Deserting from the New Republic to join the Resistance was one of the easiest decisions Poe Dameron ever made.
Later he thought harder about it, about what the fight for the Republic had cost his parents and whether he should have stuck it out for longer, tried to change it from the inside. But he always came to the same conclusion: one pilot, however good he was, could never hope to make any difference to the political direction the Republic was travelling in. He could be as brave and upright as he liked, argue his case until his squadron was sick of the sight of him, and all he would get out of it would be a dishonourable discharge.
Someone like Leia Organa though, a legend of the Rebel Alliance who had brought down the Empire and flown with his mother - she was different. She had the military knowledge and the statecraft, and as soon as he met her, he saw she had the charisma to back it up. Neither a soldier nor a politician, she had some kind of moral centre that he recognised, a compass that always pointed north. It was as far from a return to childhood as he could imagine, but following Leia Organa into the Resistance felt like coming home.
There was no other decision he could possibly have made, and no other way to live his life. If he was going to get shot down before he was 40 - and the chances were pretty good that he was - he was at least going to do it in the service of someone and something he believed in with all of his heart.
He has the feeling Finn came to a similar conclusion. The Resistance isn’t a place for speeches, but one day he’ll ask.
Until then, the grubby day-to-day business of fighting an undeclared war is there to stop anybody getting too insufferably idealistic.
Which is brought home to him in a command briefing one morning when General Organa announces:
“We need to get Rocia Tae on our side. Her fleet is the fastest and best informed in the quadrant: she can keep us supplied and her people know what the First Order are doing as soon as they do it.”
The briefing room rustles, and someone coughs in a way that sounds a lot like PoeDameron. Snap turns to look at him, and winks. In the front row, he hears Jess say, “In the bag!”
It’s a little bit annoying that they all know so much about his life, sometimes.
Finn, at his side, turns to him in friendly curiosity.
“Tell you later,” Poe murmurs.
General Organa is looking at him too. The fact that she seems to know so much about his life and is willing to use what she knows is worrying on a quite different level, even as it increases his faith in her intel.
“Commander Dameron, I’m going to ask you to open negotiations.” A titter goes round the room. “For obvious reasons.”
“Yes sir,” says Poe, sitting up straighter. Just because no one else is acting professional doesn’t mean he can’t: this is work, after all, and the outcome matters.
“She’ll be on Y7 tomorrow and is willing to meet us. I’d like you to go and talk to her as my representative from the Resistance, and take Finn with you in case he can help sway her by offering useful information in exchange. Alright, Finn? Poe? Any questions?”
Poe looks at Finn.
He has one of those open faces that makes you think you can see everything he’s feeling written across it, and right now the look he is giving to Poe seems transparent: enthusiasm, pleasure that he can help.
Finn is brave and knowledgeable and saved his life when he was sure he was going to die, and Poe trusts him as much as anyone on the entire base.
So Poe gives him an encouraging nod and puts a hand on his shoulder, just because he can.
“If I order Hosnian champagne, can I claim it back on expenses?” he asks.
He doesn’t order Hosnian champagne. They probably don’t have it on Y7, and if they did the kind of man who ordered it would attract a lot of the wrong kind of attention, fast.
Instead he steers Finn to a table in a corner of the cantina with a curtained alcove to one side, and tells himself not to get distracted by how good Finn looks in the burnished light. Finn clearly isn’t distracted by anything: he’s focused, scanning the room, paying every bit of attention he ought to be to what’s going on and to identifying anyone who could be a potential threat. Sitting next to him, Poe can feel his leg jiggling, but if he’s nervous it doesn’t show where anyone else can see.
For his part, Poe feels strangely relaxed. He may be the one about to put himself on the line, but there’s something reassuring about Finn’s hyper vigilance. Finn’s got his back, and Finn is taking this seriously.
When he spots Rocia Tae heading towards them he puts a warning hand on Finn’s knee under the table, and Finn goes utterly still. Then he follows Poe’s lead and gets to his feet to greet her.
Rocia Tae is very, very beautiful. By any objective standards in the galaxy, and by the subjective standards of Poe Dameron too. Heads turn as she crosses the crowded cantina. Her dark green hair flows in a shiny braid down her back, and he can’t hear it above the music but he knows the knives in her belt jingle very softly as she walks.
“Poe Dameron,” she says, smiling, as he kisses her hand. Her skin smells faintly of almonds. “I hoped they would send you. It has been too long since our time on Yanvin 4. I think of it often.”
There’s only one answer he can make to that. “As do I, Rocia,” he tells her truthfully.
He could hardly walk straight after four days holed up in her forest retreat, and the case of Kordian brandy she made him take with him didn’t do anything to blur his memory. He tries never to compare people, but Rocia was a tough act to follow. The rest of his squadron had enjoyed themselves for weeks afterwards, joking about him pining for her.
“And who is this?” she asks, her hand still holding Poe’s as she turns to Finn. She gives him an appraising look, up and down, and there’s no doubt about her verdict when she turns back to Poe with a raised eyebrow.
“This is my co-pilot Finn,” Poe tells her, and Finn is one smart co-pilot because he dips his head in the hint of a bow, and Rocia is instantly charmed. Due deference is something she has always appreciated: Poe had bruises on his knees that took weeks to fade.
“I am happy to know you, Finn,” she says, letting go of Poe to offer him her hand in turn.
She smirks at Poe as Finn kisses her hand, and gestures with the other at what he’s wearing: Poe’s jacket. Of course she would notice that: last time she’d seen that jacket, it had been in a crumpled heap on her bedroom floor. In fact it had spent four days on her bedroom floor, because he’s fairly sure he didn’t get dressed again until he left.
Poe just shrugs and lets her draw her own conclusions about why Finn might be wearing it now.
“It’s an honour to meet you,” Finn tells her.
“General Organa says you have information for me,” Rocia says, and then it’s straight down to business.
Poe lets Finn do most of the talking. He tells her about hidden outposts, battle formations, destroyer weak points. She puts a small device in front of him to record everything, and Finn speaks confidently, clearly. When she asks him something he doesn’t know, he says so, and tells her his best guess. He extrapolates tactics, and when Rocia describes her latest aerial engagement he listens, attentive, before offering a suggestion that makes her grin and knock back her drink triumphantly.
Sitting between them, Poe is captivated. He’s a professional and he is listening, but he keeps remembering those four days and between the warmth of Finn’s leg against his and Rocia’s hand that keeps touching his shoulder, rubbing his bicep, landing on the bare skin of his forearm, well, he has to work at it.
He’s glad he did when Rocia pours them all another drink and turns to him.
“This is good information; it helps me, and I thank you. But General Organa is not offering me this information for free, is she?”
“No,” Poe admits. “She’s not.”
He clears his throat, nervous for the first time now it’s his turn to talk.
“General Organa wants to form an alliance with you and your fleet. You are the fastest and the best in this quadrant, and she wishes to count on you as a partner to the Resistance, to share any information we each learn in the future, to be able to call on each other for assistance if we are threatened. She offers you what Finn has just told you as a gesture of good faith, but asks that you consider allying yourselves with us in our fight.”
She studies at him carefully. It’s long, serious look.
“You are more serious now than on Yanvin 4, Poe Dameron.”
“Yes, I am,” he tells her, trying to put all his conviction into his words. “These are serious times, Rocia. Seven planets were destroyed along with everybody on them, and as far as I can see the Resistance is our only chance to stop it happening again. I’m in it, to the end. I wouldn’t ask you to join our struggle if I wasn’t totally committed to it myself.”
He stops there: recruitment speeches aren’t really his forte. The fight feels personal for him - it is his parents before him, the friends he has lost, Leia Organa standing strong in the face of her own pain and offering them a chance.
He keeps still as she looks at him, as if she could read sincerity off his face and body. On his other side Finn doesn’t move either.
Finally Rocia Tae leans back and grins at them. There’s always been something just a little bit alarming about her grins.
“This is a good alliance. I accept, and you will send my word and my gratitude to General Organa. On one condition.”
Poe can’t help glancing at Finn, and Finn looks at him just as he does so. Their eyes meet but Poe isn’t sure what he means by it. The air feels charged.
Rocia puts one finger on his shoulder and traces a line all the way down his arm.
“I want to lie down with you again, Poe Dameron,” she says, “Before you get shot out of the sky in some act of pointless bravery.”
He feels Finn shift slightly in his seat, and without meaning to Poe looks over at him one more time. Rocia’s grin widens as she follows his gaze, but she doesn’t say anything.
“I’m the best pilot in the Resistance,” he says, grinning back. “I’m not going to get shot down, and my bravery is never pointless.”
“Is that a no?” she asks, hand warm on his thigh now.
“Hell no,” he says, “It’s a yes rolled up in a statement of fact. Ask Finn.”
Rocia’s hand moves higher and he spreads his legs slightly in encouragement. It makes his knee press harder against Finn’s.
“Is he the best pilot in the Resistance?” she asks Finn, taking him at his word.
