persuasion ; reylo

2 ; parallel

{ Rey }
location ; ahch-to

Luke’s bitter storming off brought nothing but discomfort, merely because I am once again reminded that I am alone. Perhaps The Resistance can figure out another way of fighting back. Every conversation with Luke about bringing him onboard is a dead end, usually followed by him walking away when asking further questions.

The image of the black hole under the cliff hasn’t left my mind, which makes me wonder its importance. Luke ordered me to not look for it, since he does not know what it holds, but I feel a strange desire to seek it.

Pushing back a few strands of hair from my face, I knock on Luke’s door for what feels like the millionth time. The legendary Jedi may be incredibly powerful and resilient, but his thick-headedness drives me up the wall. After a long minute, the door to the hut flies open, revealing Luke’s exhausted state. It seems as if he hadn’t slept last night. Did the talk about Kylo destroy him?

“What do you want?”

“A second lesson. And for you to come with me to The Resistance,” I persist, making Luke roll his eyes. He heads inside, leaving me standing at the entrance of his home. “Look, I just need to know my place in this story.”

“You know your place,” Luke answers, sitting down on his bed, which is made of sticks and foreign wool.

“I want to know what happened between you and Kylo. I can tell it’s tearing you apart,” I say, making Luke’s gaze dart up to meet mine. His ocean-blue eyes gleam in the dimness of the cabin, gesturing me to come inside with a sigh. Sitting down on his lounge chair across the bed, his eyes remain fixed on the muddy floor at his feet.

“Leia wanted me to train him when my nephew turned twelve. She wanted me to teach him the Jedi ways, more specifically, the Skywalker ways. I took him and a dozen of my best students and set up an academy — exclusively for the best Jedi students.

One day, I saw something inside him. It was unlike anything I had seen. It was as if his rage was engulfing him, draining his conscience. I thought it was because of Han, because he was against Ben going to The Temple. But the rage continued weeks after that,” Luke explains, shaking his head after a pause.

“What happened?” I ask, intrigued by Luke’s story. He exhales, fiddling with his fingers before lifting his gaze once again.

“I went to confront him one night. I wanted to see what was left of him; if there was a chance to help him. But when I entered his mind, there was something so...” Luke pauses, clenching his fist with self-disappointment. “I knew he was already gone. Snoke had turned him. He noticed me listening to his thoughts and made the roof collapse on me.”

My eyes widen from surprise, unable to imagine how Luke must have felt in that instant.

“He burned down the temple. He took half a dozen of my students and...” Luke slurs, wiping a tear from his cheek. A brief pause lingers. “He killed the rest.”

An intense feeling of anger bubbles inside me, feeling goosebumps form on my skin. Kylo Ren is a monster, whose mind is only focused on killing for power. That’s what he is. A killing machine. I shiver, gazing at Luke’s destroyed state. He blames himself completely.

“None of what happened to Kylo was your fault,” I whisper, aiming to comfort him. Instead, he rises from the bed and turns to gaze at the window.

“I should have seen it coming. I should have never taught him what his real power was,” Luke grunts, his tone a bone-chilling cold. Gulping, I realise Snoke’s power over Kylo is the reason behind this war. The memory of Kylo murdering his father returns to mind, making my heart accelerate in my chest.

“This is why we need you, Luke,” I insist, knowing that there is only a certain amount of time before Snoke wins.

“I have told you many times. I am not leaving Ahch-To,” Luke answers, turning to meet my gaze. “You are ready,” he adds, making me raise a brow.

“I-I am?” I stammer, unsure if Luke is pulling my leg. Luke nods, taking a few steps towards me.

“You know you are. You don’t need me anymore,” he responds, making my heart clench.

“We do need you. Leia-”

“Leia will be fine,” Luke says, glancing at my wrist. The Hyperspace Tracker has caught his attention, nodding after momentarily staring at it. Though his words don’t fully convince me. If there was a positive force in the universe, it is now in my hands.

