When Rey rescues them from Crait, everyone is staring because, wow, floating rocks. Poe isn’t staring because of the floating rocks – although he is pretty impressed, granted – he’s staring because this is Rey. The Rey. The one Finn’s always talking about. Right on cue, Finn runs over and wraps Rey up in a tight, joyous hug.
“That was – you were – just wow!”
Finn laughs, and then pulls back, his hands on her shoulders, and looks at her.
“Wowww,” he says, slowly.
Rey doesn’t say anything, just grabs his hand and pulls him into the Millennium Falcon. Poe follows.
As they fly out of Crait’s orbit, everyone is so busy celebrating, so happy and alive and relieved, that they forget about Rey. She’s hunched over, on her own, in a room full of people who she’s just saved, and Poe’s damsel in distress sirens – he has them okay, and they have saved Finn’s life – start blazing.
It’s not until she stands up to shake his hand that he notices. It’s not that he’s unobservant, it’s just – she’s smiling brightly at him, and any man would be distracted by that smile, even Poe ‘best pilot in the Resistance, General Organa slapped me in the face once and it was awesome’ Dameron. It throws him. He doesn’t say anything for a second. Then, in a moment utterly lacking in his characteristic roguish charm, he gestures vaguely towards her and says,
“Finn’s told me all about you, but he didn’t mention… that.”
Rey’s hand flutters down to her stomach. She looks across the deck at Finn. He’s still checking on Rose, and Poe feels a sudden rush of righteous anger because he is Poe Dameron and there is a damsel in distress.
“He didn’t know,” Rey says, her voice small.
“Well,” Poe says, grabbing Finn by the scruff of the neck and dragging him over to face his goddamn responsibilities like an adult – don’t give me that look, do as I say, not as I do, Finn – “I guess you two have a lot to catch up on.”
He gives Finn a meaningful look and claps him on the back, a little harder than usual.
“So,” Finn says, “How – how are you?”
“I’m okay,” she says quietly.
Finn nods, looking at the floor.
“How was Ahch-To?”
“I found Luke Skywalker.”
“Good, good. Anything… interesting happen?”
“Chewbacca adopted some porgs,” Rey says, looking over to a small family of the creatures, nestled in one of the Falcon’s smuggling compartments.
“Well, they adopted him,” Rey says.
“You should,” Finn says, and motions to a bench, “You should sit down. You know. You should be resting.”
“I just fought a lightsaber battle with Kylo Ren,” Rey says, a little indignant.
“Right before I flew over here, shot down a few Starfighters, lifted a rock fall, and saved you.”
Rey quirks an eyebrow, and fortunately Finn knows better than to argue with that.
“Okay, so, you must be exhausted,” he says.
Rey sighs. She sits down, and Finn immediately starts fussing.
“Do you need anything? A blanket? Some water? I bet you’re dehydrated. I’ll get you some water.”
Finn hurries off, nearly walking right into Poe.
“You’re doing great, buddy,” Poe says, and gives him a thumbs up.
“So, have you and Rey had a talk?” Poe asks later, when they’re all settling down for the night.
Most of them are in the main hold, but Chewbacca insisted that Rey and Leia take proper beds in the crew’s quarters. And you don’t argue with a Wookie. Poe has managed to grab a spot in the corner for him and Finn. Partly because he’s a good friend, and partly because he’s curious as hell. Getting a girl pregnant after knowing her for 24 hours is a move requiring Poe Dameron-esque levels of suave. Suave that he is yet to see in Finn.
“Yeah,” Finn says, wrestling with his sleeping bag.
“And?” Poe says, leaning forward, “It is yours, isn’t it?”
Finn looks at him blankly.
“The baby!” Poe says, punching him lightly on the shoulder.
Finn drops his sleeping bag.
Everyone in the main hold turns to look at them, suddenly very awake and very interested.
“What baby?” Rose asks from the other side of the room, looking bleary-eyed.
“Rey came back from Ahch-To about five months’ pregnant, keep up,” Connix says.
