The girl woke up with a start, instantly terrified that she couldn't move. She glanced down to see him kneeling on the ground, looking up at her.
He was glad she couldn't see his expression behind the mask. It was half the reason he wore it.
"Where am I?" her voice was scared and defensive, sharp as though breathing was difficult. He couldn't help gasping. The sound of her voice was that of a young girl's, so feminine and disarming. He wasn't expecting it to have such an effect on him. But her voice was scared. He didn't want her to be scared. "You're my guest," he said gently, recovering himself.
She raised an eyebrow, taken aback by his tone. "W-where are the others?" she asked, as though she was unsure of who she was as a person when she wasn't around them. He couldn't keep the resentment out of his response, irritated that she preferred their company over his. "You mean the murders, traitors and thieves you call friends?" he pointed out.
Not that he was much better. He was all of those things too.
He backtracked. "You'll be relieved to hear I have no idea." He tried to keep his usual snark to a minimum but it was an effort. Maybe if he could coax her… gently nudge her mind, see what – He bristled.
She was thinking of how to escape the room. Escape him. He'd terrified her, a dark, lumbering figure in the woods stalking her until she was trapped like an animal. She felt humiliated and weak. She wished she had her blaster.
"You still want to kill me," he said with sudden revelation, glad she couldn't see his face flush with hurt. Her jaw was tight. "That happens when you're being hunted by a creature in a mask," she snarled.
He smirked under the mask. Monster, huh? he thought.
With the grace of the Prince he'd been born as, he unfastened the buckles on his helmet, pulling it off and rising to meet her gaze.
She gawked, caught off guard with how human he looked as he stood motionless.
The girl's eyes wandered up and down his body, then she looked off to the side, as if she'd been embarrassed to have done so. Maybe she didn't remember him, but some things didn't change. He liked how she looked too. He wanted this to be a conversation, not a torture session.
He walked forward so he was closer to her. "Tell me about the droid," he prompted softly, like it was just a normal breach of topic. But she was stubborn, avoiding eye contact and immediately going into a rant about its hardware. "He's a BB unit with a selenium drive and thermal hyper scan vindicator – "
No, he thought to himself, getting irritated. She needed to be open with him. "He's carrying a section of a navigational chart," he interrupted.
She had to cooperate with him. He didn't want to resort to his alternative methods. He didn't want to do that to her. "We have the rest," he continued, "recovered from archives of the empire, but we need the last piece. And somehow you convinced the droid to show it to you." He scowled, his ego bruised. "You. A scavenger."
He couldn't help it. It was infuriating. He needed to prove himself to Snoke. He himself struggled so much with ignoring the call of the light. His internal conflict was tearing him apart. He needed it to end.
He needed to be strong, dedicating himself to a purpose, a cause. If he found the last piece of the map, Snoke would help him complete his training, and he wouldn't have to feel all of these overwhelming emotions.
The longing for the girl in front of him, the emptiness that mirrored hers, his mother's face… But he was startled out of his reverie at her humiliated expression, and the unshed tears in her eyes.
She was afraid, despite the brave face she was putting on.
He saw it. She wasn't proud that she was a scavenger. She knew what she was, and that her mark on this world wasn't even a blemish on the surface of time and space. She hated that he saw it. Saw her.
It was clear he had to use force. For her sake, he'd make it quick. Despite what she might think, he derived no pleasure from doing this. But he had to make a point. "You know I can take whatever I want," he said, emulating an air of complete confidence.
He could do anything to her. Torture her with his mind, tear her apart piece by piece until she was a shadow of emptiness and sorrow, writhing on that containment slab. If only she knew how much restraint he was exercising. He could've activated his lightsaber and had her killed in an instant.
But he'd treated her with more tenderness and gentility than he had treated anyone in years. She didn't have a scratch on her, her sanity was still intact, and violating her in any way hadn't even crossed his mind.
But she had to know that he could, if he wanted to. He'd start with something mild. He raised a hand to channel his power, instantly causing the girl to seize and stiffen her body in resistance.
He entered his conscious into her mind, not even beginning to use his sight yet. Just absorbing her emotions, which weren't well hidden. He was being quite gentle, but he knew she wasn't used to the sensation. Sharing a consciousness with another person, having her mind pushed and prodded. She gritted her teeth in extreme discomfort.