The wind is uncontrollable, an indication that my time in Ahch-To is now limited. Training with Luke has become an essential part of my routine, using the lightsaber to control my own movement. The blue blade sweeps the air as I stroke around the large rock in front of me.

Sweat rolls down my forehead as I continue moving around the lightsaber in a rhythmic movement, avoiding meeting the blade with the rock. Luke said the goal was to remain on my feet and having mobility. Once I master the ability to move, the next step is to attack.

The clouds become dense above my head, the repetitive buzz from the lightsaber bringing peace to my core. Screwing my eyes shut, I let The Force take over me, my movements becoming swift as I slice the air skilfully. Despite my eyes being closed, I know where the blade is going and where the rock is. An inevitable smile forms on my lips, a giddy sensation of power taking over me.

I sense warmth, as if it were a beacon of light hovering above my head. Opening my eyes, the rhythmic movements around the rock continue, a sense of control taking over me.

In that instant, the sound of the crashing waves comes to a halt, as well as the sound of the lightsaber whizzing. The only sound I can hear is breathing, but not my own. I jump out of my skin the second I see Kylo Ren, in the flesh, standing in front of me. He bears a puzzled expression, but my instinct is to thrust the lightsaber into his chest.

{ Kylo }
location ; supremacy dreadnought

Something inside me came alive the second I laid my eyes on the girl named Rey. She sliced my face with her lightsaber as if she knew exactly what she was doing, but after she left me to bleed on the pristine snow, I realised she wasn’t a fully-fledged Jedi. If she were, she would have fought me despite the fact the ground parted between us.

There was something in her eyes that made me sympathise with her. No, there is nothing. I am Kylo Ren, the apprentice of the Supreme Leader Snoke. When I told Snoke about the Starkiller Base fight, his expression was filled with rage, as if I had let him down more than anybody.

“By the grace of your training, I will not be seduced.” Those were my exact words to Snoke after he insinuated that I felt compassion towards Rey. But the truth remains hidden, as any disappointment would lead to my execution.

Snoke’s methods consist of loyalty by death, in the same way my grandfather Darth Vader carried out his methods of trust. Now, as I sit on the surgery chair to stitch my wounds on my face, my mind drifts to the unthinkable.

The light.

It’s as if my encounter with her had awakened it. If Snoke were to sense it, I’d be dead within the next hours.

The droid begins piercing the needles into my cheek, stitching the wound. There is no need for me to flinch, since The Dark Side prevents physical pain from being felt. Regardless, my mind decides to focus on the girl’s chestnut-coloured eyes. I clench my fists, cursing to myself for thinking about her again.

I screw my eyes shut, aiming to push the thought away. Opening my eyes again, my heartbeat pauses when I see Rey standing in front of me.

“That’s not funny, you fool!” I yell at the droid, certain that he’s projecting her to tease me. The droid lets out a chime, defending himself, before continuing the stitching. But my eyes remain focused on the image of Rey, unable to understand why I can see her. The sounds from the droid and the shuttle have become silent, the only thing heard is the sound of Rey’s breathing.

Rey lets out a soft cry, plunging her lightsaber into my chest. I stagger back, making the droid grunt bitterly. He drives away from the surgery chair, the door closing behind him as he chimes nonsense. I gaze at my chest, gasping from the pain, but my expression becomes puzzled when I see no injury.

Glancing up at her, I realise the intense hatred in her eyes. The saber is still in her hands, her hair moving softly as if there were wind.

“You murderous snake,” she yells at me.

“Why did The Force connect us?” I ask, pretending that her anger doesn’t irritate me. In fact, I am somehow relieved that she’s alive. Rey softens her expression, lowering her lightsaber.

“You killed everyone. You don’t have a conscience,” she barks, her brows furrowed.

“Maybe I don’t,” I answer, my tone collected, unlike hers. Her eyes remain on me, but I’m unable to decipher her expression.

As if I were hallucinating, Rey disappears from the scene. The buzzing of the ship returns, staring at the space where she was standing at a few moments ago.

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