“What?” says Rose.
“And Finn is probably the baby daddy,” Connix adds.
“What?” Rose repeats.
Finn laughs nervously.
“Listen, guys, Rey and I met days ago. Not five months.”
“Well, that’s not technically true,” says D’Acy, “You see, for us, Rey left to find Luke Skywalker days ago. But for her, she was on Ahch-To for months.”
“That,” Finn says, “Makes no sense.”
“It’s Einstein’s theory of relativity,” says D’Acy.
Everyone looks at D’Acy. She blinks.
“The point is, Rey could have already been pregnant when she left to find Luke Skywalker.”
Everyone looks back at Finn.
“You two did seem pretty friendly before she left,” says Poe.
“Yeah,” says Finn, “But not enough for that!”
“Really?” everyone says in unison.
“Yes!” Finn flounders, “I am – 90% sure!”
There is a sharp intake of breath around the room.
“What?” says Finn, “That’s a high percentage!”
“Not high enough,” says Rose.
Connix and D’Acy raise their eyebrows, fold their arms and nod in agreement.
“Hang on a minute,” Wexley pipes up, “Surely that means she could have got pregnant while she was on Ahch-To?”
“Exactly!” says Finn.
Everyone nods, then frowns as they all come to the same realisation.
“You think Luke Skywalker got Rey pregnant?” says Connix, “Wasn’t he like, really old?”
“He projected his image halfway across the galaxy to annoy his nephew. The guy’s got skills.”
“Hey!” Poe says, “He was giving Rey her Jedi training.”
“And maybe a little more than that,” Wexley mutters, raising his eyebrows.
“Do you think she felt the force?” chuckles C’ai.
“Too much,” Poe says, shaking his head.
“Well, logically it has to be either you or Skywalker,” says D’Acy.
“I know who my money’s on,” says Wexley.
Connix claps her hands together.
“Alright, guys. Now taking bets on who is Rey’s baby daddy.”
All at once, everyone’s digging into their pockets and counting their change, clamouring to place their bets.
“Seriously?” says Finn.
He looks at Poe.
“Tell me you have my back.”
“Of course I do,” Poe says, flashing Finn a grin, “Hey, Connix! 100 credits on my buddy Finn!”
Finn puts his head in his hands.
“That wasn’t what I meant.”
Before Finn drags himself up from the position he’s assumed (face-down on the floor, half in his sleeping bag) Connix has converted the Falcon’s dejarik board into a betting chart titled Rey’s baby daddy.
5251977 is a planet so tiny and remote and obscure it wasn’t given a name when the Alliance used it as their base thirty years ago. It still doesn’t have a name now. Finn is quietly angry about that.
“I expect people are talking,” Rey says, the night they land on 5251977.
Leia insisted that Rey take one of the old officer’s bedrooms, and Finn insisted that they couldn’t leave her on her own, and Poe insisted that Finn should really stay with Rey alone, and Rey insisted that he really shouldn’t. So, now there’s a bit of an atmosphere, Rey is on the bed and Finn, Poe and BB-8 are building a sort of nest on the floor. BB-8 isn’t really helping, but he’s enjoying rolling around in the blankets.
“What? Of course no one’s talking,” says Finn, unconvincingly.
Rey gives him a look.
“Well, they are a little bit,” he admits.
“It’s exciting,” Poe says, “This will be the first baby of the new Resistance.”
Rey smiles, but it seems a little weak at the edges.
“Everyone will want to be a godparent,” Poe adds.
“And I can think of some really good candidates,” says Finn, gesturing between himself and Poe.
“What about names?” says Poe.
“Oh yeah,” says Finn, “Poe is really good at names.”
He beams at Poe, that bright wide smile, and yeah, that’s never going to get old.
“I… haven’t really thought about that,” says Rey.
BB-8 beeps happily.
“Yes,” Poe laughs, “BB-8 does sound like baby.”
Finn pulls a face.
BB-8 gives Finn a cold, hard stare. Poe elbows him.
