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save our souls tonight

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Finn is making his way through some of the books the general recommended to get him through the worst bouts of boredom of his recovery when his barrack door flies open.

Poe is there, because of course he is, Finn thinks. Of course it's Poe. He has that look in his eye that he only gets after he spends some quality time with his x-wing -- it has to be unhealthy for a man to love machinery as much as Poe does -- and his hair is windswept and messy, sticking up different directions that successfully drive Finn wild .

It's impossible to grow accustomed to just how good-looking Poe is. Finn has resigned himself to constantly feeling physically inferior around the other man.

"Hey," Poe greets, shutting the door behind him, and then, without preamble, blurts, "So, Jessika said something today that had me thinking."

Finn dog-ears the page he was on; he knows he isn't going to get anymore reading done tonight, and scoots over on his bed to make room for Poe. They always end up here, whenever Poe manages to make it over between his shifts and whatever it is that he fills up his time with.

Poe takes the obvious invitation for what it is, sitting close enough that the heat of his thighs shocks Finn even through the thick layer of his pants.

He takes a deep breath to calm himself, before, "Oh? That's never a good sign."

"Ah, ah! Someone's a proper comedian," Poe grins, unbothered. "We should get you your own show."

Finn snorts. "Uh huh," he concedes. "What did Jessika say?"

"Well... I mean, obviously you have a birthday, everyone has a birthday. But did you guys ever celebrate yours? Back In The First order, that is.”

“No,” Finn says, shortly. “I don’t even know when my birthday is.”

It’s not something he’s ever thought about before, hadn’t even known that celebrating your date of birth was a thing until someone on base had one and suddenly everyone was gathering around with cake and alcohol and horrible music.

Poe looks devastated by this. Finn bites down hard on his tongue to stop himself from holding his hand.

“Seriously? You’ve never celebrated your birthday?”

“It, uh. It wasn’t really an important thing, in The First Order.”

“Of course it wasn’t,” Poe mutters, mainly to himself. Finn politely ignores this, it’s the least he can do, he thinks. “Well. I say we fix that. Right here, right now.”

“You can’t just give me a birthday, Poe,” Finn argues, though his mouth is twitching in amusement and there’s a pleasant warmth spreading through his chest.

He wonders if Poe will ever stop thinking of things to give him. First it was his name and his jacket, then it was Poe sneaking food into Finn’s barracks whenever he had a particularly rough session of physical therapy and was too weak to make it out of his room. And now this.

Finn feels like there won’t be any stretch of time where he won’t feel indebted to him. He finds that he doesn’t mind all that much.

Poe scoffs. “Oh, yes I can, buddy. Everyone deserves to experience a birthday, especially you.”

Finn decides to do something drastic, then, and places a comforting hand on Poe’s thigh. He doesn’t even try to think about how Poe’s eyes track the movement, because that is a far too dangerous path, one that he can’t afford to go down right now.

“It’s alright, Poe.”

“Please,” Poe says, and his eyes are big and wide and honest. “Let me do this for you. It’s the least I can do.”

Finn sighs. It’s not like he’s ever been able to say no to Poe, anyway.

“Alright,” he says, and has to turn away when Poe smiles so hard his face nearly splits in half.




It’s quiet for the next few days.

It’s so quiet that Finn almost thinks Poe forgot about their conversation, which is fine by him. It’s not that he isn’t looking forward to it (If Finn is honest, he always looks forward to spending time with the older man, but that’s not something he’s willing to admit just yet) -- it just feels odd , like he shouldn’t be able to have something so...well, human. The First Order made it no secret to him and every other Stormtrooper that they were expendable and unimportant. Prior to meeting Poe, to meeting Rey, Finn had never really felt like an individual before.

It hadn’t become a problem until he left the order.

“What’s got you thinking so hard over there?”

Finn glances up, and isn’t surprised to find Poe hovering in his doorway. Today he’s out of his pilot’s uniform, and is in a faded, well-loved pair of pants and a plain white shirt. The bottom of Finn’s stomach drops out at the sight alone. Gods, he’ll never get over seeing Poe in civilian clothing. He thought his uniform was bad enough, but this is much, much worse. All Finn can think about is pushing him up against surface and pulling them off with his teeth .

