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"I really don't understand why you called me," Hux says, for perhaps the third time that day.

The troopers that stand before him exchange a look and behind them, Captain Phasma sniggers. They hadn't even called her; she'd just sort of turned up to watch him flounder, probably.

"Well, we thought if anyone knew how to deal with the situation, it would be you, sir," UT - 489 says.

Hux rolls his eyes. It's not the trooper's fault that he's the only competent officer on this ship, he supposes.

Between them stands a child.

By Hux's estimation she's no more than four, perhaps younger. A scrawny whip of a thing covered head to toe in dirt and engine oil. Her hair is mad tangle of indeterminate colour and she appears to be wearing a threadbare jumper that might have been colourful once. She's barefoot and for a young child in such a situation, she's remarkably calm.

"Has anyone been able to ascertain where she came from?"

"No, sir," Phasma answers shortly. "She's clearly not the child of any of the officers and stormtroopers no longer have the ability to bare children. She must have snuck aboard at some point, in one of the shuttles perhaps."

"Really?" comes a drawling voice from behind them, "If that were the case I'd say your troops could do with being a little more observant, Captain." Kylo Ren says.

Hux glares at him. For a brief, mad moment, he is certain this is Ren's doing. Ren has picked up some random orphan from a desolate world and placed her here just to further torment Hux but no, if Ren wanted to drive him mad he need only be continually present. Besides, he looks just as bemused by the whole situation as they all do.

Phasma ducks her head, "I am sorry, sir. I will find the names of every trooper who has been deployed recently."

Hux shakes his head, "Don't bother. Has anyone tried asking it where it came from?"

"She doesn't appear to understand the common tongue, sir," the other trooper explains. "That or she's a mute."

"And none of you speak any other languages?" Hux asks.

The troopers exchange a look and Phasma coughs rather embarrassedly, "It's never been considered a necessary part of the training except for platoon leaders, sir."

Hux sighs, "Of course not," he mutters. "Why would that ever be useful?"

He kneels carefully, trying not to crease his uniform too much, so that he is at eye-level with the child. He tries asking it's name in a few of local languages from the planets they've most recently deployed to and then in a few more that are widely spoken but he gets no response.

"Perhaps she's touched in the head, General," Ren suggests, from his relatively safe distance.

"Indeed," Hux finds himself agreeing. He is just about to stand when the child smiles and reaches out with one grubby hand to touch his cheek.

"Papa," she says, happily.

Hux jerks back, "Excuse me?"

"Papa!" the child insists, shuffling closer to him. Hux tries to move away but the child is deceptively fast and before he can manage it, it has attached itself to Hux's midriff. Hux splutters, the child is filthy and now it's touching him.

Of course, Ren finds the whole thing hysterical.

The troopers have both averted their eyes politely and Phasma is doing a fairly decent job of masking her laughter with little coughs and throat clears but Ren is almost doubled over. Hux has never heard him laugh, not outside of mirthful chuckles here and there or harsh little barks. Ren does not have an attractive laugh, Hux decides, but then, Ren does not have an attractive anything.

Hux glares at the troopers, "Get out of my sight!" he snarls and the pair don't need telling twice. As soon as they're out of earshot he rounds on Kylo. "Is this some sort of joke, Ren?"

"No," Ren manages, between wheezed breaths. "No, but I wish it was!"

Blushing angrily, Hux (with surprising difficulty) dislodges the child and stands up. "Phasma, you can have it for the program."

"With all due respect, sir, she's too young. We take children at the age of five. Means we have to spend less time on the basics, sir."

"So what are we supposed to do with it?" Hux snaps. "Put it in an airlock? Let it loose?"

"You could keep it," Ren suggests but this apparently is also hilarious and he has to lean against the wall to keep himself upright. "Imagine it!"

Phasma doesn't do a good job of hiding her laughter this time. She snorts a few times and then lets out a startlingly girlish giggle, "I'm sorry, sir," she says. "I really am but - "

"What?" Hux growls. "You don't think I can do it?"

