Dameron is there waiting when he the medics discharge Finn, grinning, leaning against the waiting room wall. His Henley shirt is unbuttoned, his thick, dark chest hair visible. He tosses Finn’s jacket to him before clapping both hands his friend’s shoulders. “Look out, everybody, our number one gunner is back in action.”
Finn ducks his head and steps back. “C’mon, man, I’m not that good.”
Dameron laughs. “Who said anything about being good? You’re just my favorite gunner. C’mon, I’ll show you where you’re staying now that you’re back in the land of the living.”
They leave the medical wing and jockey for position in the crowded hallway. Dameron clears his throat. “So, the thing is, bunks are pretty hard to come by right now--we’ve got a lot of people stranded here after the Hosnian system got torched.” The two men dodge a very determined-looking Ewok walking in the opposite direction. “A lot of us are having to double up to make room, so I said you could stay with me until something else opens up.” Anxiety clouds Dameron’s gaze, something Finn’s never seen in his eyes before. “I mean we can probably get one of the other pilots to swap if you--”
“Poe, it’s fine. Unless you snore.” Finn punches Dameron lightly on the arm. “You know you’re my number one pilot.”
Dameron brightens. “And I actually am that good.”
“So humble, too.”
“Oh yeah. I’m definitely the most humble guy in the galaxy.” Dameron inclines his head slightly right and turns down a narrower, less crowded corridor. “Just this way.”
Finn tries to keep his tone light. “Where’s Rey going to stay when she gets back?”
Dameron fishes in his pockets, ignoring the question. “Where’s my entry card? Oh, hang on a sec--” He stops short, stepping in front of Finn and plunging his hand into the left pocket. He pulls out an entry card and waves it in Finn’s face. “I was wearing the jacket while you were laid up, hope you don’t mind. It, uh--it smelled like you.” A sheepish smile plays on Dameron’s lips as he clears his throat, scratches the top of his head and barrels down the hallway. “Uh. It’s down here.”
Finn’s heart feels like it’s beating practically out of his chest. It’s the first time Dameron’s mentioned anything about yesterday. He’d come to visit Finn every day since he woke up, between training runs and short missions, and even before that (though of course Finn doesn’t remember). Each visit lasted longer and longer, often to the dismay of the medical wing staff and Dameron’s commanding officer. They’d played endless games of Sabacc, goading a couple of medics into joining them, and when they got tired of that, they traded stories--Finn’s about his isolated, hermetically sealed First Order upbringing and his cadet training buddies, Dameron’s about his often absent parents and basically being raised as a child of first the Rebellion and then the Resistance. They’d laughed a lot.
Then yesterday...a medic was trying to shoo Dameron out. He’d already blown past the visiting hours deadline and been asked to leave--twice. “Come on, Dameron, pack it in,” she’d said, tidying up the medical record terminal. “We just decided we’re releasing Finn back into the wild tomorrow anyway, so you can pick it up when you pick him up, okay?” She’d raised an indulgent eyebrow and a hand, fingers splayed out. “Five minutes, Poe, got it?”
“All right, all right Laork, five minutes,” Dameron called after her, standing up. Finn moved to stand, too, but Dameron waved him off. “Take it easy while you’ve still got an excuse.” Dameron leaned in to hug Finn, and as he pulled away, he kissed him softly on the lips. “Good night. See you tomorrow.”
Dameron breezed out the door before Finn even had a chance to react. He’d just lain there, stunned. Stunned and happy. Stunned and happy and then worried that Dameron had taken off because he regretted the kiss. Finn tried not to think about that too much, raising his fingers to his lips, remembering the stubbly brush of Dameron’s cheek, the way he always smells a little bit like fighter fuel.
Finn hurries to catch up with Dameron, who’s still chattering as he tries to get his door open. “I always have so much trouble with this thing, I think it, uh, gets demagnetized, but everyone on my squadron says I’m imagining--oh, there it goes!” The door slides open and Dameron steps aside, gesturing to the room with a flourish. “Welcome home, Finn. Um. Temporarily. You know.”
“Yeah, I know. And thanks.” Finn ducks through the door, taking in the tiny quarters. Nothing but a desk, a chair, a cot, a closet and a comm screen. There’s a bedroll on the floor.
“It’s not much, but I don’t spend a lot of time in here anyway. I can, um, I can take the floor if--”
Finn steps in front of Dameron and slips his hands underneath the pilot’s arms and pulls him in. Finn kisses him and he can feel Dameron immediately relax as he kisses back. They linger, and as the kiss ends, Finn simply says, “Hi.”
Dameron’s face breaks into a wide smile. “Hi. Sorry I’ve been weird. I just thought maybe I moved too fast or I was wrong. I’m glad I wasn’t wrong.”
“Me too. Really glad.” Finn’s relief is quickly replaced by a cold panic, now that this is really happening, now that it’s real. “Uh, now I need to tell you--” He goes over to the bed and sits down. Dameron stays put. Finn takes a breath in. “I’ve never, um, done this before.”
Dameron’s brow furrows. “What do you mean? You mean like with a guy?”
“No,” Finn starts. “I mean like at all . I’ve never kissed anyone, ever, and so obviously I haven’t done any other...stuff. So. I hope that’s okay.”
Dameron crosses to the bed and kneels down, hands on Finn’s knees. “It’s completely okay. Totally. It’s um, it’s not hard. To do, I mean! Other things are--” They both laugh. “It sounds so stupid when you talk about it out loud.”
“I don’t think you’re stupid, Poe.” Finn reaches out to smooth Dameron’s wild hair and kisses him again, opening his mouth a little bit this time.
“You’re not stupid either, Finn.” Dameron whispers. “And even if you were, we’d just be stupid together until we weren’t anymore. You know?”
Finn gives Dameron’s hand a squeeze. “Yeah. Yeah, I do.”