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If It's Hard to Believe

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Poe had never dreamt about unmasking a Stormtrooper before.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, most of Poe's dreams involved flying. It's the sort of thing he'd come to expect, given how much time he spent in the sky and how much he liked his job. Of course like most people he didn't always remember his dreams. Who knew what the others could be about;  though he liked to assume that the rest were just too boring to remember. (More likely a combination of hyperspace travel and resistance fighting wear him down to a point of true exhaustion and whether or not he dreams is of no consequence to the matter at hand.) In any case, he had come to expect certain things of his sleep.

It wasn't that the dream was different that woke him up. It wasn't even that he'd been surprised by the appearance of a Stormtrooper. What woke him was the ache in his chest, the involuntary full-body shake that accompanied it, and the wet drops in the corner of his eyes and onto his pillow.

The vision of his dreams was still there as Poe half rose from his bed, his hands to his face to wipe away the small trail of tears left on his cheeks. He could still see him as if the dream had yet to leave him, it was just there behind his hands, behind closed eyes, smiling broadly and maddeningly. The scene replayed itself much as it hand in real life only it was Poe's hand and not the white glove of a trooper on the helmet, the heel of his hand pushing it up and his thumb sliding just under enough to finish lifting it off.

His skin was dark, white and red lights offsetting the shadows of the corridor he'd been led into. Sweat ran from his temples, gleaming and his breath came heavy and uncertain, sounding louder outside the helmet once it'd been removed.

Time slowed for Poe in an uncomfortable way. He remembered the way it'd actually happened: how Finn had revealed himself and announced his rescue plan. He'd felt shock at first and then a strange sense of twisted pride at having a Stormtrooper on his side. Wasn't this the kind of thing he fought for after all? What couldn't they do if the work of the Resistance started to turn the troopers against themselves, against the First Order? Pride had given way to excitement, his own chest straining to keep up with the beating of his heart, ready to take the trooper at his word, ready to escape.


Finn was a sleepy whispered voice behind him, a steadying touch on his back and Poe relaxed into his touch. His breathing quieted and he felt lighter in the knowledge that Finn was not gone.

It had been such a short time, one daring escape and then their ship had gone down. It had taken waking up from the wreck to realize what those few minutes had meant to him. What impact the help of a turned trooper had made.

"You okay?" Finn's voice sounded less asleep now and more concerned. Poe leaned back towards his pillows, turning into the sound of that voice.

"Fine, fine," he whispered. "I just-"

Finn pulled him the rest of the way down, strong arms encircling him. "Come here."

Poe smiled and slipped closer, letting himself be pulled in against Finn's chest. Lips against his forehead, his nose, a breathless hesitation before they met his mouth. He kissed back, his mind going dark to the memories in his dream, settling into the realization that Finn hadn't died in that crash, neither of them had. Finn's name was an exhalation between kisses, a memory escaping into the dark night.


"Just a bad dream."

"It's over now," Finn whispered. "I'm here." He tightened his grip on Poe, raising his head to kiss Poe's forehead. His grip softened again and he snuggled his head down into the pillow to get comfortable.

Poe nodded, comforted and letting Finn's warmth lull him back towards sleep. Finn's breath grew heavier and Poe watched in the dim light as his eyes closed. He rested his forehead against Finn's, his heart steady and his mind dark with the promise of sleep just beyond the next breath.