Rey has barely been back with the rebels for a day when Finn corners her, looking vaguely shifty and definitely nervous (although she has a growing suspicion that his face might just be stuck like that – surely he can't be that worried all the time?) and tells her that he needs some advice.
She frowns, fidgeting slightly with the belt of her new robes. “Can it wait? Master Skywalker said he needed to-”
“No!” says Finn, “Well- I mean, yeah, probably, I just...” he glances from side to side, one eye twitching slightly.
“So was that a yes or a no? It can't be both.”
He shifts his weight slightly frantically from foot to foot. “Listen, it'll take two minutes, I just want to-”
“Do you need the bathroom or something? Why are you wiggling about like that?”
“No! Well, yes, actually, but that's not the point. Um...”
Rey sighs, and sets her backpack down. “Alright then. What did you want to ask? If it's about the lightsaber-”
“No, no, it's-” Finn eyes up the crowd milling around them, then the supply tent to their right, and says, “Quick, in here!” He grabs her by the hand and tugs her into the tent after him.
Rey glares. “What part of 'stop holding my hand' did you not get?”
Finn looks at her with vague surprise. “Oh, yeah, that. Sorry. It was a while ago.”
“Barely a month! It's good to see you, though. Haven't said that yet. I'm glad you're not dead.”
“Right! Me too.”
They both make half a move toward reaching for a hug, but neither of them properly commit to it and it ends up being more of a weird semi-hug semi-shoulder pat. Rey nods awkwardly as she steps back, and says, “Well, not being dead is generally a good thing.”
“Yeah, that's what Solo was saying earlier.”
“I don't think that 'enjoying not being dead' is limited to Han. Although I'm also glad about that. Shame I had to give him his ship back, though...”
“How did he get out of that one, anyway?” says Finn. “Nobody tells me anything! I swear some of them still think I might be a spy or something. But last I knew he was very, very definitely dead and then suddenly he drops out of the sky in a brand-new TIE fighter and tries to dip the General and kiss her, I mean-”
“He tried to-”
“Yeah, but she gave him this look and he, uh, just regular kissed her instead.”
Rey pulls a face.
“For, like, ten minutes.”
The face intensifies.
“It was uncomfortable for everyone. I mean, it was kind of nice, because we thought he'd been skewered on a lightsaber and then dropped into a pit and then probably blown up but... also kind of weird. And awkward. There was a lot of... tongue.”
Rey's face continues to distort dramatically.
“I'm just relaying the facts! And I still don't know how he even got here. Or why he isn't dead.”
“Have you asked him?”
“He said 'I'm Han fucking Solo, kid', and winked at me. And then he walked away laughing, and every time I've tried talking to him since he's brushed me off.”
Rey shrugs. “That sounds like a good explanation, Finn.”
Finn fixes her with his characteristic look of vague confusion, then shakes his head. “Ok, it's...well... well, that isn't the point, anyway. I wanted to ask you something.”
“You just did.”
“No, something else!”
Rey, who is slowly realising that this conversation might take longer than expected, sits down on a nearby crate, settling in for the long haul. “Go on, then.”
Finn rubs the back of his neck, studiously avoiding her eyes. “So, do you, uh, do you know much about... um... people?”
“I mean, liking people. As in, like liking people. With... I dunno, with kissing and stuff?” Finn looks as though he might explode if forced to explain further.
“Finn,” says Rey, very delicately, “I am very, very sorry, but I... really don't see you that way. You're- well, you're very nice, I think you're very nice, Finn, I do, but I'm not, I'm not... um, the whole 'dating' thing with the- with the hand-holding and the kissing and the-” she waves her hands vaguely in front of her, “other stuff. You know.” She waves her hands more intensely, and a small can flies off the ground and into the wall of a tent with a quiet thwack noise. She stares at it for a moment, confused. “That was not supposed to happen. Oh dear.”
“Wait, what?” splutters Finn, “No, Rey, not you, I didn't- ok, well, I did kind of think... uh, when we first met...”
“Yes, I noticed.”
“Right! Yeah, sorry about that.”
“Accepted. And,” she says, with a little smile, “I'm glad we're friends. I've never really had any before.”
“Me neither, I guess.”
They grin at each other, and then Rey launches herself forward and flings her arms round Finn. “This is great! I'm so glad we had this chat.”
Finn rests his chin contentedly on her shoulder, patting her back with slightly less awkwardness than normal. “Yeah, me too. It's been- hey, wait, no, I'm not done! I still wanted to ask you advice.”
“Yeah, about dates. And stuff.”
Rey steps back, and fixes him with a very serious glare, hands on his shoulders. “Finn. I lived in a desert my whole life.”
“On my own.”
“I've never even had a real friend before you, much less...”
“Maybe you should ask somebody else?”
“I don't know anybody else!” Finn wails.
“What about that pilot guy? Poe?”
“Oh god, am I that obvious? Do you think he knows and he just, like, laughs about it behind my back with all his weirdly hot pilot buddies? And why are they so hot? Why are all the pilots so hot, Rey, what's that about? What's their secret?”
“Do I think he knows what? That you're friends? Well, you're still wearing his jacket so I would assume-” her eyes widen. “Wait. Is this- is he the person you like?”
Finn nods, and sinks back down onto a nearby stool with a vague distressed whimper.
Rey sighs, shakes her head, and sits back down on her crate. “Right. Ok. Let's do this.”
"You're gonna help me?"
