There’s a moment of quiet when Finn wakes up. It’s utter silence and then Finn hears a faint beep, followed by another one, then another one, continuing on. Even with the faint background beeps, it’s more peaceful than anything that Finn has experienced before.
Back with the First Order, every moment had been filled with the sounds of people moving and machines whirring. When there had been silence, it had always been a terrified, fearful one, where Finn’s heart had pounded anxiously.
After helping Poe escape, there had been loud explosions and harsh breathing and furtively uttered prayers to get out alive of whatever mess that Finn now found himself in. The last thing that Finn remembers, he had been fighting Kylo Ren in that forest while Rey had been—
Finn shoots up. He's in a brightly lit room that he's never seen before, surrounded by monitors, several of which are beginning to beep loudly. He has to find Rey—he has no clue where he is—what if he had been taken by the First Order?
“Please, Mr. Finn, please do sit down,” a droid says behind Finn. Finn spins around. A tall medical droid begins moving closer to Finn as Finn takes steps backwards.
“Where’s Rey?” Finn says.
“Please sit down before you reinjure yourself,” the droid says. “You’ve suffered some severe internal injuries and you should not yet be up.”
“Where’s Rey?” Finn says again. “Where is she?”
“I have requested the relevant personnel, Mr. Finn,” the droid says. “They will explain everything, I’m sure, however, in the meantime, would you please sit on the bed?”
Before Finn can respond, Poe bursts into the room. “Finn,” he says. Poe is breathing deeply as if he’d sprinted from somewhere. “I heard them say that you were up on the comms…it’s so good to see you.”
“Where’s Rey?” Finn asks.
“She’s ok,” Poe says, his face doing something complicated that Finn can’t follow. “But she’s not here, she went to see Luke.”
“She’s ok,” Finn says, a wave of relief washing through him. And then, embarrassingly, he faints.
When Finn comes to, he is back in the bed and Poe has pulled a chair over to the bed. Finn cracks open an eye and sees Poe looking at him. “The fainting stuff, that happened, right?” Finn says, wishing the ground would swallow him open a little bit.
Poe smiles at him. “Oh yes, definitely. Although I got to use my muscles and carry you to the bed. Everyone always thinks of me as a pilot first, so it’s nice to get recognition for my incredible strength as well.” Poe mock flexes one of his arms and Finn can't help but smile.
“Also,” Poe says. “The medical droid was pretty clear that you shouldn’t get out of bed for a while. It switched to a language that I didn’t understand, but I’m pretty sure it was just doing that so I couldn’t understand it bad-mouthing you.”
“Great,” Finn says, groaning. “I’ve made my medical droid angry, off to a great start.”
Poe just smiles at Finn. “From what I hear, you’re kind of a big deal, so you’ll probably get through it.”
Poe spends the rest of the afternoon catching Finn up on what he’d missed—Rey’s battle with Kylo Ren, the destruction of the Starkiller Base, and Rey’s departure to find Luke Skywalker. Eventually a medical droid comes in to shoo Poe out so that Finn can rest. Finn wants to protest, but he is already yawning as Poe heads out the door.
Poe continues to visit over the next few days. He tells Finn about his adventures with the Resistance—how his parents had always been involved since before he was born. “We used to provide a safe house for people fleeing the Empire,” Poe says, one day when he’s reminiscing. “You can’t believe the kind of people that I saw when I was a kid. They were all so exciting and interesting. And my parents believe passionately in the mission of the Resistance. My whole life, I wanted to be part of something like that. The moment I was old enough to fly, I signed up.”
“Yeah?” Finn says. He can’t imagine what it was like to grow up and want to be something. It had never been a question of wanting one thing or the other. Finn had been placed on a path and it was understood by all parties that he would continue on that path forever. Well, up until he suddenly had jumped off it onto another one, apparently at light speed.
Something in Finn’s tone causes Poe to stop his story. For a second, Finn can see Poe mentally piecing it together and Finn braces himself for the questions that he doesn’t want to revisit. But the questions don’t come. Instead, Poe gives Finn a broad smiles and leans in.
“Hey,” Poe says suddenly. “Medical says that you’ll be cleared to leave by the end of the week.” And great, that’s another set of questions that Finn’s been mentally avoiding. Once medical kicks him out, Finn has no idea what he’s supposed to do with himself. Is he supposed to leave the base? Is he now automatically part of the Resistance?