“Yes,” Finn says simply. “We’ve already been shot down once, and here we still are.”
Rocia laughs and gets to her feet, turning to offer Poe her hand.
“Come on then, indestructible best pilot. Come and seal the deal,” she says.
For all that he came here expecting pretty much this to happen, as near as dammit with orders for this to happen, Poe finds himself more affected than he wants to be. He’s hot and breathing fast, his body responding to Rocia as she pulls him into that curtained alcove behind them, but for some reason he doesn’t want to just turn his back on Finn. For a crazy second he almost says, come with us, but what he manages instead is, “You okay? Watch my back?”
And Finn stares at him, wide-eyed, although he knew this was the plan too, they both knew. “Yeah. I’ll be right here. You’ll be safe.”
He nods, and Poe nods back before letting the curtain fall behind him.
Rocia has pulled off her coat and the jingling knives, so Poe shrugs out of his jacket and steps towards her, looking up into her green eyes. His awareness of Finn just outside the curtain heightens every sensation: Finn must be able to hear every breath, every rustle of cloth –
She kisses him deep, and Poe is thinking, can Finn hear this? Can he hear the way I’m moaning into her mouth? If he turned around, would he see me like this?
Because Finn is right there, Finn is – what is Finn doing? Is he watching? Oh god, he realises with a jolt of heat, Finn is watching. In the gap between the wall and the curtain he sees Finn glance round the bar then look back at them.
Checking up on him, or getting off on him?
“Hey. Pay attention,” Rocia says, yanking on his hair.
She gets a good grip, pushing him to his knees so his head is pulled back and his back arched. He feels glorious.
Poe gasps and grins up at her, so turned on he can hardly breathe.
“Make me,” he says.
“Poe Dameron, it will be my pleasure,” Rocia smiles, leaning back and lifting her skirts as she pulls him towards her.
He learned a lot from Rocia first time around and he hasn’t forgotten any of it: he starts slow and gentle, letting it build until his face is wet with her. The first few times he did this for her, she had to tell him when she wanted more, but not now. He can tell when she wants his tongue deeper and to feel the stubble on his cheek against her. He knows the first few times the wave is about to crest that she wants him to back off, slow down and then start again so that finally when she curls one long leg around his back and holds him there, hand tight in his hair, it’s so intense she shakes and cries out.
He can’t look around, but Finn must be able to hear the noises she’s making –
“Get up here, I want you,” she orders, and he lets her pull him up to the couch and push him down so she can straddle him, and then it’s Poe making noises he tries to stifle but can’t when she drags his hands up over his head and pins them there as she rides him.
He’s desperately hanging on to his control, trying to last until she’s taken what she needs from him, but it’s so good, she is so hot and wet around him, just using him for her pleasure he honestly doesn’t think he can do it, he’s going to come before she can. But when he looks up at her, he’s just in time to see her throw her head back with the force of her second climax, and over her shoulder Finn’s shadow moves behind the curtain.
Poe closes his eyes when he comes, which is just as well because he just can’t deal with knowing if Finn looked around when he heard it.
He lies there for a while feeling well-used and fucked out and thinking about nothing at all, and doesn’t want to move. Rocia is already straightening her clothes and buckling the knives back around her waist.
She smiles down at him indulgently. “I hope General Organa appreciates what she’s got in you.”
“Not quite in the same way you do, but in general terms yeah, I think I’m appreciated,” Poe tells her, dragging himself up.
Rocia looks him up and down once he’s dressed, and concludes, “Because I can offer you a position with me that uses all of your talents, you know. It might be safer than what you’re doing now.”
He can’t help but be touched she seems to want to keep him.
“Thank you,” he replies, going up on his tiptoes to kiss her on the cheek. “But I’m sticking with the Resistance.”
Finn is waiting for him outside the curtain, and Poe takes one look at him and knows they aren’t going to talk about this.
All Finn says is, “You okay?” as they leave the cantina, and Poe claps him on the shoulder. “Yeah, buddy, I’m good.”
He thinks he can feel Finn watching him as he takes the ship out of the landing bay and into orbit, but this time he is careful and doesn’t look over. He knows he must still smell of sex, especially in the confined space and recycled air of the ship, and even though he knows he did the right thing, part of him is wondering if there wasn’t a different right thing he could have done.
Maybe he should have asked Finn. Finn strikes him as someone a bit like General Organa in that sense: he always knows what’s the right thing to do.
When Poe makes his report to General Organa, he asks if Finn can come with him the next time he has to meet a contact.
General Organa looks at him, and looks at Finn at his side, wearing his jacket. There’s no particular expression on her face but he has a feeling like he’s lying to his mother about stealing cookies or something. Which is ridiculous, because everything they’ve told her about the meeting with Rocia Tae is exactly, completely true. Obviously he left out the details from the point where the curtain fell closed behind him: he’d concluded with,
“And we left on very good terms, sir. She offered me a job, and said she’d call me next time she’s in the quadrant and to give you her very best regards as her faithful ally.”
Actually, General Organa had given him quite a long look at that too.
“Are you alright, Poe?” she asked in a very un-military voice. She doesn’t usually call him by his first name when there are other people there.
“I’m fine, sir,” he said, aware of Finn’s eyes on him too. Why wouldn’t he be fine?
And now she’s doing it again, giving him a look like she knows something he doesn’t.
So he starts to explain, “I think it works better when there are two of us – I’m more relaxed, so I seem more trustworthy, and I can concentrate on the person I’m talking to -” he feels his face heat up a little at that, because the part where they were talking isn’t the only part he means. “When Finn’s there to watch out for trouble, and offer inside information or whatever,” he finishes, feeling he’s said both too much and not enough.
But General Organa finally nods.
“Yes, alright. There’s no reason for you to go out alone, and if Finn’s happy to undertake a venture of this kind again - ” she pauses.
It takes Finn a moment to realise this is a question, that he isn’t being ordered to sign up to meet shady characters in dive bars, he’s being asked.
“Yes, of course I am!” he says quickly. “I want to help. I didn’t think I did much, but if it was useful…”
“Yeah, it was useful, Finn,” Poe tells him sincerely.
He is trying so hard not to think of any of the other words he could use to describe Finn protecting him with only a curtain between them while Rocia Tae fucked him into next week that he can even look Finn right in the eye while he says it and not mean a thing by it.
It’s unexpected, then, when he takes himself in hand that night, to find the first face that comes to mind is Finn’s.
The next few times General Organa sends them out, it’s all pretty straightforward. Talk to someone, deliver a message, exchange information.
Finn is this grounding presence at his side, who seems to pick up on cues he isn’t even consciously sending - to take over the conversation, or go quiet, or look threatening, or smile a lot and look quite frankly so beautiful Poe can’t quite work out why there aren’t people climbing all over him.
As far as he can tell no one is climbing all over him on the base either, but he seems to be making a lot of friends which just confirms Poe in his conviction that the Resistance is made up of good people of sound judgement and character. Rey – brilliant, beautiful Jedi Rey - seems to be a particular friend, and Poe has decided he won’t be jealous, so he isn’t jealous. He’s even practiced leaving them alone together, because he likes them and he wants them to be happy, but most of the time they seem to follow him when he leaves. That helps with the jealousy he isn’t feeling.
The fifth time Poe and Finn fly out to get information for General Organa, it is different.
The fifth time they don’t even know what they’re looking for. It’s all rumour, hearsay, maybe someone knows something and maybe they don’t, but Poe and Finn have come to act natural and see what they hear.
It’s a frontier planet with a reputation for fast living and parties that last three days, and that part seems to be true. The bar is buzzing, the music is good and the place is full of beautiful people from two dozen species.
When he was a New Republican officer with disposable income and nothing in particular to do with his leave time, Poe didn’t much care for places like this. Or at least, not for the people you met in them. He’d go with the other pilots sometimes, but there always seemed something impersonal about the experience. He’d slept with his fair share of strangers, but the strangers you met in bars like this one always gave the impression they just wanted a pilot-shaped notch on their bedpost, that fucking any pilot would do. It’s not like he has to be in love to do this, not by a long way, but he likes to think that when someone takes him to bed it’s because it’s him, Poe Dameron, and not just some anonymous pilot you could cash in for another if he got shot down.
Strangely enough, being here with Finn is actually more fun. Maybe because they’re here for the Resistance, for something that matters and not trying to have a good time, the good time sneaks in anyway. Maybe he just likes having Finn’s company to himself.
It’s the sort of place where conversation springs up between people who don’t know each other, and Poe and Finn just go with the flow. They drink a little bit to blend in, not enough to get distracted, and listen to a lot of travel stories. Poe’s careful not to get too far separated from Finn, and he’s pretty sure Finn is doing the same. They might be speaking to different people, but neither of them moves out of the other’s sight.
At one point Poe looks over to see Finn smiling at someone and shaking his head, turning to catch Poe’s eye and make his way back to his side.
Finn’s new friend follows him.
