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the beat my heart skips

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"What are we even doing out here?"

Poe grins as he carefully steps over a log, while BB-8 rolls past him. "We're following Rey."

"Yeah, I got that part," Finn says as he bats a low-hanging vine out of his face. "But why are we following Rey?"

"Because I need to work on seeking out lifeforms," Rey calls over her shoulder as she walks a few feet ahead of Poe. "And you need to work on being quiet while tracking."

"Are you saying I'm not quiet?" Finn asks as he promptly steps on a branch that cracks so loudly even Poe winces and Force knows, he's not exactly silent on his feet either.

"You sound like a herd of Bordoks, man," Poe says.

"Yeah, well, stormtroopers weren't exactly taught to be subtle," Finn says as he walks close behind Poe and Poe flashes him a quick grin.

"Neither are pilots," Poe says. "But it's not a bad skill to learn. Especially if you keep sneaking off and on ships like you do."

"Hey, I didn't plan any of those things," Finn says holding up his hands. "They just kept happening."

"For the love of--" Poe glances up and Rey's staring at them both, looking cross, BB-8 idling at her feet. "You two are the loudest things on this planet. And I'm including Chewbacca when he snores. Do you mind? I'm trying to concentrate."

"Sorry, Rey," Finn says as Poe salutes her saying, "We'll behave."

She narrows her eyes, but can't quite help the grin that spreads across her face. "I'm glad we found you again."

Poe winks at her and she turns back to the forest, intent on finding whatever it is that's out there.

Rey and Luke, along with Chewbacca turned up at the new Resistance base a couple of weeks ago. Part of her training involves using her Force senses to detect other lifeforms and when she told Finn and Poe her plan to explore the green, forest planet they've established a base on, they were keen to come along.

Poe is the first to admit that he's not one for walking about in the woods, but he's been a bit stir-crazy going without a proper mission for so long. He suspects that Finn would follow Rey anywhere and well, he's beginning to think he'd probably follow them both into the lava rivers of Mustafar, but hasn't quite figured how to tell them.

They walk a bit further, Rey in the lead, looking through the dense undergrowth and taking care not to tread on the large, sprawling roots that stretch out of the soft, loamy earth. Poe's already stubbed his toe on one and BB-8 has taken to rolling down the length of them and back up.

"Did you hear that Chewie's going to upgrade the hyperspace drive on the Falcon?" Rey asks smugly. "I'm going to help. You can watch, if you want."

"Knock it off, you. You're just jealous that I got to fly a Tie fighter," Poe says as he keeps an eye out on the mossy green forest floor. "Admit it."

"A Tie fighter that you promptly crashed into the desert," Rey points out.

"Hey, now, that last blast came out of nowhere," Poe says.

"Out of nowhere?" Finn says. "The big, huge Star Destroyer right behind us came out of nowhere?"

"In any case, I still flew the thing," Poe says raising his voice slightly. "Whereas Miss Hot-Shot over there hasn't and she's jealous."

"Of course, I'm jealous," she says laughing. "What was it like?"

"Responsive," Poe says. "Incredibly responsive. I have no idea how they get their controls so sensitive."

"Hmm," Rey says. "I'd love to take one apart. Finn, did you ever-?"

"Nope," he says stepping over a fallen log. "Only flight personnel got anywhere near those things. I was restricted to the tunnels mostly."

"I wish we could get our hands on another one," Poe says thoughtfully, avoiding a dangling vine by ducking his head. "It could come in really handy."

"Like during the Battle of Endor," Rey says, her voice going soft. "When Han, General Solo, piloted the stolen Lambda-class T-4a shuttle past the Star Destroyers."

"It's hard to get one on their own," Poe says. "They usually stick close to the bigger ships."

"I know, but if we did," Rey says. "Imagine the possibilities."

"Well, if we're thinking of stealing ships," Poe says. "Why not take two?"

Rey turns to him with a smile that could light up the entire planet and Poe grins back.

"Think of the stuff we could learn and then use to upgrade the X-Wings," Rey says.

