up with my grandmother in Indiana and they moved me to LA when I was thirteen. It was the first time I spent longer than a week with them so it took a lot of getting used to.” 

She kept looking at him expectantly so he kept talking, “Dad was always the one trying to get us to make peace with each other. I got into a lot of fights,” He chuckled, “They left me at home a lot so I guess I was lashing out,” He shrugged and stared at the coffee shop door, “They sent me to my uncle’s farm for a bit. They thought farm work would help me chill,”

“You mean Luke?” He grimaced when he heard his name, “We had lunch with him recently,”

“Yeah, I saw.” He chuckled, stealing a glance, “I follow you on Instagram, remember?” She flushed prettily and he grinned. She turned even pinker in the cheeks; she must really like his dimples. Then he remembered who they were talking about and frowned,  “It didn’t really work out either. We had a huge fight and I went back home. Mom was really disappointed.”

“She doesn’t seem disappointed now,” She touched his arm like she did in the bar and he wanted so badly to cover it with his.

“Both of them were when I didn’t go to Julliard. I graduated with a business course, actually.” 

“Okay, that I read,” She said sheepishly, “I kind of looked you up a lot,”

He flashed another grin, “That’s okay, I looked you up too.” 

She blushed again, “So—so, what happened?” She stuttered a little and he gave up trying not to touch her. He took her hand and she glanced down, surprise evident in her face. She was so easy to read.

But she didn’t pull away so he kept her tiny hand in his, “Dad collapsed. I’m sure you’d have heard about it.” She nodded, “He had stage four cancer and refused treatment.” She gasped and squeezed his arm. In turn, he squeezed her hand. 

“I’m so sorry,” She said softly and he shrugged. 

“I hated them.” He said again, “They didn’t want me to see. He didn’t even last a year.” His jaw tightened and his chest ached again as it always did when he thought about his parents, “I joined the Marines after his funeral and cut all contact with mom. The rest you probably know,” He gave her a tight smile and blinked when she tried to wipe her eyes discreetly.

Was she actually crying? 

“Jesus, Rey,” He let go of her hand to cup her face with both of his. She turned bright red; he could feel the heat on her cheeks, “Why are you crying?” He laughed softly, “Seriously,”

“I’m sorry, I’m just really sentimental,” She sniffled and laughed lightly, “I’m a sap for family stories.”

“I mean, my story isn’t really that strange, is it?” He dropped his hands and gave her a shy smile. 

“What’s happening? You two seem like you’re enjoying yourselves,” Rose said and Ben looked up. He didn’t realise Rose and his mom had come out of the coffee shop carrying two drinks each. 

He grimaced and rubbed the back of his neck, “We were just talking,” He said and thanked Leia for the cold brew.

“Here you go, Rey Rey, the usual.” Rose handed Rey her hot drink and Ben wondered what it was, “Hey, are you crying?” She shot a glare to Ben, “What did you do?”

Ben scowled, “I didn’t do anything!”

“No, Rose, he didn’t do anything,” Rey said, laughing, “I just got wind in my eyes, is all. It’s getting really cold,”

Rose rolled her eyes, “You and your baby skin,” 

The hairs on the back of his neck prickled; he really wanted to call her that. Would she freak out if he did? She didn’t seem to mind during their call. 

“I’m baby,” Rey said and Ben choked, almost spitting out his coffee. He seemed to do that a lot with her.

“Jesus, Ben, are you okay?” Rose’s eyes twinkled and he knew she knew he wasn’t okay.

Rey looked at him too, worriedly and he waved off the concern, “Just uh, surprised, I guess.”

“I believe it’s a meme,” Leia whispered and he scowled at her.

“A what?” He whispered back.

“It’s an internet thing, dear.” She patted his shoulder, as though telling him without words that it’s okay to be this technologically ignorant. 

He sighed and rubbed the back of his neck.

Chapter Text

Rey had no idea how Christmas shopping with Rose became dinner with Ben and Leia. Rose had made some sort of excuse about Hux having diarrhoea and skipped out, leaving her with Ben and his mother, her boss. 

“So dear,” Leia said, “Did you find gifts for your friends?” 

“Um, only Finn,” Rey said, smiling shyly, “I got him a tea set.”

“That sounds lovely, I’d like to meet him sometime,” Leia said, “He seems like a good friend and I’ve never seen Poe so happy,”

“Finn’s really happy too!” Rey grinned.

“Look, I know you’re going to Armitage’s dinner on the 24th, but I’d like to ask if you’d be free on the 26th? I haven’t hosted a party in so long and I’ve only recently decided to hold one again. Would you come?”

Rey stared at Leia’s hopeful expression, “Of course, I’d love that!” Leia grinned.

“And of course Ben would be there too,” She added and Ben arched a brow.

“I am?” His voice rumbled as he spoke and Rey suppressed a shiver. 

“Of course you are,” Leia said in a tone that brooked no argument. Ben sighed and ran his fingers through his hair.

He’d taken off his large hooded jacket and Rey itched to run her fingers on the heavy cable-knit sweater he had on. She loved sweaters and she finds that she loved sweaters on him. 

He glanced at her and arched a brow. She flushed and looked away. 

They were seated in a circular table by the wall in some fancy restaurant in Santa Monica. Of course Leia had ordered for them. 

She didn’t belong here, not in a restaurant with a one-hundred-fifteen-dollar pasta and a twenty-dollar cocktail, but Ben and Leia seemed at ease, like this was a normal occurrence.

For all she knew it was. 

She tried not to grimace. 

Leia asked her a question and she smiled, hoping the older lady didn’t notice her unease. 

“You really didn’t have to bring me along.” She said uncomfortably, “I could’ve taken an Uber home,”  

“Don’t be ridiculous, dear.” Leia waved her hand, “We’re like family now,” 

Family. 

Leia reminded her of her mum. Family had always been important to her mum, not necessarily the one she was born with, but the family she made. She would’ve been friends with Leia, if she didn’t die so soon. 

Leia’s phone buzzed and she glanced at it briefly before snickering, “Sorry,” She cleared her throat, “Why don’t you try the hamachi, dear?” She told Rey who smiled and accepted. 

What else could she do? 

Chapter Text

 

Leia insisted on sitting at the backseat since he would be dropping her off first. Ben didn’t argue. He’d learned how to pick his fights with her and this was not one of them.

“Oh, but would you like to come in for coffee, both of you?” Leia asked in that sweet, don’t-argue-with-me voice. She blinked expectantly, smiling and Ben sighed. 

“Rey?” She looked like a deer caught in the headlights, “Are you okay to go in for coffee?” She squeaked and he tried not to laugh, “Come on, then.” 

He carried his mother’s bags and waited patiently for her to open the front door. 

A large dog barked and Rey jumped.

Chewie,” Leia said sharply, “Be nice.” 

Rey stared at the massive dog and took a step back. He padded towards Ben, sniffing and giving an approving ‘woof’ before turning to Rey.

She’d gone pale.

“He won’t bite,” Leia said with a grimace, “I’m sorry I didn’t think to mention him,” 

“He’s so…big,” Rey said, “I have never seen a dog this big before.”

“He’s a Tibetan Mastiff,” Leia grabbed his collar. Even standing he reached her hip, “But he thinks he’s a pug,”

“You named him after uncle Chewie,” Ben said drily, “And what does he think about that?”

“He finds it funny, of course.” Leia said, “You can leave the bags wherever, dear.” Ben walked in the house he hasn’t been in in a decade and placed the bags on the floor in the living room.

Nothing had changed at all. The house looked like how it did when he left and he half expected Han to come walking in from the far-door leading to the garage. He looked at the framed photos on the wall, frowning at how he’d been sullen in almost all of them. Had he really been that big of a shit-head? 

“We’re heading to the kitchen!” Leia called out. He didn’t answer; they’ll be fine without him for a few minutes. 

Han’s numerous awards were lined up on the mantel alongside that one award he received for winning a talent show. Even his diploma was framed up nicely with his graduation photo.

He rubbed the back of his neck and sighed. Guilt gnawed at him. He should really be nicer to his mother. 

He could hear Rey giggling in the kitchen. She already had her hands wrapped around a mug. He recognised the Sith Empire logo on it. Leia handed him Han’s old mug instead.

“I was just telling Rey about how you met Armitage,” Leia said, smiling brightly.

“When you said Hux has never punched anyone, I didn’t think you meant it literally his whole life,” Rey said, still giggling, “I can’t even imagine him trying to be honest with you,” 

“Ben has always been a big boy,” Ben felt the heat rush to his cheeks. Rey snorted back a laugh, “Neither Han and I are very tall so we never did know where he got his height,”

“I knew it. I’m a changeling,” Ben said drily.

“Oh, I don’t know, dear. Changelings are notoriously sickly. Take your uncle Luke when we were younger.” 

He grimaced when he heard his uncle’s name.

“Okay, I have to ask,” Rey was chewing on her lower lip and he wanted to smooth his thumb over it, “What is with the changeling thing? I heard you call Luke that too.” 

“Oh,” Leia laughed airily, “Our mother, Ben’s grandmother, she always said we were changelings since we’ve always been a bit strange,” 

“Just a bit?” He snorted and took a sip of his coffee.

“Okay, maybe quite a bit. My parents have always been more, ah, traditional. You wouldn’t believe the fit my father had when he found out I was seeing Han. Ben might’ve gotten his temper from him,” 

Rey looked so comfortable in his childhood home and she listened to attentively to Leia as she regaled her with adventures from his childhood. Leia even told her about the Falcon and how Ben had almost wrecked her the first time he drove. She laughed. She’d gotten over her shock and fear of Chewie quick enough and the dog was sitting next to her, looking already halfway in love with her as she reached down a little to scratch his head. 

He knew how that felt. 

His ears felt warm and Leia gave him a knowing look. 

There was no hiding anything from his mother. 

Chapter Text

Rey didn’t expect to have an exclusive, inside look at Ben’s childhood but once Leia started there was no stopping her. She’d even showed her his high school photos and pointed out his ears. 

Ben had scowled the whole time.

“I had fun,” Rey told him in the quiet of the pickup as he drove her home. She’d told him where she lived and inputted it in his GPS, “Your mother’s so different in the office,” 

“My mother knows there’s a time and place for everything,” He grumbled, “My grandmother was a Southern Belle,” 

“She sounds lovely though,” Her mum was alone the whole time she’d known her, “I think I’d have liked to have a grandmother.”

Ben didn’t say anything so she didn’t either. 

It was a good twenty-minute drive from Beverly Hills to North Hollywood. 

“You can open the radio or whatever,” He mumbled and she wondered if he was just as awkward as she was. 

She cleared her throat and opened the radio. ‘She’s Got Balls’ started playing from the middle of the chorus and she jumped. 

“I didn’t peg you for an AC/DC fan,” She said.

He shrugged, “I grew up listening to it.” He said, “What made you go into the genre you’re doing now?”

“I heard a song about chocolate.” She said and he glanced at her.

“Chocolate?” 

“Yeah,” She laughed a little, “When I started I only did covers then I heard this song and I thought it was beautiful since metal has always been like this heavy, oppressive,  angry male-dominated thing and then these girls come in all cute and singing about chocolate and I guess I fell in love with their style.”

He cleared his throat, “You can change it, if you like,” He said quickly, “If it’s not your style,” 

“I don’t mind,” She said, “And it’s your car.”

The car grew silent again and Rey shifted in her seat awkwardly. What was she supposed to say to him? She jumped when her phone rang. Ben glanced at her and lowered the volume of the radio.

“Hello?”

“Where are you?” It was Poe.

“I’m on my way home, why?” She glanced at Ben who arched a brow. She mouthed Poe’s name and he nodded. 

“Yes, but where.” He demanded, “I’m serious,”

“What do you mean?” She frowned, “We’re somewhere near Beverly Hills,”

“And who’s we?” His voice turned wry, “It doesn’t happen to be a really famous actor, does it?” 

Rey flushed, “Why?”

“It is, isn’t it.”

She could hear Finn in the background, asking to talk to her.

“Holy shit, baby girl, I didn’t think you had it in you.” Finn said excitedly, “You better tell me everything when you get home. I thought I was your best friend?”

“What are you talking about?” 

“You’re with Ben frickin’ Solo, Rey.” He said loudly. Judging by the way Ben’s lip twitched up, she knew he heard, “And you didn’t even think to text me? I had to find out online?”

“Oh no,” Rey groaned and waved her hand when Ben looked at her with concern, “What is it this time?”

“Nothing important right now,” Poe said quickly. She figured he’d wrestled the phone back from Finn, “Jesus, babe, don’t do that. You won’t get the phone back,” He groaned.

Heat rushed up to her cheeks, “Oh my God, Poe! You better not be doing what I think you’re doing!”

“Talk to you later, sunshine.” Poe said quickly, breathlessly, “I think my boyfriend’s in heat,” 

She resisted the urge to shriek. She really didn’t want to know the details. Poe was her manager and Finn was like a brother to her. She loved the two of them but she really, really, didn’t need to know who topped who and when. 

But Poe was a bit of an exhibitionist and loved to tease her.

Finn loved him so he let him be.

She didn’t really mind since they’re mostly tame but Poe had gotten it in his head to tease her specifically when he knew Ben Solo was around. Why?

“Rey?” He was looking back and forth between the road and her, “Are you alright, baby girl?”

She flushed, “I’m fine,” She squeaked. He seemed to realise what he said as soon as she did and flushed too.

“So-sorry about that,” He said, clearing his throat, “I, um, have no excuse, actually.” 

“It’s okay,” She said, looking at her lap, “I don’t mind. I mean, Finn calls me that too,”

He grunted and there was silence again.

He drove and she kept her eyes on her lap.

“Do you…” He cleared his throat and she looked up, “Do you want to get a burger or something?” 

“Now?” 

“Yeah, I mean, you’ve seen how I eat right,” He flashed her a grin and his dimples popped. Rey had the strange urge to lean over and kiss him. She flushed and looked away, “You really think I’d survive on rabbit food?” 

She snorted back a laugh, “There’s an In ’n’ Out on the way home,”

“Sounds good,” He flashed her another smile and drove them to a drive-thru, “What’re you having?”

“Animal style and a strawberry milkshake?” 

“Gotcha,” He rolled down the window and ordered, “Two animal style burgers, two large strawberry milkshakes and a cheese fries, please.” 

They waited at the window until their food was ready and he rolled down the window again. 

The girl at the window froze half-way through her spiel. Ben gave her a smile and she flushed before reaching over to hand him the brown paper bag. He handed it to Rey so he could get the other bag with their drinks.

“Thanks,” He said, “Have a good evening,”

The girl squeaked out a ‘good evening’ and watched, still wide-eyed as they drove away.

“I understand how she feels,” Rey said with a small laugh.

Ben glanced at her and shook his head, “I’m just a regular guy, Rey.” 

She loved hearing him say her name, “You’re Ben frickin’ Solo,” She said, trying to imitate Finn. He snorted back a laugh, “So, why did you go into acting?”

He shrugged, “It kinda just fell into my lap. Hux told me to audition, I got the part.”

“Just like that?”

“Just like that,” He flashed her another smile, “I wasn’t supposed to go in show business. What about you?”

“I like to sing.” She said softly, “Finn was the one who noticed first. I’d sing when I was fixing cars or repairing the toaster or something. He’s the one who got me to make a YouTube account.” 

“You said you grew up in the desert,” 

“Well, sort of?” She fidgeted with the paper bag, “I mean, I was adopted,”  She could feel him looking at her, “Mum got me out of the system when I was ten? Nobody really wanted to adopt a pre-teen and I was already six when they brought me over from the UK.” 

“Jesus,” 

“Oh no, don’t worry about it. My mum was a lovely person,” She grimaced, “I don’t really talk about…being adopted. People kind of, I don’t know, feel bad? I mean, I don’t feel bad about it.”

Still, she fidgeted. Things always grew awkward whenever the topic came up so she’d learned not to talk about it. She certainly didn’t want things to get awkward with Ben.

He took her hand and squeezed. She looked up, blushing.

“I don’t feel bad,” He said, “It’s great that you met her when you did. If you didn’t would you have ended up here?” He flashed her a dimpled smile before letting go of her hand and returning to the gear lever. 

Rey watched him as they neared her apartment. 

She was right, he was a dangerous man and the more they spent time together, the more she knew that he was it for her. There’d be no one else for her and she was fine with that. 

Chapter Text

Her apartment was on the third floor of an old brick building between a bakery and an art studio. 

“Do you, maybe, want to go up?” She asked shyly, “To eat?” She was holding onto the bags, “We can probably microwave them or something,” 

She was blushing again and he smiled, shutting off the engine, “Sure.” He said, “Wait there, I’ll open the door.” 

He got down and opened the door for her. She slid out and he went to get her single shopping bag. He locked the doors. 

“I’ll hold those,” He said, taking the paper bags from her, “Lead the way,” 

Rey kept quiet as she led him into the building. They took the stairs; no elevator, she said. He didn’t mind. 

She opened the door of the apartment at the end of the hall, “It’s not much,” She said nervously. He could feel her eyes on him as he took in her space. 

Some of the walls were made of exposed brick and he could see the sofa she usually leaned on when making her videos. Fairy lights were strung above it.

“It’s cute,” He said, “Very you,” He took in the rest of the apartment. To his immediate left was a small kitchen and he placed the bags of food on the counter, “Where do you want this?” He held up the distinctive blue paper bag and she squeaked.

“Sorry, I’ll take that.” She said, grabbing it from him, “Um, make yourself at home? The microwave’s in the kitchen and the plates are in the cupboard over the sink.” 

“Rey,” He smiled when she looked at him with her wide eyes, “I’ll be fine. Relax,” She turned even redder, “You can even shower and change or something, I won’t mind.”

Why did it suddenly feel like they were nearing the end of a date and they were just grasping at whatever they could so they could spend just a little bit more time together?

“I’ll be right back,” She said and shuffled away, presumably to her room. 

He found the mismatched plates where she said they’d be and fixed their food. 

By the time she came back he was done heating them up. He looked up and his lip twitched at the sight of her in a t-shirt and fuzzy pink pyjamas. 

“Sorry,” She murmured, looking down and flushing, “I don’t really like jeans.” 

He snorted before laughing and she looked up at him like some sort of distressed bunny, “Sorry, I’m not laughing at you.” She made a face and he laughed even harder, “You’re really cute,”

That made her even redder. She huffed before grabbing a plate and a milkshake and sitting on the floor in front of the coffee table.

He hesitated before grabbing his own food. Should he sit next to her or in front of her? 

Her furniture decided it for him. 

He didn’t fit in front of her; his back would hit the console table with the TV and his legs would hit hers. So he sat next to her.

He didn’t let it bother him when she moved away a little. 

“Sorry, my place is really small,” She said and he shook his head.

“Nah, it’s cozy.” Like you, “Lived in.” Unlike mine. He’d been living in his penthouse for the better part of five years and it still seemed so cold and uninviting; the only thing actually telling people that somebody lived there were his books and his grandma’s recipe box.

And the cat mug. 

Hers had been sitting by the sink, waiting to be used.

“I don’t really have a lot of people over,” Rey said, “Usually it’s just Finn.”

“What about Rose?” 

“Rose hasn’t been inside yet,” 

It gave him a sick sense of pleasure to know that he was invited in first even though she and Rose had been friends longer. 

They ate their burgers in relative silence.

“You want to watch anything? I have Netflix and Disney+,” 

“Is that what they call Netflix and chill?” She choked and he wondered if he didn’t use the phrase right? Half the time he couldn’t understand a word Rose said when she was excited and talking in slang. 

She looked at him, red-faced, “Where did you hear that?”

“Rose.” He said and she laughed. He shifted uncomfortably; her laugh does strange things to him.

“That’s um, I mean, I’m not saying I wouldn’t like that but maybe not now.” She said, still blushing, but she was smiling.

His brows lowered, what the fuck did that mean? “Okay?”

“And don’t listen to Rose,” She giggled and his chest ached at the sound, “Oh! That reminds me, Poe and Finn were freaking out about something earlier, wanna check?”

He shrugged and she brought out her phone. He scooted closer and she blushed, “What are we checking?”

She opened Twitter.

OMG #ChristmasShopping #Together #Reylo’ it read and she scrolled down to see a picture of them from behind the fountain. His hands were on her face and he was smiling at her though their faces weren’t all that clear.

“That’s a nice photo,” Ben said and she stiffened at how close he was.

She scrolled some more, reading the comments.

 

#Reylo for real? @That_British_Girl @BenSolo

OMG my heart can’t take it. Why won’t any of you answer? @That_British_Girl @BenSolo

Silence means yes? @That_British_Girl @BenSolo #Reylo #Maybe? 

Our #princess is all grown up @BenSolo better take care of our #babyprincess

@BenSolo doesn’t deserve our Rey of Sunshine @That_British_Girl

OMG they were literally just in my window buying burgers! #OMG #Cute #IAmNowAFan 

There were more replies in that particular tweet asking what they ordered, where and if it looked like Rey was there under sketchy circumstances. 

#BabyRey is too pure! Must protecc

 

“I guess I’m a bad guy now,” He laughed, “Your fans are harsh.” 

“You should’ve seen yours,” She rolled her eyes and sighed, “If we don’t comment it’ll just blow over.”

“Why do you think I made those accounts?” She looked at him sharply, “What, you didn’t realise it?”

“You made those accounts because of me?” She flushed; she always blushed so prettily.

“Of course,” He gave her a smile and she turned even redder. 

Chapter Text

Ben Solo made his social media accounts for her.

Rey’s heart was beating so fast she was sure he could hear it. She didn’t know if it was because of his closeness or his confession. Why would he do something like that for her?

“So what do the people think?” He asked in between bites of his burger.

She put her phone down and started eating before her food grew cold again, “They think we’re dating,”

“We could be,” He said and she looked up at him again. Her cheeks felt hot, “What?”

“Don’t joke about that,” She said turning back to her food quickly, “It’s not funny,”

“Who says I’m joking?” He rubbed the back of his neck, “Look, I like you and I wouldn’t mind if we start dating.” Then he paused, “Unless of course you don’t want to then I’m totally fine with being friends,” He cleared his throat, “Okay, uh, just forget that whole conversation.” 

And now he’s saying he’d be okay dating her. Was he asking her? Rey glanced up. He wasn’t looking at her and she could see a hint of a flush on his cheeks as he drank deeply from his milkshake. 

Did he want to date her?

“We just met,” She said and he gave her an odd half-shrug.

“Just forget it,” He mumbled.

“Phasma didn’t tell you to do that did she?” She slid away, just a little, “Because I’m telling you I’m not going to date you because you’re famous,” 

Finally, he looked at her again, “What does Phas have anything to do with this?” His brows furrowed and his voice had gone deeper, “When did you even meet? Did she threaten you?” 

Rey blinked. Ben looked so serious. 

Her phone dinged and she looked at the new notification. 

He inclined his head and she opened it.

RosiePosie mentioned @That_British_Girl.

She bit her lip and clicked on the notification.

I’m all for this! View from the front;) @That_British_Girl @BenSolo #Reylo #Moment #ChristmasShopping #DaddySpoilsBaby. 

It was another photo of them, this time their faces were clearly seen. The fountain  was behind them, the bags on the ground, making it seem like it was all their shopping and not Leia’s. Rose must’ve snapped the photo before coming out of the coffeeshop. 

Rey groaned, “Tell me honestly, did Rose know you were going to be there today?” 

“Hux probably told her,” He shrugged. He’d finished his burger and was chowing down on the fries, “He doesn’t really keep a lot of things from her.” 

“Oh.” She closed the app and ignored the buzzing.

There was another awkward silence. At least, she thought it was awkward. He seemed comfortable sitting there like he wasn’t a big-shot actor in a fan’s apartment. 

He glanced at her and flashed her a smile, “Whatcha lookin’ at?” He arched a brow, still smiling. He knew exactly what he was doing to her, “Anything interesting?”

“Why are you really here?” Rey asked seriously and his smile disappeared.

“What do you mean?”

“You said in the interview that you didn’t want to meet me and then you kept popping up everywhere,” She curled her legs up and wrapped her arms around her knees, “Is this some sort of game? Because I really don’t like games,” 

“Rey,” She shivered when he breathed her name. She didn’t meet his eyes.

“I just find it really strange that you’re suddenly in my life and you’re so comfortable and you’re even joking about dating and not saying anything to shut down all those rumours. And you even made Twitter and Facebook and Instagram. So, what is it? Are you just bored or…” She hated it when her thoughts starts to get jumbled up like this but she couldn’t stop, “Or, or,” She blinked back tears, “I don’t like being played with.”

“Rey, baby,” She shivered again and drew her knees tighter against her. She loved hearing him say that, “I’m not playing with you,” His hands were on her arms, “I promise, I just want to be friends and get to know you better,” 

“But why?” She looked up then to meet his eyes, “I’m just a nobody,”

“But not to me,” He said thickly and pried her arms away from her knees, “Look at me, Rey.” He cupped her cheeks, “What’s going on?” 

She couldn’t breathe, “I, I,” She gasped and tried to stop the tears from falling. Here was Ben Solo, being so nice and hanging out with her like she’d always dreamed of, and here she was, falling apart at the seams, “You’re just, you’re so nice to me.”

He stilled, “So you’re crying.” He looked like he didn’t know whether he should laugh or not.

“And, and you’re always teasing and I don’t know what to make of it,” He rubbed her tears away with his thumbs, almost like a repeat of what he was doing earlier, “And I don’t even know what to think or, or how to act when you’re around and, and, I’m sorry.” She tried to look away and hide her face but his hands were still there, “I’m sorry, I’m normally okay, and it’s been a while since somebody stayed with me this late and,” She suddenly remembered how nosy her neighbours were and stiffened, “Oh my gosh, the neighbours.”

“What about them?”

“What would they think if they see you coming out of here?”

He tucked the loose strands of her hair back behind her ears, “Does it matter?”

“But what would people think?”

He laughed then, “Sweetheart, people already think we’re dating, what does it matter?” She blinked up at him and the tense energy she had seemed to just drain away completely.

She sagged and lowered her eyes, “I’m sorry,”

 

 

“What for?” His hands finally left her cheeks, “Come on, sweet thing, why don’t you come here and tell Daddy all about it?” She stiffened again and he could actually see the blood rushing up her neck to her cheeks. He chuckled, “Better?” 

“That’s not funny,” She pouted. His hands were on her upper arms now and he pulled her gently into a hug. She stiffened even more and he was sure she’d stopped breathing.

“Breathe,” He said softly and rubbed her back. Slowly, she relaxed, “Just breathe. You’ll be fine.” When her breathing evened out, he stopped rubbing and just held her, “How long have you been having panic attacks?”

“For as long as I can remember,” Her voice was muffled. Their embrace was a little awkward, with him twisting and her kind of leaning over him, still, he didn’t let go. He wanted to pull her over his lap but he didn’t think she was ready for that, “The doctor said I have to work on my abandonment issues and anxiety,”

“Mm, and how’s that going for you?” 

She sat up and scowled at him, “How do you think?”

He grinned, “There’s my girl,” She flushed again and tried to push away from him. He didn’t let her.

“Sorry about that,” She mumbled, cringing, “I’m so embarrassed,”

“There’s nothing to be embarrassed about,” He said and pressed a kiss to her forehead. She sucked in a breath and blushed even harder, “It’s good to let it out. Let it out and let it in,” She looked surprised when he started singing. He winked, “Hey Rey, refrain. Don’t carry the world upon your shoulders,” 

She snorted back a laugh, “As Paul McCartney said, Jude sounds better,”

“But I’m not talking to Jude, I’m talking to Rey.” 

She was smiling again, “I didn’t know you could sing,”

“Did you think I can’t?” He arched a brow, “You do know who my parents are, right?”

“It just never occurred to me,” She sat back and this time he let her go, “You’re a great actor and you sing. How perfect can one guy get?” 

His lip twitched up, “I know how to play the piano and the guitar, too.”

She gaped at him, “And you have time to practice everything?”

He shrugged and rubbed the back of his neck, “Not as much as I used to but I don’t have anything right now so I’ll probably pick it up again.”

“We should do a collab sometime,” She said excitedly and his lip twitched up in a half-smile. She flushed, “I-I mean, you should probably be off-screen and we probably shouldn’t tell people who you are if you’re okay with that.” 

She was trying to protect his identity. Shouldn’t it be the other way around? He was a public figure, notorious for being violent, and she was still on the rise. He didn’t want her image to be tarnished by his record. Dameron should be telling her to avoid him.

But still, “I’d like that,” He said. 

Anything to spend more time with her. 

She smiled so brightly it hurt. 

And now he knew why she was called sunshine. 

 

Chapter Text

There was a phone ringing and Rey groaned, smacking at a sweater-covered chest, wondering why she was sitting, “Finn, phone,” She groaned. It was definitely not hers because the ringtone was different and she knew she’d put her phone on silent.

“What?” He barked and she sat up with a squeak.

That was definitely not Finn. 

Dull winter sunlight filtered in through her blinds and she stared as Ben sat up to stretch his back, “What the fuck do you want, Hux?” He was obviously not a morning person. That, or he didn’t like being woken up so suddenly, “What the fuck are you doing in my house?”

She wiped her chin to check if she was drooling. It was seven in the morning. What was Hux doing at Ben’s at seven in the morning on a Sunday? She stood and gestured to him that she was going to brush her teeth. He gave her a tight smile.

She made her way to her room, heart pounding. They’d watched something on Netflix. He didn’t want to leave her after her panic attack and had agreed to watch one movie. They must’ve fallen asleep. 

Blood rushed to her cheeks. Ben Solo slept over. 

Ben. 

Holy shit. 

She brushed her teeth roughly and fished around for an extra toothbrush for him. Thank God for bulk sales. 

He was still on the phone when she came back out. She handed the toothbrush to him and mouthed ‘coffee?’. 

He smiled gratefully. She could hear Hux still talking on the other end of the phone. Was Ben in trouble? 

She made her way into her tiny kitchen. One of the first things she’d bought when she’d gotten her pay-check was a bright yellow Keurig. It’s not an espresso machine by any means but she loved flavoured coffee and was fascinated by machines and appliances. Finn had said Ben liked cold brew so she figured black coffee would be fine. 

She should go buy a cold brew jug. 

She stilled. 

Was she expecting that there’d be a repeat of this? 

She’d like that. 

Ben stumbled into her kitchen and everything suddenly seemed small and cramped. 

“Um, I have sugar and cream if you want any,” She said, handing him the bright yellow mug with a daisy printed on it. 

“This is fine, thanks.” He said, leaning against her counter, “Hux thought I got in an accident or something,” 

“So he was freaking out?” She smiled and dumped two teaspoons of sugar and splashed cream into her s’mores coffee.

“Yup. Pretty much.” He chuckled. He took a sip, looking all too comfortable in her tiny kitchen.

“Did you find the bathroom okay?”

“Yeah, I think that was your guest room?”

She nodded, “It was Finn’s room before he moved but,” She shrugged, “If you want to take a shower you can use that bathroom? I think Finn still has a few clothes lying around,” 

He gave her a quirky, lopsided smile, “I don’t think his clothes are going to fit me, sweet thing.” 

She looked him up and down and pursed her lips, “Yeah, you’re probably right.”

“I’ll just shower at home,” He said, “Next time I’ll bring my own clothes,” 

Did that mean he was planning on there being a next time?

She flushed and looked away, “I uh, if you want breakfast I can whip something up. Or I can go buy in the bakery downstairs?” 

He laughed, “Don’t worry about it. Coffee’s fine. Thank you,” 

“Thank you for staying with me last night.” She said, clearing her throat, “It was nice.”

He shrugged, “I thought we’re friends? I don’t think friends should leave friends when they’re going through something.”

She grimaced, “I’m fine. I can handle it.”

“I know you can, Rey.” He sounded so serious all of a sudden that she had to look up, “But it doesn’t hurt to lean on someone every once in a while,” He reached towards her and tucked her hair back behind her ear. She sucked in a breath and froze. He smiled, “Breathe,” 

She looked down at her coffee and took a sip, “So um, did you, did you tell Hux where you were?”

“Didn’t have to,” He sighed, “Between Rose and my mom he figured it out.” 

“Is he angry?” 

He snorted, “‘Course not. He just worries a lot,” Rey nodded and yawned a little, “Sorry my phone woke you,”

“It’s okay, I gotta go check on Maz anyway, see if she has anything that needs repairing,” She continued when she noticed his curious look, “The landlady, Maz, she gave this apartment to me and Finn for really cheap provided I do repairs on the pipes and appliances so she doesn’t have to call people and pay them.”

Ben nodded thoughtfully, “Oh. It’s a win-win then. It’s a pretty old building,”

“Yup and she hasn’t been increasing the rent so I think we really lucked out finding her.” 

“How long have you been living here?”

“Oh um, give or take two years. Finn’s books started taking off and we met Poe by chance around that time. He’s the one who pointed us to this building,”

“Oh.” His expression grew thoughtful, “She doesn’t happen to be Maz Kanata, does she?”

Rey’s brows shot up, “You know her?”

He grimaced, “Mm.” 

“What’s with that look?”

“I just remembered something from my childhood I’d rather not remember,”

“About Maz?” Maz was a tiny ancient lady with Coke bottle glasses and she can’t imagine how horrible the memory could be that he didn’t want to remember, “You’ve seen her right?”

“Oh yeah,” His grimace deepened, “Don’t be fooled by her sweet old lady looks,” 

Rey cocked her head sideways and frowned, “Do I want to know?”

“I don’t know, do you?” He drained his mug and sighed, running his fingers through his hair, “I should go soon.”

Rey tried not to be disappointed. Ben was a busy man, “I’ll walk you downstairs,” She said and he shook his head.

“Don’t,” He said, “There might be paparazzis outside.” 

“Oh, okay.” She walked him to the door instead, “See you around?”

“See you around, Rey.” He tucked her hair back behind her ear again and tried not to laugh when it flopped back out to her cheek, “I’ll text you,” 

“Okay,” She chewed on her bottom lip. They stood by the open apartment door for a moment, “Um, bye?”

His lips curled up into a smile and he leaned down to kiss her cheek. She gasped, “See you around, baby girl,” He murmured and she flushed. 

He straightened and winked before turning to leave. 

She stood by the door, watching. He glanced back once to smile and wave at her before turning down the corner and out of sight. 

She sighed and sagged on the doorsill. 

Ben Solo was not good for her heart. 

 

Chapter Text

Hux was still in his penthouse when he got home. He sighed and ran his fingers through his hair.

He was getting too old to sleep in awkward places but he’d do it in a heartbeat if it meant she’d lean on him again. 

“And where were you?” Hux asked, brow raised. As always he looked impeccable in his suit, “You weren’t answering your phone yesterday either and,” He frowned, “You’re wearing yesterday’s clothes.” 

“As if you don’t already know,” He sighed, “I’m going to take a shower. Why are you here so early?” 

“You weren’t answering so I was worried,” He followed Ben to his room, “And Rose wouldn’t say anything either.”

“Yeah, but that’s not why you’re here.”

Hux sighed, “Fine, alright, it’s not.” He ran his fingers through his usually styled hair and Ben started to worry. Hux never messed up his perfectly styled hair no matter how frustrated he was, “Well, you’re in the tabloids.” 

“I’m always in the tabloids,” He stripped and dumped his clothes in the laundry basket. Hux kept following him, all the way to the bathroom, “I’m taking a bath, Hux.”

“As if I haven’t seen what you have to offer,” Hux snorted, “I played rugby with you too, remember? Anyway, this time is different.” 

“It’s called football and do you have a copy of this tabloid?” He stepped into the shower; Hux was leaning on his counter and produced a folded up tabloid from inside his suit jacket, “Okay, so you do. So what’s so different this time?” His voice echoed in the large bathroom and he turned the heat on, hoping to steam Hux out.

It didn’t work. 

The sharp smell of newspaper permeated the air and he wrinkled his nose, hoping his shampoo could overpower it.

“They got a picture of your mother,” Hux said and Ben stilled halfway through shampooing his hair, “And Rey, and you. I don’t think we can keep Han and Leia a secret any longer,” 

“Fuck,” Ben sighed and forced himself to relax and continue washing his hair, “What did Phas say?” 

“She’s trying to figure something out. She’s pretty miffed about it though after all these years of keeping it a secret.” 

“So what’s the headline?”

“Well, right now they’re saying you’re wining and dining your girlfriend’s boss so she’d give her vacation time so you two can go to the Alps on holiday. They’re also saying you’re getting ready to take it to the next step and propose.” 

Ben snorted back a laugh, “That’s ridiculous. Nobody’d believe that,”

“You’d be surprised.” Hux sighed, “But what I’m worried about is people connecting Leia with Han and then Han with you.” His phone dinged and he cursed, “Bloody hell.”

“What is it now?” Ben sighed. He really just wanted a shower.

“TMZ released a photo of you coming out of Rey’s apartment building.”

Fuck.” 

“‘Ben Solo sleeps over at starlet girlfriend Rey Johnson’s apartment.’ Well, that’s not a very creative title, is it?” His phone rang and he sighed before answering, “What is it Dameron? Mm, I’ll put you on loudspeaker,”

“Jesus, Hux.” Ben scowled, “I’m taking a shower,”

“Okay, I did not need that image in my head,” Poe Dameron said from the loudspeaker, “Anyway, how the fuck did they catch you at Rey’s?” 

“I don’t know,” Ben’s voice echoed loudly and he winced, “Christ, can’t a man shower in peace?”

“Shower quicker then!” Poe said. He could hear Finn asking who was showering in the background.

“Ooo, I wanna see that,” Ben flushed at Finn’s declaration.

“Not before Rey does,” Poe hissed and Ben was grateful Hux couldn’t see his face because of the fogged up glass, “Anyway, Leia called me. There’re paps camping out outside her house wanting to know who she really is and what Rey and Ben were doing in her house last night. They’d figured out that all the public information about her is about Resistance and nothing at all about her personal life.” 

“Christ, what a mess,” Hux sighed, “I told you, you should just make things official.”

“I asked, alright?” Ben said angrily, “She said we just met.”

“Wait, Rey rejected you?” Poe started laughing, “Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy.” 

“Now can I please shower without you all yammering in my bathroom?” 

“Did you say Rey rejected Ben?” Finn’s voice filtered in again, “Jesus Christ that girl. Imma give her a piece of my mind.” 

Ben groaned, “Get the fuck out, Hux.” 

Chapter Text

“How could you reject Ben Solo?” Finn hissed at her, “He’s Ben frickin’ Solo.”

“Yes, I know who he is, Finn.” Rey sighed, “I didn’t think he was serious,” 

“That dude spent the night sitting on the floor with you,” Finn groaned, “Come on, Rey, you’re a smart girl, how can you not see that that man is into you?”

“We’re just friends,” Rey said. She didn’t tell him about him holding her and kissing her forehead and cheek. Friends did that too, right? “Who knows? Maybe we would start dating someday,”

“Jesus Christ on a stick.” Finn sighed, “I want to strangle you right now. Like, right now.”

Rey frowned at him over the gingerbread latte he’d brought over, “He said he’d bring clothes next time he’s over. That means he’s planning on coming over again, right?” 

Finn groaned again, “Rey Bey,” He sighed, “Sometimes you can be so, so, so stupid.” 

“That’s mean,” She frowned.

“I thought you liked him?”

“I did! I mean, I do, I do like him,” Her frown deepened, “But I like being friends with him too.”

“Why can’t you be friends who are dating?” Finn laughed, “Jesus, Rey.” 

“Not everyone can be like you and Poe,” 

“Come on baby girl,” Ben’s voice crooned in her head, like a strange dub and she flushed. Finn arched a brow, “What?”

“Nothing.” She squeaked.

“Rey,” He went around the kitchen counter, “Rey, did something happen between you two?” She shook her head quickly, “Something did! Holy shit did you fuck?”

“No!” She flushed bright red, “No! We just talked and had a burger and a milkshake,” 

“Uh huh, that’s it?” He smiled wryly, “What are you not telling me, baby girl? And you didn’t even call me last night! Ugh, how could you?”

“You said you’ll take the backseat for Ben,” She mumbled.

“Ha! So you are dating.” 

“No,” She sighed and groaned, “Oh my gosh, he was serious?”

Finn snorted a little before bursting out laughing. Rey groaned again, “Regretting it now, huh? Man, talk about missed opportunities. You two could be making out by now,”

Rey could imagine it and she felt like she’d burst into flames any second now, with embarrassment? She didn’t know. 

But she knew how soft his lips were. She felt it when he’d kissed her forehead and then her cheek that morning. She wished she had the courage to move her head a little to the right so that he’d have kissed her lips instead.

She bit her lip.

“Earth to Rey Bey, hello,” She snapped back and looked up, embarrassed, “Your’e thinking about him aren’t you?”

She squeaked and nodded.

Finn sighed dramatically, “Figured. Girl, you better tell me what happened before I kick your ass for keeping things from me.” 

So she did, sort of.

Finn sighed, “Man, you really are stupid when it comes to matters of the heart.”

“I don’t have a lot of experience, okay?” Rey sighed, “You know that. And I just…I’m just, you know,” She gestured to herself, “And he’s so…so…”

“Big, hunky, handsome, fuck-able?” 

“Nice! I meant nice.” She blushed, “But also yeah, all of those.” 

Finn laughed again, “Rey, if I wasn’t gay I’d probably have tried to bone you.” She made a face, “Okay, maybe not. That’s kind of weird. But what I mean is, you’re gorgeous, baby girl.” 

She squirmed, “Please stop calling me that,”

“Oh? Why?” His brow arched up, “Is that reserved for Daddy now?” She covered her face with her hands and groaned. He laughed even harder, “Man, I didn’t think I’d see the day when the mighty princess Rey falls.” 

Chapter Text

Having paparazzis follow her around was a new and somewhat horrifying experience. Poe had started picking her up for work after one incident where a pap grabbed her and she’d tripped. He’d only left when Maz had started threatening to call the cops and came out with a shotgun. 

Who knew that that woman had a set of lungs on her?

Thankfully Rey only had a few scrapes and bruises to show for it. Still, her friends had been worried.

Even Ben knew somehow. She wasn’t sure who told him but he’d been really angry and punched a different paparazzi on impulse when the man had popped out of a bush. 

Which kind of made his notoriety as a violent man rise again especially online. Her supporters had been tweeting and tagging her in the news and tabloid reports, asking about it and telling her to be careful. She snorted; Ben wouldn’t hurt her. 

They haven’t seen each other in two weeks but they’d kept in contact, updating each other on work and everything going on. They’d even talked about the gifts they’d gotten for their friends.

Rose had finally gone and made a group chat and she’d been discussing their dinner on the twenty-fourth and again on the twenty-sixth at Leia’s.

So what are we going to do on the 25th?’ Rose asked.

Let’s go to Disneyland.’ Poe suggested. 

Rey had never actually been to Disneyland but Christmas at Disneyland with friends sounded amazing so she agreed.

‘Ok.’ Ben replied too. Full-stop, no emojis. Did the man even know how to use emojis? Rey has never seen him use any despite them texting for the last how many weeks now and his social media accounts were still as empty as the desert. 

‘There’s bound to be a lot of people so we should go early,’ Hux suggested, ‘And get those FastPasses. I’m not about to ask for special treatment.’

‘Wow Hugs, you know a lot about Disneyland’ Finn teased and messenger announced that Hux’s nickname in the group chat has been changed to ‘Hugs’. 

Hux sent an angry-face emoji. 

‘I bring him a lot’ Rose said with a smiley face, ‘We wear matching outfits.’ 

Rey smiled and pressed on it to give it a heart react. 

‘Cute!’ She typed out. 

Her phone rang and she grinned again, “Hey, Finn, what’s up?”

“Let’s go shopping,” He said, “I haven’t seen you in ages, Rey Bey, it’s not fair.”

“When?”

“Today?”

“Like right now?” She narrowed her eyes, “Are you already on the way here?”

“Yup! Be there in five. It’ll be like old times!”

Rey laughed, “Give me a few minutes to get changed you ass!” 

Finn still had a key so he let himself in just as Rey was finishing her shower.

“It’s pretty cold out!” Finn called out, “Especially for you so wear your layers,” 

“Yes, dad, thanks.”

“I don’t think Solo’s going to appreciate you calling me that,” She could hear Finn laughing, “Seriously, does he make you call him Daddy?”

“We’re not dating!” Rey shrieked and pulled on a large sweater over her long-sleeved top. Why does everyone think they are?

But if they were, would she call him Daddy? He always looked so embarrassed when she does but he’d called himself that a couple of times and she was pretty sure he almost did too in front of Rose and Leia. 

Finn was suddenly in front of her, waving his hand in front of her face, “Ahem,”

She flushed, “Sorry,”

“Dreaming of Daddy?” He linked his arm with hers and winked, “I mean, I probably would too if I was in your shoes.” 

“Oh shut up,”

Finn snorted back a laugh.

Chapter Text

It was like the old days. They’d gone to a big box store that sold clothes and went wild among the cluttered mess of aisles. She caught a glimpse of Finn with an armful of clothes while she sorted through the sweaters. 

It was nice. She’d been so busy lately rushing to finish her writing and recording with Amilyn that she didn’t realise how much she missed her best friend. They used to do everything together and now they barely even saw one another.

She dumped the clothes and one pair of Tardis blue Chucks she found, in a cart and threw in a bunch of scented candles for good measure. 

They met up near the counters after half an hour.

“Done?” Finn grinned, “Mm pumpkin spice candle,” 

“I missed this,” Rey said, laughing a little as they lined up.

“I know! I can’t believe it’s been ages since we shopped like this.” He eyed their carts and pursed his lips, “I mean we didn’t buy as much as this but it’s always fun to look,” Then he quieted, “We’ve come a long, Bey,” 

Rey looked at her full cart and smiled, “Yeah,” Back then they would’ve shared a cart.

“Oh, so, um, Disneyland.” Finn started fidgeting and Rey laughed.

“You’re going to propose?”

He paled, “How’d you know?”

“Call it instinct,” She winked and moved forward in the line to pay, “Let’s get a snack after and tell me your plans,” 

Finn wanted to propose in Frontierland, in front of Big Thunder Mountain because that was Poe’s favourite ride in the park. She listened attentively, helping to plan out how they’d go about it since neither of them have actually ever been inside the park.

“Rey,” Finn said, expression serious, “Are you okay?”

“Hm?” She frowned, “Of course I am, why won’t I be?”

“I don’t know Rey, maybe I shouldn’t propose yet. I mean, we’ve only been dating what, a year?” He fidgeted in his seat, “And it’s always been just the two of us and,”

Rey rolled her eyes, “Finn, he makes you happy, doesn’t he?” He nodded, “And I work with him almost every day, you make him happy too. You two deserve all the happiness in the world,”

“But what about you?”

“What about me?” She understood what he was trying to say. It’s harder for her than it was for him, “I love you, boo. You’re my best friend in the entire world and I want you to be happy.” She squeezed his hands, “And just because you propose and you two get married doesn’t mean we can’t be friends anymore, right?”

“I just—,”

She cut him off before he could continue. She knew what he was going to say, “I’ll be fine, Finn. Really,” He didn’t want to leave her alone. 

Finn was a foster kid too, except unlike her, he was never adopted. 

“You should do it,” Rey said, “I’ll always be here for you.”

He squeezed her hands too, “What if he says ‘no’?”

Rey snorted, “Him, say no, to you?”

“You said ‘no’ to Ben Solo,” He pointed out and she flushed.

“I didn’t know he was serious,” She said, “And that’s different. You’re in an actual, honest-to-God relationship with Poe. I literally just met Ben.” 

“But?” He arched a brow.

“But I feel like I’ve known him for ages,” She sighed softly and then scowled, “But we’re not talking about me!” 

Finn laughed and all was well again.

Chapter Text

Ben was slightly nervous. 

