Rey Palpatine crouched in front of the unconscious prisoner and looked her fill.
Even tethered to an advanced interrogation bot, the man’s presence over filled the adequately sized chamber. The powerful metal restraints on his wrists, ankles and chest looked entirely too breakable. A mere touch on the surface of his mind gave off too much peace, thoroughly disturbing the chaotic routine of Rey’s conscious thoughts.
He wasn’t too hard to look at either, despite being unconventional and difficult to categorize neatly into any pre-existing slots for a human males’ standard scale of attractiveness. At first glance he was neither pretty nor ugly. Something to think about later though, some form to ponder. And then there was the energy that practically oozed out of him, surrounding him, making his aura look like a solid force field to someone like Rey. It called out to her, to come closer and touch, and warned her to stay away at the same time. The dichotomy was driving her mad.
All things considered, Jedi Ben Solo, Crown Prince of Alderaan, even unconscious, was fascinating.
Rey’s mission for the day required her to gain access to Solo’s memories and gain insight into the Alderaanian royal family’s machinations against the First Order. Specifically, she needed to know about the mutiny brewing in the Galaxy and if the Alderaan royals were behind the resistance movement. She was told their capture of the Prince of Alderaan was most fortuitous in this regard. Didn’t matter that he had left his home planet seven years ago to follow the austere, selfless path of a Jedi. He was still part of that family. He had to know what they were up to.
However, her attempts to crack his mind shields had been futile so far. It was exceedingly vexing.
Rey was a prodigy, having trained to be a Sith Master since she was in her cradle. At the age of twenty, she could do what dark force users five times her age found complicated or impossible to do. For Rey to learn things, well guarded secret things, she never needed to actually talk to a person. All she needed to do was will it and the force made it happen. Then why did this one Jedi, not even a master, have shields that even Rey couldn’t break through.
How did he have shields that she couldn’t break through.
Well then. It seemed she’d have to talk to him after all. Maybe she could distract him enough for her to see chinks in his armor. All armor, however impenetrable, had its weakest links. All humans, however balanced, had seeds of darkness inside them. Rey just needed to find what made this Jedi lose control. Then she’d take over and his little game of keep the secret would end.
With a wave of her hand, the prisoner stirred. His eyes opened and fell on her. Rey could feel him testing his restraints while he held still. She let him complete his check and waited for the inevitable whining to begin.
Where am I? Who are you? Why do you have me? Blah blah blah…It was always the same.
She stared at him. Ben Solo stared right back. The lack of talk didn’t seem to disturb him. His body being strapped to an interrogation bot didn’t seem to disturb him either. Rey decided to up the stakes. She ignited her red lightsaber and gave it a familiar twirl around herself, warming up her wrist and stretching out her arm.
Ben Solo didn’t break the silence or the apparent staring match. He was still, his eyes calm. For some reason, it made Rey’s breath quicken.
Rey walked closer, got within an inch of him, and belatedly realized that he was much taller than her to be intimidated even while restrained. She tilted the table with Force to get his head lower and glared at the man.
“Well?” she hissed, “Aren’t you going to ask where you are?”
Ben Solo kept quiet for another infuriating two seconds, before replying quietly.
“No. I know where I am.”
Did the stupid man have to have that deep voice as well?
“Good for you!” sneered Rey in response, “Do you know why you are here?”
His lush mouth ticked up in half a smirk.
“You are dying to tell me that. Alright, I’ll bite. Why am I here?”
Rey inhaled deep, felt her anger growing at his apparent amusement and at herself for liking the way he said he’ll bite! She needed to fan that glorious rage and use it to get inside Ben Solo’s mind. Skilled conversationalist, she was not. She worked more like a battering ram. Her best shot for a breakthrough was the Force, flowing strong and eager in her very veins.
“You are on a First Order ship. We invited you to have a chat.”
Ben Solo nodded, in a way that looked condescending to Rey. She ground her teeth.
“You are the crown prince of Alderaan?”
Rey tried invading his mind again. No give yet.
“Some prince!” she scoffed offensively, “Your robes are atrociously threadbare. The noise from your stomach tells me you could use a hearty meal. You smell like Bantha spit. You’re lonely too, aren’t you? Makes sense. Who would want someone like you for company?”
Her remarks didn’t seem to work as she’d intended. That infernal smirk grew on his lips as he slowly looked her up and down, taking in her snug cherry leather corset, fitted black microfiber pants, tall heeled black boots and full arm guards. His openly intrigued gaze settled on her green eyes again and the smirk transformed into a smile, small but real.
“Lonely. Yes… Like you, right, Rey Palpatine?”
He knew who she was. And he’d hit a little closer than she felt comfortable with. She never lacked for company. And yet she was lonely, painfully lonely in a crowd eager to please but also quick to manipulate. They would fall at her feet and stab her if her back was turned. Everybody was either a minion or a master, enemy or comrade. No one was a companion, no one was a friend. No one knew this, much less spoke about it with her. If she could have breached his shields, she’d have force choked him for his insolence and brutal honesty. All in good time though. Rey decided to move along the interrogation and keep hitting.