“I guess it does a bit,” Finn says.
“Maybe you just want to name the baby after his father?” Poe says.
Finn looks at Poe, as if to say wow, subtle. Rey wrinkles her nose.
“No,” she says, “This is a new baby. And I don’t exactly like the name – oh!”
Rey suddenly puts a hand on her stomach.
“The baby’s kicking!” she says, her face lit up with that beautiful smile, “Can you feel it?”
Finn kneels at the side of the bed puts his hand on her stomach, and Rey nods at Poe to do the same. He tentatively rests a hand on the other side of Rey’s belly. For a moment, nothing. Then he feels a definite movement.
“Oh wow!” Finn gasps, “Did you feel that?”
“Yeah, I felt it!”
Rey smiles at them both, and BB-8 wheels forwards to get a closer look, and Poe gets the distinct feeling that this is going to be one of those moments that stays with him for a long time, like when he met a Stormtrooper who didn’t want to be a Stormtrooper, or when Leia told him he reminded her of a young man she met a long time ago. That’s when Poe feels something pushing him away from Rey.
“Woah!” he says, suddenly a few feet across the room, Finn crashing on top of him.
The boys lay in a heap on the floor, looking up at Rey.
“Oh my – are you okay?” she says.
“Yeah,” Finn says, sounding distinctly pained.
“Sorry,” says Rey, “I – I think it’s the pregnancy hormones.”
It turns out that Finn is an incredibly clingy sleeper. He starfishes, taking up as much space as possible, before grabbing onto the nearest thing and wrapping himself around it. Fortunately, BB-8 doesn’t mind being used as a teddy bear. Before long, the porgs – there are already considerably more of them than originally hopped aboard the Falcon – discover the floor nest and invade. BB-8 tries to shoo them, and they’re scared of him at first, but then they seem to decide he is a giant, unruly egg and sit on him. Poe soon comes to accept that he may never get a good night’s sleep again. When he wakes up not long after dawn and sees Finn, curled into a ball around BB-8 and half a dozen porgs, he thinks he might be okay with that.
“Sooo,” Finn says one day, cornering Poe while he’s checking out one of the old X-wings, “You know how people keep saying that I’m the father of Rey’s baby?”
“People like me,” says Poe, still fiddling with the controls, “Yes.”
“If I were… then how would I… how would I know?”
“Apart from having a talk with Rey about it?”
Poe looks at Finn from over the controls. Finn looks down.
“If what you’re saying is that Rey’s not entirely sure,” Poe says slowly, “Then it should be pretty obvious when the baby is born.”
Finn’s silent for a moment.
“But how would I, you know, know that I’m in the running?”
Poe shrugs, cleaning his hands on a dirty rag.
“It really comes down to the dates. She got pregnant about six months ago, so you just have to work out if there was any… occasion where she could have got pregnant.”
Poe gives him a wink, throwing the rag to one side.
“Seeing as you guys only knew each other about a day, I don’t know how many occasions there could’ve been, you crazy kids!”
Poe throws a few fake punches to Finn’s stomach, but Finn is just looking at him blankly.
“Occasion,” he says slowly.
“Occasion,” Poe repeats, nodding.
Finn narrows his eyes.
“What kind of occasion could that be?”
Poe’s mouth falls open. He takes Finn’s arm.
“Finn,” he whispers, “You… you do know how babies are made?”
Finn nods and puffs out his chest.
“Oh, yeah! Yeah, definitely.”
Poe nods and looks at him expectantly.
“You just,” Finn begins, “You have to – well, you just…”
“Oh kriff,” says Poe, and drags Finn away by his elbow.
They don’t emerge for a few hours. When they do, Finn is looking shell-shocked and Poe is looks haunted, as if he has seen and done things no man should.
“Put my 100 credits on Skywalker,” he says to Connix, quietly.
Later, Poe will pinpoint this as the moment that the rumour he and Finn are having an affair started.
