she is so freaking stunning

anjael  asked:

Reylo fic prompt: swimming!

1, 2, Breathe, 1, 2, Breathe, 1, 2, Breathe, 1…

Before she became a swimmer, she remembered reading about how some athletes say that whenever they train or compete, all they think about is what they’re doing in that moment. All of their troubles and stress fade into the background like white noise. At the time, Rey thought that was bullshit. And when she first started swimming, she continued to think it was bullshit. Then at one point it all just melted away like ice cream left in the sun for too long and there was something liberating about having a clear mind.

Perhaps it was an abuse of power to use her key to the pool to go swimming at night, but frankly she didn’t care. It never hurt to get a little summer training in, and besides, if her couch didn’t want her to use the pool outside of practice time, he never should have given her a key. Anyone who knew Rey for more than five minutes knew that water called to her like a siren’s song and she had no desire to resist the pull.

Her arms screamed in agony as she swam her… how many laps had she swam at that point? She already lost count. Knowing her, it probably had been too many. She had tendency to get carried away. Just a couple more, she pushed herself, and then I’ll stop.

 

If she were to be honest with herself, she didn’t really want to stop. Even if her arms fell off, she would probably would want to just keep going. But she knew better than anyone that there was such a thing as too much practice. She had the scars to prove it too.

With a loud gasp, she burst out of the water for a final time and pulled herself onto the ladder. She immediately didn’t step out into the cool, summer air. She always savored the feel of water against her skin for as long as possible. She was peeling off her favorite, light blue swim cap and goggles when she felt the primitive sensation of being watched. She dropped the cap and goggles to the ground and turned toward the bleachers. Lo and behold, a boy a year or so older than her was sitting with a notebook in his lap, pencil in hand. She didn’t know his name, but she did recognize him. Rey raised an eyebrow as she said, “Who are you?”

***

The only reason Ben went to the pool in the first place was because he was sick of listening to his parents argue. In hindsight, it was a somewhat strange decision that he didn’t really remember consciously making. After he had snuck out of his house through his bedroom window, his feet had just led him to his high school’s swimming pool, which the school apparently didn’t keep locked up at night. Idiots. The administration was practically asking to have a bunch of teenagers get up to no good in there.

He supposed that he should have turned around and left the second he heard the splashing sound, but it didn’t really register that someone was in the pool until he had already taken a seat on the bleachers and pulled out his sketchbook from his backpack.  

Blinking, Ben thought to himself, who the hell is swimming at 11 o’clock at night?

He stared at the swimmer from afar, unsure of who she was due to the swim cap and goggles she wore. From the graceful arc of her arms and the sheer strength of her strokes, it was immediately clear to Ben that she was not just swimming for the fun of it. Even he could tell that her power came from someone who had spent hours training and practicing. She’s must be on the swim team, he thought, Probably varsity too.

 

Before he even realized it, he was sketching her. Ben did that a lot, just start drawing something or someone he found beautiful without even fully being conscious of it. If he didn’t have paper or a pencil on him, he would sometimes just draw in the air with fingers. His mother usually laughed and said, “An artist is always with their craft!” when she saw him do this. His dad just said he was being fidgety. They always started fighting after that.

You’re being stupid, part of him chastised, when she sees you drawing her while she swims, she’s going to freak the fuck out. And although Ben acknowledged that there was some merit in that thought, he didn’t really care. Drawing the mystery swimmer was relaxing and he didn’t really have anywhere else to go.

Suddenly, she yanked off her swim cap and goggles and turned in his direction. Rey Kenobi, his mind supplied, Captain of the varsity swim team if memory serves correctly. Her eyes locked on his as she said, “Who are you?”

***

The boy didn’t respond immediately. He blinked at her slowly, as if he was surprised by the question, but then said in a low voice, “Ben Solo.”

Now it was Rey’s turn to look at him in surprise. Ben Solo, as in coach of the swim team’s Han Solo’s son. How had she not recognized him? She supposed she had never actually seen Han Solo’s son in person before but still. Rey stepped out of the pool and walked toward him, shivering slightly as the cool air hit her skin. “What are you doing out this late?”

His lips quirked into a small smile.  “I could ask you the same thing, Rey.”

Rey felt her face warm a bit in embarrassment that he knew her name and she had not know his, but she said in a steady voice, “I’m on the swim team, it makes perfect sense for me to be out at the pool this late. You on the other hand, are not on the swim team.”

She didn’t say it unkindly, just matter-of-factly, but he still seemed to deflate a bit. He shrugged, “Parents were fighting.” He said it nonchalantly, but Rey had a feeling it must have been pretty bad if he decided to leave the house this late into the night. And then it struck her that when he said his parents were fighting he meant Coach Solo and Mrs. Organa, the chemistry teacher, were fighting. It was weird to think of Coach Solo with a life outside of swim team, even weirder to think of his family life, like seeing a teacher at the beach or the grocery store. Teachers do have a life outside of school, her mind reminded her, but it was still strange.

She was about to say something when she realized that he was drawing. Drawing her. She wasn’t sure if he was completely conscious of it because his eyes never looked down, but even she could tell from her obstructed view that he was sketching her. “Are you drawing me?” she asked curiously.

***

Ben looked down at his sketchbook. Shit. He hadn’t meant to start drawing her while they were talking, but he supposed the way her taut muscles gleamed as water dripped down them had been too much for him to resist. You can’t just fucking draw people while they’re talking to you! His mind screamed, She’s going to think you’re a pervert or a complete loser or… The list went on and on of the horrible things he might think of him.