“Yeah,” Finn says. “They’re kicking me out.”
“I think they probably think of it as discharging you to go and do something more fun than lying in a bed all day,” Poe says. “And you know what would be definitely more fun than being in medical?”
“What?” Finn says, unsure of where Poe is going.
“Being my roommate,” Poe says, but he looks kind of hopeful instead of having his usual confidence and enthusiasm.
Finn gives Poe a double look. “You want to live with me? You don’t even know me that well.”
“I know that you saved my life,” Poe says and he’s oddly serious when he says it.
“I mean, you have to know by now that me getting you out of there was really an act of self-preservation, right?” Finn says.
“I choose to view it as you saving my life because you knew from the start that I was awesome,” Poe says, but he’s smiling now.
Finn can’t help but laugh. “Yeah, I mean, if you’re really offering, then I will definitely accept.”
When Finn gets discharged at the end of the week, Poe comes to collect him. Finn’s only got Poe’s old jacket and Finn feels a little awkward still holding onto it, but Poe smiles extra wide at it when he arrives.
“I thought you might have lost it,” Poe says, as they head out from medical.
“Are you kidding?” Finn says. “This is a collector’s jacket. I hear it once belonged to the best pilot in the galaxy.” Poe gives a modest shrug, but Finn can tell that he’s pleased.
Poe takes him through the base to where the living quarters are. The pilots are arranged in a series of interconnecting rooms with the rooms having two or three to a room. Most of the doors to the rooms are open and everyone is walking in and out of them, talking to each other. As they go along, Poe tries to introduce Finn to people.
“We tend to put the new pilots over here in the rooms with three beds in them because we like to make them suffer,” Poe says loudly as they pass by the rooms. A bunch of curses and good-natured yelling comes in their direction.
Almost everyone they pass says hello to Poe and Poe seems to know everyone’s name. It’s a bit intimidating and Finn’s more than a little tired when they finally get to Poe’s room. Poe must sense it because he closes the door behind them and places a hand around Finn’s back and gently maneuvers Finn onto the lower bunk.
There are a bunch of shirts and pants on the bed, folded neatly and freshly laundered. “I figured that you might need some extra clothes if you didn’t want to look like an escaped patient,” Poe says in explanation. “So you can borrow some of mine until we get you some new ones.”
He looks almost embarrassed so Finn gets out a weak, “Thank you,” while he’s trying to catch his breath.
“You doing ok there?” Poe asks. He looks a little concerned so Finn casts about for something to say that isn’t “My insides feel a little funny,” or “Why are there so many people and do I need to learn their names?”
“Is there any news about Rey?” Finn asks instead.
“Oh yeah,” Poe says. “I asked about it for you. Obviously they can’t tell me everything because a bunch of it is classified, but the General said that Rey made it to her location and made contact with Luke.”
“Wow,” Finn says. “Luke Skywalker.”
“I know,” Poe says. “And Rey of all people is the one there. What a spitfire.” Poe looks appreciative for a second and Finn has a sudden, horrible thought. What if Poe also likes Rey? There is no way that Finn is winning that competition.
“Wait,” Finn asks. “Do you also like Rey? If you do, then I am definitely doomed.”
Poe tries to hold in a laugh but can’t help chuckling. “No,” he says, smiling at Finn. “I’m not interested in Rey.”
Even though Finn’s rooming with the pilots, Finn has no interest in becoming a pilot. Poe promises to be the one to teach him, but that seems like even more of a disincentive. Instead, Finn finds himself helping out with the weaponry, almost by accident, when he goes to tell them about the types of weapons that the First Order bases use as well as the ground weapons used by the Stormtroopers.
At first, he just hangs around the armory giving suggestions for modifications and then helping test out the modified ones. Eventually, someone decides to give him an actual uniform and they assign him to the armory. Thankfully no one says anything about moving out of the pilots’ wing.
“That’s pretty exciting,” Poe says that night as they’re getting ready for bed. Finn’s already in bed but he’s watching Poe get ready, the low light from the lamp ahead glinting off of Poe’s back. Poe isn’t that muscular, but he’s got a lot of power coiled in his frame and his back, well, it looks nice.
“So I guess that means that you’re staying,” Poe says, as he motions the light off. Finn can’t see Poe’s face, but he sounds a little apprehensive.