After a few weeks on the new base, Poe realises that in the absence of the real thing, he and Finn are taking on the role of the expectant father. He tries not to think about it too much. Finn fusses over Rey, and Poe probably shouldn’t find it as endearing as he does. He’s always bringing her extra blankets, reminding her to stay hydrated, doing breathing exercises with her, gently telling her that maybe you shouldn’t be practicing with your lightsaber when you’re seven months pregnant.
“What if I need to defend the baby?” Rey says stubbornly.
“If Kylo Ren himself shows up, Finn and I will deal with it,” Poe says.
“I think I’d be the best at dealing with that,” Rey mumbles.
“Oh no,” says Finn, “We all know what happened last time you dealt with that.”
Rey’s face flushes scarlet.
As Rey’s belly grows, so do the number of names on the betting chart. Finn is the favourite, but Skywalker is a close second. Poe’s name appears – “She was already pregnant when I met her!” he protests, but he’s secretly pleased at the nomination, because if anyone can get a pregnant woman more pregnant it’s Poe ‘best pilot in the Resistance, Leia Organa slapped me in the face twice and both times were awesome and more than a little arousing’ Dameron. Meanwhile, some brave soul has listed Chewbacca.
“I… guess they were alone on the Millennium Falcon for a while?” Poe says.
“Er, yeah,” Finn says incredulously, “And so was R2-D2.”
Everyone is silent for a moment.
“20 credits on R2,” someone says from the back of the room.
Finn shoots Poe a questioning look. Poe rubs his forehead and says quietly, “Please ask someone else.”
“Put 100 credits on Skywalker for me, Connix,” Dr Kalonia says.
Finn, who is standing next to her at the bar, promptly spits out his drink. Only some of it lands on her.
(Yes, the bar was one of the first things from the old base that they got into working order, and yes, Poe might have had something to do with that. But damn, was it worth it when Leia Organa looked at him sidelong and said, “Seeing as you put them up to this Dameron, I expect you to get me a scotch.”)
“Did Rey say something to you?” says Finn.
“Patient confidentiality,” Dr Kalonia says.
“Doctor,” Poe says, sidling in between her and Finn, “You know you can tell us. We’re Rey’s best friends.”
From behind him, Finn peers over his shoulder and nods. Dr Kalonia gives Poe a shrewd look.
“You know that flyboy act might work on the general, but it doesn’t work on me,” she says.
“What does?” says Finn, right at the same time as Poe says, “It works on the general?”
Chewbacca appears at Dr Kalonia’s side, growling shyly as he passes her a drink.
“You know, Rey reminds me of Leia when she was pregnant,” says Dr Kalonia.
“I am more than old enough to remember that, and you know it,” the doctor says.
She frowns, looking at the Rey’s baby daddy chart. They’d moved the dejarik board into the bar, because, well, everyone makes more outlandish bets when they’re drunk.
“Why is your name on there?”
Chewie shrugs and growls.
“I’m sure the ladies can’t resist you,” Dr Kalonia says, “But my money’s on Luke.”
“You’re all wro-ong,” Rose says with a quiet confidence.
She’s sitting in the corner, smiling to herself.
“Oh really?” Poe says, folding his arms, “Who do you think the father is, then?”
“It’s so obvious,” says Rose.
She looks at them all, raises her eyebrows.
“Kylo Ren, of course!”
A stunned silence falls.
“I’m sorry – Kylo Ren?” says Poe, “The Kylo Ren? With the –” he puts his hand in front of his face, indicating the mask.
Rose nods. Everyone bursts out laughing.
“Oh that, that is – Rose, you are too much,” Poe says, when the fits of laughter finally subside.
“I’m serious,” Rose says.
Another wave of laughter. Rose frowns.
“Connix,” she says, “Put 500 credits on Kylo Ren for me.”
Everyone stops laughing.
“Go on,” Rose says, and Connix slowly plugs the name Kylo Ren into the chart, looking confused and disturbed at the same time.
It’s probably a really bad time for Leia to walk in. She clocks the chart before anyone’s even really registered she’s there.