But she didn’t look creeped out or even angry at him. She just looked curious as she patiently waited for a response. He opened and closed his mouth a couple times. “Um… yes?”

She took a seat next to him, stray drops of water splashing his face as she did so. She held out a hand. “Can I see your drawings?”

Ben’s jaw practically dropped to the ground at that. She wanted to see his drawings? She wasn’t going to scream and call him a freak? Ben was so stunned that he almost just gave her the sketchbook. Then he came to his sense and realized that she was literally soaking wet and said, “Would you mind if I showed it to you?”

She furrowed her brow. Then she seemed to remember that she was drenched in water and nodded. “Of course.”  

Heart in his throat, Ben flipped to his first drawing of her. His hand shook slightly. Sharing his art with another person felt like baring his soul, even when that drawing was of something stupid like his study of a horse’s ass (it wasn’t his idea, his art teacher had told the class to draw something that they usually would think is stupid or a waste of time. He still wasn’t quite sure what the point of that assignment was).

When he was about to turn the page to his fourth drawing of her, she said, “Hold on.” It was a drawing of her breathing, her arm a beautiful curve above her. It had been hard to draw because that particular moment in her swimming only ever lasted a couple seconds and the drawing wasn’t super detailed, but as he searched her face, he saw nothing but unabashed awe. “How did you do that?”

“What do you mean?” he asked, head cocked slightly to the side.

“How did you…” she wrinkled her nose as she struggled to find the words. He found the expression thoroughly adorable. “It almost looks like a posed for you, but I didn’t. How did you draw me so well while I was moving?”

Ben scratched the back of his neck as he considered her question. “Practice I guess. It’s hard to draw people while they’re moving, but I’ve taken a lot of art classes and spent a lot of time practicing so…” he shrugged. “You get better at over time. The first couple times I tried to draw people moving, the results were disastrous,” to make his point, he flipped to an old drawing of a soccer player that he felt was cringeworthy in its execution. “But then at some point it just… clicks.” He turned to a more recent drawing of his younger cousin riding a horse.  “Does that make sense?”

***

It was like swimming then. At first, you just flounder and flop a bit like a fish out of water, but then over time it becomes more natural, the strokes become as natural a walking. Rey nodded her head. “Yeah.”

He showed her the other drawings of her, including the incomplete one with her standing directly in front of him. To say she was impressed would be an understatement. Ben’s art was good. Really good. And considering what she was seeing were just a bunch of sketches, she imagined a finished piece of his would be mind-blowingly incredible. “How long have you been drawing?”

He shrugged. She was starting to learn that Ben was not a very expressive person, which she found somewhat ironic considering he was an artist. “Since I was a kid. How long have you been swimming?”

“I didn’t start swimming competitively till middle school,” Rey answered. “But… I’ve always felt drawn to the water. Like when I was a kid and visited my grandparents, they had a swimming pool then, I was always the last of my cousins to leave the pool when our parents said it was time to eat dinner or lunch or whatever. I just…” Rey realized she was babbling and promptly stopped speaking. Whoops.

Ben, however, did not seem irritated or even the slightest bit annoyed. He even seemed interested in what she had to say. “You just what?”

Rey chewed on her lip. She had never talked to anyone before about her love of water and swimming, not in depth at least, and never before had she really wanted to. Now, all the words seemed to push against her closed lips like water against a dam. She wasn’t sure why she felt the need to tell a complete stranger about her passion for swimming. Perhaps it was because he had showed her his drawings, giving her a glimpse of who he, the mysterious, dark-haired boy, truly was inside. Or maybe she just wanted to share her passion with someone else. Regardless of the reason, she continued, “I just always felt at home in the water, so I never wanted to leave. Does that make sense at all?”

Ben opened his mouth to respond when she heard her 12:00 AM alarm begin to ring from her bag several feet away. “Shit.” She said, scrambling on to her feet and running over to her phone. It wasn’t likely that her parents would check to see if she was in bed, but sometimes after 12:00 they would pop into her room and see how she was doing. “Listen, I got to go, but…” she paused, suddenly feeling inexplicably nervous. “Do you want to do this again some time?”

His lips twisted into an amused smirk. “Meaning loiter on school property in the middle of the night?”

Her cheeks reddened, but only a little. Rey crossed her arms and gave him an even look before turning back to her bag. “Why not? It’s a great location and a prime time.” She pulled out gym shorts and a sweatshirt. As she tugged them on, she said, “Maybe you can show me some more of your work and I can show you some cool tricks I can do in the water.”

Ben raised an eyebrow, but said, “Sure. I’ll see you…?”

Rey slung her bag over her shoulder, “I’m here almost every day, er, night. So come whenever you can.” She shot him a small smile before jamming her shoes onto her feet and sprinting towards the pool gate. “See you around, Ben.”

***

And then Ben was alone, but instead of feeling lonesome, an odd thrum of excitement pulsed through him. He liked her. A lot. She was nice and interesting, and even if their interests were very different, fundamentally they shared the same drive and love for each respective passion. When Rey had asked him if what she had said made sense, he had wanted to say Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. That’s how I feel when I’m in the art studio or with a pencil and paintbrush in my hands.

As he picked up his sketchbook and shoved it back into his bag. His parents were probably worn out from fighting now and he without an argument to distract them, they might notice his absence. As he climbed over the pool fence (Rey had locked it when she left), he found himself looking forward to the next time he ventured within its confines to meet with the strong and passionate girl.

***

Author’s note: I really enjoyed writing this prompt. I don’t know if this is obvious or not, but I definitely thought of Free! (the anime) while I was writing this, though I wouldn’t consider this a Free! au.

Thoughts on a possible part 2?