"Well, I mean," Phasma says, between laughs. "Could you? Could you really?"

"Of course I could!" Hux snaps. How hard could it be, really?

Ren has recovered somewhat by this point and is standing mostly unaided, "Well, now's your chance to prove it, General," he taunts.

The child looks up at him, "Papa?" it says again, questioningly.

"You know what?" Hux snarls. "Fine, I will." He takes the child's hand with perhaps a little more force than is necessary. "I'll look after it until it's old enough to enter the program."

"Sir, I really don't think - " Phasma begins. 

But Ren, considerably more serious now, has stood to meet Hux, "I don't think you'll last more than a day, General. I doubt dealing with children is part of your natural skill set."

Hux smirks, "I deal with you on a day to day basis just fine."

Ren's expression is hidden behind his mask but Hux has known how to read the Knight through other means for a very long time. Ren stiffens and after a few moments he turns and stomps down the corridor.

Hux watches him go proudly.

"Sir?" Phasma begins cautiously, "Do you really mean to take care of her?"

And kriff, he supposes he has to now, doesn't he? He looks down at the child who is gazing back at him, part curiosity, part trust. Still no fear. How interesting.

Phasma seems to take that for her answer and she nods shortly, "Right. I'll see about procuring her some clothes and I'll let the bridge know you're otherwise occupied at present."

Hux nods to her, "Thank you, Captain."

She reaches out and hesitantly claps him on the shoulder and then she's gone, leaving Hux and the child alone. He looks back down at it, "Well, this is not how I thought my day would go," he says quietly. "I'm guessing you feel the same way."

The child, it appears, does not because all she does is beam, "Papa!" she says happily.

Hux sighs.

-

The Officer's quarters are mostly located in one section of the ship: a small network of rooms joined by a small lounge and kitchen area. Only Ren's quarters are located elsewhere, on the other side of the ship, closer to the Supreme Leader's audience chamber.

And that's a thought, how by the Order is he going to explain this to Snoke? He'll have enough difficulty explaining it to his underlings. Mercifully, the officer's lounge is empty when he leads the child through so he's spared that indignity for now, at least. 

"So," he says, when they reach his quarters, "I suppose the first order of business is a bath."

She looks up at him.

"You're right," he agrees. "I can't possibly be the one to do that. We'll have to wait for Phasma."

He glances around his rooms awkwardly. There's nothing here that could occupy a child, he knows that for sure. He tries to think back to his own childhood, to how he spent his own free time. Reading mostly, he thinks. Or being drilled by his father. He did like to draw once upon a time though. He must have some spare paper somewhere and some pens. Most of them will be in black but he's certain he's a few red ones somewhere....

He looks down at her, "Don't move." he commands and then, as he makes to let go of her hand. "And don't touch anything." (He is unspeakably glad that he's wearing gloves.) But as soon as he tries to let go she wails.

No, not wails. Screams.

"Alright! Alright, alright!" Hux yells, "Look, I'm not letting go, see?" He gives her hand a reassuring squeeze and just as suddenly as the noise began it stops.

Palpatine, what has he gotten himself into?

"Captain Phasma?" he says, into his comms device. "You're needed."

Phasma sighs, "I'll be there soon, sir. Didn't last very long on your own, did you?"

"I'm still your superior officer, you know."

Phasma laughs, "Be there in ten, sir."

"I suppose we better get that bath ready then," Hux says glumly to the child. He leads her into the bathroom and, experimentally, loosens his grip on her hand. Now they're in a smaller space she seems less worried he'll leave so he risks letting go. She gives him a worried look but when he doesn't immediately leave she seems to calm some. Thank everything in the Galaxy.

He leans over the tub to begin running the water, checking it's not too hot before he does so. The last thing he needs is to give the poor thing third degree burns with the Finalizer's ridiculously hot water.