“Is that what I think it is?” she says, her voice strong and commanding in the silent room.
“That would depend on what you think it is,” Poe says, unable to resist a quip.
Leia gives him a withering look – the kind of look that would have lesser men in tears, or at least respectful silence – then gives that look to everyone else.
“I am shocked,” she says, “Shocked. With every last one of you. I expect better from the people of the Resistance and I – has no one seriously put any money on Han Solo?”
Connix blinks, then shakes her head.
“Really?” Leia says, “Well.”
She takes a few coins out of her pocket, quickly counts them and puts them on the dejarik board.
“500 credits?” Connix counts.
“You didn’t know him like I did,” Leia says.
Everyone silently winces. Leia looks Poe up and down.
“I take it this was your idea, Dameron?”
“Well actually –” Connix begins.
“Yes,” says Poe, stepping forwards, “If you’re going to punish anyone for this, punish me.”
He’s trying to sound brave and self-sacrificing but it comes out more… eager. Finn looks at him with gritted teeth, his eyes saying Be cool.
“Well, then,” Leia says, “Dr Kalonia, I think you’ve just found yourself a midwife.”
Poe’s eyes widen.
“General,” he says, laughing nervously, “I don’t think –”
“No,” Leia says, her eyes twinkling, “You don’t. Really, it’s the least you can do for your friend, Dameron.”
Her eyes flick over to the chart.
“After all, it might be your baby.”
“It definitely isn’t,” Poe stammers, as she sweeps out of the room.
Dr Kalonia pats him on the shoulder.
“Let me get you my books on childbirth.”
Poe groans. Finn is giving him a definite I told you so look.
“What?” Poe says.
“You have a problem.”
Dr Kalonia’s books are… not the best bedtime reading. Poe frowns at the page he’s reading, turning the page sideways to try and understand the diagram. He’s propped up against BB-8, who has powered down for the night.
“How’s it going?” says Finn, who’s lying on his back with at least three porgs on his stomach.
“I don’t know if I’ll ever enjoy that part of a woman again,” Poe says.
“It’s alright for you,” Poe says, “You never have.”
“I might have!” Finn protests.
Poe kicks him in the shin.
“Ow!” Finn yells.
“Boys, behave,” Rey says, waddling into the room.
“Yes, mum,” says Poe.
Rey heaves herself onto her side on the bed.
“I still don’t understand why you volunteered to be my midwife.”
“I think the general had something to do with it,” Finn says.
“She hates my life,” says Poe.
“You committed attempted mutiny and got off without a court martial,” says Rey, “Trust me, she likes you.”
“Don’t encourage him,” says Finn.
“Hey,” says Poe, “I’m not the only one who had a Princess Leia poster in their bedroom as a teenager.”
“As a teenager?” says Finn, “You still have it now.”
“It makes a good bookmark,” Poe says, as he tucks the carefully folded – and very well worn – poster into the book.
Rey squints at it.
“Is she wearing a gold bikini?”
“It’s actually an intrinsic part of the story,” Poe says, “Haven’t you heard it?”
And then he tells Rey and Finn the story of how Han Solo rescued Princess Leia from Jabba the Hutt (“One day I’ll tell the baby this story,” “Maybe the censored version”) until they fall asleep.
By the time Rey’s belly has swelled so much she can barely move, Finn and Luke are neck and neck on the Rey’s baby daddy chart. There are a few outsiders – Han Solo, Chewbacca and Poe – and Kylo Ren is by far the underdog. His odds are 1/1000.
“Why are Kylo Ren’s odds lower than R2’s?” says Poe.
R2 bleeps suggestively.
“You are so rude. There are ladies present,” says C3PO.
R2 bleeps more. C3PO looks shocked.
“Really, I can’t apologise enough,” he says.
Poe laughs, then resumes reading one of Dr Kalonia’s midwifery books, his face returning to an expression of grim acceptance.
“I wonder when the baby will come,” Rose says idly.