Usually it was just him, Phasma, Hux and Rose getting together for Christmas dinner but now Rey and her friends were joining. He wasn’t really sure if he should consider them his friends too. 

Phasma had declined Disneyland when they’d called and asked her since strangely enough she herself didn’t have social media. 

He fidgeted with his maroon sweater awkwardly. Hux had asked him to bake a bunch of Padmé’s cookies since Rose loves them and she wanted Rey to try too. 

He did too, if he were honest with himself.

His phone dinged with a text from Rey, asking him what time they should arrive. She’s riding with Poe and Finn.

‘Kinda nervous,’ She said, ‘Usually it’s just the three of us celebrating. Which is kind of sad, really I’m the perpetual third wheel.’

He snorted back a laugh and ran his fingers through his hair. 

‘Same’ He replied, ‘It’ll be fine. It’s just Hux and Rose and Phas,’

‘And you.’

She didn’t send an emoji with it so he wasn’t sure if she meant it in a good way or in a bad way. He didn’t answer. 

The drive to Hux’s didn’t take very long and he did get there earlier than Rey.

Rose was the one who opened the door. As usual Phasma was already there. She was always the earliest one to arrive and the earliest to leave. 

“Cookies!” Rose squealed and grabbed the giant container, “I’ll take these, thank you,” 

“No hi?” He rubbed his chest, “I’m hurt Rose,” 

Rose stuck her tongue out.

“Oh, hey Solo.” Hux’s head popped out from the door to the kitchen, “Help me get the ham out of the oven.” 

He sighed and nodded at Phasma who grunted and kept her eyes glued to her iPad, “Good news, bad news?”

“Generally good.” She said, “But stop punching people.”

Ben sighed again, shook his head and made his way to the kitchen.

“Okay, get the ham out, I’ll pour out the mulled wine,” Hux said, looking a little frazzled, “I’m not used to preparing for more than four people,” 

“Are you sure that’s what you’re worried about?” Ben asked, donning the mittens and carefully bringing out the gigantic piece of ham from the oven.

“Of course it is,” Hux gave him a nervous laugh, “You brought your camera, right?”

“Of course,” Ben chuckled, “I always do. And it’s fine, everything will be fine.”

“Rey’s here!” Rose shouted and Ben almost dropped the tray with the ham.

Hux scowled, “Careful with that, I spent the whole day cooking it,” 

He followed Hux out and met her eyes the moment he saw her. 

She grinned, her dimples winking at him and he almost dropped the ham again.

“Jesus Christ, Solo,” Hux scowled again, “Just put the damned thing on the table before you lose our dinner.”

He cleared his throat and placed the tray not he table.

He took off the mittens and made murmured a hello to Rey, Finn and Poe. Her smile widened. 

“You look pretty,” He said softly, resisting the urge to tuck that stray hair back behind her ear. People were watching after all.

“Thank you,” She said. Her eyes were twinkling, reflecting the Christmas lights Rose had hung over their heads, “And I see you’re not wearing black today,”

He looked at his sweater and grinned, “Only day of the year I won’t,” He winked and she blushed a little. 

“Rey!” Rose linked her arms around Rey’s and the spell was broken. Ben looked away and cleared his throat, “Ben made cookies!”

“He did?” Rey’s eyes widened, “You bake?”

Ben shrugged as heat travelled up his throat to his cheeks, “Sometimes.”

“You have to try it,” She said, “Seriously, you can’t eat just one.”

Rey laughed and Ben rubbed the back of his neck to hide the shivers that ran down his spine, “Shouldn’t we save it for dessert?”

“No, definitely not. You have to try it like, yesterday,” Rey laughed again and met Ben’s eyes again. She smiled and he smiled back before Rose whisked her away.

Poe sidled up to him and he stiffened, “You know you could just ask her again. Finn said she thought you were joking.” 

Ben sighed and rubbed the back of his neck again, “I don’t know, Dameron.” 

“You like her, right?” He didn’t answer, “Solo, you do like her, right? You’re not just fooling around or anything?”

“‘Course not.” He grumbled, “I don’t want to hurt her.”

“Oh?” Poe arched a brow, “You think you can hurt our Rey?” 

Ben grimaced. Why does Poe keep insisting that she’s ‘our Rey’? He didn’t want her to be anyone else’s but his. 

Poe’s smug smile grew and he had the sudden urge to punch him, “What’s the matter, Solo?” He said in a sing-song voice, “You don’t look very happy,”

“Babe, why are you tormenting the guy?” Finn appeared next to them, “Don’t come crying to me if he beats you up,”

Poe made a face, “You think I’ll let someone else beat me? Nah, that’s only for you, babe.” He grinned at his boyfriend and winked.

Ben grimaced again and shifted uncomfortably. He never did figure out what he’s supposed to do or say when couples flirt with each other or show affection to each other. He never liked being touched so he couldn’t exactly relate. 

“What do you think, Solo?” He turned to Finn, “Rey looks really pretty, no?” 

She did. He’d never seen her in anything other than sweaters and performance-wear. He didn’t say anything. 

“You have no idea how long I’ve been telling Rey to get that dress,” Finn continued, “She never really had a reason to wear them,” He elbowed him, “So imagine my surprise when she came out of her room in that.”

“Oh, by the way Rey made a fruitcake. I hated those myself but when I tried hers?” Poe grinned, “Nothing beats homemade.”

Finn was nodding but Ben only had eyes for Rey who’d come out of the kitchen with Rose. 

She had a cookie and a glass of milk with her. She looked up and met his eyes and smiled.

And it was like everything stopped.

He hoped that whatever this was, was real.

Chapter Text

Ben thought she was pretty. 

Her heart fluttered and she tried not to giggle. 

She smiled at Hux who nodded and met Rose’s eyes. They held some sort of silent conversation in those three seconds and Rey wondered if she’d ever have that with someone. It seemed nice to have someone to depend on and communicate without saying anything.

Immediately she thought of Ben. Was he really serious when he said they could be dating? Would he ask her again, after her epic fail? 

“You have to try this, seriously,” Rose said, shoving a cookie at her and going to the fridge to get a glass of milk, “When Armie brought them home the first time I couldn’t believe Ben made them. I mean, look at him, he’s huge and clunky and like one of those man’s man and I thought he’d poisoned them or something but then I tried them and it was like whoa, that’s like a whole new side to him. He’s pretty soft,” She brought back the glass and grinned. 

Rey smiled and looked down at the cookie, “He is,” She said and Rose’s smile widened. There was a glint in her eyes.

“So,” She leaned over the counter, “How have you and Ben been?”

Rey flushed, “What do you mean?”

“Rey Rey, your face is easy to read you know,” Rose laughed, “Something happened.”

“Nothing happened,” She squeaked and nibbled on the cookie. Rose was right, it was good. The chocolate melted in her mouth and that hint of cinnamon made her want to keep eating to just to have another taste of it. 

Kind of like Ben. 

He was dark and warm and so guarded but every once in a while she’d see something in him that drew her closer, just a tiny portion of himself that makes her want to find out what it was that he was hiding. 

He didn’t even tell her Leia was his mum. Of course, he didn’t really have a reason too. Sometimes she forgets that he’s only popped in her life in the last two months. 

“Rey,” Rose was calling her and she flushed again.

“Sorry,”

“Are you okay? You’ve been kind of out of it. Did Ben do anything to you? Bully you?”

“No, of course not,” Rey said, “What makes you think that?”

“I don’t know it’s like you two are kind of more awkward than normal. I’m sorry I left you that day,”

“It’s fine, really. I had a great time,”

Rose’s smile returned, “I heard he spent the night,” She waggled her eyebrows and Rey snorted back a laugh.

“Yeah, it seems everyone did. Poe said not to comment on it first just to see how the public would take it.”

“I’m totally for it and the vibe I’m getting from the rest your supporters is like, kind of mixed? But also mostly positive. Gwen’s having a field day with all the possibilities.”

The thought of Phasma made Rey shift nervously. The tall woman was also present in their little dinner and she’d inclined her head at her when she arrived but she wasn’t sure how to act in front of her. They weren’t exactly friends and the one and only time they’ve met she’d been testing her. 

Rose was talking about their previous Christmases and she followed her out the kitchen. 

Poe and Finn were talking to Ben and when she looked up, their eyes met. He’d been watching her. Her breath hitched a little and she flushed but she couldn’t look away. 

Even surrounded by people he looked so lonely.

She smiled at him and her heart ached at the look he gave her. 

Like he was terrified. 

She turned her attention to Rose and finished the cookie.

“You want another one?” She asked and Rey shook her head.

“I’d love another one but I’m a little worried I’d lose my appetite and miss out on all this food,” She admitted and Rose laughed.

“I’ll save you a few to take home,” Then she quieted and eyed her, “Or maybe…you can ask Ben to make you some,” She smiled and blinked innocently but Rey knew her enough to know that nothing in Rose’s mind is innocent.

Rey laughed.

“Rey, there you are!” Poe and Finn approached her, “Sorry Rosie, we gotta borrow Rey Bey for a bit,” Rose grinned.

“Sure, I gotta talk to Gwen anyway. I really want to post our dinner so I gotta clear it up with her.”

“Not me?” Poe made a face, “I mean, Rey is my darling little starlet,” 

Rose shrugged, “You won’t mind.”

Poe grinned, “True that. You make life so much easier for me,” Rey flushed and Rose laughed. 

The men linked their arms on each of hers and Finn placed the now-empty milk glass on the coffee table.

They brought her a little to the side, nearer the large floor-to-ceiling glass doors that led to the equally spacious balcony. Hux and Rose lived in West Hollywood in one of those tens of millions of dollar penthouses. From what she understood Hux had come from old money. 

It was darker in this area, made more romantic by the string lights Rose had set up above them. Really, the place was beautiful and aesthetic, nostalgic almost, in its romance. She wanted to take a picture of the couple in front of her as they looked at each other.

Her fingers itched. She wanted to write.

She brought out her phone quickly and snapped the photo and they looked at her with surprise, “Don’t move,” She said, “And just look at each other.” 

The two of them looked amused before facing each other. They were smiling at first but the longer they stared at each other the more serious their expression got. She captured every single one of those looks, filing them away so she can look at them and write a song.

She wasn’t one to write love songs having never really experienced it herself but seeing her friends so in love? She could write something about it. Maybe a single if Resistance likes it. 

She cleared her throat and the two of them flushed and looked away from each other, “So, what did you two need to talk to me about?”

They haven’t proposed without her, have they? Anxiety made her stomach churn. They wouldn’t do that, right?

“Actually we just wanted to know how you’re doing,” Poe said quickly, clearing his throat.

“Me?” She blinked.

“Yeah, I know things like this aren’t really your thing,” Finn said, “I mean, it’s good right, that we have more friends? But we just really wanted to know how you’re doing. We know how you get when you’re overwhelmed,”

She looked down, touched by her friends’ concern, “I’m actually doing really okay. I’m not that big of a wreck as I was like a year ago,” 

“We know that, but that doesn’t mean we’re not concerned,” Poe touched squeezed her arm, “We’re your friends, Rey.”

Finn was nodding, “We’ve been through so much and we’re so proud of you,”

Rey blinked back the sudden tears that sprang in her eyes, “Come on you guys, don’t make me cry, do you have any idea how hard it is to put eyeliner this perfect?”

Poe laughed a little and Finn grinned, “Alright, alright, no more sappy shit for tonight.” Finn said, “We just wanted to let you know. We’ve all been so busy lately,”

Rey smiled. 

At least, until something large and heavy crashed into her.

Chapter Text

“Solo, I need to talk to you,” Hux said seriously and Ben frowned.

“You alright?” Hux nodded, still serious, motioning for him to come closer.

“How are you?” He asked and Ben’s brows furrowed, “Seriously, how are you?”

Was this about Leia?

“I’m okay, I guess?” He rubbed the back of his head and started walking alongside his best friend. He looked worried about something, “If this is about mom, it’s fine. We’re fine. We’re…,” He shrugged, “Trying. I guess. It gets awkward but I think we’re doing fine.”

Hux nodded, “That’s good. We’re going to have to talk to her soon about, you know, your relationship and everything. It’s better for the secret to come out on our terms than some tabloid article,” 

Ben nodded, “What does Phas think?”

“What do I think?” Phasma popped up on his other side. He didn’t even realise she’d been following and listening, “Well, I think we’re running out of time. I suggest your mother makes an appearance on Good Evening, America and let Ms. Pava grill her.”

“Jessika Pava? Grill Leia Organa? Don’t make me laugh, Phas.” Hux snorted, “That girl would not do that. She adores Resistance.” 

“Exactly,” Phasma said, “Since she adores Resistance, it’ll be easier for Leia to drop the bomb there and Ms. Pava would not do anything that’d make anyone spin the story differently.” 

Hux didn’t look like he agreed, “But then that’d mean Ben would have to make an appearance.” 

Phasma was nodding, “It’s necessary that they appear together so there won’t be room for those stupid paps to intrude.” 

“I don’t know,” Ben sighed, “I’m not really ready for people to put my relationship with my mother under a microscope. And we’ll go on the topic of my dad and…” He wasn’t sure if he could talk about Han calmly. 

“I’ll make sure Ms. Pava doesn’t ask too many questions about your father,” Phasma assured him. He sighed and caught a glimpse of her meeting Hux’s eyes and nodding.

He frowned. They grabbed his arm, one each, and he looked at them, confused.

Then, they shoved him.

“Jesus, fuck!” He crashed into someone who yelped and he caught her around the waist on instinct, “What the fuck?” He looked down in the woman at his arms and his heart skipped when her watery doe eyes met his, “Are you okay?” He asked, “I’m so sorry about that, are you hurt? These two dickwads shoved me.” 

“Language, Benjamin,” Phasma smiled coolly.

Ben scowled at her and glared at Hux who was smiling innocently. He pointed up, a little subtly, and both he and Rey looked up.

Nestled between two Christmas lights was a mistletoe. 

They fucking did it on purpose.

He looked down again, at Rey, whose hands were on his arms. She was staring at him wide-eyed and flustered.

“What are you waiting for?” Poe said with a laugh and Rey sucked in a breath and turned even redder. So he was in on it too.

His lip twitched up. He raised his hands to cup her face, “Are you crying again?” He murmured and she looked away, “Don’t cry,” 

“I’m not crying,” She mumbled, “This is embarrassing,” 

He chuckled, “Yeah, it is.” He murmured with a soft sigh, “Look up.” She did and he leaned down down to press his lips against hers.

She sucked in a breath again and froze. So he pressed harder, flicking his tongue over her lower lip, making her whimper and tremble. 

But she relaxed ever so slightly, breathing out a small uneven sigh and kissing him back. 

He had to force himself not to continue. He told himself that they were surrounded by people who were probably taking about a million pictures but he couldn’t help but linger. 

She tasted like milk and cookies and warmth and everything he’d ever wanted. 

She tasted like home. 

And it felt like he was whole again. 

He pulled away slowly, hesitantly, trying not to show how much that one kiss made him breathless. 

She bit her lower lip. Her cheeks were warm underneath his palms, “Are you okay?” He asked huskily. She nodded and swallowed almost audibly. 

Someone cleared their throat and they both froze and stepped away from each other.

“I’d just like to say that dinner’s getting cold,” Rose said sweetly, “So we should probably go eat,”

“Um,” He glanced at Rey whose face was still almost as red as her dress, “Yeah, we should, um…”

She nodded and he rubbed the back of his neck.

Chapter Text

What was that?

It all happened so quickly that she was reeling from it. 

She felt like she was floating next to Ben as they made their way to the large dining table. It was a shock that she didn’t actually trip and fall flat on her face. 

She could still feel his arms around her and his lips on hers. 

He pulled out the seat for her like a true gentleman and she gave him a smile. He looked so calm and collected.

 He smiled back and sat next to her.

Phasma sat on her other side and she stiffened slightly.

“Gwen, we agreed no work at the table,” Rose said. She was sitting in front of Ben and next to Hux who was at the head of the table 

“This isn’t work,” She said, “Just editing something a little.” She met Rey’s eyes and smiled coolly, “You look lovely.”

“Um, thanks?” 

Phasma tilted the iPad towards her and she flushed when she saw the photo.

Ben’s eyes were shut and he looked absolutely wrecked as they kissed. She didn’t  look any better. She didn’t even know her hands had gone to his chest. She was grasping his sweater, pulling him close, like she didn’t want to let go.

And she didn’t. 

She wanted their kiss to last forever. 

His lips had been so soft and warm when they pushed against hers.

And it was like pieces of her fell into place and for the first time she felt that she belonged. 

Her heart was still racing and she could feel his heat next to her.

“Beautiful photo, no?” Phasma chuckled and took the iPad away. Rey looked up to meet her eyes, “I’d say it’s one of the best I’ve ever taken.” She arched a brow, “Don’t give me that look, I’m all for you and Ben getting together.”

She added some sort of filter to it to make the lights look faraway and blurred, so the focus was on them. They looked like they were star-crossed lovers desperate to stay together and knowing that they couldn’t.

Could they be together, just like that?

Rey looked away, “I’ll send it to you later,” Phasma whispered and nudged her, “It’ll be my Christmas gift to you.” 

“Thanks,” Rey squeaked and Phasma chuckled again.

“I think we’ll be good friends, don’t you think?”

“Hey, hey, don’t try to steal my star away,” Poe said with a frown. He sat in front of her, “Whatcha two whispering about there?”

Ben glanced at her and Phasma too.

“Oh nothing of that sort, Dameron,” Phasma said airily, “I was just telling her how lovely she looked today and that I would love to work with her someday.” 

Poe snorted, “You’re already sinking your claws in places you shouldn’t.”

“Oh? I do believe I have a right to since it involves my star.” Phasma arched a brow, as though daring Poe to react violently.

She knew Poe and Phasma didn’t get along but really, this was a bit ridiculous. 

“That’s enough, Phas,” Ben said, frowning.

Phasma sighed dramatically and raised her hands, “Alright, if you say so.”

“Poe,” Rey said quietly, frowning too, “Don’t be mean.”

Poe raised his hands too, “Sorry, I get really defensive,” 

Phasma shrugged, “We both want the same thing.”

The two seemed to have come to a silent agreement and Poe nodded.

“If you’re done, I would like to eat,” Hux said icily, “We’re all friends, are we not?” 

There was a general sound of agreement and Hux made an elaborate speech thanking them all for coming and that it meant a lot that all their friends were there, both new and old. He cut the ham and gave the first serving to Rose who beamed at him.

Dinner went ahead as planned, the conversation was light and happy. Rose had turned on the sound system and Christmas songs piped in around them softly. Ben offered her some mulled wine but she declined. 

She didn’t drink.

He looked like he wanted to ask and she was grateful when he didn’t. He squeezed her hand once and fell into an easy conversation with Finn about football. He’d been a quarterback, of course, and both Hux and Finn were running backs. 

Personally she didn’t know much about American football but she was happy just seeing all her friends at ease.

She even dared to think of Phasma as her friend now.

She hoped they’d always be friends like this. 

“Rey, are you okay?” Rose asked and she flushed when everyone turned to her.

“I’m fine,” She said, “Why wouldn’t I be?”

“You’re quiet,” Rose said and Rey shrugged.

“I like listening to everyone talk.” 

“Well since you do, why don’t we talk about something everyone wants to talk about?” There was a twinkle in Poe’s eyes, “How was your kiss?” 

Rey froze and heat rushed to her cheeks. 

Phasma snorted back a laugh next to her. 

She glanced at Ben. As usual his face was an unreadable mask. Was Phasma’s photo real or had he been acting? She was sure he’d kissed a lot of people, after all, he is an actor and she knew he starred in quite a number of broadway shows that had kissing scenes in them.

Finn elbowed him and scowled, “Don’t tease them,” 

“Sorry,” Poe laughed a little, “I’m just really curious.” 

“Jealous?” Ben rumbled, his lip twitching up slightly, “Who’re you curious about?” 

“Ugh, not you obviously.” Poe rolled his eyes.

“Then you’ll be curious forever,” Ben shrugged and Finn burst out laughing. What did that mean?

“Sorry babe, but I’m not telling you how it feels to kiss her either,” Finn said and took a sip of his wine.

Everyone turned to her wide-eyed. Was she imagining Ben’s expression darkening? He suddenly exuded a strange aura, like was holding himself back. 

She looked down and flushed.

“Um, it’s not what you think,” She said nervously.

Chapter Text

It’s not what you think, she said. Then what else would it mean? Ben tried to school his features but he was finding it hard to keep himself calm just thinking of someone else kissing her. 

Of course she’d have had other men before him. She was gorgeous, sunshine and happiness incarnate, and he was lucky to just even be in her presence. 

He just didn’t expect Poe’s boyfriend to be one of them. 

He clenched his fists on his lap. 

Finn snorted and laughed, “Sorry for putting you on the spot like that, baby girl,”

Ben gritted his teeth. 

“Do tell,” Phasma said, turning to Rey fully, “I’m curious how Poe’s boyfriend was once yours,”

Rey turned an even brighter shade of red.

“You didn’t tell me that, either,” Rose said, pouting, “That is big.”

“He wasn’t,” Rey said with an awkward laugh, “We weren’t dating. Not in the slightest. We were roommates,”

Phasma arched a brow.

“Finn’s as gay as could be, alright?” Finn snorted back a laugh at this, “But he was really popular in college since he was an athlete.”

“We just found it convenient to pretend to be in a relationship,” Finn finally said, “I mean we were roommates anyway and we spend so much time together. It’s not like either of us were interested in a relationship at that time,”

“Oh right, you told me Finn thought Poe was coming onto you,” Rose said, leaning forward a little.

“I was not,” Poe said with a scowl, “She’s cute and all, but he’s hot.” 

Rey giggled.

Ben finally relaxed, just a little. 

“Of course sometimes people would ask for proof,” Rey continued, “So we did kiss a few times.” She flushed again, “But not, you know,” She cleared her throat, “Just a friendly peck?”

Finn laughed then, “Jesus, Rey you make it sound like we were doing something wrong. Yeah, we kissed a few times but it’s like the kinda kiss you give your sister, you know?”

No, he did not know. He didn’t have a sister. Still, he wasn’t sure how happy he should be that she and Finn had that kind of relationship. Or didn't?

“You’ve been very quiet Benjamin, what are your thoughts?” Phasma asked wryly and he scowled.

Everyone turned to him then and he grimaced, “Nothing.” He said, “Should I have any thoughts on it?”

Rose smacked her forehead and muttered an ‘aiya’ and Hux sighed.

His scowl deepened. What was he supposed to say?

Rose clapped her hands suddenly, “Who wants fruitcake and eggnog?” 

“Me!” Poe raised his hand, “I’ll never pass up the chance for booze on booze,” 

Finn rolled his eyes and Rose got up to go to the kitchen.

Ben met Hux’s eyes. Hux swallowed nervously and shrugged. 

“Ready?” He asked and Hux shrugged again, “Armitage.”

“What’s going on?” Rey asked him. He turned, met her eyes briefly and turned away just as quickly. He cleared his throat.

“Armitage?” Phasma arched a brow and Hux flushed before scowling.

“Stop calling me that, please.” Hux hissed, “I’m…I’m just trying to find the right moment.” He shifted in his seat.

Rey gasped, “You’re going to propose?” She leaned closer, pressing close to his arm. He stiffened slightly.

“No way!” Poe and Finn turned to him too, “Hugs!”

“Shut up. Please, keep it down.” Hux hissed. 

“Why don’t you go see if Rose needs help?” Ben murmured to Rey. He shifted slightly and his arm brushed against her chest. She flushed and looked up to meet his eyes.

“Okay,” She squeaked and stood to make her way to the kitchen.

Ben watched her for a moment before turning back to Hux who was eyeing him strangely, “What?”

Hux sighed, “Christ, you’re already acting like a married couple.” 

He scowled. No they weren’t. They weren’t even dating.

“So, Armitage,” Phasma purred coolly, “Were you going to keep me in the dark too? I thought we were friends,”

“Come on Phas,” Hux sighed heavily, “Knowing you? You’d find something wrong before I can.” 

“Of course,” Phasma snorted, “This is Rose we’re talking about.”

“Exactly, I want…” Hux sighed again, “I just want to make her happy.” 

“Go for it, then.” Poe grinned, “We’re all here to record it,” He brought out his phone. 

“We’re not as good as a photographer as Rose but I think between the four, five of us, we’ll take a few good ones.” Phasma said and Ben nodded.

Hux laughed a little and stiffened when he heard Rey and Rose coming back.

“I really thought you have to take like months to make this,” Rose chattered, “And we never really bought any because it’s not really like, good or anything.” 

Rey laughed, “Yeah, that’s what I thought too until I made one for us one Christmas.” 

“What did we miss?” Rose asked, smiling brightly. 

“Nothing,” Ben grumbled and eyed the large fruitcake in her hands.

Rose arched a brow and shrugged. She placed the fruitcake on the table and started slicing it. She passed the plates and Rey poured out the eggnog. She didn’t pour some for herself. 

They ate and chatted. Hux still hasn’t made his move.

Ben hated to admit it but Dameron was right about the fruitcake. Then again, he’d eat anything Rey made. 

“What do you guys do for Christmas normally?” Rose asked, “We usually play charades and play paper dance,” 

“Paper dance?” Poe grinned, “I haven’t played that in years, Jesus. Wait, how do you even play when there’s only four of you?”

Rose shrugged, “It’s a quick game. Then we switch partners a few times.” 

Poe laughed. 

“We usually watch movies,” Rey said, “Depending on the mood. One time it was horror films,”

“Ugh, never again.” Finn rolled his eyes, “Who watches horror films during Christmas anyway?” Then he grinned, “Last year it was all the movies he was in,” He jerked his head towards Ben. 

He arched a brow, “Me?”

“Yeah,” Poe laughed, “Rey’s idea of course,” 

He turned to Rey and she gave her friends a look of utter betrayal, “I’m flattered,” He said, “I never watched any of them.” 

Rey wouldn’t look at him and he suppressed a smile.

Chapter Text

They decided to watch a movie. Phasma had breathed a sigh of relief.

“Do you have any idea how terrifyingly hard it is to play when your partner’s the same size as you?” She said with a snort, “We’re both so tall and he’s such a big, clunky thing we always lose first. Then again, you’re here so you would’ve been his partner and I’d be free to mess with everybody.” 

“Oh come on, Gwen. A movie sounds nice,” Rose grinned and turned to the smart TV, “What do you guys think? We have Netflix, HBO Go, Prime, Hulu, heck, since we’re going to Disneyland tomorrow, what about Disney+?”

Rey saw how Hux met Ben’s eyes. He brought out the camera he hasn’t really been using and she brought out her phone.

Everyone quieted when Hux went down on his knees behind her and pulled out the ring box from his pocket.

“Guys?” She turned around and blink, “Um,” 

“Rose,” He started and cleared his throat, “I, um, I know you think it’s a little sudden, damn it, what am I saying,” Rey tried not to laugh, “I just, I love you, Rose and I want to make you happy for the rest of our lives and,” He breathed out a little unsteadily, “And I hope you would allow me to.” Rose blinked and she could see tears starting to well up in her eyes, “Marry me, Rose Tico.”

She was already nodding before he could even finish. Then she sniffled and covered half her face with her hands, “Oh my God, Armie,” 

Rey moved a little so the video would show both their faces. Hux’s lip twitched up a little, “I need your hand for this part, darling.” He said and Rose giggled, giving him her left hand. He slipped the ring on and pressed a kiss to the back of her hand. 

Rey grinned even as her eyes grew watery. She really was a sap.

“Congratulations, Hugs!” Poe said and for once Hux didn’t scowl. He laughed and stood, pulling Rose in for a kiss. 

When they pulled apart she finally noticed all the cameras and flushed, “You guys knew the whole time?”

“Not really,” Finn said, approaching cautiously, “Only Ben did.” She patted her back and grinned, “Congratulations Rosie,” 

Rose smiled shyly and wiped her eyes. 

Rey ended the video and went to give Rose a hug.

“Oh you guys,” She sniffled, “I had no idea,” 

“Congrats, Rosie!” Rose gasped.

“Paige?” Phasma was holding up her iPad; it was a video call with a girl who looked almost exactly like Rose, “Oh my God!”

“I’m so sorry I couldn’t be there,” Paige said, smiling, “There was a snow storm and I couldn’t leave.”

Rose started tearing up again, “I can’t believe you all just…” Then she looked at Hux and grinned, “I can’t believe you,”

Hux shrugged and smiled, the adoration in his face so clear. It was the happiest she’d ever seen him, “What better time than your favourite holiday, yeah?” 

“What if I said ‘no’?” Rose laughed, “Then Christmas would be ruined forever,”

“I’ll say ‘yes’ if you won’t!” Paige piped in from the iPad.

“Oh hush you, he’s mine.” Rose said.

Rey laughed. It must be nice having a sibling.

Ben was eyeing her a little strangely and she frowned. He looked away. She approached him while everyone else was busy looking at the engagement ring. 

It was a pretty ring, really. A very delicate cushion-cut halo ring that sparkled underneath the warm Christmas lights. 

“You’re not going to go congratulate the happy couple?” She asked him. 

Ben shrugged, “I will. Later.”

She nodded, “They look so happy,”

“Yeah, Rose is good for him.” He gave her a tight smile, “I don’t know if she told you this but I was a really big dick to her at the start.”

She laughed quietly, “Yeah, she did. She said she screamed at the both of you.”

He nodded and grinned down at her. His dimples flashed and she looked down with a flush, “She did,” He said, “We had to beg, both of us.” Then he grew serious, “Why don’t you drink?”

Rey stiffened a little.

“It’s okay if you don’t want to answer that.” He said, “I was just curious since you seem fine eating things with alcohol.” 

“You know I was adopted,” She said quietly, still watching Rose and Hux, “And I was brought here when I was six.” He grunted so she continued, “Well, some of my foster parents said that my biological parents were alcoholics and they gave me up for alcohol.” 

She could feel his eyes on her but she refused to cave. This was a happy moment and she didn’t want to ruin it for Rose and Hux.

“I’m sorry I asked,” He said softly and hesitated before pulling her close to give her a one-armed hug.

“It’s fine,” She said, shifting slightly. He kept his arm around her shoulders, “Sometimes I wonder though. Was I not a good child?” 

“I don’t think so,” He said. His arm around her was a comfort, “Your mom wouldn’t agree, right?”

Her heart ached a little. She really missed her mum, “You’re right,” She said, finally looking up to meet his eyes. He gave her a strange look before looking away and clearing his throat, “What?” 

“Nothing,” He mumbled. He didn’t remove his arm and she slipped hers around his waist. She felt, more than saw, his surprise. 

“Thank you,” She leaned her head on him a little before pulling away fully. He gave her another strange look, “I’m really glad we met and became friends.”

Then he gave her that lopsided grin she was growing to love, “Anytime.” Then he grew serious again, “You’re not alone, Rey.”

She bit her lip and resisted the urge to look away from deep pools that were his eyes, “Neither are you,” She replied softly. 

His lip twitched up and he tucked her hair back behind her ear.

Chapter Text

 

They all promised to meet outside the park at ten in the morning. Hux and Rose both had an annual pass so Poe volunteered to buy for the rest of them online. 

Ben had given her one last smile before she slid in Poe’s backseat. 

“So, you two were looking pretty close,” Rose teased. Hux’s arm was around her shoulders and hers were around his waist.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Ben grunted, “See you tomorrow.”

Rose gave him a wry look which he decided to ignore. 

He drove home, wondering what it’d be like if he were to move in with her. Her home was so much cosier than his. Or maybe she should move in with him? To make his seem more like a home than a place he just slept in. 

He paused. Why was he already thinking about that? She wasn’t even his girlfriend yet. 

He sighed and pounded on the steering wheel once. Did she really think he’d been joking? Should he ask again?

What would he do if she rejects him a second time? 

He’d said he’ll be satisfied with being her friend but would he be, really, now that he knew how her lips tasted?

He parked in his building’s basement parking and sighed, leaning against his seat with his eyes closed. 

Did she even know how much he burned just being close to her? She was sunshine and he, he was Icarus, just daring to be close.

His phone was buzzing again. 

They were sending photos in the group chat. 

He didn’t make it a habit of saving photos but as he was flipping through, he came upon a picture of Rey with a cookie and a glass of milk. She was laughing at something. 

He saved the photo and continued to swipe.

Pictures of Poe and Finn, of Hux and Rose, of Phasma, even some of himself he didn’t realise they’d been taking. He was always looking at Rey. Would they notice? Would she? He rubbed the back of his neck and flipped through.

The next was of Rey, Finn and Poe in the corner with the mistletoe. She looked ready to cry. What had they been talking about? 

Then it was him and Hux.

Even the moment Hux and Phasma pushed him was recorded in a photograph. 

He stopped again at a photo. This time of him and Rey staring into each others’ eyes. He saved it too. 

He was a little worried about what he’d see next. Rey had been looking at their photo during dinner and he wondered what she saw. Did she see how desperate he’d been? 

He swallowed audibly before swiping and sucked in a breath. 

She was holding onto him almost as tightly as he was her, like they were both drowning and the only way to stay afloat was to hold onto one another. 

He saved the photo.

Congratulations to Rose and Hux!’ Rey sent the message with a couple of heart emojis and he smiled a little. Did she save his photos too, like he did hers? 

Thanks for making things so special,’ Rose replied, ‘I really appreciate you guys being there.’

Same, we had so much fun.’ Finn said with a smiley face, ‘Poe got us tickets already. Can’t wait to see you guys tomorrow!’

‘We should totally get first visit pins for you guys,’  

He read their messages and finally got out of the car.

He hasn’t been this excited for Disneyland since he first went with Padmé when he was seven. 

Chapter Text

Rose was not happy with his outfit. She tapped her foot and frowned at him. 

“What?” Ben arched a brow.

“Why aren’t you dressed up?” She asked, pouting a little. She had a giant red ribbon with mouse ears on her head and was wearing some sort of red and black polka-dotted dress with tights and yellow Chucks. It didn’t take a genius to guess that she was dressed up as Minnie Mouse. 

He looked at Hux who was wearing a black long-sleeved shirt, a pair of bright red chinos folded to the ankles and shoes that matched his girlfriend’s. 

“Mickey Mouse?” He arched a brow at Hux who shrugged.

“Mickey Mouse.” He said almost defeatedly.

Ben looked down at his AC/DC shirt with a frown, “I don’t have anything Disney related.”

“Even a Kylo shirt would do, you know,” Rose was still frowning at him.

“Hey guys! How long have you been waiting?” Poe called out, waving.

“Oh my gosh, you guys look great!” Rose grinned and glanced at Ben with narrowed eyes, “Unlike someone,” 

He rubbed the back of his neck and eyed the newly arrived trio.

Of course he’d spot Rey first. He’d be able to spot her in a crowd anywhere. 

She wore a bright blue beanie and an equally sunny yellow sweater dress over leggings and a pair of blue Chucks. He frowned, was she supposed to be dressed as character?

He moved on to Poe. That was pretty easy; he was wearing a t-shirt with a big sheriff’s badge on the chest underneath his brown leather jacket so he assumed he was dressed as Woody.

Finn though, who was he supposed to be? He looked pretty much the same as he always did with his teal zip-up jacket lined with pink, black pants and sneakers. He eyed the colourful things stuck on Finn’s wiry curls and wondered what the fuck was he supposed to be?

“You look confused,” Rey grinned and he looked away, a little embarrassed at being caught staring.

“Just trying to figure out if you’re dressed as a character or…” He shrugged, “You look cute though.” 

She flushed and looked away but not before he saw her smile a little.

“Ugh, she’s obviously Joy.” Rose said, “We really need to get you updated on these newer Disney movies.”

Poe threw his arm around Rey’s shoulder, “What about me?” He asked, grinning.

Ben scowled, “Woody obviously. That show’s been your favourite since it came out when you were, what, six, seven?”

Poe gaped a little, “Holy shit, Solo. I thought you never liked me?”

“I don’t.” He said drily. 

“How’d you know that?” Finn asked, blinking, “I mean even I didn’t know that.” 

“He used to follow me around asking me for a piggyback ride and saying there’s a snake in his boot.” He muttered, “Always wanted to be a cowboy or some shit.” 

Rey turned to Poe who was suddenly red in the face, “Jesus, Solo. You didn’t have to tell them that,” 

“Oh I remember this,” Hux said, “He used to keep trying to get you to play with him.”

“Shut up, Hugs.” 

Ben turned too Finn, “So, who are you supposed to be?”

Finn grinned, “Vanellope von Schweetz,”

He scowled, “Who?”

“She’s from Wreck-It Ralph,” Hux sighed, “Rose and I watched it in the movies.”

“We really should have a marathon,” Rose said, laughing a little, “Come on, let’s go in already,”

They waited for Poe to claim their tickets.

“We should’ve watched Disney+ instead of Netflix,” Rey said, smiling up at him. 

“Maybe we wouldn’t have fallen asleep, huh?” She giggled and he wanted to hear it again.

“Here you go!” Poe came bounding back and handed them their tickets, “You get the stormtrooper one,” He said, shoving the ticket in his hands, “Rey can get Daisy.”

“What do you two have?” Rey asked and Poe showed her Pluto and Mickey. 

“Let’s go, already, I wanna try Dole Whips.” Finn said, “I thought you do too, Rey Bey?”

“I do,” Rey laughed. Ben had no idea what the fuck Dole Whips are but if she wanted to try it, then so did he. 

They entered the park and the ticket checker did a double take when he handed his. He gave him a tight smile and the guy cleared his throat and let him in. 

Strangely enough he was mostly ignored by the visitors in the park. It was a good feeling, being anonymous even for a little bit. He relaxed, determined to enjoy the day with his friends. 

They went to the building marked City Hall first to get pins for Rey and Finn. Some people gave them surprised looks but they didn’t react strangely or ask anything. Disney must have really good training for their cast members. 

They didn’t wear the pins; Rey kept hers in her backpack. 

“Oh, hold on.” Rose grabbed Rey and rushed to a booth selling Mickey ear hats. A few moments later they came back.

Rey was holding a blue cap of some sort with Mickey ears. She smiled up at him sweetly and he realised that she had every intention of putting the stupid thing on him. 

“Please?” Her smile widened and she blinked a few times. He felt his cheek twitch a little and his face flush.

“Christ.” He mumbled and leaned down to let her put it on him. The elastic snapped under his chin a little and he winced.

Rose cackled and snapped a few pictures.

Rey grinned, “Thank you, daddy.” She whispered and his eyes widened as he sucked in a breath. 

She winked and flounced away. 

Chapter Text

What had gotten into her? 

She’d called him Daddy and made him blush. 

Maybe it was because she barely slept the night before. She wasn’t sure if she was excited for Disneyland, Finn’s proposal or seeing Ben again. She’d replayed their kiss over and over in her mind and stared at their picture for longer than she cared to admit. She’d added the photo in her growing album of photos with Ben and she hoped nobody would notice. 

They stopped in front of Walt Disney and Mickey’s statue and took an obligatory photo.

“Come on, you two have to take a photo.” Rose pulled on Rey and Ben’s arms, “And you have to post it.”

Hux and Poe were already nodding, “You’re supposed to be friends,” Hux said, “And it’s good for both of your careers if people keep talking.”

“Gimme your phone Rey Rey,” Rey gave her phone to Rose and stood next to Ben awkwardly.

“You two look so stiff,” Finn said, frowning, “Come on, guys.” 

Ben ran his fingers through his hair and sighed a little. 

“Maybe a selfie would be better,” Poe mumbled and Rose frowned before returning the phone back to Rey.

Rey shifted uncomfortably, “I mean, we don’t have to,” She said. She liked being friends; she didn’t really need to use their friendship for anything other than that, right?

His lip twitched up a little before he leaned close and put his arm around her shoulders. She flushed, “Take the photo, sweet thing,” He murmured close to her ear. Her face grew hotter, “Don’t forget to smile.” He was getting back at her for using the D-word on him, she was sure of it. 

She raised her phone and snapped the picture, Walt Disney and Mickey standing behind them and they looked pretty happy.

She’ll wait until tonight to post it in case people suddenly pop up because they were there. You never really know. 

They moved on, down Main Street, avoiding the trams that came and went, and took a few photos with Fairy Godmother. 

Then they arrived in front of the pale pink castle. 

“It’s smaller than I thought,” Finn said but brought out his phone anyway to take photos.

She did too, at least, until Rose started waving her arms around wildly. Her eyes were wide and she was motioning to Poe who’d gone up a little to the side, behind Finn. His hand was in his pocket.

Rey gasped silently and grabbed Ben’s arm, “Oh my God, take a video. I’ll take photos,” He looked puzzled but complied anyway.

Finn was supposed to propose in Frontierland. They were supposed to go there first, after they’d seen the castle.

Poe got on his knees and cleared his throat. 

Rose and Hux were moving around subtly, trying to get a better angle. 

“Hm?” Finn turned and his eyes widened, “Babe?”

People were stopping and staring. They didn’t care.

“I love you, Finn.” Poe said in his clear baritone, “And I don’t want to live without you. Ever. Will you marry me?”

Finn made a soft keening sound and laughed a little, “Christ, Poe.” He said, “You always ruin my plans,” Poe blinked, confusion making his face contort.

“So…you won’t?” A flush was blooming on Poe’s cheeks.

Finn laughed again and stuck his hand into his jean pocket and dropped to his knees too. 

Poe gaped. 

Rey could hear the awing around them and she giggled a little, moving so that both men are clearly seen with the castle as their backdrop.

“I was going to ask you.” Finn said and Poe laughed too, “I love you too, babe.” He gave Poe a peck and slid the simple platinum band on Poe’s finger. Poe’s hands were shaking as he slid the other ring onto Finn’s.

There were some clapping and Rey grinned. They stared in each others’ eyes and smiled like the world had stopped around them. 

They didn’t move from that spot and Rey realised belatedly that Ben did not move from his spot either. He looked so confused and was clearly a shit videographer. 

The newly-engaged couple stood and grinned at each other, holding hands.

“Here you go,” An elderly crew member wearing white and holding a camera handed her a PhotoPass with a smile, “You can see and buy the photos online or in our stores in Main Street.” 

“Thank you,” Rey grinned. The photographer congratulated Poe and Finn before moving on, “Congratulations, guys!” She gave both of them a hug, “Poe! I can’t believe you! Finn was so ready to pop the question in Frontierland.”

Poe laughed, “Sorry, guess I surprised everyone, huh? When Hugs proposed last night I had this revelation,”

“Wait, so you weren’t planning on it?” Rose approached them.

“I was!” Poe said, “But not here. And then I remembered it’s his first time coming here and I thought why the hell not? I had no idea you were planning something,” He smiled at his boyfriend and gave him a kiss, “Sorry, babe.”

Finn shook his head and sighed, “You always find a way to ruin my plans.” Then he grinned, “You’re lucky I love you.” 

Ben approached to congratulate them. 

“Dole Whips?” He asked, “My treat,” 

“Ah, my man!” Finn grinned.

“Hey, we literally just proposed to each other!” Poe actually pouted. 

“But I mean, Dole Whips.”

Rey giggled, “Come on,”

“Oh but we should take a photo first!” Rose said, “To commemorate the event!”

They shuffled closer together with Poe and Finn at the middle raising their hands to show their rings while Rose took a selfie.

Then they made their way to Adventureland. 

Chapter Text

Dole Whips were strange things. Ben wasn’t sure if he liked it but Rey was on to her second and he knew she didn’t like the cold. Yet here she was, having some sort of pineapple smoothie with ice cream on top. 

As promised he bought everyone’s Dole Whips. Even in the dead of winter people lined up for the treat.

Rose had taken charge of their little group and led them first to Tarzan’s Treehouse and then on the Jungle Cruise. He didn’t mind following them around. It was slow and pleasant, almost like a vacation minus the hippos and the fire.

Then Rose led them into Indiana Jones Adventure.  He’d watched the Indiana Jones movies with Han before whenever he had the time so he was pretty excited when they actually got inside. They waited in line for a good half an hour but he didn’t mind.

They got on a jeep-looking thing and the bar was pressed down low on their laps.

The ride itself started out fine. He saw an animatronic Indiana Jones that resembled his father so much his chest ached. 

That’s when things went downhill.

There was a lot of sharp turns and fire and hissing and he had no idea what was going on. It was jerky and bumpy and the lights made him dizzy. Rey, who was sitting next to him, was living for it. He saw another Indiana Jones animatronic robot hanging from a hole on the roof and a gigantic boulder rolled towards them very much like the traps in the movies.

They backed a bit before plunging down and his heart leapt to his throat. Holy fuck. 

And then it was over.

He breathed a sigh of relief.

Rose said the ride was tame.

He rubbed the back of his neck and stumbled out of the vehicle. 

Indiana Jones always reminded him of Han. 

“That was so fun!” Rey said and turned to him. Her eyes were twinkling, “Right, Ben?”

He gave her a tight smile, “Yup.” His voice sounded strained even in his own ears. She grinned.

They proceeded to Frontierland and stopped in front of the sign take a group picture. Just as Rose was about to take the photo, Poe shouted, “There’s a snake in my pants!” 

Ben was stunned.

Finn snorted.

Rose cackled.

Hux sighed.

Rey laughed so hard she almost cried. 

Then, Poe went wild and dragged everyone to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Like Indiana Jones, it started out nice and slow, and then it wasn’t. It even went backwards.

And that was when Ben realised that he fucking hated rollercoasters.

Son of a bitch. 

Chapter Text

They’d gone straight on to Fantasyland, through the castle of course, after taking about a million pictures. Both Hux and Poe were adamant that they should post pictures tonight. 

They managed to get a small table at the Red Rose Taverne and Poe slipped out to get them turkey legs and Hux volunteered to order for everyone. 

Rey got a classic 1/3-pound cheeseburger and poutine to share with everyone, and of course, the Grey Stuff. Ben, as expected, ordered the Beast’s Forbidden Burger. 

Poe came back with their turkey legs and Rey grinned when he handed her one.

“Here you go, you little monster.” He said.

“What? Rides make me hungry,” She chomped on it and moaned, “This is so good,”

Rose and Finn ran to help Hux with their food and they came back with three trays loaded with food and drink.

“Christ, we look like we’re feeding an army,” Poe did a double take.

“With my star and your starlet, you never know,” Hux said and sat heavily on the chair.

They stayed there for a while, chatting, laughing and forwarding the pictures they’ve taken in their group chat so everyone can have a copy. It was nice. Rey loved the food and how noisy the place was. It almost felt like they were just a normal group of friends having fun at Disneyland.

At least, until two women, one with blonde hair and one with mermaid hair, approached.

“You’re Ben Solo!” The blonde just about shouted and she felt Ben stiffen next to her, “Oh my God! Can we take a picture and get an autograph?” 

He was scowling.

“No.” He grunted and she looked at him, surprised. He continued eating his burger.

“Aw, but,” The one with the colourful hair pouted, “Just a picture then?”

Ben looked up and the look in his eyes could’ve frozen the sun, “I said no. If you haven’t noticed, we’re eating.” 

“Sorry ladies,” Hux finally said, trying to placate the two, “We’re just here to relax and have fun. Ben doesn’t want his picture taken as of this time.”

The one with the colourful hair was nodding but the blonde scowled, “We just want one picture and who asked you?”

Hux stiffened as well and Rey stared in wonder as his eyes flashed. He stood, “Ladies, I suggest you move away and stay away. As his manager I can and will use my connections to get you thrown out and blacklisted from here.” Could he, really? Ben continued to eat calmly, ignoring the scene unfolding in front of them.

“You can’t do that,” Her scowl deepened, “This is a public place and he’s a public figure. I can take photos if I want,”

“He’s also a human being whose rights you are currently violating. If you don’t leave now you will be charged with harassment.”