“Poe!” Finn says, sounding slightly breathless. “This is my friend Poe,” he tells the other man. Poe puts his arm around Finn’s shoulders as if a statement like that needed a demonstration. Look, we’re friends! I casually put my arm round his shoulders!
“Hey there!” he says, and holds out a hand to Poe. “I’m Jaq, good to meet you!”
Finn catches Poe’s eye again.
“Jaq was telling me about the Denarii quadrant,” he says significantly.
They spend a long time talking to Jaq, and Poe still isn’t sure if he actually knows something and is very careful who he tells it to, or if he’s just a nice guy who happens to have paid a lot of attention when he travelled through Denarii quadrant recently. He’s maybe a couple years older than Poe, with expressive eyes, skin that’s darker than Poe’s but lighter than Finn’s and a shirt that fits just right. So it’s not really a hardship to let him take his time deciding if he’s got something to share.
The three of them are wedged in a corner table, Poe in the middle with Finn pressed up close on one side and Jaq on the other, and he’s in that wonderful place where it’s all instinct. He knows some part of his brain is paying very close attention to everything Jaq tells them, but he doesn’t have to think about it consciously: he’s having fun, just like when he flies, when he can just let go and trust his body to manoeuvre the ship exactly the right way.
It must be pretty late, but it’s not like they’re on a schedule here. They’ve got time to keep listening and see if anything comes out.
And eventually something does.
Jaq turns his glass round and round between his palms on the sticky tabletop. He’s maybe a little drunk when he looks at Finn and then at Poe before saying, “You know, I’ve got a room upstairs. I was wondering if you wanted to maybe...”
Poe opens his mouth to reply before he realises he doesn’t know what he should say. Is it worth going up there to see if Jaq will tell him something in private? Or is this just exactly what it sounds like? If it is, should he say no? Which one of them is Jaq asking, anyway?
“What, both of us?” Finn asks. He’s a got that wide-eyed look on his face again, like he hadn’t realised how much Resistance work can eat into your private life and isn’t sure what he thinks about it.
Jaq shows him a really very persuasive smile.
“Sure, why not? I thought…” Poe is quite interested what he thought, but Finn’s already shaking his head.
“Thanks anyway,” he says. He looks at Poe and Poe feels like an idiot for ever having thought he could read Finn’s feelings on his face. He has no idea what that refusal means. Maybe he doesn’t do this with strangers; maybe he doesn’t trust Jaq. Maybe he doesn’t like men – maybe he doesn’t like Poe, not like this. It’s been known to happen. Not everyone has to like him, he knows that! Just because people often do, doesn’t mean everybody does: Finn’s here to watch his back, and that’s good enough for him. He allows himself to picture, for just one glorious technicolour second, the three of them going up there together, of Finn undressing, touching him, before he grabs hold of his self-discipline with both hands and pushes it away.
Jaq turns that persuasive smile on Poe, and trusting to instinct he finds himself smiling back in a way that’s pretty clearly a yes.
Finn can see it too. “I’ll be waiting here, okay?” he says as Jaq slides out of the bench seat and waits for Poe to join him.
“Yeah. Thanks,” says Poe. He has a feeling of déjà vu that Finn is telling him more than he knows how to interpret.
He squeezes Finn’s shoulder as he stands, and just as he lets go Finn catches his hand and gives it one hard squeeze in turn.
“I’ll be right here, okay?” he repeats.
Poe almost blurts out, no, come upstairs, wait right outside the door for me – but he catches himself just in time.
Upstairs isn’t very far away, it turns out.
The walls are thin and Poe can still hear the music from the bar. As Jaq unbuttons Poe’s shirt it’s as if he can feel the precise physical distance between himself and Finn, and the weight of Finn knowing exactly what he’s doing. Knowing that someone's touching him, right now, that he’s naked and being gently coaxed to turn over onto his belly.
Jaq knows what he wants and Poe is happy to give it. He goes where Jaq puts him, tilts his hips just right and relaxes as Jaq slicks him up and starts to work him open.
It’s just as well that someone else is driving because he knows he’s distracted, and he knows it’s rude, but as he gasps into the pillow he’s thinking about Finn, waiting for him, watching his back.
He’s thinking about Finn as Jaq pushes his knees further apart and sinks deeper into him. He tries not to but he’s too far gone: Jaq fucks him hard and Poe takes it and takes it and takes it, until he’s coming in a bright, gorgeous pulse all over the bed.
Afterwards, Poe wants to roll over and put his arms around Jaq, as if to make up for a transgression Jaq doesn’t even know he’s committed. He often has this instinct after sex, to hold the other person, but he’s embarrassed himself enough times to know that not everybody feels the same way.
Jaq is already sitting up, and Poe can take a cue. He sits up too, runs a hand through his hair. He wonders where Finn is. He hasn’t stopped wondering where Finn is, to be honest. Is he still at the same table? Has another good-looking stranger come up to talk to him? What would it take for him to say yes?
He snaps right back into the moment when Jaq begins, “You know we were talking about the Denarii quadrant before?”
“Sure,” Poe says, trying to keep it casual and not sure if he’s pulling it off.
“There was one other thing I saw…”
Jackpot, thinks Poe, leaning forward attentively. He’s got some of his best information when he was naked.
Jaq kisses him goodbye, which people don’t always do and Poe is simultaneously touched and appalled at himself for his earlier distraction.
“That was great, thank you!” he says as he turns to go, and Jaq pats him on the ass and says, “Good luck.”
When Poe pauses at the top of the stairs and looks down into the bar, the first person he sees is Finn. He looks pretty casual, but his head shoots up as if he’s got a sixth sense trained on that staircase.
When he recognises Poe his whole body relaxes and Poe realises that casual look was all pretend: Finn was worried about him. He can’t stop himself smiling as he walks down the stairs back into the bar, feeling Finn’s eyes on him the whole time.
Finn crosses the bar to meet him at the foot of the stairs.
“You okay?” Finn asks, putting a hand on Poe’s shoulder, although it must be obvious he’s fine. Rumpled and a little sticky maybe, but fine.
“Yeah. You ready to go? I got some interesting intel, tell you in the ship.”
“Sure. Okay – hey, Poe, you’re sure you’re alright?”
“Yeah, buddy, never better. I’ve been through much worse for General Organa.”
Which Finn knows better than anyone, and maybe he’s convinced and maybe he isn’t but he leaves his hand on Poe’s shoulder anyway and in that moment it’s exactly what Poe needs.
General Organa is very interested in what their friend Jaq had seen in the Denarii quadrant. When she pulls up the rest of the data points onto the projection, Poe can see why.
“So that’s where they are,” Finn says. “They’re building something there.”
General Organa nods. “It looks like it, yes. I’m sending a scout to confirm what you heard – no, not you, Poe – but I’m inclined to believe this is legitimate. It fits with everything else we’re hearing - unless you have some reason to doubt your source?”
General Organa turns to Poe for an answer, which is fair enough. What he hadn’t expected was Finn to turn in sync.
“No,” Poe says slowly. He’s thinking about it now. He’d assumed Jaq’s reasons for going upstairs with him were the same as his: he liked him, he was attracted to him, and then if anything else came up, they could talk about it. What other motives could he have had?
“He seemed sincere enough. He didn’t mind being seen with us, but he insisted on being in private to tell me this, so…” But he has doubts now, is weirdly hurt in retrospect that that moment of intimacy with the music from the bar drifting up to them might have been just a ruse to feed him false information.
“Finn, what did you think?”
Finn makes a face he can’t interpret, then shrugs. “Well, I wasn’t so keen on you talking to him in private, but you know what you’re doing. You came back in one piece. I think your instincts are better than mine on this.”
Poe isn’t so sure about that.
He absolutely does trust his own instincts, has done his whole life, but the last few months in the Resistance with Leia Organa have shown him that there’s a bigger picture his instincts aren’t always aware of. And as for Finn’s instincts – well. Finn saved him because it was the right thing to do. Finn’s instincts are good on a whole other scale.
But for now, he has no reason to doubt Jaq. His instincts will have to do until someone checks it out.
“I think he was legit. So unless we hear otherwise, my sacrifice was worth it,” he cracks, and wishes he hadn’t when both their heads whip round to stare at him.
He holds both hands up in apology.
“We’ve had enough sacrifices from you recently, thank you very much,” General Organa tells him, and this is her military voice alright. “Let somebody else take a turn.”
“You’ve got good judgement, Dameron. Make sure you use it on yourself sometimes.”
Poe salutes her not quite mockingly. This doesn’t sound like a conversation he wants to have at all.
When he turns to Finn, Finn won’t look at him.
Poe has to ask himself a lot of questions about his judgement the next time General Organa sends him out.
Sends them out – everyone takes it for granted now that Finn goes with him.
They know who they’re meeting this time: a smuggler who used to know Han Solo and who General Organa doesn’t trust one bit. They know what weapons they want to get out of him; what they don’t know is how difficult he’s going to make it.
The other thing they don’t know until they land is that there’s an Imperial destroyer in the neighbourhood. They’re travelling incognito in a creaky two-man transport and it seems vanishingly unlikely that it’s there for them, but still. It’s not a good start.
