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force of nature

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Poe Dameron was a force of nature.

For all the setbacks and pain and grief that she'd endured, Leia had to admit that the kid had made things a little easier. He was bright and funny and fiercely loyal, and he had that same irreverent disregard for authority as Han had always had, except Poe's case stemmed from the fact that he'd grown up sitting on the laps of the Rebellion leaders. He had simply known Leia far too long to be able to draw the line between “professional” and “Auntie Leia”.

At least he mostly called her “General” in public, now.

Having him here had helped. It didn't take the pain away – not by a long road – but it made it a little easier to stomach when she watched him care for others. He had designated himself as some kind of older brother for Rey before she and Chewie left. He took care of his team like family. And he was there for Finn.

It seemed to Leia that he had designated himself as a surrogate brother to Finn as well, and that it had become Poe's personal mission to help him improve his mood (morose since Rey was gone), his health (slowly recovering), and his general view of the universe. The First Order certainly had done a number on him. But, like everything else, Poe attacked the problem head-on and in impossibly reckless ways that somehow managed to work out in spite of the potential for disaster.

That boy was a wildfire, passionate and burning bright.

In certain moments, it reminded Leia of Han, 'educating' Luke all those years ago. Those moments hurt so much it took her breath. But it was good, too. There were too few people in the universe with Poe's levels of determination and loyalty. He bedded down in the infirmary until Finn was well enough to move to his own quarters, and was a constant source of encouragement through the ups and downs of his friend's physical therapy and all of the feelings he was experiencing for the first time as he missed Rey. As time went on, Poe taught him everything from X-Wings to which drinks were best at the local tap cafe.

Poe wanted so badly to help, to teach. He wanted to show Finn how to be a person. That there were things that were positive and good in the universe that were not under the shadow of the First Order.

It was...admirable. Leia had almost forgotten when it felt like to have hope in a new generation. Maybe, with people like Poe Dameron boosting the ranks, there would always be hope.

Not bad for a kid she'd known since diapers.