It’s true, she’s never done this, but it’s not like she’s a child.
She knows her body. Knows more or less how it works, and the things that it’s capable of. She catches the sidelong looks and the whispered comments on the base, and she doesn’t know where the rest of the Resistance thinks that she grew up, but clearly none of them have spent much time in a bustling junkyard like Niima Outpost.
She is inexperienced. She’ll be the first to admit that. But Rey has always been a fast learner.
She is a child, the first time she is taught about it. She doesn’t know how old -- has no idea how to estimate such things -- but she knows that she is still a child, small and rail-thin and scrawny.
“You need to learn to defend yourself,” the woman says, appraisingly.
She almost takes offense, in the way that only a child can. Rey can defend herself. Has been defending herself. From the other scavengers who take your things, your day’s collection. From the beings -- hungry mouths and hungry eyes -- who will make off with your food if you don’t watch it carefully.
But the other woman is adamant.
“The men who come through here, they come here looking for scraps. Parts for their ships, but also other things.” She looks Rey up and down. “You’re going to be pretty, that much is obvious. These men aren’t going to care that you’re still a child. They never do,” she adds, eyes hardened.
At first, she has no idea what she’s learning to defend against, but still she learns.
Rey may still be a child, but already she knows the consequences of not learning, here.
She learns how to aim for the groin, and then run, to find other people.
“Find another woman,” the other scavenger advises, and Rey doesn’t know what that means, but eventually she learns.
As she sits next to Finn’s bedside, she wonders how much of the fact that she is still alive that she owes to that woman. Swinging Skywalker’s lightsaber felt a lot like swinging her own staff; like the shorter stick that she first learned with when she was a child.
She sends out a thought -- maybe even a prayer -- for that woman, wherever she might be, now.
(She’s not sure whether she hopes that she’s still alive, or that she finally succumbed to the harsh Jakku sands. Isn’t sure which one would be crueler.)
Rey doesn’t know how long she spends in Finn’s room, with her head pressed against the cool sheets of his medical cot, but it’s BB-8 who finds her first. The droid chirps at her, so fast that she can barely translate its rapid binary. Translation or not, its overwhelming glee at seeing her alive and well is clear, and she strokes her hand over its dome affectionately.
Poe finds her a few seconds later.
She recognizes him, of course. He looked back her for a second before rushing off with Finn and the medical team, and they stood on either side of the General during the briefing on Skywalker’s map. Now, his clothing is mussed and his hair is sticking up in all directions, and it looks like he’s gone even longer than she has without a proper stretch of sleep.
He falters, upon seeing her. One arm still resting on Finn’s medical cot and one hand touching his droid, who is still beeping at the two of them like it’s discovered the most marvelous thing in the entire galaxy. “I can….” he pauses, gestures at her and Finn, “I can come back later, if you’d like.”
She shakes her head, and gestures for the other chair in the room.
“It’s fine. Please stay,” she says, because he looks like he needs it just as much as she does.
Poe pauses, considers her offer for a minute, before finally nodding to himself resolutely. He grabs the other chair and moves it next to hers, at Finn’s side. “I’m Poe, by the way,” he offers, quiet.
“I know,” she responds. “And I’m Rey.”
“I know.” The corners of his mouth turn upwards minutely.
They are quiet for a long moment; the beeping of the machines monitoring Finn’s vitals the only noise in the quiet room. She tries not to count the beeps -- tries not to measure her life in regular intervals. Marks on a wall.
Eventually, Poe reaches out. Takes Finn’s hand in his own and squeezes gently.
“He saved my life,” he finally says, barely audible.
“He came back for me,” Rey offers.
Poe turns, meeting her gaze for just a moment, before turning back to Finn.
She is thirteen -- not that she knows that she is thirteen, but that is the age that she is -- when she is given another scrap. She is still unquestionably a child, but she has seen her own reflection in the metal surfaces of the Star Destroyers where she spends her days. Knows that she has changed.
“You need to bind them,” the old scavenger woman says. She’s missing most of her teeth and has a pale silver scar just below one eye. Rey knows that the woman is old, but like Rey’s actual age, the precise number of years and decades is meaningless. Means very little in the sand graveyards of Jakku.
At Rey’s questioning look, the other woman sighs and goes back to scrubbing the chunk of metal with sand. “Use strips of fabrics, like the ones that you use to protect against the sun. Wrap them tightly around your breasts. You’ll be able to move more comfortably.”