She seems to like the water, leaning up against the edge of the tub to watch it flow. She claps her hands and points, "Bubbles!"

"No," Hux says, "I've got no bubbles." The First Order didn't go in for such indulgences.

She frowns, "Bubbles," she insists.

"Demanding little thing, aren't you?" Hux remarks. "But I'm afraid you'll have to make do without."

She doesn't appear to like that, she begins stomping her feet, "Bubbles! Bubbles, bubbles, bubbles!"

Hux closes his eyes. He's beginning to develop a monster of a headache. "Phasma," he says to the comms device. "Stop by the contraband locker and see if you can find any bath bubbles."

"Uh, what, Sir?"

"Just do it."

-

When Phasma finally arrives, bath bubbles thankfully in hand, Hux takes a much needed break and flops rather indignantly down onto the couch in his living room. He has only been up four hours but it feels more like forty.

This is definitely a mistake. Stuff Ren and his stupid taunts, Hux cannot take care of a child and run a ship at the same time, it's simply not doable. He will have the child taken elsewhere, abandoned on the next planet they come to. And Ren will just have to -

Ren will be so smug about it though.

The thought makes Hux's blood boil.

Of course he can do this. Of course he can. He can and Ren will see that and the child will grow to be the most loyal stormtrooper they have ever had.

Ren won't win this one.

So when Phasma leads the child out of his bathroom, fresh and washed and looking a good deal less like a pile of sentient dirt he does not sigh or roll his eyes, instead he nods, businesslike.

"Thank you, Captain."

Phasma's eyes glint with amusement, "You're welcome, General. Anything else before I leave?"

"Inform the bridge that I am using today to catch up on paperwork and that they should only send for me if they have dire need."

She raises an eyebrow but says nothing in protest, "As you say, General." Phasma lets go of the child's hand and she bounds towards Hux, enveloping him in a tight hug once more. Hux does not let this phase him, Phasma looks a little impressed.

"I'll take my leave then," Phasma says, crossing the room to retrieve her helmet. She pauses then and doubles back, "Oh, I forgot sir, I picked this up in the contraband locker, thought it might be of use."

She hands him a hairbrush and Hux stares at it.

"It won't bite, General," Phasma says with a smirk.

Hux gives her a warning glare and snatches it from her.

Phasma crosses back to the door, "Try to only call me if you really need to," she says. "I'll have twice as much to do with you on unexpected paternity leave."

She slips through the door just before the hairbrush sails through the space her head had been just seconds before. Hux swears colourfully and then, remembering his audience he looks down to find the child watching him, looking rather unimpressed.

"I don't want to hear you speak like that, understand?" he says, firmly.

The child gives a short nod and then wanders across the room to retrieve the hairbrush. Now that it's clean Hux can tell her hair is a shade similar to his own which is odd, really. It's not that common in the galaxy these days.

He supposes, as he absentmindedly brushes out the tangles in her hair, that he should name her. It feels odd to refer to her mentally as 'child.' "I don't suppose you're going to tell me your name, are you?" he asks.

Unsurprisingly, she does not answer.

"How about Eilis then?" It's his mother's name, as good a name as any and besides, it's not like she's using it anymore. She doesn't respond either way so Hux shrugs, "Eilis it is then. Do they not believe in haircuts where you're from, Eilis?" he grumbles.

When he's brushed out all the tangles he sets her up with some pens and papers and she seems content to sit and draw in silence while Hux catches up on his paper work. She only interrupts here and there to tug on his trouser leg and show him some unintelligible scribble. She doesn't explain any of them to him, only shoves the page under his nose until he nods his approval before scampering back to her corner.

Hux finishes all his work surprisingly quickly and even manages to do some budgeting and expense reports (all the while surreptitiously reading through a manual on child rearing.)

All in all, his day ends rather well.

He and Eilis take their meals in his rooms and Phasma joins them for a time. They make Eilis up a little bed in the unused room off Hux's own bed chamber and Hux goes to bed safe in the knowledge that he is, if nothing else, proving Ren wrong.