When two Stormtroopers pass them as they leave the spaceport, Poe stops short and Finn almost steps on his heels. Most people stop what they’re doing when they see Stormtroopers, but Poe had hoped the best pilot in the Resistance would be able to play it a bit cooler than most people.
Instead his heart is pounding and his hand seems to be tight on Finn’s arm.
“When they’re out in twos, it’s a routine inspection,” Finn murmurs. “Do we go ahead, or is it too risky?”
Poe bites his lip and doesn’t say the first thing that comes into his head, because that’s his fear talking. He doesn’t say the second thing either, because that would be bravado and even if it’s okay for him to take a risk, he has Finn to think about. Finn is too important to lose.
“Let’s head to the meeting point and check it out,” he replies eventually. “If we don’t like the look of it, we turn around and head back to base.”
Finn puts a hand over Poe’s where it is still clutching his arm.
“Right. But just so you know, I don’t think General Organa will ever speak to me again if I don’t bring you back, so can we, um, think this through before we go in?”
Poe finds himself grinning manically. “Oh, she’d get over it. But bring me back anyway, okay buddy?”
It’s mid-afternoon and the cantina is still quiet. A musician from a species Poe doesn’t recognise is playing something soporific, or maybe the register where the good stuff is happening isn’t aimed at human ears. There’s no sign of Stormtroopers, or anyone who Stormtroopers might be interested in.
Their contact is there though.
Giovan Calen is leaning against the bar, and when he sees them come in, he gives them both a lingering look from head to toe and then smirks. Poe doesn’t like the look of that smirk one bit, but he can’t honestly say it seems dangerous. He exchanges a look with Finn, and this time he’s pretty sure he can read Finn’s expression. It’s saying something like, If General Organa is so keen to get you back, maybe she should stop sending you on missions like this.
Poe just grins at him. He’s starting to like the way Finn worries about him.
Giovan Calen wants more money than they can possibly offer for the blaster cannons.
The place fills up as they talk around and around the added cost of importing delicate merchandise in these difficult times, the price of trust (Poe and Finn carefully do not look each other, because there aren’t enough credits in the galaxy to make them trust this guy) the unforeseen expense of bribing First Order customs officials…
Poe knows he’s a good negotiator, and Finn’s silent presence with a blaster at his side gives unspoken weight to his argument. But sometimes you go into something where the other guy has an agenda, and nothing you say is going to shift it.
Finally Poe leans back and doesn’t smile at all as he looks at Calen.
“Looks like we can’t do business today, Calen. That’s a real shame.”
Without breaking the eye contact, he’s aware of Finn mirroring him, leaning back like he’s done with this conversation too.
Calen’s smile has some teeth behind it.
“You’re giving up awful easy, Commander Dameron,” he says. He has a way of saying Commander Dameron like he’s implying something, and since Poe very deliberately hasn’t introduced Finn he’s only got one name to use. He’s using it a lot, and it’s just as unsettling as he means it to be. Not that Poe lets it show, but he has this feeling like his name is getting dirty in Giovan Calen’s mouth.
Poe shrugs. “I just can’t offer you the kind of sum you’re talking about,” he says. “So if you have another buyer for your merchandise, you should make a deal with them. Sorry to have wasted your time.” He isn’t sorry at all, and that he does let show.
Calen’s expression is closer to a leer now.
“They tell me you’re Leia’s right hand man, Commander Dameron. She won’t give her right hand man a bit of discretion when he’s doing business on her behalf?”
Poe doesn’t like hearing the General’s name in this man’s mouth any more than he likes hearing his own, but he just blinks and waits for the rest. That use of her first name wasn’t accidental and it sure as hell wasn’t a sign that he’s a friend: if Poe knows anything about Leia Organa, it’s that she doesn’t make friends with men like this. So maybe they’re getting to the point at last.
“If she doesn’t trust you with the money,” Calen says, and Poe feels rather than sees Finn twitch at his side, “Then maybe we can find something else you are at liberty to offer? I’d hate to think the three of us came all this way for nothing.”
“See, what I’m hearing now is that you don’t have another buyer,” Poe drawls, as insolent as he can be without tipping into outright provocation.
“Oh, I can find another buyer, flyboy. But like I said, I do want to know what else Leia’s right hand man can offer me.”
He licks his lips and give Poe a slow once-over, and now Poe gets it.
Calen’s one of those guys, who thinks if somebody lies down for him that it’s a victory. He thinks Poe would be less, that he’d go back to General Organa tainted and diminished, and she’d know it. That she would be weaker because her second in command got fucked. Whether he thinks she has a more intimate claim over him that that of commanding officer or is just trying to be offensive Poe isn’t sure, but he knows he can walk out of here with their shipment in 15 minutes flat if he goes along with it and lets Calen think he’s got the upper hand.
Finn gets it just a second later: he doesn’t say anything, but Poe can feel that anxious gaze turned on him.
He can’t afford to look at Finn right now though: Giovan Calen is attractive enough physically, but Poe doesn’t like him and he sure as hell doesn’t like Poe. This isn’t something he’d choose to do for his own entertainment, and if he acknowledges Finn’s concern he might just lose his nerve.
Instead Poe thinks about everything the Resistance can do with those blaster cannons and says, “I’m pretty sure I can offer you something that will make up the difference, yeah.”
And if his smile doesn’t reach his eyes, well, that’s not part of the offer anyway.
The cantina has a back room, and Calen already has the key.
As Calen puts a hand in the small of his back to show him in, Finn steps into his path. The blaster at his hip is very, very obvious.
“The door stays open, and I’m staying right here,” he says. He’s addressing Calen and his face is totally blank: Finn is being a soldier, and Poe hates being the one who has put him in this position.
He reaches out and squeezes Finn’s hand as he passes him. “Anything for the Resistance, right?” he mutters, and Finn’s face twists for a second before smoothing out into impassivity again.
“Don’t worry, I won’t break your boss,” Calen leers, and Finn actually manages to laugh at him.
“You’ll be wasting your time if you even try,” he says. “Plus I might have to shoot you.”
“Your man out there doesn’t trust me, Commander Dameron. Or can I call you Poe?”
“I don’t trust you either, and you don’t trust me. It’s a relationship of equals,” Poe replies as they circle each other. He doesn’t want this man to call him by his first name, the name his friends use, but he’d just be showing weakness if he said so.
“Well. Not exactly,” says Calen with his sharp-toothed smile. “Because I’ve got the blaster cannons you can’t afford, so I’d say I have the upper hand here, wouldn’t you?” He makes a take it off gesture, and Poe shrugs out of his jacket and drops it on the low couch that runs along the side of the room.
“You know, from where I’m standing, it looks like you gave up a hour of negotiation time and 5000 credits just for a chance to get me on my knees – frankly, I’m flattered.” And he is – in fact on one level, Poe is almost enjoying himself. When he goes in a back room on his own time, he always does it with somebody he likes, but something about the open antagonism here is really starting to work for him. You learn something about yourself every day. It’s like a firefight, and Poe has always been good at firefights.
Calen’s smile gets wider and sharper. “That too,” he says, indicating Poe’s shirt.
While Poe’s hands are still busy on the buttons, Giovan Calen steps right into his space and grabs him by the hair. If his body wasn’t sure about this a second ago, it is now and he only just manages not to moan: he can’t give it up that easy. Finn is standing right outside the door, Finn must be able to hear everything that’s going on in here, and that thought is enough to leave him breathless and so hard his head is spinning.
Calen is trying to push him to his knees, but Poe grabs his wrist and doesn’t go.
“I don’t let anyone pull my hair who won’t kiss me first,” he pants. “And you don’t want to kiss me, so you’re gonna need to ask nice.”
“Get on your knees. Please,” Calen says with a grin like a predator, and Poe holds the eye contact as he drops gracefully to his knees, the thrill of it dancing like electricity up his spine.
“See how easy that was?” he says, reaching for Calen’s belt. He can hear his own pulse in his ears, and it sounds like it’s saying Finn’s name.
Calen is already hard, and once Poe gets his pants open he bats Poe’s hands away to take his own cock in his hand.
“Keep still,” he says, and then he’s rubbing himself against Poe’s face before pressing at his lips.
Poe looks up through his lashes and doesn’t open his mouth.
“Really?” Calen asks, incredulous. “You are really looking for trouble, you know that?”
Poe just has time to shoot him the most infuriating grin he’s got before Calen grabs him by the hair again.
“Open your goddam mouth,” he says. “And let’s see how Leia’s two-bit Resistance does business with the big boys.”
He feels a weird rush of arousal, followed by shame at the thought that Finn can hear this, that Finn knows exactly what he’s doing. The shame does absolutely nothing to help with the arousal: if anything, it makes it worse.
For a second Poe considers holding out for a please. He could say, ask me nicely again, insist on a bit of goddam respect, but he knows that’s not what they’re doing here. He’s offered something worth 5000 credits to the Resistance: he can’t back out now. Besides, he doesn’t think Calen will play nice a second time.