“Let’s just go,” The other one whispered, “It’s fine,” 

“No. How come these nobodies can hang out and take a picture of him and we can’t?” She gestured towards Rey who was sitting next to Ben.

Poe scowled and stood too, roughly, “Excuse me, that is my star you’re insulting now.” 

Ben stopped eating and put his burger down.

Then he stood, “Get the fuck away from us.” He said. Rey shivered at the menacing tone that dripped from his voice, “And stay the fuck away from me and my friends.”

She faltered and her friend begged her to just leave it and not make a scene.

“I am so sorry,” The one with the colourful hair said, “We’re just really big fans,”

“No. You’re just a bunch of entitled brats.” Ben sneered, “Just because I’m an actor doesn’t mean you’re entitled to take my photo or harass me for one even after I’ve said no. No means fucking no.” 

The blonde made a frustrated sound and turned around, stomping away. The other girl apologised again before running after her friend.

Hux frowned at Ben, “I could’ve handled it. Now they’re probably going to post about it or something,”

“You’re too slow.” Ben sat back down and went back to his burger. 

Poe sat back too and sighed, “Don’t worry we’ll just drown it out tonight with pictures and if anyone complains you have to reply,”

“Me?” Ben arched a brow.

“Yes, you. You have to reply and say your side of the story. Like Terry Crews.” 

Hux sighed too and nodded, “Well, that does put a bit of damper on our otherwise lovely day,” 

“Just forget it happened,” Finn shrugged, “I mean we can still enjoy ourselves.” 

Rose nodded, “Finn’s right. Now hurry up and eat I want to go check out the shop,” 

They finished eating their meals and promptly forgot about the incident.

Chapter Text

“No.” Ben grunted and Rey looked so forlorn. He sighed, “Do you really want me to ride on that thing with you?”

 She grinned, flashing him her dimples, “Yes! I always wanted to ride a carousel and Finn and Poe are already trying out hats with Rose and Hux.”

Ben sighed. The two of them had volunteered to get popcorn in those souvenir containers for everyone. So the two of them stood outside the shop holding an assortment of popcorn containers and getting curious looks from children and adults alike. 

“Holy shit when you said everyone I didn’t think you’d mean literally everyone,” Finn and Poe came out first, both wearing mouse-ear hats that said ‘Happily Ever After’.

Ben shrugged.

“We didn’t know which containers you want,” Rey said, “So Ben got one of each for both of you,”

“You live together anyway,” He shrugged and handed them a Darth Vader helmet bucket and a Santa Mickey one.

“We’re going to ride the carousel,” Rey said, “So I’m going to go line up.” She grinned and handed him the rest of the containers before bouncing away to line up for the carousel. 

“Do any of you want to ride with her?” He asked as Rose and Hux came out.

“Ride what?” Rose asked. She was holding a plastic bag and Ben passed them their popcorn.

“Rey asked Ben to ride the carousel with her,” Poe grinned in between scooping handfuls of popcorn in his mouth, “I think it’d be cute.”

“Definitely, I made Armie ride with me too the first time we came,” 

Hux sighed.

“We should ride too,” Finn said, “Oh but who’ll take care of the popcorn,” He frowned, “Never mind, you go. Rey’s never ridden one before, not even in Hyde Park during Winter Wonderland.” 

Ben ran his fingers through his hair and handed them his and Rey’s buckets. 

He must really like her. 

Oh, but who was he kidding, really? Of course he did. He liked her very much. 

He marched towards the ride in question and quietly asked people to move so he get to her. She glanced up and smiled brightly when he found her. 

“Isn’t that…?” He heard a whisper behind him. He sighed and braced himself for people to ask.

Surprisingly they left him be save for a few whispers and looks. 

The line crawled.

Usually he hated waiting but with her, he didn’t mind.

“Have you ever been here before?” She asked.

“Disneyland?” She nodded, “Twice.” She looked at him expectantly with such wide eyes and he finally understood what his father felt whenever he looked at his mother. He was so fucked. “The first time I was seven. My grandma brought me when we came to visit my parents. It wasn’t as big then and I don’t really remember much.” He gave her a wry smile, “But I remember it being really happy. My grandpa had just passed then and grandma was…” He shrugged, “He was the love of her life.”

“Oh,” She touched his arm briefly.

“But she was happy that day.” He flashed her a brief smile, “The next time I came I was already a teen. My parents brought me. You could imagine the fuss I made. I was at that age when I didn’t want to go to Disneyland with my parents.” He chuckled, “What a fucking loser, right?” Then he sighed and his smile turned rueful, “I wish I wasn’t such a prick.” 

“Regret’s at the end, huh?” She gave him a small smile and he wanted to lean down and kiss her. 

He didn’t. 

“How many people?” The cast member asked and did a double-take when Ben loomed behind her.

“Just two, please,” Rey said brightly and the lady let them in. She grabbed his hand in her rush to find a horse to ride.

She settled on one with a pretty pink and red rose and golden bells running down the side. Ben sat on the one directly next to hers. 

It moved. Very slowly. Rey was looking around and he smiled, “We should take a picture,” He said and he was blinded by the smile she gave him.

He hopped off the all-to-small horse and leaned on hers. She pulled out her phone and smiled at the camera. The horse moved up and down but even when she was at its highest, Ben was still taller than her. 

“What are you staring at?” She asked, tucking her hair back and looking away with a flush, “Do I have something on my face?”

“You’re pretty,” He said and went back to his horse. 

Chapter Text

Rey loved the parade. 

She sat at the very front on the street with Rose and Finn while the others sat behind them. It was a Christmas parade, Rose explained, different from the usual Disneyland parade. 

Still, Rey loved it. She sang along with the songs on the parade and grinned at the performers. Maybe if her career didn’t pan out the way she wanted she’d quit and work as a Disney princess instead. She can sing and dance. 

“You want a drink?” Ben murmured in her ear and she almost jumped. She turned a little, and drew back when her nose bumped into his. When did he get so close? She couldn’t breathe and her heart was pounding so loudly she couldn’t hear the parade anymore, “Rey?” She could still feel his mouth on hers and she turned away quickly, focusing back on the parade.

“No—no, thank you.” She stuttered, “Maybe we can get after. I could really use some coffee,”

“Okay.” He moved back again and she let out the breath she’d been holding. 

He really was not good for her heart. 

Something had changed since last night and she couldn’t place what it was. There was a level of comfortableness that wasn’t there before. There may be something there that wasn’t there before. 

But had there really been nothing before? 

“Rey, Rose,” She turned to Finn who was holding up his phone, “Scoot closer Solo, Hugs.” 

He snapped the pic with a grin, the parade in their background and promptly sent it in their group chat. 

The parade ended with a large crowd walking behind some sort of cord and she stood and stretched.

“Coffee?” Ben asked and she smiled.

“Please,” 

He looked a little taken aback. He flushed, coughed and looked away, “We’re getting coffee,” He said, “I think I saw a Starbucks on Main Street,”

“Great! Let’s go,” Poe wrapped his arm around Finn’s shoulder and grinned, “You’re buying,”

Ben rolled his eyes but didn’t comment.

“We’re riding It’s a Small World next,” Rose said and Hux groaned.

“What’s the matter, Hugs?” Poe arched a brow.

“Those dolls are fucking creepy,” Hux sighed, “But if you want,”

Rose grinned.

“Whipped, that’s what you are,” Poe snickered and Hux scowled.

“And you aren’t?” He arched a brow.

“Well, I mean, he’s not wrong,” Finn said and Poe flushed. 

“Point taken,” He mumbled.

Rey snorted back a laugh. 

Chapter Text

They’d ridden a boat inside the It’s a Small World ride. He really stuck out; most of the riders were children and he got more than a few odd looks while they were lined up and no matter how much he wanted to hide, he couldn’t. Not with his six-foot-three height.

Hux was right though, the dolls were a bit creepy. By the time they came out the sun was setting and the light show right outside started.

They’d lingered to watch it though if someone were to ask him, he wouldn’t be able to say what it was exactly that happened. He was too busy watching the lights play on Rey’s cheeks and memorising the wonder in her eyes. 

Then they’d moved on. Poe insisted on riding the Matterhorn Bobsled ride twice since there were apparently two different ways, one faster than the other.

And his hatred for roller coasters and Poe Dameron increased exponentially. 

“Please tell me there aren’t any more roller coasters,” He grumbled and Rey looked heartbroken, “What?”

“There’s one more,” She said, “Hyperspace Mountain. I always wanted to ride that one,”

Ben rubbed the back of his neck and sighed, “I guess one more won’t hurt.” He mumbled.

They’d walked into Tomorrowland and he froze. 

His face was everywhere. 

“Jesus Christ.” Everywhere he turned he saw himself in posters and banners. Did his nose really look that big? People stopped and stared much more, doing double-takes and looking at the Kylo Ren posters and back at him. He cringed. 

“Let’s do Star Tours first!” Finn said, almost bouncing with excitement. Rey was grinning, “I want to be the traitor,”

“Me too!” Rey said with a laugh, “Let’s go,” They didn’t seem to notice the predicament Ben found himself in.

“Isn’t that Kylo Ren?” Someone whispered and he groaned a little, looking down and half-covering his face with his hand.

They made their way to the ride and Hux produced FastPasses for all of them. 

Ben could appreciate the detail that went into the waiting area, after all, he’d been part of the franchise himself.

They passed through the different sectors where cruisers and speeders were being ‘repaired’, while they waited for their turn to ride.

Star Tours is now offering convenient daily departures to the exotic Moon of Endor. 

They passed by the G2-4T droid that served as the immigration officer and he was fucking hilarious. 

They moved forward to the docking area and entered the speeder. They settled into their seats at the very back, belted in and everything. 

The doors closed, they wore the plastic glasses provided and the show started. Their destination was supposedly Endor. Ben found it amusing. What would Endor look like post-production? He didn’t watch the movies. 

…the captain isn’t on board.’ The large screen opened like it was a window.

Then, he appeared. At least, Kylo Ren did. Ben stiffened in his seat and cringed. He remembered shooting this scene; he’d thought it was for a teaser trailer or a commercial.

‘Stop right there,’ His voice sounded strange on screen, kind of warbled, ‘I know you have a spy on board,’ He sunk a bit lower in his seat and Rey glanced at him, flashing him an amused grin, 

‘They’re a spy, and a traitor!’ He stared at the screen on the side, horrified when his bored face flashed on it.

Rey sounded like she choked a little trying to stifle her laughter and fucking Poe just outright burst out laughing. His cringe turned into a scowl. People were looking around and taking pictures of the tiny screen that showed a black and white photo of himself. 

“Come on, Solo, it’s funny.” Finn whispered. How did he even end up in between Finn and Rey?

The speeder jerked back a couple of times as he, that is, Kylo, held it back with the Force. 

‘You’re no match for the power of the Dark Side!’  Ben wanted the floor to swallow him whole. Why did he agree to this ride? 

They’d jerked back out of port and entered light-speed. 

They landed in the water. He recognised the set of Kef Bir and winced when the speeder roiled with the ocean. He felt a little sick, really. Then they were attacked by a bunch of Dianoga before they managed to fly off the planet. 

This was worse than actually filming his scenes in the movies. 

They’d entered light-speed again, and landed smack in the middle of a battle. Exegol, if he wasn’t mistaken. The speeder shuddered and jerked and all of a sudden they had blasters. Did Starspeeders always have them? He wasn’t sure.

He winced again when they shot down a Star Destroyer. 

He has always been partial to the Dark Side. 

And then they went light-speed and crash landed into the Spaceport. 

Then it was over. 

He breathed a sigh of relief. 

“That was fucking hilarious,” Poe said, laughing, “I got pictures. Christ, Solo, didn’t you know what we were riding?”

Ben tried to run his fingers through his hair, forgetting that he was still wearing the stupid mouse-ear hat. 

“He’s right,” Rose cackled, “And then you were the traitor?” 

“It is him!” Someone behind them whispered excitedly and he groaned a little when the group approached.

They had a kid with them who was looking up at him. He was wearing a Kylo Ren costume.

“Look, Adam, it’s the real Kylo Ren,” He assumed it was his mom.

He gave them a tight smile and crouched in front of the kid, “Supreme Leader,” He told him seriously, “Everything is going as planned, nobody has realised that you have infiltrated the den of spies.”  

The kid blinked at him and grinned. Ben winked before standing, “Stay in school, kid.” They waved at the small family and left.

Once they were outside in the connected store, Rey started giggling.

“What?” 

“‘Stay in school, kid,’” She tried to emulate his voice and tone, “You’re so cheesy,” Her eyes were twinkling. He wanted to keep her smiling like this forever.

Her smile faltered and a flush stole to her cheeks. He realised he’d been staring too long and cleared his throat, “We should try building you a lightsaber,” He said, pointing at a large booth with various lightsaber parts.

He helped her build a nice yellow one because of course her favourite colour would be yellow. He wasn’t surprised. 

They met up outside to make their way to Hyperspace Mountain.

He grimaced and eyed the imposing building. One last roller coaster. 

“You don’t have to ride with us,” Rey said and he frowned at her, “You look like you’re about to go into battle,” 

“I’m fine,” He grunted. He would ride. For her. 

Chapter Text

Ben was cute. Rey suppressed a giggle at his resolute expression. He was trying so hard. She saw how he looked after they’d ridden Indiana Jones and Big Thunder Mountain, and again on the Matterhorn. 

But he was trying and that was cute. 

Maybe it was his age. He and Hux were the oldest of the bunch, being ten years her senior. Maybe he really wanted to get along with everyone.

He looked at her curiously when she approached a street sweeper to ask for a sticker. She gave him a Disney fun fact and he handed her two Mickey Mouse stickers. She smiled.

“Sticker?” He arched a brow and she flushed.

“I like stickers,” She said, stuffing it into the little baggie she’d been stashing them in. She’d been asking for stickers everywhere very discreetly so nobody would notice.

“Oh, Rey’s always loved stickers,” Finn said, “She has a cookie tin full of them.” 

“Oh.” She wasn’t sure what he thought, his face was a carefully blank mask. Was it weird that she liked stickers at her age? “You should’ve said so, sweet thing.” His eyes softened and his voice lowered an octave and a shiver ran down her spine, “I would’ve helped you ask for them.” 

Rey looked down and flushed, “It’s okay, they’re mostly the same stickers anyway.”

They lined up for the ride and Ben’s grimace became more evident as they neared the entrance. 

“You really don’t have to ride with us,” She said, “You can wait in Pizza Planet?”

He scowled, “Nope. I’m riding.” 

She giggled, “Are you sure? You’re looking a little green around the gills,” 

His scowl deepened and he marched forward determinedly, “I’m fine.” 

“Okay,” She chuckled.

They waited for another forty minutes. 

Ben, of course, was seated next to her. The six of them occupied the first car of the train. He was gripping the handlebars tightly.

“It’s not too late,” She couldn’t help but tease and he scowled. The train moved, “Never mind, too late.” 

They moved to the loading area and she sat back, almost buzzing with excitement. The reddish lights around them was almost menacing. Ben’s knuckles were almost white and she grinned. The Star Wars opening theme started playing as they moved to the blast-off point. They inched up slowly but the stars around them were moving faster as they achieved light-speed. TIE fighters zoomed in front of them and then they were upright again, like they were cruising in space. There was a projection of Kylo’s Star Destroyer as they moved through the tracks, still pretty slow, and then they jerked sideways, evasive manoeuvres.

“Son of a bitch.” Ben hissed next to her and she laughed, raising her arms as they curved and tilted and fell. Blasters were shooting around them and she laughed again.

They went up again, quickly, before free falling again in an almost circular pattern. She heard Ben curse again.

Then they were back into the light tube, on the way back to the start of the ride. She raised her hands and grinned as the camera flashed. 

“Oh my god, I want to do that again,” She said. Ben stumbled out and groaned.

“Right? It never gets old, I swear. It’s like my favourite ride in the whole park. We should get the photo too.” Rose said, linking her arm around Rey’s, “Are you alright, Ben?” She arched a brow.

Ben groaned again and rubbed his face, “Let’s just get out of here,”

Rey snorted back a laugh.

Ben Solo was really, very cute.

Chapter Text

The pizza and fusilli pasta wasn’t nearly enough. Ben was still hungry as shit and he was pretty sure Rey would be to.

“It’s no Andor’s that’s for sure,” Rose said, chewing on her pepperoni pizza, “But it’s okay I guess.” 

“It’s food,” Finn shrugged, eating his second slice of pizza, “We should hurry though the light parade’s going to start soon.” 

They finished quickly and made their way out of Tomorrowland to find a spot to watch the parade.

The lights were shut off. It started out with Christmas songs. Like the daytime parade, it was a Christmas special instead of the usual. The performers were wearing neon lights and his head started pounding. All the lights and sounds was making his a little nauseous and it didn’t help that he was still so very hungry.

Rey looked enthralled though. He didn’t think anyone would notice if he slips away for a bit. 

He took note of their place and struggled out of the crowd to make his way back to Tomorrowland. He saw a cart selling churros and he approached it, thankful that there was no line.

The guy at the booth did a double take when he saw him.

“I’d like two churros please,” He said, “No chocolate. And two coffees,” 

He got them the souvenir cups. His lip twitched up when the guy asked if he wanted the blue or the red churros. He got both and paid. 

“Thanks,” It even came with a lightsaber hilt carton, “Oh, do you have stickers?”

“Stickers?” He blinked and shuffled around, a little flustered. He must be new, “Here,” He handed Ben the whole roll.

“Uh, thanks.” He went back; the parade was still going and he tapped Rey’s shoulder. She jerked slightly and looked up, surprised. He handed her the blue churro and her eyes widened before she grinned.

“Churros!” She said, “And you got me coffee too?” Her eyes sparkled, “Thank you!” 

“Hey, where’s ours?” Poe frowned and Ben scowled.

“Fuck off, Dameron. Get your own.” He gave Ben a sad little moue and nudged Finn who then nudged Rose. The three of them shared a look.

Ben felt like there was suddenly three versions of Rose. 

Rey didn’t seem to notice. She watched the parade while nibbling on her churro and getting blue sugar all over her mouth. 

He bet she’d taste just as sweet. 

Heat rose to his cheeks and he grimaced. 

 

 

They’d somehow ended up in front of the castle. Ben had glowered at the people trying to get closer. He was way too tall; he was sure he was blocking people’s views but he didn’t really care.

Rose said the fireworks was a very important part of the Disneyland experience. He doesn’t remember watching fireworks before. 

They waited as the lights were shut off again. Even the castle was dark. Rey was buzzing next to him. When the display started, he recognised Mickey’s voice.

It was like a mishmash of Disney clips and songs interspersed by dancing lights and water and fire. 

Nostalgia trickled in slowly, making his heart ache. Disappointment weighed on him. The day was almost over and he finally understood why Disneyland was called the most magical place on earth. 

He had fun. 

Poe and Finn were making out to the side and Rose and Hux were in each others’ arms.

He glanced at the woman next to him. Tears were gathering at the edge of her eyes and they sparkled with the fireworks. His chest grew tight and he swallowed hard.

She was beautiful. 

He reached for her cheek and she flushed when he brushed a tear away. 

“Go out with me, Rey,” He said softly. He knew she heard because her eyes widened and he felt, rather than heard, her breath hitch. He offered her his hand and he knew she’d recognise the scene, “Please.” 

Fireworks exploded above them loudly and she stared at his hand before looking up to meet his eyes. She looked stricken. Maybe he shouldn’t have given in to impulse and asked some other time. Maybe it was too soon.

“Okay,” She breathed and placed her hand, so small, over his. His heart skipped a beat and the tension in his shoulders eased. He pulled her closer and leaned down to capture her lips. 

She gasped and he cupped her face with his other hand, angling her face slightly so he could sweep his tongue in her mouth. She whimpered.

She tasted even sweeter than the churros. Her arms went around his neck and he pulled her closer, drawing her up to her toes. 

The fireworks and music sounded so far away and for a moment it was like there was nobody else but them. 

He held her tight, wondering if she really was brushing her tongue against his hesitantly or if maybe he was dreaming after all.

Multiple fireworks exploded in quick succession and the music peaked. There was a strange hissing sound.

And then it was over.

He pulled away slowly, brushing her swollen lower lip. 

She bit her lip and looked down at the level of his throat, a flush on her cheeks. 

People were clapping and he released her reluctantly.

Fake snow was floating around them. 

“Isn’t that amazing?” Rose grinned at Finn who was nodding, “What do you think Rey?” There was an almost knowing glint in her eyes and Ben was terrified at what she knew. Did she see them just now? 

Rey’s flush deepened, “I,” She cleared her throat, “It was nice,” 

“You didn’t like it?” Her brows shot up, “No way?”

“No! It was great, I really liked it. I might’ve cried a little,” Rey laughed a little breathlessly.

“Right?” Rose’s grin was huge, “Let’s go to the shops, I want to get more souvenirs,”

He followed behind them. Hux was eyeing him strangely.

“What?” He asked.

Hux shook his head, “Nothing.” He gave him a small smile, “You had fun today?”

Ben’s lip twitched up, “Yeah.”

“That’s good. Lord knows you deserve to relax, at least a little.” 

“Just a little?” He arched a brow and Hux laughed.

“Fine, more than a little. You don’t have to be such a prick about it.” 

Ben rolled his eyes.

They entered the large store; it looked like multiple stores on the outside but in reality it was just one big one. They all went in separate directions. 

He browsed a little until he spied upon a Kylo Ren plushie the size of his hand and another one of Joy. He got both and went outside to wait by the Christmas tree.

 

Chapter Text

Rey didn’t get anything. She wanted to of course, but she already had a lot of souvenirs in the form of the popcorn container, cup, pin, stickers and a lightsaber. That was enough. 

She went out so she wouldn’t be tempted to get anything.

Ben was sitting on a bench in front of the giant Christmas Tree. 

He looked so lonely.

Or maybe she was projecting. 

She loved Christmas but it had always been a lonely season for her. All those Christmas songs and warm drinks and spices made her think of the cold and her empty home. Finn already had Poe and Rose and Hux were already a set deal when they met. Now they were all engaged and they’ll get married and eventually have kids. 

Where would that leave her? 

He spotted her and smiled. 

She flushed and approached him.

“You’re not shopping?” He asked, patting the seat next to him.

She sat, careful not to touch, “No, I have enough souvenirs.”

“Did you find anything you like? I’ll get them for you,” 

She flushed again and shook her head quickly, “No, it’s fine. I really don’t need a lot and you’ve already treated me to so much.”

He chuckled, “Rey, I only bought you coffee and a churro.” 

“And In ’n’ Out, don’t forget.” She gave him a shy smile and his dimples flashed.

“How could I forget?” He murmured. Then he seemed to remember something and fished it out of his jacket pocket, “Here,” He handed her a roll of stickers and she blinked down at it before laughing.

“How did you even get a whole roll?” 

“I’m a pretty well-known face, sweet thing.” He winked and she laughed again.

“This is amazing, thank you.” 

“Are you sure you don’t want anything from the store?” 

“I already got a lightsaber,” She said, “It’s enough, I think. And the pictures we took.” 

Ben frowned, “Are you sure?”

She laughed, “Yeah, I’m sure.” 

Silence stretched between them and she shuffled a little. What did he mean when he said ‘go out’? Did he mean go out on a date or be in a relationship with him? Do people go out on dates first and then decide to get into a relationship? Or was it the other way around? 

The last date she’d had was a bit of a failure. He’d grown apprehensive when he found out that she was a mechanic and knew cars better than he did. 

“What are you thinking?” His voice was a deep rumble, almost like thunder. She shivered a little, “Cold?”

“No,” She said, flushing, “Just, um, thinking. Today was really fun.” 

“We can come back,” Just the two of us. He offered and she looked at him before smiling.

“I’d like that,” 

He smiled too. 

Chapter Text

Ben offered to take Rey home. She’d ridden with Finn and Poe but they were newly engaged and he was sure they’d want to go home as soon as possible. 

Besides, he really wanted to talk to her and make sure she knew what she was getting into with him. 

“Thank you,” Rey said as she slid into his car, “You really didn’t have to,”

He ran his fingers through his hair; he’d finally taken off the hat, “Rey, it’s no problem.”

“I don’t want to bother you,” She said and he gave her a small smile before taking her hand.

“I like spending time with you.” He said, squeezing her hand and bringing it to his lips. She flushed, “You want take out or something? In ’n’ Out? Taco Bell? I’m kind of hungry.” 

She laughed a little, “Taco Bell sounds good.” He smiled and winked.

“Gotcha,” 

They drove in companionable silence to the Taco Bell closest to her apartment. It was about an hour drive from Disneyland to her apartment. She leaned back against the seat comfortably, eyes drooping a little.

“You can sleep a bit, baby girl.” He murmured and she sighed a little, her head lolling against the seatbelt. He smiled. 

When they were nearing the drive-thru Taco Bell some forty minutes later, he gently shook her awake, “Rey,” He crooned, “Wake up, sweet thing.” She mumbled a little and moaned. Heat bloomed his cheeks at the sound, “Rey,” He shook her again, harder this time, and she gasped, jerking slightly.

Her eyes were huge when they turned to him, “I fell asleep,” She said. Even in the dim light he could see the flush stealing to her cheeks, “I’m so sorry,” 

He smiled and her face turned even redder, “What do you want to order?” 

“I don’t know, I’m good with any as long as long as we have Diablo sauce,” She said.

“Six pack Doritos shell?” She nodded and his smile widened. The car crawled towards the speakers and Ben ordered for them, “Drink?”

“I have a jug of iced tea at home,” She said and he nodded.

Like the first time he’d brought her home, the person manning the window’s eyes bugged out and the teen stammered as he handed the bag to him.

“Ca-can I get an autograph? Please?” He asked, still wide-eyed and staring.

Ben handed the brown bag to Rey who looked at him with amusement. He sighed and laughed a little.

“Sure, kid.”

The teen grinned and tore out a piece of paper from somewhere and handed it to him with a pen. Ben signed and was about to return it when he said, “Can Ms. Johnson sign too?” He asked, eyes still wide and hopeful. 

Ben looked at her, “Rey?”

She smiled, “Sure,” She said and signed her name under Ben’s. She even drew a bad rendition of a cat with a Santa hat.

But their names looked good signed on the same piece of paper like that. 

He handed it back to the kid, “Happy Holidays, kid.” 

They drove away.

“That’s probably going on Twitter soon.” Rey said. Ben shrugged.

“It’s Christmas,” 

“You didn’t think that earlier today,”

“I was eating and they were being mean.” 

She snorted back a laugh. 

Fifteen minutes later they were back outside her building. Ben opened the door for her and grabbed her things from the back. She seemed more at ease now compared to last time, not hesitating to let him in.

He went straight to the coffee table to put their box of tacos on it before handing her her plastic bag. 

The small plushie he got felt heavy in his jacket pocket. 

She brought her plastic bag inside her room and came right back out instead of changing.

She smiled shyly. 

Chapter Text

“I’ll get the iced tea,” She said, slipping past him to go to the kitchen. He grabbed her wrist and she looked up, surprised.

“Wait,” He said, “I want…” He swallowed, was he nervous? All of a sudden she was struck by a terrifying thought.

Did he make a mistake earlier? Did he not mean to ask her out and kiss her?

“It’s okay,” She blurted, “I don’t mind if,” She bit her lip before continuing, “If you don’t want to go out after all.”

“What?” He blinked owlishly. How could she not notice how ridiculously long his lashes were? “No, that’s not what I wanted to say.” He cleared his throat, “I wanted…” He swallowed again and looked down, away from her face, “I just wanted to ask you again.” He said, “Will you? Go out with me?” He looked up a little, almost shyly, and she could see the hope and despair reflected in his dark eyes, “Please?”

“Ben,” She breathed and flushed, “I, I mean, yes of course I would.” She chewed on her lip again, “But…”

“But?” His hand tightened around her wrist; it should’ve been painful but to her, it felt more like a comfort. Like he didn’t want to let her go.

“I’m scared,” She whispered.

“I won’t hurt you,” He said.

“I…” She was still chewing on her lip and staring at his large hand around her wrist, “You’re my friend and I don’t…I don’t want to lose you,” 

“Rey,” His hand loosened and his other hand cupped her cheek, “Rey, I’ll always be your friend. Whether we’re dating or not, we’ll be friends.” 

She looked up then and was struck by the fear and vulnerability in his eyes, like he was scared too, “You promise?” 

“Always.” He said thickly, “I promise. Be my girlfriend, Rey. I’m not an easy man to be with but give me a chance to make you happy. Please.” 

So that’s what he meant by ‘go out’ after all.

“Okay,” She whispered and he breathed an uneven sigh of relief. He closed his eyes and pressed his forehead against hers. His shoulders sagged a little. 

“I thought you were having second thoughts,” He murmured. His thumb brushed against her lower lip, made sensitive by her incessant chewing. She shivered.

“No,” She croaked, “Not about you,” He opened his eyes and he looked just as lonely and terrified as she was. 

And in that moment she knew without a doubt that she loved him. 

Chapter Text

The tacos had gone cold but it was the best damn tacos he’d ever had. 

Again, they sat on floor. 

Her phone buzzed and she glanced at him nervously before sliding it open.

Of course it was Twitter. As she’d said, a picture of their autographs had gone up on Twitter, creating a buzz. 

What did they order? #GettingSerious #Reylo #TacoTuesdays? 

OMG what a lucky Christmas! Can I have one too? @That_British_Girl @BenSolo #ReyloForReal? #ChristmasTogether 

Are you dating??? @That_British_Girl @BenSolo #AllForIt #Reylo #ship #MyHeartCannot

No way #babyRey can say no to #DaddySolo! Daddy @BenSolo @That_British_Girl

 

He took a sip from his iced tea, watching her face as she browsed the comments. She looked up, “Should I,” He arched a brow, still drinking. Her eyes had that mischievous sheen, “Should I call you ‘Daddy’ now?” 

He snorted and almost spilled his drink, “Jesus, Rey.” He coughed a little. He knew he was blushing but he hoped she wouldn’t notice anyway. 

“Daddy,” She said in a sing-song voice, “I think it has a nice ring to it,” 

He grunted and took another long drink.

“Ben, do you…” She shifted nervously, “Do you actually have a daddy kink?” 

He choked again, “Let’s not talk about that tonight, baby girl.” 

She grinned and turned back to her phone.

“Poe said we should start posting pictures on Instagram and Twitter,” She said.

His phone buzzed too with the messages on their group chat. 

You don’t have to post anything Solo, just share the things we do.’ Hux told him. Then there was a small banner announcement that somebody had changed his nickname to ‘Daddy’. He scowled but didn’t answer.

“How do you share things?” He asked Rey. She giggled.

“Don’t worry I’ll show you.” She said. She opened up her Instagram account and Ben watched in fascination as she posted some of the pictures they took earlier; one of them was their selfie with Walt Disney and Mickey and the one on the carousel.

She’d captioned it: Christmas with this bunch!

Then she moved on to Twitter and it was like a whole new language.

It was the same caption but she’d tagged everyone involved and the words turned blue after she’d added them to the number sign. Hashtags she called them. 

Then she opened up Poe’s Twitter page and showed him how to share a photo. Poe had posted a photo of his and Finn’s hands, both of them wearing rings, with the Disney castle in the background.

Congratulations to my best boys! @FN-2187 @PilotDameron #Congrats #SoProud #Disneyland #ChristmasEngagement

“Try it,” She said and leaned closer to watch him scroll through the pictures. Rose had posted the photo she took of Rey putting the hat on him. She was smiling at camera. He wasn’t.

@BenSolo was such a good sport wasn’t he @That_British_Girl?! #DaddySolo #BabyRey #DaddySpoilsBaby #Christmas #Disneyland #Reylo

He shared that one and turned his phone away from her when he wrote the caption.

“What?” She blinked up at him, “What are you typing?” 

He smiled wryly, “Nothin’, sweet thing,”

“Ben,”

“I thought it was Daddy?” He arched a brow and she flushed. 

“You know I can just look for it, right?” 

“Then go,” His smile widened and he replied on her tweet.

Her phone buzzed and she narrowed her eyes at him.

“You’re cute,” He said and she looked away. 

Her phone kept buzzing and she frowned.

Then it rang.

“Holy shit, sunshine,” It was Poe, “Have you seen?” She’d put him on loudspeaker.

“Seen what?” Her frown deepened.

“The thing! Finn just showed me. This is great. Solo replied to your tweet. Have you seen it?”

“Obviously she hasn’t,” Ben drawled and there was a brief moment of silence.

“Solo?”

“Dameron,” 

“What the fuck are you doing with Rey?” 

“Having tacos,” 

“What?” 

Rey giggled, “Yeah, we stopped to get tacos.”

“No, I mean, yeah I saw that tweet but, what the fuck? At this hour?” 

“You’re not my dad Poe,” Rey rolled her eyes, “I am perfectly within my rights to have people over.”

“And shouldn’t you be celebrating with your fiancé right now?” Ben arched a brow and grabbed his third taco, “We should’ve gotten a dozen,”

“Mm, next time,” She mumbled, “I think I still have a fruitcake in the fridge,” 

“Seriously, what is going on? And you better not be seen coming out there again tomorrow,” 

“I mean we could probably just tell people so it wouldn’t really be news,” Finn finally joined the conversation, “It’s not the first time anyway.” 

“Yeah but the paps just started leaving our sunshine alone,” 

“You worry too much, Poe.” Rey said, “I’m fine.” She started on the last taco, “I’ll go get the fruitcake,”

“I’ll do it,” Ben said and stood, “Should I get anything else?”

She shook her head and smiled.

Ben made his way to the fridge. Rey didn’t mention their relationship yet. He didn’t think they should anyway, not yet since both sets of their friends just got engaged but that doesn’t mean he can’t drop hints. 

His phone rang too, “Phas,” 

“Are you trying to imply something?” She demanded, “What happened in Disneyland?”

“Dameron got engaged.”

“No shit, Sherlock.” He snorted back a laugh and brought a knife and the fruitcake back to the living room, “What else?”

“What do you think?” Rey looked up him curiously, “It’s Phasma.” 

“Wait, where are you right now?” 

“Are you my manager now, Phas?”

“Oh shut up Benjamin. Should I be ready for another shit storm come morning?” 

“No, I don’t think so,” 

Poe and Finn had hung up and he watched Rey browse through her phone.

He knew the moment she saw his reply from the colour of her cheeks.

“You better know what you’re doing.” Phasma groused, “I haven’t finished all the preparations for Good Evening, America,” 

“We’ll be fine. I’ll keep my head down. Don’t tell anyone,”

“Of course not.” Her voice dripped with sarcasm, “Now, why in the world would I think to let it slip that my biggest star is dating a certain rock angel?” 

“Metal,” 

“Oh whatever,” 

Chapter Text

‘I thought I was your best boy?’ He’d replied to her tweet about the engagement. It was pretty late but she could already see the number of retweets and replies going up. It was Ben Solo’s first actual tweet and it had to be that. 

Did he want people to know they were dating? Already? They literally just got together less than an hour ago. Unless of course Disneyland counted? 

Things are happening so fast that she was still reeling from it. 

“You okay?” As usual his dark voice sent shivers down her spine, “Did I go too far?”

“No,” She squeaked and flushed, turning to face him so he couldn’t see her reply. He arched a brow and she felt so small and even a little guilty, like she was caught doing something she shouldn’t.

She shivered again. She liked it when he teased her.

She kept glancing up to his amused face as she typed her reply. Like he wasn’t sitting right in front of her looking like the very devil himself.

His phone buzzed and his brow rose even higher. He picked it up to check and his lip twitched as he tried and failed not to smile. 

‘No, you’re best Daddy.’ She’d replied. Her cheeks felt way too hot so she distracted herself by scrolling some more.

Then she saw his retweet of Rose’s picture of them. 

Joy incarnate. That was it; that was the caption. No hashtags, no names, no emojis but very Ben Solo.

People were already asking if they were dating. When would they tell people? They didn’t even tell their friends yet.

“You’re thinking too much again,” He said. He pulled something out from his jacket pocket, “I got you something earlier.”

He dropped it in her cupped hands and she stared at the small Kylo Ren plushie. She giggled, “Thank you, you shouldn’t have.” 

He shrugged and rubbed the back of his neck, “You wanna watch something?”

“Disney,” She said and he made a face, “Your knowledge of Disney movies is severely lacking,”

“Alright, you choose then. And just so we’re clear, I have every intention of staying the night.” 

She blinked and heat rose to her cheeks again, “Oh.” She’s blushed so much she wasn’t sure how she wasn’t dizzy with how much her blood was moving around her body.

“Unless you don’t want me to,”

“I do,” She said quickly, “But tomorrow…”

“Tell them I’ll bring you over to mom’s.” 

“Okay but… your clothes?”

He arched a brow, “Didn’t I say that I’ll bring clothes next time?” She flushed, “I’ll go get my stuff. You choose a movie,”

“Yes, Daddy,” He stumbled a little on the way out and she giggled. 

 

 

Rey handed him his present when he came back with his gym bag.

“Merry Christmas,” She said shyly, “I wasn’t sure what to get you,” 

He accepted it with a dimpled smile, “I’m sure it’s great. Thank you.” He opened his bag and fished out a large box, “Not really good at wrapping things but,” He shrugged, “Merry Christmas, Rey.” 

“Should I open this now?” He was still smiling. 

She flushed and shrugged, “It’s up to you,” He dropped his bag and tucked her hair behind her ear.

He opened the gift delicately, like it was made of glass. Or a bomb. He didn’t tear the wrapping like she’d expected. His smile spread across his face slowly, “Thank you,” He said, pulling out the maroon checkered cashmere scarf.

“It’s not much,” She mumbled, fidgeting with the wrapped box in her hands. 

“Just the fact that you got me something is enough,” He said and she flushed again, “Are you going to open yours?” 

She went to sit on the couch and tried not to tear the plain brown paper wrapping. She opened the equally plain box, heart pounding when she saw the delicate crepe paper. 

It was a sweater. She touched the soft rib-knit in awe before shaking it out and just looking at it. 

She’d never had anything so soft and smooth. It was more muted than her usual sweaters, cream with a maroon and grey stripe pattern on the body and sleeves but she loved it anyway. 

“You…don’t like it?” He was rubbing the back of his neck, “I wasn’t really sure what to get you either.”

She looked at him; he was blushing, “I love it,” She said, “It’s… I mean,” She bit her lip, “I never had anything so…” 

“Oh, good.” He breathed a sigh of relief, “It’s not too big is it? I wasn’t sure of your size either and…”

“It’s perfect,” She said quickly and stood, “And I like big sweaters. Thank you,” She hesitated briefly before lurching forward, still holding the sweater with one hand, to give him an awkward hug. He froze, like he had no idea what he was supposed to do.

He patted her back just as awkwardly, almost on instinct, before his hand stilled and he threw his arms around her. 

The man clearly was not used to hugs and she was more than happy to give them. 

“We should probably shower first before watching,” She murmured.

“Hm, do I smell bad now?” She giggled, “Should we shower together?” She sucked in a breath and looked up. He grinned and tweaked her nose, “Just kidding.” 

It didn’t occur to her until then that they’d be even more intimate in the future. When exactly was the right time to sleep with your boyfriend?

“Rey,” His smile was gone, “I’m not pressuring you or anything.” He was about to step away from her and she held on, “I was just teasing you,”

“I know,” She said and stood on her toes to give him a peck on the lips. Then she flushed and looked away. 

“What a shy girl,” He murmured and swooped down to give her a proper kiss. 

Her sigh ended with a moan.

Chapter Text

It goes without saying that they didn’t shower together. Ben wasn’t disappointed, not really. He could wait. He knew when to keep pushing and when to back down and he knew she’d let him do to her whatever he wanted once she’s gotten over the fact that yes, they are dating officially and exclusively, and that he’s just like any other man. 

Except famous. 

Then again, so was she. 

He’d declared Finn’s old room as his now and she’d promised to send Finn the clothes he’d left behind. It didn’t really matter since he’d be sharing her room eventually. He was willing to go as slow as she wanted though so if sleeping in separate rooms made her more comfortable then so be it. 

He knew he was moving way too fast anyway. Generally people don’t make out from the get-go but all these months of watching her and looking her up online made him feel as though they’d known each other for years. 

It was the loneliness that she’d tried so hard to hide that really called out to him. He wanted to take care of her, to assure her that he’d always be there. He wanted her to rely on him. 

She came out of her room in another fluffy pair of pyjamas, red this time, with a matching fluffy pink hoodie. He suppressed a smile. 

“You really like fluffy things,” He said and she grinned.

“It has a nose,” She said, turning around. There, in the middle of her ass, was bright red pompom and two felt antlers over it.

Then she turned around again and put her hood up. It too had a big red pompom, ears and a pair of antlers sitting on her head.

He snorted back a laugh and she frowned. 

“I believe you have to show all your weird quirks at the start of a relationship so none of us waste any time.” 

He laughed then and she pouted, “All of them?” He arched a brow, still amused, “Baby, are you sure you’re ready for all of mine?” 

She froze and asked in all seriousness, “You don’t have a foot fetish do you, because that’s not my kink.” 

He tried. He really did; he really tried his best not to laugh but he couldn’t help it, “Jesus, Rey,” He snorted, “I’m not kinky,” 

Her brows shot up, “You’re not?”

“Do I look like I am?”

“Yes.” 

He snorted again, still trying not to laugh, “I don’t think I am.” 

“That’s what kinky people say,” 

“Know a lot of kinky people, do you?” He arched a brow and she flushed.

“I mean there’s Poe,”

“He’s just a weirdo,” He shrugged and patted the sofa, “Come here,” 

She walked towards him and yelped when he suddenly pulled her to his lap, “Ben!” 

“What are we watching?” She struggled and slid off his lap to the sofa. He kept an arm around her. 

“Inside Out,” She said, “Since you didn’t know who Joy was.” He nodded, “You know I didn’t think you’d be the affectionate type,”

He stilled and frowned, “I’m not.” 

She leaned on him, sort of, her torso almost laid completely over his lap, “Really? You’ve been really touchy,” 

His frown deepened. Has he been, really? He thought back to of their previous encounters, “Must be because it’s you,” She flushed prettily and tried to get up. He wouldn’t let her, “Play the movie, Rey.” 

She shuffled around for the remote and they watched though if someone were to ask him, he wouldn’t really be able to tell exactly what it was about.

He did like the elephant though and how she’d clung to his arm when he’d disappeared.

Chapter Text

She must’ve fallen asleep.

She woke up to a strange sound coming from Finn’s—Ben’s room and she stumbled out of bed. It was nearing four in the morning and she yawned.

She doesn’t remember how she got into her room.

Ben didn’t answer when she knocked and there was another strange, strangled sound that came from behind the door. 

“Ben, are you okay?” Maybe they should’ve slept in the same bed. Couples do that even without fucking, right? She opened the door.

The sheets were tangled up around his hips and his shirt had ridden up, giving her a delicious view of his toned stomach. Her eyes followed the thin line of hair that led from his bellybutton to his pants.

He shifted again and her eyes snapped to his face. He looked troubled; his handsome face contorting to an almost snarl.

“Ben?” She approached the bed warily. She knew some people were violent in the throes of a nightmare. She’d smacked and kicked her mum numerous times in the first year she’d been adopted. She reached for his shoulder and tried to brace herself in case his arm shoot out to hit her, “Ben, wake up, you’re having a nightmare.” 

“No, no, no, no!” He chanted in his sleep, “Liar!” 

“Ben!” She smacked his shoulder. Hard. 

Ben sat up straight and stared at her wide-eyed, unseeing and betrayed. What happened to him that put that look in his eyes? She touched his arm and he flinched.

“I’ll go get you some water,” She said, rushing to go to the kitchen. He grabbed her wrist.

She could feel the subtle shake in his hand, “Don’t go,” He said roughly without looking at her. 

“…okay,” She said quietly and sat next to him on the bed. 

He scooped her up and settled her between his thighs and held her tight. 

When she’d imagined the various scenarios of her straddling Ben Solo, this was not one of them.

She wrapped her arms around his shoulders rubbed what little of his back she could reach. She could feel his heart pounding a rapid staccato. His arms trembled around her. 

“It’s okay,” She murmured in his ear, “I’m right here,” She brushed the tangles in his hair a little as he buried his face in her neck, “I’m here, Ben.” 

It seemed like hours before his heart rate started to slow and he let out an uneven sigh. 

“I’m sorry,” His voice was scratchy and hoarse.

“Are you okay?” He nodded, face still hidden in her shoulder, “Want to talk about it?” He shook his head, “Okay,” She kept running her fingers through his hair and even hummed a little. Incidentally it was ‘Hey Jude’ and his arms tightened around her like a vice. 

“Did I hurt you?” His voice was muffled .

“No,”

“Okay.”  

She realised that not many people has seen this part of Ben and even though she didn’t want him to suffer, she was glad that he let her in and showed her the most vulnerable parts of him.

She loved him even more.

Chapter Text

Rey pulled him out of bed and led him to the small kitchen. He leaned against the counter heavily and sighed. 

Of all the nights he’d have that particular nightmare.

She handed him a glass of water and he gave her a tight smile.

“Are you okay?” She was frowning.

He chugged his water in one go, “I’m fine.” He said with a sigh, “I dream a lot. Sorry.”

“It’s okay. I did too when I was younger,” She refilled his water and this time he took his time drinking it, “Mum would have so much bruises the next day.” 

He ran his fingers through his hair, “I’m way too old for screaming nightmares,” 

“Wanna talk about it?” He didn’t, not really, “It’s okay if you don’t though. I just think it might help if you talk to someone,” 

“I’m fine,” He sighed again and pulled her into a one-armed hug, “Just something I gotta work on.”

“Okay,” She murmured and wrapped her arms around his waist.

It was strange how comfortable they are with each other now, like they’ve been dating for years instead of hours. 

They haven’t even fucked yet.

And he finally understood what his mother meant when she said Skywalkers loved hard and fast and forever. 

 

 

She led him to her room and he hesitated by the door.

“Rey,” 

“I’m not propositioning anything,” She said, flushing, “I just thought you might…,” She shrugged, still holding his hand, “You might feel better? Maybe not have nightmares again?” 

He laughed. How could he not? She thought he thought that she was propositioning to him. Hell, he’d jump at the chance if she were but he knew she only wanted to comfort him somehow.

He rubbed his chest and smiled a little. 

His girl was really sweet. 

He walked into her room and looked around. It was a little smaller than Finn’s—his room now, and a lot more colourful as he’d expected. She didn’t seem like the type who would have plain white sheets and pillows anyway.

Her sheets were pale blue with mismatched pillows and a weighted blanket crumpled up near the foot of it. She must’ve kicked it off when she went to check on him.

There were some photo frames on her desk and it seemed every other flat surface was occupied by a book, a figure of some sort or a mechanical part he couldn’t even begin to recognise.

“My room’s a mess,” She said with a flush, “Sorry.” 

“No, it looks lived in.” He said, eyeing the plushie he gave her earlier. She’d put it on her bedside table, sitting next to a salt lamp. There were even fairy lights strung up over her headboard, “I like it,” 

It was the complete opposite of his spartan room in the penthouse. Maybe moving forward she’d help him decorate and her things would eventually blend in together with his.

He’d like that.

She’d moved to the bed and patted the area next to her. Her bed was a standard queen so it’d be a tight fit but he’d been in worse places. Besides, if he had her beside him,  it’d be like heaven on earth. 

He slid in and fluffed the pillows behind him before lying down, “Aren’t you going to sleep?” He asked and she flushed a deep red.

“Um, yes?” She squeaked and struggled a little with the blanket. It was strange having a weighted blanket over him. He wasn’t sure if he liked it but it wasn’t too heavy that it was uncomfortable. He tucked her in and she turned an even brighter shade of red.

“Good night, Rey,” He mumbled and brushed his lips against her forehead. 