-

The next day, Ren joins them in the officer's lounge for breakfast. Normally, it's just he and Phasma as everyone else prefers to take their meals in their rooms or in the canteen with their colleagues. For Ren to make the journey across the ship just for breakfast is unheard of but he is there when Hux emerges, having gotten much less sleep than he would have liked (Eilis, he has found, has the kind of nightmares he's always dreaded having to deal with so he spent much of the night sitting beside her makeshift bed and willing her back to sleep. It would pass, he hoped. If not, he could always see about soundproofing.)

"Good morning, General," Ren smirks.

"Ren," Hux mutters, bending to lift Eilis into a chair between his own and Phasma's. Phasma, who is certainly not a morning person, grunts what Hux assumes is a greeting and goes back to sipping her coffee and rubbing her temples.

The cooks always make far too much for he and Phasma, but at least there is a wide variety of food for them to choose from and Eilis is bound to find something she'll like. He looks at her, "What do you want?"

She points to a few items and he piles them onto a plate for her before helping himself to toast and coffee. Ren's food sits untouched and he watches Hux and Eilis closely. Hux ignores him and busies himself with catching up on the night-shifts reports and his daily itinerary. He won't be able to skip out on his duties again, there is too much to do today, too much planning, too many meetings.

He has no idea what he'll do with Eilis though, it's not as if there's a nursery on board. He looks over at her to find her busily digging grooves into the table top with a spoon. "Eilis," Hux scolds, snatching the it from her. Surprisingly, she doesn't protest much and instead, leans over to prod Phasma.

Ren looks perplexed, "You named it?"

Hux stares at him, "Well, yes. What was I supposed to do? Keep calling it it?"

Ren raises his eyebrows but says nothing and after a few moments he leaves.

Hux shakes his head, looking back at his holo with a frown. He looks up at Phasma who seems to know exactly what he's about to say and shakes her head, fending off Eilis with one hand, "No, I won't be watching her today. You decided to do this, General, not me."

Hux scowls, "Well, what am I supposed to do with her?"

"Take her with you?" Phasma suggests. "I'm sure she'll be well behaved, won't you, Eilis?" Phasma prods her gently in the stomach and Eilis giggles. "See, she said yes."

Hux sighs. It's not like he's got much choice. He narrows his eyes at the child, "If you embarrass me I'll throw you out of an airlock, alright?"

Eilis smiles innocently back at him.

-

No one dares comment when Hux steps onto the bridge with Eilis in tow and he doesn't bother introducing her, it's going to breed rumours like wildfire anyway. She's miraculously well behaved and even proves rather adept at pointing out anyone who seems to be slacking slightly (with a gentle tug at Hux's trouser leg and finger pointed with conspirital smile.)

Phasma comes and whisks her away at about midday and Hux doesn't ask. He has a few Eilis free hours (during which Ren corners him in an empty corridor and backs him into a supply closet of all places. It's disappointingly unimaginative.

"Fatherhood suits you," he mutters, nipping at Hux ear. "Perhaps you should put in for permanent paternity leave."

He has Hux pinned against a wall, face first. Hux growls and twists in his grip to face him.

"You could go back home, buy a nice little house," Ren continues, pressing hot, wet kisses along Hux's jaw line. "Even acquire some more little bundles of joy if you wanted to."

"Mm, and leave the Finalizer in your capable hands? There'd be anarchy. You'd execute everyone for looking at you wrong," he swallows a breathy moan as Ren starts nipping at his throat.

"Snoke would replace you easily enough," Ren purrs.

Hux tucks at Ren's hair, "And you'd kill them within twenty-four hours. You don't play well with others," Hux reminds him.

Ren rumbles out a laugh against Hux's collarbone.)