Rey nods. “Thank you,” she says, and her voice is rough from disuse. From a long day spent climbing through the guts of a ship in the heat and the sand.
“You’ll want to start collecting rags, as well,” the woman continues. “You haven’t had your first blood, yet?”
Rey has no idea what she’s talking about, but she knows enough to listen at this point, and so the other woman explains.
It happens, though not often, and Rey knows how to line her clothes with rags, to change them before the smell of blood attracts attention, and how to get them clean using sand and a small amount from her meagre supplies of water.
It happens while she is training with Luke at the Jedi temple. She can’t even remember her last period (although she suspects it’s been over a year), but now she has regular meals and regular sleep and more than just survival. She suffers through it quietly, bathing several times a day in the cold ocean in an attempt to stay clean.
Once she is back on D’Qar, it happens again and she goes to see Dr. Kalonia. The doctor just smiles reassuringly at her, and gives her a kind of cup. She also pulls out an anatomy diagram; explains how to insert it and how to clean it. The cup is much less messy than the rags, especially now that this is a regular thing that Rey has to deal with.
She’s sitting at breakfast one morning with Poe on one side and Finn on her other, when she feels the now-familiar cramping throb low in her belly. By now, she knows what this means. Knows that she’s going to have to hurry back to her quarters to get her cup, or else risk some embarrassing stains on her sand-coloured pants. But, before she can even politely excuse herself, Jessika sits down at their table across from them. She has an irritable scowl on her face.
“Don’t fucking start with me,” Jessika says to Poe, in lieu of a greeting.
Poe holds his hands up in a gesture of surrender, and Rey is still learning.
Rey has also been taught the why.
“There are ways to prevent getting pregnant, but you’re not going to find any of them here,” says one woman, as she hurriedly gulps down her half-portion.
“If you don’t want babies, you’ll learn how to use your mouth,” advises another.
Dr. Kalonia pauses before the last injection.
Honestly, Rey has had so many injections at this point -- vaccines that New Republic children get when they’re babies, vaccines against the most common diseases on D’Qar, diseases that proliferate in cramped, crowded places like the base -- that she wishes that the doctor would just get this one over with, as well.
“This one is a hormone injection,” Kalonia explains. “Many women of child-bearing age choose to receive them, but it’s completely optional.”
“That is,” Rey starts, before trailing off as it suddenly clicks. “It stops me from getting pregnant?” she asks, and she knows that her eyes are wide and curious. Obvious. She hates it.
“Yes,” the doctor confirms. “It’s one injection every three cycles, and it stops your body from ovulating -- from producing the egg that would grow into a baby if it was fertilized. There are other methods that can also be used, and we can also discuss those if you want. Other more long-term or less long-term methods, depending on what you want. Or you can choose nothing, or to wait before making a decision. It’s entirely up to you.”
Rey thinks. Remembers the way that Finn threw his arms around her when she returned to the base with Luke Skywalker. The way that his chest felt against hers, and the press of her nose into the place where his shoulder meets his neck. The way she seamlessly moved into his quarters; he offered without even a thought to the implications and she agreed without hesitation. Remembers the look that Poe gives her over Finn’s shoulder; his eyes shining with affection for them both and also something else that she has no idea how to define.
“I’ll take the injection,” she decides.
It almost shocks her how easily she falls into the routine at the base.
She spends her days training with Luke, meditating and sparring, and learning to wield her lightsaber in a way that resembles her tight stabbing and blocking motions that she learned with her staff less and less each day.
Sometimes, if he doesn’t have anything more pressing to do that day, Poe will show up. Grinning and smirking, and asking if he can “borrow” Rey for a few hours. And she can actually feel Luke fighting the urge to roll his eyes, but he also almost always says yes, so there’s that.
He takes her flying. Sitting in the pilot’s seat of the two-seater training x-wing, listening to Poe’s gentle encouraging voice as he talks her through maneuvers. Unable to stop the wide smile from creeping on to her face at his enthusiasm; the way he throws an arm over her shoulder affectionately once they’re back on the ground.
Her favorite days are the ones when Poe claims that he needs help with some modifications to Black One, but she strongly suspects that it’s all just a ruse to get her into the hangar. Poe and Finn often sit on one of the wings while she tears pieces out of the x-wing, replaces them with other ones. Sometimes spare parts that she salvages from other ships; saved in a corner in her room like her treasures.
