A/N – This little chapter had not been in my original plans when starting this story, but after writing the other chapters I wanted to add something a little bit more light-hearted to balance the story out. This story is now truly complete.
It blows my mind that this length seems small to me now, considering this was my standard chapter length when beginning my fanfiction journey 5 years ago! Hope you enjoy!
Rey slept on a bed of clouds. A bright light snuck through the blinds to pester her, but even the rising sun was not enough to rouse her from the comfortable bed. Perhaps the hard surfaces of her AT-AT and the lumpy pads provided by the Resistance had their benefits. With the luxury in which she slept now, Rey thought she could easily remain forever.
Another moment passed before Rey finally pushed herself up from the mattress. Muscles and bones did not crack as they normally would, and instead felt restored from the well needed rest. She hadn't realized how poorly nights had been treating her. Not only from hard surfaces used as bedding, but from the constant worry over what might have happened to Ben while she slept. Here, at least, she didn't have to worry about some rogue warrior making an attempt on Ben's life as he slept behind bars that weakened him. Here, he was safe.
Rey scanned the empty room, confused as to how she ended up in such a warm place before recalling the events of the night before. A smile forced itself on her expression. In one night she had managed to do what she could not for three whole months. She had finally convinced Ben to open up to her and then more. Memories of their kiss sent her heart galloping beneath her chest. After a night's rest and with a full heart, she could not understand just why she had been so nervous the night before.
Before she could lose more time to her memories, Rey forced herself from the bed. Swinging her feet to the floor, she gasped at the sensation of the carpet at her bare feet. It seemed that everything in the small house was comfortable. Rey glanced around the room before her eyes fell upon a lone desk seated against the wall. A part of her knew that she was overstepping as she began opening drawers, but quickly found that there were too many treasures to leave unseen. There were drawings made by a small child and long scribbles that were hardly legible. With a flutter of the heart, Rey realized she was in Ben's room.
Rough fingers traced along the edges of a photograph, carefully pulling it from underneath a stack of books. In it, Han and Leia stood in the center with their hair free from grey strands. In the center of their loving hold was a baby giving what might have been his first smile. Behind the small family stood Chewie with his furry arm securely around his friend's shoulder. Rey smiled before pocketing the image and only hoped that Ben would appreciate the reminder of a good memory.
By the time Rey left the room, the rest of the group had already been gathered around the table. The trays from the night before had practically been emptied and Rey grabbed a small piece before noticing Poe who was slumped over the table.
"Serves you right, Poe," Rey smirked as she passed.
The pilot merely groaned in pain. Beside him, Rose scrolled through an old data pad while Finn stuffed another brownie in his mouth just next to her. Across from them, Chewie sat quietly and seated at the lonely end of the table was Ben who was skimming through a book. Their gazes met for a brief second and the slightest offerings of a smile was enough to warm her heart. Rey stepped around Chewie to take the empty chair beside Ben.
"You should have stayed last night, Rey. Chewie had to carry Poe home," Finn laughed while the Wookie barked at the memory.
"I quite enjoyed my night the way it was," she replied with a smile. Hidden beneath the table, her fingers searched for Ben's hand resting on his leg. Ben held his composure as they slid along his knuckles before accepting her grasp.
"You'd rather bake than hang out with us?" Finn challenged with a smirk. He held up a piece of his brownie as if offering a toast. "These are good by the way."
"I didn't make them." Rey nearly smirked in satisfaction as his expression went blank. "Ben did."
Finn looked ready to spit the food back onto his plate, but in the end swallowed the bits in his mouth.
"Did you poison them?" Poe managed to groan with his head poking weakly above his arm to glare at the man beside her. Ben merely scoffed without bothering to take his eyes off the page he was reading.
"Looks like you poisoned yourself," he replied dryly.
"He has a point," Rose chuckled while navigating through files on her device. She glanced up to Ben before nodding in approval. "This is exactly what we came for, thank you Ben."
"Leia's files?" Rey asked.
"Notes on the New Republic and how it failed. Hopefully, this will help steer us in the right direction," she spoke with optimism.
"So long as we don't come across another 'First Order'," Finn groaned. His eyes glared accusingly towards Ben, but before Rey could unleash her temper, Rose merely smiled.
"Well, it's a good thing we had Ben to help us end them. Without his intel, the hidden bases would still exist and the war would be far from over."
Ben finally tore his gaze from the book, staring in confusion at the girl defending him. After Rose nodded gently, Ben reciprocated the gesture and Rey tightened her grip in reassurance; failing to contain her smile at the exchange. I told you they'd come around, she desperately wished to say.
"So, what now? We go home early?" Finn interrupted.
"No," Rey stated too quickly.
"Why not? We have the files; our job is done." Finn pressed.
Rey's lips pressed into a thin line, searching for any excuse to delay their return. However, with a warm thumb stroking along the tip of her knuckles, she could think of nothing other than her desire to spend more time with Ben. Plus, she was no fool to think the resistance would free him because of one successful mission. She wanted nothing more than to give him ample time to breath fresh air before he was tossed back into a cell.