When Eilis is returned to him, some hours later and rather unceremoniously her hair has been braided. It's an odd style, one Hux isn't familiar with though, a single braid, running atop her head at the back. Hux stares incredulously at Phasma.

"Not me, General," she says and Hux can hear the smirk through her helmet. "Though I've been sworn to secrecy as to who it actually was. And so has she."

Eilis giggles.

One of the girls in the medbay probably, Phasma had mentioned taking her down there to ensure she was healthy. Eilis seems happy enough with it so Hux is content to ignore it and focus on the reports in front of him.

-

"You know," Ren, who has inexplicably decided to join them for breakfast again, says conversationally. "It's really not safe to keep a child on a war ship."

Hux continues scrolling through the night's reports on his holo and does not look up.

"What if we're attacked?"

"If we're attacked, Ren, Captain Phasma will ensure Eilis's safety and get her to an escape pod," Hux replies.

"She will, General?" Phasma asks, looking bemused. "Because she doesn't have troops to oversee?"

Hux glances up at her, "I'm sure your troops can handle themselves. Eilis however can't."

Eilis won't be around long enough for them to be attacked, but Ren doesn't need to know that. Ren scowls at his breakfast and Hux decides that it'll be a great day.

-

It's slightly frightening how effortlessly Eilis assimilates into Hux's routine. Phasma still takes her every now and again throughout the day and Supreme Leader Snoke has not made any comments about her presence either way, much to Ren's annoyance. Speaking of Ren, he's growing more and more frustrated about the apparent lack of difficulty Hux is having raising a child.

Presents keep appearing for Eilis at his door, toys, books, clothes. It's bizarre and slightly worrying that apparently half his ship has children's belongings stashed away somewhere. He doesn't think on it too much. It's one of the few things he's comfortable with not knowing about his crew and Eilis delights in her gifts anyway.

The only trouble Hux has is at night.

No matter what he does Eilis continues to scream and cry all through it. He's taken her to the medbay and they've found nothing wrong, he's tried unloading her on Phasma (which didn't work and only resulted in Phasma shirking her babysitting duties for a few days afterwards), he's even tried telling her bedtime stories. Nothing works.

At first, he doesn't let it affect his work, there are pills that can make up for the lack of sleep he's been getting but eventually, it starts to wear on him. There are dark circles under his eyes, he is becoming more irritable, more liable to snap and Ren knows it.

"You're slipping," Ren hisses into his ear, the next time Hux finds himself shoved unceremoniously into an empty room. He should probably be glad that it's not a closet this time, that at least there's a couch but all he can focus on is the fact that someone - Ren, definitely Ren - has ruined the ship's scheduling system so Hux has to redo the whole thing. By hand. Because there's no one else he can trust to do it sensibly.

"Meanwhile you have slipped so far down you're practically a nonentity," Hux mutters, shoving Ren off him. "I don't have time for this today."

Ren smirks at him, "Family problems?"

"Work actually," Hux snaps. He tries to leave but Ren blocks the door, arms stretched across it like the idiot child he truly is under all the pomp. "Excuse me, Lord Ren, some of us have duties outside of being an aimless menace."

For whatever reason, his usual jabs aren't working and Hux can only think of two reasons for this. Either Ren has matured over night (ludicrous) or this is all part of some scheme that Ren hopes will end in Hux throwing himself out of an air lock. Either way, Hux wants no part in it.

"Ren, move," he says plainly.

Ren actually looks disappointed for a split second before his face returns to it's more natural, murderous expression. "Fine," he spits, ever the child. "Go back to your spreadsheets."

Hux smiles politely and does.

-

"Please, Eilis," he says, later that evening. "By Palpatine's ghost, please go to sleep."

Eilis does not. Instead, she continues to wail in a manner that absolutely destroys him. He doesn't want her to stop crying so he can sleep, he just wants her to stop crying because it pains him and Eilis is not a delicate crier. She is a snotty, raspy-throat, red face, balled fists kind of crier and that makes it even worse.