"Oh, man," Poe breathes thinking that his X-Wing is pretty damn responsive now, but if he could modify it, he'd be unstoppable.

"No," Finn says coming up to them. "You two have that look in your eyes and as the more responsible of the three of us," Rey snorts, "it's my duty to tell you both when you're talking crazy."

"Come on, buddy," Poe says nudging Finn. "Like you wouldn't be right beside us if we decided to go for it."

"Of course, I'd be there," Finn says, "You two can't be trusted on your own."

Rey laughs and turns to keep going through the forest. "Well, as they say, 'Who is the more foolish? The fool or the fool who follows him?'"

"Yeah, I knew you'd say something like that," Finn says.

"Well - wait." Rey stops and tilts her head to the side. "I think I found it."

"The lifeform?" Poe asks, holding his blaster ready. "Dangerous?"

"Don't think so," Rey says. "Just...very large."

Poe frowns as he scans the treeline but sees nothing but earth and trees and their exposed roots.

"I don't see anything," Finn whispers. "How big is it?"

"It's enormous, but I can't see it either," Rey says shaking her head. "But it's here. Right here. I can sense it."

She takes a step forward just as BB-8 rolls past her feet.

"No, wait!" she cries as the droid rolls right over a thick, brown root that promptly deflates spraying them all with a silvery, gray powder.

"Ugh," Poe says as he shakes his head, wiping his eyes with the back of his hand. "BB-8!"

He hears Finn spitting beside him and Rey sneezes.

"That was gross," Finn says. "Right? I'm right to think that that was disgusting?"

"Very gross," Rey says wrinkling her nose. "And I think BB-8 found the lifeform."

"What, really?" Finn asks.

She nods and crouches down, holding her hand above the earth. "It's a huge root system. It's spread out all over here." She points at the deflated root. "I think that was its defense system."

"Well, it worked," Poe says. "This stuff is everywhere and who knows what it'll do to us."

"Let's get back to the base," Rey says getting to her feet. "My mouth tastes funny."

"Same here," Finn says making a face.

They quickly start walking back to the base and Poe has to keep blinking back minor bouts of nausea and dizziness.

He's about to say something when he realizes that he's sweating and his stomach, as well as parts situated lower than his stomach, are tightening.

"Oh, man," he mutters and has to stop to steady himself against a tree. "Guys...?"

"I don't think I feel very good," Rey says, her hand pressed against her stomach. She lifts her head and Poe sucks in a breath at the sight of her dilated pupils and pure, unadulterated lust socks him in the stomach.

"Guys, what the hell?" Finn asks, his hand shaking as he wipes it across his forehead and Poe's fairly sure that if he looks down, he'll see Finn's erection tenting his trousers, rather like the one tenting his and he looks down and yep, there it is.

It's becoming extremely clear what the root system's defense system entails.

Poe groans. "Oh, shit."

Poe had always thought this stuff was a myth. A funny anecdote that happened to a friend of a friend of a friend. Or something that happens in one of those shows that Holonet used to broadcast; because what better way to get the romantic leads together than to spray them with some kind of powder that gets them all hot and bothered and then shut them up in a room together so that they have to express their love, amongst other things, in order for the stuff to wear off.

But as Poe stands already half-hard in the quarantine room wearing some very loose trousers (and not much else due to the fact that his skin feels like it's on fire) alongside Finn and Rey, he's beginning to think there might be some truth to the anecdotes.

Sex pollen.

Not a myth!

Hell, he thinks, I'm that friend of a friend of a friend. Damn it.

He's very determinedly not looking at his friends, although he can smell the sweat on both their bodies and wants nothing more than to apply his tongue to every inch of skin he can reach.

Stop that, he tells himself. This is most definitely not the moment you were waiting for to tell them about your feelings. Not the moment at all.

"Well," Dr Kalonia says as she reads the results of their blood tests on the other side of the observation window. "You have definitely been zapped by something that is going to take some time to wear itself out." She gives them a rueful look. "I'll be honest, I've not come across this before in my lifetime. Your droid managed to find one of the only pure aphrodisiacs in existence."