“You know, I don’t just let anyone tear my baby apart,” Poe says one afternoon. The hangar is swelteringly humid -- worse than usual -- but the kitchen has mixed up some actual ice cream and Finn is shovelling it into his mouth greedily, eyes closing in bliss with every bite. Poe had brought enough for her as well, and Rey had taken a few cautious bites before deciding that she prefers to watch Finn enjoy it over eating it, herself.
Now, Rey looks up from where she’s pretzeled herself under one wing to meet Poe’s gaze. “Your trust is humbling,” she says, aiming for sarcastic, but unable to keep the genuine delight out of her voice.
They’re curled up in Finn’s bed -- Rey snuggled into Finn’s side, her head pillowed on his shoulder and his hand sifting gently through her hair -- the first time that she decides to kiss him.
(Decides, because it’s definitely a conscious decision that she makes. She considers the alternatives, the consequences. Weighs them out. The decision to not kiss him, maintain the status quo, versus the decision to push their relationship towards what she now sees as an inevitable progression.)
She lifts her head up, just enough that she can look him in the eye, and his hand slides down from her hair. Grazes the spot where her neck meets her jaw for just a moment, and the light contact makes her shiver. And then he cups her cheek, like he knows just what she’s going to do. And she’s sure that he does know -- can see it in her eyes, just as she can see the encouragement in his. She dips her head down, and closes the distance between them.
It’s good, as far as first kisses go. Finn kisses just as he does all things; eager, determined, unfailingly gentle. When she pulls away after a few seconds, he chases her lips. Eyes still closed as he seeks to follow her.
As she looks down at his beautiful face -- open and so filled with love -- she makes the decision to kiss him again.
“Rey?” Finn asks, later, once she’s curled around him once more.
“Yeah?” she answers, swollen lips and quiet contentment.
“Can we talk about Poe?”
She stopped counting the marks on the wall at least one-thousand marks ago, but she guesses that it’s at least a couple years after her first blood. The first time that she wakes with a slick wetness between her legs and a distracting throbbing that leaves her flushed and wanting.
(Even if she doesn’t even really know what she wants.)
She’s listened. Heard talk -- mostly innuendo, but sometimes frank discussion -- and she knows more or less what she can do. And so she slips her fingers down into her pants, parting her own folds, and touching. Not much happens the first time, but she tries again a few days later, and a few days after that.
One night, she keeps going, unable to stop until a white-hot bolt of pleasure makes her gasp into the quiet darkness of the AT-AT.
She gets better at it after that.
Finn is beneath her, pressing his hips up into hers as she grinds down against him. He gasps against her mouth, a harsh desperate sound that might be her name, and fuck, she likes it.
“Do that again,” she says, breathless, and he chuckles against her skin.
“All of it,” she responds, and of course he would do anything that she asks.
She moves her hips, forward and back, against Finn’s cock. Cock -- a word she knows from the Jakku scavenger women, often spat out of their mouths like they were spitting phlegm into the sand. Decidedly, she moves her hips, slides down Finn’s body, and he whines at the sudden loss of contact with his groin.
This is beyond her skillset, but she knows the general mechanics of how this is supposed to work. Still, she pauses, her thumbs caught in the waistband of Finn’s pants.
“You’ve never done this before,” she says, not a question, and Finn nods in response. “You’ve touched yourself, though?” she asks, this time.
Another nod. “We had to do it quickly and silently in the barracks. Everyone knew that most everyone else did it, but no one ever talked about it.”
Rey grins. “So, I’ll be your first, then.” She smiles to herself and Finn immediately smiles in response. He probably doesn’t even notice that he does it. “You’re my first,” she adds, almost an afterthought.
“Yeah?” he asks, breathless. Radiant.
“Yeah,” she confirms, and suddenly Finn is surging up, propping himself up on his elbows so that he can press his mouth eagerly against her own. She’s distracted for a minute; by the way that he captures her lower lip between his own, by the way that his tongue sweeps through her mouth, like he wants to taste every part of her and memorize it.
(If she has the choice, she never wants him to have to memorize her, but she knows all too well that they don’t always have the choice.)
Finally, he pulls away, dropping back down to the mattress. Her hands are still resting lightly at his hips, teasing at the waistband of his pants. “Can I?” she asks, even though she already knows the answer. It still seems important to ask.
“Yeah,” he breathes, panting quietly beneath her.
