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Building From the Ground Up, We Share the Work

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Poe's jacket is the first piece of clothing Finn ever gets that isn’t uniform or armor. The leather is smooth and only a little tougher than his undershirt, but it feels more real than his armor ever did. It feels like it was made on purpose, for a person, not a piece of equipment. When he traces his fingers down the seams he finds uneven spots, where someone has matched the thread and resewn it when the first thread wore out. This is something that was loved enough to be fixed, not thrown out when it was damaged. He keeps it with him, wearing it when it's not too hot and tucking it under his head when he sleeps so nobody gets ideas.

Rey learns how to knit from one of the Y-Wing pilots. Finn watches her swear at a scarf that curls back on itself instead of staying flat for a few evenings in between his KP shift and bunk time. He tries talking to her while she works, since he's found that makes tedious jobs easier. (It's allowed too, even though it cuts efficiency.) Rey growls at him about losing count and rips out a row. So he asks around the mess until he’s waved over to a knot of people with their hands and other appendages full of sticks and string. In about a minute, he's sitting in a chair with a ball of green yarn and a hooked stick and concentrating very hard on the instructions that a tiny female Sullustan is giving him. Two days later he joins Rey with her knitting and starts counting along with her. Hats are difficult. The third one is big enough to fit, but shaped sort of like a muffin. He wears it anyway the next time they're on a cold mission, and beams at everyone who notices. It's soft and tickles his ears and it's the color of the jungle outside Maz Kamata's place. He starts working on a blue one for Rey next.

Rose’s necklace shines whenever the light catches it. He knows it's from her sister and it means love. Finn never had family that he can remember, and it's hard to watch her grieve over it; he's afraid of doing something wrong and hurting her more. When the cord breaks, he braids a new one out of smooth wire and leaves it coiled up on her bunk. She smiles when she sees it. The next day, he finds an undershirt folded neatly in his kit that fits properly, not the just-too-tight ones he's been using from Resistance stores. It's smooth against his skin. Finn saves it for rest days.


Music is a constant joy to Finn; everything from formal choir recordings to the nursery songs that stick in people's heads against their will. Poe’s pretty sure that there weren’t any songs in the First Order unless maybe it was the Imperial Anthem and he has a sneaking suspicion that no one was allowed to even hum while they worked. When he asks, Poe’s dad sends them recordings of all the old Yavin IV love ballads, the more over-the-top the better, and Finn makes sad eyes until Poe translates every single one of them. Finn goes goofy and soft about every single romantic flourish and it makes Poe's chest hurt. Finn retells the stories to BB-8 later, even the sad ones where someone’s love turns faithless.

Rose shares songs with nonsense words that mean things about unions and work stoppages and sabotage once you know the code. Finn, all intensity and concentration, repeats them back to her until he has the patterns down. After Rose agrees it's fine, he insists that it's strategically important for everyone else to know them and the entire company spends hours practicing too-rah-li-ays and mickeny-mackys. Poe watches the furrow between Finn’s brows that smoothes as they get better. It’s one more tool to help keep their friends safe, and he gets that, even though it’s hard as high wind to remember which rhyming phrase means “safe to talk now” and which means “danger ahead”.

Rey assures Finn that every single musical thing to come off of Jakku is poodoo and gives him some vids of the fast, spitting-raw rhymes of Coruscanti youth culture that Jessika Pava shared with her. Finn uses them to wind down for his sleep cycle, laying flat-out in his bunk with earphones in, fingers tapping out the rhythms of anger and hope and stubborn life amid durasteel and ferrocrete. Poe feels the twitch of muscle in Finn’s arms when they share bunkspace and pretty soon it becomes a comforting thing on his end too, part of feeling Finn let go of his day.


Rey is in love with every planet they visit with abundant groundwater. It means they can have baths of the stuff, filling a giant tub the size of a bacta tank with actual water. She pulls Finn in with her when they both have time, curling up and floating beside him, the touch of her hand on his arm or his on her hip the only thing keeping it from feeling like some kind of outlandish dream. He likes floating with her, lets her trace the knotted length of scar down his back and tracks fingers along the fading traces of her scavenging injuries.

Rose is the first one to find the swimming place and drop a sensor in the water to check for dangerous microorganisms or hidden rocks or bitey things. When BB-8 reports an all clear, she's the first to pitch her boots and shirt up the rocky bank and dive in. She floats in trousers and undershirt and waves her arms lazily back and forth under the water, calling them over. Rey hangs back long enough to watch Finn strip off his jacket and shirt and pull off boots and socks. He dips his feet in the water carefully, like it might be hot. When Rey sprints past him to jump into the water in a flailing, whooping mess of limbs, he rolls out of the way and behind cover like it’s an attack. Rose joins him in retaliation, both of them splashing waves over Rey when she surfaces. Rey vows revenge and Rose grins and Finn laughs.