“Nothing,” Finn says, evasively.

“Uh huh,” Poe replies, looking unconvinced. Thankfully, though, he doesn’t question him on it. That’s the spectacular thing about Poe, he never pushes. After spending his entire life being pushed -- into holding his first blaster at the age of six, into knowing every weak spot on anyone he’ll ever meet by the age of twelve, into war; into battle -- it’s refreshing.

(Yet another thing Poe gives to Finn.

Finn wonders, not for the first time, if he’s ever really deserved him.

Finn is harsh, and he is cold, and he spent his entire life being trained into murder, but he has never seen Poe do anything but burn bright like the sun.)

“How did physical therapy go today?”

Finn grimaces. “Fine.”

“Don’t lie to me,” Poe says, and his voice is gentle and light, but his eyes aren’t even close.

“It was rough,” Finn admits.

Poe smiles at him, lays a reassuring hand on his shoulder. Poe is constantly touching him and the only reason Finn doesn’t ask him about it is because he’s afraid if he does Poe will stop. “Well, I was thinking on your next good day we could do something about that birthday thing we talked about earlier.”

Finn makes a face. “Um. Is that really necessary?”

“Oh, stop that,” Poe laughs, and Finn can’t stop staring. “I know you’re excited. Think of it as a day that you’re going to spend being pampered to death.”

“Okay. I take it back. Let’s start this afternoon,” says Finn.

Poe beams, shaking his head. “Nope. Not happening.”

“It was worth a try.”

“Sure it was, pal.” Poe pauses. “You hungry?” He holds out his arm like he already knows the answer.

(It really isn’t a far stretch. Finn’s always hungry.)

“Starved,” is all that he says, and takes the support so Poe can help him down to the mess hall.




Finn really is curious about this whole birthday thing, he decides. And it’s a good day, today. His back doesn’t feel as tired as it usually does and he can stand up straight without wincing. He’s making his way down to the hangar bay before he even realizes what he’s doing, and tries not to look as lost as he feels.

He can count the number of times he’s been down here on one hand -- Poe had always been the one to come to him, not wanting to put too much stress on his healing muscles. Finn adds this to the list of things Poe has given him and tries not think about how little he offers the other man in return.

(His guilt is potent enough to swallow him whole most days. This is another thing Finn tries not to think about.)

He's so lost in his thoughts that he doesn't pay attention to where he's going until it's too late and he's running into a literal brick wall.

A warm and breathing brick wall, but a brick wall nonetheless.

It's just Finn’s luck that it happens to be Poe. Again.

“Finn!” Poe exclaims, eyes wide in concern. “Are you okay, buddy? I didn't hurt you did I?”

Finn shakes his head, mouth curling upwards. “I'm fine, Poe. I'm not gonna break.” And maybe his voice is a little more resentful than he means it to be.

“I never said you were,” Poe tells him gently. “Just -- well. I almost knocked you right over.”

“You didn't hurt me,” Finn assures him.


“I was looking for you, anyway.”

“Oh?” Poe grins, clapping Finn’s shoulder affectionately. And if he leans into the touch then Poe is kind enough not to say anything about it. “Tell me more.”

“Were you serious?”

“I'm always serious.” Finn levels him with a look. “Alright, alright. What about?”

“About the birthday thing,” he says, quickly.

Poe looks deeply offended at this. “I never joke about birthdays, Finn.”

This is him, Finn tells himself balefully, this is the idiot he's fallen in love with.

(He wouldn't trade it for anything.)

“I apologize, then,” Finn laughs, holding his hands up in mock surrender.

“Apology accepted,” Poe tells him gravely. "Did you pick a date?"

"A -- uh. A what?"

"A date," Poe repeats. "For your birthday."

"I was supposed to pick a date?" Finn asks, thrown through a loop. He would've remembered discussing dates, he's sure.

The other man nods, with a smile that Finn wants to trace with his thumbs. "It's your birthday, Finn. I can't decide that for you."

He's so shocked that it makes him goes silent, snaps his teeth together so quickly it's a miracle he didn't bite his tongue. "Okay," he says softly. "Okay. Tomorrow?"

"Tomorrow." Poe grins at him "I'll clear it with your physical therapist for you to have the whole day off."

