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A Brief Introduction to Problems and Their Solutions

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He finds them in the mess and, honestly, he really should not have expected anything else.

The other pilots have been dragging Finn out to socialize practically since the very first day that he was released from the med-center, and so it should really be no surprise that Rey is included in the invitation now that she is back as well.

(Invitation clearly being the polite word for what is really good-natured kidnapping. They obviously would not have pressed the issue if she had refused, but these assholes that he works with make it pretty hard to refuse in the first place.)

The plastic cups have been stolen from the mess’ supply, and Finn and Rey each have one in front of them as they sit at one of the long tables. The drink clearly is not Finn’s first, from the elaborate hand gestures that he is currently making as he recounts some tale to Snap and Jess. Rey, for her part, is alternately leaning close into Finn’s shoulder, and quickly retreating in an attempt to avoid being inadvertently hit in the face by Finn’s boisterous storytelling.

It’s Rey that notices him first, and her lazy grin grows larger. She raises one arm to give him a shy wave, and then immediately flushes a pretty pink that suggests that perhaps this isn’t her first drink, as well. She’s gorgeous; all wide eyes and upturned lips, and coral skin. Leaning into Finn’s shoulder, her cheek pressed against the soft leather of his jacket.

Poe returns her wave, and also the smile, before going in search of the bottle of whatever the two of them have been drinking.

Honestly, this is really the problem.

(Although not really a problem. At least not in the traditional definition of the word.)

Of course, it has always been painfully obvious that Finn cares for Rey. Really, since before the battle at Starkiller Base -- obvious that Rey is the kind of person that Finn would face his deepest fears for. There is no surprise there. And after the battle, he watched Rey kiss Finn’s forehead, hovering over his unconscious body and…. well, that part was obvious, as well. And knowing all this, you’d think that he could have controlled his own feelings and reactions for Finn once he woke up.

(Poe is excellent at a lot of things, but he knows that he’s never been particularly good at protecting his own heart.)

Poe sneaks a glance over at Finn as he locates the small supply of alcohol on the other side of the room. And it’s Corellian whiskey and something potent-smelling that one of the pilots brews in the hangar, and of course his assholes would give Finn and Rey the hard stuff, and so he bites the bullet and pours a cup of it for himself, as well. As Poe watches, Finn catches Rey as she dodges out of reach of his flailing hands, and he pulls her back close into his side almost as quickly as she left. Runs his fingertips down Rey’s bare upper arm, and Poe isn’t sure if Finn catches the minute shiver that runs down her spine, but Poe certainly does.

Fuck. He takes a gulp from his cup before heading over to their table.

He has every intention of wedging himself in between Snap and Jessika, but Finn pulls Rey in closer to him -- if that was even possible -- and makes room for him on the bench. And so, he has no choice but to slide in next to them, his thigh pressed firmly against Rey’s.

“Poe!” Finn exclaims with an enthusiasm that Poe would only attribute maybe 30% to the hangar moonshine. He uses his hand -- the one still wrapped around Rey’s shoulders, and which had been stroking down her arm just a moment before -- to squeeze Poe’s bicep in greeting. “We thought you’d never get here!”

Poe grins, despite himself. “I had to meet with the General after training. It’s one of the problems with being in charge. These assholes,” he gestures across the table at the other pilots, “are already hammered by the time I’m done with debriefing.”

Jess sends him a wounded look, which he returns with a smirk. Suddenly, her expression turns devious and he really did ask for that, of course.

“Don’t worry, we assholes got these two warmed up for you while we were waiting,” she says, unrepentant.

He’s about to ask what the hell she means by that, when Finn answers the question for him.

“Oh yeah, they were telling us all about the time that you made that run at the Finalizer bridge…” Finn starts animatedly telling the story again, despite the fact that everyone just heard it and Poe clearly lived through it, and Poe can’t help sending a flat look in Pava’s direction.

“How many has he had?” he finally whispers to Rey, when she once again leans out of Finn’s orbit for her own safety, pressing her thigh even more firmly against his own.

