Ride or Die
Summary: In your hometown, there’s a special place where drag races go on every weekend. One fateful night, an old racer by the name of Ben Solo returns from his “retirement,” and returns to the thrill of drag racing, much to the displeasure of many of the other racers in town. While your friends and all of the other racers are annoyed by the return of Ben Solo, you can’t help but be charmed by him.
AN: Okay I actually originally intended this to be a Kylo fic but the plot just fits Ben soooo much better. I’ve actually had this just kinda sitting there for a while, but I looked back at it and I’m pretty satisfied with it
Warnings: minor swearing
Word Count: 2.9K
The races had existed in your hometown for as long as you could remember. You remembered your father talking about his racing days, and your brother talking about going to see them even when he was told he couldn’t go. People of all ages lived off the races, betting whatever cash they had in their pockets for who would win this weekend. They were the life of the once small town, and almost everyone lived to watch or to race, and you and your friend Poe were no exception. Though you were merely apart of those who lived to watch the races, Poe lived and breathed racing, as if he was born for it. He was a natural driver, and had been the king of the track ever since he’d turned eighteen. Everyone seemed to marvel at Poe’s skills. He was undefeated, greater than all of the other drivers who dared to race against him. Poe took his racing honor very seriously, after all, it had defined him for the last few years.
This cold winter night was no exception. The icy wind blew your curtain of (y/h/c) hair with it, momentarily blindfolding you as you walked closely behind Poe. As the days got colder, the more you regretted your fashion choice, but at the same time, you didn’t really have time nor patience to care. Watching Poe pull his jacket tighter around him, you pushed your hair back behind your ear. Next time you came to one of these races, you were wearing your hair up.
“Well, there she is, just like Finn promised,” Poe said, turning back and smiling at you. You never missed a single one of his races, and for that, you knew he was grateful. You watched him look back lovingly at his worn down sports car. Even though sometimes it looked like it was going to fall apart from all the dents and scratches it had attained over the years of dominating the track, the car had never let Poe down in function or speed
“Well that’s good. Can’t race without a car, can you?” You said, smiling to him and shoving him towards his beloved red car. Poe smirked at you before climbing in. He sped up towards the beginning of the track. Years and years ago, the tracked had been created around the parking lot of an abandoned hospital, and over the years, the track had progressed, going into the back roads of the woods behind it. You watched Poe’s car pull up to the starting line as you walked towards the over-enthusiastic crowd, their cheers deafening you as you tried to find Rey and Finn. Thick as thieves those two were, so if you found one, you were bound to find the other. Giving up after being pushed and shoved around, you decided to get prime seats, making your way to the curb so you could get a good view of the race. Before you had reached your ideal spot right at the curb, the race had started, and you joined the crowd in their jovial cheering.
A few races went by, but the crowd’s enthusiasm never died, and it never would. As you stood on the curb, waiting for the next race to start, you noticed that everyone’s attention had shifted. Looking over everyone’s heads, you noticed another car entering the premises. It was an all-black Challenger, windows tinted so dark that you couldn’t even see through them unless you were looking into the windshield.
“Is that really him?” came a voice from behind you as people pressed against you to get a better look at their new contestant.
“I didn’t think he’d ever show up again. Thought he was done racing after that accident a couple years back.”
You tried desperately to figure out who it was they were talking about, but eventually the crowd become too much for you to see over as people had pushed past you just to see exactly who everyone was talking about. With a huff, you tried to listen to other people’s conversations to see if they would let on.
“That’s Ben Solo.”
You froze, remembering that name. If Poe was a king at racing, Ben Solo was practically a god. According to all the stories you had heard, Ben was undefeated for four years, and was a better racer than anyone who had ever braved the track, at least until he had an accident that totaled his car and put him in the hospital. He was only a couple years older than you, but he seemed so separated from you because of his status as a racer. Pushing through, you shoved people to the side, wanting to get a better glimpse of this legendary racer. Eventually, you made your way to the front, where you could see someone getting out of the car. He was wearing a black leather jacket, a white t-shirt, dark jeans, and black leather gloves to compliment, and you could tell by the way he held himself that he screamed cockiness.
“What are you doing back here, Solo? Thought you had better places to be,” said the strong voice of Alex, one of the racers.
“I heard you guys had a new champion. I had to see if he was worth the hype,” Ben shot back. The crowd fell silent, anticipating Ben’s next move with bated breath.
“I want to challenge him one on one.”