BB-8 manages to look sheepish as he beeps out an apology from where he idles just behind R2-D2 and C-3PO.

"Don't worry, buddy," Poe says through clenched teeth. "We find it again, we can bottle it and sell it through the black market. We'll make a fortune and we can fund the entire Resistance on the proceeds."

"Entrepreneurial endeavors aside," General Organa says dryly as she stands beside her brother and Chewbacca, "how long will they be like this?"

Dr Kalonia shrugs. "I'm honestly not sure. A few hours? It might be prudent to, ah, attempt to alleviate the symptoms? That's what one does when dosed with similar spores. The main difference between this one and simulated aphrodisiacs is those are meant to simply lower inhibitions. What you stumbled across actually activates the sex organs.” She looks thoughtful. “Do you know I wonder if that was only part of the plant’s defense system? It’s entirely possible it sprays the substance on its prey to weaken it and then ingest it later.” She glances at the three people standing in the quarantine room looking vaguely horrified and shrugs. “In any case, I would highly suggest finding release, however you need to."

Ignoring the fact that a medic has essentially given him medical advice that's no more complicated than 'Masturbate. A lot.' Poe finds himself nodding along and notices Finn doing the same. He's not surprised, either. From what Finn's told him about stormtrooper training, not much was left out of their education because how can you know you're being deprived of something if you don't know what that something is? And hey, military barracks are military barracks, no matter which side of the fight you're on.

It's Rey that Poe finds himself looking at. And, damn it, he hopes it just looks like he's looking, and not staring, because staring is creepy and yep, he's staring, but he can't help it. She's gorgeous at the best of times and right now, her eyes are wide and her cheeks are flushed and she looks like she's about to nail a tricky maneuver and that was a bad choice of words. Poe digs his nails into his palms and looks away.

"Luke?" Rey asks, sounding incredibly unsure.

Skywalker just shakes his head. "I don't even know what to do here. The code says -"

"Oh, screw the code," General Organa says and Poe winces because, really? Terrible word choices here. "That code is the cause of some of the worst decisions in the history of bad decisions."

It's a familiar argument and everyone tries to find something else to look at in anticipation of the usual verbal duel.

But Skywalker just stares thoughtfully at her and then sighs before looking at Rey, who looks like she's about to jump out of her skin.

"The code states 'There is no passion, only serenity,'" he says. "But perhaps you need the passion in order to achieve serenity."

"Okay," Rey says looking confused.

"In other words - do what you need to, Rey," Skywalker says firmly.

"Maybe we should do things, ah, privately," Poe says and it takes everything he has to not just fist his dick then and there.

Finn nods. "Yeah, yeah, I can do that. Great suggestion, Poe."

"What do you mean?" Rey asks and oh, sweet kriffing gods. Poe and Finn exchange looks and then they look at the General who studies her sympathetically.

"Rey," she ask, "What do you know about sex?"

Ah, fuck, Poe thinks. Someone finally said it out loud.

"I know that it's something that happens when a union needs to be made amongst the tribes. Nothing joins tribes faster than a baby they have to look out for," Rey says tugging at the hem of her shirt. "It's a contract. But not a binding one." She worries her lip. "I think mounting's involved?"

Poe can't help it, and a whimper escapes him, but considering Finn outright groans, he's not embarrassed at all.

"Right," General Organa says, holding her hand out to one of the medics. "Hand me that microphone and Rey, put those headphones on; someone make this line private."

Rey slips the headphones on and eyes the general who starts speaking quietly into the mic. Poe can't quite tell what she's saying, but based on what Rey says in return, he gets the gist of it.

"Okay, I see?" Rey nods uncertainly. “You just…” She frowns. "It does?" She swallows. "Really? You can do that? And it feels...good?"

Poe looks away because if he keeps looking at her he's going to do something stupid, like offer to show her how to touch herself and yeah, he's going to be using that image later.