“I wonder if it’ll be a boy or a girl,” says Finn.
“Yeah,” says Poe, looking at the Rey’s baby daddy chart, “Those would be normal things to place bets on.”
They don’t have much to work with, but there is a baby shower. It was Chewbacca’s idea – he’s spent months collecting his own fur and weaving it into a baby blanket. Poe is too scared of him to say how creepy that is.
“Wow,” Rey says when she sees it, “This… will definitely keep the baby warm.”
Chewie roars, pleased.
“And to go with it,” says Rose, wheeling a makeshift crib into the room.
It’s made from spare parts and looks incredibly cyberpunk, but Rey gasps and hugs her.
“This must have taken you weeks!”
“Finn helped me,” Rose smiles.
“Don’t worry, I got you something too,” Finn says, passing Rey a black bundle.
Rey frowns as she takes it.
“It’s a papoose,” Finn says, “So you can carry the baby around while you’re saving the galaxy.”
Rey looks at the material closely, rubbing it between her fingers.
“One of Han’s jackets. Chewie said it’s what he’d have wanted.”
Chewie nods sadly. Rey smiles, her eyes starting with tears, and gathers Finn up into one of their bone crushing hugs. Poe feels jealous of them sometimes. The friendship between them is so much a part of them both. But then, their friendship is part of what made them. Poe was already made before he met them, but perhaps he wasn’t whole.
“This,” Poe says, “Was mine when I was a baby.”
He presses a tiny hat into Rey’s hands, with a Resistance badge pinned to it.
“I was a baby of the Rebel Alliance.”
“And so was my son,” says Leia, passing her a babygro.
Rey’s eyes fill with tears. Pretty much everyone else is on the verge, too.
“You forget how small they used to be,” Leia says.
“Oh, come on you,” says Finn, moving to hug her.
Everyone joins in for a group hug, surrounding Rey. It’s a nice moment, until they’re suddenly all pushed away, except Leia. Poe feels an invisible hand grab him by his throat – a sensation he’s felt before – and he and Finn are lifted off the ground, legs kicking.
“Stop it!” Rey yells.
Poe would make a jibe about how he’s having too much fun to stop now, but he’s having a hard time breathing right now.
“What do you have to be jealous of?” Rey says vehemently to an empty wall the other side of the room, “Did you forget how the baby got here?”
The boys drop to the floor.
“Sorry,” Rey says, to a stunned room, “I really can’t cope with these pregnancy hormones.”
Rey goes into labour when everyone else is out on patrol. Of course, no one knew this was going to happen. If they’d know this was going to happen, they would never have left her with C3PO.
“Captain Dameron? Mistress Rey tells me that she is going into labour,” C3PO radios through, his robotic voice somehow managing to sound stressed.
On any other day, Poe would have bristled at the Captain. He’s fairly sure the face he pulls whenever someone says it is the main reason why he’s still demoted. Leia has a cruel sense of humour.
“Okay, okay,” Poe says, running his hands through his hair, “Don’t panic, okay?”
“I am panicking,” says C3PO.
“You’re panicking?” Rey’s voice crackles through in the background, “I’m the one who’s having the baby!”
“Remember your breathing exercises,” Poe says.
“I do not breathe,” says C3PO.
“Not you!” says Poe, “Threepio, get Rey to the med bay. Dr Kalonia will know what to do. Rey, don’t worry, I’m on my way.”
Poe runs back to the base faster than he’s ever run before, crashing into Finn on the way. Finn nearly falls, grabs onto Poe’s shirt to keep steady.
“Rey’s having the baby!” Poe gasps.
Finn looks shocked, then he says, “Right.”
They run into the med bay. Rey is already there. She’s on her knees, bent over the bed. C3PO is hovering by her looking worried, and Dr Kalonia is rubbing her back. Finn still hasn’t let go of Poe’s shirt.
“Ah, your midwife’s arrived,” Dr Kalonia says.
She gets up and passes Poe a set of white surgical scrubs.