You could see Poe’s jaw tighten from his lowered windows. His grip on the steering wheel also tightened as he looked up at Ben, fire in his eyes. Never in his years of being king of the track had his ability been challenged, and you knew his honor was going to dictate his next move. You knew he felt he had to hang on.
“Alright. Let’s go then,” Poe said, turning to face the track again. Ben Solo ambled back towards his car and took up the vacant spot next to Poe. The two started their engines up, the roars they gave off were intimidating yet thrilling at the same time. The crowd, previously silent from Ben’s arrival, started roaring again. From off in the crowd, you could hear the bets beginning to be made, people fishing their pockets for whatever spare cash they had left. This would undoubtedly be the last race of the night, and it would definitely be the worth the while.
“Alright, on my mark. One…Two…Three!”
With that, the two cars were off, their engines roaring as each driver floored the gas. The crowd screamed, waiting for the two cars to come around for their first lap. Despite not seeing most of the race the crowd still roared, the sounds of the engines far off in the distance feeding their adrenaline. After a few minutes, the two cars, neck and neck, came back around the start, completing their first lap.
“I hope Poe wins,” came a voice from beside you. You looked up to see Finn and Rey, both of them smiling at you. You smiled back up at them widely, thinking about how happy that would make Poe.
“Yeah, me too,” you said, turning your attention back to the race.
“Can’t believe my idiot cousin is back,” Rey said with a groan. You smiled up at her as Finn laughed before all three of you turned back to watching the race. This time, the Challenger went by first, followed a few seconds later by Poe. Your stomach dropped. Despite your hopes, Poe was probably not going to win, how could he? You watched with anxiety that rose even more when you heard the sound of tires screeching. The crowd was silent for a second, making sure to pay attention for any sound of a crash, but when none came, they resumed their boisterous cheering. As the cars came back around for their final lap, you could see that Poe was far behind Ben. The crowd screamed, seeing their old legend basically return from the grave, but neither you, Finn, nor Rey were screaming, rather staring on with bated breath. As the cars came towards the finish line, you saw that Ben Solo had indeed won.
When he crossed the finish line, his car came screeching to a halt, swerving around and making skid marks in the grey asphalt. Soon afterwards, Poe’s car followed, but stopping right in front of the finish line. He had finally been defeated, and you knew he would be devastated. The crowd screamed even louder, but you pushed through in order to reach Poe. Once the three of you had gotten to his car, he climbed out and leaned against the car with a sigh. You all gave Poe your condolences as out of the corner of your eye, you saw Ben Solo heading in your direction.
He had removed the helmet, and from what you could see so far, he was reasonably handsome. However, that opinion changed as soon as you turned to face him. He was gorgeous. Everything about him struck out to you, from his golden eyes to his regal nose, and even the sly smirk on his face.
“Nice try Dameron. Maybe you shouldn’t brake next time,” Solo said, holding his hand out for Poe to shake. You could see Poe’s grip tighten on Ren’s hand after taking it, and you felt yourself tense. This didn’t last long though, when Poe started laughing and pulled Ben in for a hug.
“It’s good to see you again! What made you decide to start racing again?” Poe said, a smile illuminating his face. Upon seeing that Poe had no ill will for Ben, you let out a breath you hadn’t been aware you were holding.
“I missed it too much. Besides, couldn’t let Poe Dameron’s reputation become better than mine,” Ben said with a smirk, pushing some of his dark hair back.
“Well I’m glad you’re back,” Poe said, stretching his hand out to Ben one more time. After they both let go, you locked eyes with Ben for a brief second before he smirked and winked at you.
“What a dick,” Rey muttered under her breath. “Can’t believe he’s back.” Poe and Finn both laughed in unison at Rey, who was anything but happy about Ben’s return. While the others started walking back towards Poe’s car, you couldn’t help but watch in awe as Ben sauntered back to his car, climbing in and then driving off without a second to lose.
After that, Ben Solo came to every race, causing Poe’s former friendliness to fade away, and fast. Ben had moved on from just racing Poe to participating in the full races as well, which was beginning to make the races a little more interesting. However, every chance he got, Poe was beginning to complain as much as Rey. In the calming dark of the reception room of the abandoned hospital, you, Poe, Finn, and Rey were all gathered around the reception desk. As Poe ranted on, you stared off into the distance, thinking about Ben.
Every time you had turned to steal a look at him, he was already looking at you, and he always gave you a smirk when you caught him. You couldn’t understand why he seemed to always be staring at you. You weren’t anything special, and you were just apart of Poe’s friend group, so you couldn’t even begin to think why he was always watching you. But you always felt a small bit of thrill when you caught him staring, wondering about what he could possibly be thinking about. Falling from your thoughts, you turned to Poe again, watching him rant on.