He glances at Finn who's staring at the floor and oh, there's another image for later. Both of them showing Rey what to do...together...their hands on her skin...her hands on their skin...

He chokes on air and clenches his hands into fists. Again.

"Right, yes." Rey nods. "I've got it. I can do that." She takes off the headset and doesn't look at anyone else. "Right. Let's do this."

Poe clears his throat. "Can we turn the surveillance off?"

"Someone needs to monitor you," Dr Kalonia says.

"R2," comes from all three of them.

BB-8 makes a sad little beep and looks down, while R2-D2 beeps in surprise.

"Hey, buddy, it's not personal," Poe lies because well, it kind of is.

"It kind of is," Finn says under his breath and Rey smacks his upper arm with the back of her hand. Both their eyes widen at the brief touch and Poe feels like someone punched him in the gut because they're so unbelievably beautiful and right there and oh, just hell.

Dr Kalonia looks amused, but then nods. "Fine. R2's an excellent choice. We'll black out the windows, too. For added privacy."

"Great, thanks," Poe says although he's very aware that it's going to be all over the base in the next hour anyways.

"Well, good luck," she says. "Stay hydrated."

And then the windows go dark and there they are. Alone at last.

"Do we just...go for it?" Finn asks.

"May as well," Poe answers and he hopes that when he walks to a section that's already partitioned off, it comes off as nonchalant and not desperate.

He's pretty sure it comes off as desperate.

It doesn't take much more than him sitting down and shoving his hand down his pants and he comes almost immediately. It takes him a second to catch his breath as well as get over the shock of coming so quickly and he gets hard again frighteningly fast because he can hear them. Oh, he can hear them both. Finn's groaning and Rey's breath is coming faster and oh, this isn't going to work.

Rey makes a pained noise and then gasps.

A quiet "oh," comes from her section and Poe hardens even more than he thought possible.

"Damn it," he breathes out and keeps going.

A quarter of an hour passes and it's not subsiding. At all.

He winces and closes his eyes, then says out loud, "Is it me or is this not really working?"

"It's really not working," Finn says. "It's making it worse."

"I'm...not sure I'm doing this right," Rey says and she sounds so frustrated and pained that Poe's on his feet and heading her way before he can even question it.

He stops just in front of her curtain just as Finn reaches him and wow, he's kriffing gorgeous without a shirt and Poe wants to run his tongue along his collarbone and down his stomach and Finn makes a noise and Poe's eyes raise and they stare at each other for a moment.

"Are you two going to come in or what?" Rey asks.

They both reach for the curtain and pull it back. She's sitting on the edge of her bed with her shirt off and oh, there's another collarbone he wants to taste, followed by her breasts and then... He shakes his head.

"What do we do?" Rey asks. "I can't seem to, um." She waves her hands. "I don't even really know what I'm trying to do."

"I know what we're supposed to do and I did it," Finn says. "Three times. It's not working."

They look at Poe who just looks back at them, his mind blank apart from the urge to just touch.

"Poe? What do we do?" Rey asks him.

"I just want to touch you both so fucking much," is all he manages to say.

"Oh, good," Rey says in relief.

"I'm just glad someone else said it first," Finn says.

They all sort of crash into one another and there’s so much skin involved and Poe thinks they’re all equally determined to touch as much as they can. Someone giggles and he thinks it might have been him, but then Finn’s cupping him through his trousers and he’s groaning and Finn’s groaning and Rey, bless her practical heart, is pulling everyone’s trousers down and off and, whoa.

“Wait, wait,” Poe says breathlessly. “This is going to happen, but let’s see if we can do this without, ah, without…”

“Penetration?” Finn offers.

“Shit, man,” Poe says staring at him. “You just came right out with it.”

“What else is it called?” he asks.

Poe just kind of gapes at him while Rey asks, "Why not? I thought mounting was a big part of this."

"Please stop saying mounting," Poe says closing his eyes. "And I'm going to take a stab in the dark and say it would be the first time for both of you, am I right?"

