I love you. Oh, oh my god. That just came flying out of my face like it was some kind of…I love you. I just…god. Did it again. I love you. I do. I just…I love you. And I have been trying not to say it, I have been trying so hard to just mash it down and ignore it and not say it.
Unfortunate fate lead her to live under the same roof as Armitage and his father Brendol, but she was never his mother. Leia knew this out of instinct and it was proven the moment she walked out the door on that warm September night.
Plenty of young women are never meant to be mothers and plenty of those women eventually become mothers anyway, for better or worse.
Leia thought she was one of those women until Ben was about two years old. Now, she couldn’t imagine her life without him. She’s not the best mother, but she loves him dearly.
Rae Sloane was never meant to be a mother. She doesn’t have the softness to hold a baby to her chest when it is crying or the warmth to kiss a child’s scraped knees.
In some ways, Leia sees herself in this and a little bit of Han too. A young person trying to embark on their own adventures doesn’t have time for every unfortunate circumstance in their path. If you cry over every injustice in the world, all you’ll ever do is cry. Leia is not a crier, neither is Rae, and they both try to do their best in the world.
Leia never liked Rae. They may have shared an ambitious spirit, but that is often something that separates talented dreamers. They come across as self-centered, cold, and unkind. Leia always knew that this was never true about herself and always tried to counteract that perception, but Rae never did. She was always alone and always cold.
It was obvious then, that Rae would never be anyone’s mother. The situation would never arise. She would always be alone and happier for it. Except for the few and far between circumstances in which their paths crossed, Leia paid the woman no mind.
This was until Ben slowly but surely told her about his friend, Armitage. The details of a terrible home life were few and far between but Leia was intelligent enough and caught on quick. She did everything she could to get him out of there, even let him stay with them for a couple weeks.
The courts eventually came to the decision that Armitage could not go back to living with his father. They all rejoiced at the decision, but when it came to deciding where he should live, all celebration came to a halt. Armitage could not stay with the Solos, a single mother raising her own troubled child, and would be forced into foster care.
Leia could see that Ben was heartbroken, even if he refused to say it.
“It’s not fair. They can’t just take him away.”
Leia didn’t say anything but hugged her boy to her chest. She knew that they could.
She saw Rae Sloane at the next town council meeting. Their interactions were usually reserved to professional civility and they said few words. Armitage was in the back of her mind constantly these days, but she didn’t make the connection just yet. It happened a few days later at the library.
Armitage was a studious boy, incredibly bright. Leia knew that Ben was talented and smart all on his own, but Armitage had a traditional aptitude for almost everything that drove him to the library most nights when he wasn’t hanging out with her son. She tried her best to encourage this love of learning but found that the best method was to take him to the library and leave him alone.
In the few weeks he lived with them, they developed a routine. Leia dropped him off at the library after dinner and picked him up just before nine when the library closed.
She sat in the parking lot in Han’s old truck listening to the radio and waiting for the red haired boy to walk over with an armful of books. They locked the doors behind the last two people to leave for the night. Her Armitage and Rae Sloane.
Armitage didn’t say anything about it to Leia when he got in the front seat beside her. She was used to the silent treatment when he came back at the end of the night. Typically, she would ask him about his night over breakfast in the morning. Tonight she felt compelled to derail his train of thought.
“Did you talk to Ms. Sloane tonight?”
“Do you know Ms. Sloane?”
“She used to live next door to me. Sometimes she would bring me to the library when he was upset.”
Leia had never heard about this, but she supposed she had never known to ask.
“Armitage, how well do you know Ms. Sloane?”
“I don’t know. She’s nice and knows a lot about naval history which I was reading about tonight…”
Leia would have waited until the next town council meeting to approach Rae Sloane, but time was running out for Armitage and she needed to see if this would work. After dropping Armitage off at home, she went to see Rae Sloane.
The woman was understandably confused by her arrival and did not invite her in.
“Have you heard about Armitage Hux?”
“I know him pretty well. He’s a good kid.”
“He’s been living with us since his father went to prison. The courts want to put him into foster care.”
Rae didn’t say anything but her face was stone.
“I don’t know about your relationship to him or if you would even be willing-”
“You want to know if I would adopt him?”
“I know that’s a lot to ask, it isn’t really my place to ask. I just saw you two at the library tonight and with the deadline coming up in a few days… We’re starting to get desperate.”
“He’s my son’s best friend and a good kid.”
“Yeah, he is. Bring him over tomorrow. I’ll think about it.”
Rae Sloane might not have been a mother, but did Armitage need a mother? He needed a roof over his head and someone to provide for him. Did that mean a mother? He needed someone who cared about him and to be around people who loved him. Maybe Rae Sloane wasn’t a mother, but she could be perfect for Armitage.
I should have been writing a paper but I wrote this BenArmie from Leia’s perspective. No regrets. @thesmoljedi
I really, really hate that the fandom tries to act like Reyes is somehow more moral than Sloane. Yes, Sloane charges protection fees and beats people up and a does all sorts of bad stuff. But so does Reyes! Dude literally tortures people for information. Neither choice is more moral than the other, they’re both bad, just with different methods and motives. That’s part of what makes them interesting.
They’re first date was Hurley being in charge of Sloane’s parole after she got out of jail. She had to be watched for a while, and at first Hurley was just sitting out in her wagon watching to make sure Sloane didn’t do anything but it later turned into being invited in. Sloane made her some dinner, showed her around her garage. They sat by a fire and started reading some books and Hurley got a little too comfortable on the job. Sometime that same night Sloane takes her to see her first race, a small night race and they hold hands.
It happens all the time. We fall in love with these characters, whether we do it intentionally or not. We’re captivated by their presence, and we’re drawn in to their storyline. We’re touched by the mark they leave on our souls, and we’re so hopelessly invested in their well-being and safety that we feel the need to protect them, to keep them away from hurt. We love them, and maybe we even relate to them. When they’re hurt, we feel their pain. When they cry, we sob along with them. And then something beautiful happens and we rejoice in their glee. When they’re happy, we’re happy. And if they happen to pass away, then a small part of us dies alongside them. We fall in love, and we never stop.