I was in the mood for historical Damerey and thus this was born because I was also in the mood for some drama. Also Pirate!Poe owns my heart.
For clarity's sake, I'll be referring to Han Solo as Captain Solo and Ben Solo as Mr. Solo.
Still A Pirate
Rey sat alone. In her normal seat in the twenty-seven aisle of the theater. She hadn't taken the time to see a show in ages and with everything going around her, she reckoned it was time to do so again. Yet while actors sang in front of her droning on about two lovers, she couldn't get her mind to focus on it.
Sighing, she glanced through her program again. Same actor's names. Same song numbers listed. At least something was the same in her life. Even if it was some stupid production she couldn't follow. Rey began playing with her gloves, a gift from him. Reminding her of the letter she received only a fortnight earlier. She snapped back up to attention at that. Ignoring the feeling of someone approaching her.
Poe Dameron slipped into the seat next to her. Wearing a more formal outfit, more suitable for the theater so no one would suspect he was, indeed, a pirate. Rey held her head higher. Trying to act as if this was her favorite part of the opera. Instead of how furious she was at the man sitting next to her.
"It's not my fault."
She paused before replying. "Aren't you supposed to be in prison right now?"
"Aren't you supposed to be married right now?"
Rey swung herself around, so she was looking right at him, jaw open wide. She moved her lip, as if to say nothing, but nothing came out. Dameron only looked her in the eye with a neutral expression. Rey recomposed herself before answering,
"I rejected Mr. Solo's proposal, but perhaps I should reconsider."
His jaw clenched. Poe looked away. The two watched a few minutes of the performance. Rey still couldn't get her mind to focus on it.
She could still feel the letter in her hands. They shook as she opened it.
An actress onstage kissed another man to make her fiance' jealous.
My Dear Rebecca,
Rey noticed the tear stains on the paper.
Sometime last night, I found my husband-Captain Solo dead.
That was when she froze. For a moment, she considered throwing the letter into the open fire and pretend it didn't exist. That Captain Solo wasn't dead. But she forced herself to continue.
He was shot. Authorities couldn't find any more evidence.
She didn't notice the tears falling down her cheeks.
But they have reason to believe that Poe Dameron, a pirate, was his murderer.
No. Not Poe. He wouldn't kill him. He knew how much Han Solo meant to her. He promised once that he wouldn't hurt anyone she loved. At least those were his words. Perhaps he lied to her. Poe Dameron was still a pirate after all.
Yet there was the time, when she first met him, when Poe mentioned how much money Captain Solo must have.
But that was before. Before she bribed him to take her on his ship and get away from her arranged marriage and have an adventure. Before Rey realized her feelings for the pirate captain. Before the night when Poe confessed his love for her and kissed her in the rain. Before Ben found their ship. Before the last kiss they shared before she promised Ben to come with him if he let the crew go free.
I'll give you the details when you come by.
The letter which broke her heart into a million little pieces.
"I didn't kill Solo," Poe whispered, bring her back into the present.
"And why should I believe you?"
He paused. "You shouldn't. But I swear on my mother's grave, I didn't kill Solo. Rey, he was like a father to you."
"How do we know you didn't do it out of vengeance? You despise his son." Rey turned to look at him again. "What proof do you have?"
Poe hesitated again. He looked between her expression and the opera. He shifted his weight onto a leg.
"I don't have any. Only my word."
Anger boiled up in her stomach. Rey clenched her dress in her fist. The program crumbled in her grasp.
"Your word? That's it? That's the only thing you can give me. I don't want to believe them. I want to know you didn't kill Captain Solo. But all you can give me is your word?"
His eyes never strayed from her, but they darkened at her words. "I thought that would be enough."
Rey pursed her lips and nearly crawled over Dameron to get out of the aisle. She paused before the exit. Then turned. Poe was still there. Still seated. Watching her. For a moment, she considered running back to him, to hear what he had to say. But Rey held her chin high and left the theater.
