Log: Ren & Rey WHO: Ren and Rey WHEN: In the evening, late May, same day as this. WHERE: Ogden House on the lake SUMMARY: Ren and Rey sort out a few things when Ren arrives for dinner with his dad. WARNINGS: None
Ren wasn't exactly looking forward to seeing Rey, because, well, he figured she'd gotten all sorts of questions. He had texted her when his Dad left, a quick head's up he wasn't certain if she'd have gotten it, because he hadn't looked after he texted. It wasn't a conversation he wanted to have on his phone anyway. And he figured he was going over there, so they could sort of talk then.
Which is why he found himself on the doorstep with several day old pastries waiting anxiously for her to open the door, and when she did, he glanced up, offering a quick, tight smile. "Hey."
"Hey," Rey answered, gesturing him in. "Your dad's on the balcony getting ready to grill. Steaks and veggie kebabs, and I've got some salad. Thanks for the heads-up." While she was talking, Indy ran up from the interior of the house and barked an enthusiastic greeting at Ren. He was too well disciplined to jump up on Ren, but if given the slightest encouragement, Ren was sure the dog would be all over him.
"Yeah, sure." Ren offered, feeling awkward and deciding to take that awkwardness and direct it towards giving Indy a proper welcome now that his hands weren't all over coffee and work stuff. Instead he reached out a hand, wrapping his large hands around the dog's head, scratching his ears, and generally offering an apology for not having been around.
It felt like the dog had been around forever, really, and maybe Ren shouldn't have missed him at all, but he realized he had. Maybe as much or more than he'd missed his parents considering Indy's affection never seemed to be dependent upon anything - not even, apparently having been around to provide dog treats.
"Guess I should have figured this'd happen eventually. Coffee shop's too damn visible."
"I would have told you if I'd known he was coming. It was a surprise to me too. At least I had a bit of time to center and be ready to talk to him." It was a surprise to see Ren so openly affectionate with the dog. Rey liked Ren better when he was smiling.
Indy liked it too; he was licking Ren and wagging his tail so hard it would have overbalanced him had he not sat down.
"He asked how long you'd been here and I told him he needed to talk to you about it. I assume you'll want some privacy for that, so I'll find an excuse to clear out for a while. I did tell him I'd talked to you but I didn't tell him it was in person."
For a moment, Ren didn't say anything, instead letting his thoughts wander as he gave Indy about five years worth of affection the dog had been missing. Or at least tried to make up for it. Finally he straightened up, and looked down at Rey. It had probably been unfair of him to have Rey keep his secrets. "The least I could do is give you a head's up," he shrugged. "I should have already gone over there."
He somehow avoided actually letting out the sigh he felt about that. But yeah, it was something he was going to have to do, tell his Dad what and why, and also probably it was going to have to be followed up with a conversation with his Mom and in person. Which, he had been planning to do, really, even if he hadn't gotten around to it yet. He reached a hand up to massage the back of his neck. "I'll maybe talk to him after we eat. I'm gonna have to call Mom now too. Which. I was going to. Should have already. Sorry."
Rey shrugged. "It is what it is." There was a time when she would have said it was okay, but it really wasn't, and she didn't feel like projecting a confidence that wasn't there underneath, either physically or metaphysically. "You know your father. He'll get over it. Your mother will yell a lot at both of us and then she'll get over it too."
Ren's nose wrinkled at this. A genuine face being made at the notion of having to deal with his mother. "Yeah," was what he said out loud, because Rey was right. His dad would get over it. There was a small possibility that his Dad would get it even, but his mom would likely see it as a personal affront. He sighed. "Yeah, I mean, I'll go see her. Obviously. It's my fault you didn't say anything - cause I asked you not to. They'll be more miffed at me than you."
"I hope so," Rey said, and shrugged again. At the time she'd made the best of a difficult situation. She'd also thought Ren was more likely to talk to his parents more than once if he did it on his own terms. Leah might see it that way, would probably see it that way, but sometimes she could be just as ferocious and stubborn as Ren. The stubbornness came from both sides, but it was no secret to Rey that Hans was a soft touch compared to his wife.
“I mean, if they aren’t I’ll…” he stopped, not really sure what he’d do and it dissolved into a shrug. “Talk to them about it.” It was clear from his tone that he realised this might not be exactly effective. Well, he couldn’t really change how they’d figured out where he was. Which was entirely his own fault and he could have previously touched base without revealing where he was but no more. Which maybe was for the best anyway.
He pushed his hands into his pockets, then immediately removed one to pet Indy some more as the dog nosed at his thigh. And as if he was trying to reassure himself as much as Rey. “It’ll be fine.”
"We'll work something out," Rey agreed. "I'm still on the hook for working through Uncle Luke's papers. I don't think she imagines she can get you to do that and she's too busy to do it herself." She leaned over to scratch Indy too; the dog's tail beat a faster tattoo against her own leg as she did it.
"Yeah." So his Mom would need Rey and couldn't be too mad at her, was the implication. Ren didn't know if he liked that as a thing, but he couldn't really do anything about it. So he let the initial jolt of frustration with his mother just pass through him. He should have probably talked a while ago. It'd been easier to just let them not know he was so close. He'd definitely in any communication he'd had - all via email - let them assume he was miles and miles away.
He didn't really care about Luke's papers, but: "You find anything… I don't know…? Helpful?"
"Nothing for your friend." Rey shook her head. "Are you going to come back tomorrow?"
"Yeah, I mean, I could?" He looked over at her trying to decide if she wanted him to. But he could.
Rey looked up at Ren, her expression nominally a smile but one that Ren could read as awkward and nervous. "He's really excited. He's kind of mad right now that we didn't tell him, but--you mean the world to him. I don't know if you understand that, but you do."
Something curled, and uncurled, and curled again. Ren wanted to believe it was true, but he didn't know if he really did. It always felt like his Dad should have seen him a little more clearly, understood that he hated the boarding school, hated spending summer's with Luke, hated feeling as if he couldn't be home, or the feeling that he was feared, even worse. On the other hand, maybe he wasn't now. He didn't hold much hope with his mom if he were honest, but maybe with Hans.
"Yeah, I'll come by tomorrow." He tousled Indy's ears, and glanced towards the back. "He's back there?" Of course he was.
Indy's tail thumped against Ren's leg as Rey nodded. "He's on the balcony over the lake with the grill. I promise you, he'll be glad you came."
Ren supposed the only way to prove Rey right or wrong was just to move forward and see how it went. He snapped in Indy's general direction and nodded at Rey, and headed back towards the balcony.