Poe convinces Finn to try getting all the way in the river, letting him go over the tox and microorganism scans himself. Rey isn't worried, but Finn’s used to more closely regulated environments. He's explained in gruesome detail what happens if something gets in the closed system of a ship, or worse, the armor. But Poe’s got a dry set of shorts and socks and four towels and an emergency decontamination kit set out on the bank, well out of splash range. Then he takes his shirt off. That’s always a persuasive argument for Finn, so she watches, entertained, as Finn follows Poe out until they’re waist deep, Finn sticking too close and Poe petting him and nobody teasing. They eventually end up paddling around, with only Finn’s head above water and when they come out a couple of hours later, BB-8 declares everyone clean of anything that could hurt them. Finn lazes on the blanket in the sun and relaxes.


Finn kisses everybody differently. Kissing Finn herself, Rose feels warm and in charge and smart and confident, like he’s waiting to be told what to do. It feels like he trusts her to make this good. So she sits in the curve of his crossed legs and pours affection and desire and promise into his mouth until they're both breathless and Finn is shaking against her.

Rey and Finn trade kisses like jokes, in passing, in corners, like they're reminders that both of them are here. Finn smacks a kiss on Rey’s shoulder when he's sitting beside her. She plants one on his forehead. They're hellos and we're alives and you're heres. Rose chases them out of the hangar a couple of times because it's not safe, and they race off laughing. They trade touches in the evening gloom that make both of them light up happy green, good, go.

Finn kisses Poe like he's trying to start a fire, fast and searing and leaving Poe staggered. Poe ends up clutching at Finn's shoulders with their foreheads tipped together. When Finn touches Poe, he teases with intent, biting sometimes, gentle sometimes, and Poe looks at Finn like he's lighting the stars. She loves Poe a little when she sees him watching Finn like that.


The best thing to share with Finn is food that makes his face shade into pure contentment. Everyone likes saving a treat or sharing a meal to see his face light up and interest kick in with something new.

Rey feeds Finn little bites of satsuma, with his head pillowed against her leg while she puzzles over the text on the old Jedi that General Organa gave her. She breaks the fruit apart, sticking one section in her own mouth and the next in Finn's, over and over until it's gone. He reaches one hand up to run fingers through the loose bit of hair at her temple and his mouth is warm where it touches her fingers and as surprising as the pop of the fruit between her teeth.

Rose likes filling food, likes that it means no hunger for the day at least. She enlists Finn to help her carry the bins of starchy roots, vegetables, and cold-packed meat she brings back to base after her turn at a supply run. They cut everything into neat chunks while she talks, explaining the whys of cooking things for taste and nutrition both. She's the only one of the four of them who ever had to worry about feeding a group of people before. Finn nods and asks smart questions and listens to her answers and it's like fixing cockeyed landing struts with a new pilot, one who takes her seriously right away and doesn't make her prove anything. It's bracing, balancing, steadying. The stew has rich broth and generous servings of meat, roots, and veg. Finn copies her when she smushes the softened roots in her bowl into the broth, ending up with a thick, savory porridge almost. It fills her up (yes, also her stomach), mostly her heart that he helped make it and understood why this means comfort.

Poe snaps a holo of Finn in civvies, leaning against a wall at an outdoor market licking jam off his thumb. It’s warm out, but there’s a breeze ruffling their hair and time to wander before they’re due back to the Falcon. The nidos Finn’s picked from the bakery are slathered in brayberry jam and crema dulce, dripping onto his fingers and just missing his shirt. The sound he makes when he tastes one sends a warm flurry of ideas through Poe's head. Finn looks up quizzically at the sound of the holo click, forehead wrinkled, but still contented. Poe grins apologetically and shows him the picture and Finn rolls his eyes and bumps his shoulder against Poe’s. His easiness lights up Poe's heart - not like a signal flare, but an old engine warming to a reliable glow.


Finn learns as he goes. He's always been quick, but learning to make a home takes practice. He's got help. He's got people beside him; not competing with him, not waiting for him to slip or fail or fall. Finn has Poe, who looked at him like he was a person. He has Rey, who he couldn't let down. He has Rose, who wouldn't let him be a disposable soldier. Finn is making his own story, but he has family to share the work.