The feel of Ben's breath on her bare neck was enough to make Rey grimace. She was trapped, with his hand holding her shoulder down. Her fiance had brought her into a separate room, requesting he talk to her. She knew he wouldn't try anything. Not before the wedding. In the ballroom, they were surrounded by friends and the careful eye of Mrs. Solo.
"You don't love me," Ben stated.
He squeezed her wrist harder, to remind Rey she was his. She clenched her jaw in defiance.
"Don't worry, my dear. It's only because you think you have feelings for that pirate," he spat out the word, "It's only a phase. He murdered my father."
"And you seem to be having a lot of remorse for him," Rey said.
Ben's breathing grew heavier. "Don't say anything you'll regret."
He spun her around, so Rey was facing him. Still defiant. Ben raised his free hand as if to hit her. She didn't flinch.
"Rebecca?" came the voice of Rose, "There you are!" Ben lowered his hand at her words. "You two will have plenty of time for this tomorrow night," she teased, "Come on, they're starting the Gavotte!"
Rose took her hand, saving her. For now. Tomorrow, she wouldn't be so lucky.
The next few dances left Rey sweating more than a hog in the middle of July. She excused herself and made her way to the gardens. She helped to plant the sunflowers in the corner. They were her favorite. Mrs. Solo once told her sunflowers always followed the sun and since she was like a ray of sunlight, they would always follow her. Sometimes she thought she saw the flower heads facing her.
Rey neared the flowerbed, running her finger along the soft petals. She could sense someone approaching her. Ready at self-defense, she lifted her hand and slapped the intruder across the face. He let out a cry. Reminding her of someone.
"Happy to see you, too," he whispered back.
He was back. Sacrificing all just to see her again. But why? Poe Dameron killed Captain Solo. He wouldn't want to see her again. Especially after what happened at the theater. Rey still loved him. She knew it. She wasn't sure if he still loved her, however.
"Why are you here?" she asked.
"Rey, you can't marry that man," Poe said, taking her hand, "Trust me."
She drew her hand back. "And why not?"
"Because he was the one who killed Han Solo."
"What?" She quirked an eyebrow.
That couldn't be possible. Ben was many things, but he wouldn't kill his own father. No one could be capable of that.
Poe nodded. He pulled a piece of parchment out of his pocket. A letter. He unfolded and began reading.
"To Sheev Palpatine. From Benjamin Solo." He cleared his throat. "Good Sir, I hope this letter finds you in good health. After years of waiting (like a fool, I was too much of a coward to go through with it), I have done it. I shot Han Solo last night. I made sure there were no witnesses. I will convince my mother to hold the wedding sooner rather than later. Signed Benjamin B. Solo."
She let the words sink in. Rey knew about Ben's connection with her grandfather. It was through their connection, they arranged the marriage. His parents had no say in the matter. Still, if he had murdered Mr. Solo then why write a letter to Palpatine about it? The man was dead. Had been for years.
"How did you find that letter?" Rey asked first.
"Finn, actually. He found it at another ball, a few nights ago. Said it was being burnt." Poe traced a finger along the edges of the paper, emphasising the burn marks on it. "No one was there when he took it."
Rey nodded, biting her lip. "Why would Ben write to a dead man?" She gasped as another thought crossed her mind. "What if he staged it? To catch you?"
"Always a possibility, but at your request, I gathered a few witnesses of my own."
"Ben said there weren't any."'
"There weren't any that he knew of. A friend of one of my crewmates heard a gunshot while passing by the manor that night. At about the same time doctors said Mr. Solo died. Someone else said they thought they saw Ben Solo leaving the house." Poe looked at her, eyes fierce and full of hope. "Do you . . . do you believe me?"
She paused to stare at him. There was the Poe Dameron she fell in love with. She knew he wouldn't hurt anyone she loved. The tender expression on his face proved that. Rey threw her arms around her lover, holding him tighter then she ever had before.
"I'm sorry I ever doubted you," she said into his neck.
He just held her closer.
"The wedding's tomorrow," Rey whispered as they pulled apart.
"Yeah. I know." He drew in a sharp breath. "You trust me?"