“Are you aware that your forefathers swore their allegiance to the First Order and agreed to aid us in every capacity to keep the word of law in the Galaxy for as long as their line survived? Your family is big on honor and loyalty. Tell me, crown prince of Alderaan, have you been true to your vows?”
Solo tilted his head in a small nod. “I have been true to the vows I have taken.”
“And your family? Have they kept their precious word?”
Being able to read his thoughts would have been a huge advantage at this point. Whether he told the truth or lied, whether he knew something or not, Rey would have gotten her answer in any case. But his shields were as strong as ever. Rey wondered what this man was made of and if they made more of the type.
“To the best of my knowledge Rey, my family has always aided the First Order to maintain law and order in the galaxy.”
It was the longest sentence he had spoken. It also told her nothing about what she was actually asking. She wondered if the righteous Jedi spoke lies and how good they were at it.
“Are you loyal to the first order?”
“I am a Jedi. My loyalties lie with the Force.”
Rey felt like bashing his head with the force.
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“It means precisely what I said.”
So, the jedi didn’t lie. But tales of their legendry non answers were true. What was this particular Jedi hiding behind his non answers? She needed to distract the infuriating man to the point where she could break his shields.
Force or talk was not working. Seduction it was then. Power or flesh though? That was the question.
Rey looked at Ben Solo’s hands. He had big hands, long fingers ending in neatly cut square fingernails, strong looking forearms. Her throat went a little dry. She covertly gulped to get rid of the feeling.As if he was aware of her very detailed perusal, his fingers twitched. It was the first involuntary movement she had seen on the closed off Jedi. Rey very clearly thought about his hands on her, starting at her naked shoulders, running down to her clavicles. His fingers curled into fists before he took a breath and relaxed them again.
Rey laughed out in surprise. This was what affected him? How plebian!
She sauntered over to the restrained man and ran a finger around his wrist cuffs.
“Are you sure you want to go this way?” Ben asked, eyes shining with amusement now.
“Which way do you think I am going?”
“Rey!” he shook his head, “Surely you know it goes both ways.”
His eyes were hazel, not the brown she’d thought before. His lips light red, and looked plump enough to bite. His hair was dark, long and disheveled. But that only added to his intrigue. Rey clearly imagined tilting her head and nibbling his lower lip. With teeth. Then licking it to sooth the mark she would leave.
Ben’s lips parted on an exhale.
“Come here.” he whispered it like an order.
Rey went. And lightly touched her lips to his in a not quite kiss. Her eyes closed in ecstasy as she felt the impact of his Force shield crashing into hers. He was clear crystalline blue, she was deep hypnotic red. The blue threads of his energy shone around them in an intricate web and settled onto her skin. Crimson strands starting from her core came forth and bled into his. Together, they made a gold so bright, the entire dark chamber lit up. Her hands went to the side of the bot and pressed the button to free up his wrists. She felt a warm hand settle on her waist and another on her cheek, carding through her hair till his finger tips pressed at her nape.
She opened her mouth and deepened the kiss.
The feel of him against her body made her lose focus on the here and now. Her ever present strife and disquiet settled down like dust in a rainstorm. Cold silent corners of her heart lit up with the effervescence of spirit that she knew wasn’t her own. A lonely hunk of dark soul found its missing piece of light and fused together with it. With him. Passionate anger became passionate something else…
Ben pried his lips away and touched his forehead with hers.
“Rey. You feel like…” He whispered with emotion.
“Yours…” She whispered back “How is it…”
“Possible? It is…” His gaze moved over her face, “A legend. I feel it, clear as day. You and me are…” He tried to form words that could convey what he was feeling. Words he was too overwhelmed to form. So instead of saying anything, he kissed her again. Once, twice.
Rey grabbed his face and held it an inch away, trying to understand what he was trying to tell her with words garbled in between kisses.
“Are?” she asked.
His large hands covered her small ones on his face and he smiled. A smile that lit up his face and made ice melt inside Rey.
“I am Jedi. You are Sith. And yet the Force flows from me to you and back. It twines and transforms, coexists. Such a transformation shouldn’t be possible, for either of us. But here we are.”
Rey knew about the legend. She’d read it as an old prophesy in a stolen Jedi text, mentions of a force dyad, in which light and dark sides of the force did not reject the other, but mingled and thrived within each other, in the end to become something that could rise above both sides. The premise was vague, lacked details and chances of it happening on a scale of zero to impossible were impossible as Chaos itself.
Doubt assailed Rey. She took a step away from Ben and raised a hand to shackle him again. Ben snatched her hands before she knew what was happening and whispered a single word.
Rey slumped and fell into him arms. Ben lowered her gently to the stone floor and deactivated the restrains on his chest and ankles. He knelt before her and looked his fill.
“I’ll be seeing you again, fierce Rey.”
He got up and left the prison unit. He had learned everything he needed to learn about the First Order’s plans. He knew Rey, their hidden weapon of mass destruction. He knew she would turn to his side before the end. Now he just had to find a way to escape the First Order ship before the fiery Rey woke up and decided to imprison him again.