Still, the crying is at least better than the screams that accompany her rare bouts of sleep. Honestly, Hux has no idea how she's still functioning, she must have had an hours sleep for the two weeks she's been on board the Finalizer.

He gives up, gathers her into his arms and carries her across the hallway to Phasma's room. He can hear music drifting out from behind her door which abruptly stops when he begins to knock.

"Phasma, open up, I know you're in there," he says, as he continues to pound. "Captain, open this door."

There is a loud sigh from Phasma's room and then the door slides open, "Sorry, sir, I didn't hear you at first."

Hux sighs, "Indeed." Then he holds out Eilis, "Please, do something."

Phasma looks alarmed, "Do what?"

"What? No! I meant do something to make her calm down!"

"Oh." Phasma frowns, "General, I'm not really sure I'm qualified to - "

Hux is so tired. So, so tired. He looks to the ancient piano Phasma has in the corner of her room. She is insistent she learnt as part of her trooper training, to better help her timing and self-control but Hux has never heard of such a practise and neither have any of his other Captains. "Play her something."

To his relief, Phasma doesn't argue. She moves away from the door and Hux steps into the room, crossing to Phasma's couch and all but collapsing, Eilis in his lap. Phasma shoots him a few concerned looks before she settles herself down, "Erm, what should I play, sir."

"Anything," Hux mumbles, running a hand through Eilis' damp hair. "There, see, she's going to play something for you," he says, to the child. "Won't that be nice?"

Eilis hiccups and continues sobbing.

Hux feels the same way to be honest. "Phasma, just play something."

After a few moments she does. Eilis quiets a little, still sniffing occasionally and Hux sighs with relief, letting his head lean back on the couch and closing his eyes. It worked, it worked!

When he opens his eyes again Eilis isn't in his lap anymore and he jerks, an absurd surge of fear gripping his chest - what if she's wandered off and gotten hurt? What if she's stumbled off a walkway or into the engine rooms? There are so many ways she could get hurt -

Phasma is standing in front of him, hair damp, towel slung across her shoulders. She's got this odd sort of fond look in her eyes that makes Hux's cheeks heat up, "What time is it?" he snaps, trying to sound as menacing as possible.

"Don't worry, you didn't miss breakfast. You've got plenty of time to get yourself in order," she says.

"Where's Eilis?"

Phasma points and Hux looks over to find Eilis bundled in blankets, sound asleep on Phasma's armchair. "She woke up a few times," Phasma says. "Crying both but I didn't think I should wake you." She smirks, "You looked so peaceful."

Hux glares at her and stands up, stifling a yawn. He runs a hand through his hair, he must look a state. Phasma is looking at him expectantly. "Um, thank you," he says, as sincerely as possible. "I - um - appreciate your fine work."

Phasma snorts, "Let's just not make a habit of this, General."

Hux ducks his head, "Yes, lets." Then he narrows his eyes and looks up at her once more, "And don't tell Ren."

"Wouldn't dream of it, sir."

-

Phasma makes him promise only to come to her room when he really, really needs the rest and of course, there comes a time when Phasma is not there and Hux has not slept for three days. He is halfway to her rooms, Eilis clinging to him and howling when he remembers.

Kriff, what is he to do now?

Eilis continues to scream.

"I know, I know," he tells her gently.

That is when he becomes aware of Kylo Ren watching him from the shared officer's quarters. Of course. That's all he needs now.

"What in the galaxy have you done to her?" Ren asks, reaching up to pull off his helmet.

"Nothing," Hux spits. "She's just - She won't..." He trails off, bouncing Eilis in his arms in a futile attempt to get her to stop screaming. "What are you doing here, Ren?" he growls.

Ren shrugs, "Snoke wants to see us. Didn't you see his message?"

Hux closes his eyes and swears under his breath. No, he hadn't seen the message. He'd been too distracted.

"Good thing I came to tell you then," Ren says with a smirk. Then he frowns at Eilis, "Will you please shut her up? We have to go."