The new lady's maid Ben hired for her pulled the corset too tightly around her. Rey groaned as she continued to pull. She introduced herself as Hester Moffet and said she had been a lady's maid for twenty years now. Moffet explained she only left her old post because Ben offered her a greater salary. Rey heard of the woman before. An old friend back in England's husband hired Moffet for her. She acted more as a strict governess. Making sure there was no way her friend could ever escape her husband. It all started with pulling her lady's corset on too tight.
Rey had to remind herself it was just this once. Never again.
"Moffet, do you mind not tightening it so much?" Rey asked between little gasps of air.
"Back in England . . ." Moffet began her rant before she interrupted her.
"Is that my dress, ma'am?" She gestured to the garments laying on the bed.
"Do not interrupt me while I'm speaking, Miss Palpatine," she scolded, making Rey feel like a little girl again, "But yes. Mr. Solo ordered it for you from England."
Moffet gathered the dress and began helping her into it. Rey felt herself shrink under the weight of it. It wasn't until Moffect began pinning the pieces together she understood why it was. Ben didn't want her running away.
Her hair was piled up on her head, leaving a few curls loose around her shoulders. Make-up smeared over her face. She was powered and pressed. Until Moffet finally stepped away. Raising one eyebrow approvingly at her work. Though Rey hated all of it, she thanked the woman and was given her bouquet.
Mrs. Solo rode in the carriage with her. Her hair in the latest fashion and dress perfect in every way. She was the height of fashion in the Caribbean. Never ashamed to admit it. Her husband teased her about it often.
"You don't have to go through with this," Mrs. Solo said along the way, "I can help you escape."
Rey gave a sad smile. "It's alright, ma'am. I'll get to be part of the family."
She reached out and took her hand. "Rey, I already consider you my daughter. Luke, too. And I know Han did."
Tears rushed to her eyes at the thought of them. She brushed them away quickly and nodded.
The carriage stopped in front of the church. Leia whispered a comforting word into her ear before stepping inside. Armitage Hux, an associate of Ben's, was there to give her away. Rey took his arm as they began their way down the aisle. She sucked in a breath.
Ben immediately grasped her arm once she arrived at the altar. Rey scanned her eyes for Poe. He still wasn't here. She turned her head around. Was that Finn in the fourth row? She didn't get a good look since Ben turned her head around for her.
"Dearly beloved," the priest began, "We are gathered here today . . ."
The door swung open. Poe entered, hand on his sword. Rey smirked at the gasps from the audience. A few people stood. Ben tightened his grip on her.
"Am I late?" he called out.
"Very," Rey quipped back.
"You killed my father," Ben nearly shouted. He pointed a finger. "Arrest this-this pirate!"
Poe remained calm. He nodded ever so slightly at Rey, calming her nerves a little. He drew out thet letter from his pocket and opened it. Reading loud enough for everyone to hear. She would have laughed at everyone's reactions if it weren't for the tense situation at hand.
"Signed Benjamin B. Solo," he finished, glancing up at Ben's paled expression.
He cleared his throat. "How do we know you didn't forge it?"
"I can read but the only thing I can write is my own name. The rest of my crew knows even less than I do. Most of 'em can't read a word."
Ben grabbed his sword from his belt and in one motion threw his arm over Rey, lifted the sword to her neck. The audience began running towards the doors. Poe had taken out his own weapon. Protectiveness in all of his features.
"If any of you do so much as move I will not hesitate to cut her pretty head off," Ben yelled over the crowd.
They froze at that.
"Let her go, Solo," Poe warned, poison in his tone, "I swear if you even dare to poke her, I'll-"
"Let's continue with the wedding," Ben's booming voice yelled over his. He flashed the priest a warning look. "Shall we?"
"Um, yes-yes-yes! Where were we? Ah, we are gathered here today in the presence of God, to w-witness . . ."
With a kick to the knee, Rey was able to knock Ben down, freeing herself. She ran towards Poe, who caught her in an embrace. Once Ben stood, he grabbed his sword and charged for her. Poe slid in front of her, just in time for their swords to collide.