And so she pulls the pants down over his hips, taking his underwear with them. And this is the first time she’s ever done this, and she knows vaguely what he’s going to look like. But the actual sight of Finn, naked and in her bed, cock hard and jutting against his belly? She worries her lip with her teeth.
“You’re… beautiful,” she says, finally, and he just grins up at her, a little bashful.
She takes it slowly, exploring the juts and creases of his pelvis, the trail of hair that runs down his stomach, the smooth lines of muscles and hard tendons that make up his thighs. She tries touching him, as well. Experiments with the strokes that make him gasp and what she can do to make him moan. How his fingers clench in the sheets when she finally takes him in her hand. She also remembers what the woman on Jakku said about using her mouth, and so she experimentally swirls her tongue around the tip, tasting the salty liquid collected there. She can feel the tension in Finn’s body, the way he’s holding himself back from thrusting up into her mouth.
“Shit, I can’t--” he moans out, desperate, when Rey sucks the tip into her mouth. And so she pulls away, replacing her mouth with her hand. She wants to finish him off with her mouth one day, to see what that’s like, but today she wants to be able to watch. And so she does, watches as his entire body tightens, as his hips thrust up into her hand, and then he comes into her fist with a harsh cry.
Especially when he groans, quiet, and reaches out to her without opening his eyes. She goes eagerly, wiping her hand on his discarded shirt, before curling up against his side.
There’s something gratifying about the way that Finn wraps his arms around her, clutches her tightly against him, as if he’s trying to draw her into his body. “Wow,” he finally breathes out. “It’s never been like that when I do it myself.”
She laughs, and it is clearly infectious, because Finn is joining her a second later.
Until, suddenly, his face becomes oddly serious.
“I want to do that to you, too,” he says, earnest, and Rey can only nod breathlessly against his shoulder.
Which is how she finds herself, a few minutes later, stripped naked and in the position Finn had recently occupied. Lying on her back while Finn hovers over her, a nervous expression on his face.
“I… have no idea what I’m doing,” he admits, and Rey feels the wide grin split her face, because he’s just so good and so eager to do the right thing. Like in everything.
She grabs his hand, presses it against her clit, and then moves two of his fingers in a circling motion that makes her breath catch her in throat. “Start with this,” she directs, and he takes over from there.
She knows Finn. Feels like she’s known him from the first few minutes that she met him. Since that moment when he lay on his back in the sand and asked her if she was alright. And just as she can read him, he is able to read her. He circles her clit with her own slow rhythm for a minute, before trying a faster motion and a lighter touch. It makes her feel dizzy, turns her voice into a desperate whine that has him grinning down at her. And then, just when she can’t take it any longer and her own inner monologue has turned into a chant of oh god please more please oh god please, he suddenly presses down firmly on her clit in a way that draws out a keening sound that she’s never even heard from her own mouth.
When his other hand hovers at her entrance, she can only choke out a desperate, “please,” before he slides one finger in and she feels her muscles clench down on him in a way that makes him groan in response.
She comes, with one hand in her own hair and her hips working against his hand. Showing him how to fuck her, the speed and pressure she likes on her clit. When her lower body finally stops trembling, he drops his forehead down on to hers, not pulling his hand away just yet, as the aftershocks continue to wrack her, making her clench around him.
“Okay, that was even better than that thing you did with your mouth,” he says, finally, and she chuckles against his skin.
“I don’t know,” she answers, once she can speak again, and she grins cheekily. “We’re still learning.”
They sit across from each other at breakfast, and Rey tries to peek over her shoulder covertly when she notices Finn’s attention caught by something on the other side of the room.
They watch as Poe greets pilots, maintenance people, the mess staff, all with equal levels of enthusiasm. He goes straight for the caf, as usual, before heading over to collect his own breakfast.
When Rey turns back to Finn, she is almost taken aback by the open longing on his face.
“It’s not like--” he starts, before trying, “it’s not that you’re not,” and finally setting on, “you’re…” and then giving up, as if he can’t even describe what she is.
“I know,” Rey says, reassuring. “I get it,” she offers.
And then, “I have no idea how to do this.”
It’s Finn’s idea to talk to Pava.
(“We can’t exactly go up to the General and ask her what the New Republic protocol on relationships between multiple people was,” he reasons. “And Jess is one of Poe’s best friends.”)
Once Pava stops laughing, she finally asks, “Are you two really asking me for advice on seducing Poe Dameron?”
Finn actually nods, to Rey’s mortification.
“Whatever you have been doing, keep doing it. It’s working,” she says, tears of mirth in her eyes.