So Poe opens his mouth and lets Giovan Calen slide his cock in. He relaxes and sinks into it, lets Calen use him how he wants, holding him by the hair as he fucks his mouth. He’s halfway to choking and so turned on it hurts, and Finn is right outside the door.
Until all of a sudden he isn’t.
There’s no warning knock: one moment Poe is on his knees totally focused on sucking off Giovan Calen, and next moment Finn isn’t just listening outside the door any more, Finn is bursting into the room, blaster in hand.
“Stormtroopers!” he says. “We have to leave right now.”
Finn’s talking to Poe, but Calen is on his feet and still fully dressed, so he reacts first. He bolts for the back door that Poe had only half noticed, and before either of them have time to stop him he has slammed it behind him and they hear the sound of a metal bolt sliding home.
“Fuck,” says Poe sincerely.
That’s as much of a plan as they have time to discuss before two Stormtroopers are pushing their way into the room.
For a split second he’s afraid Finn will panic and fire, get them both killed on the spot. But he doesn’t, and Poe is already ashamed of doubting him as they both raise their hands. Poe is still on his knees, and he’s gone from turned on to heart-thumping crisis management so fast he has whiplash.
“State your business here,” demands the first Stormtrooper.
Poe is just opening his mouth to reply when Finn says, “What does it look like my business is here, buddy?”
Finn sounds pissed rather than terrified, and that’s not easy to do with the business end of two blasters pointed at you by Stormtroopers who could recognise you as a deserter any second. Poe is seriously impressed.
“What about him?” the trooper asks, gesturing to the door Calen fled from.
“He’s had his business here,” Finn gestures at Poe and yeah, that’s fair. His shirt is more off than on and his hair’s all over the place: he probably does look like someone’s already got what they came for out from him.
The Stormtroopers are looking at Poe, at Finn, at the door and back at Poe again, as if trying to decide if there’s more to this than meets the eye. Poe’s mind is racing, but talk our way out is the only thing that comes to him. His blaster is out of reach, and the odds of Finn taking both of the troopers out before they get off a shot just aren’t good enough to risk their lives over.
If they are recognised, well, he’ll die here before he lets them take him or Finn back to the First Order. He’s used up his miraculous rescue, and he would do anything to return the favour, anything to keep Finn safe, but it isn’t looking good. Talking their way out is their only chance.
“Prove it,” says the trooper on the right.
“What?” Finn and Poe say in unison.
“Prove what you’re here for,” he says.
There’s no expression to read on that white mask, but Poe stares at him anyway, hoping to see one. He looks at Finn, and Finn gives a tiny shake of the head. He doesn’t know where this is going either. This can’t be what it sounds like, but -
“Let me get this straight,” Poe says, getting to his feet and taking a slow step forwards as he tries to casually shrug his shirt back into place. “We’re here in the back room for a, uh, a private, uh – an intimate thing between the two of us, and you’re asking us to prove it? In front of you?”
Both troopers raise their blasters and Poe stops, puts his hands up again.
“Yes,” says the second trooper. The two of them seem to look at each other, and the first trooper adds, “Now.”
“The two of us - ” Poe gestures between himself and Finn, “You want us to show you what we came in here for?” He doesn’t mean to let his voice squeak at the end, but when it does it anyway he tells himself it adds authenticity.
“Now. You’re wasting our time,” says the first trooper, bringing his blaster up into a firing stance.
“Okay, okay, okay,” Poe backs up towards Finn, and tells himself it’s like flying. He’s just got to let go and feel it, trust speed and inertia and not think about what might happen afterwards, because when you slow down to think about what could happen afterwards, that’s when you don’t live to see it.
He puts his hands on Finn’s shoulders and steps close, feels Finn’s arms come round his waist. For a long moment they just look at each other, and Poe isn’t thinking about the blasters levelled at them or the destroyer up in orbit or the weapons they haven’t got for the Resistance. He can’t think about anything except Finn solid against him, wide-eyed but rescuing him anyway, all over again.
“Okay?” Poe murmurs.
“Okay,” says Finn, and kisses him.
It’s one of the great transformative kisses of his life. One of those moments that turns everything upside down
It feels like Finn is thinking about him, that Finn isn’t paying any attention to anything else in the world except kissing him because it’s him, because he wants to. And that can’t be true, obviously it’s not true, not at gunpoint like this, so maybe Finn is just massively talented at both kissing and subterfuge, at letting one leg slide between Poe’s and his arms go tight around him. He’s making it looks convincing so that his former colleagues will let them go.
Whatever it is, Poe is absolutely wrecked by it.
When they break apart he is breathless and helplessly, achingly hard.
He has to get out of here, he has to get Finn out of here right now. He has to get him to the ship and lock the doors and -
“Okay?” he asks the Stormtroopers. “Believe us now?”
But the blasters don’t waver. “No.” Again the masked faces seem to look at each other, as some kind of silent message passes between them. “Keep going.”
Finn’s arms tighten around him.
“Listen, I know you’ve got your job to do,” Poe tries, “But doing this with an audience doesn’t really work for me.” Finn’s standing close enough to know that isn’t entirely true, but he isn’t the one Poe needs to convince. Finn is free to think whatever he likes about Poe and his proclivities, if only Poe can keep them both alive long enough.
“Then you better start making it work,” says the Stormtrooper. Unable to see their mouths behind the masks, Poe’s not even sure which one spoke.
No wonder Finn deserted, if this is what passes for a good time among Stormtroopers.
He looks at Finn again, trying to ask, what do you want me to do? Keep arguing? Fight? But Finn gives the tiniest shake of his head then takes a deep breath and steers them towards the couch.
They’re both clumsy and it feels awkward as hell, but Poe can’t hide how turned on he is when the back of his legs hit the couch and he sits down abruptly. Finn follows him down so he’s sitting astride him. At least this way Finn’s face is turned away from the Stormtroopers.
It would be easier to lie down, but they’d be too vulnerable like that. So Poe glances one last time at the blasters trained on them before he unzips them both in the almost-private space between their bodies, then looks up into Finn’s eyes as he reaches out to touch him. He wants to look down, to see his own hand on Finn, but that feels like it would be even more invasive than just doing it, so it’s honestly a surprise when he finds Finn is already hard. He gasps as Poe’s hand closes around his erection, then leans in to kiss him again, so sweetly that Poe can’t stand it. He kisses back desperately, and the sound he makes when he feels Finn’s warm palm on his cock is muffled against Finn’s mouth.
He can’t completely forget about the Stormtroopers watching them, but mostly all he’s aware of is Finn, Finn touching him, kissing him, wrapping his other arm around Poe’s shoulders to hold him closer. And it’s not like he wants to drag this out, but he shouldn’t be this close this fast, what does that say about him if he’ll go off like this, forced to get it on with his friend, at gunpoint? The rush of shame he feels only makes it worse: he drags his mouth away from Finn’s to catch his breath, but then he’s left looking up at Finn’s face made soft and vulnerable with pleasure, and before he can do anything to stop it he’s coming with a guilty moan in hot messy spurts, all over his own pants and shirt and Finn’s hand.
Poe lets his eyes close and leans into Finn, breathing in the smell of him as he tries not to humiliate himself by making any more noise.
When Finn’s cock pulses in his hand a second later, he hears himself groan and he doesn’t even care. Finn is gasping and shaking in his arms, and anybody who doesn’t make some noise at that doesn’t deserve the privilege of seeing it. Not that he deserves it either, but here he is. He feels a shock of heat as Finn comes on his bare skin where he never managed to fasten his shirt again, and then at last Finn sags against him, breathing hard.
They just sit there for a moment, holding on to each other, until one of the Stormtroopers says thickly: “You’re free to go about your business,” and just like that they’re gone.
Finn doesn’t move, and Poe isn’t about to push him away so he stays where he is, immobilised under Finn’s weight, with Finn’s come cooling on his stomach. He knows it won’t last once the afterglow fades, but right in this moment he feels wonderful, every nerve singing with the aftermath of pleasure, a simple animal joy at touching another person who he knows. He nuzzles into Finn’s shoulder, kisses his neck before he can stop to think it through, and Finn makes a low sound in his throat and moves his head to give Poe a better angle.
Finally Finn kisses him on the forehead and sits back, wiping his sticky hand on his pants.
Finn’s still mostly in his lap, and looking up at him Poe can’t read anything at all on his face. He doesn’t look traumatised, but then Poe doesn’t even know what that would look like on Finn. But he’s the senior officer here (and no, he isn’t going to think about the ethical implications of what he just did in those terms right now, he can’t afford to) so it’s on him to break the weird silence.
“You ok, Finn? Because we should get out of here,” he says gently.
Finn takes a deep breath. “Yeah,” he agrees, pushing off Poe’s shoulders to get to his feet. He zips up again before holding out his hands to Poe.
That seems like such a good sign that Poe takes them without thinking, and they both grimace as Finn’s clean grip closes around the mess Poe hasn’t wiped away yet.