Rey nods matter-of-factly and Finn sighs as he says, "I know the basics, but we never actually did anything. Wasn’t exactly allowed."

"Well, you both deserve decent first times," Poe says. "Or at the very least first times where you aren't compelled to do it because some weird outer rim plant wanted a snack, all right?"

Finn nods, but Rey freezes and stare at Poe.

"What?" he asks. "What’s wrong? What did I say?"

"You're...being romantic?" she says. "Is that the right word? You're romantic?"

"About the two of you?" Poe says. "Hell yes, I'm romantic."

"Oh," Finn says starting to smile. "That's cool. So am I. Man, I'm so glad everyone keeps saying this stuff first."

"No one's ever been romantic about me before," Rey says practically. "What do I do?"

"Whatever you want," Poe says.

"Could you kiss me?" Rey asks.

"I can definitely do that," Poe says stepping to her and cupping her face. He moves his mouth over hers as gently as he can under the circumstances and he fears it’s not actually all that gentle.

However, Rey doesn’t seem to mind if the noises she makes are anything to go by. He lifts his head and turns to Finn. Finn definitely doesn’t mind the lack of gentleness and Poe finds himself slipping into a mindless pleasure.

But Rey seems to still have some presence of mind because she says, in a tone that sends chills all through Poe, “It’s not just romance. You want more.”

He keeps his forehead pressed to Finn’s but looks over at Rey whose eyes are wide and dilated with arousal but somehow clear.

“Yeah,” he exhales. “I want more.” He huffs out a laugh. “I’m not sure if this is the best time to discuss things though because I don’t know about you, but I’m about to lose my mind.”

Rey grins and says, “So kiss Finn again and then it’s my turn.”

The next couple of hours are a bit of a haze.

Whenever Poe tries to recall the specifics, he mostly comes up with flashes of his hands on their skin, their hands on his skin. He's pretty sure that he ate Rey out while Finn went down on him and that they both licked Finn all over and yeah. It's hazy. Phenomenally good, but hazy.

When he comes back to something close to normal, as in, he isn't hard as a rock and aching all over, he blinks and looks down at Finn whose head is resting on Poe's stomach and Rey who's curled around his side, her leg twined around his,

Rey lifts her head and smiles a bit shyly at him and he smiles back. "Are you okay?" he asks.

"Think so," she says before frowning a little. "I had no idea it was so acrobatic." She wrinkles her nose. "And messy."

"To be fair," he says running his hand over Finn's neck. "It's not usually that acrobatic." He pauses. "It's always a little messy, though."

She hums and rests her head on his shoulder again and he kisses the top of her head.

“So,” Finn says turning so that he’s looking at them both. “I think it’s my turn to say the thing.”

“Let’s hear it,” Poe says grinning.

Finn grins back and then clears his throat. “Okay, first - we need water. I mean, I’m parched. Second - shower, because - wow. I never thought I’d say this, but you guys are gross. And you smell.” Rey giggles and buries her face into Poe’s side which is shaking due to Poe’s own chuckles.

“And finally,” Finn says moving up Poe’s body to kiss him slowly.

Poe sighs into Finn’s mouth and smiles up at him when he pulls back.

“Finally, what?” Poe asks.

“We want more,” Finn says simply. “Just like you do, okay?”

“What about the code?” Poe asks jostling Rey a little.

“You heard Luke,” she says. “I have to do what I need to do.” She lifts her head. “Do either of you even know the code?”

“Something about harmony and knowledge?” Poe asks.

“There is no emotion, there is peace. There is no ignorance, there is knowledge. There is no passion, there is serenity. There is no chaos, there is harmony. There is no death, there is the Force,” Rey recites. “This? Us together? More? That’s my harmony and my serenity.” She presses a kiss to Poe’s shoulder and then to Finn’s cheek. “And I’m not planning on giving up either.”

“Yeah?” Poe asks.

“Yeah,” Rey says.

“Oh, yeah,” Finn says.

“All right, then,” Poe says as he closes his eyes and holds on to the moment for just a little while longer because Finn's right; they smell.