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Practice Makes Perfect

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Rey knocked on Finn’s door and waited. She took a deep breath to calm herself, and by the time the door slid open she was more or less her usual self.

“Hey, how was your day?” Finn said, wiping a towel over his face. “I heard a rumor that the engineers got a new project to keep themselves busy.” He leaned against the doorway to let Rey in.

She walked into his quarters and sat himself down on his bed. Rey had only been in a handful of other living quarters before, but Finn was the only one who kept it so clean. “We’re trying to find a way to make fuel last longer. So far, nothing.”

Finn put the towel on the drying rack and sat down besides her. “That’s too bad.”

“Anything interesting happen with you today?”

Finn collapsed on the bed beside her. “Nothing today, but yesterday something interesting happened.”

Rey raised her eyebrow. “Oh?”

“Jessika had to get ready for her date, and she showed me how to do her makeup.” Finn reached out for Rey’s hand and placed it in his. The first time Finn had taken her hand, the foreign touch of another living being had made her uncomfortable, but now Finn playing with her fingers and holding her hand was as natural as breathing.

They sat in silence, her rough hands worn by sand and hard work feeling delicate in his. Rey’s breathing was nearly silent, a self taught habit from years of hiding from predators, so she listened to his instead. He stroked her palm, making patterns that Rey didn’t see, but could feel as if it were etched into her skin. The silence between them felt heavier than usual as the minutes ticked by. Usually Finn would say something when Rey failed to continue the conversation, but he wasn’t doing it today, and the shift in the routine weighed uncomfortably on her.

“Sounds like you had a good time with Jessika,” Rey’s smile felt strained to her. Finn was the best person she’d ever met, he was the only person she would die for. While she was happy that other people were noticing how incredible he was, she still lamented the fact that lately he’d been spending less time with her and more time with other people.

Finn took his hand out of hers all too soon, and got up. Rey clenched her fingers around the emptiness. “She let me keep some of her stuff.” Finn shrugged off his worn jacket and looked back at her. “And yeah I did. She has the late shift today so I haven’t seen her. I hope her date went well.”

“I think it did. Rose was having a hard time concentrating when we were repairing a droid today. Almost welded a memory chip to its hull.” Rose had shot off a dozen apologies for the oversight, but no one could fault her for being so happy she got careless.

Finn chuckled. “Good for them. Jessika told me that if there’s a second date she might want me to help her out next time.”

Finn went into his bathroom and scrubbed his hands clean of any imaginary dirt. Rey shook her head. She might not be the the cleanest person on the base, but Finn had a problem when it came to touching her after she got off work. There were things on his bathroom counter that hadn’t been there before, but Rey only spared it a glance before locking her gaze on Finn’s frantic scrubbing.

She smiled at his through the mirror. “You’re such a neat freak.”

He smiled back. “You’re lucky I like you otherwise I’d never let your junkyard self in my room.”

“First of all, Jakku is a salvage yard, not a junkyard, and second, isn’t putting makeup on someone hard?” Rey asked. She had never worn makeup herself, but she had overhead Paige and Poe discussing the best way for someone to give themselves cat eyes.

“You don’t mind if I practice on you, do you? Jessika has been so nice to me, and if she ever asks me to help her with getting ready I don’t want to disappoint her.”
Rey looked at the bottles, brushes and rags on Finn’s bathroom counter and felt a bit sick. No one could afford cosmetics on Jakku, they were expensive and wouldn’t feed anyone, and Rey had never seen anyone wear them until they had arrived at the base two months ago. It seemed silly, frivolous.

But Finn had asked for her help.

Rey swallowed. “Not at all.”

Finn’s face lightened. “Great!” He placed one hand on her shoulder and the other on her waist. “Just sit right here and get comfortable.” Finn’s energetic movements danced at the periphery of her vision.

She took a deep breath as she settled onto the stool. Finn picked up a washcloth and held it under the faucet.

“This might be a little cold.” He pressed the cloth to her face and washed off the dust and grease accumulated from her work day. He dried her off with the other side of the cloth and then set it down on the counter. He picked up what looked like a beige colored cotton ball and unscrewed one of the small jars. Finn dipped the cotton ball into the loose powder and tapped it on the edge of the jar. A small cloud of the powder fell back into the jar. Finn put his left hand back on Rey’s shoulder and repositioned himself. Rey wanted to shift her weight under his scrutinizing stare, but held still.

His sturdy hand brushed his tool across her face lightly. Rey inhaled as soon as it flew past her nose and she sneezed. Finn held back a grin and Rey would usually glare down any who openly laughed at a weakness of hers, but for Finn she just said, “sorry.”