“Sorry,” says Poe, just as Finn says, “Sorry, I- ” and they let go to both scrub their hands on their pants.
Poe hurriedly buttons his pants and swipes at his hopelessly stained shirt. It’s dark blue, and now it tells a very clear story: that someone just came all over it.
“Sorry,” says Finn again.
“No, it’s fine, it’s – it was me anyway,” Finn looks away and Poe wishes he hadn’t said anything. But he knows it was him, because he can’t forget the feeling of Finn coming over the sensitive skin of his stomach.
His jacket covers the stain only slightly, but slightly is better than nothing. Before they step back out into the cantina, he squares his shoulders and turns to face Finn. Normally he would have reached out and put a hand on his arm, but now he doesn’t.
“Finn. Listen, buddy, I want to apologise for what just happened. I couldn’t think of any other way - ”
“No, it was my fault,” Finn interrupts. “I started off with it, I just said the first thing that came into my head, when they came in and you were – you looked - you know. I’m so sorry I put you in this position, you just had to go along with it when they…”
Poe shakes his head and Finn trails off. A second ago he’d been sure he should keep his hands to himself, but now here he is reaching out again.
It turns out to be the right thing to do. Finn’s warm hands meet him half way, and they grip each other by the elbows for just a second. It feels more intimate than most of the goodbye kisses Poe can remember.
The streets are crowded and there’s a feeling of barely subdued panic to match their own, with market stalls hurriedly packing up and Stormtroopers on every other corner. Nobody stops them: either First Order intel isn’t all that good after all, or somebody’s playing a long game. Poe very sincerely hopes it’s the former
The inspection has left a lot of traders, legitimate and otherwise, in a rush to leave. As they join the throng of creatures flowing into the spaceport, Poe can see Finn scanning the crowd.
“Just so you know, if we find Giovan Calen, I’m gonna make him regret he ever met us,” he says to Poe’s unspoken question.
Poe grins at him. “Yeah. Okay. And then I’m gonna make him sell us those goddam blaster cannons for a really shitty price.”
Finn grins back at him for a second, and then suddenly he’s off, because Calen is in front of them and running too.
Poe curses his own distraction and follows.
Not that Finn needs his help: he careers around the corner of an ancient transport to see Calen face down on the duracrete with Finn’s knee in his back and Finn’s hand holding his arm very very firmly – and probably painfully - behind his back.
Poe loops round so that he approaches very much in Calen’s line of sight, and he’d be the first to admit that he does it with a swagger.
“Hey, good job buddy!” he says to Finn. “We had unfinished business with this guy, didn’t we?”
“Yeah, that was what I thought,” Finn agrees. “I definitely remember some business we hadn’t finished when he locked us in with Stormtroopers.”
“The Resistance can’t afford to do business this way, you know that, right?” Calen tells the duracrete.
“You know what? I think it can,” Poe says. “You know how many lowlife smugglers are out there, this side of the galaxy?”
He pauses for dramatic effect before crouching down where Calen can see him. “I don’t know either and I don’t really care, because there are a lot of them. If you’d rather see the First Order shoot us, that’s fine, that’s what you wanna do with your life -”
Calen makes a noise of protest.
“What’s that?” Finn asks, twisting his arm harder. “Did you say something?”
“You didn’t want to see the First Order shoot us? So you just locked us in to save your own skin? I don’t know - is that even any better?”
“Oh, yeah, come on,” Finn’s playing along now. “Being a coward isn’t nearly as bad as deliberately setting someone up – everyone gets scared sometimes, right?”
“I guess,” says Poe reluctantly. “But when I get scared, I don’t leave other people who I was trying to do business with to get shot by the First Order. And my friend Finn here, he doesn’t leave people to get shot by the First Order either, do you Finn?”
“No, that’s true, I don’t,” Finn agrees.
“You really don’t, and you know, I love that about you,” Poe continues. Maybe he shouldn’t be enjoying getting his own back quite so much, and maybe he shouldn’t be flirting with Finn at the same time, but what the hell. Calen turned him on and then left him for dead, and he can’t let that go.
“Anytime,” Finn says, and Poe wants to kiss him.
“So look, the way I see it,” he says, “We let you leave here in one piece and without telling every Wookie in the system what you tried to do to the guys Han Solo’s wife sent to do a very straightforward and honest deal with you, and you have your droids load those blaster cannons onto our transport. And because the Resistance plays fair, I’ll even give you a thousand credits for them – how’s that for a deal?”
To give him full credit for bravado when held face down on the ground by two angry armed men, Calen manages to laugh. It’s a laugh without much breath to it and it comes out muffled by the oily duracrete, but Poe still appreciates the effort as a piece of performance art.
“He doesn’t want the thousand credits?” Finn asks.
“Let him up, maybe we didn’t hear him right,” suggests Poe, and Finn eases back then all of a sudden jerks Calen to his feet, blaster jabbed in his ribs.
Poe looks up at them for a second in a deliberate echo of his earlier position at Calen’s feet, then rises in a slow, fluid stretch.
He’s got to hand it to the guy: Calen looks him up and down, again, and smirks at him. He must know he’s lost this hand, but he still says,
“And what about the other part of our deal, Poe Dameron? I really do want to know what Leia’s second in command can do on his knees. You’re nice to look at, but can you deliver when the chips are down?”
In his place Poe would have said something provocative too. Maybe not that, but something.
“Yeah, that was a time-sensitive deal, sorry about that.” He shrugs in mock apology. “You missed your window while we were talking our way past Stormtroopers who would have killed us. Plus you know, one of my golden rules in life is to never suck off a man who almost gets me killed.”
That isn’t strictly true, actually, but the intention is what counts. Some of Poe’s best friends have almost gotten him killed by accident, and he’s slept with quite a lot of them anyway.
“You know how it is: we all have a line we will not cross,” Finn chimes in, jabbing the blaster into him again to make his point.
Calen isn’t going to grovel, but he knows when he’s beaten.
“A thousand credits?” he says.
“Yeah. And that’s only because General Organa is a woman of principles – if it was up to me, I’d shoot you here,” Poe tells him cheerfully.
Their transport struggles in the atmosphere under the weight of the blaster cannon shipment, but once they leave orbit BB-8 gets the ship steady and Poe plots in the coordinates for home.
Finn reaches out to stop him just before he engages the hyperdrive.
“Poe,” he begins.
“Yeah, buddy, what’s up?”
Poe’s pretty sure he knows what’s up. He’s the ranking officer, it should have been him who said something first. But Finn is braver than anybody, as if he didn’t already know. So Finn’s starting the conversation.
“Are you okay? I mean about – before, about what we…” Finn’s gazing at him with such concern, of course Poe isn’t going to make him say it.
“Yes. Yeah. I really am. You saved our lives, it was a good idea.”
Finn pulls a face of frank disbelief.
“It was! We’re here, we’re fine, we even got what we came for!” Poe gestures back to the hold, stacked with blaster cannons.
“Yeah, but - ”
He can’t quite believe Finn is worrying about him. He’s given away more than handjobs for much flimsier reasons, and to people he liked a hell of a lot less than Finn. And who liked him less than Finn seems to, which shouldn’t make a difference but oh, it does.
He leans forward, puts a hand on the arm of Finn’s co pilot seat.
“It was you, Finn! You were rescuing me, again. I should be asking you if you’re okay!” He stops. “Are you okay? I don’t even know how this works for you, how you feel about any of this, being intimate with people, and - ” he stops with a shrug, not wanting to turn it into a direct question Finn might feel he has to answer.
And indeed Finn doesn’t answer. Not that part anyway.
“Of course I’m okay. Why wouldn’t I be?”
“I don’t know! Why wouldn’t I be?”
“Well, for a start I was guessing you didn’t spend your teens having to get it on with other Stormtroopers in the room, and maybe doing it under duress isn’t something you like! I don’t think many people like it!”
Poe has been developing a serious weakness for Finn’s sarcasm. All he can do is smile helplessly at him.
“No, no Stormtroopers in the room, but I was a cadet too, so maybe it wasn’t so different. And it wasn’t under duress, it was you!” He takes a deep breath and adds, “I’d do it with you any time you wanted.”
Finn shakes his head. “You’re just saying that.”
“Yeah, because it’s true.”
“And you’re trying to make me feel better.”
“That too. Is it working?” That at least gets a smile from Finn, so he leans in closer. “Seriously. Ask Jessika Pava.”
“Ask her what?”
“If she thinks I’d do it with you any time you wanted,” he can’t quite believe he’s saying this, but making sure Finn knows that he hasn’t done anything to Poe that Poe didn’t want seems more important than his own dignity.
“Poe! I’m not going to ask her that!”
“I’ll get her to come and tell you, then. You don’t have to ask her anything, she can just share her insights, as my friend, into how I feel about you, and…”
“Please don’t do that,” Finn begs with a smile.
There’s only one thing left to say now. The course is plotted; the ship is on autopilot; there are no Stormtroopers looking on. It’s just him and Finn, and even BB-8 can’t see them in here.