She grins. “Three.” And then smirks. “I’m on my fourth,” she whispers, conspiratorially, and Jess almost chokes on her drink on the other side of the table.

Abruptly, Finn reaches back out, and pulls Rey back against him. His hand misses the mark of Rey’s shoulder, and Poe finds himself pulled into the embrace and going along for the ride -- plastered against Rey’s side as she rests against Finn’s chest comfortably.

And really, this is the core of the problem.

Finn touches, embraces, loves. Indiscriminately. As if he has an entire lifetime of being told that the urge to do so is wrong.

(Which, of course, he does.)

And no one bats an eye when he curls himself around Rey. People see them, and it’s almost natural to root for them, for them to work out. And Poe includes himself in that group of people. But also, Finn grabs Poe’s hand, pulls him in for hugs, rests his head on Poe’s shoulder when he was exhausted after physical therapy.

And the other pilots have definitely noticed that.

As if on cue, Jess raises her eyebrow at him across the table.

But Finn is beautiful; handsome in a dashing sort of way, like the hero in the holovids he used to watch when he was a child. Good just radiates out of him. Goodness and light and kindness. And then Rey looks up at him from her place on Finn’s chest, and she rolls her eyes good-naturedly at the other man’s antics, but the look is softened by the smile that she can’t even control. And if Finn is light, then Rey is fire -- strength and ferocity barely contained in her slim muscular body. Evident even now, when she’s sleepy and contented in Finn’s arms.

Honestly, there are really worse problems to have.

“I have to pee,” Finn abruptly declares, interrupting Poe’s internal dialogue. He carefully extricates himself from the bench, giving Rey a small push in Poe’s direction. She goes willingly -- bonelessly -- and he has no choice but to catch her in his own arms.

“Hey,” she whispers, gentle. Like she is afraid of breaking the bubble of contentment that has settled over them. Even Jessika and Snap are quieter as they continue their own conversation on the other side of the table.

“Hey,” he answers. His breath stirs the loose curls at her hairline.

“Do you have another training run tomorrow?” she asks. “I can check with Luke, see if I can go up with you guys. I know my Jedi training is important, but…” She trails off.

“But you want to fly,” Poe finishes, for her. He gets it. Of course he does. He starts to get twitchy after approximately twenty-four hours of being grounded.

Rey nods, and she turns her head so that her cheek is pressed against his shoulder, her breath warm on his neck. Across the table, Jess is watching with obvious interest.

This is the part of the equation that either becomes less complicated or more complicated, depending on how you look at it.

(Poe has been trying not to look at it, but it might be finding him anyway. Things have a way of working out like that.)

They’re quiet for a long moment, except for the gentle exhale of Rey’s breath against his skin, but before Poe can speak -- tell her that they’ll find a way to get her into the sky, promise even -- Finn is back. Poe startles, almost guilty at being caught with Rey like this, but when he looks up at Finn, the other man is grinning at them. He simply shoves Poe over, sitting on the opposite end of the bench as before, pressing himself up against Poe’s other side.

“Rey looks like she’s almost asleep. She’ll definitely hurt me if I try to make her move,” he says, amused. His smile widens, if it’s even possible, when Rey cracks one eye open to glare at him.

“He’s comfy,” she murmurs, more into Poe’s neck than anything.

And really, he should have expected what happens next, because it’s entirely predictable. Finn’s head drops down to Poe’s shoulder, and his body curls up around Poe’s torso, as much as he can on the hard mess bench. After a second, he sighs, content.

“Told ya so,” Rey says, and he can hear the smile in her tone without even looking down at her face.


The next morning, Poe wakes up, less hungover than he feels like he probably should be, for waking up in someone else’s bed with a warm body on either side of him.

(“Stay?” Finn asked, holding out his hand. Poe glanced over his shoulder at the other bed in the room -- apparently Rey’s, but it looked like it had never actually been slept in. And anyway, Rey was already asleep next to the wall in Finn’s bunk, looking very much at home. “Right here,” Finn clarified, as if he could sense Poe’s internal struggle. Fucking self control. Rey murmured her approval when Finn and Poe snuggled up next to her a minute later.)