"Poe --"

"Tsk, tsk," Poe chides. "Pampering, remember?"

Finn bites his lip on a smile. "Alright. Yeah. Pampering."




Finn is woken up at five in the morning by someone loudly knocking on his door.

He kindly ignores this, figuring that it's a mistake or maybe that someone's lost because there's no way someone willingly gets up before the sun and expects him to join them. Surely there's no one on this entire kriffing base that is that delusional. 

"Finn, c'mon, man. I know you're in there! Don't make me kick this door down," There's a pause. "Or, well. Get someone who can kick this door down."

Finn was wrong. There really is someone who is that delusional.

(The fact that he's also the man Finn is in love with is purely coincidence.)

"Go away," He croaks. There are a lot of things Finn will do for Poe Dameron -- he's sure Jess is hiding a log of the truly embarrassing and pathetic ones somewhere -- but this isn't one of them, he tells himself firmly. He is not going to wake up before the sun for Poe. No matter how cute his face is. "'M sleeping."

His only answer is a loud sneeze.

Finn doesn't like this. "Poe?"

"Yeah, buddy?"

"Are you okay?"

"I'm just fine," It sounds suspiciously like a lie. "What isn't fine is you still being in bed. We have the whole day free, you can sleep later."

Finn sighs. Okay. Maybe this is something he'll do for Poe. He throws a pillow over his head and breathes calmly into it for a few moments, centering himself. "Give me five."

"I'll be here."




Finn is freshly dressed, brushed, and about 50% awake when he walks out to Poe. 

Even in his sleepy state, he can see that something is very, very wrong with him.

Poe looks exhausted, stark purple bags underneath his eyes like he hasn't slept in weeks, and the joyous bright-eyed man he has grown accustomed to seeing -- even when things were bad, when they were back on the ship and Poe looked worse for wear, Finn's never seen him like this -- is gone. 

"Poe," Finn says, concerned. He gently pulls Poe into his room. The other man looks like he's going to keel right over at any second, and well. Finn would rather him fall over onto his bed than on the floor. "You look like shit."

"Ouch," Poe wheezes, mock-hurt. "That one actually stung a little, Finn. Guess I should be thankful you stayed away from the hair, huh?"

"Poe, you look like death," Finn tries again, and curls his fingers around Poe's wrist. 

Poe's nose twitches before a particularly painful sounding sneeze. Finn finds it very adorable and also mildly concerning. "That was actually worse."

"You're sick," Finn says, and tries to lead him over to Finn's bed so he can get some rest. His back twinges uncomfortably when Poe fights him on it, locking his knees so he stays planted. 

"It's just allergies," Poe says, obviously lying. Gods, he's the worst liar. Finn loves him, but he couldn't lie if his life depended on it. 

"Poe," Finn scolds. "You're sick. You shouldn't even be out of bed." If there's anyone who knows how important bedrest is, it's Finn. It sucks, and you're always bored, but it's necessary. 

"I'm really not sick," Poe tells him, indignantly. "If I was actually sick, would I really be here right now?" 

He doesn't even hesitate. "Yes."

Poe snorts. "Okay. Alright, yeah. You're right. But, Finn. Honestly. I'm well enough to do this. I want to do this with you."

"I can easily just push it--"

"No." Poe hisses, the sound so sharp it feels like it shocks him. "Sorry. I, just. Don't put your birthday on hold for me."

Finn bites his lip. He knows a losing battle when he's fighting one, and if he's honest the thought of Poe being close enough so he can watch over him is incredibly appealing. Especially since under normal circumstances Poe wouldn't allow it. 

He grabs one of the jackets Poe managed to scrounge up for him, and wraps it around his the other man's shoulders. "Hey. That's my job," Poe complains, but he's already curling into the warmth. 

"I'm just returning the favor," Finn says, because it sounds less pathetic than 'someone needs to take care of you' -- which, while just as true, he doesn't think this is the right time to admit just how deeply he feels. 

Poe beams at him, and he's still red-eyed from lack of sleep, and there's what looks like dried snot on the corners of his nose, and Finn really should probably make him sleep instead of doing this, but damn if he isn't the most beautiful thing Finn has ever seen.