Halfway between wakefulness and slumber, he had a revelation.

Rey surrounds herself with things that comfort her and now he was one of them.

That night he didn’t dream again. 

Chapter Text

Easy peasy, lemon squeeze-y, everything is fine. Easy, breezy, one, two, three, it’s all because you’re mine. When the clouds come round and when life gets tough. Easy peasy, all we need is love. All that we need is love.

Ben groaned at the annoyingly perky song. What the fuck was that? He pulled his pillow closer and it squeaked.

What the fuck?

The song started again, the same cheerful high-pitched tune.

“Ben,” Rey wheezed and tapped his arm, “Can’t breathe. Have to pee.” 

What was Rey doing in his bed? Was he dreaming again? His brows furrowed and he snuggled deeper into his sheets. 

Then she bit him. 

His eyes shot open and he stared at the fluffy, incensed Rey in his arms. He could still see the outline her teeth made on his arm. 

“Christ, sweet thing, you got a sharp set of teeth on you,” He released her and she struggled out of the blanket. She frowned at him and shuffled quickly into the en-suite bathroom.

He grinned.

Her phone started ringing again and he reached over to her bedside table to shut it off. Then, he stared at her wallpaper.

It was that picture Rose had taken during Rey’s album launch. How long has that been her wallpaper?

He returned the phone to the table and got out of bed. He knocked on the bathroom door and grinned again when he heard her squeak, “I’m going to take a shower,” He said and waited for her muffled ‘okay’ before leaving.

Things are going so much smoother than he’d expected and they’d bulldozed through so many possible relationship obstacles in the few months they’ve known each other without even realising it.

He hummed a little as he showered. He liked seeing his things in her apartment but it’d be even better if they were all in the same area. Of course, it did make sense to at least have two different bathrooms so they can both prepare for work at the same time. 

Maybe he should start looking for a house. It’s always better to buy early while the prices were low. It’d be a good investment anyway. 

Something with a yard. 

Rey seemed like the type who’d want to have a vegetable garden anyway judging by the basil plant he saw in the kitchen.

The water in the shower was tepid at best but it’s an old building. He dried off quickly and towel-dried his hair. He’d brought enough clothes for his mom’s party and two more nights.

His mom’s first party in almost a decade. Luke would most likely be there. He grimaced and shook his head, trying not to think of the bastard.

He walked into the kitchen where he could already smell bacon cooking, wearing only his sweatpants. She’d see all of him eventually anyway, she should start at least getting used to his naked chest.

Not that she hasn’t seen it in his movies.

She’d changed into a pale blue long-sleeved shirt and a pair of shorts that showed off her mile-long legs. 

She turned when she heard him approach and yelped, “You’re not wearing a shirt,” She said, turning around quickly. 

He tried not smile, “It’s not the first time you’ve seen me shirtless, sweet thing. What are we having?” He said, touching her waist tentatively. She jumped a little.

“A full English breakfast,” She said, flashing him a dimpled smile, “And movies and the real thing are two very different things. Can you grab me two plates, please?”

“Sure,” He gave her a quick kiss on the cheek and she turned to him, wide-eyed. He winked and her face turned bright red, “Phas said we can’t announce our relationship yet until after we’ve gotten mom on Good Evening, America. 

She nodded and slid bacon on each plate. She used the same pan to fry the egg, “How do you like your eggs?”

“Scrambled,” 

“It makes sense I guess in the PR point of view.” He nodded and tinkered with her Keurig.

“Mm. We don’t want people to say you’re only in Resistance because Leia’s my mom.”

“Will you be okay?” He glanced at her. The Keurig bubbled happily in the background, “They might ask you about your dad,” 

He shrugged, “Phasma said she’ll talk to Jessika Pava to keep it to a minimum.” He hesitated a little before asking, “Would you go with me?” 

“Me?” She’d fixed their breakfast and brought it to the counter. He brought their coffee and sat on the barstool next to hers. 

“Yes,”

“Is that okay? Wouldn’t that mess up Phasma’s plans?”

He shrugged, “We can have Dameron there too if it’d help,” 

“I’ll have to ask,” She frowned and passed him the pepper-mill, “I’d love to be there though.” He squeezed her hand and smiled. 

“Thank you.” 

Chapter Text

They didn’t go out. Ben said it would be best if they didn’t since they wanted to keep their relationship a secret for now. She agreed.

“Why don’t we record that song you wanted?” He said while they waited for the pizza to thaw. 

“Are you okay with that?” She asked and he reached over to tuck her hair back. He seemed to really like doing that.

He smiled, his dimples popped out and her heart skipped a beat, “Wasn’t it your idea, sweet thing?” He arched a brow and his smile turned almost lecherous, “Unless you have a better idea,” 

“I’ll go get my guitar,” She squeaked and scrambled off the couch. He laughed.

“What song are we singing?” 

“Um, I’m not sure yet,” She went to her room to grab the baby pink acoustic and her laptop, “I was thinking something we can dedicate to Rose and Hux, and Finn and Poe. For their engagement,” 

“Bryan Adams is always a wedding classic,” She handed him the guitar and he looked for the chords online.

“What song?”

He showed her his phone.

“Sounds good,” She grinned and set up her computer.

Ben practiced the chords a few times and she got up to get some water for the both of them.

Her heart was pounding so loudly she wondered if she’d be able to sing properly? 

He was sitting on the sofa, one leg up, cradling the guitar. He’d tied his hair back in a bun using a hair tie he’d somehow produced. Was that actually hers? She saw the glittery silver hair tie winking at her from the messy knot on his head. 

He glanced at her, the bright blue pick tucked between his lips. He winked and she flushed. 

“Ready?” She asked and he nodded. She sat on the floor, angled to the side so she could still see him. The computer on the coffee table showed her face and torso but only captured his one arm, a knee and a part of the guitar. 

She pressed record and he started strumming the intro. 

She closed her eyes a little and breathed in, letting it out slowly. 

“I finally found someone, who knocks me off my feet,” He started in his deep tenor. She opened her eyes and stared at him as he sang. It always amazed her how he had such a wide range of tones but his singing voice was definitely a tenor, “I finally found the one, that makes me feel complete,” He was gazing at her, almost hypnotically, that she almost missed her turn.

“It started over coffee, we started out as friends,” Why did it sound like them instead of their friends? “It’s funny how from simple things, the best things begin,” 

“This time it’s different, it’s all because of you,” It was like he was singing to her. She flushed a little, “It’s better than it’s ever been,”

“‘Cause we can talk it through,” Their voices blended so beautifully she didn’t think she’d even need to edit it too much, “My favourite line was ‘Can I call you sometime?’ It’s all you had to say, to take my breath away,” She met his eyes and he gave her a dimpled smile.

They sang the chorus together and she poured her heart into it, hoping that he would understand how she felt, how she wasn’t singing for her friends anymore, but singing for him and with him.

She’d love to be with him every night. 

“Did I keep you waiting?”

“I didn’t mind,” She really didn’t mind. 

“I apologise” He sounded so sincere and the way he looked at her made her a lump form in her throat.

“Baby, that’s fine,” He arched a brow at this and winked.

“I would wait forever, just to know you were mine,”

“…just to know you were mine,”

“You know I love your hair,” He reached over to tuck her hair back behind her ear again, not once missing a beat, before going back to the guitar.

“Are you sure it looks right?”

She closed her eyes again, not able to take the intensity of his gaze as they sang to each other.

“My life has just begun, I finally found someone.” They trailed off and she breathed out unevenly.

Her heart was pounding and she grinned up at him, “You were amazing,” She said. He placed the guitar on the sofa next to him gently before dropping to the floor on his knees, facing her, “Ben?”

He looked so serious. She couldn’t read the emotions in his dark eyes.

He cupped her face with both hands and leaned forward quickly to catch her gasp with his kiss.

She moaned, one hand going behind her to catch herself from falling over and the other going to clutch at the plain black t-shirt he’d worn for their video. He kept pushing, tilting her head slightly so he can sweep his tongue deeper into her mouth. 

She moaned again.

One hand left her face to brace against the floor by her waist. 

They pulled away with another gasp, “Ben,” She whined, “It’s still recording,”

“Edit it out later,” His voice had gone deeper and rougher and she shivered. He pressed forward again and she met him halfway. She could feel his strong heartbeat under her hand and it was beating just as fast as hers.

Her arm shook and she lay down slowly, pulling him along with her. Now that her hands were free, she pulled at the hair tie and his hair tumbled out around them. 

He groaned and she wanted to hear it again. 

She tugged again and gripped his hair, making him tense and jerk a little. 

His hand slipped under her shirt and brushed against her bra. He froze. 

He pulled away slowly, with a heavy, stuttering breath. He pulled his hand out of her shirt and brushed a thumb against her swollen lower lip.

She blinked up at him blearily, her chest rising up and down quickly, “I,” She squeaked. Her cheeks felt hot.

“That’s enough, baby girl,” He crooned softly. She could feel his hardness pressing against her stomach. He leaned down again, like he couldn’t help it, and placed another wet kiss on her mouth. 

She whimpered. 

Chapter Text

Ben managed to pull himself away from her before he ended up fucking her on the floor.

He ran his fingers through his hair as she scrambled to stop the recording. 

“I’ll um, bake the pizza,” She said, standing abruptly.

He grabbed her wrist and pressed a kiss to her fingertips. She turned even redder.

I love you. He wanted to say but he couldn’t, not while she still had doubts about him, not while they’re still so new. 

He let her go and she shuffled to the kitchen to stick their pizza in the oven. 

Would their days always be like this? He wouldn’t mind. He liked how they seemed to have their own little world. 

That would change of course when they announce their relationship but for now, he’d like to keep her, and this, to himself.

He smiled and watched her fumble with the pizza box from his perch. 

Singing with her was a different experience, like he’d touched parts of her that he’s never seen or heard before. When she sings, she pours everything into it, her hopes and fears and loneliness, her love. 

She was her truest self when she sang and he was honoured to be part of it. 

“Pizza should be done in twenty,” She said, coming back with another jug of iced tea.

His phone rang and he frowned, “What do you want, Hux?”

“Have you seen Twitter yet?” 

“Obviously not,” Rey looked at him curiously, “Hux is asking if I’ve been on Twitter yet. Do I look like the type who’d check every day?”

Rey looked like she was trying to hide a smile but failing utterly. He patted the seat next to him and she sat, pouring them both a drink. 

“Wait, you’re still at Rey’s?” 

“You sound surprised,” She handed him his glass and he grinned, “It’s not the first time. Besides, we’re both going to the same place later anyway. Saves me the trip, don’t you think?”

“Don’t Dameron and Finn usually bring her?” 

“Yes but it was late last night anyway,” Rey snorted.

“And you brought your things with you.” He wasn’t sure if Hux was angry or frustrated or laughing. He sounded like he was all of the above.

“Of course. I just wasn’t prepared last time.”

“Oh, so you happen to think ahead now and brought clothes just in case Rey will let you stay the night again?” Yup, he was definitely amused but angry that he found it amusing, “Why must you keep making my life so hard, Solo?”

“Relax, no one knows I’m still here. Maybe. And anyway it’s fine, we’re just hanging out, having a pizza.”

“Uh huh, right.” Hux groaned, “Should I expect Phasma to come chew me a new one again?”

“Oh, she knows.”

“Bloody Hell, Solo.” He groaned again, “In any case, remember what we said about Terry Crews? Now’s about the right time so check Twitter.” Hux hung up and Ben frowned at his phone.

“What does he mean by Terry Crews it?” He asked her. She was already on her phone, scrolling through Twitter, her brows lowering, “Rey?” 

“Remember those two girls yesterday?” Ben groaned and scooted closer, his arm going behind her so he could lean on her shoulder and read, “I think this is her,” She clicked on the profile picture and he saw a blonde smiling up from the screen with some filter that made it look like she had a cat nose, ears and whiskers drawn on her face. 

She’d retweeted one of the pictures Rose had posted, ‘Ben Solo is the rudest, fakest asshole in Hollywood! These pictures are a lie! They’re for publicity!!! He told us to fuck off when we asked if we could take a picture with him! No a fan anymore’ There were a few more exclamation marks and angry face emojis. He didn’t even bother reading the hashtags. 

He sighed and ran his fingers through his hair.

“Terry Crews answered a lady’s complaint about him publicly, calling her out for making it seem like he’s an asshole when she’d bowled his kid over trying to get a picture with him or something.” Rey said, “I think it’s still in his Twitter.”

“So, I just have to call this bitch out,” He shrugged and grabbed his phone to open the app.

“You can’t call her a bitch on Twitter, Ben.” She frowned at him and he chuckled.

“‘Course not, baby, I’m a professional,” She flushed and he gave her a peck on the cheek before moving away. 

He frowned as he composed his reply. She’d helped him find the complaint and showed him how to answer it.

“First of all,” He wrote out, “I was just hanging out with my friends @rosiepose @ABHux @That_British_Girl @FN-2187 when you and your friend interrupted our lunch asking me for an autograph and a picture. That is very rude. Secondly, I said ‘no’ to both the autograph and the picture that you felt entitled to, having going so far as to throw a tantrum and argue with my manager and insult Rey, Rose and Finn as being nobodies. They are not nobodies. They are my friends.” He pressed ‘tweet’.

Rey retweeted it and Hux and Rose followed. She texted Finn and soon, he too retweeted it, adding more a little more detail about how they were having an impromptu celebration for his and Poe’s engagement and asking them to ‘have some respect’.

Poe retweeted  it too, asking why he wasn’t included in the people Ben mentioned to which he promptly replied, “You’re not my friend.” 

Then it was both Rey and Ben’s fans who took over, calling out the entitlement and going all out with torches and pitchforks. He closed the app and ran his fingers through his hair.

“This is why I don’t like social media.” He mumbled, “It’s too…” He shrugged, not finding the words. He sighed again. The oven beeped and Rey jumped up to get their pizza, “Need help?” 

“It’s fine,” She called out and he sighed again.

Chapter Text

“Mom wants me to go earlier,” He said, “Would that be okay with you?”

“Sure,” Rey didn’t mind; she was getting a little nervous being alone with him for so long. She still can’t believe he’s here with her and that he’d slept in her bed. Then she stilled, how would she act around Leia?

“You okay?” 

“Leia doesn’t know yet, does she?” 

He frowned. She wanted to kiss him again. Now that she knew what his lips felt like, it was like she couldn’t get enough, “No. I haven’t told anyone yet.”

She nodded a little distractedly, “What if she doesn’t like me?”

Ben snorted, choking a little on his pizza, and laughed, “Jesus, Rey. I think she likes you more than she likes me,” 

“But that was before. What if she doesn’t want me dating you? You’re her only child,” 

“Why don’t we ask her then?” He grabbed his phone.

“No!” She shrieked and lunged at him. He caught her easily, “Don’t, that’s embarrassing.” 

“Okay, I won’t,” He laughed a little and leaned down to give her a kiss. She flushed. 

He tasted like pizza and sweetness. 

“What time will we be going to your mum’s?” He wouldn’t let her sit up so she settled back down between his long legs. She didn’t want to think of what her breasts were pressing up against at the moment.

“Mm, maybe around three-thirty so we’ll get there at around four. She said she needs a few last minute help,” 

“Okay,” She tried sitting back again and this time he let her go, “Would she be okay if I join you?”

“Of course,”

Would Leia really be okay with her, knowing her background? Would Ben? Their relationship was so very new and she’s always had a history of overthinking things and sabotaging herself. Would he be able to handle that or would he find her too much after all?

She didn’t want him to leave her, her heart wouldn’t be able to take it if he did. 

“Rey?” He tucked her hair back and cupped her cheek, “What is it?” How could he be so calm when her heart was pounding and her mind was racing a mile a minute? Then he drew her close and held her tight, “It’s alright,” He murmured, “I’m here. I’ll always be here,” 

How did he know that she was on the verge of falling apart again? 

Why did it always happen when he was around? 

She breathed in his unfamiliar scent; soap and man and warmth, and wondered if she’ll ever get used to it. She hoped so, it was comforting. Maybe she should have him wear that jacket she still hasn’t returned so it’d smell like him again. She’s obviously never going to give it back.

“Feel better?” She felt his lips on her hairline and his breath tickled a little.

“Yes,” She mumbled and leaned up a little to kiss his jaw, “Thank you, Daddy,” He stiffened and then laughed a little, sounding both amused and frustrated. 

“We really should talk about your use of that word,” 

“Does it bother you?” 

“Fuck no.” His chest vibrated with his laugher and she closed her eyes a little. Pizza always made her sleepy after, “But you should probably know what that would entail,” 

She sat up then, “So you are kinky!” She grinned triumphantly, “I knew it,” 

He scowled, “No I’m not. I’m as vanilla as ice cream.” 

She snorted and giggled, “You seem more like a dark chocolate, coffee kind.” He shrugged, “So, Daddy,” He stiffened again, visibly, “What does it entail?” 

“Well, baby girl,” He suddenly pulled her up and plopped her on his lap. She squeaked, “It means being a good girl and letting Daddy take care of you.” He nibbled on her ear and she shivered, “Do you think you can be a good girl for me, Rey?” 

“Yes,” She squeaked and then yelped when he nipped her earlobe sharply.

“Yes what, baby?” She shivered again. His voice lowered an octave. He was using his voice against her.

“Yes, Daddy,” She squirmed on his lap, trying not to get affected. She felt the flush rising up her neck to her cheeks, from his voice or the hardness stirring in his joggers, she wasn’t sure. Maybe it was both? 

“Good girl,” He purred and if that didn’t get her panties wet, she wasn’t sure what would. His lips brushed against the sensitive line of her jaw and she gasped. 

Then his phone rang and she jumped.

He growled a little and grabbed his phone from the coffee table. Rey moved to get off him and he held her with one arm, “Stay here, sweet thing,” He said and she settled back down, flushing. His hand was on her bare thigh and she shivered, “What do you want now, Hux?”

Chapter Text

“Sorry to interrupt,” Hux said drily, “I’d just like to remind you to be careful when coming out and to also share the good news.

“What news is that?” No news is good enough to interrupt his time with Rey.

“Phasma has gotten a slot on Good Evening, America on the second. Now, I know it’s right after New Years but it’s better to keep things fresh and announce it at the start of the year when everyone’s still on holiday.”

“Why is that good news?” He drew circles on Rey’s thigh absent-mindedly and she tried to keep still. He grinned. 

“It’s notoriously hard to get a slot there you know,” Hux sniffed, “Now comes the hard bit. I need you to convince your mother,” 

Ben sighed, “We’ll see.” His hand left her thigh and reached for her hair; he really liked her hair, “You never know with my mother.” He was still holding her hair as he brushed her bottom lip with his thumb.

“…Are you even listening to me?” Hux sounded annoyed.

“Nope.” He said shamelessly, “When did I even listen?” 

“Fuck you.” 

“Hm, maybe.” 

“Wanker.” 

“That too,”

Hux made another frustrated sound and hung up. 

He chuckled and threw his phone behind him on the sofa.

“Good news?” She was still on his lap, “Hux didn’t sound very happy,”

“He interrupted us.” She flushed a little and he traced the freckles on dusting the bridge of her nose with his eyes. Even in winter she tanned and freckled, reminding him of sunshine and warmth.

She shifted again and looked away, “Do you want coffee or something, I’ll go make some,” 

“Do I make you uncomfortable, Rey?” He asked and she trembled, “You have to tell me if I do. It’s very important that you do,” 

“I’m just not used to…this? You?” She shrugged, “I feel like I’m dreaming,” 

“You’re not dreaming,” He murmured and nudged her face a little so he kiss her. She squeaked and then whimpered. He felt his cock twitch and she jumped. She was panting when he pulled away, eyes glazed, “You have to tell me so I know what you like and what your limits are, baby,” 

“I like you,” She mumbled and he laughed a little.

“I like you too, Rey.” She shivered a little, “I like you a lot,” He leaned forward again to steal another kiss and she stuck her hand up to stop him.

“I’ll go get coffee,” She squeaked and scrambled off of him. He chuckled and ran his fingers through his hair.

Maybe he’d gone a little too far today. 

He didn’t want to give her time to think too deeply and scare herself away. What would it take to make her believe that he really wanted to be with her? 

Forever if she’d let him.

He ran his fingers through his hair again before getting up to clean up the dishes.

“I can do that,” She said, still waiting on their coffee, “You can just leave them on the sink,”

“Rey,” He said, “I know how to wash the dishes.” 

“But—,” He arched a brow and she frowned.

“I’m not a guest either,” He said, “So don’t treat me like one.” Her frown deepened and she looked almost like she was pouting, “Rey, I’m serious.”

“Okay,” She mumbled.

“I’m serious about this relationship,” He said as he washed, “And you. So if you aren’t or if there’s something you don’t agree with you should tell me now.” He swallowed audibly. He didn’t want to give her an out; he scrubbed the plates as he waited for her answer.

What if she thought he was going way too fast? What if she changes her mind? 

Suddenly he didn’t want to hear her reply at all.

 

 

She should’ve expected it. She always knew how intense Ben Solo could be, so she should’ve expected it going in a relationship with him. He never seemed to do anything half-assed and she shouldn’t have expected otherwise.

“I like you, Ben,” She said softly, “I always did and…” She chewed on her bottom lip, still sensitive and swollen from his kisses, “I just don’t want you to get bored of me,” 

He sighed and placed the plates on the rack. She watched him wipe his hands from the corner of her eye and froze when he reached for her.

“Sorry, sweet thing,” He murmured, pulling her close, “You can’t get rid of me that easy,” 

“Who said anything about wanting to get rid of you,” She laughed, “Who would want to get rid of you?” He didn’t smile like she thought he would and the pain in his eyes struck her, “Ben?” 

He sighed again and looked away. Still, he didn’t let her go, “I’m not going to leave you,” He said thickly, “Not unless you tell me to.” Then he gave her a self-deprecating smile that sent chills down her spine, “Fuck, even then I probably won’t.” 

He had the same look in his eyes last night when he’d woken from his nightmare. What happened to him that brought that look of defeat and loneliness in his eyes? 

“Too bad,” She said, hoping her voice sounded light and cheery, “You can’t get rid of me that easy either. I’m like moss, easy to grow and hard to get rid of,” 

His smile was wide, relieved, “Then I guess we’ll just have to stick together,” 

“I guess so,” His dimples popped out and she stood on her toes to give him a soft kiss, “We’ll work through things together?”

“Always,” He said, brushing his lips against hers for another chaste kiss, like he too couldn’t get enough. 

Like he’d been deprived of touch. 

Like her. 

She didn’t really know much about him after all. 

Their coffee had gone cold but they clung to each other in the silence of her kitchen, comforting and easing each other’s aching hearts with their own. 

And it felt like the missing pieces in her heart came slotting together and she felt whole again. 

 

Chapter Text

“Are you sure I look okay?” Rey fidgeted with the hem of her sweater dress, “Maybe I should’ve worn something more formal,” 

Ben chuckled and squeezed her hand briefly, “You always look great, Rey.” He let her go and shifted gears, “Mom said it was casual and knowing how her parties are, it can be anywhere between a full-blown costume party to a sleepover. She doesn’t really care what you wear as long as you’re there.”

She eyed his maroon cable-knit sweater and frowned, “You look good in anything,”

“And nothing,” He said with a wink. She flushed and looked away.

She heard him chuckle, “Don’t worry, baby, she loves you. She’s not going to judge. Plus you’re one of her more profitable investments.”

“Right now. We won’t know how I’d do in the future.” 

“I’m sure you’ll do great. Have you ever heard of a Resistance star that flopped?” 

“There’s a first for everything,”

He chuckled, “Don’t worry,”

She was a worrier, she couldn’t help but worry, “You’re not going to leave me if I get fired or something, would you?”

He laughed then, “Of course not. Then at least I’d have you all to myself,” He glanced at her and winked again, “I’m not very good at sharing.” His phone rang and he pressed on the screen.

Leia’s voice filtered out over David Draiman’s guttural growls, “I see some paparazzis loitering around my yard so you should pass through the backdoor.” 

“Shut the curtains,” Ben said, “At least until everyone else arrives.”

“I know, I’m not that old, dear. I do remember how it was when we threw all those parties.” 

You threw them, mom. I wasn’t even allowed to drink.”

“You were a child.” Chewie let out a loud ‘woof’ from somewhere in the background, “Oh hush, Chewie you weren’t even there yet.”

Ben snorted back a laugh, “Mom, are you talking to the dog?”

“Mind your mouth, Benjamin, Chewie’s very sensitive, aren’t you, you big baby?” Rey giggled before she could stop herself, “Oh, is that Rey? Hello, dear!”

Rey squeaked, “Hi, Leia,” She flushed even though she couldn’t even see her, “I hope you don’t mind me coming along earlier too,”

“Oh nonsense. The more hands the better! I’m not as young as I used to be and I guess I didn’t plan my timing correctly,” She sighed heavily, “And I can’t carry heavy things like I used to anymore.” 

“Jesus, mom, you should’ve called me earlier. What if you fall over and break something?” Ben scowled. 

Rey stared at him. It was so endearing how concerned he was. 

Leia snorted, “I’ll have you know I was in labour with you for well over twenty-four hours.”

“Mom!” 

Rey laughed again. 

“I’m hanging up now, bye.” Ben warned and pressed on the screen again, “Jesus.” His ears, what little she could see of them, were bright red.

It was nice watching him interact with his mother. It was like the last decade didn’t happen and they were a regular mum and son. What would her mum think of Ben?

I’ve begun to realise that whenever I am with you, you deliver me from the pain in my life.

She was startled by his distracted singing. All the misery I have been through, it was beating me to submission, til’ the day you arrived.

He glanced at her with an arched brow, “What?” 

“Nothing,” She squeaked, watching wide-eyed as he executed a near-perfect growl.

‘Cause you’re mine. 

She shivered and he glanced at her again.

He winked and she flushed, again. I knew I could be whole if you were mine.

It felt like he was singing to her, this strange love song. Who betrayed him? 

You’re the one who resurrected a man who had died.

But really his voice is sinful even when he wasn’t even focusing on his singing. If his acting career didn’t pan out the way it did, he would’ve made a fortune singing. 

Your power, it gave me new life. His gaze was serious when they met hers in that brief second. Had he realised what he was singing to her? You made me reborn and revived.

There was still so much to learn about him. 

“You’re beautiful,” She said seriously and he choked on a laugh and missed a line from the song.

“No, I’m not,” He said, “You are.” I knew I could be whole if you were mine. 

She knew how that felt. She’d never felt so whole as she did whenever they were together. She was totally, and utterly his.

They stopped at a stoplight and his fingers tapped the steering wheel in time with the beat of the song. Music really was in his blood whether he liked it or not. 

I let you in and let go of the hate, my heart recovered, now I owe you a debt that I could never repay. I still believe cause you’re mine.

They were nearing Leia’s house and he took her hand again. “Still nervous?” He asked and she shook her head. He smiled, “Good.” 

The song ended just as they passed outside Leia’s house. True enough there were people lingering around her bushes. 

Ben drove around and parked on the street. Then, they walked through the manicured backyards of Leia’s neighbours. Rey asked him why the yard doors were open when nobody seemed home.

“Nobody really stole shit in these parts,” He said, “And the neighbours are used to having paparazzis around so they keep the backyards open in case we don’t want to be seen.” 

“Oh, that’s very thoughtful of them.”

“Mom must’ve told them she’s having a party.” He shrugged and ducked under a trellis of some sort.

Then they were behind Leia’s house. He strode in through the backdoor, “We’re here,” He called out, his voice echoing in the kitchen.

“Be right there!” Leia called out from somewhere in the house. Chewie woofed loudly and bounded in before her.

“Hi, Chewie,” Rey said as the massive dog sat in front of her. She rubbed his head and he panted goofily. She still preferred cats but Chewie was hard not to love. 

“Hello!” Leia said cheerfully as she came in, “You’re finally here,” 

“Hi,” Rey said, almost shyly, “Um, we brought a fruitcake,” 

“Is that the fruitcake Poe has been raving about?” Leia accepted the bag graciously, “I can’t wait to try it. Away from everyone of course, I’m afraid if we serve it I won’t get to taste it.” She chuckled, “Thank you for coming so early, dear.”

“It’s no problem,” She said, fidgeting a little.

“And look! You two match!” Rey flushed and looked at Ben’s sweater and then at her dress.

“It wasn’t on purpose,” Her voice had gone up an octave and Ben glanced at her with amusement.

Leia chuckled, “I’m sure it wasn’t, dear.” She patted Rey’s forearm gently, “Now, Ben. I need you to go get the crates of wine from the cellar,” 

“Which ones?” Ben asked, already making his way to the nondescript door near the fridge.

“The 2012 Veeder Reserve should be good for now.” 

Ben gave her a two-fingered salute and stomped down the basement.

“I’ll help,” Rey volunteered and Leia grabbed her arm.

“Oh no, dear, I need you for something else.” She said, “Come along,”

“Oh.” Rey followed the older woman to the living room where a gigantic tree stood in the middle.

Where did her couch go? 

The last time she was here it looked like any suburban house and now the living room was turned into some sort of holding area with cocktail tables and a giant Christmas tree. Garlands lined the walls and Christmas lights twinkled above them as soft Christmas songs piped in from the surround-sound speakers she didn’t notice before. 

“I may have gone a little over the top,” Leia said ruefully, “I haven’t had a party in so long, I think I got a little too excited.” 

“It’s really lovely,” Rey said, “And it looks totally different from when I was here last,” Pictures still hung on the walls though and she couldn’t help but grin at how serious Ben looked in all of them.

“Thank you,” Leia smiled proudly, “I had help of course, but it’s Christmas so I gave the staff a holiday.”

“So, what do you need me to do?” 

“Oh, right, we should really finish everything before our guests start arriving.” She clapped her hands and pointed at a large pile of gift boxes, “I just finished wrapping those, could you please arrange them under the tree?”

“Sure,” Rey smiled.

“Thank you, dear, you’re an angel.” Leia patted her shoulder this time, “I’ll go see if Ben’s done. I need him to bring the other gifts down,” 

 

Chapter Text

Ben was sure his mom called him over for something other than carrying things. Leia never did things without a reason and he didn’t think heavy lifting was reason enough for her so when she asked him to help him carry more things from upstairs, he knew she was planning something. 

Leia Organa-Solo never did things without a reason.

She led him to the master bedroom.

“Please be careful with these some of them are breakable,” She said, gesturing towards the giant canvas bag filled to the brim with wrapped presents.

“Alright, mom, what is this really about?” 

“I don’t know what you mean, dear,” She said with that diplomatic smile. He scowled and she chuckled, “Oh, alright but I do need you to bring them down though,” 

He crossed his arms and arched a brow, waiting.

She rummaged from the bedside table where Han’s picture stood. He frowned at the ache in his chest. His mom never really recovered from Han’s loss. They shouldn’t have decided against chemo. Familiar bitterness welled up in his chest and he squashed it down mercilessly. 

He remembered the envelope he had yet to open and guilt replaced the bitterness just as quickly as the latter had sprung. 

There was something in her hand. She dropped the old velvet box in his upturned hand. He stared and she arched a brow.

“Aren’t you going to open it?” She asked.

“I’m kind of scared to.” He admitted, “I think I’d rather not know what’s inside.”

“Oh, don’t be chicken. I didn’t raise a coward,”

He held himself back from retorting that no, she didn’t really raise him. He opened the box.

He recognised the floral style halo ring sitting inside. The elevated one-carat diamond caught the light and he remembered sitting by his grandmother’s bedside, watching the rainbow cascading out of it even as she lay old and dying. She never took off that ring since the day a young Anakin had given it to her, only letting it part with her whenever it was due for cleaning and maintenance. 

“Mom, what’s this.” His voice sounded hollow in his own ears.

“What does it look like?” She snorted, “Your grandmother would’ve loved her. She’d want you to have it.” 

“Mom, we literally just got together.”

She shrugged, “Your grandfather proposed to your grandmother almost as soon as they met. I don’t see what the problem is, and you know how your father and I met,” 

 Ben ran his fingers through his hair and sighed, still staring at the ring. He moved it a little, the years not at all dimming its ability to catch even a tiny bit of light perfectly. He and his grandfather weren’t really close. He always felt that Anakin blamed Han and by extension him, for Leia leaving home. 

He always looked more like his father than his mother. 

“Thank you.” He finally said, closing the box and stuffing it deep in his jean pocket. He hoped it wasn’t too noticeable.

She touched his arm gently and he flinched, “I know I haven’t been the best mother,” She sighed, “And I should’ve done so many things differently but I know she’d be good for you, and you to her.” 

He sighed and grimaced, “Thank you,” He said again and turned away so he could grab the large bag with the gifts, “Where should I bring this?” 

“Right by the tree is good,” She said, shaking her head a little, “Rey’s fixing the other gifts but those are for our games. These stay in the bag.” 

He nodded and hefted it easily, “Got it.”

“Thank you, Ben.” 

He gave her a tight smile and clomped out of the room, leaving her staring ruefully at Han’s photo. 

Chapter Text

There were voices she didn’t recognise coming closer to the living room. She looked up from her perch near the tree and blinked at an odd trio that entered like they owned the place. 

One was a lanky, ageing blond in a pale yellow sweater with glasses almost as thick as Maz’s, the one next to him was a dark-skinned wrinkly man standing straight up wearing a white suit and behind them was a literal giant in a plain white t-shirt with a bushy beard and arms as thick as tree trunks. 

“Oh my, you’re not the princess,” The blond said in an almost robotic voice, blinking down at her.

Rey stood, “Um,” They were an odd bunch but she couldn’t help but think that they were so familiar. 

“Apologies, my dear,” The wrinkly old man said, “We’re—,”

“Who are you?” The giant grunted, narrowing his eyes at her.

“Um, I’m Rey, hi.” 

“Oh, Rey Johnson,” The blond chirped excitedly, “I have heard about you! Resistance’s newest rising star,” 

Rey flushed, “Thank you,” 

“Ahem, as I was saying, I am Ackbar, this is Pio and this here’s Chewbacca. We’re—,”

“You’re the Chewies,” Rey said, almost dumbly. Chewie the dog barked, thinking it was him she was calling and nudged her hand with his nose. She rubbed his head distractedly. 

“Heard of us, have you?” Ackbar laughed hoarsely and then gave a hacking coughed.

“Why are you here so early?” Chewbacca asked, still suspicious, “And what the fuck are you doing on the floor?”

“Oh, um, I was helping Leia arrange the gifts,” She gestured towards the piles of gifts underneath the tree, “I think it’s for a game? There are numbers written on them.” 

“Where is the princess anyway?” Pio asked, looking around a little worriedly, “It’s not like her to not come and greet people,”

“Leia and Ben are upstairs getting more gifts,” She stumbled a little when Chewie leaned too heavily against her leg. He let out a soft whine when she stopped petting him and lay down by her feet.

Chewbacca’s bushy brows rose, “Ben Solo?” Rey blinked again, in confusion, was there another Ben?

“Yes?”

“Girl, what do you know about Ben Solo?” 

“Now, now, Chewie,” Ackbar said placatingly. Chewie the dog barked again and his tongue lolled out.

“Oh! I remember reading on the internet that she’s been spotted a few times with our little Ben,” Pio said, clapping his hands, “People are saying they’re dating,” Rey felt the flush rushing up her cheeks.

Chewbacca snorted, “Tabloids don’t exactly reach the farm. So, are you?”

“Um,” Rey was a notoriously horrible liar especially when put on the spot. She shuffled awkwardly.

“Now, now, Chewie, don’t pressure the poor girl,” Ackbar said. Rey wanted the floor to swallow her up at that moment.

“Admiral!” Leia’s voice booming in the room was a welcome relief, “And Pio and Chewie, you’re here early!”

Leia smiled. Ben stood behind her carrying a large bag of gifts and wearing an unreadable expression on his face.

“Princess!” Pio chirped and gave her a hug, “It’s been a while,”

“Indeed,” Leia chuckled, “Chewie, were you trying to intimidate Rey?” Chewbacca grunted, “Don’t worry about him, dear. He’s grump but he’s harmless.”

Ben ignored them and placed the bag by the tree, “Oh, should I sort them out?” She asked him and he shook his head.

“Benjamin, don’t be rude.” Leia frowned. Rey was the only one who heard his soft sigh as he turned to face the trio.

“You’ve grown,” Ackbar said, nodding approvingly.

“Uncles,” Ben said, inclining his head. Chewbacca crossed his arms and grunted.

“Congratulations on the success of your latest movie,” Pio said, his voice light and almost cheery.

“Thank you,” Ben said mildly, “Should I get the wine or would you gentlemen want something else?” 

“It’s way too early for drinking, dear.” Leia said, “We haven’t even let the wine breathe yet.” Rey had no idea what that meant but Ben inclined his head, “What about some coffee, instead?”

“Oh, yes please, I’d like a cappuccino.” Pio said. 

Ackbar nodded, “Yes, a cappuccino sounds nice.”

“Black.” Chewbacca grunted and Ben scowled a little.

“I’ll get it,” Rey volunteered.

“No, I’ll do it.” Ben grunted and Leia chuckled.

“Why don’t you two go instead?” She said and Ben grabbed her arm and shuffled away quickly.

She heard Ackbar laugh and say, “They’re definitely dating,” before they turned down the kitchen.

“Are you okay?” She asked once they were in the safety of the kitchen. Ben sighed and ran his fingers through his hair.

“I’m fine,” He grunted, “I guess I just didn’t expect to see them so early.” 

“Did anything happen between you guys?” 

He tinkered with Leia’s espresso machine expertly, tamping down the coffee grounds and slotting the thing into place. 

She had to get him to teach her how to use one someday.

“Not really but things were…awkward, after dad died. I stopped talking to them.” He said with a sigh, “Uncle Chewie started working in Skywalker farm and…” He shrugged, “I don’t know what the fuck Luke told him.”

He switched out the coffee cups and went to the fridge to get milk. 

He had that look on his face that told her that he didn’t want to talk about it. It wasn’t the time and place. They should be trying to relax and celebrate with his mother. 

“No art?” She asked when he poured the frothy milk in the cups.

“I’m not perfect, sweet thing,” He gave her a dimpled half-smile that made her heart skip a beat, “There are things that I can’t do.” 

She grinned, “Really, I’m a little disappointed,”

He laughed and leaned over to give her a quick kiss, “Then I guess I’ll have to work a little harder so I don’t disappoint you, hm?” 

“Just a little?” She teased.

“I mean, you said a little disappointed,” He chuckled, “Let’s bring these out before they go cold,”  

“Yes, Daddy,” She stuck her tongue out at him and he laughed.

“Cheeky,” 

Chapter Text

Ben relaxed some after handing off the coffees. 

“Come sit here, dear.” Leia said, gesturing next to her and he hesitated.

“Can we talk first?” He asked and her brows rose up, “I just need to talk to you about something.” Rey was already in deep conversation with Pio about the intricacies of music. 

“Sure,” Leia said and excused herself.

Chewbacca was still eyeing him strangely. 

“What is it?” She asked once they were out of earshot.

“I invited Phasma,” He started.

“Oh, is that all? I don’t mind, dear, I’d like to meet your friends,”

“Yeah but uh, we’re wondering if you’d appear on Good Evening, America.

Her brows shot up, “On TV? Why?”

He resisted the urge to fidget. This reminded him of the time when he was fifteen and asked if he could go to Vegas for the night with Hux to watch a concert.

She didn’t let him of course and he’d sulked for a week until Han had taught him to drive and he’d proceeded to crash the Falcon.

“Well, we think it would stop the paps from coming or at least stop the press from making wild assumptions. Plus we’d rather have them know what our relationship is on our terms and we think an exclusive interview with you, and me, would be the best solution.”

Leia had that sharp look in her eye and he braced himself for her refusal. 

“You won’t be able to announce to the public your relationship with Rey, can you, if I don’t do the interview?” He stiffened, “I understand, of course. The press would try to drag her name and make it look like she’s only in Resistance because of you.”

Ben didn’t answer and Leia chuckled.

“I’ve been in this industry long enough to know that they would do that without blinking and our dear Rey would bear the brunt of it.” She sighed, “I suppose there’s really no point in keeping things a secret. Your father is gone and you’re a big star on your own, without using any of my or your father’s name.” 

“So you’ll do it?” 

“Well, since you asked so nicely,” She smiled coolly, “And I can’t wait to talk about my son and his girlfriend, and maybe a little one soon?” 

He flushed and looked away, “We haven’t really told anyone yet.”

“Anyone with eyes can see, dear. You have that moony look whenever she’s around.” 

He frowned. Did he, really?

There was a knock on the backdoor and Ben frowned. They made their way to the kitchen and opened the door to Hux, Rose, Phasma, Finn and Poe.

“Welcome!” Leia said cheerfully, “Did you all come together?”

“We saw them outside,” Poe said, “I didn’t think they know where the backdoor was so,” 

“I take it you’re Finn and Gwen,” Leia stuck her hand out to shake each of theirs, “I’m so glad you can make it. Come in, come in,” 

Ben moved to let them in when he saw a flash at the corner of his eye. He scowled and pushed past Rose and Hux to chase after the paparazzi.

“Ben!” Phasma called out. He ignored her and tackled the wiry man to the ground,  his camera bounced on the ground and he drew his fist back and landed a solid punch to the jaw, knocking the man out, “Son of a bitch,” Phasma sighed, “I just cleaned up the last one.”

“I see some things never change.” Ben froze at the sound of his voice. He watched as Luke pick up the banged up camera and delete the pictures, “Hello, Ben.”

Ben grimaced and stood.

“Luke, you’re early,” Leia said, approaching hesitantly.

“You shouldn’t be outside,” Luke frowned at her, “Someone else might be lingering,” He herded her back inside and Ben followed a little ways behind. 

His knuckles ached.

“Benjamin, really.” Phasma huffed, “I told you to refrain from hitting the paps,” Ben shrugged, “Nothing to say?” She arched a brow, “Is there something I should know?”

“That depends,” Ben grunted, “Are you asking as my PR manager or as a friend?”

“Well, can’t it be both?” 

Ben snorted, “That was my uncle.”

“Yes, I figured that,” They made their way back to the living room. Luke was already flitting from person to person to chat and Ben’s jaw tightened when he saw him put an arm around Rey. 

“Mom agreed to the interview.”

“Really?” He didn’t have to look at Phasma to know that she was surprised. Leia was notoriously hard to get on interviews, “That’s wonderful news,” 

Hux approached them and leaned against the wall next to Ben, “What’s this I hear about news?”

“Leia has agreed to appear on TV.”

“Great,” Hux said, eyeing Luke, “Are you alright, Solo?” 

“‘Course I am.” Ben crossed his arms. 

Lando and Amilyn had arrived and Leia went to greet them.

Rey fit right in with the people he grew up around. Amilyn had given her a kiss on the cheek and Lando had given her a bear hug. 

He missed so much in the last ten years. 

Lando spotted him and the old man approached. Ben tensed.

“Benjamin Solo, in the flesh!” He said in his booming voice, “I can’t believe you’re here. Look at you! You’re almost as big as old Chewie now,” 

Ben grimaced and took Lando’s offered hand. Lando pulled him forward with surprising strength and gave him a hug, “Man, if only Han could see you now.”

His chest twinged, “I’m sorry I didn’t keep contact,” He said sincerely.

Lando chuckled and patted his arm, “No big deal, boy. I get it, your dad died and you got busy,” He shrugged and turned to Hux, “And if it isn’t Brendol’s boy!”

Hux’s grimace was even more sour than Ben’s, “Mr. Calrissian,” He said stiffly.

Lando laughed again, “Now now, Armitage, I keep telling you to call me Lando.” He patted Hux’s arm too before turning to Phasma, “And who’s this little lady?”

“I assure you, sir, I am by no means ‘little’.” Phasma said. She offered her hand, “Gwendolyn Phasma. A pleasure to meet you, Mr. Calrissian,” 

“Likewise, Gwendolyn.” Lando grinned, “Oof, you are tall.” He eyed her standing next to Ben.

Phasma shrugged, “Freak of nature, I suppose.”

Ben chatted with him for a while and changed the subject when the topic inevitably turned to Luke. Lando has always been a good friend of Han and Luke so he had no doubt he knew exactly what happened.

He grimaced.

Chapter Text

Leia’s party reminded her of a college party except fancier. The drinks were obviously top shelf and the wine came from a bottle that came in a crate instead of a box. Rey could understand why exactly it was notorious.

And of course she was the perfect host, making sure to talk to everyone about everything. Rey’s respect for her grew; she could never host something like this on her own. More people arrived, producers, directors, indie artists, authors, video game developers, even Maz, which was kind of weird. She never expected her cute little landlady to pop up in a strange almost-steampunk outfit and tackle the giant Chewbacca quite like that. 

Her friends were all talking to different people and Ben had disappeared. She slipped out of the dining room where they’d all moved to at around dinner time and breathed a sigh of relief. 

It was becoming too noisy inside. Leia even had a karaoke machine set up and Amilyn and Lando were taking turns singing each other’s songs very, very badly. 

Where did Ben go?

Almost on cue, her phone rang.

“Turn right,” His voice crooned from the other end of the line. She flushed. This was the first time they’ve actually spoken on the phone. She didn’t quite expect how deep his voice would sound over the phone. She did what he said, “Good girl,”

She shivered and walked towards the door leading to the garage. Was Ben in the garage? Did he want to show her the Falcon?

She yelped when she was jerked into the room perpendicular to the garage door.

“Sh,” He was pressing her against the door.

“Ben,” She shivered a little and ended their call, “So this is where you were hiding?” It was a small room illuminated by a lone bulb. He lifted her up easily to sit her on a washing machine, “Ben!” She hissed.

“What?” He grinned wryly and stepped between her thighs, “Is it wrong to want some peace and privacy?” 

“We’re in your mother’s laundry room,” She whispered. What if they were caught? Suddenly it felt like what it would’ve if she’d fooled around in high school, sneaking kisses in utility closets. 

But Rey was a good girl, she never did those things.

“Nobody would notice,” He murmured. She didn’t realise how close his face had gotten. The washing machine made her sit almost at eye-level with Ben as he leaned forward with his hands planted on either side of her hips, “I realised I didn’t like to share, 

He growled a little as he pulled her closer to the edge and slammed his mouth against hers. She whimpered and then moaned when his tongue swept against hers. Her hands snaked up his shoulders and he pulled her even tighter against him. She tugged at his hair and he groaned, pushing against her roughly, like he couldn’t get enough of her.

His mouth tasted like wine, sweet and dark and sinful.

It was like her sanity was being pulled away from her, fogging up her mind, intoxicating her completely until there was nothing but how he felt and tasted.

She rolled her hips against his arousal and he groaned again. He pulled away and trailed wet kisses down her throat. She jerked when he flicked his tongue on a spot right under her jaw and couldn’t help but let out a keening moan when he latched on and sucked.

She tugged at his hair but he kept nipping and licking and sucking on that one spot. Vaguely she felt his hips moving against hers and she tried to suppress the whimper that tried to escape her mouth. 

How could he even know that each time he sucked it felt like electricity was running down her body and straight to her clit? She rubbed against him shamelessly and whimpered when pressed back as he too tried to ease his aching arousal. 

The washing machine groaned under her but she couldn’t find it in herself to worry about anyone hearing because he was kissing her again, sloppy, passionate kisses that left her wet and aching and on the verge of begging ‘please, Daddy’.

“Please what, baby?” His voice was rough and thick. Had she said that out loud? “Tell me what you want,” 

She shuddered. He was half lying on top of her now, her dress had ridden up and her legs had wrapped around his waist. When did that even happen?

“Daddy—,” 

Sharp rapping on the door made them both freeze.

She sucked in a breath, already thinking the worse. What if it was Leia?

There was another knock, softer this time, “I hate to interrupt,” Phasma said from the other side of the door, “Truly, I really do hate to interrupt but we might have a problem.” 