“So come lie down with me and I’ll prove it,” Poe says, gesturing behind him to the sleeping compartment. He is smiling stupidly, helplessly as he holds out both hands to Finn. “Please come. I want you to.”
Finn is very serious but he takes Poe’s hands and lets Poe lead him the few steps back to where the bunk opens out with a hiss.
Poe wants to do it properly this time: get undressed, lie down, let Finn hear him. He wants to be able to take his time, to listen to Finn breathing, touch him everywhere.
He toes off his boots and when he pulls his shirt off over his head Finn steps in, runs warm hands down his ribs to settle at his waist. They’re the same height, but without his boots Poe finds himself tilting his head back just a little bit to look Finn in the eyes.
When Finn kisses him he closes them, and he doesn’t bother to hide his moan when Finn tangles one hand in his hair and tugs gently.
“You really like that?” Finn murmurs.
“Mm hm,” he manages, and Finn does it again.
Finn does it again and again, guiding him down onto the bunk and settling on top of him. It’s as if he already knows what Poe likes, knows how to lead without being pushy, or aggressive – but that’s just Finn, that’s who he is as a person. He’s the miracle of the Resistance who’ll save your life, complete your mission and turn up with a brilliant Jedi nobody knew existed. He’ll make the right choice every time, and he’ll doubt himself every time because when your miracle stops doubting himself that’s when he turns into a fanatic. Poe is pretty sure that will never happen to Finn.
He’s trying to kiss Finn on every bit of skin he reveals, but when Finn sits back to undo Poe’s pants it seems like such a good idea he lies back and lifts his hips in cooperation. When he’s naked the look Finn gives him is exactly as wild-eyed as he hoped, and Finn is suddenly scrambling out of his own clothes and his weight is back on top of Poe, all hard muscle and beautiful soft skin. Poe breathes him in, hooks one leg over Finn’s and tries to touch him everywhere at once.
Finn lets him do it, pressing him into the bunk with the force of his kisses until Poe is dizzy with it. He opens his eyes when Finn pulls back, tries to tug him back down, but Finn just starts kissing his way along Poe’s jaw, across his throat and down his chest. Then across Poe’s stomach, his hands following the path of his kisses, and Poe has no frame of reference for Finn, he doesn’t know what Finn might want in bed, if Finn’s really about to do this to him -
Finn’s hand closes around his cock and Poe pants at the ceiling, so turned on he aches with it. He hears himself moaning as Finn’s beautiful hot mouth surrounds him and he can’t watch this, he can’t see his cock sliding into Finn’s mouth and not come, but when he takes one hand away from where they are clutching Finn’s shoulders and flings it over his face, it just makes everything even more intense. He knows who is touching him like this, relaxing his throat to take him in deep while Poe just lies here overwhelmed with the pleasure of it. He’s being selfish, he knows he ought to roll them over, do something for Finn, but it’s so good, he can’t do anything except lie there and take it.
It’s only when he feels orgasm starting to build that he makes himself push at Finn’s shoulders so he’ll stop.
“Finn – Finn, you wanna fuck me?” he gasps, desperate for it as soon as the words are out, to feel Finn inside him as he comes. “Finn, listen, I want you to, will you - ” but he doesn’t finish because Finn has lifted his head and is already nodding.
“Yeah, yeah, course I will,” he mutters into Poe’s stomach, and Poe pushes him away for a second to flail out an arm for his pack where there must be lube, there’s got to be, because Finn is a miracle so there will be.
It’s skin oil he finds in the end, but that’s fine, skin oil will do. He’s going to get turned on every time he smells coconut from now on but it seems like a small price to pay with Finn’s fingers slick inside him, Finn watching his face so intently like the secrets of the universe are written in Poe’s eyes and will be revealed if only Finn touches him right.
Finn’s already touching him right.
Poe feels all of Finn’s attention on him like an amplifier of everything his hands are doing. He wanted to be kind of cool about this, to prove that this comes easy to him: that he’s done it a lot (which he has), that he likes it and so Finn doesn’t need to be worried about before.
The only part of that he seems to be managing is how it must be really really clear he likes it. He’s making desperate little noises every time Finn’s fingers twist inside him, his cock is rock hard and leaking onto his belly and his hips are thrusting in vain, trying to get contact.
That’s his voice sounding wrecked, saying, “Finn, Finn – oh, yeah Finn- ” and nothing about this is cool at all. It’s too much and it’s wonderful and it’s not enough, it’s that feeling building and building of wanting more, more, more.
Finally he drags Finn down into a breathless kiss, and tells him, “Now, right now, come on.” But Finn is braced over him and won’t let him roll over. Finn holds him open and wanting, flat on his back, and whispers, “Like this, yeah?”
Finn can do him however he wants. “Yeah, sure,” he says. “Like this.”
When Finn presses inside him, hard and hot, all his muscles feel like they’re melting to let him in. He wants it so bad he can’t even care about how he looks – this is Finn, things like that don’t matter anyway, he can give it all up and Finn will just give it right back to him. Finn holds still to let Poe get used to being filled, and when he starts to move it’s so slow and perfect that Poe can see stars. It feels like an eternity since anybody paid this much attention to him, to him in particular without rank or position, without wanting anything from him. But Finn, Finn is gazing into his eyes as he fucks him and there is no room for doubt that he knows he is fucking Poe Dameron and all he wants is to make it good for him.
Poe blinks up at him and moves with him, and knows he isn’t going to last.
When Finn reaches between them to wrap one perfect hand around his cock Poe gasps out, “Finn, buddy, you’re gonna make me come - ”
And that’s it, speaking the words brings it crashing over him, and it washes him away as he cries out, pushing down to take Finn in as deep as he will go as his body convulses with the pleasure of it, orgasm shaking him and shaking him, wringing him out with sensation until he’s weak with it.
“Go on, you,” he manages and then Finn is pounding into him, fucking him so good and so hard it sparks another pulse of pleasure so intense he can’t stand it before finally Finn slams into him one last time and groans, and Poe can feel him pulsing, coming inside him.
When Finn moves off him it’s only to lie down at his side, both of them reaching for the other at the same instant. Poe would have done it anyway, put his arms around Finn to hold him, but something about the way Finn pulls him close almost undoes him.
He hides his face against Finn’s shoulder for a moment before he can say, “That was amazing. You’re amazing,” as he runs his hand up the warm skin of Finn’s side.
Finn kisses him, deep and sloppy and dreamlike.
“Now do you believe me?” Poe asks later, fighting sleep. “I’d do it with you any time you asked.”
Finn cards his fingers through Poe’s hair and Poe makes another noise he has decided not to be embarrassed about. If he doesn’t let Finn know how much he likes something, how will Finn know to keep doing it?
“But I couldn’t ask you,” Finn says softly. “You kept telling me how I saved your life. You might have thought you had to say yes because you owed me or something.”
“No I wouldn’t. I’d have said yes because I wanted to go to bed with you,” Poe protests lazily.
Finn is still running his fingers through Poe’s hair, slowly and perfectly, and he’s tingly all over. It’s hard to put much conviction into his voice like this, but he hopes his body is making his case for him.
Finn huffs out a breath. “Well, it just seemed to me that after all the times I saw you say yes because it would help the Resistance, that I ought to be careful.”
“What times? When did I do that? I don’t do that!” Poe finds the energy to prop himself up on one elbow so he can see Finn’s face.
“You did that today, Poe!” Finn says, gripping his arm and giving him a little shake. “Two hours ago! I opened the door and you were half dressed and on your knees, and you were- ”
Poe lies back down and silences him with a kiss.
“Okay, yes, you’re right,” he concedes. “I did do that today, but…”
“And that first time I came with you, to Y7? With Rocia Tae? She asked for you, to seal the deal, and you said yes. And Jaq – you thought you had to go upstairs with him so he’d tell us about the Denarii quadrant.”
“I did have to,” Poe objects.
“That’s my point, yeah,” says Finn.
Poe gazes at him in the low light, so close he almost can’t focus on Finn’s face, and wonders how a moral compass like that survived even a day in the First Order. He has Finn’s come dry on his stomach and wet on the back of his thighs, and he feels cleaner than he has in years.
Finn shakes his head against the pillow and wraps his arms around Poe again.
“Anyway, I do believe you now,” he murmurs into Poe’s hair. “So it’s fine.”
The beep of an incoming communication jerks them out of their doze.
“Fuck!” says Poe earnestly, sitting up. “Finn. Finn, we have to get dressed.”
Finn blinks at him.
“BB-8, don’t activate the screen yet! Just give us a second here!” Poe calls out, struggling into his pants as he looks frantically for his shirt. He took it off himself, why didn’t he pay more attention to where he put it down, he knew he’d need to put it back on again – no, that’s Finn’s shirt –
Finn has woken up enough to take it from him, pull it on over his head and get tangled up in the sleeves. Still shirtless and feeling a deep, deep need for a shower that will have to wait, Poe can’t resist helping him and stealing a last kiss as his face finally emerges.
