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Title: Preparations

Summary: Kylo and Poe prepare to negotiate with Leia.

Prompt: Dare

Disclaimer: I own nothing.

Heading over to the site of the negotiations, in the Ileneum system, isn't what Kylo Ren would feankly call a smooth ride. His mind is already whirling with all sorts of thoughts: he hasn't seen her in twelve years. How do they know it's not a trap? Why now, of all times? So many things swirling around in his mind, so many things unknown. Even confiding in his grandfather's helmet hadn't necessarily put his mind at ease.

"Are you all right?" Poe says.

Kylo merely nods.

Poe sighs and shakes his head. "You've got that look in your eyes. It's like you're far away from me."

"Do I?" That was one of the downsides of not having the mask anymore (the first one had been destroyed on Starkiller Base, and the second he had destroyed himself); your feelings could betray you too easily.

Apparently he is that transparent when the mask is off.

Poe pats his hand softly. "I know that the transmission from yesterday was pretty upsetting," he says. "I can't say I blame you."

"I just don't believe it." Thirty one years. Thirty one years is too long to be thirsting for someone's approval, anyone's. If there is ever a sign you have wasted your life, Kylo thinks, it's this.

"I don't either," Poe says. "She could have done more for you. I mean, I thought that the arguments between you and her were just arguments, not...this."

"They were this." And that, perhaps, is one of the worst parts.

Kylo's shuttle lands on D'Qar, and he disembarks with Poe, looking for General Organa. There are stormtroopers and Knights of Ren on the shuttle in case something goes wrong. Kylo can't say he's comfortable with diplomacy; he's more used to battle, as well as command. Especially command. There is something about being in charge that is invigorating. Especially when it comes to the hands-on work. Kylo doubts he ever could be comfortable just sitting behind a desk like the late General Hux; a degree of command and simply being out there really does work for him.

The very idea of diplomacy is getting him tense, and wondering what made him agree to this in the first place. General Organa knowing how to play him like a musical instrument, perhaps. They'll have to see whether she's telling the truth or not.

General Organa emerges, and she's alone. Immediately, Kylo remembers Han Solo, walking across the bridge with his arms slack, no weapon being used but his words. Take off that mask. You don't need it. D'Qar seems to morph into Starkiller Base, into its cold, long bridge and cold silver plating, and for a moment, he can also see Jaina and FN-2187 up above watching the scene, strangely entranced, as if the story of Kylo's life were a show.

Meeting with General Organa might as well have been a dare in and of itself. Kylo just isn't sure what, exactly.

General Organa escorts him into the building on D'Qar with Poe, and Kylo can only hope he has the strength to power through it.

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