“Put these on, and wash your hands,” she says.
Finn kneels at Rey’s side, holding her hand. He looks totally out of his depth.
“You’re doing great, Rey,” he says, “Just breathe, you know, breathe out the pain.”
Her hand tightens on his.
“You try breathing out this pain!”
“Doctors and midwives only,” Dr Kalonia says, extricating Finn from Rey’s grasp.
“Are you sure?” Finn says, looking only slightly relieved.
“We can handle this,” Dr Kalonia says confidently, “Right, Poe?”
“Oh, definitely,” Poe says, nearly falling over as he steps into his scrubs.
Finn and C3PO wander towards the door, Dr Kalonia gently shooing them along. Finn hovers, his eyes glued to Rey.
“Buddy,” Poe says.
Finn looks at him.
“I’ll look after her,” Poe says.
Finn nods once, his eyes serious, before he and C3PO leave.
“Okay, Rey,” says Dr Kalonia, “We’re going to need you on your back for a minute, so we can see how you’re getting on.”
“I wish I never did that in the first place,” Rey pants, as Poe helps her up.
“That’s what they all say,” says Dr Kalonia, as she examines her.
“It’ll all be worth it when we meet your baby,” Poe says, because he might be out of his depth too but there is still a damsel in distress, dammit.
“All going like clockwork. You’re already eight fingers dilated,” says the doctor.
“Eight… fingers?” Poe repeats.
He makes a mental note to burn that textbook.
“It looks like we’re going to be meeting your baby very soon,” Dr Kalonia smiles.
That’s when everything in the room starts shaking.
“You can’t panic now!” Rey yells, “You’ve known this was going to happen for months!”
There’s a brief pause, and Rey stares intensely at the opposite wall.
“You’re scared?” she says, “I’m the one in labour! You’re not dealing with this right now!”
Rey groans then, another contraction kicking in.
“You want to take the pain? Fine!”
Rey squeezes her eyes shut. She seems a lot calmer, her breathing slowing down. The shaking in the room stops.
“Yes, it does hurt a lot. Should have thought about that before you went and – agh!”
Rey yells as another contraction washes over her.
“Rey,” Dr Kalonia says, popping up from between Rey’s legs, “I’m going to need you to focus. Little breaths, pant.”
Poe grips Rey’s hand, and she looks up at him.
“Pant, pant, pant,” he says, blowing out his cheeks.
Rey follows him, panting quickly.
“That’s it, good girl,” Dr Kalonia says.
Poe nods encouragingly, panting along with Rey.
“Well done!” Dr Kalonia shouts, “I can see the baby’s head!”
And then she’s suddenly lifted into the air, her head tilted back, choking.
“Oh for…” Rey yells, “Stop it, Ben!”
Dr Kalonia drops back onto the floor.
“Did you just…” Poe says weakly, “Did you say Ben?”
“Nearly there now,” Dr Kalonia says, back at the end of the bed and remarkably unfazed.
“She just…” Poe stammers, because Dr Kalonia doesn’t seem to be taking in the full extent of what’s happening.
“Just hold her hand,” Dr Kalonia says.
Poe nods and does as he’s told, putting one arm around Rey’s back to support her, his other hand still gripped in hers.
“The head is born!” says Dr Kalonia, “Just one more big push now, that’s it…”
Rey screams as she pushes one last time, and there’s one second of silence before the tiny, pure sound of a baby’s cry fills the room. It’s a sound Poe hasn’t heard for a long time. Then Dr Kalonia is putting the baby on Rey’s chest, pink and wriggling and noisy, and Rey is laughing and crying all at once, and Poe is laughing and crying with her.
“Can you get a towel, midwife?” Dr Kalonia says, and it takes Poe a minute to realise she’s talking to him.
“Yeah, yeah, sure,” he says, his hands shaking as he finds a towel and wraps it around the baby.
That’s when he hears the cheering and clapping in the corridor outside.
“There’s a lot of people who want to meet you,” Poe says to the baby.