The general lack of hangover is clearly not shared by Poe’s bedmates. “Stop thinking so loudly,” Rey says, with a distinct whine.

“Sorry,” Poe whispers, as he tries not to move from where he’s half underneath her. One of Finn’s legs is kicked over top of one of Poe’s thighs, and the two of them are way too warm for Poe’s normal sleeping preferences. Still, he’s pretty sure that he slept better than he has in weeks, and he can’t even attribute that to the moonshine, as little as he had to drink in the end. Almost without thinking, his hand comes up to tangle in Rey’s hair; it’s still theoretically held back in her normal buns, but loose around her face, and he brushes the tousled locks off of her forehead.

(He tries not to think about the noise that escapes her throat; more of a purr than anything else. Tries not to think about the way that Finn’s hand rests on his stomach, just above the waistband of his pants. Tries not to think about anything, honestly.)

“What time is it?” Rey finally asks, quiet. Finn just groans in response, but Poe can see the digital clock on Finn’s nightstand and… shit.

“Late enough that I’m going to catch a whole lot of grief from the squadron,” Poe says with a sigh.

“Then it’s late enough that I’m going to get that ‘you’re a disappointment to yourself and your legacy’ look that Luke likes to throw around,” Rey muses.

“I think I’m dying,” Finn groans, burying his head further into Poe’s neck.

Poe laughs, but quietly, because he isn’t a monster. “C’mon, you both need food and water,” he says, as he tries to extricate himself from underneath them both.

In the end, when they finally manage to make their way to the mess -- just barely catching the end of breakfast -- Poe is wearing his clothes from the night before, and Rey has claimed Finn’s jacket, and Finn really does look like he can’t decide whether he wants to go straight for the pitcher of drinking water, or make a run to the nearest toilet. In the end, he settles for poking at the eggs that Poe places in front of him, and warily watching Rey add her 27th or whatever spoonful of sugar to her mug of caf.

(“What?” she asks self-consciously, when she catches both of their stares. “Everyone keeps telling me that caf is an acquired taste, and this is how I’ve chosen to acquire it.” She glares until Poe finally has to turn away.)

All three of them have somehow ended up on the same side of the table, shoulders brushing, as they eat their breakfasts with various levels of enthusiasm. Rey is somehow ravenous, even with a hangover, and Poe forces himself to be amused by it, because if he isn’t, he will have to really think about it. And that is not how he wants to spend the rest of his day.

At length, Finn finally gives up, tossing his fork down on to his plate. He groans as his head drops down on to Poe’s shoulder.

Poe pats his arm in what we hopes is a comforting gesture. “Maybe lunch, then?”

He doesn’t even comment when Rey reaches across him with her fork and starts eating Finn’s abandoned eggs off of his plate. He knows that they are quite the picture -- Finn has fallen asleep again, his breathing slow and deep against Poe’s neck, and Rey is angled so that she’s practically on top of his lap as she finishes off Finn’s uneaten breakfast. And yeah, he probably could have moved the plate a little closer to her. He’s a good guy, but not that good of a guy. On the other side of the mess hall, Jess’ is nudging Karé, her eyebrows creeping skyward as she watches them.

“Not a word,” he mouths, as he directs his strongest glare across the room. And this is clearly killing any intimidation factor that he might have previously had, because Jess just smirks, and he knows that he’s going to be hearing about this for the rest of the day.

“I’m sorry,” Rey says suddenly, her mouth full of eggs. As if she can read his thoughts. And really, Jedi, so it’s quite possible that she has been. Her hair is still loose and mussed from sleep, curling enticingly around her face, and her eyes are wide and innocent, but the corners of her mouth are turned up and it is suddenly very clear just how not sorry she really is.

(Of course, Finn also chooses that moment to stir, his hand fisting in Poe’s t-shirt, and his mouth open and warm against the place where Poe’s shoulder meets his neck.

He’s screwed. It’s as simple as that.

But he smiles down at Rey, pushes the bread roll of of his plate on to hers, and gives Finn’s knee a gentle squeeze where it’s pressed against his own leg.

“It’s not a problem at all.”