Finn laughs at him as he pulls away.
“Poe, you look…”
“Yeah, I know, find my shirt will you? BB-8, help us out here! Tell them you’re patching it through and just make it look like the signal is bad for a second, can’t you?”
The droid’s answer is not helpful.
“Because we’re not dressed, okay? And it looks bad to answer a communication from base when you aren’t dressed! So just stall them, will you?” Poe doesn’t quite yell, but BB-8 makes an offended noise anyway.
Poe takes a deep breath and tells himself to just keep calm. “Okay, sorry pal. You’re right, and after we report in I will tell you all about it, deal?”
Finn scoops something up from the floor and straightens holding out his dark blue shirt with an air of triumph. Because he’s an idiot who apparently wants to get caught fucking on the job, Poe stops to kiss him again before he puts it on.
As well as the very obvious stain up the front, it now looks exactly as crumpled as you would expect from a shirt that got thrown on the floor while its wearer had sex, but there’s nothing he can do about it now.
Scrambling into the pilot’s seat, Poe throws the switch to accept the communication just as Finn comes to join him. They’re both still barefoot, but that won’t show at least.
When the screen activates and he sees their own faces looking back at them in the bottom corner, Poe almost ducks out of sight in embarrassment. Finn doesn’t look quite so debauched: his hair is short enough to still be neat and the flush of beard burn is harder to see on his skin. But Poe? He might as well be holding up a sign to say “I just got fucked so good.”
His hair is all over the place and curling at the temples, the side of his neck is red and his mouth tells a very accurate story about how he's spent the last hour kissing as if his life depended on it. It’s not the sort of image to greet your commanding officer with, but he’s going to have to make the best of it. He tries folding his arms to at least hide the stain on his shirt, but it just draws more attention to it because now he looks like he’s trying to hide something. He drops his arms and gives it up as a bad job.
The screen flickers and the Resistance command centre comes into focus, Xi’a in the foreground seated at the Comm station with General Organa standing centre stage.
She has her arms folded and she’s either angry or worried, or maybe a bit of both.
“Dameron, report. What the hell happened? You’ve got a destroyer in orbit, I just received a very peculiar message from Calen and not a word from you – are you both alright?”
Poe meets Finn’s eye in the screen and has to fight a wave of totally inappropriate laughter. Because yes, he could make this worse, and giggling hysterically would be how to do it.
“We’re fine, sir,” he tells her, managing to get a grip. He is never having sex at work again: it wreaks havoc with his professionalism. “We ran into a bit of trouble but it was nothing we couldn’t handle. Right, Finn?”
“Right,” Finn echoes. He nods energetically, which Poe thinks is overdoing it but maybe that’s his guilty conscience speaking.
“We got the blaster cannons, for less than we expected,” he continues.
“Yes, that was the part I didn’t understand from Calen’s message. He implied this was somehow connected to the way you look like you’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards, but I don’t think I want to know.”
Finn makes a sound of annoyance. “If he means we kicked his ass after he set us up, then yeah, it’s connected,” he says.
Behind the General, Jessika Pava appears on screen. Her eyes widen as she sees Poe and Finn, and she puts a hand on Xi’a’s shoulder, asking something. Poe can feel the two women scrutinising him and then a second later sees Jess arrive at the obvious and entirely correct conclusion.
“You owe me 10 credits, Snap!” she crows over her shoulder. “Look! Look at them!”
The general wheels on her.
“Do you mind?”
Jess snaps to attention. “Sorry, sir.”
“Thank you. Tease them about it later if you don’t mind, Lieutenant.”
Turning back to face Poe and Finn on the screen, she says, “If you’ve quite finished with your private moment, perhaps you’d like to engage your hyperdrive and bring me my blaster cannons now? In your own time, of course.”
Poe would really, really have liked a shower before having to sit through this debrief, but when they land half the base is milling about in the landing bay. Some of them with legitimate business of unloading and checking the cargo of blaster cannons, and some of them to refuel the ship, and others, like Jess and Snap, to clap him on the back, try to high-five a confused looking Finn, and bring him a comb.
“Way to go, man!” Snap calls out, just in case there was anybody left who hadn’t got the memo. Poe looks apologetically at Finn, but Snap is shaking his hand and congratulating him so he doesn’t see it.
“General Organa wants to see you right away,” Jess tells him cheerfully, trying to fix his hair for him. “And you are a mess, Dameron!”
Poe ducks out of reach so she pushes the comb into his hands and says, “Well, you do it then. But you’ve got to do something - haven’t you got another shirt?”
“No, I haven’t got another shirt! I’d be wearing it if I had another shirt - hey, can I borrow your jacket? It might cover up more than the one I’ve got on…”
“Take this one!” Finn offers, already shrugging out of it. Poe finds it in his heart to forgive Snap and Jess when they both reach out to stop him before Poe can even say anything.
“Honestly, if you’re sharing clothes that’s just gonna make it more obvious, guys,” says Snap, shaking his head. “You got the cannons, I say just go in there and get it over with, you know? She loves you both, it’ll be fine.”
Fine is a relative term.
There are no terrible consequences and nobody yells, and yet telling General Leia Organa, a person of poise and dignity and who knew his mother about what happened today is not an experience Poe ever wants to repeat.
He is trying to get through a sentence that begins, “I was concluding, uh, negotiations over the extra 5000 credits he wanted when the Stormtroopers arrived, and we, uh -” when General Organa cuts him off.
“Finn, would you mind filling me in on this part?”
Finn shoots him a look he can definitely read: what the hell do I tell her? Poe slumps back in his seat and makes a gesture that he intends to express, tell her everything, what the hell - look at me, I think she already knows. There’s no way to know exactly what Finn reads from it, but he takes over the story.
“Calen wanted - Calen wanted him, to make up the price difference,” he looks defiantly at Poe as he says this, then back to General Organa, “And Poe agreed to it, but while they were half way through the Stormtroopers came in asking everyone to state their business, and Calen ran for it, but we didn’t have time to get out, because - ”
Because I was half dressed and on my knees, Poe finishes mentally. He can see Finn wishing he hadn’t started to explain. General Organa’s face is completely impassive.
“You know, because we weren’t expecting them, and Calen locked us in,” Finn continues bravely. “So when they asked us to state our business, I said the only thing I could think of, I thought it looked pretty convincing and they wouldn’t be interested in us, if we were just back there for, um, you know. But they were weird - weren’t they, Poe? - they said, prove it, and so - ”
Now Leia’s face has changed alright. Poe is aware that the way they are telling this story is missing some keywords, but he would honestly rather go up against the First Order unarmed than say, I was sucking him off when Stormtroopers came in and made me and Finn jerk each other off.
“Finn saved our lives, basically,” he picks up instead. “I don’t think there was any other way to get out of it, so we - ” he gestures rapidly between himself and Finn while maintaining firm eye contact with the wall above Leia’s shoulder and praying she isn’t going to make him say it.
Leia sighs and holds up a hand.
“Alright, Poe, that’s enough, I get the picture,” she tells him gently. “And yet here you are with our blaster cannons and 4000 credits change. So something worked out.”
“Yeah. We caught up with Calen at the spaceport and threatened him until he did the deal,” Finn says.
Leia looks sharply back at Poe.
“No! Not the deal with me! The deal where Finn ground his double-crossing face into the duracrete until he saw the justice of the Resistance cause,” Poe explains.
“Right,” she smiles. “Well, that sounds like excellent negotiating. And please don’t feel this requires a detailed answer, but you took an hour to get out of orbit because…?”
Poe very carefully looks at her as he replies, “Debrief, sir.”
“I see. Alright. Alright,” she leans back and studies them. “Finn, is there anything else I need to know from you about what happened?”
Finn shakes his head.
“And I’m starting to question my own judgement if I have to ask this every time I send you out, but is he really alright?”
“I’m fine!” Poe interrupts, as Finn answers more slowly, “I think so. He says he is, and I was right outside the whole time and I know it didn’t - um, get out of hand, and then the Stormtroopers, uh -”
“And are you alright?”
Finn’s good at this: he pauses before he says, “Yes,” and it sounds that much more convincing for it.
“And the two of you - half of the base seems to think everything is just fine between the two of you, but I honestly don’t know whether congratulations or counselling is in order.”
Poe can’t fight the smile that breaks out as he says, “For me, congratulations. Definitely congratulations,” and hears Finn laugh in embarrassed delight.
Leia steps forward and plants a kiss on his cheek, and then on Finn’s.
“Congratulations, then. And this isn’t an order, but -” she holds out both hands until Poe takes them, surprised. “Let’s try to think of another way to do things, sometimes, shall we? I know you are committed, I know how important this is to you, but you don’t always have to offer everything, Poe. You can keep something back for you - well, for somebody else, whatever - but you can keep something back, alright?”
He can feel Finn waiting for his answer.
“Yes sir, alright. I can keep something back,” he echoes, and turns to look at Finn in time to get the full force of a smile that lights up his face like a sunrise.