Which actually is much more helpful than one would have thought.
“Has Luke talked to you about projecting your emotions?” the General asks, by way of greeting, as she steps aboard the Millennium Falcon a few days later.
And actually, of course Luke has talked to her about projecting her emotions. Has taught her how to shield them from outside intrusion. From being picked up on by anyone even slightly Force-sensitive who walks by.
Of course, Rey is still learning.
(Not to mention, sorting through the decades of modifications to the Falcon’s systems is mentally exhausting work. Trying to sort through the mess of wiring, decide which ones were done by Han himself and which ones can just be torn apart because they’re useless and not in the proper appreciation of the Falcon. She might be a bit biased. She’ll admit it. Anyway, it’s hard to focus on not projecting your emotions, when you’re busy tracing a wire through the panelling, and trying to attribute the motivations of whoever installed it.)
But that’s kind of a mouthful, and so what she says instead is, “Sorry, General.” She looks up for a moment to meet the General’s soft gaze with her own contrite one, before turning her attention back to the control panel.
The General sighs, and settles herself down on the narrow bunk on the side of the room. She runs her fingers almost reverently over the synthetic fabric that is cracking slightly near the edges from years of neglect -- from sitting in a junkyard on a planet where the temperatures spike to nearly uninhabitable levels during the day, only to fall below freezing at night.
She seems lost in her thoughts -- memories -- and Rey goes back to rewiring the control panel. She’s almost started when Leia speaks.
“You never had anyone to teach you any of this,” she says. “Not this.” She gestures around the Falcon. “This, you’re good at it. It’s the rest of it that’s hard.”
And it’s true. Of course it is. But, like most things, not entirely accurate. There is a long list of people who taught Rey everything that she knows.
“I’m getting by,” is what she says.
Leia’s eyes are sad, almost unbearably so. “You certainly are, dear.”
She stands up, straightens to her full height and her militarily-rigid posture. Her eyes sweep around the Falcon, her expression distant.
“You two should just tell him,” she says, as she eyes the corridor that leads to the cockpit. “The way we live…” She pauses, and her voice is raspy when she speaks again. “You never know when it’s all going to be taken away. If you have the chance to be happy, you should try to hold on to that. The rest will all work itself out.”
With one more wistful look toward the Falcon’s cockpit, she’s gone.
What Rey decides on:
“You should kiss him,” she says to Finn, and both of their eyes widen almost comically.
“He wants to kiss you,” she says, addressing Poe this time. “I want to, too,” she adds. “I trust that this isn’t a problem?”
“Not a problem at all,” says Poe, sounding slightly dazed. Like he isn’t sure how he got here, and he can’t believe his luck.
In the end, it is Finn that kisses Poe first, and Rey can’t help the happy sigh that escapes her chest at the sight of the two men -- her boys, she thinks, unable to temper the greedy scavenger that she knows that she is, deep down -- licking their way into each others mouths.
“Well, I guess that was a way to do it,” Finn tells her, playfully tugging on one of the curls that has escaped her buns.
Poe’s bed is bigger than her’s or Finn’s.
Not quite big enough for three bodies, but none of them are going to complain about that. Not at this moment, at least. Rey can’t even think of a single thing in the galaxy to complain about -- can’t comprehend that there might be anything wrong at all -- when Poe’s tongue is flicking over her clit and he has two fingers inside her, curled upward and doing something that makes her feel like she’s floating without a tether.
“Finn,” she manages to choke out, and she holds out a hand which he takes immediately. His fingers on his other hand stroke over her neck, down her collarbone and lower.
When she comes, it’s with both of their names on her tongue, harsh and desperate. It’s good -- so fucking good -- but there are so many other things she wants to try, especially now that she has both of them here with her, now. She tugs on Poe’s hair lightly, pulling him up her body until they’re face to face.
“I want to…” She trails off, and her voice is breathless. “Gods, I want to do everything,” she finally decides.
Poe is chuckling, his eyes dark and filled with desire, and Finn just looks kind of flustered, but in the best possible way. One of his hands is still holding on to hers and she gives it an encouraging squeeze.
“I…” Finn pauses, looks from her face over to Poe. “I clearly have no idea what I’m doing.”
“Me either,” says Poe, cheerfully.
“I have no idea how any of this works,” Rey adds, and she brings one hand up to stroke Finn’s cheek, smiling when he leans into her touch.
“Let’s figure it out.”