“They can wait until the placenta is delivered,” says Dr Kalonia.
Poe inwardly shudders. He never wants to look at that textbook again.
Dr Kalonia says that only one person can come into the room at a time, so of course everyone in the entire Resistance ignores her and piles in. She doesn’t put up much of a fight as they all crowd around to look down at the baby. It’s snuggled into Rey’s chest, only a few tufts of black hair visible.
“It’s great to meet you, little… what is it?” Wexley says.
“A boy,” says Rey.
Poe and Finn’s faces split into broad smiles.
“A boy,” Finn breathes.
“I’m going to have to teach him how to blow things up,” Poe says wistfully.
“I’m going to have to teach him how to hotwire a speeder,” Rose smiles.
“I’m going to have to teach him… other things,” says Finn.
Poe claps him on the back.
“You’ll teach him how to be a good man.”
The smile Finn gives him is blinding.
Chewie growls something unintelligible.
“If you can teach him Wookieespeak, I’ll be impressed,” Rey says, impossibly beautiful and glowing in her new motherhood.
“Come on,” Leia says, “Let me have a cuddle.”
Poe congratulates himself on his remarkable self-restraint at not responding to that comment, as Rey passes the baby to Leia.
“This reminds me of when my son was born,” Leia says.
There’s a little gasp as the baby wriggles in her arms and everyone can finally see his face. And. Well. They say all babies look alike, but this baby… this baby has the biggest nose Poe has ever seen. There’s a long silence.
“This,” Leia says, “Really reminds me of when my son was born.”
Everyone is in shock, trying to process what this means.
“He’s… beautiful,” Poe says.
Leia mutters something about recessive genes. She puts a hand on Rey’s.
“I don’t want you to think I’m angry,” she says, “I’m not.”
Rey smiles a little.
“I’m just happy that a part of Han is living on,” Leia says.
She rolls her eyes, mutters under her breath, “You old devil.”
“Well, he’s a part of you too, grandma.”
Leia suddenly looks up at Rey. Everyone in the room stares, holding their breath.
“Grandma?” Leia repeats.
“Or nan, or gran,” Rey says, “Or… whatever they say on Alderaan.”
Leia blinks. Everyone else blinks. Poe can practically hear the cogs whirring as they all figure it out. Then Rose screams.
“Yes!” she yells, jumping up and down, “Yes! In your faces! I knew it! I KNEW it.”
“Ssh, you’ll wake the baby,” Rey says urgently.
“Sorry, sorry,” Rose says, still giggling, “I just won like, five million credits.”
“I don’t care that I lost 500 credits, I’m a grandma!” Leia shouts triumphantly.
“You’ll wake the – hang on, were you placing bets on something?” says Rey.
“No,” everyone says at once.
“Maybe,” says Connix.
“Yes,” says Rose.
BB-8 bleeps an affirmative.
“On what?” Rey asks.
Everyone looks at the ground, mumbling incoherently.
“What was that?” says Rey.
“Who your baby daddy is,” they mumble, slightly louder.
“My baby daddy?” Rey repeats.
“It was Poe’s idea,” Wexley says.
Poe opens his mouth to protest as everyone nods and murmurs in agreement.
“But I thought you already knew,” says Rey.
“What?” says Finn.
“I thought that’s why you weren’t saying. I thought all of you… were angry at me,” Rey says, quietly.
“We could never be angry at you, Rey,” Finn says earnestly, “You’re our friend.”
Poe looks at her, at her baby in Leia’s arms, at Finn, at the whole Resistance, the only people they have left in the galaxy, and thinks friend is too small a word.
“So,” says Leia, “What are you going to call him?”
Rey quirks an eyebrow.
“Did you place bets on that, too?”
Far, far away, two Stormtroopers are guarding the door to Kylo Ren’s chambers.
“Rey, I can take this pain away,” they hear him say.
Then all they can hear are his tortured screams. The lights in the corridor flash and the walls bend and buckle.
They decide not to go in.