"I challenge you to a duel," Poe said.
The two began in a clash of metal hitting metal. Rey lingered, watching the two, before remembering the evidence. She found the letter, carelessly thrown onto the ground. Finn joined her. She grabbed a portion of the heavy dress and began to run.
"Good luck, my Poe," she whispered as she left the church.
Finn had gathered the witnesses together outside. Leaving Rey with a decision to make. Either go down herself to the authorities or let Finn do it. Who was a wanted man, still. Just as she was about to choose, someone tapped her shoulder.
"I'll go," Leia said, taking the letter from her, "I know what to say. You need to be there to support Dameron."
"Are you alright, ma'am?" Rey wondered. With everything that happened to her, she remained strong on the outside somehow.
Mrs. Solo nodded with a melancholy expression. "I'll be fine, Rey. Just worry about yourself."
She nodded and kissed the older woman's cheek. "I love you."
"I love you too, sunshine. Now go."
So Rey picked up her skirts once again and sprinted back to the church.
Chaos was what she found once she arrived. Most of the guests had cleared out of the church, including the poor priest. She was greeted by the sound of a falling candlestick on the way in. Poe had been cornered against the wall when he noticed her.
"Ah, just in time. My second." He kicked Ben back, making him hunch over. Poe was quick to swing his sword before he could hit him. "In the meantime-" He grunted "-We've come to a conclusion about this particular duel. It'll be to the blood." The swords clashed again.
"What should I do?" Rey shouted back.
"Make sure you're more accessible," Poe replied.
She mocked-gasped in amazement. "Why Poe Dameron, are you suggesting . . . ?"
"Yeah, now that I think about it that came out a lot more scandalous than I intended. My apologies, miss!"
Rey found a sword in an empty pew. Finn's. She tugged off two of her petticoats, but ripping the precious silk of her dress proved to be much harder. She used the sword to tear the majority of the skirt off. Now that she got a better look, she noticed the diamonds that had been sewn in. The reason why the skirt was so heavy.
The two men continued their battle. Rey hated the feeling of helplessness as she watched. But she couldn't intervene unless prompted. Their shoulders began to sag. She could see the sweat soaking through Poe's shirt. She balanced herself on the balls of her feet, ready to spring into action whenever she was needed.
"Why would you write a letter to a dead man?' Poe asked, dodging the sword.
"I didn't. I wrote it before he died. Palpatine told me to burn the letter once I actually did it." Ben swung his weapon, just missing the other man. "That's exactly what I did."
Poe began up the stairs. Ben followed him close behind. Eyes never leaving the fight. Poe cut across, drawing his opponent's blood. Ben grimaced and covered the wound with his other hand. He groaned at the pain. Poe returned his sword to its place on his belt. He won.
"Good show, man," he said, offering a hand to Ben.
But Ben stared up at him, shaking from his anger. He thrust his sword up. Rey ran up the two steps, using her hand to block the blow to Poe. Cutting her hand. She cried out at the pain, cradling her hand at her chest.
"Rey!" Poe exclaimed, falling to his knees. He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her in close. "Are you alright, love?"
"I'll be fine, Poe. I promise," she whispered.
"The wench had it coming for her," Ben said between grunts.
Using his free hand, Poe raised his sword once more. "Take it back."
"Poe! Please. It's fine." Rey set her uninjured hand on his chest. "You're still a pirate. A very wanted pirate. We need to leave."
He stared Ben down for a moment before nodding his head. Poe helped her tear off a bit of one of her old petticoats and wrap it around her hand. Ben was too weak to move after them. Rey took her lover's hand and they set out. Ready to set sail with each other.
The crew greeted them with a cheer. Finn nodded his head respectfully. Rey immediately took hold of the wheel, adoring the way the wood felt in her hands. The motion stinging her wound. From behind, Poe wrapped his arms around her.
"Shall we set sail, darlin'?" Poe asked.
Rey looked back at him and smiled.
Thanks for reading!