“What is it, Phas?” Ben called out gruffly and helped Rey off the washing machine. She tried to smooth her dress down and wondered just how debauched she looked. He certainly looked wrecked and her lipstick was smudged all over his mouth. Would they have time to fix themselves? She tried to wipe it off with her thumb, mortified when all she did was smudge it some more.

“Brendol Hux is here.” Phasma said and Ben’s expression darkened. 

“Son of a bitch,” He sighed. 

Chapter Text

Phasma quickly hid her distress when they slipped out of the laundry room but she couldn’t quite hide the embarrassed flush on her cheeks. She pursed her lips. Rey thought they looked like two kids who were caught making out by a teacher, “You two look a right mess,” She said, “Go clean up and meet us back here in five.” She placed her hands on Rey’s shoulders and steered her to the powder room. 

Ben grunted and ran his fingers through his hair before clomping up the stairs, presumably to his old bedroom.

Phasma slipped into the washroom with her to help, “You didn’t happen to bring your lipstick with you, did you?” Rey shook her head and she sighed. As always, she was in a pristine white pantsuit, with a silky red blouse of some sort and red heels. Rey envied her ability to walk around so easily in them, “Well, I suppose it can’t be helped,” She was rubbing tissue on Rey’s mouth.

“I can do that,” Rey said, flushing. She moved to the sink so she can wash off the smudged lipstick.

“You know, Ben and I have been friends for a very long time and I’ve never seen him like this before.” Phasma said. Rey met her eyes through the mirror, “He was always so serious,”

“Have you and Ben ever…,” 

“Dated?” Phasma looked like she’s never heard anything more ridiculous in her life and snorted back a laugh, “Goodness, no. We have high regard and respect for one another but that’s it.” 

“You met in college?”

“Heard that, did you?” She chuckled, “Yes we did; we had the same Marketing Management class. It’s not everyday I bump into a man I can look straight in the eye. He wasn’t at all intimidated and being as we were always the tallest in class, we were always sat at the back. He wore glasses, you know,” 

“He did?” She always thought Ben wearing glasses in ‘Midnight Special’ was cute.

“Yup. He hated it,” She chuckled, “Kind of hard to play rugby, I mean football, wearing glasses.” She finger combed Rey’s hair, trying to at least tame it into some semblance of decency, “But as I’ve said, he was always so serious. Hux and I had a bet whether he was going to come out as ace or not.”

“So who won the bet?” 

“Hux did, of course,” Phasma chuckled, “Hux always knew Ben best. Ben was very choosy with his women but he did choose, so technically, I lost. Then, we had a bet on what kind of girl Ben would like.” 

“Did you lose too?” 

“Oh no, this time I won. Armitage has always been very dense in relationships. I blame his father for that. He said Ben would like someone refined and elegant, tall like he is. I said he was a bloody idiot who didn’t know a thing about romance.” Rey laughed a little at this, “I knew Ben would go with someone small and cute and cheerful, most definitely younger and almost innocent but not quite. Someone like you.”

“How did you know that?” Rey frowned at her reflection and wondered if anyone would notice her considerable lack of lipstick.

“Well, I’m his PR manager for a reason.” She shrugged, “He always liked taking care of people even if he tried not to let it show, and you, my dear, are screaming for someone to take care of you.” She pinched Rey’s cheek, making her flush.

Chapter Text

Of all the times Brendol Hux would deign to appear at a house party, it had to be now. Leia must’ve invited him as she always did out of respect for the man who took her son in whenever they were out on tour. They never expected him to actually attend. He never did. At least, until now. 

He sighed and did a double-take when he saw exactly how much lipstick was on his face. His lip twitched up and he regretted that he had to rub it off. He kind of liked how it looked.

Speaking of which, it really wasn’t coming off that easy. What the fuck did she use it’s amazing how it just kind of smudges around. 

He frowned and adjusted his suddenly-too-tight jeans.

By the time he did manage to rub off most of it, his skin was pink and a little raw. He just hoped nobody would notice. 

He stalked down the stairs again where Rey and Phasma were already waiting. She looked a lot more put together than he felt. 

“Good enough, I suppose,” Phasma said, “Maybe have a glass of wine or two,”

“I’m driving later so, no.” Ben said, “I’m fine.” 

Phasma pursed her lips and nodded stiffly, “They’re in the den. Rey will get Rose out and you handle Hux and his father.”

“Got it.” Ben grimaced and led the way to the den. Leia actually used it more than Han ever did but still, he braced himself before entering.

Brendol Hux was a stocky man with greying red hair and a perpetually stern look on his face and currently he was sitting in front of Han’s desk facing Hux and Rose.

He wasn’t saying anything and neither was Hux. He could see how awkward Rose was sitting and he had no doubt that Brendol had heard that she and Hux were engaged.

“Good evening, Mr. Hux.” Ben said pleasantly as he strolled in. It felt like sacrilege to sit on Han’s chair so he opted to drag one of the stools closer.

“Benjamin, how you’ve grown,” Brendol said in his usual stern monotone.

“Thank you, sir.” Ben inclined his head, “These are our friends, Rey and you know Phasma.”

Rey smiled, “A pleasure to meet you, sir.” She said. 

Brendol looked surprised, “You’re British?”

“Ah, yes, although I moved here when I was young.” She laughed. He eyed her intently and Ben’s lips thinned. He placed his hand on her shoulder.

“Didn’t you say mom was looking for you and Rose?” He murmured loud enough that Brendol could hear.

“Right! Rose, Leia said she needed our help in the kitchen,” Rey said, gesturing for Rose, “I hope you don’t mind, Mr. Hux.”

“No, no, it’s alright.” He waved his hand and Rose looked relieved. She stood and murmured an ‘excuse me’ before linking her arm around Rey’s. They excused themselves and left, the three men, and Phasma, staring after them.

“Is she your…,”

“Yes,” Ben said even before Brendol could finish the question, “Yes, she is.” 

Hux glanced at him with an arched brow but didn’t say anything. 

“I have to say it’s a surprise that you’re here,” Ben said, sitting on the stool and motioning for Phasma to sit on the chair Rose had vacated, “You usually don’t attend these things.” 

“Yes,” Brendol nodded, “But I have heard my son, who I haven’t seen in over three years, would be attending so I thought it would be smart to attend.”

Hux had stiffened considerably and wouldn’t look at his father. The last time they met, Rose had been the point of contention between the two and it seems, it still was. Brendol wanted a nice English girl from a good family for his boy and he had made it clear from the start that Rose was just not acceptable for him.

“What do you want?” Hux finally asked, sighing a little, “If you’re here to argue about Rosie again, then we don’t have anything to talk about.”

“Not really, I’m quite surprised you two lasted as long as you did. I hear you proposed,” 

Hux shrugged.

“Cutting you off from your inheritance didn’t work and neither did bribing her or her family did,” 

Hux shot his father a dirty look, “You did what?” Phasma pulled him back down to his seat when he tried to lurch forward.

“I’m sorry, Mr. Hux, but did you just say you tried to bribe her and her family to leave Hux, I mean, Armitage?” Ben blinked. People still did that these days?

“Yes.” He replied, unashamed, “I offered quite a large sum, actually but it seems this girl really is quite serious about you. I even said you’re disowned.”

“What did our Rose say?” Phasma asked, her hand still gripping Hux’s tightly to keep him from doing something he’ll regret.

Brendol chuckled, “I believe it went something along the lines of ah, you can shove your money up your ass,” 

Rose said that to you?” Ben blinked, “Wow,”

“I was impressed, of course, by her spunk. I had her family checked out and it seems Mr.  And Mrs. Tico raised two girl in that backwater town,” He shrugged, “Now, I still don’t agree to your relationship but your mother,” 

Hux stiffened again and grimaced, “Which mother?”

Brendol scowled, “Your real one, of course,” Hux’s grimace deepened and for a moment he looked strikingly like his father, “She argued for your sake and said she wanted to see you and the possible offspring you two might produce,”

He sounded like he was talking about cattle and not his possible grandchildren, “Maybe a good start would be actually talking to and apologising to Rose,” Ben suggested, “And maybe we can all have dinner together sometime,”

“Wonderful idea, Benjamin.” Phasma nodded, “Both of us could be there, of course, to ah, mediate.”

“An apology wouldn’t be enough for what you did,” Hux sneered, “And I won’t just let you have our child without supervision,”

Brendol was nodding, “Logical, given the circumstances. I wouldn’t expect any less.”

“And if I hear one word against Rose you will never see any of my children until the day you die.”

Phasma looked surprised at the outburst but Brendol was already nodding, as though he expected it, “Logical. I didn’t raise you to be anything other than,” Hux’s lips thinned and he sat back down.

Ben suppressed a sigh. It wasn’t the first time he’s seen the two argue but he hoped it would be the last.

Chapter Text

“Leia really didn’t call us, did she?” Rose said once they were in the kitchen.

Rey shook her head, “No, Phasma said there was trouble so they told me to come and rescue you,”

“Uh huh, I noticed you and Ben were missing for a while,” There was the usual glint of mischief in her eyes and Rey was glad that she was alright. 

“I don’t know what you mean,” Rey spotted the Keurig next to the espresso machine and started fiddling with it.

“Hm,” Rose was smiling and tapping away at her phone, “Really? I thought you promised you’d tell me if you two get together?”

Rey shrugged in what she hoped was a casual gesture, “I did. You want coffee?”

“You’re changing the subject, Rey Rey,” Rose sidled up next to her arm and grinned, “I know, you know.” She showed Rey her phone.

She sucked in a breath at the photo of them in Disneyland. Her arms were thrown around his neck as they kissed, the castle a blur in the background and fireworks were exploding over their heads. 

“And you have a hickey on your neck,” Rose snickered when Rey slapped a hand over the spot Ben had been worrying with his teeth earlier, “I can’t believe you’d keep it a secret, Rey!” She pouted, “I thought we were friends?”

“We didn’t tell anyone yet,” Rey finally said, covering Rose’s mouth, “Please keep it down. You didn’t post anything did you?”

Rose snorted and shook Rey’s hand off, “Of course not, Armie said we have to wait until after Leia’s interview.” Rey breathed a sigh of relief and rubbed her neck absentmindedly, “I was always curious though,”

“Hm?”

“How is he?”

“What do you mean?” 

“He’s always so stiff and serious and kind of mean and grumpy so I have this hypothesis that he’s actually a beast when he lets loose. And since he’s huge…” There was a twinkle in Rose’s eye and Rey flushed at what she was implying.

“I, I have no idea!” Rey squeaked, “We’ve never, I mean, we haven’t,” She turned back to her coffee and started stirring it vigorously.

“What? I really thought you would’ve by now with how you two look at each other!”

“What does that even mean?” Rey giggled hysterically, “You sure you don’t want coffee?”

“Rey, come on, he looks at you like you’re the last piece of triple fudge chocolate cake and he’s a chocoholic, and you look at him like you’re ready to be devoured.” Rey felt her cheeks grow even hotter. She sipped her coffee, “And how can I not notice your lack of lipstick when you were wearing it the whole night? It looked great by the way, what brand is it?”

Before Rey could answer, Luke entered the kitchen, “Oh, hello, ladies!” He smiled cheerfully, “I believe we haven’t been introduced properly, you’re Rose?”

“Um, hi,” Rose smiled a little, “Yes, I’m Rose.” She shook Luke’s hand.

“I’m Luke Skywalker,” He said.

“Yeah, I saw Rey’s Insta post,” She said, “Armie said you’re Ben’s uncle,” 

“Ah, yes. Leia and I are twins.” He smiled sheepishly, “I just came in to look for more wine,” 

“Oh, we’re out?” Rey placed her cup back on the counter and Luke arched a brow, “I’ll go get some more,”

“We, is it?” Luke chuckled, “It’s alright, I know where it is.” Then he frowned, “I warned you about him,” 

Rey stiffened, “And I told you everyone has their issues.” 

Luke gave her a wry smile and shook his head, “Well, I’m getting more wine.” He went down the basement and Rose looked at her wide-eyed. Rey fixed another cup of coffee.

“What just happened?”

Rey shook her head and changed the subject, “So what happened with you and Hux’s dad?” 

Rose frowned and accepted the coffee, “He doesn’t like me,” She mumbled, “Because I’m Asian and our family’s not rich like he is. He thinks I’m only after Armie’s money,”

Rey frowned too, “What an arse,” 

Rose shrugged, “I mean, I’m a nobody from nowhere so I understand where he’s coming from but my parents did not work their asses off to leave Vietnam and send Paige and I to school so he can just…” Her hand tightened around the coffee cup, “He disowned Armie, you know? And I almost broke up with him.”

“Rose…”

“He shouldn’t have to lose everything for me,” Rey moved to wrap her arm around Rose. Luke reappeared and inclined his head at them and left with a bottle of wine without saying a word, “Sorry, I’m just…”

“Rose,” She said, “He wouldn’t lose everything. It’s just money. He has you,” 

“That’s what he said too!” Rose laughed and leaned her head on Rey’s shoulder, “He’s given me so much, you know? And if we didn’t meet I wouldn’t have met you!”

“Hey, there you two are!” Poe came in with a grin, “What’s happening? And Rey what happened to your lipstick?”

Rey flushed and cleared her throat, “Um, it got smudged,” Rose snorted back a laugh and she elbowed her on the rib.

“What’s going on?” Finn asked, “And I have to say that wine going around out there is great but now I really need coffee. Can we mess around with that?”

“Why use the Keurig when there’s a perfectly good espresso machine right there?” Poe threw his arm around Finn’s shoulder, “And was that Brendol Hux I saw just now?”

“Yes,” Rey said, “And I’m sorry, I don’t know how to work an espresso machine.”

“Same,” Finn said with a shrug, “We didn’t come from rich folk like you,” 

“Ouch, I actually trained for that,” Poe said, “I worked as a barista in Starbucks for a while you know,”

“So what’s happening?” Finn sidled up on the other side of Rose while Poe went to tinker with the espresso machine. 

“Just, you know, future parental-in-law objections,” Rose laughed but it sounded a little forced, “Luke Skywalker popped by just now to get more wine,” Poe almost dropped the coffee cup.

“What is it?” Rey asked.

Poe sighed heavily, “I don’t know if your boy mentioned it already but he and Luke had a fight way back when.”

“Oh you already moved here then from Miami, haven’t you?” Finn asked, “I know your parents worked with Solo’s.”

“Yeah, I was still pretty young at the time. We moved here around the same time but he was older so he and Hugs got along better than we ever did. I think he was about fifteen or sixteen when he had that fight. I heard mamá and papá talking about it.”

“Did you know what it was about?” Rose asked.

“Nah, and Solo looked like hell when he came back so I didn’t want to ask. Hux might know though,” 

“He never told me anything,” Rose said, “He’s actually more secretive about Ben than with himself,” 

Poe handed the latte, complete with a foam heart, to Finn who grinned and blew him a kiss, “So, sunshine,” Rey stiffened, “Is there something you want to tell us?”

“No?” Rey didn’t look at him, “Is there something I should tell you?”

“Hm,” Poe arched a brow and placed his arms on the counter on either side of Rey. Rose moved a little away from her and looked away innocently, “I don’t know, sunshine, there’s something off about you since you left with Solo yesterday.”

Has it really only been yesterday? Yesterday felt like such a long time ago.

“He didn’t do anything to you, did he?” Finn asked with a frown, “I mean, he doesn’t seem like the type but…”

“No, of course not,” Rey scowled, “He’d never do something like that.”

“Never?” Poe arched a brow, “You sound very defensive there, sunshine.” 

“What in blazes are you doing, Dameron?” Phasma’s heels clacked loudly against the marble tile floor of the kitchen, “That counts as sexual harassment, you know.”

Poe straightened and snorted, “Please, I am happily engaged. Where’s Hugs?”

“Escorting Brendol Hux out,” Ben crossed his arms. He was frowning.

“He’s leaving already?” Poe arched a brow, “Not that I expected him to stay very long anyway,”

“I didn’t see you trying to help,” Ben arched a brow and Poe snorted and crossed his arms too.

“Oh bitch please, Solo. Do you really think I’d be able to help? I’m a Guatemalan guy who’s engaged to a man.”

“Who’s black,” Finn added as he took a sip from his coffee.

“Who is also black, yes,” Poe nodded at him, “He only tolerated me hanging out with you two because my parents are rich and worked with yours.”

“How did it go?” Rose asked worriedly.

“Fine, surprisingly,” Phasma answered, “We’ll set up a meeting, I mean, a dinner, with him and you and Hux. Of course, Ben and I will be there to mediate.”

Rose nodded solemnly.

Ben met Rey’s eyes and his lip twitched up a little.

“Here you all are,” Hux finally appeared. He sighed heavily and rolled his sleeves up. He went straight to Rose to hold her, “Luke Skywalker ambushed me on the way here,”

Ben stiffened and narrowed his eyes, “What the fuck did he want?” He snarled.

“He showed me an article TMZ released about an hour ago.” Hux sighed again and leaned against the counter, still holding Rose with her back pressed to his front.

Phasma sighed too, “Don’t tell me, it’s something along the lines of, Ben Solo has a violent temper or something,” 

Hux pointed his index finger at her and buried his face on Rose’s shoulder, bingo.

Phasma made a disgusted sound and started tapping away at her phone, “Everybody has been posting live about what’s happening and who’s here, yes?” 

Everyone except Ben said ‘yes’.

“I posted pictures of literally everyone,” Rose said, “And I saw Rey’s photo with The Chewies was getting popular. They’re still pretty relevant even though they stopped performing after…” She paused and glanced at Ben before clearing her throat and continuing, “Anyway, they still have a lot of fans.”

Rey was nodding, “Even on Instagram, actually. Usually it’s just on Twitter.”

“Rey’s social media accounts have been getting more interest lately, especially after you two have been seen together a few times,” Poe told Ben, “You’re really good for reputation building, you know?” 

Rey flushed, “That’s not why we’re friends,” 

Poe chuckled, “Of course not, sunshine. Everyone knows that.”

Ben shrugged. 

“I have an idea,” Phasma eyed Ben calculatingly and he grimaced.

Chapter Text

 

“I don’t like the sound of that,” Ben mumbled. He wanted to hold Rey how Hux was holding Rose. His frown deepened, what the fuck was Poe Dameron doing anyway?

“I’m sure,” Phasma chuckled and a shiver ran down his spine. Whenever Phasma laughed like that, he knew it would involve him doing something he really did not want to do. What was she thinking? 

“What is it?” He sighed.

“We’re going to offset this by showing the opposite of what they’re trying to do, of course.”

“Man, why does TMZ have a hard on whenever it’s you?” Finn shook his head, “I mean, I know you’re hot and all but there are other actors too,”

“Right? I mean, Tom Hiddleston’s hot too, why does no one try to find anything bad about him?” Rose added, “Not that there seem to be anything remotely bad about him but,” She shrugged.

“He dated Taylor Swift,” Poe said, “That’s about the juiciest thing they could find,” 

“Ben on the other hand,” Hux sighed, “Well, you’re a mess, Solo, no offence.”

Ben scowled. No he wasn’t.

“So what is this plan and how can we help?” Poe asked.

Phasma smiled pleasantly and another shiver ran down his spine. Phasma would’ve made a scary as fuck demoness who would smile before throwing you to the wolves to get torn to pieces.

“You mentioned how The Chewies are still a hot topic after all these years, correct?” Rey nodded, “Well, I was thinking we can have them perform. It might be a little risky but I don’t think our Ben looks too much like his father for anyone to notice.”

“Wait, you want Ben to perform with The Chewies?” Hux’s brows rose, “We’re going to have Leia and Ben on TV right after New Years wouldn’t people guess that they’re related? I mean, they’re both Solos.”

“Well yes, they might make the connection but really, what better buzz to create for the interview? Besides, nobody knows Han was even married, and we won’t be sharing the whole performance. Just a quick thirty-seconder and a few pictures. We can say Ben’s a long-time fan,”

“Don’t I get a say in this?” Ben blinked. He can’t perform with The Chewies. Han always did the vocals and though he knew the songs by heart but he couldn’t perform as Han’s substitute. It’s always been Han and The Chewies. He’s always been the one to keep everyone together, “I can’t sing,”

Phasma snorted, “Yes, you can.” 

“Wait, Ben Solo sings?” Finn asked, surprised.

“Of course,” Poe laughed, “I mean his parents are musical geniuses and from what I hear his grandpa was too.”

Rey met his eyes and his chest ached at the worry he saw in them.

“We can just let it be,” He suggested, “I mean it’s not the first time and usually it just blows over after a few days,”

“Yeah, I think you might want to deal with this the soonest,” Poe mumbled. He was reading the article on his phone, “Jesus, this is borderline libel. Sunshine, take a look at your Twitter account, please.”

Rey frowned and opened it on her phone. She paled.

“What is it?” He opened his too and frowned at the mentions.

 

@That_British_Girl, @BenSolo didn’t hurt you, did he? #NoMeansNo #AreYouOkay? #NoReylo

Is @BenSolo really violent? Did he force you to do anything? @That_British_Girl #AreYouOkay?

Are you together right now? @That_British_Girl #AreYouOkay?

I knew it, he’s too much for our baby princess!!! @BenSolo is a monster @That_British_Girl are you okay???

 

“Son of a bitch,” Ben muttered, “How did I turn into this this time?”

“You really have to ask?” Phasma sighed, “I told you not to keep hitting the paps.”

“Rey?” Poe met Rey’s eyes and they shared some form of silent communication and she nodded. 

His phone buzzed and he saw that she’d replied.

 

I’m okay! @BenSolo is a great guy, please don’t believe pointless rumours. He’s at a party right now with me and @FN-2187 @PilotDameron @rosieposie @ABHux at the boss’s place! #ChristmasParty #FirstPartyInYears #NoToFalseJournalism

 

“Alright, huddle up,” Poe clapped his hands and everyone moved like they were all part of a play he had no idea about. Phasma pulled him in while Rey took the selfie with a huge grin. She started tapping on her phone quickly. 

His phone buzzed again, this time it was Instagram. She’d posted it on her story with a bunch of hearts, the time and a caption that says ‘Late-night coffee with this bunch @ the boss’s gorgeous kitchen!’ 

Not that they could see the actual kitchen.

He wasn’t sure how that would help but Phasma seemed content.

“I should get a professional fee for this,” Poe said, “But we’re all family, aren’t we?” 

“Thanks for the assist,” Phasma inclined her head, “Now, about that performance.” 

Ben was shaking his head, “I can’t.”

“What are you talking about, Solo? You’re a great singer.” Hux said, “And I’ve heard you loads of times to know you would’ve gone big if you went in your father’s footsteps.” 

He grimaced.

“We can only do so much distraction. We need something big and not a lot of people actually know you sing.” Phasma said.

“I hate to agree,” Hux sighed, “But I can’t really think of anything that would be big enough aside from telling people your mother’s Leia Organa and your father’s Han Solo or outing your…” He didn’t continue and cleared his throat, “Anyway, there really isn’t much choice.”

“Outing what?” Finn arched a brow, “What were you about to say there, Hugs?” 

“Nothing.” Hux grunted and Rose snorted back a laugh.

“Hm?” Poe eyed Rey who was avoiding eye contact.

Ben groaned, “Fine. I’ll do it.” 

“Wonderful! I knew you’d see things my way,” Phasma chuckled, “Come on, we have work to do.”

He met Rey’s eyes again and she smiled reassuringly. 

He breathed out a nervous sigh.

Chapter Text

Pio and Ackbar were more than happy to perform with Ben. Chewbacca was a different story. Luke had been there too and he had arched a brow.

Leia beamed when they told her and said that she still had instruments in the garage. They’d just have to move The Falcon to fit everybody. 

Chewbacca grumbled and Maz smacked his arm. He grumbled again but agreed.

“Ooo, I can’t wait to hear this.” Lando laughed, “I had high hopes for you, you know.” Ben grimaced, “But you’re a pretty good actor so,” He shrugged. 

“He always acted like such a brat,” Amilyn whispered to Rey, “But he had the voice of an angel.”

Rey wasn’t sure if she agreed. To her he sounded more like the devil himself, whispering so sweetly in her ear, tempting her.

He was tuning a beat-up vintage brown Stratocaster while Ackbar tuned the bass. Chewbacca set up the drums and Pio assembled the mics.

Leia’s couch was pushed up against one wall and Leia had wrestled Rey, Rose and Amilyn on it somehow. The rest, she said, can remain standing.

The garage itself was big enough for three cars so they didn’t have to move The Falcon too far. Rey eyed the big dent on the wing and wondered why it was never fixed. She’d have to ask Ben when she got the chance. 

“This is exciting, isn’t it?” Luke said, standing by where Leia sat.

“Mm,” Leia was smiling, “Have you heard Ben sing before, dear?”

“U-um, yes, yes I have.” Rey stammered a little and flushed.

“Oh?” Luke’s brows shot up.

“Oh, don’t tease the poor girl,” Leia shushed him, “That Gwen is very domineering,” 

They all turned to Phasma as she ordered four grown men around with ease. She had her phone out. What song they were to perform was a surprise, she said. 

Rey was more concerned at how awkward and tense Ben was and the way he was looking at the guitar broke her heart. He’d gone pale when Leia handed him the old Fender and looked like he didn’t even want to touch the thing, like he was scared that he’d break it. He shuffled uneasily.

“Alright, we’re ready,” Phasma announced. Pio let out a riff on the glittery blue and white key-tar and giggled when Phasma scowled at him. She cleared her throat and gave a brief rundown of what she wanted to happen.

Posting on social media accounts is a must, she said, to divert the attention to Ben’s surprising skill with music instead of his more violent tendencies with the paparazzi. It would, incidentally, coincide with Resistance and Jessika Pava’s announcement that there will be an interview with the Leia Organa who’d somehow gotten Ben Solo to sing at her party just the night before.  

“Again, nothing longer than thirty seconds. I will be monitoring this,” There was a murmur of agreement, “And you must tag Ben Solo, Leia Organa and the official accounts of Resistance and First Order, and use the hashtags Ben Solo Sings, Resistance Christmas Party, and The Chewies.”  

There was another murmur of agreement and Rey started recording.

Ben plucked the first mournful note of the song.

“Oh,” Rey heard Leia gasp softly.

‘Speechless, that’s what I was,’ Ben’s throaty voice sent shivers down her spine, ‘Standing on the edge, I was on top of the world, doing whatever I want. There you stood in the crowd, shining so bright. Baby, you took my breath away.’ 

It was considered the only love song Han Solo ever wrote. At the time it raised so many questions; who was it addressed to? Who was the ‘you’ he was talking to? Theories abounded but nothing ever came out of it. After that it was taken as fact that Han had written it with no one in mind, dedicating the song to the women who attended the concerts so they feel that he was talking to them, to make them all feel special. 

Leia clutched the chain necklace around her neck; it ended with a golden die and latched together to form a pair. She looked as though she wasn’t even there in that moment but somewhere deep inside her memories. 

Baby, even the stars have nothing on you,’ Ben met her eyes briefly and for a moment it was like there was nobody else in the room but them, ‘Cause you shine,’

She chewed the inside of her lip. Chewbacca did a short solo and Ben looked away, focusing instead on the complicated set of riffs that served as the bridge. His brows furrowed in concentration and she could almost see the beads of sweat on his brow.

‘You gave me hope and scared the demons that lurked in my head, 

Ben had such an amazing range of voices from his usual clear tenor to rough, gritty, guttural growls, and now, he sounded so smooth and deep and powerful, bringing life back to a song written by a man in love that hadn’t been sung in decades. 

There was a hush when the song ended with the same mournful note that started it. Rey ended the video, breathless. She saw Leia wipe a tear away discreetly, and then, a roaring applause.

Heart pounding, she clapped as well.

Chapter Text

Ben looked at the dirty garage floor and carefully replaced his father’s guitar on its stand. 

“My word, Ben,” Pio laughed and patted his back, “You sang that almost better than Han,”

Ben grimaced and rubbed the back of his neck, murmuring a thanks. His throat felt itchy. He gave it his all to sing that song. It had been a surprise for his mother; Han had told him the story during one of the times he’d forced Ben to work on The Falcon with him. He wrote the song right after he met Leia and only let it see the light of the world on their fifteenth anniversary. 

How he’d kept it a secret from Leia for fifteen years had always been a mystery. 

Ben had rolled his eyes, wondering just exactly how cheesy and lame his father could be. 

He was such a dick. 

He glanced at Rey, the ache in his chest intensifying. He understood now, what Han had felt all those years ago.

“Wonderful job, Benjamin!” Ackbar slapped his lower back; he couldn’t really reach any higher, “It takes me back. We should do it again sometime. Don’t you think so, Chewie?” 

Chewbacca, as usual, grunted. Ben still wasn’t sure what Luke told him about their argument but it seems Han’s best friend was firmly against him. 

At least, he thought so until he patted his shoulder before walking away to speak with Leia. 

He rubbed the back of his neck again and sighed when more people approached. Lando had handed him a bottle of water, smiling a smile that told him that he understood the roiling jumble of emotion currently making him dizzy and unable to breathe. 

He never sang any of his father’s songs before, not even when he’d been alive.

“Alright, kindly start posting your thirty-seconders, and I cannot stress enough that it must be no more than thirty seconds. First Order will be posting a full video once we’ve acquired permission from both Resistance and the independent parties.” Phasma of course was still shouting orders like some sort of general.

Pio and Ackbar were already giving their consent. Ben was actually surprised Phasma didn’t have her iPad with her so she could have them sign an agreement on the spot. 

His phone started buzzing in his pocket and he ignored it.

Rey finally approached, smiling. His heart leapt. It wasn’t the first time she’d heard him sing, he actually sang a lot with her around, but it was the first time she’d seen him with an actual band.

“You were amazing,” She said, handing him a handkerchief.

“Thanks,” His fingers brushed against hers when he took the cheerful floral cloth from her. She blushed and looked down. He wiped his forehead and gulped some more water. His sweater felt unbearably hot in the packed garage. He could only imagine what it felt to actually be singing onstage. The plays he’d acted in was already hot enough in costume but performing live onstage in a crowded music hall with all those glaring lights would’ve been hell. 

“It’s getting hot, innit?” She said, smiling a little, “Maybe we can go somewhere with a window so you can cool off?” 

Where could they possibly go without the paps actually getting a shot of them? He grabbed her hand and led her back into the house while everyone was still busy posting and tagging and summoning up a storm online. 

“Where are we going?” She asked as he led her upstairs. She hesitated, “It’s a little weird to go up the family rooms, isn’t it?” 

“They’ll probably be too busy to notice.” He said, “But I don’t know where else we can go without being seen,”

He let her in his old room and fidgeted a little. His old band posters were still on the walls and the practice calligraphy he’d tacked haphazardly long ago were now framed and hanging on the wall over his desk. Leia had kept the room clean and immaculate in the unlikely event that he’d come and stay over. He’d long ago outgrown the queen bed that still had the AC/DC sheets covering it.

“You must’ve really loved AC/DC,” She said, giggling. He shrugged and opened the window, letting the cool winter air in. This room looked more lived in than his current home. He sat next to her on the bed, “So this is where you stayed while growing up,” She took it all in with wide-eyes. He hadn’t opened the lights so only the lights filtering in from outside illuminated their surroundings. 

And she shone. 

He tucked her hair behind her ear and she smiled. 

“You’re beautiful,” He murmured, tracing her jawline, mesmerised by the freckles dusting her nose. She flushed but didn’t look away. I love you.

She took the hand that was still tracing her cheek and squeezed, “How are you?” How could she have known? 

“I’m fine,” He said almost automatically and she frowned. He sighed and looked away, “It’s a lot.” He said thickly, “I never…I never sang any of his songs before.” She was still holding his hand, with both of hers now, on her lap, “At first I just thought it was lame, you know?” He grimaced, “What kid doesn’t think their parents are lame?” She smiled a little, “And when he got sick I just…it didn’t feel right.” 

“So did it?” She asked, “Feel wrong?”

He shook his head and she smiled.

‘Cause baby you shine. You chase away the demons in my head.’

“I’m sure he would’ve loved to hear you,” He met her eyes and smiled too.

“Thank you.” He whispered, his eyes flicking down to her still-smiling lips. He leaned closer.

She met his desperate kiss eagerly and dropped his hand so she could wrap her arms around his neck. He groaned and lifted her easily by the waist to settle her on his lap. Why is it that his control was always so frail whenever they were alone? Her dress rode up and he ran his fingers up her thighs. The wind blew in and he felt the goosebumps rising on her exposed skin. 

He wanted to trail kisses up her thighs and bury his face between them.

Her lips always tasted so sweet and his tongue delved deeper, seeking out hers, still trying to figure out just what the drugging taste actually was. Her whimper made his cock twitch and he remembered belatedly the box in his pocket. Would she be able to feel it pressing against her thigh?

He pulled her closer, his hands gripping her thighs tight. He didn’t think she realised how she’d started canting her hips to rub against him. He groaned pulling away so they could breathe.

She gasped and he pressed kisses down her throat, flicking his tongue against the small, purpling bruise below her jaw. Had anyone noticed it yet? Would some eagle-eye fan spot it in the many pictures they took? 

Half of him wanted people to know, to find out that he’d been the one to put the mark there. 

“Ben,” His name was a sigh. She tangled her fingers in his hair and tugged. His cock jerked again and he groaned.

“Do you think it’d be rude if we left now?” He growled and she laughed a little breathlessly.

“Ma-maybe,” He gripped her hips and ground her down against him. She moaned. He swore he could feel the heat of her pussy through her underwear and his jeans, “Wouldn’t, wouldn’t people start to wonder where we are?” 

“Soon,” He murmured and caught her lips again. Still so wonderfully sweet. He didn’t even know how much he loved sweet things until he tasted her lips, “We should go home soon,” He murmured and nipped her ear. She shivered, “Look at me,” Her eyes were glassy and glazed, her lips kiss-swollen, “You are so beautiful, baby.” She shivered. Her lips were soft and pliant under his and he closed his eyes.

He pulled her hips closer and she leaned back, simultaneously pulling away and dragging him closer by the hair, like she couldn’t decide what exactly she wanted to do. His cock throbbed with a familiar ache. He groaned when she ground down against him. He pulled away with a ragged gasp.

“Baby,” He groaned, “Fuck baby, you’re killing me,” She bit her lower lip and he almost whimpered. Anybody who’d see them would know exactly just what the fuck they’d been doing, “I can’t wait to get you home.” 

She shuddered and he leaned forward to nip at her throat.

Chapter Text

They really should go back down and make an appearance before saying goodbye. Would it really be okay to leave? There were still so many people and Ben was still Leia’s son and technically one of the hosts. 

Not that he’d been doing a very good job of it in the first place.

Still, she couldn’t help but be drawn back to his lips. She could feel how his stomach tensed against her as he supported her weight with his arms. How they ended up in this position she wasn’t sure but she loved how desperately he sought her out, pulling her close and stretching forward so he could reach her mouth.

It was like he couldn’t get enough of her and neither could she. 

Heat and tension swirled in her stomach and with every teasing nip on her throat she felt herself getting wetter and wetter. 

She whimpered a little and rubbed against him shamelessly. His deep groan was like music to her ears. 

“Daddy, please,” She whispered in his ear and he let out a strangled groan. His fingers dug into her hips. 

It was a little strange how she wasn’t nearly as embarrassed as she should be but he never gave her a reason to be ashamed of herself. His large hands were jerking her hips back and forth against him and she leaned back a little to look at his face.

His cheeks flushed and his eyes were dazed. He was biting his lower lip and when she rolled her hips against his eyes rolled back.

“Fuck.” He hissed.

“Should we go home?” She panted in between kisses. He groaned out a ‘yes’ and gave her another drugging kiss. 

He pulled away, “You should go down first,” He said breathlessly, eyeing her with hooded eyes. She shivered, “I need to…,” He cleared his throat and she felt him twitch between her thighs, “I need to cool off a little,” He laughed softly and ran his fingers through his tangled hair, “Christ.” 

She couldn’t help but giggle, “Okay,” She whispered and pressed a chaste kiss on his already swollen lips. She was sure she looked similar, if not worse than he did, “Let me just use the toilet real quick,” 

She slid off of him and went to the ensuite bathroom. She could feel his gaze on her back and she suppressed a shiver. She met his eyes once before closing the door.

Then, she leaned against the door and let out a stuttering breath as she tried to calm her racing heart. What was that? Seriously, how is it that they’ve only just started dating the night before? They haven’t even actually gone out on a date and they’re already ready to jump in bed together. 

Not that she’s complaining. She’s never had a boyfriend as passionate and intense as Ben Solo. She quite liked it. He always seemed so calm and collected, a perfect gentleman really, but the moment they were alone with the door closed it was like whatever thin hold he has over himself just snaps.

Speaking of, did they even close the door to his room?

She turned squeaked when she saw herself in the mirror. Her lips were pink and raw and swollen, her hair looked like a hurricane went through it and she could see the start of more marks on her neck. She bit her lip and washed her face. 

People would know. A thrill ran down her spine at the thought. She really wanted people to know that she was his and he was hers. She finger-combed her hair and hoped that it was tamed enough for people not to notice.

She also hoped that people downstairs were too drunk to even care.

He was still on the bed when she came out, still looking as wrecked as she felt. He smiled, his dimples winking, and she flushed.

“I’ll be down in about five, I think,” He rasped and caught her hand when she passed. She caught a glimpse of the impressive bulge on the front of his jeans and his smile widened, “Baby, if you keep looking at me like that we might end up spending the night here, after all.” 

She squeaked and looked away, heat suffusing her cheeks again, “I-I’ll wait for you downstairs,” She stammered. She pulled her hand but he didn’t let go, “Ben?”

“Gimme a kiss first, sweet thing,” The heat in his eyes threatened to burn her but it drew her in anyway. She leaned down. 

The peck she’d intended to give him turned into a deep, languorous kiss that took her breath away. She pulled away reluctantly, biting her lower lip, “We won’t be able to leave if we keep doing that,” She mumbled and he chuckled.

“You’re right,” He said, tucking her hair back behind her ear, “Wait for me downstairs.”

“Okay,” She could still feel his gaze on her back when she left.

 

Sneaking down the stairs felt a little like she’d snuck out to spend the night with her boyfriend. She’d looked left and right and over and under and jumped at the slightest sound. It seemed everyone was still in the living room. Music was playing and she could hear laughter and more than one glass clinking together. 

“Rey!” She jumped and yelped, “Jesus, baby girl,” Finn laughed and Rey scowled at him, “Right, right, sorry. Don’t call you that,” He grinned, “We were just looking for you. Poe’s drunk a little too much so we’re heading out. Trust me, you wouldn’t want to see him do a strip dance on Leia’s coffee table.” 

“I’m sure you would though,” Rey laughed.

“Well of course,” Finn laughed too. If he noticed anything, he didn’t say, “So I was going to ask if you needed me to drive you home? Or is Solo going to bring you?” He smiled wryly and she couldn’t help but blush.

“Ben’s taking me home.”

“I figured,” He ruffled her hair, “Princess Rey’s growing up.” There was a loud crash and Finn winced, “I think that might be Poe. I should probably go get him,”

“Do you need help?” She asked and he shook his head, “I’m good, Bey. I can still carry him,” She followed him into the living room where they found Poe sitting on the rug. He grinned at them.

Papi, there you are,” Rey tried to keep a straight face but couldn’t. She snorted. Poe gave her a little moue, “Oh don’t me, sunshine. You have your Daddy, I have my Papi.” 

The crowd that had formed around them laughed and she wasn’t sure if she wanted to too or if she wanted to smack him to bits. 

“Get your ass off the floor, Poe.” Leia appeared next to her, laughing, “That rug was a gift, I don’t want you vomiting on it.” 

He grinned some more and pretended to gag before laughing and hauling himself off the floor, “Just kidding,” He said, “You know I love you too much to do that to you,” 

“Yes, yes, I know,” Leia said sagely, “Now go to Papi and go home,”

Rey snorted again and covered her mouth so she wouldn’t laugh. Finn’s face shone, stunned and a little embarrassed by Leia’s teasing. He shouldered most of Poe’s weight and laughed when he planted a wet smooch on his cheek.

“Drive safe,” Rey said and Finn grinned at her.

She watched them leave.

“I assume you’ll be on your way soon, too?” It sounded more like a statement than a question. Rey flushed and looked away.

“Um, yes, I, I think so.”  She stuttered and Leia chuckled. She placed a hand on her arm.

“Don’t worry, dear, despite what he thinks I know my son. He won’t hurt you but if he ever does something stupid and hurt you, you call me.” Rey sucked in a breath. It felt like her whole face was red now, “It’s a pity you had to wash off your lipstick. It was such a nice shade on you. You would go with us to the interview, wouldn’t you?” She led Rey back to the kitchen and handed her a mug of tea, “I assume Ben already asked.”

“Yes,” She squeaked and took a sip.

“Good. He would need the support, I think. He doesn’t nearly have enough support,” She sighed and fixed herself a mug too, “I’m afraid that’s my fault so I hope you’ll help him.” 

“Um,” Rey wasn’t sure what to say, really, “I’ll try my best?”

“That’s all I’m asking, dear. I can see how happy he is with you.” She smiled, “If you’re with him I can rest easy.” 

“There you are,” She shivered when he heard his voice, deep and still a little rough, “Mom,” 

Leia smiled widely, “Hello, dear. Where have you been? I haven’t had the chance to tell you how amazing you were. Of course, I always knew you would be,” 

He went to stand next to Rey looking a lot cleaner and put together than she was, “Thanks.” He rubbed the back of his neck. She offered him her cup and he gave her a tight smile before taking it and taking a distracted sip. Leia’s smile widened.

“You two make such a lovely picture,” She chuckled. Ben arched a brow.

“Where’d everyone go?” He asked, changing the subject.

“Your uncle Lando went home,” Leia said, “Amilyn’s staying over the night though and I believe you might see your uncle Chewie at Rey’s building.” 

Rey’s eyes widened, “Maz and Mr. Chewbacca are a couple?” 

Leia said ‘yes’ the same time Ben said ‘not really’. She looked at the two of them with confusion.

Leia laughed, “Maz was a very big fan of the band back in the day and she always only had eyes for Chewie. They’re not exactly a couple but they’re not…not a couple either.” 

She blinked and Ben sighed, “They’re like a weird on again, off again, couple.” He said and handed the mug back to her, “We should go soon,” She took another sip.

Leia was nodding, “Go, it’s getting late anyway.” 

“Thanks for having us, mom.”

Leia rolled her eyes and stood on her toes to pat his cheek, “You’re my son, Ben, you’re always welcome.” 

He looked away and cleared his throat, “We’ll go and say ‘bye’ to people,” 

She waved them away and Rey gave Leia a small smile before putting the now-empty mug down on the counter. She followed Ben back into the living room.

Chapter Text

It took another half an hour to say goodbye to everyone and Ben tried not to let his impatience show. He wasn’t really doing a very good job of it judging from the amused look Hux had given him. 

“We shall see you next year,” Phasma said, “Enjoy the holidays,” He scowled at the glint in her eyes and she chuckled. He ushered Rey out the backdoor and together they walked back to his car. 

He linked their fingers together and she looked up, surprised, “This is fine, right?” He murmured, rubbing his thumb over the back of her hand. He felt her shiver, “There probably aren’t any people around anymore who’d see.” 

Her smile was bright and he wanted to lean down to give her a kiss. He didn’t even think he was one for showing affection publicly but with her, it was like he couldn’t help it. 

Their walk was dismally short. He helped her get on the truck and stole a quick kiss. She gasped and flushed. He grinned and gave her a wink before going around to the driver’s side. 

The air felt heavy and thick, almost oppressive in its heat. His condo was nearer. He told her so and she’d flushed when she realised the implication. His hand on the steering wheel tightened, “We don’t have to do anything,” He finally said, “I’m not… I don’t expect anything,” He could feel her stare, “And if you’re more comfortable in your apartment we can…” 

She placed her hand on his arm and smiled. His heart skipped a beat, “I’d like to see your place,” She said and he swallowed thickly.

He nodded.

The fifteen minute drive to his condo was silent and they sat in the dim basement parking for far longer than they should’ve. 

“Are you okay?” She asked, eyes wide and trusting. He nodded and reached for her cheek almost dazedly. He brushed her lower lip with his thumb and swallowed hard before pulling away.

“We should get out,” He cleared his throat and hopped out of the car. He walked to her side and helped her down. 

He didn’t let go of her hand. 

Coffee. 

He’d make them coffee and they can just hang out and cuddle if that’s what she wanted.

Her hand felt so small in his and he squeezed.

The elevator ride and the short walk to his door was awkward and silent. He could barely hear the beep his door made when he’d pressed his finger on the scanner. He should probably put her print in too.

He let her hand go when they’d entered and cursed himself for not thinking of leaving a light, any light on. He didn’t exactly expect to be here in the first place.

He shifted and resisted the urge to press a palm on his aching cock. He should at least offer a drink.

“Ben,” She started in her husky voice and he snapped.

Chapter Text

She’d only said his name and now she found herself pressed against the wall, her hands pinned tightly on either side of her head. She gasped and then moaned when he shoved his tongue in her mouth. Their kisses had always been hot and desperate but this, this was different. He kissed her eagerly, desperately, with a certain determination that made her stomach tighten and her underwear unbearably wet. She tried to keep up, brushing her tongue against his but he only pressed tighter, leaning down in a manner that’s probably really very uncomfortable.

The growl that came deep from his throat sent tingles down her spine, straight to her clit. She whimpered. He pulled away and growled again, leaving her hands free so he could pull her up by the waist and press another hot, devouring kiss. 

Her hands went around his shoulders and her legs went around his waist instinctively. She moaned when he rolled his hips against her.

“Ben,” She gasped in his ear when he’d latched on to her throat and sucked. Her hips jerked forward and he groaned. His hands trailed up her thighs, pushing her dress up. 

He pulled away when he couldn’t pushed it up any higher than her hips.

Then he jerked them both away from the wall. She yelped and clung to his shoulders, “Ben!”

“I won’t let you fall,” He whispered hotly and pressed an open-mouthed kiss on her lips. She moaned grabbed onto his hair, jerking it back and making him groan and press into her harder while they stumbled into his room. 

She’d lost her dress somewhere along the way and whimpered when he pulled away to drop her on the bed. His lips were parted and wet and swollen. She bit her lip and suppressed a moan when he pulled off his sweater. 

He was even bigger than she’d imagined and she had the sudden urge to lick every inch of skin she could find and follow that tempting trail of hair she’d caught a glimpse of that led down his pants. 

“Don’t look at me like that, baby,” He rasped and crawled up the bed, “I might not be able to control myself if you do.”  

She bit her lip and rubbed her thighs together. Nothing in her fantasies could have prepared her for the sight of him crawling up her body, pressing teasing, feathery kisses up her belly and making her feel like his prey. She swallowed hard and met his searing gaze.

“You can still tell me to stop,” He whispered roughly and leaned close to her face. He stopped a hairsbreadth away from her lips and she whimpered. She could feel his breath going in her parted mouth and she shivered, “Tell me,” 

Daddy,” She moved closer and he moved away, hissing slightly.

Fuck, baby, I love it when you call me that,” 

“Daddy, please,” She whined again and he groaned and crashed his lips against hers in a bruising kiss. He reached behind her and unclasped her bra easily. She shook it off and he threw it over his shoulder.

He pulled away and her pussy clenched at the sight of the trail of saliva connecting their mouths. She raised her arms to cover her breasts.

“Don’t,” He growled and caught her wrist, “Don’t hide from me,” She squirmed while hungry gaze devoured her body, “Should’ve opened the lights,” He muttered and heat bloomed in her cheeks.