"What's the hurry? I'd like to see the planet more," Rey fumbled her answer. Knowing how weak it must sound.
"I agree with the feral desert womp rat," Poe mumbled into his arm.
Rey glared at the man who was too weak to even pull his head from the crook of his elbow.
"Feral desert what?"
"I'm not flying anywhere today," he groaned again before reaching for a glass of water. His eyes poked above his forearm just enough to look at Ben. "Hey Benny-boy, did the old lady keep pain killers anywhere in this old farmhouse?"
Rey winced before glancing at the man beside her. To her relief, Poe's nicknames had failed to elicit anything other than a smirk from Ben.
"The cabinet behind you, second shelf from the top," he answered in a bored tone. Rey, however, could tell that he enjoyed the exchanged. After all, she supposed it was better than some of Poe's less favorable phrases he liked to throw at him.
"You're awfully brave this morning, considering you can't even lift your head," Rose taunted.
"I can still outshoot anyone of you," Poe grumbled before rising from his chair. "I'm going back to bed."
As Poe stumbled towards his makeshift bedding on the floor, Rey slipped her fingers from Ben's palm and began to rise.
"Great, come on, Ben."
Ben stared up to her in confusion.
"Where are you going?" Finn asked in suspicion.
"I want a tour of the city from someone who lived here," Rey shrugged.
"Chewie lived here," he pressed with a glare.
"Chewie can come too," Rey merely smiled before tugging at Ben's arm. Ben was glaring at her attempts to manhandle him, but she refused to allow him another day alone in a house that caused him pain.
"Actually, I think I'll join you too." Rose began to rise, ignoring her partner's glare. "Go ahead, I'll finish this and we'll catch up to you."
Rey didn't wait to see Finn's reaction at being forced into their excursions and instead began ushering Ben by the sleeve out the door.
"What are you doing?" Ben asked when they were out of earshot from the others.
Remembering the photo in her pocket, Rey carefully removed it before placing it in his palm.
"Finding more happy memories," she answered simply. Ben furrowed his brow at the image.
"You went through my things?"
"You put me in the room," she shrugged. When his glare failed to fade, her heart tumbled with worry. "Are you mad?"
Ben softened in an instant before shaking his head.
"No," he smirked. "But I already told you, there aren't many good memories here."
Rey tilted her chin, contemplating taking his hand before Chewie stepped off the front porch followed by the others. She met Ben's gaze one last time to offer a confident smile.
"Then we'll make some new ones."
A/N – I might continue telling this story but in a series of short oneshots, similar to this length. So feel free to subscribe/follow me if you'd like to be notified if/when those come out. There might also be moments from my other story as well, for those wondering about that. I do think that after a long while Finn and Poe would become good buddies of Ben, so if these one shots do get written that will also get explored.
I'm not sure how much writing I plan to do going forward at the moment, but I will post updates/previews on Tumblr as inspiration strikes. As always, thank you so much to everyone taking the time to leave a comment and kudos! It is very appreciated!
Review Replies: Thank you to all anonymous guests for leaving reviews! They are very appreciated!
BrokenMentality – Aw I am so glad that you loved the story so much! Your review really put a smile on my face! Thank you so much for reading and leaving your thoughts!
Fuf92 – That is so lovely to hear! I am glad you enjoyed the story and my writing in general! :) Thank you for reading and leaving a review!
Minafinnes – Your review really poked me in the feels! I am so glad that you liked the story so much and thank you for the incredibly kind words! I have plenty of experience in the lack of affection so I'm glad that finally paid off for something, haha! Writing scenes like that are weirdly kind of therapeutic and I am so glad that my work was a bit of brightness during your illness. I hope you're feeling better! Thank you again for taking the time to leave your thoughts!
Saoirse7 – I'm so glad you enjoyed the chapter and the continued use of the comic references! I agree, the first time I read the Kylo Ren comics I was heartbroken that so many things could have brought Ben back before he even made it to Snoke. I hope we get more insights to Ben's childhood in the future, I'm very interested in his past! Thank you again for taking the time to leave your thoughts!
Stepanka hanusova86 – Aww I am glad you liked the tender romantic moments! That's every fanfic writer's dream is to hear their stories are worthy of re-reads! Thank you for reading and continuing to leave your thoughts!
Maushaushase – That is so wonderful to hear, I am so glad that you feel their characterization are believable! I hope you enjoyed chapter 3 and I am going to try to write more Reylo! Thank you so much for reading!
Hobbitpony1 – Thank you so much! Glad you enjoyed the chapter!
Reyoflight – That is one of my favorite things to hear from readers! I am so glad that you were excited to see an update! I hope you enjoyed the extra chapter and I do hope to write more of this couple in the future! Thank you so much for reading and leaving your thoughts!