"Well if you've any bright ideas I'd love to hear them!" Hux snaps.

Ren rolls his eyes, actually rolls his damn eyes like it's the easiest thing in the world. He takes a few steps towards Hux and Eilis, "Here," he says, "Let me..." And it's a testament to how completely exhausted Hux is that he doesn't immediately jerk his - the child away from Ren's outstretched hands.

Ren pauses to remove his gloves and looks up at Hux, eyes softer than Hux has ever seen them, "I won't hurt her," he says and for some reason, Hux believes him. He cradles Eilis' head gently, in the same manner as Hux has seen him do to prisoners.

Hux bristles, "What are you doing?"

"Nothing bad," Ren replies then, to Eilis, he says, "There, see? All better." And when he stands back up it is. Eilis takes a few steadying breaths and then slumps forwards on Hux's chest, still and quiet.

For one, horrified moment Hux is certain Ren has killed her, then he feels the rise and fall of her chest and lets out a long, shuddering breath.

Ren is watching him with an odd sort of half-smile, "Did you think I killed her?" he asks, sounding far more amused than he has any right to be.

"What did you do, Ren?" Hux asks, looking down at the sleeping child in amazement.

"Chased away the bad memories," Ren answers. "Now come on, the Supreme Leader is waiting and much as I would love to see him execute you for your tardiness it might not be in your best interest right now."

Hux hesitates, he can't leave Eilis alone, can he? No. No, he can't. He takes a few steps and Ren stares at him, "You're bringing her?"

"Well, I can't leave her here on her own, can I?"

By the Order why did Phasma have to be out on a training exercise?

Ren shakes his head but says nothing.

-

"So," the Supreme Leader rumbles, when they finally stand before him. "This is the child you are raising, General?"

"Only until she's old enough to join the stormtrooper program, sir," Ren answers for him.

Both Hux and the Supreme Leader give him an odd look and Snoke says, "Is this true, General?"

Eilis is warm in his arms. No, Hux wants to say. No, she's too good for that, she deserves more, but those thoughts are not his own - they can't be his own. He is only doing this to spite Ren after all so he squashes them, meets the Supreme Leader's gaze and nods.

The Supreme Leader seems satisfied with this and sits back in his chair, "Luke Skywalker has come out of hiding," he begins.

-

When the Supreme Leader releases them it is all Hux can do to keep walking. Skywalker is back in the picture, it seems. Snoke has received intelligence that the girl that bested Ren on Starkiller base has been trained by him, that she is calling herself a jedi. Ren is fuming but at least he is fuming quietly.

He also appears to be walking Hux back to his quarters. Hux doesn't question it, he wants to avoid arguing until he's more functional.

It's only when he actually reaches his door that he pauses, frowning across at Ren, "If you leave will she wake up?"

Ren blinks, drawn out of whatever murderous scenario he's dreaming up for his uncle and his new apprentice. "I don't know. Maybe," he says, distractedly. Then he frowns, "Why? Do you want me to stay?"

No. No. Hux never wants that. That is the opposite of what Hux wants.

"Never, Ren," he says, keying in his code. The door slides open and in his arms, Eilis stirs. Hux freezes, holding his breath. Please don't, he thinks. Please, please, please.

He glances over his shoulder to find Ren still watching him.

"Oh fine," Hux mutters.

Ren crosses his arms, "That's not a very polite way to ask a man to spend the night with you, General."

"Say it louder, Ren, I don't think they heard you up on the navigation deck," Hux mutters. He shakes his head, "Fine. Ren, will you please stay?"

For a moment he's sure Ren will say no. Why wouldn't he, after all? He has no reason to stay but then Ren is brushing past him and stepping into Hux quarters, tossing his mask and gloves carelessly onto the couch.

"I hope you don't snore," he says, glancing about the place.

Hux glares at him, "I certainly do not!"

Ren chuckles.