Chapter 1 - Pacing
The air in the Falcon was hotter than normal. Thickened by Ben's fuming as he paced the main hold. For an aggravating moment he mourned the days when he could vent his frustrations by driving his saber through countless surfaces; watching the tendrils of fury slither into nothing as the smoke settled. It was quicker to release vexation when violence had been encouraged, but the force-restricting cuffs that dug into his wrists were a stark reminder that he must behave. Until that morning he had hardly been given a reason to allow his anger to rise to such a level.
Do it for her, he reminded himself constantly. But now, what was he to do? The general ordered him to stay with the ship, while the rest of their small party raced out into danger. Foolish, stupid, and unnecessary danger.
For some time now he had thought the crew had all reached an understanding. That though they refused to trust him completely, they no longer believed that the former supreme leader had any reason to lie to them. All of it had been thrown away that morning as every single one of them disregarded his intel on their pointless suicide mission.
"Take it easy, kid. You're going to put a dent in my ship if you keep pacing," Lando chuckled from his chair.
"It's not your ship," Ben grumbled. Though he had long since declined rightful ownership of the Falcon, he had exclaimed many months ago that the ship was to become property of either Rey or Chewie. Neither of whom had yet to make their claim.
"Yeah, yeah," he taunted playfully. "She'll be fine, you know."
"They are going to get themselves killed," he corrected. "And for what? Curiosity?!"
"The Republic seems to think the planet could be mined. It's the perfect environment for fuel to be hiding at its core."
"The Republic is wrong!" Ben growled. Well, not wrong, he supposed. The First Order had known that the resources were hidden beneath the surface, but there was more than just fuel waiting to be found. Something dangerous. Something that not even the First Order dared to challenge.
"Oh Ben, you are too much like your old man," Lando chuckled.
"I am not," Ben spat. Despising how childish he must have sounded.
"I remember when your mother was pregnant with you, she couldn't quite come around to the idea of sitting still. A mission would come up and she could never fathom the idea of missing out on the action. Those two would argue for hours over her well-being, but it would always end with Han fuming away in his quarters while Leia led the charge. I don't think she finally settled down until you were almost here."
"What is your point?" He glared at the man he once called uncle.
"My point is you can't tell women what to do, especially that woman."
Ben tensed. Perhaps his and Rey's well-kept secret was not as private as he imagined. No, he quickly thought, there was no way Lando could know about their relationship.
"I don't know what you're talking about," he grumbled before resuming his pacing.
"I wasn't born yesterday, kid. I know when someone's pining."
"She is not… I am not pining!"
Even Ben could hear how weak the lie sounded. Given Lando's grin he could only assume that he could too.
"Something tells me you wouldn't be walking divots into the floor if she had stayed back while the rest pressed on."
Ben had always respected Uncle Lando. The man had even let him drive his ship one summer when his family paid a visit to Cloud City. But his smart mouth only tempted Ben's fists to clench even tighter.
"They think she's unbreakable. They've allowed her to forget that she's only human," Ben spat. "She won't win this fight."
"Is that what you told her?" Lando questioned.
Ben flinched again, knowing that his true phrasing mighthave come off a bit brashly.
"Something of the sort," he grumbled in reply.
"Judging by the scowl she was wearing on her way out, I can only assume you inherited your father's knack of choosing the wrong words?" Lando tried to tease, but it only fanned already burning flames.
"What does it matter what I said? The Emperor was cloning beasts here and even they couldn't handle when it got out of hand. Are you all so arrogant to think you can handle what neither the Empire nor First Order could contain?!"
"We did defeat both regimes, Benny."
"With an army," Ben challenged with a growl. The nickname alone was nearly enough to put a fist through the wall. "They are only a crew of four. I have been working alongside them for months now, I've given them no reason to doubt my word."
"You do have a history," Lando tried to remind playfully but Ben's heart stiffened from a swell of fury. The man sighed and spoke a bit more seriously. "I'm sure she believes you, kid, but you can come off a bit… harsh sometimes. Maybe she thinks you don't believe in her."
"That is not true…"
"I know that, but does she?" Lando challenged.
Ben wanted to growl again. She had stood against the Emperor and won. She survived the harshest of climates for a young child to grow up alone. She had defeated himself in a time where they stood as opposites. Of course she knew. Didn't she?
"Plus," Lando continued, "a girl like that, she's the type that needs to see it for herself."
"Then what's the point of…" he stopped himself just short of revealing what Lando already believed he knew. What was the point of courting if he wasn't allowed to care for her? To protect her? At the very least, be heard for his concerns? Rey hadn't even given his warning a second thought. As if in only a few short months of being together, her emotions had already become stale and his word no longer mattered. Had they?
Stop, he quickly scolded himself, reminding himself to focus on what truly matter above all else. Rey's life. And right now, she was walking into a trap.
When Ben hesitated for too long, Lando moved to his feet.
"Kid, in all seriousness. You've got nothing to worry about," Lando grasped his shoulder in reassurance. "They are the best crew we have. If anything is lurking on this planet, it doesn't stand a chance."
Ben clenched his jaw to refrain from shouting. He was wrong, they were all wrong.
"Before I forget," Lando turned and reached for something hidden beneath his chair. "I figured you wouldn't want anyone rummaging through your things after you took off in a hurry."
Ben should have felt relieved as his bag, containing months of research on a sacred subject, was placed back into the safety of his own arms. Instead, he felt nothing. For any minute now, all if his studies regarding the unique link between Rey and him would be for nothing. For an agonizing moment, his heart twisted in sorrow as his mind tortured him with images of her bloodied body lying limp in his arms. Would he even get a chance to apologize for shouting at her?
"Oh, and since your definitely not pining, you might want this back too." Lando held up a small golden object that should be tucked securely away into the pockets of his belongings. With wide eyes, Ben snatched the ring from his uncle.
"That's not what you think it is," he grumbled.
"Sure, kid," Lando grinned even wider. "I've got some repairs to make, let me know when you stop pining."
Ben ignored the man's wink as he passed and released a deep sigh in a weak attempt to quell his frustrations. Shoving the tiny ring into his pocket, he walked to the cockpit to glare out of the window. It didn't take long for his brow to relax as his heart twisted in agony.
He stared out over the dried blades of grass and otherwise baron wasteland. It was true, the planet seemed devoid of any sentient beings. But Ben knew better then to trust mere appearances. Maybe they all died out, he practically prayed. Perhaps they wouldn't run into any of the beasts.
And then, as if on cue, the ground began to tremble. Somewhere in the distance a terrible shriek filled the sky. Ben closed his eyes to combat to the rising heat behind them.
Lando thought their numbers were enough. Rey thought her strength alone would be enough. They were all wrong.
A/N – A preview for the next chapter will be posted Monday on tumblr (Username Neeklos) I should also have the posting date of the next chapter on that post as well.
Review Replies for Breaking Ground final chapter
Maushaushase – Thank you so much! I'm glad you liked the confrontation with Finn, he will have a small part to play in this story. As always, thank you very much for reading and taking the time to leave your thoughts!
VampwolfWarrior – Aw thank you so much! That is such an honor to hear! I am glad that you like my version of Rey and Ben and the little bits of intimacy. I hope you enjoy this new story and thank you so much for sharing your thoughts!
Stepanka hanusova86 – Wow that is awesome to hear! I'm glad I could give a little more depth to Finn. I agree, I was disappointed with how his story ended in TROS. From the Force Awakens I thought he would be a much more involved character in the movies which didn't seem to happen. Hope you enjoy this new story and as always thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts!