Poe is jolted awake. For a split second, he’s not sure where he is. The secret Resistance base on D’Qar, maybe?
He sits up, blinks to clear his vision, and assesses his surroundings. Nope, he’s not on D’Qar. No way. The air is much too humid, and the mellow quality of the morning light is all wrong. He’s actually back on his homeworld. Yavin 4. And Poe Dameron knows Yavin 4 like he knows the inside of the cockpit of Black One.
Except, this isn’t quite the Yavin 4 Poe Dameron knows. This is Yavin 4 three standard months before Poe’s parents decided to settle down here to raise their son. And as for how he got here—
“Hey, what time is it?” a muffled, sleepy voice asks.
Poe looks down at the owner of said muffled, sleepy voice…or, rather, the head of unruly blond hair belonging to said voice, since the face of said person is still buried in his pillow.
“Too early. Go back to sleep.”
Luke Skywalker, twenty-three-year-old hero of the Rebellion, grunts good-naturedly in acquiescence as Poe presses a warm kiss to his bare shoulder and fetches up next to him, wrapping an arm around Luke’s waist and fitting Luke’s back tight against his chest. Their legs tangle together. Poe caresses the length of Luke’s leg with the sole of his foot.
It’s the morning after their wedding night. Poe figures that means they’re allowed to sleep in for at least a little while longer.
The idea was all Rey’s. General Organa wasn’t told. Poe suspects she would’ve tried to stop them if she had.
Ancient Jedi texts Rey had salvaged from Ahch-To spoke of a World Between Worlds, an alternate dimension of pathways of Force which connected distant expanses of space…and time. It was, theoretically speaking, possible to travel along these pathways forwards into the future and backwards into the past.
Yep, into the past. Really, really.
Rey figured the necessary stuff out. Poe didn’t pretend to understand how it all worked, none of the rest of them did, but he didn’t strictly need to understand how it worked…
…he just had to be the one doing the traveling.
They decided he’d be the one to go because he was the only one of them Luke Skywalker actually knew in the past. Luke had known and trusted Poe’s parents; he’d even given Poe’s mother an uneti tree sapling. If Poe were to suddenly, magically appear at Luke’s training temple and warn him about the terrible misunderstanding he was going to have with his nephew and apprentice Ben Solo, at least the messenger would be one he recognized and therefore would be more likely to listen to. Then maybe they could stop Ben from turning to the dark side and Luke from dying. Maybe they could convince Luke to join the Resistance’s struggle against the First Order. Maybe, without Kylo Ren, the First Order would not be able to overthrow the New Republic in the first place. One could hope. And plan.
Well, at any rate, that was the plan. But there’s that saying about what happens when the best-made plans make first contact with the situation on the ground—they often go awry.
And so it was that Poe found himself in the past, in the shadow of a temple, in the presence of the legendary Luke Skywalker: in the shadow of a temple on Yavin 4, that is, and in the presence of Luke Skywalker, the pilot who fired the shot which destroyed the Death Star.
Poe had to give Rey some credit. It sort of worked. And this was the past, that was true, even if it was more in the past than Poe had anticipated.
He figured he could work with this, though. Really, he didn’t have a choice.
Luke was the man of the hour. The Rebel Alliance was celebrating its improbable victory in what would be known in the future as the Battle of Yavin. Soon, Poe knew, Imperial forces would regroup and the Rebellion would be forced to abandon Yavin 4. But for now, the Empire was in disarray, and there was no better time to live in the moment.
When Poe arrived, the festivities were already in full swing, and more than half of the beings around him were more than two-thirds of the way to drinking themselves unconscious. Given that, blending into the crowd was easy enough—not gawping at a scene straight out of the history holos was slightly harder—and Poe kept his attentions focused on Luke.
Gods, he was so young and handsome! And bright-eyed, and laughing, and smiling at everyone. A flyboy, just like Poe. He was exactly the sort of person Poe would want to…well. How had this Luke who was happy to be your best friend become the cranky island hermit Rey talked about meeting on Ahch-To?
At some point during the evening, Luke seemed to sense Poe’s eyes on him. His response was unexpected. Instead of being confused, annoyed, or offended by the attentions of a stranger, he became flirtatious. And Poe, who really, really ought to have known better, just kind of went along with it and flirted right back.
How often do you get to meet your actual heroes, after all—never mind bed them?
Luke was no blushing virgin between the sheets. He’d had experience with other men, that much was clear, and he knew what he liked. It was a diverting encounter, all things considered, and they fit together so well that it felt like destiny.
Poe was head over heels in love by morning.
Self-restraint was not one of Poe’s strongest suits, and he didn’t like being sidelined from the action, but for the greater good of the galaxy, he just about managed it.
Thing was, time travel was a one-way ticket. Poe had no means of returning to his present, and he had no desire to change the part of history which involved the Rebellion overthrowing the Empire. Although he wasn’t necessarily as well-versed in the minutiae of that history as he could have been, he was certain that Luke Skywalker played an instrumental role in it—one that definitely didn’t involve Poe.
So he made a promise to himself and to the future, and he kept that promise: He didn’t see Luke again until after the Battle of Endor was over and a victory celebration was well underway in the Ewok village on the forest moon of Endor.
Another night on another world. This time, though, Luke was quiet and alone, leaning on the railing of one of the village’s many elevated walkways and gazing out pensively into the leafy canopy.
“Hey there, buddy. Long time, no see!”
“Poe,” Luke said simply and embraced him.
There was a new seriousness, a wistfulness to Luke that Poe hadn’t recalled being there before. Poe wondered if it had something to do with Han and Leia and their new whirlwind romance, or with the death of Luke’s father Darth Vader. Whatever it was, he wasn’t just a flyboy anymore. Now Poe could see the beginnings of the somber, grief-stricken Jedi Master that Luke was one day to become.
Poe wanted a different, happier future for Luke. He was a hero, a legend; he deserved it. And so, Poe made a split-second decision. He kissed Luke…
…and Luke? Luke returned Poe’s kiss.
There was a new seriousness to the sex as well, a new intensity to Luke’s moans when Poe pressed himself into Luke’s willing body, a deeper, more abiding passion to the way Luke’s limbs twined and tangled with Poe’s as they moved together, as they shuddered and clenched and came together. The first time they’d made love on Yavin 4, it’d been for fun. This time was for keeps.
When Poe asked Luke to marry him three months later, Luke said yes.
They’ve returned to Yavin 4 to settle down for good. It’s the place they first met, after all, a place of beginnings, and it’s as good a place as any to build something wholly new together.
Poe expects that he will see his parents here soon. They and their young son will be neighbors. He’s not sure yet what, if anything, he will tell them. When the time comes, if the truth ever becomes necessary to disclose, he’ll figure it out then.
Luke still doesn’t know, though who knows, given his strength in the Force, what he might suspect? But he doesn’t ask, and Poe has not told him about the horrors of the future.
A future, if Poe is honest, he’s not sure will ever come to pass. Poe will be vigilant, regardless.
“No regrets, right?” Poe murmurs into the nape of Luke’s neck. “You’re not sorry you married me?”
“None whatsoever,” Luke replies, “provided that being woken up so early promises to be a prelude to wake-up morning sex.”
“Ha ha. Deal.”
Poe remembers Luke’s depthless sadness on Crait as he bade farewell to his sister and confronted his fallen nephew. But this is Poe’s past, and it doesn’t have to be Luke’s future. It doesn’t have to happen…and it won’t happen, not if Poe can help it.
An unknown future spreads out before them, and Poe looks forward to see what it will hold.