The first thing that Poe does is lead him to a picnic basket in an open area behind their current base. They had to move from D'Qar even if The First Order hadn't succeeded in destroying the planet. A secret base isn't really all that secret after that. Now they're on some backwater planet in the outer rim territories. Poe says it's very close to his home planet's climate, with small, open grasslands in between huge chunks of forest.

Finn can't remember the name of this one, but it's beautiful. It reminds him a lot of D'Qar, which is nice. He always thought the little he saw of that planet was something else. 

"A picnic," Finn says. 

"A picnic," Poe nods. "I, uh." Poe looks sheepish. "I don't know your favorite foods," He admits, almost like he feels like he should know this. 

"Oh," Finn blurts. He doesn't know how to say he's lived off of protein bars and what felt like cardboard for most his life without Poe giving him that look, the one that says Poe feels like he's responsible, which is just ridiculous. It's not like he's the one who put him there. "Don't worry about it. I'm not that picky."

Poe squeezes his shoulder. "Great." He says, and then leads them over to the picnic basket. It seems straight out of one of those books Jess thinks no one sees her reading. Finn adores it.

Finn follows Poe when he sits down, crossing his legs out in front of him and looking at the older man expectantly. Poe still looks like he's ill, but his eyes don't seem so dark anymore. 

"I made some breakfast sandwiches for us," Poe explains, and pulls the basket towards him to dig around for what he's looking for. Finn blinks at him. Just how early did Poe get up for this? 

"You cook?" Finn asks, after a few beats of silence. Poe makes a triumphant sound when he finds it, and suddenly there are two steaming breakfast sandwiches in front of them.

"Yeah." Poe hands one of them to Finn; it's as warm as it looks. "My dad taught me. Said that even though I'll be living on bases for the most of my life good food is good for morale."

Finn doesn't know why this warms his heart, but it does. He wonders if there will come a time where Poe will ever stop surprising him. 

"How come you've never cooked for me before?" Finn asks, feigning offense.

Poe winks -- actually winks. Finn tries not to have an aneurysm. "Couldn't bring out all the big guns too soon," Poe says. "Had to make sure I could corner you with them instead."

"Uh huh," Finn laughs, unwrapping his sandwich. At the first bite, he can't stop the pleased moan that escapes his throat. He's never tasted anything so delicious -- this isn't saying much, considering his palette for taste is probably next to zero -- and the spices are potent enough to tickle his nose. "Oh, gods."

Poe is staring at him. Finn wipes at his face to try and catch sauce that may have landed on the corners of his mouth, but feels nothing. Finn's comfortable enough to admit that it makes him preen a little. 

"This is the best thing I've ever put in my mouth," Finn says.

Poe's face contorts at that. He's very proud of himself for not laughing at it. "Oh.. well. I," He clears his throat. "I'm glad you like it."

"It delicious," Finn tells him, liking the way Poe's shoulders square in delight at the praise. Finn needs him to know just how good this is, how much he appreciates the other man taking the time to do something like this. "Should'a done this sooner. Would've had me wrapped around your finger."


Finn grins, "Yeah," and takes another bite. And if he makes another noise just to see if Poe stares at him again, well. He doesn't think anyone could blame him. 





Poe is pulling him away from their picnic when Finn grabs his wrist gently in his own.

"Finn?" asks Poe.

"Thank you." Finn says, and doesn't elaborate.

Poe smiles at him. "We're not even done yet, buddy."

"I know," Finn tells him. "But, thank you. It means a lot, that you would do this. No one's ever done anything like this for me before."

"And that, my friend, is a travesty," Poe looks saddened by this, but continues, "One that we're going to continue to remedy now."

Finn has to wonder, not for the first time, what he's ever done to deserve him.







The next place Poe takes him is the hangar bay.

Finn decides enough is enough, and puts his foot down. "Are you planning on flying?"

Poe looks confused. "Yes?"

"Nope," Finn shakes his head. "No. Poe, you're too sick to fly."

"I'm fine," says Poe, at the same time he lets out a nasty sounding cough. "I've flown under worse conditions than this, Finn."

This, unsurprisingly, does nothing to comfort Finn. "That's not comforting," Finn tells him. "You need to rest."

"What I need is for you to go get suited up."