He leaned down to take a nipple in his mouth and large hand slipped into her black lace underwear. He sucked the same time he plunged a finger inside her and she tightened and moaned. He thrust his thick finger in roughly and she arched her hips, asking please more. He added another one, pushing and stretching, almost pounding into her like he was preparing her for something so much more.

“How much do you like this pair?” She felt his breath fanning across her skin, making her shiver, “Fuck it I’ll buy you a new one,” 

He nipped her nipple and used both hands to tear the flimsy piece of cloth away from her. She gasped.

He sat back and looked at her again and she realised that he was still wearing his pants.

“Ben,” He arched a brow and she bit her lip, “Please Daddy,” She could see the bulge in his jeans and she reached for his belt. He didn’t let here.

“Don’t move,” He growled and she stilled, “Good girl.” She shuddered again and watched entranced as he stood and unbuckled his belt. The chink of metal against metal was loud, almost vulgar as it cut through the sound of their panting.

She bit her lip and watched his fingers, still wet and glistening from her juices, unbutton his jeans and slide the zipper down almost in slow motion. She fidgeted and looked up to meet his eyes, hoping he understood what she was silently begging for.

His smile was slow and wide, almost smug, his dark eyes glittering in the dark. “You look so beautiful, baby girl,” He purred and pushed his pants and underwear down slowly. Her breath hitched and her eyes widened when his cock sprung out, bobbing a little and smearing pre-cum on his belly. She licked her lips subconsciously and his heavy-lidded eyes darkened impossibly. He gripped his cock at base and she whimpered, “Spread your legs,” 

She did and he crawled over her, his presence large and looming and intoxicating, making her think of nothing but him and having him inside her because please Daddy stop making me wait.

“What an impatient little girl,” He murmured and pressed a quick, sloppy kiss not quite on her lips. She felt him nudging against her, the blunt head of his cock pushing slowly into her. He paused suddenly, still pressed against her and she wanted to scream, “Condom?”

Rey gasped out that she had an IUD and he gave a soft growl and pushed. She gasped at the sudden intrusion and he stilled, jaw clenched tight, sweat beading on his brow.

“Breathe,” He hissed, his eyes wild and desperate and begging. She let out a shuddering breath and he hissed before pushing in a little more.

She moaned at the tight, almost painful stretching and spread her legs wider. His fingers dug into the sheets and he jerked his hips once, twice, until he was fully seated inside her. They moaned in unison.

He buried his face in her neck and shook. She could feel every twitch his cock made inside her and she whimpered, rolling her hips, urging him to move, “Tell me if it hurts,” He said tightly and pulled out slowly before pushing back inside just as slow. She wrapped her arms and legs around him, holding him close.

“I’m not going to break,” She whispered in his ear, “Let go, Ben.” 

And that was all it took for him to break.

He groaned and untangled her legs from his hips to push them higher. His fingers dug almost painfully at the back of her thighs. 

He pressed his mouth against hers, catching her gasp as he pulled out and slammed back down into her. Their mouths were dislodged by his pounding and he licked down to her neck, nipping and sucking and licking before settling on that most sensitive part right over the junction of her throat and jaw, near the pulse that was pounding almost as strongly as his hips. 

He sucked and she keened, clenching down tight around him, making him lose pace and gasp. 

He groaned her name and she’d never heard anything sweeter.

But he’d awoken something dark and greedy inside of her, “More,” She gasped, “Please, Daddy, harder.” 

He hissed a curse and released her thighs so he could tangle his fingers in her hair and hold her head in place while he gave her what she asked for. He swallowed her shriek and she kissed him desperately, her nails raking down his back. She was almost certain she drew blood but she couldn’t seem to care at the moment, not when he was kissing and licking into her like he needed her more than air. Not when his cock was stretching her out and filling her up to the point that she couldn’t even begin to differentiate where she started and where he ended. 

He tugged at her hair and she moaned and tightened some more around him. His hips stuttered and he pulled away with a gasp, “Where,” He didn’t stop thrusting and rolling his hips against hers, “Rey, where,” He shuddered and his eyes rolled back when she started fluttering around him.

“Inside,” She gasped and he made another desperate sound.

The coil in her stomach tightened and she held on, burying her face in his shoulder. She could feel her pussy fluttering and clenching around him, trying to hold him in while he pulled out and pushed in roughly. Tears welled in her eyes.

“Cum for me, baby,” It was his voice, deep and rough and tinged with desperation, that threw her over the edge. Her whole body shook and she bit down on the fleshy part of his shoulder.

He gasped and thrust deep inside her before letting out a low moan. His cock pulsed as he came and he tried to push some more, like he was trying get even deeper than he already was. 

His mouth sought hers and she moaned into the kiss. 

His cock twitched again and she wrapped her legs around him again.

Their kiss was long and lazy, this time, sweet, and she shivered when she felt his cock softening and slipping out of her.

Chapter Text

Rey woke up to bright sunlight and a heavy arm around her. 

Ben pulled her closer and threw a leg over hers. She could already feel him pressing against her ass.

She flushed.

They’d fucked and they’d fucked hard.

After that first frantic coupling he’d brought them to his bathroom and filled the large tub next to the enclosed shower.

He’d pressed her down against the cold marble counter next to the sink and fucked her again while they waited for the tub to fill. 

Then they’d washed each other’s bodies, exploring and kissing and licking and kissing some more. And he’d sat her on his lap and fucked her again.

The water had gone cold by the time they got out but he had no problem warming the both of them once they were on the bed again. He’d flipped her on her belly and fucked her again until they both came and collapsed into a tangled mess of limbs.

She looked at him, still unable to fully grasp that yes, he’s her boyfriend and they’d just fucked each other silly, the proof being the dull ache between her thighs. He murmured in his sleep and snuggled closer.

He looked younger in his sleep, less tense, she couldn’t even see the usual lines between his brows. And he looked vulnerable.

“Rey,” He sighed and murmured again, nuzzling her hair and snoring lightly. 

She smiled and tried to untangle herself from him gently. He frowned and she shoved a pillow in his arms. 

She wanted to stay in bed with him but they needed food especially after last night. As if on cue, her stomach grumbled. She padded into the bathroom, grabbing his discarded sweater off the floor.

She almost screamed when she saw herself in the large mirror over his sink. Her hair, of course, was a tangled mess but what’s more concerning were the bouquet of marks  in various shades of red and purple blooming on her skin, some larger than others. She turned slowly, inspecting her back and bit her lip when she saw the imprint of his teeth on the back of her neck.

What a mess.

Why did that make her feel so hot? 

Ben was insatiable, kissing and licking and biting and tasting everywhere he could like he was starving. Maybe he was. He relished her touching him in the same way she relished the affection he showered on her. 

She shrugged on his sweater and found a spare toothbrush in his bottom shelf. As she’d expected his sweater was soft and warm, large enough to fall over one shoulder and reach all the way down to the middle of her thighs.

It smelled like him too, deep and musky, a little like the forest, a little like laundry soap, but definitely Ben. Like his jacket, he’d never have this sweater back. 

She brushed her teeth and tried to brush out her hair before tiptoeing out to the room so she wouldn’t wake him.

He was still holding the pillow. The blanket he’d thrown over them the night before had fallen down to his hips and she bit her lip, resisting the urge to crawl back into bed. Maybe she’d wake him up with…She flushed, unable to complete the thought.

She tore her gaze away from him and did a double-take when she saw her mug sitting on his desk. Only, she was sure she’d left hers on the sink in her apartment.

She bent down so she could stare at it. Where did he…?

Then she remembered that little giveaway she did online before her album launch. He couldn’t have joined that…could he? She blushed at the thought of her long-time celebrity crush joining a small-time singer’s contest.

But then, this was Ben. 

Her Ben.

He wasn’t some unattainable star, not anymore. She glanced back towards the bed and smiled. He was her friend and boyfriend wrapped up in one delicious muscle-bound package.

She left the room before she could wake him up with her giggles. 

The penthouse was large and cold. She shivered a little and padded across the cold marble tile towards the large floor-to-ceiling windows. Sunlight streamed in and she marvelled at the gorgeous view he had of Hollywood and the glittering blue Pacific in the distance. She’d like to go there with him someday, when they’d finally let the world know about their relationship. 

His house didn’t really seem to have much in terms of personal effects. She couldn’t have known that the man living in it was a fan of AC/DC or that he knew how to play the white baby grand piano sitting in the far corner of his living room. 

It looked almost like a house from a magazine if it weren’t for the packed bookshelf and the old recipe box sitting on top of it. She browsed the titles, not at all surprised to find books about war tactics and strategies and sci-fi fantasy novels mixed together.

She smiled and noticed a brown envelope on the coffee table. It looked old and worn, unopened, with Ben’s name written on it. 

Did he forget about it?

His kitchen was a lot bigger than hers, the machines all looked shiny and new and barely used. It seemed he didn’t really spend a lot of time in his house and when she opened the fridge there was barely anything in it.

Maybe she should’ve insisted that they go home to her apartment last night.

Then again, she’d always wanted to know where he lived and what the things he surrounded himself were.

She looked around the large space. It was cold and lonely, kind of like the man himself. 

Poor Ben.

She shook her head and frowned at the contents of his fridge. She had no problem making anything from nothing.

Chapter Text

Ben woke up to an empty bed and for a brief moment he panicked, wondering if he’d dreamt the last few days up. Then he saw the white lace bra at the corner of the bed and breathed a sigh of relief.

Rey was here. 

Last night happened.

She didn’t leave him.

He stumbled into the bathroom to wash his face and brush his teeth and couldn’t help but grin at the large bruise on his shoulder where she’d bit him. He had felt the sting of the scratches on his back when they’d bathed but didn’t get a good look at them.

They looked angry and red but weren’t very deep. Who’d have thought she’d scratch him up like that? He chuckled and put on a pair of sweatpants. 

He could smell something cooking. 

She was wearing his sweater and his cock stirred in his pants. There was something about her wearing his clothes. It made a primal part of him purr, proud almost, that she’d find comfort in the clothes he’d worn.

He crossed his arms and leaned against the wall. He could get used to seeing her like this. She still hasn’t noticed him yet. 

And she was humming. 

Was that… “Air Supply?” He arched a brow and she squeaked, almost dropping a pancake.

“Be-Ben!” She flushed and looked down, “G-good morning,” 

He felt himself fail at keeping a straight face and gave up altogether. He chuckled and stalked towards her. She took a step back and he arched a brow and caught her by the waist. She squeaked again and turned a bright red, “Good morning, sweet thing,” He murmured and brushed his lips against hers.

She sucked in a breath and he made another pass at her lips, pressing just a little harder. She made a soft, breathy sigh that made his cock jerk.

He’d have thought he’d be worn out from the night before but it seemed years of  being busy with work and unintentional celibacy were catching up to him. 

“Ben, breakfast is getting cold,”

“Mm,” He gave her another kiss before letting her go so she could plate the pancakes she’d made.

Did he even have pancake mix?

He hid a smile when he saw his marks decorating her neck.

“So the nights are better, huh?” He didn’t miss the shiver that ran down her spine, “Does the day seem brighter, too?” He pressed himself against her back and this time, he felt her shiver, “Well, does it?”

She squirmed and her ass rubbed against him deliciously, “Maybe,” She squeaked and he chuckled.

“Liar,” He pressed a kiss on her ear and pushed away from her to sit on the bar stool.

She slid the plate towards him, “You didn’t have any syrup so I hope honey’s okay,” She said. 

He shrugged, “I don’t really eat breakfast.”

She frowned, “You should. You’re always so busy and you’re really big so you need a lot of energy,”

“I usually just make coffee,” He chuckled, “It’s a bother cooking for one.” Her expression turned sad and his chest ached, “Rey,”

“You don’t have to anymore,” She finally said, “I’ll cook for us, or we can take turns?” 

For a moment he was stunned at her declaration. She looked so determined. He suppressed a smile but he couldn't hide the happiness that bloomed in his chest.

She really is joy incarnate. 

He looked down at his pancakes and cleared his throat, “Okay,” 

Chapter Text

There it was again, that deep-seated loneliness in his eyes that he tried so hard to hide. She saw it every time he gave her that deep brooding stare, tucking his chin down, like he was trying not to look but couldn’t help it anyway.

Right now he looked like he was wondering if she was really there.

His eyes followed her movements as she went around the counter to stand between his legs, “Rey,” 

She shivered and placed her hands on his thick thighs to push herself up to give him a kiss. For a moment he didn’t move and then something clattered and he wrapped his arms around her.

He tasted like the honey he’d drizzled all over the pancakes. His fingers were trailing up the back of her thighs and she shivered. His hands reached her butt and squeezed. She pulled away with a gasp.

He arched a brow, “No underwear? Naughty girl,”

She flushed and looked away, “You tore them,” She huffed and he chuckled, still squeezing and groping. His fingers went lower, brushing against her pussy and making her jerk up.

“You’re wet, baby girl,” She tried to close her thighs but his hands were already there, brushing teasingly against her slit, “Sore?” She shook her head, not really, “Good.” He purred and lifted her up onto the counter.

She gasped. 

Plates were shoved haphazardly to the side and utensils clattered, “B-Ben, what are you doing?”

“Having breakfast,” There was a glint in his eyes and he licked his lips. 

He slid to the floor, on his knees, still not breaking eye contact. She rushed to close her legs but his hands were already there, pushing her thighs apart, “Ben,” He pressed a soft kiss on the inside of her thigh and she shivered, “You don’t—,” She bit her lip and stopped talking when he arched a brow.  

His eyes held her captive as he trailed kisses up one thigh and down the other. She swallowed thickly. She could feel his breath on her, making her clench and whimper. 

“You look like you want to ask me for something,” His deep voice rumbled and she felt it shiver across the sensitive skin of her thigh, “Tell Daddy what you want, baby,” 

She bit her lip harder and let out a soft squeak. 

He really was getting into the whole Daddy-baby dynamic. 

And if she were honest, so was she. 

She loved how wild and desperate it made him, how he’d kiss her like there was no tomorrow.

How he’d take care of her, almost worshipfully, like he had nothing more precious. 

He bit her thigh and she yelped. She met his eyes again, wide-eyed. He arched a brow, “Where are you wandering off to, hm?” He laved the spot he bit soothingly. 

Heat rushed to her cheeks and he gave her a lazy half-smile. His lips trailed up again and he blew a little on her clit. 

Her hips jerked up and she whimpered. She felt so cold and empty but still so unbearably hot, “Daddy,” She gasped and his expression grew serious. He didn’t move, “Please,” 

Then he smiled that devastatingly devilish smile and pressed his mouth against her wet heat. She whimpered and moaned but didn’t dare break eye contact. She couldn’t, not when he still staring deep into her eyes while his tongue flicked across her clit before thrusting into her.

Her thigh shook and when he pressed a finger inside her, her eyes threatened to roll back into her skull. He thrust into her, gently at first, before going faster and harder.

He sucked on her clit harshly and curled a finger inside her.

This time her eyes did roll back.

He nipped at her clit but she didn’t have time to feel the pain because he was already laving it with tongue and thrusting with his fingers.

Her fingers grasped at his hair, pulling and pushing, unsure of what she really wanted. She felt his groan reverberate inside her and she clenched down tight on his finger. He hissed and shoved another one in and she screamed a little. 

“You’re so beautiful, baby,” His voice was muffled and almost drowned out by her moans, “Beautiful,” He thrust harder and tried to put a third finger in.

She clenched down hard and shuddered as she came.

Chapter Text

Ben leaned back a little to watch her clench around his fingers. 

He licked his lips and stood, his fingers still stuffed inside her. He thrust again, almost lazily and grinned when she tightened around him.

He wanted to fuck her again.

She lay sprawled on his counter like some sort of offering, one that he was more than happy to partake in. 

And he would, just as soon as he got his sweater off of her.

She didn’t complain even when he threw it to the ground haphazardly.

He grabbed the bottle of honey and squirted the viscous fluid on her breasts.  

She gasped, eyes widening and pussy clenching. 

He grinned and leaned down to flick his tongue on her hardened nipple. Her pussy clenched again and his cock throbbed in his pants. She was so sweet all over. 

“Ben!” She hissed and then moaned when he lapped the honey off of her skin, “That’s not f-fair,” She said, stuttering a little when he thrust his fingers particularly hard into her. 

He didn’t let her have a moment’s reprieve, “What’s not fair, princess?” She tightened again and he arched a brow, “Hm? You like being called ‘princess’, baby?” She shook her head but he knew by how wet she suddenly was and how she’d tightened around him that she did. He chuckled, “We really have to do something about your lies,” 

He eyed a drop of honey slowly making its way down between the valley of her breasts and leaned down to lick at them. His fingers left her pussy and he wedged himself at the apex of her thighs. She whimpered and he sucked lightly. He was sure she’d have more of his marks by the end of the day.

For always if he had his way.

He kissed his way up her body to catch her lips in a searing kiss. She moaned and wrapped her legs around his waist. He tangled his fingers in her hair and angled her head so he could kiss her deeper.

“Please,” She keened before meeting his mouth again. Her hips rolled against his and he groaned, “Please, Daddy.”

He pulled away with a growl and pushed his sweatpants just low enough to free his cock. 

“Rey,” He groaned and thrust into her heat. He bit his lip but it wasn’t enough to stifle his moan. Her pussy wrapped tightly around him, sucking him in and tightening around him like a vice. He pulled out and she tightened even more. He threaded their fingers together, “Look at me,” He gasped and pushed back in roughly, “Rey, look at me, please.” 

Her gorgeous hazel eyes stared bleary at him and her hands, still linked with his, squeezed, “I see you,” She gasped, “I see you, Ben.” 

He screwed his eyes shut and buried his face in her neck because he couldn’t bear to look into those eyes anymore.

He thrust harder, the pleasure boiling in the pit of his stomach made his movements jerky. She clenched and his balls tightened. He could feel his climax coming from the way the small of his back tightened and how heavy his balls felt.

He gasped and thrust desperately, groaning, almost spilling out I love you.

She tightened around him almost unbearably and moaned his name when she came. 

His cock twitched and he moaned, gripping her fingers tight as he spilled inside of her. Her pussy fluttered around him, milking him until he had nothing left to offer. He jerked his hips weakly and shuddered. 

Her legs were still wrapped around his waist and he leaned heavily against her.

“Am I crushing you?” He turned and murmured in her ear. She tightened again and he let out a shuddering breath. 

“No,” She sighed and wrapped her arms around his neck, “I’m perfect,”

“Yeah, you are,” He murmured and pressed a kiss to her temple.

Chapter Text

They had to get up. The counter was, of course, hard and uncomfortable and Ben had  a crick on his neck from staying on it, and her, for so long.

He helped her slide off of it and she flushed when his cum came dripping out. 

He’d looked at the pearly white drops on his otherwise pristine marble floor and laughed. 

“I’ll clean it up later,” He said, “Wanna shower with me?” 

His dimples flashed and she bit her lip, “Only if you promise we’d actually shower.” His smile widened.

“I can’t promise that, sweet thing,” His hands were still on her hips, “You’re very hard to resist,” 

“Maybe I should shower in the guest room,” It should feel a little strange standing there stark naked when he’d already tucked himself back in his sweatpants but for some reason she couldn’t find it in her to feel uncomfortable. 

He laughed, “Fine, fine, I promise.” He raised his pinky. 

It was so unexpected that it took a moment for her to realise that he was actually doing a pinky swear. She giggled and linked her pinky with his, “You’re ridiculous,” 

“I thought I was Daddy?” He said rather cheekily and she laughed even harder.

“You’re even cracking dad jokes!” 

He winked and took her hand to lead her back into his room.

They passed by the cat mug and she paused. He glanced back at her curiously.

“Okay, I have to ask.” She said, “How did you get that?” 

He looked at where she was pointing and he actually blushed, “I, um,” He let go of her hand and cleared his throat. He was rubbing the back of his neck again, “I won it.” 

“From my contest?” He nodded, not meeting her eyes, “From way back when?” He nodded again.

She flushed too. He’d been watching since that long? Wait, it hasn’t actually been that long ago. 

“I uh, got curious,” He said almost shyly, “I had no idea who That British Girl Hux was talking about and…” He shrugged, “I thought you were pretty and your songs and covers were nice.” 

“You watched my videos,” She was stunned to say the least and naked as she was, somehow it felt like he was more vulnerable at that moment, “I thought you…” She chewed on her lower lip before continuing, “I thought you only joined that one livestream,” 

He shrugged, “I made the account for that but,” Then he stopped. His lips thinned and his face turned an even brighter shade of red.

“What account?” She asked, “You have a Youtube account?” 

“Y-yes,” He cleared his throat and rubbed the back of his neck again, “We should take a shower, you might get a cold,”

“What’s wrong if you have an account?” Why did he seem so shy about it? 

“Baby, you’re naked, can we have this conversation later?” 

She looked down at herself and flushed. She’d completely forgotten that she was naked. As if on cue, more of his cum dripped on the hardwood floor of his bedroom. She turned even brighter and walked past him to the bathroom.

He chuckled and followed her, pushing off his sweatpants in the process and stepping inside the shower stall with her.

She actually didn’t have a good look at his…package. She remembered all the questions and comments in her livestream asking if he was big all over and it certainly felt like he was but actually seeing it, even in its flaccid state, she could probably confidently say that yes, he is big all over.

Not that she’d actually share that to the world. 

He opened the shower and turned her around, “Tell me if it’s too hot,” 

Of course he meant the water but she blushed anyway. 

He shampooed her hair gently, “So, what’s wrong if you have a Youtube account?” He fingers stilled and he sighed.

“I didn’t want you to know,” He murmured, “It’s kinda embarrassing,” 

She glanced back to see his brows furrow, “I think it’s sweet,” 

He met her eyes and arched a brow. His lip twitched up, “Why, exactly, did you think I did it?” Then he looked away and sighed again, “Would you be angry if I tell you I…” He rinsed her hair. The scent of his shampoo made her a little giddy. She liked smelling like him.

“You what?” 

He was still hesitating. What did he do that was so bad? “I heard Kylo Ren has an eight-pack,” 

She giggled at the random declaration. Where did she hear that before? She turned and looked at his belly, “You do not,” She poked at his admittedly hard stomach, “Actually now that I think about it military men don’t either,”

He laughed, a little breathless, and she saw his cock twitch in the corner of her eye, “I do, you just can’t see it. Ripped abs are mostly for show anyway,”

She bit her lip and tried to imagine him with chiseled abs like Poe and couldn’t. She liked him the way he is, “You look good,” She said, “Just like this,”

Then she remembered. There was someone commenting on the chat-box before he called and hijacked her livestream; someone she’d never seen before. IHeardKyloRenHasAn8Pack.

He’d been the one to ask what she’d do if he’d been watching the livestream.

And what she’d do if he asks her out on a date.

Her eyes widened and she looked up to meet his eyes. He arched a brow, “We should rinse your hair before you get soap in your eyes,”

“That was you!” She gasped.

“Don’t know what you mean,” He coaxed her under the spray and hide a smile.

“Why didn’t you just call me and ask me out?” She scrubbed at her hair and he busied himself with soaping her up.

“I was scared,” He said softly, without looking up at her face, “I didn’t know if you’d say yes,” Then he chuckled, almost forcefully, “And you kinda rejected me when I asked you out at first,”

“Ben, we literally met twice at that time,” She grabbed the shampoo bottle and stood on her toes to wash his hair. He shrugged and bent down, “But I’m glad you asked again,”

“I know we’re going too damn fast,” He mumbled and pressed a wet kiss on her shoulder, “But I feel like…,” He swallowed audibly, “I feel like we’ve known each other for a very long time.” His forehead was pressed on her shoulder now and she could feel how nervous his confession had made him by the ever-so-gentle trembling in his shoulders. She knew exactly what he meant.

He always acted so big and tough but really, inside he was just another normal man trying to find somewhere to belong.

Her soapy breasts slid across his chest when she hugged him and she giggled when she felt his hardness prodding at her thigh.

Really, Ben was insatiable.

Chapter Text

They’d ended up in bed again. 

He just couldn’t get enough of her but after that last one he promised himself that he wouldn’t touch her again for the next couple of hours at least. He could see her wince  as she walked and though he was glad that she was more than happy and willing to let him fuck her, she was still a tiny slip of a girl and he wasn’t exactly a small guy either.

That’s how they ended up in the kitchen. She was wearing one of his old Stanford t-shirts and a ratty pair of sweatpants he’d dug up from the back of his closet. They should really get some clothes for her to keep here.

But she didn’t seem to mind, in fact she seemed to really like wearing his old clothes even if they dwarfed her.

She’d asked him to teach her how to use the espresso machine and he was more than happy to teach her.

Really, he was just plain happy to be with her.

“You have to press down hard,” He said, holding her steady as she used her weight to tamp the coffee grounds, “Be careful with your wrist and you’re going to want to twist it a little as you come up,” He felt her shiver when he murmured in her ear, “You want it even and flat so you extract the coffee properly,” 

“You know a lot about this,” She said and looked into the basket. He showed her how to lock it in place and placed a cup underneath it.

“I was curious,” He said, “It’s pretty easy once you’ve done it a few times.” The smell of freshly brewed coffee filled the air and she inhaled deeply.

Then he taught her how to foam the milk. She gave him the first cup and he watched as she made another.

She dumped sugar in her coffee, “That’s a lot of sugar there, sweet thing,”

She shrugged, “I like coffee but I like it sweet.” She grinned and her dimples flashed, “I like it with syrup too.”

“What do you usually order?”

“Gingerbread latte in winter,” She said and took a sip, “Vanilla sweet cream cold brew in the summer. Sometimes I like to have caramel macchiatos. And if there’s anything weird on the menu like honey latte I’d totally get that,”

He couldn’t help but smile as she chattered. She looked up and flushed before clearing her throat.

“What about you? Finn said you liked cold brew,”

“I do.” He said, “I’m a simple guy. I usually get black but if there’s anything cold brew, I’m there.” 

“Not into sweet things?” 

He eyed her over the lip of his cup, “Not until recently, no.” He said softly. She blinked up at him and blushed prettily.

“You, you can try mine,” She offered him her cup; he should buy her a cute one, something she’d like, instead of making her use the generic black ones he gotten in a set of four. He took her hand and moved it away. He leaned close and pressed his lips against hers, “It’s pretty good,”

She gasped and he swept his tongue against hers quickly before pulling away, “You’re right,” He said, smiling and licking his lips, “It’s good,” She turned bright red and looked away.

They’d moved on to the living room and he was once again struck by how cold and impersonal his house was. Would it be weird to ask her for help decorating? He liked how warm and cozy her small apartment was.

He’ll probably spend a lot of time there with her if he were honest. Maybe he should just move in; but the penthouse was closer to both of their workplaces. He frowned.

“Ben?” He glanced at her. She was looking at him curiously, “Are you okay?”

He realised she’d said something and flushed, “Sorry, I was just thinking. What were you saying?”

“Why haven’t you opened it?” He looked at the envelope sitting on his coffee table, “I mean you don’t have to but it looks kinda old,” 

He sighed and ran his fingers through his hair, “Truthfully I don’t really want to know what’s inside.”

“Oh.” She took a sip from her cup and he met her eyes, large and curious and patient.

He sighed again and tore his gaze from hers. Why did it always feel like she was looking straight through him? “It’s from my dad.” 

“Ah,” She placed her hand on his arm and for a moment he was brought back to their first encounter at The Cantina, “It’s okay, you don’t have to open it now.” She said, “You can open it when you’re ready.” 

He looked at her and back at the envelope, “I don’t think I’ll ever be ready.” 

“Well, he’s your father. Wouldn’t you want to know what he had to leave you?” He gave her a half-shrug, “Do you want me to go somewhere first? I can stay in your room or wander around your house,” 

“No. Stay, please.” He took her hand and squeezed, “I think—I think I’d feel better if you were here.” 

She smiled and he was struck again by how bright and innocent and happy it was, “Okay,” 

He placed his cup on the coffee table and reached for the envelope. It wasn’t heavy and something moved around inside it. 

He slid his thumb under the flap and swallowed hard before pushing it open. He tried not to tear it and he supposed given how it was the glue wasn’t really been that sticky anymore. 

There was a letter, a flash drive and the keys to The Falcon. He would know that keychain anywhere. The twin die matched his mother’s necklace. He placed the flash drive and the keys on the table and stared at the off-white letter envelope.

His hand shook as he opened it. 

Rey placed her cup on the table too and snuggled under his arm. He let out a shuddering breath and wrapped his arm around her, thankful that she was there. She  was almost lying down on his lap and didn’t say anything, just looked at him with a small, encouraging smile. 

He gave her a tight smile and swallowed hard before opening the heavy, yellowing piece of bond paper. 

‘Hey kid,’ Han wrote. His script was blocky and strong, ‘I know you’re upset we didn’t tell you immediately. I know you knew from the start. You’re smart that way, you know?’ 

'I know you’re trying hard not to let it show how much you’re suffering. Still suffering. We weren’t really good parents to you and by the time we knew it you were, what, thirteen? I knew at thirteen I for damn sure didn’t want to be with my parents anymore but you were such a good sport about it. And I never told you how sorry I was that your granddad never approved of me so you didn’t really get to be close to him like how granddads should be, you know?’

Ben blinked back the sudden tears the welled up in his eyes. Rey touched his shaking hand and he breathed out. She looked ready to cry herself and she wasn’t even reading the letter.

“It’s going to be okay,” She whispered and he gave her another tight smile before returning to Han’s letter. 

You wouldn’t believe how insanely proud I was when your mom told me you got into Stanford and that you joined the football team. I was in an interview for Rolling Stones at that time and I really wanted to tell them what it was that made he so happy. I’m sorry we never let it out in public that we were married with a son. We thought it would’ve been best, you know? And we wanted you to have a normal childhood too.’ Ben snorted at this. Nothing was normal in his childhood. 

‘I just wish we didn’t have to part so soon. I wish we had time and I’m sorry I couldn’t be there for you. Your mother and I always talked about how we’d love to see you get married and have a child. We even joked about giving the grandkid a guitar for his or her first birthday. Or both of them? Knowing how strong your mother’s blood is chances are you’d get your girl knocked up with twins. You were supposed to have one too, you know? But eh, you ate her. That’s why you’re huge.’  

He smiled a little. It would’ve been nice if he really did have a twin, ‘But we’d just be really happy to see you happy. You were always such a moody kid. Do you still have problems sleeping?’ His script started to get shaky here, like he was getting tired. ‘So many things I wanted to ask, to know. Things I should’ve known if I’d been a good father to you. But I am so proud of the man you’ve become. You are even better than what we’d both hoped for and I hope in the future you’d find your own success and happiness no matter what you decide to do. And don’t be afraid. Everything will be okay and someday you’ll see, the sun will shine brighter and you won’t be as upset. It’s okay, that’s supposed to happen. And wherever I’d end up in when I go, I’ll always be with you. Love you, kid.’ 

He signed it, ‘Dad’. A tear fell on it and he wiped it away quickly so the ink wouldn’t run. He folded it gently and swallowed thickly before putting it back in its envelope. 

He looked at the woman in his arms and tried to smile.

“You okay?” She asked softly, reaching up to touch his jaw lightly and reaching even higher to wipe the stray tear gathering in his eye.

“I’m fine,” He croaked and placed the letter on the table. He pulled her up to hold her and she yelped, “I’ll be fine.” She wrapped her arms around him and rubbed his back soothingly.

Chapter Text

“Thank you,” He murmured and pressed a kiss on her forehead. Somehow they’d ended up with her sitting on his lap and holding him for God knows how long. He eyed the flash drive and braced himself for more emotional shit. Was he even ready for that? What could Han have left in a flash drive? “I’ll go get my laptop,” 

“Okay,” She said softly and gave him a small smile and peck on the lips. He was so glad she was around and Han’s words about twins rattled in his head. What would he do if he does get her pregnant with twins? What did he even know about being a dad? He grabbed his laptop from the drawer and came back out. 

She’d set out a jug of water next to a filled cup and some tissues. He didn’t even know he had a box of tissue lying around. She smiled when he came back and he dropped another kiss on her forehead before settling in next to her. 

He liked her couch more. Maybe they should sit on the floor instead? He placed the laptop on the coffee table and slid to the floor. He looked up and held an arm out to her and she flushed before sliding down too and snuggling next to him.

Videos. 

The flash drive had videos in it, some longer than others. He read the titles.

When you’re sad and lonely.

When you can’t sleep.

When you need a pick-me-up.

When it’s your birthday.

When it’s Christmas

When it’s New Year.

When you’re angry.

When you get a girlfriend.

When you get married.

When you have a kid. 

When it’s my death anniversary.

He frowned and looked at Rey who shrugged. He’d gone through almost all of those in the last decade. 

He clicked on the first one and Han’s face came out. He was wearing his usual brown leather jacket and Ben swallowed hard. He looked thin here, “Hey kid,” He hadn’t heard that in years, “So you’re feeling sad, huh? I get it it’s one of those days. You think everything’s out to get you and you just can’t get yourself out of bed to do things.” He pulled up a guitar and started playing. 

Han always loved the Beatles and Ben couldn’t help but laugh a little when he started singing Here Comes The Sun. 

They listened quietly until he’d finished and ended the video with, ‘Love you, kid.' and moved on to the next. 

This time the song was ‘Take Me Home, Country Roads,’ and Ben stiffened a little.  Han, whenever he was in town, always sang him that to sleep. He had even gave him one of those bears that you can record things in so he could always sing him to sleep even when he wasn’t around. Ben had been upset and cried himself to sleep when it broke when he was ten. Of course, he didn’t let them know that. Would it still be in the boxes in Leia’s attic? 

Like the first one, he’d started with ‘Hey, kid,’ and ended with ‘Love you, kid.’

They watched it all and laughed at Han’s seemingly random choice of songs. It was like a playlist or a mixed tape except in video form.

But it did make him feel better. 

Then, when they reached ‘When you get a girlfriend’, he paused and looked down at Rey. He gave her a quick kiss and a small smile before clicking play. 

“Hey kid,” As always he was wearing his leather jacket. Ben would’ve thought he was recording all of these in one day but he could see how Han had gradually become thinner, “So you got yourself a girlfriend. Congratulations,” He squeezed Rey next to him, “I didn't think you'd have it in you, really. I mean you have my looks but not my charm. But then you always were a good judge of character so I’m sure she’s great and your mother and I would love her. Wish I coulda met her,” His throat tightened and he swallowed hard. Yeah, he wished Han could’ve met Rey too. They would’ve hit it off so well and Han could finally have someone to talk to who knew cars as much as, or even more than he did. He’d have been happy to watch them.

The song started and he sucked in a breath when his father started, ‘Hey Jude, don’t make it bad,’ Why did he sing this one for that? Rey looked up at him with such wide eyes, ‘Take a sad song and make it better,’ He gripped Rey’s hand and looked back at the screen, ‘Remember to let her into your heart, then you can start to make it better.’

He usually sang this to his mother, what did have anything to do with him and Rey? 

Rey couldn’t have known the significance either when she sang it before. He held her tighter. Hey Jude, don’t be afraid. 

He had been afraid. He’d been so afraid that she’d reject him and now he was terrified that she’d leave. You were made to go out and get her. The minute you let her under your skin, then you can begin to make it better.

‘Oh, oh, oh, and anytime you feel the pain, Hey Jude, refrain. Don’t carry the world upon your shoulders,’ He was grateful that she was with him, experiencing this, listening to Han, with him. He wouldn’t have been able to do it on his own.

‘Hey Jude, don’t let me down. She has found you, now go out and get her,’ He did and now he had her, ‘Remember to let her into your heart,’ She’s been there from the start and she made everything so much better.

He swallowed thickly and rubbed at his eyes. Han would’ve loved to see them sing together. You’re waiting for someone to perform with.

They sat quietly in the living room. He didn’t even know when they’d both started to cry. 

‘I bet you’re wondering why I chose that song, heh,’ He saw Han laugh a little. He looked so tired, ‘Well, I thought it was apt. You were always such a serious kid and after what your mother and I put you through, I know you’d…’ He cleared his throat, ‘Well, I knew you’d be scared. And I want you to know that it’ll be okay, that whoever you choose to be with, she’ll be there for you.’ Rey squeezed him around the waist and sniffled, ‘I love you, kid, and I’m sure I’ll love her too.’

They skipped the one about marriage and children and he hesitated before pressing the death anniversary video.

“You don’t have to watch it now,” Rey said, holding his hand. He brushed her tears away. She cried for him. 

He wanted to tell her that he loved her, so much that it hurt. 

He pressed the video.

Chapter Text

Ben broke when Han sang ‘Hey Jude’ for them but when he saw how sick Han looked in the last video and how calmly he talked about his own death, he’d shattered.

She held him as he cried and Han crooned ‘Father and Son’ in an increasingly raspy voice. It hurt hearing and seeing him like this. She felt his pain as he wailed, gripping her upper arms so tight she knew she’d have even more bruises. 

She’d slid into his lap again and patted his side. She tried not to cry too. She’s always been such a sentimental fool but hearing an actual honest to goodness father’s last messages made her heart ache, and Ben.

She felt it all, how he cried for time lost, for memories that never would be, for past regrets, for things he never said. Han’s song had ended and he was saying his last remarks. Rey wasn’t sure if he was listening, if he could even hear him. 

‘I’m sorry I have to go,’ Han said, his voice raspy and soft, ‘I really wish I didn’t.’

Ben shook and she shrugged his hands off and wrapped them around her waist so she could hold him properly. His body wrapped around her, like he was trying to make himself smaller. 

‘See you around, kid. Take care of your mother, alright? I love you.’ The video cuts off. 

Rey combs her fingers through his hair, “It’s okay,” She murmurs, “Let it out,” She sat there quietly, alternating between rubbing his broad back and brushing back his hair.

His phone rang from the bedroom and he hiccoughed, shuddering and moving her off of him.

“Stay,” She said, “I’ll get it,” She brushed his hair back from his face. His eyes were still wet and his nose rivalled Rudolph’s. She was sure she didn’t look any better. He sniffed, a great honking noise and she smiled. She gave him a soft kiss and got off his lap. He was still looking at her with those big lonely eyes, “Be right back,” 

She walked briskly into his room and found his phone thrown carelessly on the floor, almost underneath the bedside table. It’d stopped ringing by the time she got it and she saw that it was low on batteries and that he had quite a lot of messages both in their group chat and text messages, as well as notifications from Twitter.

She walked back out. He was still on the floor, staring at the paused video. He must’ve replayed bits of it. 

“Who was it?” He asked without looking at her. His voice was thick, still holding traces of his sorrow. She sat next to him and urged him to drink some water.

“Hux,” She said, “You have a lot of messages too.” 

“Mm,” He looked tired. Maybe she shouldn’t have asked about the envelope. 

His phone rang again and she jumped a little, “Hux is calling again, should I answer it?”

“Up to you,” He mumbled and she stood awkwardly to make her way to his balcony. She slid the door closed and shivered in the cold air.

She answered, “Solo, you bloody cunt, I know you’re busy with Rey with it wouldn’t hurt to check your phone every once in a while.” 

“Hi, Hux. This is Rey. Ben’s a little preoccupied at the moment,” Rey said, glancing back before sitting on one of the cushioned daybeds, “Should I get him for you?”

Hux didn’t answer for a long, awkward moment. He cleared his throat, “Sorry, hi, Rey. I uh, didn’t expect you to answer the phone.” 

“It’s alright,” 

Hux cleared his throat again, “So, uh, I guess you two are finally official?” 

Rey bit her lip and glanced back at Ben, “Yes,”

“Great!” Hux laughed a little, “That’s wonderful news and um, how is he?” 

“What do you mean?”

“I mean, he’s a bumbling oaf and he has a bit of an anger management issue but he’s a good person.”  

“I know that,” Rey laughed, “He’s…okay, I guess.” She cleared her throat, “He’s had um, a long day.” 

Hux paused again, “Is he alright? Is this about his parents?”

Rey was shocked that Hux would ask her that but he knew Ben better than anyone in the world and she supposed he’d know what happened. She sighed, “Yes, sort of. He’s going through a lot. He’ll probably tell you about it?”

“Yeah,” Hux sighed heavily, “Well, you keep on supporting him, yeah? And when there’s a chance tell him I’m getting a lot of calls from casting directors wanting him for singing roles.” 

“That’s great news!”

“Yeah, well, tell that to him.” Hux snorted, “He doesn’t like people knowing he can sing. And dance. And do art.” 

She remembered the framed calligraphy pieces in his old room, “Well, it’s out there now. I’ll tell him.”

“Thanks. Oh, and tell him Phas will contact him soon about his clothes for the interview on the second.” Hux said and hung up.

Rey shivered again and slipped inside. 

Ben finally looked up.

“How are you?” She asked and he gave her a small smile. He slid up the coach and extended his hand to her.

She took his and he pulled her into a side hug, his face pressing against her belly. He sighed and she brushed her fingers through his hair.

“What did Hux want?” He asked, not really answering her question.

Chapter Text

He packed a bag and brought them home to Rey’s apartment. He’d brought his computer and the flash drive too and they holed up in her apartment for the next few days doing nothing but eat, sleep and fuck, interspersed by long showers made longer by kissing and exploring each other which ultimately ended up with them back in bed, as dirty as if not more so than when they’d started.

Rey wasn’t really much to complain. It was like they had their own little world although her phone had blown up the moment she’d charged it with Poe demanding why she wasn’t answering anything and asking if she was alright.

She assured him that she was fine. It’s a wonder really, how he hasn’t figured out that she and Ben were dating.

Rey did the groceries so nobody would guess that Ben was in the area and he was okay with that. He busied himself with making copies of Han’s videos and editing them before turning them into mp3s so he could upload them to his phone. Once or twice she caught him rubbing his eyes. 

She smiled; he was healing, even just a little. 

So on New Year’s Eve they sat together in the living room, her editing the video they’d made and him converting music.

It was nice. 

He’d told her to keep the video of them making out just for the sake of it and she blushed but kept a copy anyway. 

She uploaded the video and sent the link in their group chat.

“I have to go back to the penthouse tomorrow,” He said with a sigh. 

She frowned, “Oh,” She didn’t want him to go, really. She liked having him around. Everything was cozy and warm and perfect.

“I don’t want to,” He said, “But Phas said it wouldn’t be good if I was caught coming out of here again or if we go to the studio together.”

“She’s right,” She said, snuggling under his arm. They’d taken to sitting on her rug and leaning against the couch. He pressed a kiss on her crown, “Are you nervous about the interview?”

He sighed heavily, “Yes. Phas wouldn’t let me know what I’d be wearing or what possible questions I should prepare for either.”

“I’m sure it’ll be fine, you’ve done a lot of interviews and you always look so confident and put together.”

He chuckled, “I’m an actor, sweet thing, that’s kinda my thing.” 

They were looking through her Twitter feed. The thirty-second video of him singing had gone viral, with people saying they were touched by the emotions he’d put into it. Others were saying that he was singing it to her.

 

That brief glance right there at around 0:23! He was looking at the camera! OMG @That_British_Girl He was singing to you! #Reylo4Eva #OMG #Serenade

No way, that’s a coincidence, right? @That_British_Girl is way too pure for someone like @BenSolo and she’s so young! #NoToReylo

Right? @That_British_Girl is an angel! #NoToReylo

Come on, @BenSolo is an angel too! I mean listen to him! And Rey @That_British_Girl said so herself! He seems like a nice guy. #YesToReylo #Reylo4Eva #PleaseDontBreakUp

 

“I am a nice guy,” Ben frowned and scrolled some more, “And I was singing it to you.”

Rey giggled, “I’m flattered,” 

 

Why aren’t you guys addressing the rumours? @BenSolo @That_British_Girl Are you dating? #YayOrNay #Reylo 

Seriously, I’d be down for #Reylo they look so good together! And age? Really? They’re both adults leave them be. #YesToReylo

 

“You should make a poll just for the hell of it.” He said, “I’ll vote too.” 

“It better be a ‘yes’,” She said and he laughed. 

The smell of herbs wafted from the kitchen and Ben got up to check on the pasta sauce they’d been simmering. She smiled and took a photo as he was tasting it. He looked good standing there and once their relationship was out in the open she’d be able to show the world just how good he takes care of her.

People judge him too hard, they never see this side of him and though she wanted this to herself, it might be good for his image if people were to see. She’s going to have to ask him and Phasma if they were okay with it though. 

Rose had been asking her how it’s going, no doubt she’d be telling Hux too especially since he’d been very worried. Ben had told him he’d finally opened the envelope. She did feel a little guilty for keeping it from Finn and Poe but it’d be a nice surprise once they confirmed it online. Leia loved the idea too, in fact she’d been the one telling them how to announce it. 

Her phone rang just as Ben was returning from the kitchen. He had his hair tied up  in a bun again and she itched to braid it. He had such gorgeous hair. 

“Your phone’s ringing,” His lip twitched up and he arched a brow. She flushed and looked down at her phone.

She answered, “Oh my God Rey, that was amazing!” Rose said on the other end of the line, “I can’t believe you dedicated a song to us!”

“Us too,” Poe said. She put in on loudspeaker, “Finn cried,” 

“Excuse me, you did too. Harder than I did, thank you very much.” Finn added, “Seriously, Rey, thank you.”

“That was Ben right, the one singing with you?” Rose asked.

“Of course it is, who else would it be?” Hux snorted, “I heard that voice enough times to know.”

“Hm, are you complaining?” Ben asked, “After all that effort we put in?” 

“Solo?”

“Dameron,” 

“Err, are you in the call too?” He sounded so confused that Rey couldn’t help but laugh, “Are you uh, spending New Year with Rey?” 

“Yes.” Ben said, “Problem?”

“Uh, no,” Poe laughed awkwardly, “You’ve been spending a lot of time together, huh,”

“Is there uh, anything we should know?” Finn asked, “And what’s up with the box of stuff you sent over?”

“I’m taking over your old room,” Ben said.

“Wait, you mean, you’re not sleeping in the same room?” Poe asked and Rose burst out laughing, “Man, we were supposed to come surprise you tonight.” 

“There’s probably enough pasta for everyone,” Rey said and Ben inclined his head.

“No, no, it’s fine,” Finn said with a small laugh, “I think we’ll order Chinese instead.”

“Mm, Chinese sounds good,” Poe said.

“Not that there’s anyone else open today,” Rose laughed, “We’re having meat pie,” 

“Anyway we really just wanted to check in and say thank you,” Hux said, “It was really beautiful,” 

“Will you sing in our wedding?” Rose asked, “You don’t have to, of course, but it’d be really great,”

“I’d love to!” Rey said and looked at Ben who shrugged.

“Sure,” He said. Rose squealed.

“Oh my gosh that’s amazing! Best present ever,” She said with a giggle. 

“Hey, ours too!” She could hear the pout in Poe’s voice, “And we really should decide on the dates so we don’t clash,” 

“Oh yeah, you’re right,” Rose said, “And should we have the dresses and tux’s done in the same place?”

“Oh, that’s a great idea,” Finn said, “We should all meet and talk about it sometime,” 

After the second. We’ll schedule it,” Hux said, “Again, thank you, Rey, Solo,” Rey flushed a little at the way Hux said it; Rey Solo does have a nice ring to it.

“That sounds nice, doesn’t it?” Ben murmured and she squirmed. Did he mean…? Her heart raced. “I’m going to check on the sauce again,” He got up and went back to the kitchen.

Chapter Text

After dinner they’d retired to the sofa to watch a rerun of the ball drop. Ben had realised his mistake the moment it had come out of his mouth and like a coward, he’d run to the kitchen. What was he thinking? He remembered his grandmother’s ring still sitting in the small vault he has in his closet in the penthouse. 

When would it be considered appropriate to propose? A month? A year? 

It had only been a week. 

She didn’t mention it and neither did he. 

They’d made leaps and bounds in progress in that one week. He honestly didn’t want it to end.

“Have you ever been to New York?” He asked while they waited.