“I mean he’s gotten so arrogant, the way he smirks like he’s better than you, he never used to be this way,” Poe muttered, leaning against the once reception desk. He carried on his complaints to Finn and Rey, as you had started to tune out again. You felt bad for being so bored at your friend’s complaints, but it was always the same thing now, from both Rey and Poe. Reaching for your phone in your jacket pocket, you felt panic settle in your stomach as you realized that it wasn’t there.
“What’s wrong?” Rey asked, turning her attention towards you.
“I think I dropped my phone outside, I’ll be right back,” you said as you made a beeline towards the hospital entrance.
“Want one of us to come with you?” called Poe after you.
“No, I’ll be fine, thanks,” you said, hurrying out of the dirty glass double doors. Once outside, you scoured the ground, hoping to come across it when you bumped into something. Nearly falling over, you felt yourself get caught by a pair of hands. Oh no.
“You might wanna watch where you’re going,” came a deep baritone voice. Looking up, you found yourself staring at the golden eyes of Ben Solo. He was smirking, like always, which both flustered and infuriated you.
“Oh, sorry, I was trying to find my phone,” you muttered nervously, looking away. You saw him rummage through the pocket of his leather jacket, where he procured your phone, holding it out for you to take it from him.
“Is this it?” He said, looking down at you, this time, the smirk replaced with a smile. Looking back up at him with wide eyes, you nodded, quickly taking your phone from his large hands.
“Where’d you find it?” You asked, looking past him at the now empty curb and grass where the crowd once raged.
“Over there on the curb. I thought about taking it inside, but I just figured I’d hold onto it in case whoever lost it came looking for it,” he replied, running a hand through his dark hair. “Guess we both got lucky.”
“Both?” You asked, looking back up at him with a confused look on your face. He gave you his signature smirk before running his hand through his hair again.
“See ya later, (y/n).” He said as he turned around and walked to his car where a redheaded man and tall blonde woman were waiting for him. They both seemed to be smiling cheekily at him, but you paid it no mind as you headed back inside, staring at your phone. Shit, you thought, staring at the screen that was now sporting some nice cracks. As you pushed past the door and looked up, you saw everyone’s eyes on you.
“Did you find it?” Poe asked as you looked up from the depressing view of your destroyed phone screen.
“Oh, yeah, Ben found it, so he was giving it back. Except now it’s shattered,” you said, holding up your phone to show everyone the cracks. They all winced before heading towards you.
“We should probably go now, it’s getting late,” Poe said, leading you all out of the hospital. As you all walked out to Poe’s car and seated yourselves accordingly, Finn in the front seat and you and Rey in the back, you began to feel that your phone case was loose on the bottom. You removed the case and saw a neatly folded piece of paper hidden there. Deciding to save it for better light, you shoved the note in your jacket pocket and put your case back on your phone.
Once you’d gotten home, you plopped down on the couch with a groan.
“You’re home later than usual,” came the voice of your older brother, muffled by the pillows that covered your ears. You looked up from the pillows and saw your brother smiling at you from the tiny kitchen of the apartment you two shared.
“Sorry, Poe wanted to stay a little later to blow off steam before we headed out,” you said before.
“It’s alright. Alex told me Ben has been getting on everyone’s nerves. So, same results?” He asked from slightly further away than before. You simply nodded, not really feeling in the mood to lift your head again. “You should probably get some sleep, you have places to be tomorrow. And don’t forget you promised dad you’d go see him.” With a groan, you got up off the couch and then headed to your bedroom.
“Goodnight,” you said with a yawn, moving your hand to cover your mouth as you walked into your bedroom, closing the door behind you. You plopped down on the bed as well, feeling the warmth of your bed envelope you. You moved to get under the blankets, taking your jacket off as well and throwing it to the ground, causing the note from earlier to fall out. You stared at it for a few seconds before sighing and getting up off the bed, reaching for the note. Carefully unfolding it, you smiled as you read the note, the messy handwriting just barely legible.
I lied, someone told me this was your phone. You should text me some time – Ben
Looking down at the phone number written next to the signature, you shook your head lightly. You would never admit it to anyone, not Poe, not Finn, not Rey, not even to your own brother, but Ben Solo had grown on you. Setting the note onto your bedside table, you climbed back into the bed, turning off the lamp that you assumed your brother had turned on for you before your return. As soon as you were settled, you began to drift off into sleep, thinking about Ben Solo, and whether or not you should text him. Before sleep had fully taken over, you decided you would text him in the morning.