Finn glares at him, but steps closer to the other man, bringing up a hand to feel at Poe's forehead. It's burning hot, so warm that Finn thinks he might actually be a furnace. "You're running a fever."

Poe looks unsure now, and it's clear just how tired he is. Finn decides right then and there that he's not putting up with this any longer and loosely grasps at Poe's wrist. "I'm taking you back to your barracks," Finn informs him.

"But --"

"It's okay," Finn says, thinking he knows where this is going. "I just want you to get some rest, okay?"

Poe breathes out in surrender. "Okay." He whispers softly, and slumps against Finn. 






By the time Finn gets them both inside Poe's barracks, it's ten minutes later and Finn may or may not be limping a little bit. 

His back is lit up in pain, nerves he's taken great care at not overworking screaming at him for all that he's done today. It's easy enough to ignore, now, though. Finn sits Poe down on the edge of his bed, and kneels in front of him to begin peeling off his shoes. There's something so intimate about this that Finn almost chokes on it, chokes on how much he wants this to be an everyday thing rather than one that Poe is only letting him do because he quite literally can't do it himself.

Once Finn has both his shoes and socks off, he pushes at Poe's shins until the older man gets the picture and lays back against his bed. "Get some rest," Finn tells him. "Please."

"Finn," Poe blinks at him, eyes drooping already. "'m sorry."

"Don't be," Finn says honestly. 

Once Poe's breathing has evened out, Finn leans forward and presses a kiss to his temple, unable to help himself. He can only hope the other man is already too out of it to remember. 






This time, Finn is woken up by a gentle hand on his shoulder. 

"W'at issit?" Finn mumbles, not wanting to open his eyes.

"Come to bed," Poe's voice is a velvet rasp. He won't realize it now, but later he'll be thankful he isn't completely coherent right now. "It's not good for your back to sleep like that."

Finn shakes his head. "'M good."

"No," Poe tsks, and pulls Finn to his feet. "I'm not going to be responsible for you getting a case of early onset arthritis. Let's go, Finn." 

He's just sleepy enough not to realize what Poe means is sharing a bed, like, together; at the same time, until Finn's head hits the pillows and he can hear the sheets rustling behind him. "Poe --"

"Is this okay?" Poe asks, ignoring him. "If this isn't comfortable I can move to the floor."

Finn shakes his head, reaching out with lightning speed to grasp at Poe's wrist. "You're sick." Finn says, like the other man doesn't already know this, "Stay."

"You sure?" Poe's tone gets distinctly more hopeful. Finn hides a smile into his pillow, suddenly grateful that it's so dark Poe can't possibly see him acting like a damned loser. "Don't want to make you uncomfortable.

This is everything I've ever  wanted, he doesn't say. 

"I'm sure," is what he says instead.





Finn's warm.

This is the first thing that he notices when he blinks his eyes open. The second thing he realizes is that Poe is still asleep, curled into Finn's neck with one of his arms wrapped snug around his waist. Finn has to take several deep breaths to calm himself, because this is looking a lot like everything he tries to pretend he doesn't dream about at night. Finn's a strong man, but there's only so much he can take before he breaks, and does something he'll regret. Like kissing Poe stupid.

Finn would definitely regret that, he's sure.

He feels a little creepy, staring at Poe like this when he's asleep, but Finn can't stop, either. Can't stop tracking the way his curls -- his hair is so curly, Finn wants to wrap the strands around his fingers and test the give -- fall into his face, the way his eyelashes flutter against the tan skin of his cheeks. Finn wants to memorize this so he'll never have to stop looking at it.

It only takes a few minutes of Finn staring at him until he starts to stir. 

Finn couldn't look away if he tried.

"Good morning." 

Poe blinks blearily at him. "Morning." 

Finn refuses to acknowledge how awkward it is that they're practically wrapped around each other. "How do you feel?"

Poe makes a face. "Like death," he pauses. "I should've listened to you yesterday."

"Oh?" Finn teases, because he can't help it, he can't. "Is Dameron actually admitting defeat for once?"

"Ha-ha. Laugh it up, buddy," says Poe, around a cough. Finn reaches up in what seems like slow motion to take Poe's temperature. His fever broke last night, thankfully, but he still feels clammy. Finn just wants to curl him up in soft blankets and make him some soup -- if he, you know, knew how to make that kind of thing, that is. 