She nods. "Yes. But we need a plan."
“First, tactics. Let's appraise what we know, and don't know. What are our resources?”
“Uh, our brains?”
“Yes! We have two brains, neither of which know anything about dating, or liking people.”
“Aaaand... that's it. That's all we have.”
Finn puts his head in his hands. “I'll just have to ignore him forever. It's the only way.”
Rey shrugs. “I mean, that's one way of dealing with it?”
“Urgh! This is awful. Can't you- I don't know, use your Jedi mind powers to find out if he likes me or not?”
“You're asking me to use the Force, an ancient and mystical power which pervades all things and which I have been very strictly told should be used for matters of grave importance only while I'm still not fully trained, to... find out if Poe likes you?”
Rey grins, “Great, let's do it!”
Within an hour they're both standing in front of Luke Skywalker, Jedi Master and legendary war hero, with their hands in their pockets and their gazes turned to the floor like a pair of miscreant schoolchildren.
Luke sighs. “I'm not angry, Rey, just disappointed.”
“Ouch,” mutters Finn, under his breath, and Luke fixes him with a stern gaze. “You too, young one. What was your name?”
“Finn,” says Finn, looking as though he wants the ground to swallow him up.
“Well, Finn, you will be glad to hear that no permanent damage was done to Mr Dameron.”
“Good, I'm- is he-”
“The nosebleed, while dramatic, appears to have been the extent of the damage, and it has now subsided. He is quite cheerful and chatty, but nurse requested we keep him in the med bay for observation for the next few hours.”
“Oh, well, that's – that's good. I'm glad, Master Skywalker. Sir.”
“He also requested that I pass on a message to you.”
Finn grimaces. “He doesn't want to speak to me again. He doesn't-”
Rey grabs his arm, “Master Skywalker, please, it was my fault, Poe should know that-”
Luke raises a hand for silence. “When the entire situation was explained to Mr Dameron, he requested,” he pauses, a faint grin dancing over his lips, “That I pass a message on to Finn asking if he would like to have dinner sometime. He then became uncharacteristically nervous, and told me to say coffee instead, in case dinner seemed too formal. When I left the med bay, he was attempting to interrogate nurse as to the likelihood that Stormtroopers drink coffee, trying to plan his outfit in a small notepad he had at hand, and was loudly requesting a mirror and some sort of hair product.”
“Oh,” says Finn. “Oh.”
“Well,” says Rey, with a very wide smile plastered slightly unconvincingly across her face as she slowly backs away, “That turned out great, didn't it? So I'll just be-”
Luke raises an eyebrow at her.
The grin vanishes. “Sorry, Master Luke,” she says. “I just thought-”
“I am as glad as the next person to see that this has ended so well. But the Force is no child's game to be played with. Once we let our emotions cloud our judgement-”
“It was just such a simple trick,” says Rey, “I thought-”
“Need I remind you that this 'simple trick' is precisely the one Kylo Ren used to interrogate you? More importantly, it is the same one he used to torture Dameron himself.”
Rey winces. “I didn't think-”
“Yes, I noticed that.” Luke sighs. “I know your intentions were not to cause harm, but-”
General Leia, striding past on her way to the far side of the encampment, grabs Luke by the shoulder. “Are you still going on at these two? We need you this side of sundown for the War Council. And,” she says, with a fond smile, “I think they've learnt their lesson, hmm?”
Luke sighs. “This is a serious matter, General. I would think that you of all people-”
“Would know that endlessly scolding somebody when they make an honest mistake will only drive them away?”
For a moment they both look very old, and very sad. “Forgive me,” says Luke, taking her hand gently. “I just-”
She smiles briskly, shaking him off. “Yes, I know, you meant well. So did Rey. So did Finn. So do we all. I'm sure everyone is very sorry, yes?”
“Yes,” says Finn.
“Yes,” says Rey.
Leia turns her gaze to Luke, who nods.
“Pardon?” she says, fixing him with a stern glare, “I didn't hear that.”
“... yes,” he says.
Leia grins. “There's my little brother! Now stop being a grouchy old man and come help me argue down a few stubborn soldiers, hmm? Just like the old days.”
Luke nods, smiling as she attempts to sling her arm round his shoulder to drag him away, realises she's too short, and settles for his waist. “Yes,” he says, “Yes, it is. Where's Han?”
“Well,” she says, “Han is busy being an idiot.”
“Ah. Just like the old days indeed.”
“Some things never change.”
The two round a corner, chatting away and both looking far less severe and sensible than they usually do, of late.
Finn turns to Rey. “Holy shit. Did you hear that?”
“Poe likes me! We're going on a date! We're-” Finn momentarily appears to lose the ability to talk at all, and punches the air repeatedly, whooping with excitement.
Rey nods. “Yes, I'm very happy for you. I hope General Leia was right, I hope... I hope what I did wasn't too terrible.”
“Rey, it was awesome. Even if it went wrong and he ended up in the med bay and we're both on toilet duty for the next week-”
“Aw, it's not too bad, I used to do it back on the base when I was a Stormtrooper and-” then his eyes cloud, and his grin drops. “Wait, crap, a date. I have a date. I've never been on a date. How do they work? What do I wear? And what is coffee, actually, I forgot to ask Master Skywalker what...” He turns to Rey, a sly look in his eye. “Rey, listen, do you think you could help me-”
“No,” she says, shaking her head and backing away, “absolutely not."