But this was nothing compared to what he could do. With this frame of reference, he continued. "You're so lonely," he said softly, but he didn't need to search her mind to know that part. He searched her feelings, the racing of her heart.
She'd been away from Jakku for too long. They could've come back for her, looking for her, only to find that she'd disappeared. She might've lost her chance to find her family. Every second she was trapped here was a waste of time. Every second she'd spent with Finn and Han Solo were keeping her from what was most important.
She never should've taken in BB8 or she wouldn't be in this mess.
He started to use his sight now. He saw flashes: the tally marks on her wall, the long-dead flower on her nightstand, still kept in a vase as if it were precious. The pilot helmet she clung to like a childhood toy, her reluctance to look away from the sky.
His voice was soft and coaxing as he tried to ignore the pangs of despair and longing he felt. "So afraid to leave," he murmured. Her loneliness was a weight on her chest, making it difficult for her to sleep. She lay awake for hours in the darkness of her home, knowing in her head she had to get a decent amount of rest or she wouldn't have the energy to scavenge for parts the next morning.
And no parts meant no food.
But she couldn't. The sandy wastelands of Jakku were freezing at night. She would place bags of sand and piles of scavenged parts that didn't make the cut for rations on either side of her cot, to give herself the illusion she was sleeping next to someone. The interrogator let a smile tug at the corner of his mouth.
If she were his, he'd be able to ease her loneliness.
She'd have nothing but dreams of blue seas and damp earth between her toes.
If only she could've trusted him, she never would've felt alone again.
But instead, here they were, the last place he wanted to be. "At night…desperate to sleep," he said, and then he saw. "You imagine an ocean."
Of course she would. She loved the ocean. It was a cruel irony that she'd be sent away to a place where there wasn't a drop of water to rub between her fingers. She'd loved it more than anything else. Above all things, he remembered that the most.
"I see it," he confirmed, getting almost lost in her fantasy, her happy place. "I see the island," his tone was dreamy. Her imagination was so vivid.
He smelled the salt, tasted it on his tongue, felt the ocean breeze in his hair. Felt the bubble of seafoam pop against his ankles and the damp sand sink beneath his feet.
But his pleasant oasis came to a crashing halt as his father's face surfaced in his mind.
He saw the moments he'd craved for himself. Bonding over the millennium falcon, the mutually extensive knowledge of ships and the parts that made them work. She was a knack with machines. Always had been.
"And Han Solo," he said, his tone suddenly neutral and emotionless, like he was talking about a stranger. "He's like the father you never had," he stated matter of factly. "He would've disappointed you," he reassured.
But she'd had it. Her cheeks were flushed with exertion, her hands were clenched into fists and her jaw remained taught as a bowstring. "Get out of my head," she demanded through gritted teeth.
He pulled away, stepping back, but keeping the mind connection open. He wasn't done yet. "You've seen the map," he repeated, reminding her of why she was here. "It's in there. And now you'll give it to me." He'd wasted time. He's let his emotions for her influence his actions. He could've had the map already. He didn't want to cause her pain.
But she wasn't giving him a choice. His arm was still outstretched. "I'm not giving you anything," she said sharply, with obvious effort. She was still fighting him, more than the rebel pilot had been able to do.
She had a strong mind. He couldn't help admiring that. "We'll see," he whispered softly, confident in his abilities. He leaned too close to her though. He'd nearly brushed her cheek with the tips of his gloved fingers. Despite the fact he hadn't, she gasped anyway, her cheeks flushing as a shudder passed through her.
Kylo wished he had his hemlet on. Without it, his heart was an open book. He'd never been able to mask his emotions the way she could.
Without it, she'd seen his eyes. The way he was looking at her. She'd seen how he'd reacted to it too.
He pulled away only slightly, startled by how close he'd gotten to her. But his energy had brushed gently past her own and it stabbed him with such a pang of familiarity he trembled. The sensation was all-consuming, overcoming every cell.
TO BE CONTINUED...
https://www.deviantart.com/art/Reylo-Devotion-622836719 https://www.deviantart.com/art/Rey-x-Ben-612601874 https://theheartofanangel.deviantart.com/art/Reylo-Never-Let-Me-Go-622735268 https://www.deviantart.com/art/Kylo-Ren-574327714
https://www.deviantart.com/art/Kylo-preview-586654540 https://www.deviantart.com/art/Kylo-Ren-4-4-583445381 https://www.deviantart.com/art/Rey-1-4-583444477