Blue smudged before Rey’s eyes, the pulsation of her carotid already giving her a flushed face and an incoming headache. She gripped the controls, sitting at the edge of her seat, as her right hand hovered over the light-speed button. Silent prayers filled her thoughts and her grip tightened on the beaming device in her left hand. The beacon meant home. Home meant her friends and family.
She had to be fast, no, she had to be faster than Order’s shuttle to save her home.
„Artoo!” Rey shouted, her voice turning into a high-pitched squeak. „We’re close, get ready.”
In his co-pilot seat, Chewie roared at R2-D2 as well, adrenaline evidently getting to him. The droid beeped back in the distance.
Her whole body stiffened the moment the blue surroundings were replaced with black skies, showered with multicolor stars. In the middle of the view was a heavy cruiser of an older generation, silently suspended in space.
„The flyboy really did it,” Rey muttered under her breath, taking in the view. She was really impressed at the fulfilled promise one friend of hers made to her before she left on the mission. „He really found a new cruiser!”
Chewie shared her enthusiasm, though the tone of his voice seemed to say ‘Focus! Our mission is not done yet!’
Rey put the little beacon inside a pocket of her Resistance jacket and leaned over the dashboard. „Let’s do it,” she commanded and placed the comm to her ear. From the corner of her eye, she saw the First Order’s shuttle jump behind the Falcon.
Right away after the dispatcher accepted their clearance code, they went for dock 6. At the landing place, Rose was waiting for Rey.
As soon as the Falcon touched the ground, Rey chased after R2-D2 to the exit. The shuttle already had started bombing the cruiser, and she knew it wasn’t long before a Destroyer would appear.
Two women hugged hurriedly.
„Where is it?” Rose yelled over the noise, to which Rey only pointed to the droid.
Her friend crouched over R2-D2 and within seconds she had a thin disk between her fingers.
The young Jedi didn’t even try to look around the inside of carrier, choosing instead to blindly follow after Rose. After a couple of turns through the hallway they arrived at the control room. It was full of people, apparently they walked into an ongoing roll call. In the middle of the room was Poe, giving a motivational speech, while Finn and Leia were standing at his sides.
Silence fell and all the eyes turned to Rose and Rey, as they broke through the crowd.
„Poe, we’ve got the disk,” Rose breathed and handed it to one of the technicians.
Poe observed wide-eyed while Finn and Rey hugged cursorily, and then smiled, „You did it, Rey.”
Her insides did a flip-flop because of the stress. „I hope it works,” she replied. This was their last chance, if the anti-track programme failed all hope was lost.
„We’re ready,” the technician announced.
Now or never , Rey thought. Poe looked over to Leia, who nodded. Another explosion went off in the distance.
„Execute the protocol, then calculate a jump in light-speed,” Poe ordered and closed his eyes. „We’ve got only one chance at this.”
Finn walked over to Rose and wrapped his arms around her tightly. They both stared intensely at the screens next to the windows, waiting.
Rey’s hands itched at the sudden feeling of emptiness. She was standing close to Poe now, shaking uncontrollably.
She closed her eyes, the tension never going away, and felt a rough, but warm hand against her left palm. Rey didn’t intertwine with Poe’s fingers, rather tightened her grip around his, her nails probably digging into his skin a bit too firmly. Even if that was the case, he didn’t protest.
Although only a few seconds, which seemed like an eternity for sure, before Rey felt the carrier shake under her feet. She steadied herself for support with the help of Poe’s hand and slowly opened her eyes. Then, they finally stopped.
Nobody dared a word within the graven stillness in the control room, before the navigator announced, „No sign of follow activity!”
Finn and Rose walked over to the windows side-by-side, as if not believing it was happening. A frenzy burst out, everybody overjoyed, hugs and handshakes were exchanged.
Rey watched the scene blankly, not entirely sure if this was a dream, until with a swift movement, she was swept off her feet. Without a second thought, Poe lifted Rey up by her sides above himself, laughing heartily. First, she yelped at the surprise but then joined him, giggling happily.
He twirled them around happily before putting her down. However, Poe did not let go and hugged her closely, burying his nose in the crook of her neck. „You did it,” he repeated, murmuring into her skin, his lips leaving a ghost of a kiss.
A breath got caught in her lungs, and not because of Poe’s tight hold. She was pretty sure she couldn’t feel her feet touch the ground due to dizziness. Her nostrils widened at the delicate scent of Poe’s skin.
Rey couldn’t recall the last time she felt like this.
Only seconds later the pair noticed they were the last remaining people still celebrating. Under the stare of prying eyes, Rey parted herself from Poe, ignoring the funny looks from their friends.
All of them stayed a bit longer in the cockpit, making sure the data was right and they were indeed free of First Order’s tail.
After some time Rey felt the exhaustion unbearable anymore. She stood behind Poe, who was checking latest statistics on board, and said quietly, „I’m beat, I’ll try to catch a few hours of sleep.”
Poe pretended to analyze the board still, and answered indistinctly, „You can use my quarters, I haven’t even got the time yet to settle in it properly.”
She thanked him, and upon given instructions on how to get to his room, Rey waddled slowly in its direction. She was definitely looking forward to not hearing Chewie’s snores while falling asleep.
The second she entered through the doors, Rey kicked off her boots. The room wasn’t too spacey, yet the bed seemed enormous. Half of Jakku’s desert could fit in it , went through her head before she buried herself under the blanket. She remembered falling asleep, wishing the pillow would smell the same way Poe did.
It was hard to tell how many hours passed when Poe finally entered his quarters. He must’ve been no less tired than her, but Rey only registered him throwing his own boots aside and crawling beside her after a few minutes. He settled in, placing his face where it previously had been, in between Rey’s neck and shoulder.
This was more than home, she realized before falling asleep again. This was love.