tired eyes, fading smiles @flyingfalconflower12
Chapter 1

Rey's prepared a million responses for when the Resistance asks her about Snoke.  About what happened on the Supremacy.  About Luke's lightsaber.  About Ben Solo. 

I killed Snoke.  I went to fight Kylo Ren.  He tried to take Master Skywalker's lightsaber.  He wouldn't turn.

She lies awake at night thinking of new ways to say the same thing over and over.  She wonders if they'll believe her.

They have to.

After all, "I went to the main flagship of The Supreme Leader of the First Order because I'd thought his right-hand man would turn to the Light ever since we connected through the Force and touched hands and saw visions of our future together" isn't the most believable thing to say, despite it being the truth.

She still wakes up sometimes wondering if it was a dream.

But the minutes turn to hours, the hours to days, and the days to weeks, and soon Rey realizes that nobody's going to ask about the Supremacy.  They're too focused on changing the plan--they only know that Snoke was killed, and nothing more.

Rey doesn't know if she's relieved or disappointed.

A little bit of both, she decides.

Of course, she still gets stopped in the halls of their new base.  Everybody wants to ask her questions about Ahch-To, about Luke.

Finn, in Rey's room on the Falcon: "Does this mean you're a real Jedi now?"

Poe, at midday meal with a mouth full of food: "Was Luke Skywalker as badass as when he blew up the Death Star?"

Kaydel, looking up from her datapad upon Rey's entry into the communications room: "Was Luke really on an island all by himself for all those years?"

Rose, gripping Finn's hand tightly in hers as she excitedly stumbles over her words: "Are there really all those Porgs on Ahch-To?  Are they cute?  What do you mean Chewie tried to eat one?"

Rey answers each one, her "I don't know"s, "Definitely not"s, "Yes"s, and "Don't blame him; he's a Wookiee"s growing more tired every time.  Fortunately (or maybe unfortunately), nobody seems to notice.  They just continue peppering Rey with questions, over and over until she feels like she wants to scream.

It's the third time Poe's visited her room to ask a question about Luke, despite the fact that they're supposed to be asleep considering it's after sundown, and Rey just wants to fall asleep.  But she can't--every time she closes her eyes all she can think about is Ben and Luke and the blue-bladed lightsaber and Snoke and all the relentless officers who have no concept of privacy.

Rey sighs, sitting up on the side of her bed.  Might as well try to fix this lightsaber, she thinks, but as soon as she stands up to go get it the Force shifts around her and she falls back down onto her little cot.

And just like that, Ben's there too, standing in front of her with downcast eyes and rumpled clothes.

"You look tired," says Rey, and immediately freezes, not sure what possessed her to speak except for possibly her own exhaustion.

Ben looks up.  "I could say the same about you."

"Yeah."  Rey turns away, pulling at the armband below her right shoulder.  She's never going to get any sleep now.

"What's wrong?"  Ben's voice is cautious.

"Nothing," Rey snaps.

He takes a step back.  "Okay, okay, sorry.  I just--you look really... I don't know.  Sorry."

"It's fine."  Rey's voice is quieter now.  "I'm just... really tired," she explains with a humorless chuckle.

Ben nods.  "Me too."

"Yep."

A silence falls over the two.  After a moment, Ben jumps.

Rey startles, looking up.

"Sorry, I just... I thought I heard someone walking by."

"Oh."  Rey smiles slightly.  "It's not like they'd be able to see me."

"Yeah, I know.  But they'd probably wonder what I'm looking at--I have enough superstitions surrounding me already, what with me having the Force and whatnot.  Don't need people thinking I'm delirious now."

"True."  She yawns loudly, stretching.  "Sorry.  I haven't gotten a good night's sleep in weeks."

"I probably haven't gotten a good night's sleep since I was a baby."

Rey giggles tiredly, and the corners of Ben's lips turn up a bit in what she hopes are the beginnings of a smile.  But then he falls serious again.

"To be honest..."

"Yeah?"  Rey yawns again.  "Sorry."

"It's okay," replies Ben.  "I just... you looked really upset.  When the Force... connected us.  I--I know you probably haven't wanted to share your feelings with me ever since... uh..."

Rey looks away, and Ben cringes.

"...it's just that you looked really upset, or annoyed, or something, and it's probably really stupid to even be asking you this so feel free to ignore me, but do you want to talk about it?"

Rey freezes.  This isn't what she'd been expecting.  "I..."

"It's okay if--"

"No.  It's fine."  She tries to smile.  "I just... ever since I got back to the Resistance, everybody keeps asking me questions about Master Skywalker and what Ahch-To was like and if I'm a real Jedi now and just... I never get any peace or quiet and I can't even fall asleep when I try."

"No.  It's fine."  She tries to smile.  "I just... ever since I got back to the Resistance, everybody keeps asking me questions about Master Skywalker and what Ahch-To was like and if I'm a real Jedi now and just... I never get any peace or quiet and I can't even fall asleep when I try."

Rey nods.  Another moment passes before she lets out a sudden giggle.

"What?"

"Oh, it's just... last time I talked to you like this I was telling you about how alone I felt.  But now I'm feeling overcrowded."

Ben cocks his head.  "True."

Rey smiles, then yawns again.  "Sorry!"

Ben's voice is tinged with humor.  "It's okay.  You're tired."

Rey blushes a bit.  "Yeah."

They talk a bit more, about nothing and everything, and when the Force pulls them apart Rey finally falls asleep.


(When she wakes up in the morning she finds she's still smiling a bit, and it makes her blush.)

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