“Yeah,” Finn says. “No, Poe, I got a uniform and a job title because I plan on cutting loose and heading back to the First Order, because let me tell you, those guys love me.”
Poe softly laughs. “Good,” he says. “That’s good."
Poe takes to collecting Finn at meal times, otherwise Finn tends to stay too long and miss out on eating. Plus, Poe then collects Finn at the tail end of meals, so it’s likely that they’ll be able to eat just the two of them. Everyone else is nice and all, but there’s something about Poe. He makes every conversation an event and his enthusiasm is always contagious.
“You are really getting into the whole Resistance thing,” Poe says at dinner one day after he had to drag Finn away from a pair of experimental quadruple blasters.
“I tend to think of it as self-preservation,” Finn says. “Shoot the other guys before they shoot me. Or take me prisoner and torture me and then shoot me. If they’re nice.”
“I’m onto you,” Poe says, turning a bit and waving to some pilots that are walking by. “You say self-preservation, I say hero. We’ll agree to disagree.”
They eat for a while in silence before Poe leans in and lays a hand on Finn’s hand. “Hey,” Poe says, his voice a very low whisper. “I’ve been asked to lead a very secret mission. We would be heading out in three days and I need a weapons specialist on my team.”
Finn only half hears Poe because all he can think about is how warm Poe’s hand is on top of Finn’s. Finn is hyper-aware of it and yet, for some reason, he also doesn’t want Poe to move it. Don’t look at Poe’s hand, Finn tells himself. Don’t look at his hand.
“Are you in?” Poe asks. Finn nods automatically, only registering what he’s committed to once Poe smiles brightly at Finn and leans back, moving his hand with him.
“Wait, what?” Finn says. “Wait. Wait.”
“Too late now,” Poe says. “You already said yes.”
That night, Finn watches Poe get ready for bed and suddenly it clicks: the back, the hand, the wanting to just hang out with Poe only. Finn closes his eyes and groans. Immediately Poe turns around.
“Are you ok?” Poe says. He’s immediately next to Finn’s bed. Finn resists the urge to pull the covers up to hide his face. For a second, Finn’s reminded of when he woke up in the hospital bed after fainting. He’s not sure which experience was more embarrassing.
“Totally fine,” Finn says. Poe raises an eyebrow and just sits on the edge of Finn’s bed. “I just realized something.”
Poe nods his head. “Go on,” he says.
“I really don’t want to,” Finn says. “I feel good just stopping with that.”
“That bad?” Poe says.
Finn grimaces. When he opens his eyes, Poe’s looking at Finn’s face with a wry smile. “About Rey?” Poe says.
“Actually, the funny thing is that it’s not about Rey,” Finn says. He swings his legs over the side of the bed so that he’s sitting next to Poe.
They sit there in silence for a while. For once, Poe seems ready to wait Finn out. Finn sighs. “It’s about someone else, not Rey, that I, uh, you know.”
Finn risks a glance over at Poe. Poe’s watching Finn, and he looks completely serious. Finn gulps. “I just, uh, you know,” Finn says. He can feel himself starting to babble as he maintains eye contact with Poe. Poe watches Finn for a few more seconds, while Finn wonders if he can spontaneously combust from embarrassment. But then, Poe smiles at Finn and Poe carefully places his hand on top of Finn’s again, just like earlier.
“Wait,” Finn says. “Are you serious? But you’re…you.”
Poe laughs and looks up, like he can’t believe Finn, but then he leans in. “Yeah, and you’re you. So it seems to me that we’re even.”
Poe raises an eyebrow at Finn as if he’s asking a question and maybe he is, because Finn nods back. Slowly Poe leans in and presses his lips against Finn’s. Finn’s never kissed anyone before so he’s a little hesitant at first, but Poe leads by example, slowly deepening the kiss until Finn feels like he’s drowning.
Eventually, they make it into a reclining position and just when Finn is beginning to feel too overwhelmed, Poe pulls back. He’s full-on smiling and Finn can’t help but smile back. “Alright, move on over,” Poe says, nudging Finn a little closer to the wall. Finn goes easily, all of his limbs feeling faintly like jelly.
Poe pulls the covers up and then curls up next to Finn, motioning the light off.
“Are you sure?” Finn asks after a while.
Poe gives a small laugh, the puff of air hitting Finn’s shoulder and giving him goosebumps. “Let’s just say that I thought you were awesome from the start.”
Well, Finn can’t argue with that.