They didn’t turn on the lights, instead letting the soft glow of the fairy lights tacked on the exposed brick wall behind them illuminate the area. It was cozy and more than a little romantic. He loved it. 

And he loved how she was wearing his sweater. 

He leaned down a little to press a kiss on her exposed shoulder.

“No, I haven’t been,” She admitted, “I mostly stay in California now but I’ve been to Arizona and I lived Nevada,” 

“All wide skies and desert,” He mumbled, “California must’ve been a shock,”

“It was!” She glanced up at him with a laughing smile, “So much greenery! And the ocean!” 

Would she like a house near the beach? Maybe Rancho Palos Verde or Santa Barbara so it’s not too kitschy. But then those were way too far from Hollywood. He frowned.

Venice Beach is okay too, he supposed, slightly nearer and not as busy as Santa Monica but if worse comes to worse he’d be okay with Santa Monica. 

“Ben?” He turned to her, “Are you okay?”

“Yeah, just thinking,” He said, brushing his lips against her forehead, “Would you want to go to New York? We can watch a play or something. Or if you want to watch the ball drop we can go next year,” 

She sat up a little so she could look at him with those big doe eyes, “Really?” She stared at him unblinkingly, “You mean it?”

His lip quirked up, “Of course,” He said, “Why won’t I?”

“You mean next year,” 

“Sure, if that’s what you want? Or we can go somewhere else. I hear Japan’s nice this time of year, or if you’d want somewhere more western there’s always Europe. If you want even closer Lake Tahoe’s nice too. We can rent a cabin, make a snowman,” 

“You mean we’ll still spend New Year together next year?” She finally blinked and her eyes shone, twinkled even. Was it because of the sudden sheen of tears in her eyes or was it because she was happy?

“Of course, we would.” He frowned, “Unless you’re planning on breaking up with me anytime within the year,” 

She flushed and shook her head, “No, not if I can help it,”

He coughed out a laugh, “I’m not sure if I like the sound of that, Rey.” He brushed his lips against her eyelids, “I told you, you can’t get rid of me that easily,”

“I wouldn’t want to,” She mumbled.

The timer flashed. Fifteen minutes. 

He didn’t really care. He could hear fireworks going off in the distance. The penthouse would’ve had a much nicer view but he really liked her apartment. It was cozy and warm like her.

He brushed his lips against hers and she melted against him. Her hand pressed on his chest and he pressed his over hers, tangling their fingers together. Using one arm he pulled her over his lap so she was straddling him. She made a soft mewling sound and his cock jerked in his joggers. 

He let go of her hand so he could brush both of his on her thighs. She shivered. He loved seeing her legs. He couldn’t wait for summer; he could already imagine her in cut-offs and sundresses. Her arms went around his neck and she moaned when his tongue swept up against hers. 

They only broke apart so they could pull her sweater and his t-shirt off then they were kissing again, slow, heated kisses that turned rough and hungry.

There was a loud rip and she gasped, “Ben, that’s the second time,” She moaned and he caught the end of it with an open-mouthed kiss.

“I’ll buy you all the underwear you want,” He groaned. She was untying the string of his pants and he helped her shove his pants down just far enough for his cock to spring out.

Ten minutes. 

She got on her knees and he held his cock steady against her pussy. His breath hitched and she whimpered a little he spread her open, the fat head of his cock disappearing inside her, and when he was halfway in, he let go and wrapped his hands around her waist.

They both groaned when she finally managed to take him to the root. Even now she gripped him tight, like she wasn’t quite used to his girth. His cock pulsed and her pussy clenched down unintentionally.

He moaned and buried his face in her neck. He tried not to nip; the hickeys he’d left her were only starting to fade and it’d be hard to hide once they start appearing in public again. It wouldn’t do her image any good if anyone spots it.

She clenched down again and all thoughts about her image flew out of his head.

Five minutes. 

They started moving a desperate rolling, staccato movement. He sought out her mouth again. 

The countdown started.

She clenched hard around him and his hips stuttered and jerked up sharply. She gasped and curled around him, her blunt nails digging tiny crescents on his skin. 

She shuddered, “Rey, Rey, look at me,” He gasped and grasped at her face. Ten, nine, eight, she met his eyes dazedly and he panted. His balls drew up, five, four, “I love you,” He gasped, “I love you, Rey,” Her cheeks, already flushed, grew even redder, and her pussy tightened around him like a vice. He bit his lip and groaned. One. 

Fireworks and cheers exploded from the TV but he could barely hear it as he came. 

Her lips came crashing down on his and his eyes rolled back. Her pussy fluttered around him as she shuddered. 

His head lolled back on the sofa and he panted. Then he leaned forward to press a sloppy kiss on her forehead, “Happy New Year, baby girl,” He murmured. She looked up to meet his eyes; her eyes were large and still slightly dazed. He could hear fireworks and kazoos in the distance, or was it from the TV?

“Happy New Year, Daddy,” She said almost automatically and he swallowed hard. What would happen if someone were to hear her say that in public? They’ve only really just used it to tease, “Did you mean it?” 

“Hm?” He tucked her hair behind her ear and she flushed and looked down, “I meant it,” He murmured and cupped her cheek to make her meet his eyes again. She did and his breath hitched at the terror that he saw in them, “Rey, what is it?”

“Ben, I,” She blinked and swallowed hard enough for him to hear.

“Rey,” His thumb brushed her lower lip, “You don’t have to say anything.” He could feel her tremble, “I know.” She cupped her hand over his on her cheek, “I know, baby. You don’t have to say it. Just…stay with me,” 

 She nodded and allowed him to pull her in for another kiss. 

-------

I love you, Rey.  

He’d brought them, with him still inside her, into the bedroom before continuing. He’d kissed her and fucked her with a quiet desperation that never seemed to disappear no matter how many times they’ve done it. It was like he expected her to leave him when really, it was her who was scared of being left. 

But she understood. He was terrified of being left alone too especially now that they’ve found each other. 

Why couldn’t she tell him that she loved him too?

She watched him sleep. The dappled morning sun just filtering in from the gap between her curtains made shadows on the harsh planes of his face. She touched his lower lip lightly and felt, rather than heard, his soft sigh. 

He would be going home today, back in that big, cold, impersonal space. Was there anything she could give him that’d make the space just a little bit warmer while she’s not with him? 

His eyes opened and he arched a brow, “What are you looking at?” He rasped and pulled her closer to brush his lips against hers, “‘Morning,” 

“Good morning,” She snuggled and sighed, “What time are you going home?”

“I am home,” He said sleepily and yawned, “Dunno. Maybe in the evening,” Heat rushed to her cheeks. 

“Y-you shouldn’t go back so late,” She stammered, “You have a long day tomorrow,”

“Mm,” He threw leg over hers and buried his face in her hair. His breathing evened out again as he went back to sleep. 

His strong heartbeat calmed her.

 

They woke up again at noon. Rey was a little upset that she’d fallen back to sleep. It was strange how quickly she’d gotten used to having him in her bed and the thought of sleeping alone tonight made her chest ache. She stared at him bustling in her tiny kitchen. 

Poe had told her that Amilyn was set on having a pre-launch signing-slash-meet-and-greet for the single before they go ahead with the actual album so she’d rushed to post about it online. Once the holidays end would they get busy again and not see each other?

They ate a light lunch and lazed around the apartment for the rest of the day. 

“You should go home before it gets too late,” She said as she cleared their dinner. He helped her load the dishwasher and gave her a kiss.

“I don’t know, maybe I’ll just wake up early tomorrow,” He said and she laughed.

“Don’t be ridiculous,” Her heart ached at the small smile he gave her, “I’ll see you tomorrow,”

He pressed his forehead against hers and sighed, “Yeah.”

They held onto each other before reluctantly letting go. 

“Take this with you,” She said, handing him a repurposed yellow mug with a small basil bush planted inside. 

They lingered at the door.

“Don’t come down,” He said and tucked her hair back, “Would I still have clothes when I come back or should I bring some more?” He gave her a teasing smile and arched a brow. She flushed.

“I’m not going to steal all of them.” She said and he laughed. He gave her one last lingering kiss and left. He looked back once and waved. She pouted and waved back, making him chuckle. 

She shut the door and sighed. 

It was suddenly so quiet. 

She missed him already.

Chapter Text

oe picked up Rey first before they went to get Leia. Jessika Pava’s assistant said they had to be there by one if they wanted to air by nine-thirty in the evening and once they arrived, they were ushered into a small dressing room so they could put make up on Leia.

“Okay, so you have to mention Amilyn and Rey’s pre-launch.” Poe told Leia who chuckled, “You know how Holdo is, right? You can’t even know what the hell she’s thinking. Really, how the hell can we put out marketing about it in less than a week?”

“To be fair the announcement of this interview isn’t all that long ago, either.” Leia said and Poe snorted.

“Yes but you’ve never done an interview before so it was bound to get people interested. At least, all the necessary people anyway and once you’ve dropped the bomb more people will watch. An event is different.”

Rey listened to them with half an ear and wondered if Ben had arrived too. Would it be risky if they were caught together? Poe didn’t know of their relationship yet. Would he notice?

“Rey?” She flushed and looked at Leia who was barely hiding her smile, “Would you be a dear and check if my son’s here? My phone can’t seem to get a good network,” 

“Sure,” She grinned and Leia gave her a wink when Poe wasn’t looking.

She slid out of Leia’s dressing room and wandered around until she found one marked with ‘Solo’. She knocked and shivered when he heard his deep voice coming from inside.

She slipped in. He was reading something, “I’ll be done in a minute,” He said.

“Take your time,” She said and he froze before looking up. He smiled that devastating smile of his, complete with dimples, and threw whatever he was reading on the make up table.

He was on her in two long strides. The wood of the door was hard against her back but his hand protected her head from banging against the door. She whimpered into his kiss before throwing her arms around his neck.

He pulled away just as suddenly as he kissed her, “I missed you,” He murmured and made to kiss her again.

Voices from outside grew louder and he cursed softly before pressing another bruising kiss on her lips. 

The door knob jingled and he stood back a little. Rey did too and Hux blinked at her.

“Oh,” He flushed, averted his eyes and cleared his throat, “Rey, I had no idea you were here.” 

“Um, Leia wanted to know if Ben had arrived so I really should head back,” She said and glanced at Ben. Thank goodness he didn’t seem to have lipstick on him this time. She looked at the mirror discreetly; her hair was a little messy but otherwise she looked fine. 

She adjusted the soft cotton scarf she had on and smiled.

Hux entered the room with the make up artist in tow, “Well, you can safely tell Ms. Organa that we are on time and please, don’t spoil that he’s actually here on TV. We don’t want to have to do retakes,” 

Ben crossed his arms and snorted, “It’s mom, she’s not going to make a mistake like that.” 

“True, but it’s always nice to have a reminder,” He said and started fussing with Rey’s hair. Ben’s scowl deepened and Hux scowled back, “You’re not appearing anywhere, are you?”

“Not that I know of,” Rey said. The make up artist urged Ben to sit back on his chair, “I guess I’ll get going now. See you guys later?”

Ben gave her a small smile while Hux walked her to the door. 

 

They were seated at the very front and were reminded that phones are not allowed to be taken out. Jessika Pava had approached them with a large smile, saying that she’s always been a big fan of Resistance and their stars before taking a selfie with Rey.  

“I can’t believe I’ll be the first person to interview the Leia Organa!” She laughed. Her laugh was loud and boisterous and contagious. One of the crew called her and she waved at them before going back up the stage. 

Her make up artist touched up her make up while she read through her cue cards. 

Rey looked around the surprisingly small set. Once everything was ready, they settled back in their seats. 

Leia was introduced and she walked confidently onto the stage, waving and smiling, wearing what is now her signature look; Han’s brown leather jacket over a white pantsuit.

“Okay, I’d just like to say that I’ve always been such a big fan,” Jessika said with a laugh, “And having you here tonight, I, I’m speechless, I just,” She laughed again, “You’re like a superhero to children like me, you know?”

Leia chuckled, “Thank you, Jess, for having me. I really do appreciate the thought but I’m really just a normal businesswoman.” 

“Oh but you have to admit that you’ve given so many people the opportunity to achieve their dreams! And you started out so young too, and in a time when it’s not very common for women to be in the industry unless you’re an actress or a singer,” She was right, if it weren’t for Resistance Rey would still be a small-time Youtuber with two other part-time jobs.

“Well, you know, I wasn’t really one for the limelight. I’d rather support others. Speaking of, I’ll do a shameless plug right now, if you don’t mind.” She laughed and so did Jessika. She waved her hand as a go-ahead, “You know Amilyn Holdo right, she was one of our first women rockstars in Resistance. Well she teamed up with one of my newest stars Rey Johnson, lovely girl by the way,” Rey flushed a little and ducked her head, “And they’re having a pre-launch meet for their single next week. We’d love for you to go,” 

“I’d never turn down an invite from you,” Jessika said, “And a collab? That sounds great! Amilyn Holdo’s always been this cool, strong, traditional rockstar character type and Rey Johnson’s just, well, she’s just really very cute.” Rey squirmed in her seat and Poe nudged her and laugh, “So I really can’t wait to see what their song is going to be like,” Then she leaned forward a little, “But you know,” Her tone turned almost conspiring, “What I’m really curious about has more to do with your personal life.” 

Leia laughed, “Of course, I mean, I did say I’d bare all,”

Jessika grinned, “Exactly! We’re having a heart-to-heart, tell-all exclusive aren’t we?” Leia nodded, “So really, why is it that nobody knows anything at all about your personal life? If you look up Leia Organa online it’s always about Resistance,”

Leia chuckled, “Well, funny story that. Leia Organa has always been all about Resistance.” Jessika’s brows shot up, “But Leia Skywalker on the other hand, well that’s a very different story,” 

“You mean to tell me that you’re not originally Organa?”

“It was very easy to reinvent yourself back in the day, you know?” Leia chuckled, “I was originally a Skywalker. I’m sure you’ve all heard about my father, Anakin Skywalker and my brother, Luke.” 

“You mean the greatest classically trained pianist of our time Anakin Skywalker,” Leia nodded sagely. Rey was amazed at how authentic Jessika Pava’s surprised expression was, “And isn’t Luke Skywalker that travel photographer? I know he received an award last year,” Leia nodded, “Wow, I never realised your family was full of talented people,” 

Leia laughed again, “Well you know what they say about that. In any case I didn’t want to ride on my father’s coattails, if you know what I mean. And he wasn’t actually very fond of my kind of music,” Jessika chuckled a little, “So I borrowed an uncle’s name and started Resistance, at first to help my husband, and eventually to help all the other young dreamers.” 

“Did you say husband? Did I hear that correctly? You have a husband?”

“Yes,” Leia chuckled, “My husband and I were very, very careful about our private life. He had an image to maintain, you know? And so did I, I suppose.”

“Can we have a name?” Jessika’s eyes were twinkling. Rey knew they discussed the topic of her husband behind the scenes but she wasn’t exactly told who it was, only that it was a well-known person. Phasma herself was working with the IT linked to the large LED screen behind Leia. 

“Well, my husband’s been gone for almost a decade now so I don’t think it’d hurt.” She sighed a little and gave a nostalgic smile; the camera would’ve zoomed in on her face, “Honestly I was surprised nobody realised.”

“Come on, Leia, the anticipation is killing me. Is he someone with a big name too, like you?” When Leia nodded, she continued, “Is he a big businessman? A politician?”

Leia laughed again and touched her necklace, the same twin die necklace she had on during the party, “Oh no, dear, he’s more of a rogue, a pirate you could say.”  

Jessika’s brows shot up and Rey was almost sure that this time the shock on her face was real, “You don’t mean…”

The LED screen flashed behind Leia and there was a collective gasp in the audience behind Rey. Even Jessika Pava looked stunned.

Leia glanced back and smiled a little sadly. 

It was an older photo of Han in the middle of a concert. Luke’s logo was watermarked across Han’s thigh and half of his guitar. His eyes were screwed shut and he was leaning close to the mic with his mouth open in an almost-snarl.

It wasn’t the same guitar as the one Leia had in her garage but it was close enough. 

Jessika’s hair flipped around when she turned to Leia quickly, “No way,” She said, “Han Solo, the Han Solo from Han and the Chewies? He’s your husband?” 

Leia let out an uncharacteristic giggle and covered her mouth, “Oh dear,” She cleared her throat. Rey sat close enough to the small stage to see the flush on Leia’s cheeks, “Yes, Han was my husband.” She sighed, “We had so many happy years together,”

Rey’s heart twinged a little. What would she do if the man she loved died? She thought of Ben and bit her lip. Would she be able to move forward like Leia?

“I,” Jessika cleared her throat, “Well, I am just, wow. And nobody knew and now that I think about it. Isn’t that the same jacket he’s wearing in this photo?”

Leia shrugged delicately, “Yes. My husband was a good twelve years older than I was but he was everything to me and when he died,” She sighed, “I felt like I lost a part of myself too. I’m sure that’s exactly what our son was thinking too since, well, we kind of fell apart.” She laughed a little, almost bitterly, “But I am a mother and I hoped he’d be able to heal on his own too so I kept myself busy.”

“So you and Han shared a son and you two managed to hide it from the world. That’s amazing.”

“Honestly it’s mostly dumb luck. I don’t even know how we managed and seeing as our son is also a public figure and he does look so much like his father, I don’t understand how nobody noticed. But I am proud of what he became on his own, you know? Without using my or his father’s popularity to boost his own.”

“Okay, now I am really curious too, who exactly is your son?” Jessika grinned, “We’ll find out after the break,” 

The camera stopped rolling and Jessika sighed, “Han Solo, really?”

Leia laughed and then sighed, looking back at the picture still on the screen, “Yes.”

“How?” 

“Well, you know, my brother forced me to attend a concert with him and the moment we met each other’s eyes it was just…” She shrugged, “Love at first sight.”

Jessika sighed and smiled, “You can totally write a book about it,”

Leia chuckled, “Maybe, we’ll see.” 

Chapter Text

“And we are back!” Jessika said cheerfully.

Ben sighed and ran his fingers through his hair. He’d have to go out soon. He saw Rey in the crowd. He was surprised when Phasma burst in the dressing room holding the bag that contained what he was wearing.

He recognised it instantly, of course. The leather of his jacket squeaked and he grimaced. Han’s never sounded like that. He’d never fit in his father’s old clothes anyway. 

But the reproduction looked good. The buckle on his shoulder jangled as he moved and the brow leather belt and thigh rig made him a little uncomfortable. How could Han even perform in this? His leg felt stiff. Phasma told him to move around a little to break it in.

He clutched at dice hanging on a leather cord around his neck. He brought the keys for good luck but he remembered when Phasma was fussing over his outfit how his father had done the same as a tribute to his mother. So he did the same just for authenticity’s sake. Holding it calmed him now though, like it did when he was younger. 

“So who did you say your son was?” He heard Jessika say, “Someone famous too, you said,”

He was cued from the other side of the stage and he swallowed hard, adjusted the mic clipped on his jacket and braced himself before walking out with what he hoped was a roguish smile that matched his father’s, “Did I come out too early?” He asked, “Should I go back in again?” 

He heard the whispers and the gasps. 

“Well the cat’s out of the bag anyway,” Jessika laughed and he shrugged a little, smiling.

He glanced at the audience and met Rey’s eyes. He smiled a little wider and winked.

She flushed. 

“But what an outfit change,” Jessika said and he looked at his clothes.

“Well, I admit it’s not my normal style but I think it looks pretty good,” He pushed his hair back, “What do you think, mom?” 

“Oh,” She laughed airily, “Oh dear, for a moment there I thought I was looking at your father,” The screen behind Leia flashed again and this time, it was a side-by-side photo of him singing at Leia’s party and Han. They did look very similar. Even the pose and the expression on their faces. 

He had wanted to be like his father, once upon a time. 

He let out another smile and went to sit next to her. 

“So, first of all, would you like to tell us your name?” Ben arched a brow.

“Ben Solo,” He said automatically.

“Oh, we know that, but what about your full name?”

Ben shook his head a little, “Well, if I must it’s Benjamin Organa-Solo but I only ever used Ben Solo.”

“Now that I think about it, how did no one find out? Solo isn’t a very common last name, is it?”

He chuckled, “Well, people weren’t looking and I just kinda kept my head down for the most part.” 

“So what’s it like having two of the biggest names in modern music history be your parents?” Jessika leaned forward and Ben chuckled.

“Well, I mean, I thought it was pretty lame.” Leia looked at him sharply, brows shooting up, and he laughed, “I mean, what kid doesn’t think their parents were lame, right?”

“Benjamin,” Leia pouted a little and he patted her arm.

“I mean, I grew up mostly in Mishawaka and when I came to live here, I was kinda one those little edgy little shits.” This made people laugh, “So you know, I didn’t really think much of my parents being famous. They weren’t the best, either but,” He looked at his still-pouting mother, “But they tried their best and I think that’s what matters, right?” 

“Aw, that’s so sweet! But why now? Why didn’t you tell the world when Han Solo died?” Jessika said.

Ben flinched. “That’d be my fault,” He said before Leia could answer, “I uh, well, I was really upset when dad died and since we never really talked about it, we kind of just went about our lives. I joined the Marines, was discharged and then an acting job fell into my lap and I just went along with it, and that’s how I ended up in show business.” 

Leia was nodding, “I threw myself into my work but of course I did keep an eye out for the progress of our aspiring actor,” 

“Wait, earlier Leia said you fell apart, does that mean you two haven’t actually seen each other in years?” Leia answered in the affirmative, “So how did you see each other again, if you don’t mind me asking?”

“Well, as I’ve said, I was a little shit.” Ben scratched at his neck, “I wasn’t really the best son either,” 

“Ben, don’t say that,” Leia frowned at him. 

“I didn’t even know what was happening in Resistance since I didn’t really check but a friend of mine,” He glanced at Rey, “A friend of mine invited me to a performance.” 

“Oh, do tell,”

“It’s uh, a Resistance starlet,” Jessika’s smile grew and her eyes twinkled but she didn’t say anything. Everybody would’ve known what he was talking about anyway, “There was this song that she sang and it reminded me of my parents. My dad used to sing it all the time,” 

“May we know what song this is?” 

He forced a laugh, “I’m pretty sure we all know what song this is, I mean, it was pretty big news at the time. Anyway I was just sulking quietly in the bar and this girl comes up and just…” He looked down and tried not to smile too widely at the memory, “I thought she recognised me but she was only there to get water. She told me to keep moving forward, so I called mom and that’s that.” 

Leia snorted, “Took you a while to call though. You always were as stubborn as your father,”

Ben’s brows shot up, “I thought you’re the stubborn one?” 

“Well, but here we are, all caught up.” Leia shrugged delicately and he chuckled.

“This girl,” There was a speculative gleam in Jessika’s eye, “Since you’re here, you two don’t happen to be dating, are you?”

“Thank you for that question Jess, but I believe we’re having a tell-all with Leia Organa and not Ben Solo,” Ben deflected and Jessika laughed.

“Oh, you’re no fun,” She sighed dramatically, “But that’s all the time that we have today,” 

They exchanged pleasantries and waited until they heard the word ‘cut’ before getting up.

“That was fun, Jess.” Leia said, shaking Jessika’s hand, “Thank you.”

“No, no, thank you,” Jessika said, “I still can’t believe you were married to Han Solo!”

Then she turned to Ben and grinned, “And thank you for indulging us with this outfit. It actually really suits you,” 

“Thanks, I think,” He mumbled and rubbed the back of his neck.

“Will we see you at Amilyn’s pre-launch?” 

“Oh, you bet!” She grinned, “And don’t think you’ve escaped, Ben Solo. You would answer that question.”

“I would, eventually.” He said, “But I’ll do it on my terms.”

Leia laughed and waved Poe and Rey over, “Well, what did you think?” She asked them.

“You were great, of course,” Poe laughed and slung an arm around Rey. Ben felt his jaw tighten a little.

“Are you sure, it’s my first interview in…well, ever,” Ben had never seen his mother nervous before.

“You were really great,” Rey said, “And you’re natural on stage.”

“Well of course, where do you think Ben gets it?” She winked and Rey laughed.

“I knew I got it from somewhere,” He sighed and met Rey’s eyes. He wanted to be the one to hold her under his arm. 

She gave him a small smile, “You’re pouting,” She whispered and Leia elbowed him.

“Well, he’s not as good an actor as I am, apparently.” She said with a sniff of practiced disdain. 

Ben scowled. 

Jessika laughed.

They waited for Hux and Phasma to arrive before Leia declared that they had to get back to the office.

He gave one last lingering look at Rey before sighing and running his fingers through his hair. 

He couldn’t even give her a kiss. 

Chapter Text

The news that Ben Solo was Han Solo and Leia Organa’s son was all everyone could talk about. News articles, blog posts, TV reports, even the radio DJ. Paparazzis camped outside his penthouse, Leia’s house and even Resistance and First Order.

It didn’t take long before people started wondering when Rey had entered Resistance.

She expected it especially since her name’s been linked so often with Ben’s. He even mentioned exactly how he ended up making amends with his mother. Of course, that never really stopped people from spreading rumours that she’s only in Resistance because Leia’s Ben’s mother. 

It was ridiculous.

“Don’t let it get to you, my sweet little angel.” Amilyn said in her calm voice. It was a stark contrast to the deep metallic pink that was her current hair colour, “When I first started you wouldn’t believe how many people reacted badly. Now, I need you to be your usual beautiful, bubbly self and smile.”

Rey couldn’t help it. She did smile. Amilyn had presented her a sparkling baby blue sequinned jacket that matched her pink one the day before saying she should wear it to their event. 

She did. It was surprisingly warm and comfortable.

Like her own album signing, it was held in an event hall, this time much larger than the one they’d rented. Both hers and Amilyn’s fans were lined up outside waiting for the clock to strike ten so they could enter and purchase a CD. Amilyn had announced that the a hundred of their CDs had a trinket of some sort inside at random. She’d even gotten LPs made at such a short notice. Fifty of those would be pink and ten in blue. It was pretty effective at getting people to turn up despite the gloomy weather outside.

Leia was already there barking orders at everyone.

“Don’t just stand there, you two. Sit down and look pretty!” She said and Rey flushed and nodded.

Amilyn only chuckled, “As you wish, general.” She linked her arm to Rey’s and brought her up to the stage where their table and chairs were set up. 

She chewed on her lower lip and smiled at Finn and Rose who brought them coffee.

Hux and Ben of course, couldn’t make it.

She sighed a little.

It’s been a week and though they’ve been FaceTiming a lot, it didn’t seem enough. What would happen when he picks up another role and start shooting? Or what about when her sales go up high enough that she could start touring the country, maybe even the world? 

Amilyn nudged her and she flushed, “Get your head in the game, doll.” 

She smiled at her and nodded. 

People were starting to file in after having their bags checked. Generally people bought merchandise first before going straight to the stage. There was only one direction they’re supposed to follow, line up at the side, sit in front of Amilyn for her to chat a little and sign the merch, and then proceed to the next chair for Rey’s turn.

It was all very simple and orderly. After that they go look around at the various merchants who’d set up stalls around them. Most of them were long-time Resistance partners. She wondered if they’d be able to have a break. She’d love to try the meat in Ronto’s Roasters.

The first few arrived at their stations and she smiled widely.

“Thank you so much for coming!” She said and gasped when the man in front of her thrust a paper bag at her, “Oh, a gift? For me?” She glanced inside briefly and smiled, “Thank you, you shouldn’t have,” 

It wasn’t the first time she’d received gifts. Resistance had a storage room specifically for gifts the stars didn’t want to keep. It was a sweet gesture though.

“Our princess deserves all the nice things,” He stammered a little and she giggled before signing his record.

The hours passed quickly. She and Amilyn didn’t get to have a break but Finn and Rose were godsends, feeding them snacks in the short lull and running around to get them more coffee. 

“This is for you,” The teen in front of her said shyly, sliding a small plush towards her. She blinked at the angry-looking Kylo and laughed. The girl flushed.

“S-sorry, I didn’t expect this,” She took it and the head lolled back, she giggled again.

“I m-made it,” She said and Rey grinned.

“Really? It’s amazing, are you selling them?” She shook her head, “You should! It looked great! Let me know if you would and I’d totally buy,” The girl turned even brighter and thanked her. Rey signed the CD and took a selfie. She held the doll up.

“That’s cute,” Amilyn said. Rey propped it up in front of her so it just sat there looking cute and angry, “Missing your beau already?” 

Rey’s cheeks flushed and she waved her away and focused on the person in front of her.

“Hi!” She said cheerfully. The person placed a sunflower enclosed in an acrylic box in front of her, next to the knitted Kylo and she smiled. She glanced at Amilyn who had a similar one except hers was a carnation, “Oh, it’s lovely, thank you. Who should I sign for?”

“Is ‘boyfriend’ too forward, do you think?” He asked and her head shot up, “Hello, Rey.”

She sucked in a breath, “Ben?” As usual he had his hood up and he pulled his neck warmer down just enough for her to see his half-smile. His eyebrow twitched up then down again once in an almost wink-like gesture. She flushed.

“Miss me?” He asked softly and she ducked down and signed the record for him. She handed it back without meeting his eyes. He looked down at the record and chuckled, “I missed you too, baby girl.” 

World’s Best Boyfriend: I missed you.

“Picture?” He grinned. She glanced at Amilyn again who was chatting up a storm with the person coming in after Ben. 

What a sly lady.

She moved to stand next to him and he raised his phone, “Cute doll,” He wrapped his arm around her shoulders and smiled. She tried not to smile too widely but she couldn’t help it. 

Her heart was beating so quickly it left her breathless, Ben is here! “I think Leia’s with Jessika Pava in the cafe at the back,” 

“I’ll find them.” He said, “Don’t work too hard,” He rubbed his thumb briefly on her shoulder before letting her go. “See you later,”

She smiled and went back to her seat like nothing happened. She touched her hair and wondered when did he put the sunflower hair clip on her hair and how could she not notice?

“Oh my, look at this old lady,” Amilyn laughed lightly, “I talked too much,” The person in front of her stammered that no it was alright, and thank you for taking the time to talk to him.

He shuffled to Rey’s station and stammered some more. 

Rey smiled.

Chapter Text

Ben found his mother quick enough. He just had to follow the raucous laughter.

“Ben!” Leia said loud enough for people to look at him sharply. 

He winced, “Mom.” He gave her a peck on the cheek and people started murmuring around them.

“Pull up a chair, dear, I’m so glad you’re here!” She smiled widely and he dragged a chair over to sit next to her.

He nodded at Jessika Pava and Finn.

“Ben Solo! So, are you going to answer my question now?” Jessika grinned.

“This isn’t an interview, Jess.” He said and changed the subject, “What did you think of the interview, Finn?” 

“Hilarious, of course,” Finn laughed, “I gotta admit though, Solo, you looked pretty good in that outfit you wore, you should’ve worn that today.” 

He shrugged.

“Ben! You’re here!” Rose said cheerfully. She was holding a tray with pastries while Poe was holding a tray with cups of coffee. 

“Oh, hey, Solo. I didn’t know you’re here. What’d you like to drink? My treat,” Poe said and Ben arched a brow.

“That’s fine, Dameron, I’ll buy my own.” Poe frowned at him and he sighed, “Cold brew’s good.” Poe gave him a thumbs up, left the tray on the table and skipped back to the counter. 

“Where’s Armie?” Rose asked, “He said you two’d be busy today so I didn’t really want to bother him too much,” 

Ben felt his cheeks heat, “He uh, doesn’t know I’m here.”

Finn choked and snorted back a laugh. 

Rose blinked and cleared her throat to hide a smile.

“Still as mischievous as ever,” Leia sighed dramatically , “Sometimes I pity that boy,” 

Poe came back and handed him his coffee, “What’s so funny?”

“Solo didn’t tell Hugs he’s coming here.” Finn explained and Poe’s brows shot up.

“How long do you think before he’ll realise?” Poe asked.

Ben shrugged.

“Maybe soon,” Rose said, frowning at her phone. She jumped when her phone rang. “Hi, Armie! Are you done with your meeting?” She asked sweetly. 

Poe snickered.

“Is Solo there?” Ben could hear Hux snarling angrily from across the small table.

“Erm,” Rose looked at him and he shrugged again, “Is he supposed to be?” 

Jessika was looking at all of them with amusement. He didn’t really like the glint in her eyes. Would she say anything? He’s not sure yet. He didn’t know enough about Jessika Pava to know if he can let his guard down in front of her. 

He extended his hand, asking for her phone and she grimaced, “He’s not happy,” She whispered loudly and handed him the phone.

“Armitage,” He said blandly.

“God damn it, Solo!” He winced, “Do you have any idea how frantically we were looking for your bloody arse? Why the fuck would you just sneak out like that?”

“I mean, we were pretty much done for the day,” 

“Done? What do you mean done? We have so much paperwork and documentation you need to read and sign, you didn’t even tell me if you’re taking the job! Not to mention the interviews and the magazine features and we still need to schedule the photoshoots,”

He sighed, “Well, he said I could think about it and you know my schedule anyway.” 

“Either way, you should’ve told me you’re skipping out! What if something happened to you?” 

“Are you just upset you didn’t get to slip out?” 

Hux paused for a long before before sighing heavily, “…fuck you.”

“Knew it.” He chuckled and handed the phone back to Rose.

“The turn-out’s pretty good, huh?” Poe said, “You staying until the end?”

“Yes.” He eyed the group next to their table as they whispered, “Maybe I’ll even let people take pictures,”

“How generous,” Poe said drily.

“Oh, don’t be so mean, Poe. It’s good publicity,” Leia said, “What do you think, Jess?”

“I mean wouldn’t it spread even more rumours? Why else would Ben Solo be here?” She eyed him and he arched a brow.

“Supporting my mother.” Ben said blandly, “Why else?” 

She laughed, “Is it really just that?”

“Armie said he’s on the way,” Rose interrupted, changing the subject. She met Ben’s eyes and winked.

Chapter Text

Amilyn didn’t join them for pizza. She said something about sinking and becoming one with the water. Only Poe and Leia seemed to understand what she meant. 

They’d gone to Andor’s again and this time, a man named Cassian had popped up to say hello. He also asked if he could take a photo of their group to post online and gave them a pizza and a round of milkshakes for free.

“How are you going home?” Ben asked Leia. Rey was wearing his jacket again. 

“She rode with us,” Poe said, “I guess we don’t have to bring Rey home, after all?” He waggled his brows and Rey flushed. 

Finn gave her a questioning look and she looked away. But she knew Finn, he wouldn’t ask. Would he get mad though? 

They walked back to the parking lot and she itched to take Ben’s hand. Would he stay over again? Maybe for the weekend? Would the paps pop up outside her house again? 

“What’s gotten you thinking so deeply, baby girl?” He murmured and she jumped a little and flushed. Finn and Poe were walking a little ways in front with Leia while Hux and Rose stood behind them.

But Hux and Rose knew from the start. Would Finn get mad at her for not telling him? She hoped not.

“I was just wondering,” She said, “If you’ll stay the night?” 

He smiled and both of his dimples flashed, “What do you think?” 

“Don’t forget to thank your fans, sunshine,” Poe reminded her like he always did, “Solo, remind her, please.”

Ben arched a brow but agreed anyway.

The ride back to her apartment was quiet. She glanced at him and he turned to meet her eyes. He arched a brow, “What?”

“I like looking at you,” She said and he chuckled.

“I like looking at you too, sweet thing.” 

“Won’t this make even more rumours?” She asked, “If you were caught staying over again, I mean.”

“Probably. I was thinking maybe we can announce it tonight,” 

Her brows shot up, “Tonight?” 

“Mm. Or tomorrow is good too, I guess. People already know I was in the event earlier and I’m pretty sure people’d be asking. I hope you don’t mind, I posted our picture.”

Her brows rose even higher, “You did?” He knew how to post pictures now? “Did you tag me?”

He flashed her a smile, “Of course,” Then he turned back to the road and his expression grew serious, “I missed you,” 

“I missed you too,” She said, “It’s a little weird,” 

“Why?” He chuckled, “Isn’t it normal?” 

“I’m not sure, what is normal?”

“Who knows,” 

They grew silent again and she yawned.

“Sleep a little,” He said, “You look beat,” 

She smiled, “But I like looking at you,”

He laughed, “You can look at me later, baby girl,”

She curled up on the seat, facing him, and let the rocking motion of the car lull her to sleep.

 

“Tired?” She yawned and entered her apartment ahead of him.

“Just a little,” She said and turned around quickly to steal a kiss from his lips. She didn’t quite reach it. She flushed.

He snorted back a laugh and leaned down to give her a proper kiss, “What do you normally do, after?”

“After an event?” He nodded, “Tub,”

“Should I fill it up for you?”

“I can do that,” She said and fidgeted, “You don’t have to,” 

He sighed and smiled a little before cupping her cheek with one big hand, “Let me take care of you every once in a while,” He said and she remembered what Phasma had told her during Leia’s Christmas party when she’d caught them in the laundry room.

Ben Solo liked to take care of people even if he tried not to let it show.

She wasn’t used to being taken cared of. She bit her lip, “Okay,” She mumbled. The smile he gave her made her heart flutter and ache at the same time. 

She took her boots and jacket off and sat on the couch to check Twitter again.

She posted the draft of the message she typed out earlier and found the photo he posted. Missed my best girl. She flushed.

She liked and retweeted it with a heart emoji and then saved the photo.

He came back and sat next to her. His phone was out too, “Did you see Jessika Pava’s post?” He showed her his phone. It was a group selfie with her, Ben, Poe, Finn, Rose and Leia.

Exciting day @HoldoSpeaks and @That_British_Girl’s prelaunch! She’d captioned it, tagged everyone in the photo and ended it with: @BenSolo you still haven’t answered my question. #AreYouDating? #Reylo? #YesToReylo

“She even commented on the photo I posted.” He sighed and then grinned, “So shall we?” She knew what he was asking.

Her phone buzzed before she could answer and she looked at the most recent comment. Of course it was Jessika Pava.

@That_British_Girl So, is this a yes, you are dating? #IsItAYes #Reylo #AreYouDating @BenSolo

It was already getting quite a bit of retweets too.

“You do it?” His lip twitched up and she flushed.

“Embarrassed?”

“Maybe a little,” 

He chuckled, “Shy girl.” He wrapped his arm around her and showed her his reply.

Her cheeks turned even redder.

Ben Solo replied very, very simply, in a very Ben Solo way.

 

yes. That’s it, no hashtags, no emojis, the first letter wasn’t even capitalised.

 

Almost immediately her phone rang.

“Rey!” Poe shouted from the other end, “Are you online right now? Are you seeing this? Is Solo next to you?”

“Yes, yes, and yes?”

“So is it a ‘yes’?” Finn asked from somewhere in the background.

“Wait, so you are dating?”

“Yes.”

“What the fuck? Since when?” 

She knew Ben could hear it with the way he smiled, “I’ll check on your bath,” He said loud enough for Poe to hear.

Rey! This is huge!”

“What is?” Finn demanded, “Are you talking about his dick because I’m actually really curious about that,” 

I’m not,” Poe snorted, “He’s almost like a weird cousin to me you know,” 

“I can see that,” Rey said with a laugh.

“But seriously, since when? And why didn’t you tell us?”

“Um,” She cleared her throat, “Since, um, Disneyland?” 

Silence.

Then, “What?” She wasn’t sure it was from Finn or Poe, maybe both.

Rey!” It was Finn this time, “Why didn’t you tell us?” Did Poe put her on loudspeaker? “Holy shit! Pinch me, babe, maybe I’m dreaming. Ow!”

“Why didn’t you tell us?” Poe asked, “And how can I not notice, Jesus, I’m your manager.”

“Well, you two just got engaged, you know? And we never really found the right moment,” She laughed nervously.

“And now is a good moment?” 

“Surprise?” 

Finn snorted and then laughed, “Jesus, Rey, this is so like you. I can’t believe I didn’t notice either, have you become a good liar now?” 

Ben came back ad arched a brow, “Bath’s ready,” He said and lifted her up so suddenly she shrieked.

“Ben! What are you doing?” She laughed breathlessly.

“Taking you to your bath,” He said mischievously and grinned.

“Alright, alright, Solo,” Poe said. She could almost see his grin, “We get it, we’ll hang up now.”

“Deets!” Finn shouted out before Poe hung up.

He took her phone from her and placed it on her study table. It was ridiculous how easily he can lift her even with just one arm, “You can put me down now,” She said with a laugh.

“Nah,” He raised her up higher, with both arms this time, and planted a solid kiss on her lips. She sighed and opened her mouth for him. He stopped walking and held her tighter as his tongue swept confidently into her mouth.

She missed him, she missed holding him and being held by him. She missed the way he smelled and sounded, and she missed how he tasted so dark and sinful that every time he plants his mouth on hers she couldn’t help but sigh and melt and moan. 

He took over all of her senses and made her greedy for more.

He pulled away with a shuddering breath, “You need to rest,” He said with a breathless laugh, “And soak. I’m not a barbarian,” 

“Are you going to conk me in the head?” He started walking again and only let her down when they were in the bathroom.

“That’s a caveman,” He arched a brow, “Aren’t you getting in?”

She flushed, “You’re not going out?” 

His brow rose even higher, “I’ve seen you naked,” Then he chuckled, “Alright, call me if you need me.” He pressed a kiss on her forehead, turned around sharply and stomped out of the bathroom, closing the door behind him. 

Chapter Text

Ben stayed just outside the bathroom door.

He adjusted his pants awkwardly and ran his fingers through his hair. 

He’s not a barbarian, he said. What a lie.

His phone kept buzzing in his pocket and when he pulled it out he saw that it was flooded with notifications and texts all asking if it was true.

He didn’t answer. It didn’t matter what everyone else thought.

There was a surprising amount of well-wishers online though, and a good number of people cursing him, mostly her male fans saying that he ruined their image of her and that they won’t be following her anymore. He frowned; that can’t be good, right? But she didn’t need toxic fans anyway, he’s seen his fair share of them and they were nothing but trouble.

He heard a splash and wondered if it’d be weird if he asks if he could go in. He wouldn’t join her in the tub of course, even if he wanted to. It wouldn’t fit both of them anyway; they’d tried.

“You can come in now,” She said so softly he thought he imagined it. He slid inside the bathroom to find her leaning against the lip of the tub. She was blushing.

He smiled and sat on the cold floor next to the tub, facing her, “I missed you,” He said simply and took her hand to thread their fingers together. 

“I missed you too,” She said softly, “A lot more than I thought,”

“Well, we already told everyone so it’d be a lot easier to see each other, right? And I can finally take you out on a date,” 

She giggled, “And what kind of dates does Ben Solo go to?” 

“Hm, I don’t know I was thinking a Michelin restaurant,” She arched a brow and he chuckled, “Just kidding. I was thinking we can go check out a farmer’s market and maybe go to the beach or something after,” He brushed his lips against the back of her hand and watched the flush that had nothing to do with the heat of the water rise to her cheeks, “What do you think?”

“That sounds lovely,” She sighed and bit her lip when he nibbled on her knuckle. She cleared her throat, “I think I’m going to have to do another livestream to ah,” She looked down but didn’t pull her hand away. He kept nibbling.

“To?” He prompted against her skin and she shivered.

“T-to, um, clarify,” 

“I’m not sure what’s there to clarify but sure,” He chuckled and she shivered again.

 

They stayed in the bathroom for a while, talking about nothing and everything. It was nice, Ben thought, being close to someone like that. He didn’t have to worry about censoring himself to protect his image or anything. He sighed and washed his hair.

Rey had insisted that he shower too after she realised that it was getting late. Should he go back to her room after his shower? He wasn’t actually sure; did couples automatically sleep in the same bed if they stay in the same home? This small apartment feels more of a home for him than his own. He sighed and rinsed his hair before stepping out to dry off.

In the week that they weren’t together his nightmares had come back. 

A grown man, having nightmares. He sneered, what a joke. 

He ran his fingers through his hair and sighed again.

And ran straight into Rey. 

She yelped and stumbled back. He caught her around the waist and she looked up to meet his eyes. She flushed. 

“I, I was going to ask you if you wanted hot chocolate when you’re done,” She stammered and looked at anywhere but his naked chest.

His lip twitched up, “That depends, does it come with you?” He had a sudden image of licking chocolate up from her body like he did with the honey back at his condo. 

Who would’ve thought he’d like food play.

She turned bright red and he chuckled, leaning down to brush his lips against hers, once, then twice, before flicking his tongue on her lower lip. She shuddered, sighed and threw her arms around his neck.

She tasted like chocolate and spices. 

The towel he’d wrapped around his waist slipped off as he snaked his arms around her waist.

He pulled her up roughly against him and she whimpered. 

He had no intention of fucking her today since she was so tired but one taste of her lips, still so sweet, was enough to scramble his good intentions. He never knew what flavour he’d get every time he kissed her and it left him wanting more, greedy for more. Some days he couldn’t even focus on anything but thoughts of her.

He wasn’t sure when they’d ended up on the bed.

She was panting and dazed when he pulled away and he licked the side of his lip. Sitting up and watching her pant with her hair spread out on his sheets, he’d never tire of the sight.

He grinned and leaned down again to capture her lips. She moaned and he settled more comfortably between her legs. 

“Baby,” He whispered in her ear and she shivered, “Are you going to let Daddy fuck you?” She made a strangled sound and he nipped her ear, “Use your words, princess,”

“Yes,” She whimpered, “Yes, please, Daddy.” His mouth trailed down her neck, nipping and sucking, licking until she writhed against him. His cock ached. He wanted to hear her beg, “Please,” 

He wanted to ruin her for everyone else. 

He wanted to keep her to himself. 

He crushed his mouth against hers again in a desperate open-mouthed kiss. Her fingers ran through his hair and tugged and he groaned. She understood him in the most fundamental ways. How could he not love her? 

He never stood a chance. 

She tugged again, harder this time and his hips jerked forward. He pulled away with gasp and tore at her clothes. She helped him throw them off and moaned throatily when the blunt head of his cock pressed inside her. 

He hissed. It’d only been a week and yet every time it felt like the first time. Her nails scratched down his back and his hips snapped forward harshly. He set a punishing pace, like he was trying to get away from something, and in a way he was. 

Ben had always been rough no matter how much he tried not to be. 

“I can take it,” She breathed against his mouth before kissing him, “Give me everything,” She scratched at his back again and he let out shuddering sigh, almost a whimper and pounded into her as he buried his face in her throat. 

Sweet, so sweet. He sucked at that spot right below jaw and she clenched tight around him and keened as she came. 

“That’s right,” He panted, “Let me hear you, let me see you,” He lurched up and she gasped when the angle changed. He pushed her thighs wider apart and snapped his hips sharply and stilled, relishing the way she clenched and unclenched around him. She looked up at him blearily, cheeks flushed, looking almost delirious with pleasure. He flexed his stomach muscles, his cock jerked inside of her and her leg twitched. He gave her a slow smile, “Beautiful,” 

Chapter Text

He was beautiful. 

All sharp angles, swollen lips and mournful eyes. 

He moved slower now, more leisurely, prolonging her climax and making her shiver with need. He was always so considerate, never once cumming before her. For a brief second she saw the look in his eyes when he came out of the bathroom, like he was angry at something, but it was gone now, the slick, cold darkness in his eyes. Instead it was replaced with a blazing heat that rivalled the desert sun. And they never left hers. 

“Cum for me again, baby,” He whispered softly and brought her wrists up next to her head. His fingers tightened and she shivered. 

Why did she find comfort in the feeling of his body caging her like this? He slammed his hips down and she gasped when he started his harsh staccato all over again. The knot in her belly tightened again and she bit her lip. Then his mouth was there, licking past her swollen lower lip, dominating and intoxicating her.