Finn shook his head before taking a few more swipes at her forehead. “Don’t be. I probably should’ve mentioned breathing this stuff in wasn’t a good idea.”

Rey smiled, and braced herself for what other torture he had in store for her. She tried not to think of what she must look like with powder on her face.

Next Finn picked up a stick of charcoal and held it up to her face like a pencil. “Close your eyes, and stay perfectly still no matter what.”

“Why? You’re not going to stab me with that, are you?”

Finn grinned at her, and she knew that she had said the right thing. “No, I’m just gonna put this on your eyelids.” Rey didn’t like that one bit. She’d seen Paige walking around with black color on her lids, and even saw Rose with blue lines by her lashes, but she’d never realized that they would have to poke themselves so much to get that effect.

“You can’t be serious.”

Finn’s grin softened into a smile just for her. Damn him. “I’ll be gentle. Promise.”

Rey rolled her eyes, giving him a watered down glare before giving in. Finn’s soft palm found its home against her cheek. Rey breathed in the scent of rain and ink, and let it overcome her senses and calm her. This was Finn, he wouldn’t hurt her.

She squeezed her eyes together and clasped her hands tightly. “Make it quick.”

Finn snorted. “Relax.”

She exhaled just as the tip of the charcoal touched her lid. It felt like someone was slicing a knife against it, but she held still. She waited patiently for Finn to finish her right eye. She twitched it to shake off the lingering feeling and then tried not to wince when Finn worked on her left eye.

“How much did Jessika teach you?” Rey asked, keeping her voice low despite their privacy.

Finn put down the charcoal stick and picked up a paintbrush and a small jar of a pink substance. “Enough to help her out. You really don’t mind me practicing on you?”

Rey shook her head. “Of course not.”

Finn gently rubbed Rey’s lips and pressed the tip of the paintbrush to her mouth.

Rey’s blush wouldn’t go away, and she glad that he’d already applied powder to her face. She hoped it could conceal red in her cheeks. Finn wiped the brush carefully across the delicate skin, not taking his own eyes off his work. His face was so close to hers, the proximity making her all too aware of their out of sync breathing. She wanted to say something to break the tension, but Finn was so absorbed into his actions that Rey didn’t want to potentially sabotage him.

Finn moved the brush away once he was done, but he didn’t stir from his position. He didn’t smile, and for a moment Rey worried that even with the cosmetics on her he didn’t find her attractive, and wanted to hide herself away.

“You sure clean up nicely.”

Her hand twitched towards his before resting on her thigh. His dark brown eyes felt like they were burning hers, yet she didn’t blink, not wanting to end the moment, yet scared to progress it.

“I guess I have you to thank for that. Otherwise I wouldn’t have bothered to clean up the grease.”

Finn rubbed his thumb over her bottom lip. “I always thought you looked good covered in grease.”

Rey couldn’t even blink, shocked still, unable to move a muscle. Finn’s thumb moved back to her cheek. She could barely feel it against her skin. Finn’s brows scrunched together when Rey’s eyes started to water.

“Are you-?”

Finn was cut off by Rey putting her lips against his. The force of her attack sent him off balance, but Rey’s arm around him kept him with her. Rey moved her mouth, deepening the kiss, and Finn finally got over his shock and kissed her back. He pulled her up off of the stool and moved the hand on her cheek to cup her face.

Rey could hardly believe she actually did it, or that he was kissing her back. Finn’s soft lips made breathing her last concern and all she wanted was for him to get closer. Finn opened his mouth wider, and she was assaulted by more of his fresh taste. Rey was well fed, but she couldn’t get rid of this new hunger. His free hand rested on her waist and gripped her side securely in his hold. Rey wrapped both arms around his neck and pressed herself against him the best she could. Her heart was beating hard against her chest, yet she couldn’t hear a thing that wasn’t the sound of her lips meeting Finn’s again and again.

He broke away from her, breathing heavily as he rested his forehead against hers.

“I was going to ask if you were OK,” Finn panted, his lips stained artificially pink. Rey licked her lips, but all she could taste was Finn.

The more she looked at Finn’s mouth, the harder it was to contain her smile, after a few seconds she bit down on her lip to stop it.

He smiled at her widely. “What’s making you smile like that?”

She swept her thumb over his lips, and then showed him the pink on her finger. “I don’t think this color does you justice.”

He grinned, uncaring about the lipstick on his face. “I don’t know, I think you look very good on me.”

Rey snorted, and then pulled him back in for another kiss.