Finn grins. "Oh, trust me. I'll use this to my full advantage."

Poe lifts his head from Finn's chest, and his eyes are bright and full of something Finn can't quite read. He's never seen this look before, not on Poe at least. "I really am sorry, about last night." 

"Don't be," Finn repeats. "I..well. It was the best birthday I've ever had."

Poe glares at him, gently pushing his shoulder. "That's cause it was the only one you've ever had."

"Doesn't make it any less true," Finn tells him, smugly. "You still do owe me a ride in your x-wing."

"Soon as I'm feeling better," Poe promises. "I'll take you up."

Finn grins at him. "Mm. Yeah?"

"Yeah," Poe presses a smile into the side of Finn's neck, and he lets out a breath he didn't even know he was holding. It's quiet for a long time, neither one of them wanting to ruin whatever it is between them that still seems so fragile. Finn realizes right there that he doesn't want to let this go. He doesn't want this to be some one off cuddle session that they'll pretend never happened. Finn has carried a torch for Poe so brightly for so long that he never once stopped to think that maybe Poe felt the same. That what Poe was really giving him this whole time was exactly what Finn's been waiting for since he found Poe again.

Finn didn't get where he is now by not taking chances. He took a chance on Poe, took a chance on Rey, took a chance on so much and so far it hasn't turned out so bad. He was badly injured, sure, but all things considered, that isn't so bad. Not when he thinks about what could've happened. What should've happened.

"What's got you thinking so hard?" Poe asks, like he did that just a few days ago. It breaks something in Finn, to the point that he reaches out and grabs at one of Poe's wrists. "Um, buddy?"

"I'm going to do something that might make you angry," Finn warns. He figures warning Poe about this ahead of time will make it so he's less likely to punch Finn square in the face. 

Poe looks concerned, now, pushing up on his elbows to get a good look at Finn's face. "Okay?"

Finn licks his lips. "I'm going to kiss you." 

"You're gonna --"

"Kiss you," Finn repeats.

Poe's eyes go glassy, mouth dropping open. The corner's of Finn's mouth twitch upwards smugly. "Yeah. Yeah." Poe says, before he seems to come back to himself. "No, wait. Finn, I'm sick. Don't kiss--" 

Finn rolls his eyes so hard it hurts, pressing forward to stop Poe from finishing his (obviously absurd) sentence. Like a little cold is going to stop Finn from finally kissing him. Please

Poe's lips are soft and warm underneath his own, and it's then that Finn remembers that he's never done this before. He doesn't know what to do with his hands, or the right way to move his lips. He's just about to panic about it when a hand curves around the back of his head, pulling him closer. Poe tastes like the cough syrup Finn forced into Poe before they fell back asleep last night, and something a little earthier, spicier. Finn decides to take a chance and runs his teeth along Poe's bottom lip, and is rewarded with a hiss. 

Finn grins, pulling away. 

"-- Sick," Poe finishes, looking ruffled, eyes lidded. 

"I'm not worried about that," Finn tells him.

Poe snorts, but betrays his earlier concern when he presses closer for another kiss. This one is chaste, but just as good. Finn wonders if every kiss will be just as good as the last. He hopes so. He never wants to tire of kissing Poe. 

"I'm not going to take care of you if you get sick," Poe tells him.

"Yes, you will," Finn says. They take care of each other. That's what they've always done. 

"You're right," He admits. "I will." 

Finn presses a kiss to the corner of Poe's mouth. "I'm going to see if I can get some soup for you."

"You don't have to do that, Finn."

"I know. I want to."

Poe's smile walks him out of the room. 






Later that night, after they've excused themselves to Poe's bed to curl around each other again, Finn kisses the edge of Poe's jaw and smiles.

"Thank you," He whispers.

Poe makes a questioning noise. "For what?"

"For letting me take care of you."

There's a light nip to the bottom of his chin. "Yeah, well. Don't get used to it," Poe grumbles, but lets Finn pull him closer so his head rests on Finn's chest.

As far as first birthdays go, this one was pretty damn great, if Finn's being honest.