Down in Flames

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"In Venice in the Middle Ages there was once a profession for a man called a codega--a fellow you hired to walk in front of you at night with a lit lantern, showing you the way, scaring off thieves and demons, bringing you confidence and protection through the dark streets. "

~Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love


"Well most of the time she's really sweet but--"

"But on occasion she can be, intimidating."

"Yes, exactly." I said smiling. I sat cross legged on the padded floor of one of the training rooms and Kylo lay down beside me, his head in my lap. We were alone with the exception of the faceless training dummies lined up at the end of the room. I gathered up one of his obsidian locks and twirled it around my finger. "I suppose that's where you go it from."

"You think I'm intimidating?" he asked, a hint of amusement in his voice.

"Just a little bit."

He smiled and little crinkles appeared at the corners of his eyes. I found myself staring at him a lot those days.

"So what did you think, when you first saw me?" Kylo asked suddenly, pulling me out of my wandering train of thought. I hesitated for a moment, remembering the first time I ever set eyes on Kylo. He tilted his head backwards and our eyes met.



Kylo let out a deep chuckle and internally I sighed with relief. I thought that he might've been hurt, or even revert back to his feelings of self-hatred, but for once he seemed completely carefree, like the past had all been washed away.

He said, staring at the ceiling as the smile lingered on his face, "I wasn't actually going to kill you. Let's just say I was curious, and you seemed so...scared."

"Well of course, you were wearing a mask and swishing a red lightsaber around, why wouldn't I be scared?"

For a moment Kylo didn't say anything, then he reached back and took my hand. He brought it down to his face and placed it over his scar. Almost automatically, my fingers ran along the line, following it down to his neck and then back up again. My breath caught in my throat.

"I'm sorry." I said.

"Don't apologise. It's just a reminder." he answered, completely undisturbed. 

"Of what?"

"That you have beaten me before. That you don't have to be afraid of me." He tilted his neck backwards to look at me again while my hand still rested on his face.

"You know I'm not afraid of you Kylo." I answered smiling. "And besides, I could probably beat you again if it came to it."

"Don't kid yourself." he muttered with a smirk. I tugged at a handful of his hair and he exclaimed in pain. My face stretched into a satisfied smile. Then there was a moment's pause, and I looked up and began to count the number of blast marks on each training dummy. 

"How do you feel about calling me Ben?" he asked, suddenly sitting up and turning round to face me. My leg felt cold with his absence.

"Ben?" I asked, confused.

"Yes, it's my birth name." he replied, "My mother wants to start using it."

"Ben." I repeated, mostly to myself. I rolled the name around on my tongue to see how it would feel when it came out. It felt new, like something that had just been opened. So I tilted my head to the side and asked, "Well, what do you think?"

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