Everything about him was like a drug. Her hips rolled on its own accord and he groaned deep in his chest. He pulled away and his eyes turned to slits. His cheeks, already pink, deepened into a dark red. She watched the deep flush creep up his pale neck and felt the subtle shuddering of his big body. He was almost at his limit too.

He let one of her wrists go to squeeze the base of his cock. 

She licked his shoulder and his hips stuttered and when he pushed into her, she bit hard. His gasp ended in a moan and she felt his cock twitch as he spilled a little inside her. She wrapped her legs around him and flipped them over somehow. His eyes, already unfocused and dazed, widened in surprise. His hands went to her hips.

She rolled her hips and slid back and forth over him and he groaned and screwed his eyes shut. His hips rolled to meet her halfway and thrust into her. He was shaking harder now and his fingers dug in hips. 

She wanted him to let go, to give her everything he has. She tightened around him and he let out a desperate, shuddering gasp. She wanted all of him.

She leaned down to give him a kiss and he latched on like he was drowning. He moved, one arm going behind him so he can lean up to almost sitting position. She whimpered. 

Her hips up and down, almost as desperately as him and when she came down as he thrust up, he nipped her ear, “Cum for me,” He hissed. She gasped, tightened around him and screamed as she came.

Then he turned them around and slammed into her twice burying his face in her throat and groaning as he shuddered and came. 

His hips thrust weakly and shuddered some more while she milked him.

She wrapped her arms and legs around him and held him until he stopped panting and shivering and his softening cock slipped out of her.

“Am I crushing you?” He murmured against her throat.

“No,” She said and finally untangled her legs from his waist, “I like your weight on me, it’s comforting,” He chuckled softly, “You’re better than any weighted blanket. They moved a little, so she was propped up more comfortably against the pillows.

“I better be,” He mumbled and practically purred when she ran her fingers through his hair.

“Ben?” 

“Hm?” He propped up his cheek on her chest and looked at her with those eyes, still dark and slightly unfocused. She swallowed the thick lump in her throat.

“I love you.” She said.

His mouth opened a little and he blinked. She bit her lip and silently cursed the flush rushing to her cheeks. Then he smiled slowly, all dimples and twinkling eyes and said, “I know.” 

Chapter Text

“Hey everyone, it’s That British Girl, your Rey of Sunshine! I know this livestream is very sudden but I thought it’d be best so I could answer any and all your questions and I haven’t done a livestream in so long too!” She laughed a little, “Oh, wow, going straight to the point are we? Am I dating Ben Solo?” She chewed on her lower lip before answering, “Well, short answer, yes. Ben and I are dating and it’s um, it’s still very new,” She flushed and cleared her throat. 

So far the feedback on the chat box was good, with a lot of ‘aww’s’ and questions about how they met and how they got together. Some were commenting that it must have been during her signing and they got together during her last livestream when he’d hijacked it.

“Well, we actually met thanks to all of you guys,” She glanced towards the kitchen and tried not to smile at the sight and Ben making her mum’s hot chocolate, “When I told you guys that I had this massive crush on him I didn’t think you’d make it viral,” She laughed again and she saw Ben look at her from the corner of her eye. 

How massive?  

She snorted back a laugh and ended up giggling instead, “Well, Mr. I-Heard-Kylo-Ren-Has-An-Eight-Pack, it was a colossal crush I’ve been harbouring since he first started acting.” 

Is it big as his chest?

“Valid question, I’m not sure, I’m going to have to measure that sometime once I find a large enough measuring tape.” Ben snorted back a laugh. 

She answered questions people were putting out in the chat box, “Hm, what’s he like? Do you mean as an actor or as a boyfriend? Both?” She laughed, “Alright, I guess that’s fair. Um, as an actor I always said he was wonderful, very talented and intense. He takes pride in his work even though he doesn’t really voice it out and as for being a boyfriend…” She flushed a little and cleared her throat, “He’s very kind.” 

Ben had stopped next to the coffee table, just out of sight of the camera. He held two mugs, her cat mug and the Kylo helmet mug Phasma had sent before. He’d taken to using it whenever he was home. His lip twitched up and she cleared her throat again.

“He’s um, surprisingly sweet,” She heard him snort a little and handed her her mug. She accepted it, “Oh, thank you.” Then she flushed again when the chat box was flooded with question, “Wait,” She laughed, “Wait, slow down. Yes, yes, that was Ben.” She held the mug with both hands and ducked a little, “Yes, it’s not the first time he stayed over and um, no we actually weren’t dating at the time when the photo came out,” 

She chewed her lip a little, “We um, we were just having take-out and watching a movie and kinda fell asleep. We weren’t, I mean, of course not! He was a perfect gentleman unlike some people. That’s very rude, you know, you shouldn’t talk about those very lightly. A man and a woman can stay in the same place and not sleep together.”

Ben, who’d scuttled back to sit by the counter, frowned.

Poe, who had been watching using the official Resistance Youtube account, commented and flagged the account.

Rey moved on to other questions. “Are we living together?” She flushed again, “Um, no, not really.” She cleared her throat, “We just like to spend time together. What couple wouldn’t, right?” She heard Ben sigh and approach the coffee table again. She looked up questioningly. She muted her mic.

“May I join in?” He asked softly, looking a little pouty and flustered.

She grinned and giggled, “Of course,” Then she turned the mic back on, “Sorry, about that. Somebody wants to make an appearance,” The chat box exploded again and the number of viewers kept ticking up, “I guess that’s a yes,” She unplugged her headphones and motioned for him to sit next to her.

He did and gave the camera a practiced smile, “Hello, I hope you don’t mind. My name’s Ben and this time I won’t be hijacking the livestream.” She laughed, “Just thought I’d help answer some questions.”

There were questions about his interview, whether Leia was really his mother, “Of course she is,” He laughed, “Who else would I get my acting skills from? What do I think of Rey? Hm, that’s a tough one,” She looked at him sharply and pouted. He tucked her hair back behind her ear and she flushed and looked down, “Well, as you can see our princess is very sweet and very shy. The first time I saw her, I thought she was cute.” He arched a brow at the next question, “Do I love her? Of course I do.” She squeaked and turned an even brighter shade of red, “Why would I date her if I didn’t? I’m a bit old fashioned, I don’t like dating for the sake of dating.” 

But Rey said she wasn’t your type before because of all the models you used to date.

“She did say that. I saw that video,” He frowned, “I did say I wouldn’t date for the sake of dating and I did date them, didn’t I? Don’t get me wrong they’re very lovely women but both of us knew it was more of a mutual benefit thing. I get a date for a premiere, they get more media attention. Was it fake? Of course not, they’re all very good friends and we part amicably.” 

What’s it like dating an idol?

“An idol?” He arched a brow, “I’m not really sure what you mean. I’m not really big on internet slang,” He scratched the back of his neck, “Honestly, my mom has to tell me what it means sometimes.” Rey giggled. Somebody explained the concept of an idol, “Oh, is that right? I don’t know about that but Rey’s very honest and sweet, a balm to my wounded soul, if you will.” She blinked at him and he laced their hands together under the coffee table, “She saved me,” 

“Ben—,” 

His phone started buzzing, “Whoops, that’s my manager calling,” He said and gave a small, self-deprecating grin to the camera, “Gotta go, it was nice talking to you,” Then he pressed a quick kiss to Rey’s cheek and winked before she even had time to react.

She blinked and heat rushed to her cheeks but he was already walking away to answer his phone.

She cleared her throat and plugged in her headphones again. She giggled at the comments, “Please don’t turn that into a gif,” 

Chapter Text

Why did you out yourself for being there?” Hux sighed heavily, “The paps know where she lives and now they know you’re there.”

“I have no plans of leaving today anyway,” Ben said, “What’s my schedule on Wednesday?”

“What am I, your secretary?”

“No, but you know what it is anyway,” 

Hux sighed again, “Well if you must know you have a briefer meeting with the photographer from Rolling Stones and,”

“Reschedule it,” He said, “I want to take Rey out for a date,”

Hux barked out a laugh, “Jesus Christ Solo, moving fast aren’t we? Not that I disapprove but do you know her schedule on that day?”

“I’ll call Dameron,” 

“You don’t even like Dameron,”

“So?” He shrugged and only half listened to Hux.

“Is he really Daddy?” He glanced back at her and arched a brow. She was looking at him with pursed lips, “Well, that depends on how you describe a Daddy but I’m pretty sure I said he is,” She turned back to the camera and giggled, “He takes very good care of me, thank you.” 

“Solo, are you even listening?” Hux sighed defeatedly.

“Nope,”

“Figured.” He sighed again, “You have to be careful. Rey’s a very delicate girl people might harass her.” 

“I know, but you’re wrong,” 

“Hm?”

“She’s not delicate. She’s the strongest person I know.” He leaned against the counter again and sipped at his chocolate.

“You know, we’ve known each other for years but I never thought you’d be the type to fall in love so quickly and so deeply but it makes a lot of sense on hindsight.” 

“I don’t know what you mean,” 

He snorted, “Please, I know how women always flocked to you, you’ve always been a star but you never let anyone in. People liked you but you always just hung out with me and Phas.”

“Armitage you know you’re my best friend,” 

Hux snorted, “Of course I do. Why else would I do all these shit for you?”

Rey chattered on, glancing at him every once in a while and smiling. 

“I don’t know what it is about her either,” He said softly even though he knew she couldn’t hear him through her headphones, “But it’s like I’ve known her for years. I want to marry her, Hux.”

There was a long pause before Hux started talking again, “Are you sure? It’s only been a few weeks since you two go together.”

“I’ve never been more sure about anything in my life.”

Hux laughed again, “Well, I’m all for that as your friend and as your manager, well, Phas and I can spin this into a kind of fairytale if you’re proposing anytime soon.”

“No, no I’m not. She’s not ready for that and I don’t want to let it slip to the media so soon.” 

“I understand.” He cleared his throat, “Does Leia know?”

“Yes. Why do you think I already have the ring ready?”

Hux sounded like he choked, “Your grandmother’s ring?” 

“Yes.”

Hux laughed a little, sounding almost surprised, “I’m happy for you.” 

“Thank you.” 

For once he can honestly say that he was happy for himself too.

Chapter Text

It always felt strange not having Ben around. It was like all the warmth and life gets sucked out of her apartment. Funny, it didn’t used to feel like that. 

Poe had called her last night to tell her that she had the day off and that he’d canceled her scheduled gym session that day. 

Right after that, Ben had called to tell her that he’ll pick her up at eight so they could go to the farmer’s market. He didn’t answer when she’d asked if he was the one who got Poe to give her a day off.

She looked at herself in the mirror and wondered if she dressed appropriately. He said anything was fine but still, it was technically their first date. 

She flushed; they were going about things in the wrong order. It had been getting warmer recently so she wore a pair of jean cut offs for the first time in months and paired it with a band tee and a flannel checkered button-down she’d left open.

Was it okay? 

The bell rang. They should remember to get a set of keys for him too and she flushed again. She wore her boots quickly and tried to fix her hair a little before opening the door.

She bit her lip and looked down when he stared.

“You look cute,” He said and nudged her chin up a little so she’d meet his eyes, “Why are you being so shy all of a sudden?” 

“Nothing,” She squeaked. Her heart was pounding. 

“No kiss for Daddy?” He teased and her cheeks flamed even more. He leaned down to give her a deep kiss. She sighed and he smirked when he pulled away, “I missed you,” He said and tucked her hair back behind her ear.

She pouted a little, “I missed you too,” Then, she stepped forward and wrapped her arms around his waist. He froze for a brief second before wrapping his arms around her. She sighed and breathed in his now-familiar scent. 

He’d chosen to wear a t-shirt and jeans and she rubbed her face a little at the worn fabric.

“Wanna tell me why you’re so shy all of a sudden, sweet thing?” He murmured in her ear. She pulled away a little, blushing.

“This is our first date,” She said, “I’m a little nervous.” She bit her lip and cleared her throat, “Do I look okay?”

He blinked down at her and brought her back at arms-length. He arched a brow, “Are you really asking me that?” He grinned, his dimples flashing, “You always look beautiful to me. And what’s wrong with what you’re wearing? I think it looks nice, although…” He trailed off and frowned. 

“Although…?” Should she change after all?

He grinned, “Although I’m probably going to get jealous of all the guys who’d be staring at your legs.”

She blinked and snorted back a laugh, “What?”

“What?” He smiled innocently, “You have pretty legs,” 

“Are you going to say something ridiculous and cringe-worthy like ‘they’ll look better wrapped around my hips’ or something?” She arched a brow and he winked. She laughed.

“There’s my baby girl,” He brushed her cheek, “But nah, you look beautiful either way. Shall we?”

She grinned, all traces of her nerves gone just like that. He always had a way about him that made her feel so safe. 

 

The Wednesday Santa Monica Farmers’ Market wasn’t as crowded as the Saturday market. She really loved markets and fairs, all the fruits and homemade goods were all  so fascinating to her. They walked around hand-in-hand browsing the stalls and eating snacks as they went around. 

Not many people bothered them and it felt like they were any other normal couple out and about on a date.

Ben only let go of her hand when he’d bought them both some spiced cold brew. 

“Tell me if there’s something you want,” He said and rubbed the back of his neck, “I’m not really good at dating,” His cheeks was flushed.

She giggled, “What are you talking about, you’re great,” 

He shrugged, “It wasn’t a priority.” 

“Is it a priority now?” She arched a brow and he leaned down to look into her eyes. She flushed but didn’t look away.

“No but you are,” She made a soft squeaking sound and finally looked away. He chuckled and brushed his lips against the side of her head, “Let’s go,” He took her hand again and started walking.

She noticed that he slowed his steps so she wouldn’t have a hard time catching up and she smiled at how thoughtful he was. 

They stopped in front of a colourful stall selling crystals and other handmade accessories, “Anything interesting?” He asked her and she chewed her bottom lip. She eyed a broken piece of stone that seemed to have shadows threaded with bright blue electricity trapped inside of it.

“That’s a black fire opal,” The seller said, “Opals are known for being protection charms and the Romans considered them to be a symbol of hope,” 

“It’s beautiful,” Rey said, touching the cool stone gently. The shadows seemed to swirl.

“It’s not perfect,” The lady said, laughing a little, “I tried to make it into a pendant but I broke it,” She took out the other half of it, a little smaller, with more blue than black, “I can give you a good price for both of them if you like,”

“We’ll take them,” Ben said before she could answer. She looked up, a little surprised. He arched a brow.

The seller squinted at him a little before her eyes widened, “Oh! You’re…” He smiled sardonically. She cleared her throat, “Anyway, would you like me to tie them into a pendant so they’re easier to wear and carry around?” 

Rey looked at Ben who already had his wallet out, “Bracelet would be better. Easier to wear all the time, right?” He said and gave her a half-smile that made his dimples pop. She flushed; he knew exactly what he’s doing to her, “We can match,”

He paid for the set and the seller told them to come back in about half an hour so she could fix it for them. 

“Don’t push,” An all-too-familiar voice hissed.

Rey looked back and frowned, “Did you hear that?” She asked and he scowled.

“Unfortunately.” He sneered and grabbed her hand.

Chapter Text

Why.

Ben scowled and glared down at Hux and Poe.

“Fancy seeing you here,” Poe said, laughing nervously.

“Poe? And Hux?” Rey frowned in confusion, “What are you two doing here?”

“I didn’t know you two were close,” He said drily.

“Where are Rose and Finn?” She asked. He was still holding her hand and she’d  turned a little and wrapped her other hand around his forearm without seeming to realise. Pride made him puff up his chest a little.

“Rose went home for the week to see Paige,” Hux sighed, “I’m just here to accompany this idiot,”

“Hey,” Poe frowned, “That’s mean Hugs, I asked nicely.”

“So, what are you two doing here?” Ben narrowed his eyes, “You’re not following us, are you?”

“Psh, of course not,” Poe snorted and laughed. He’d never seen a worse liar in his life. Even Rey didn’t look convinced, “We uh, we were just looking at the area.”

“Right.” Hux nodded sagely, “It’s a good area,”

Of course, it was Santa Monica.

“I was looking at a house,” Poe said quickly, “And Hugs was uh, helping me. It was um, a wedding gift for Finn.” He flushed, “We uh, really should go, there are more houses to see.” He linked his arm with Hux’s who jerked.

“What are you doing?” 

Poe looked down and turned an even brighter shade of red before letting go quickly, “Sorry! Sorry, force of habit,” He laughed again, that same nervous laugh as earlier. He cleared his throat, “Did I ever tell you I knew for sure I was interested in men because of you?”

Hux had turned almost as red as his hair, “W-what?” He stammered, flustered.

Rey snorted back a laugh. Ben arched a brow.

Poe scratched his jaw and laughed, “Yeah, I had this crush on you when we were kids.” 

“I thought you liked Solo?” Hux scowled and Poe paled.

“What? No, no, he’s like a weird cousin-slash-older-brother why would I like him?”

Ben leaned closer to her ear, “If we run now you think they’ll catch up?” She giggled.

“Nope.”

“Let’s go,” They turned quickly and ran while the two were busy arguing about their childhood. 

They ran past stalls and pushed past people carelessly, like they were children. He didn’t think he’d ever run like this before. They stopped in front of a fruit juice stall and she laughed. He laughed too, so hard his stomach started cramping. 

Once they managed to stop laughing and catch their breath, they turned to the vendor who was eyeing them with a strange but amused expression.

“Sorry about that,” Rey said, starting to laugh again, “We met people we didn’t want to see,”

“Relatives?” The vendor said looking like he understood.

“Our managers.” Ben said drily and she burst out laughing again. He tried to keep a straight face but couldn’t. He started laughing too.

The vendor did a double take, “You’re that actor!” He finally said, “That one from that movie recently,”

Ben laughed awkwardly, “Um, yeah, that one.” He cleared his throat, “What do you want to drink?”

“I’d really love some sweet tea,” Rey said and he smiled and ordered two. 

“My son would never believe this,” He laughed as he handed them their drinks, “Would you,” He flushed and his bushy moustache twitched, “Would you mind if I take a picture?”

Ben looked at Rey, “I can take your picture,” She said.

“Oh no, no, you too, miss.” He was already holding up his phone and Ben chuckled.

“We can take a selfie?” He said and extended his hand for the phone. 

“I couldn’t,” He flushed again, a deeper shade of red and Ben insisted. They went around so they could stand next to the vendor and he pulled in Rey next to him, “Thank you!”

“No problem,” Ben said, “Good tea by the way,”

The man looked so proud as he explained how he’d brewed it. After they said their goodbyes, they went back to the trinket stall to pick up their bracelets.

Rey’s eyes sparkled as he fastened it around her wrist, “Thank you,” She said and his lip twitched up. He raised her hand and pressed a kiss on the back of it. She sucked in a breath and flushed. 

Her hands shook a little when she wrapped the other one around his wrist, “I’ve never had something that matched someone else’s before,” She said. Her smile made his heart skip a beat and he couldn’t help but lean down to steal a kiss.

Chapter Text

They knew they had to leave the market when more than one paparazzo popped out of nowhere pointing a camera at their faces. 

Ben was disappointed he couldn’t hit them even once what with Rey being there. He wasn’t a complete brute after all.

He’d taken her to a beachside seafood restaurant for lunch and they’d talked and laughed and walked around the beach hand-in-hand. 

Overall it was a lovely first date, nothing too fancy, and she seemed happy. 

“We haven’t taken a picture yet,” She said, frowning a little, “Though I’m pretty sure I’m going to see a lot of pictures online later.”

He chuckled, “You can always ask,” The sun was setting and the air grew chill. He wrapped his arm around her shoulders, “You think we can take a photo with the sunset?” 

They tried, more than once, and she giggled when they fell back on the sand. He loved hearing her laugh. He leaned forward again to capture her lips and she pulled away, still giggling, “Ben, there are people,” She said. 

“So?” He brushed his lips up her jawline and nipped her ear. She shivered, “They can watch for all I care.” 

“Your image,” 

He sighed, “Can’t a man be affectionate to his girlfriend?”

She flushed, “You’re not just any man,” He ran his fingers through his hair, “You still have to look badass,”

He snorted back a laugh, “Badass,” 

“That’s what Phasma said, I have to make sure you’re not too romantic and that you still look like you can beat the shit out of people,” 

He snorted again, “I’m not sure if I can get used to your potty mouth,”

She blinked and giggled, “You’re such an old man,” 

“Isn’t that why I’m Daddy?” He arched a brow and she giggled again. He’d do anything to keep her smiling and laughing like this. He never wanted to see that sad look she gets in her eyes that she tried so hard to keep hidden from everyone else. He wanted to keep her happy, just like this, so she’d forget that habit of hers of smiling to hide her loneliness. 

“People are judging our age difference,” She said and leaned against his shoulder. He wrapped his arm around her shoulder and they watched the sunset.

“Does it bother you?”

“Of course. They’re calling you weird names,” She frowned though she looked more like she was pouting, “Our age gap isn’t that big.”

“True. My parents had a bigger age gap, but if you think about it you’d still have been in grade school when I was already in college,” 

“But that doesn’t matter ten, twenty, thirty years from now.”

He grinned, “Already thinking about thirty years from now, huh?” 

She jerked up and turned bright red, “I, I didn’t, I mean, I wasn’t assuming  or anything,”

He leaned his cheek on his knee and smirked, “Are you saying you don’t want to be with me thirty years down the line?” She turned an even brighter shade of red and he took her hand, “Stay with me,” He said softly and pressed her fingertips to his lips. He wanted to be with her for as long as he could, “Stay with me, okay?”

Chapter Text

Why did he always look at her like that?

Does he realise how much her heart ached when he gave her the look that spoke of years of loneliness? Does he even realise that he’s making that face again, that he was looking at her like he was just waiting for her to disappear on him.

“I will,” She said softly, fingers brushing his lip, “For as long as you want me,” 

She felt his lip twitch up into a small smile, “That’s a given,” He said, “I’ll always want you.” Her cheeks heated, “But more than that,” His expression turned serious again, “I need you, Rey.” 

Her eyes widened and she sucked in a breath, “Ben,” Nobody ever told her they needed her before and tears welled up in her eyes. He let go of her hand and sat up, alarmed.

“Jesus, Rey, I didn’t say that to make you cry,” He wiped the sides of her eyes awkwardly, like he wasn’t sure what to do, exactly, and she giggled.

“That’s,” She giggled some more, “That was such a cheesy thing to say,” She said and took his hands and brought them to her lips, “Thank you.” 

“Isn’t that…?” 

Ben sighed, “I guess that’s our cue,” He said and then grinned, “Race you back to the car,” He winked before getting up and running.

She gaped, “Ben!” She scrambled up to chase after him, “Ben Solo you meanie!” She could hear his laughter trailing behind him.

It was a nice sound, one she wouldn’t mind hearing for the rest of her life. 

 

They went home to his penthouse. It looked a lot cheerier than when she’d last slept over. The plant she’d given him sat on his windowsill and he had fuzzy maroon throw hanging haphazardly on the couch. 

There was even more food in the fridge. 

“Are you going to cook for me?” She asked, smiling.

“Of course,” He grinned, “Gotta make sure I know how to take care of my baby, right?” 

She flushed, “Is there anything I can do to help?” She asked and he shook his head.

“Just sit there and accompany me. Do you want coffee?” 

“I’ll make it,” She said, moving towards the espresso machine, “I need to practice too, so I can make it as well as you do,” 

His lip twitched up in an amused half-smile, “It’s always the best if it’s from you,” He tucked her hair back behind her ear and the stone caught the light, making the blue shine brightly. 

“Ben?” 

“Hm?”

She placed her hand over his on her cheek, “Thank you for today,” 

He looked surprised. Could he see how much he meant to her? “Today’s not over yet, sweet thing.” He murmured and brushed his lips against hers. She sighed and pressed closer to him. His arms caged her in against the counter and she sighed again and flicked her tongue against his lips.

He sighed too and opened for her. It wasn’t often that he let her take the lead. She pulled him down by his shirt and wrapped her arms around his neck. He groaned deep in his throat and lifted her up to sit on the counter. He stepped between her thighs and pressed his hands against her back, simultaneously pulling her close and supporting her as she leaned back a little even as she pulled him close.

He pulled away with a shuddering breath, “Rey,” He hissed, “I’m supposed to be making you dinner,” He murmured and shuddered when she rolled her hips against his, “I’m trying to be a gentleman,” 

She giggled, “You are,” She said, “You’re a perfect gentleman,” She leaned forward again and he sighed a little before giving in, “Shouldn’t a gentleman bring me to bed?” 

He groaned and laughed a little breathlessly, “You’re becoming a bit of brat, aren’t you, baby girl?” He murmured hotly and nipped her ear. 

She shivered and bit her lip. She loved how quickly he loses control like that, how easily he falls into his preferred role, as someone who needed to be needed, and she did need him, as much as he needed her.

“I love you,” She whispered and he shuddered and lifted her off the counter with a curse.

Chapter Text

In the end he never got to cook for her. 

He got way too distracted having his fill of her that by the time he realised it, it was already way too late to cook something. 

So they stood in the middle of his kitchen at nine in the evening, eating sandwiches for dinner. It really was not what he planned. 

Her cheeks were still flushed and she avoided looking at his bare chest. 

“Stay the night,” He said. Stay forever.

“Are you bringing me to work tomorrow?” She asked with a smile, “I don’t even have clothes with me,”

“Wear mine. They look better on you anyway,” He eyed her up and down. She’d worn the shirt he’d been wearing earlier. She arched a brow and gave him a cheeky smile.

“Should I wear this?” She asked and lifted it a little to sniff, “It doesn’t smell like sweat or anything,” 

His cock twitched. Why is it that every little thing she did resulted in him wanting to fuck her? Really, it’s not good for either of them when all they want to do when they’re alone is to stay in bed together. He was actually surprised when her appetite in food and in bed matched his; not that he was complaining.

She wasn’t as active on social media either and he worried what that’d do to her followers. Why wasn’t Dameron reminding her? 

“Ben? Are you okay?” She asked, looking a little pouty. 

“I’m fine,” He said, “Just thinking,” 

“What are you thinking of?” Wide eyes, so innocent, so pretty, but he knew how quickly they turn dark and unfocused. She was just like him, hungry.

“That I want to fuck you again,” He said and she stood a little straighter. He watched the flush crawl up her throat on its way to her cheeks and decided that he didn’t leave enough marks on her. 

“I thought you said you were a gentleman?” She bit her lower lip, already swollen from his kisses. It was enchanting. 

“I am,” He wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her close, “As you said, I’m a perfect gentleman,” He nipped the tip of her ear and pressed light kisses down her jaw. She shivered, “I’ll never leave my lady unsatisfied,” He bit down just enough to make her shudder and leave a small mark. His Rey it seemed, liked it when her Daddy was just a little bit rough with her. 

“Ben,” She shuddered, her fingers grappling for something hold on to. 

His fingers trailed up her thighs lightly, “Sore?” She shook her head and shivered as his fingers trailed higher.

She gasped when his finger pressed inside her slowly and her nails dug into his arm. He grinned and shoved the whole digit in roughly, making her yelp, then whimper and dig her nails in some more. 

Her heat wrapped around his finger like it always did, tight and wet, growing even more so the more he licked and sucked and nipped at her throat. He pressed another finger in and fucked her with his fingers and caught her moans with his mouth. He pushed her—his shirt, off of her with one hand and dumped it on the counter instead of the floor. 

“You said you’d wear it tomorrow,” He said with a small grin as he lowered his face to her breasts. She jumped and tightened when he laved a hardened nipple and cried out when he sucked. 

“W-wait,” She panted and pushed a little, “Ben, wait,” He lifted his head and met her eyes. They were dark and hungry, not at all innocent; she was looking at him like she wanted to devour him and he was sure he looked the same. 

He thrust and curled his fingers inside her almost lazily and she shuddered, “What is it?” He asked and she tightened around his fingers again. He smiled slowly and thrust again, “Well?” 

“I,” She looked away and let out a shuddering breath. She pushed him back and shuddered again when he pulled his fingers back, “I,” Her eyes darkened impossibly when he started licking her juices from his fingers. He arched a brow and she looked away and pushed him again until he was the one leaning on the counter, “Don’t move,” She said, “I want to try something,”

“You can try anything you want with me,” He rumbled and sucked in a breath when she licked his nipple. He slapped a hand over it and felt heat rise to his cheeks, “That tickles,” 

“You said I can try anything,” She pouted and he shuddered. He dropped his hand again and gripped the edge of his counter. She smiled, innocent if not for the mischievous glint in her dark eyes. She leaned forward again and nipped.

He hissed and his cock jerked. Jesus. Is this what she felt every time he teased her? It was like every time she sucked it went shooting straight down to tug at his cock. 

“Rey,” He hissed and shuddered when she started kissing down his chest. She wouldn’t, would she?

Chapter Text

Rey wasn’t inexperienced, not in the least. She’d had boyfriends before but it never really went longer than four months and sex and romance wasn’t really her priority either and it always bothered the men she dated that her roommate was a man and it always became bothersome. So she’d stopped dating and when she saw Ben onscreen, how could she even think of dating anyone?

She dropped to her knees and Ben sucked in a breath. She pressed a kiss below his navel and nipped when he shuddered. He stared at her with those dark, heavy-lidded eyes, waiting for what she’d do. 

Thing is, she’d never had this craving to do this before. She bit her lip and pulled his joggers down just enough for his cock to pop out. It always surprised her that she could actually fit him. 

“Rey,” He breathed. His cock bobbed and smeared pre-cum all over his stomach. She look up to meet his eyes and he swallowed hard.

She licked tentatively and he let out a shuddering breath. His thighs shook and he leaned heavier against the counter. She licked again, just at the tip and his hips jerked. She looked up; he’d screwed his eyes shut and was breathing through his mouth. It was fascinating. 

She sucked in the head of cock and he groaned and tightened his grip on the counter. She sucked him in, slowly until he reached the back of her throat before pulling back again, just as slowly. Maybe he should be sitting down for this; his thighs shook harder. 

He sighed her name again and groaned when she started sucking harder, taking him deeper and deeper with each suck. She looked up again, past his tightened stomach and heaving chest. He was biting his lip, his eyes narrowed and unfocused. She sucked in her cheeks as she sucked until her nose brushed the wiry, curly hair at the base of his cock. His moan sounded almost like a whimper.

And in that moment she felt so powerful.

She cupped his balls with one hand and used the other to wrap around the base of his cock. She jerked him with her hand in time with her mouth and felt how his balls drew up. He gasped that he was close and tapped at her cheek. She looked up at his flushed face; he looked almost delirious, frantic even. 

“Where,” He groaned and clenched his jaw. It was sweet how he always asked her where he should cum. She sucked harder and she watched his eyes roll back in his skull, “Rey.” His fingers gripped her hair and she reached down to press on her clit. She shuddered a little.

He came with groan. She was a little surprised when he tightened his fingers on her hair and jerked his hips, making her choke a little before swallowing. He gasped when her throat worked on him and she swallowed down the salty bitterness he spilled.

Then she sucked again. He shuddered and gasped and scrabbled to pull her away, “I can’t,” He gasped, “Rey, I, please,” He groaned when she released his cock with a soft ‘pop’.

He was still hard.

“Jesus,” He breathed and laughed lightly. His hand was shaking when he brushed his hair back away from his face. 

She smiled and stood as gracefully as she could and pressed a kiss in the middle of his chest. His soft growl rumbled deep from his chest and she spun her around so quickly she almost fell over.

He bent her of the counter, the cold marble counter made her nipples tighten. He pushed inside her without preamble. She gasped at the sudden stretch and whimpered when he snapped his hips against her ass. He already came, why was he still so impossibly hard? He mouthed at her shoulder and thrust inside her, desperately chasing another orgasm she knew would be a long time coming. She tightened around him.

“Where did you learn that?” He hissed darkly and wrapped a hand around her throat, “Did you have any idea how many times I’ve thought of having your mouth on me?” She shuddered and his fingers tightened around her throat, “Fuck, you like that, huh?” 

“Yes,” She gasped and arched her back. He slammed into her, his balls slapping against her clit with a wet squelch, “Yes, Daddy,” 

“I didn’t realise what a dirty girl my princess is,” He sucked on her earlobe and bit just hard enough for it to be painful but not enough to cause any real damage. She squirmed and he hissed. 

He thrust again and she moaned. In this position he felt even bigger. He pushed her higher until she stood on her toes. He didn’t spread her legs like he normally would.

“Do you know,” He panted in her ear, “How tight you get like this,” Her pussy clenched and he shuddered, “Sometimes I wonder if I’m too rough on you,” She gasped when he snapped his hips sharply and she felt his balls press tight against her clit, “But you take it anyway,” His fingers tightened around her throat again and she bore down on him, “You take everything I give you,” He thrust hard and she keened, “Like such a good girl,” His fingers tightened some more and he thrust into her between each word.

Shadows crept up from the sides of her eyes and she stared at the espresso machine with unfocused eyes. Still, she scrambled for something to hold on to and settled on the arm still wrapped around her shoulders. She dug her nails in and gasped, pussy clenching and unclenching around his cock as her climax neared and surged around her.

He slammed into her once, hard, and released her throat.

And she screamed.

Everything turned white and she heard a high-pitched sound as she writhed and pushed her ass back against him as she came. Vaguely she heard him cry out and felt him shudder and thrust weakly. 

He was still cumming when she finally came down from the unbearably pleasurable high he’d brought her to. She tightened around him almost experimentally and he whimpered. She bit her lip and tried not to giggle.

He linked their hands together and pressed his forehead to her shoulder, pressing lazy kisses down her shoulder blade and catching his breath. 

“Did I hurt you?” He rumbled and pulled away from her slowly. He set her down and she flinched at the ache in her calves, “Rey?” 

“I’m fine,” She said, “I think my calves are just a bit—,” She didn’t get to finish because he’d swept her off her feet. Literally.

She shrieked and wrapped her arms around his neck, “Ben!”

“Careful, sweet thing, the sound proofing here’s good but not that good. The neighbours might think I’m murdering you or something.”

She snorted and then giggled, “You’re ridiculous.”

“You love me anyway,” He winked and she giggled again as he brought her to the bedroom.

Chapter Text

“Are you sure you’re okay?” Ben asked for the umpteenth time, “Your legs were sore yesterday,” He glanced at her while she sat in his passenger seat.

“And whose fault is that?” She laughed, “You made me run a lot yesterday,”

He glanced at her again and arched a brow, “Is that the only reason why your legs were hurting?”

She laughed again. As promised she’d worn the shirt he was wearing yesterday. She’d tied it up too so it didn’t hang too loosely around her significantly smaller frame, and since she didn’t have clothes in his house yet, she had to make do with her cutoffs and one of his old jackets. She breathed a sigh of relief that she didn’t forget to bring a makeup bag with her on her date. 

If anyone were to notice the marks, or even just the shirt she’s wearing, it’d probably cause another scandal.

Ben drove them to the parking lot behind Resistance. He’d insisted on bringing her to work. Would this be a norm? Rey wouldn’t mind if it meant going home together too.

“You don’t have to walk me inside,” She said and he arched a brow.

“Are you embarrassed to be seen with me?” 

She flushed, “Of course not,” She eyed his clothes and frowned. He wouldn’t fit in if he was wearing a suit and tie, not when Resistance was generally more casual. Come to think of it Hux also wore very formal clothes. Was that a rule in First Order? 

The guard standing at the entrance did a double take when he saw Ben walking in hand-in-hand with Rey.

“Mo-morning, Ms. Rey,” 

“Good morning Snap,” She grinned, “Leia and Poe in already?”

“Yup,” He glanced at Ben again, “Mr. Dameron said he’ll wait for you in R2,” 

“Thanks,” She grinned and looked back at Ben, “So…”

“I’ll walk you,” He said and walked in with her. Of course everyone would be startled. It was the first time since Leia publicly announced their relationship that he’d come visit. He looked around curiously but strangely enough he knew exactly where to go.

The elevator chugged up slowly, “I see nothing’s changed,” He said, “I haven’t been here since I was kid but everything’s still the same.”The elevator dinged and the door opened. They walked out into the hall, “They changed the carpet.”

She snorted back a laugh, “I see.” She looked around; the building was solid, all brick and stone and hardwood, typical of a seventies or eighties office building. Framed pictures and awards lined the walls. They stopped in front of the door marked with a large ‘R2’. 

“I’ll see you later,” He said, “Tell me when you’re done and if I’m not done yet wait for me?” He tucked her hair behind her ear and she smiled.

“Okay. First Order isn’t very far either I can ask Poe for a ride if you’re going to be long,”

He nodded, “We need to get clothes for you,” His eyes darkened a little, “Not that I mind seeing you in mine but,” 

She laughed, “I can’t keep wearing your clothes they’re too big,” 

He pursed his lips. It was so strange seeing him wearing a tie even if it was loose. It kind of made her feel like a naughty schoolgirl about to get a spanking. She flushed and tried to think of something else, “Well if we’re early today we should get clothes from your apartment. The penthouse is a lot closer to both of our workplaces and…” He trailed off and she looked up. He was flushed and his jaw was tight. He swallowed hard. Was he asking her to move in with him? He opened his mouth again and shut it quickly when they heard Leia. He turned an even brighter shade of red.

“…back to Taiwan?” Leia turned from the corner, “Oh! Ben! Rey!”

She saw Ben’s jaw tighten and took his hand and squeezed. She smiled, “Hi Leia, Luke.”

Luke nodded, “Rey, Ben.” 

Ben’s hand tightened around her’s, “Mom, uncle.” 

Awkward silence.

“I’ll see you later,” Ben finally told Rey, “Text me,” 

She nodded and closed her eyes when he dropped a kiss on her forehead, “Drive carefully,” 

“I was just about to go have brunch with Luke,” Leia said tentatively, “Would you like to join us?”

“No, thank you.” Ben said coldly, “I have to get back to the studio.” 

“I see.” Another awkward silence. Rey had never seen Leia floundering for something to say like that before.

“I have to go in now,” Rey told him, asking silently with her eyes if he’d be okay. Would he be able to read her concern? He squeezed her hand and gave her a small smile. 

“Go, before Dameron throws a fit,” He said and kissed the back of her hand before letting go. She smiled a little before going in. 

Chapter Text

Would he be alright? Rey sighed softly. She still had no idea what went on with Luke and Ben but it didn’t seem like something that’s ever been resolved. 

“Rey, you okay?” Poe was looking at her and she flushed.

“I’m fine, sorry I was just…” She chewed on her lower lip, “Thinking of something.”

“It doesn’t happen to be the owner of that shirt, does it?” He arched a brow and she turned even redder, “Don’t think I didn’t notice he was wearing that yesterday. And that you’re wearing the same shorts too and I’m pretty sure that’s not your jacket.” 

“You’re kind of creepy, you know that.” 

He shrugged, “I’m your manager, sunshine. I’m supposed to notice these things. Besides, if you were listening to me you’d know I was talking about the press.”

He turned his laptop and showed her pictures of them on their date. 

“Now that you’ve come out as a couple,” He showed her the next slide, “This is the statistics of your social media accounts for the past couple of days. As you can see, your followers significantly dropped on the first day; about uh, hundred, hundred-fifty thousand? Majority of it is of the white male category, mid- to late thirties, but if you look at the next day, you’ll see that it shoots up by almost three hundred thousand, mostly women, a good mix of white and POC in their early to mid-twenties and also a good number of teenage boys so really, it’s not bad.”

“What made the drop happen in the first place?” Rey asked.

“Well, that might be my fault,” Poe sighed and ran his fingers through his curly hair, “I actively encouraged your innocent, idol-esque image so it’s only natural for there to be backlash once you get into a relationship especially with a man ten years your senior. Most of the male fanbase thought that he’s, well, tainting you in a way.”

“But I’ve had relationships before,” 

“Well, yeah but that was before you became popular. At the start your fanbase consisted mostly of girls teenage girls but now that’s become a bit broader once we’ve established your image of uh, well, cute little rockstar.” 

She sighed, who knew stardom was so limiting?

Poe went on to the next slide, “The pictures are pretty good and Solo’s getting a better reception too from what I hear. I’ve run the idea with Leia about having a collab with First Order.” He grew serious, “Rey, you have to tell me. Are you serious about him?”

She blinked, “Of course, why wouldn’t I be?” 

He tapped at the photo on his screen, “Are you sure? Because a lot of people are noticing you two now and now that people know he’s actually a talented singer too, I think it might be a good idea for the both of you to appear together in a music video and an album cover,” 

“Wait, you’re telling me to write love songs?” She’s actually already started but it was mostly about him and Finn.

“Why not? You’ve just released your album but you need to start working on your next one.”

“But what’s this have to do with Ben?”

“Rey,” He sighed, “Everyone’s looking at you two right now. Even if it’s just a single for now, the star power he can give is more than enough to shoot you all the way up the charts.”

“I’m not going to use him like that, Poe.” She frowned, “And what did Leia say about this?”

“She thinks it’s a good idea, of course.” He shrugged, “Of course you’re going to have to talk to Solo about it and if he’s game I’ll set a meeting with Hugs and Phasma.” She chewed on her lip, “So I ask you again, are you really serious about him?”

“Of course I am.” She said, “I love him, Poe.” 

He nodded and pursed his lips, “Good. I can work with that. He’s already appeared in your livestream and I’ve confirmed with Hux that it doesn’t breach his contract with First Order so he can keep showing up in your YouTube videos.” 

“Are you sure you can deal with it, Rey? I mean, you’re just starting out and I don’t want you to be shocked or anything if he say, has an on-screen love interest.” 

She never actually thought about that.

To her, he was just her Ben. To the rest of the world, he was leading man, actor Ben Solo. 

“And when you start touring and he starts filming? Can you handle that?”

Anxiety gnawed unpleasantly in the pit of her stomach. The past few weeks have been a dream and now it’s like reality just came crashing down again. Would she be able to handle it when they’re separated for long periods of time? When they can’t even communicate for long because of their busy schedules?

“I have to,” She said softly, “I have to be able to. I don’t want to lose him,” It was a terrifying thought, losing him just when they’d found each other.

Poe sighed again, “Well, I can personally guarantee that the Skywalkers, no, the Solos are loyal to a fault so you don’t really have to worry about that. It’s just the pressure I’m worried about.”

“I can take pressure,” She said, “And I would want to be with him for as long as I can,” His lip quirked up. 

“Well, in that case, I already have some ideas of what we can do provided we can get a schedule with your boyfriend,” He gave her a charming smile and carried on, “The online sales of your album and the organic listeners you have also spiked when the news came out so I think you, well, he, announced your relationship at quite the right time, no? And that video you made for us is gaining a lot of traction too. People are starting to ask if that was Ben singing with you. Of course, you don’t have to confirm it. Finn wouldn’t want you too anyway since it wasn’t made as a PR thing.” 

Rey kept chewing her lip. It does seem like she’d reaping a lot of benefits from her relationship with Ben. Would that be what people would think of her? That she’s just using him?

“I want to do things on my own, Poe.” She said, “I don’t want to rely on his popularity,”

“Rey, sunshine. This is just a naturally occurring thing going on right now. It just so happens that your boyfriend’s popular too. You’re popular on your own and you’re so talented it literally amazes me every time I look at you. I wouldn’t have noticed you and Resistance wouldn’t have signed you on if you weren’t and yet here we are. From what I understand it was you singing that drew him to you too so don’t feel like you’re nothing special.” He took her hand and squeezed, “You trust me, right?”

“Of course I do, Poe. You’re my manager and my friend and you’re marrying my best friend, so of course.”

He laughed, “You know I only want what’s best for you.” She gave him a small smile, “It’s going to be okay. Just talk to him about it,”

“Are you giving me relationship advice now?” She laughed too, “Thank you.” 

“You’re not alone anymore Rey and you should really learn to lean on others too every once in a while.” 

Chapter Text

“Ben?” He looked up at Hux, “You’re not listening,”

He grimaced, “Sorry.”

“Is everything alright?” The offices of First Order was nothing at all the offices of Resistance. Everything was cold glass and metal, modern, sleek, lifeless. 

“I’m fine.” He sighed and ran his fingers through his hair. Hux was telling him about his options. He’d prefer a smaller role with less shooting time and not many location shoots so he didn’t have to be away for so long but it seems he’d have to, either way. 

“Look, I know how it’s like to be away from your girlfriend for long periods of time. It sucks.” Hux said, “But what can you do? You’re an actor, I’m your manager, where you go, I go, but look at me and Rosie, we’re fine aren’t we?” 

“You know you can bring her,” Ben said, “I can’t bring Rey.”

“Yeah but Rose doesn’t want to. She does like her job,” He shrugged, “But we always figure something out. Rey’s a strong girl as you said I’m sure she’ll be fine. So, which script did you like the best?”

They discussed it a bit more but couldn’t come to a conclusion. He sighed and decided to bring them home instead.

“Are you sure you’re okay? I would’ve thought you’d be happy, what with your date and everything. Did you two have a fight?”

“No, of course not.” He ran his fingers through his hair again, “I dropped her off this morning. We met my uncle.”

“Oh.” 

Phasma came in and frowned, “What’s with the long faces?” As usual she was tapping away at her iPad, “I would’ve thought you’d be happy seeing as there’s overwhelming support for your relationship with our little songstress,” 

He frowned at her, “My songstress, Phas, not ours, mine.” Hux sounded like he choked and Phasma cackled.

“My apologies, oh great Benjamin Organa-Solo, I meant your songstress.” She showed him a bunch of numbers and statistics he wasn’t sure he understood, “In any case, if you were the sweet, Internet’s Boyfriend a couple of months ago, you are now officially Daddy Solo, sex idol. Congratulations.” 

Ben blinked, dumbfounded, and felt heat rush up to his cheeks, “Jesus.” He covered his face and groaned. 

“You’re in that perfect age between millenial and boomer and a lot of people find that charming right now. Kind of like a good mix between the two.” Phasma said.

“I have no idea what you just said,” Ben sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose.

Exactly. It seems a lot of younger girls are finding it charming how much of a techno-barbarian you are since your new followers seem to be in the same generation as Rey. Some of them even younger.” Phasma’s smile sent chills down his spine. What the fuck was she planning now?

“I’m not a pedophile,” He said quickly and Hux laughed.

Phasma made a face, “Of course not. That would be illegal. I was thinking of playing up your Daddy image. You know, just a little bit kinky but not enough to offend. I was thinking a magazine,” 

Ben groaned again, “Please don’t,”

“I think it’s a great idea,” Hux said, “We can borrow Rey and have her in her usual cute self. It’ll be great marketing for both of you,”

“No. I’m not making her do something like that,” Ben scowled, “And how are you even going to imply that on print?” He had a sudden image of her in lingerie and his scowl deepened.

“We won’t make her strip, keep your mind out of the gutter, Benjamin.” Phasma said, “Anyway, I was doing some research on the dynamic and it does seem to fit what people see whenever they see the two of you together.”

“Oh, what about princess? She’s always called a baby princess online,” 

“Wonderful idea, Armitage. Should I set a meeting with Poe Dameron and Rey?”

“Aren’t you two getting way ahead of yourselves?” Ben scowled, “Seriously,”

“Well, if you want you can ask her.” Hux said, “I’m sure she won’t mind,”

“She’d be happy to spend time with you,” Phasma said with a nod, “What young girl in a new relationship wouldn’t, right? And the world is currently looking at you two so might as well use the opportunity to make sure they keep looking.” 

The two of them kept throwing ideas and Ben sighed again. He wasn’t really in the mood to argue anyway.

Fucking Luke Skywalker. 

“Why don’t we go out for lunch, eh?” Hux said, “So you cheer up a little,”

He shrugged, “Fine, I guess. You decide.”

“Mind telling me what happened?” Phasma asked with an arched brow, “Family matters?”

“His uncle,” Hux said as a way of explanation.

“Ah.” She nodded, “Let’s have lunch out, yes?”

Ben’s lip quirked up.