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shattered like a dream

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“This is the one I was telling you about.” Finn heard Rey’s voice before he saw her when she returned from her training. One minute he was leaning on Poe, working on putting one foot in front of the other, and then Rey was there, arm outstretched toward him with a single finger extended. The old man beside her looked at him curiously. It took Finn a few moments to realize the man had to be Luke Skywalker, the man he’d considered a legend made up to haunt his childhood nightmares.

“You’re Finn,” the man said, approaching. Finn was rooted to the spot, relying on the pilot beside him for balance. When the Jedi reached out a hand, Finn felt a thrill at the contact. Despite never having seen the man before, his grip felt familiar. It was an echo of his time holding the Lightsaber, a weapon that had belonged to this man, but was now resting firmly on Rey’s hip.

“Luke Skywalker?” He asked, needing the confirmation even though no one else besides Rey would have a lightsaber. The one Luke had was tucked away, but Finn could sense it all the same. It had been strange, ever since waking up. It was as if a sixth sense he’d never known he had was suddenly present. But it was unreliable, flickering on and off without warning. Like now, when he felt the lightsabers, but a moment ago Rey and Luke had snuck up on him when he should have warned him of their presence.

“Indeed,” Luke said, dropping his hand and gazing at him curiously. “Rey told me you were the first person to use my old lightsaber. She thinks you might be a potential Jedi as well.”

“Jedi? I can barely walk two steps on my own.” Finn bit back a laugh at that. He let go of Poe, trying to take a step on his own. He would have fallen if the other man hadn’t caught him. “I don’t know what Rey told you, but you wasted your time coming here.”

Despite his words, he wanted Rey’s suspicions to be true. Sometimes, lying in bed, he had convinced himself of the same thing. The lightsaber might have called to Rey, but it responded to him as well. Maybe not as well, but when he’d wielded it, it felt like an extension of his arm. Too many nights he woke up in a cold sweat longing for that feeling to return. Poe had comforted him more than once, giving him water to sip until the shakes had gone.

“The force is strong with you,” Luke Skywalker said, not flinching at the denial. “But it’s erratic. Rey told me a little of your encounter with Be - Kylo Ren. I’m sorry, Finn. When he burned you, it hurt more than your spine. The Force is a living thing, flowing in everyone’s veins as surely as blood. It binds the universe together. But your contact with it is imperfect. Flawed. I’m sorry, but there’s nothing I can do to help now. Before your fight - “ He held his hands out in apology. “ - But now there’s not enough left to train.”

The blow struck Finn and he staggered. Imperfect. That word had been used to describe him as a Stormtrooper. He had been imperfect in obedience. Imperfect in his compassion.

And now he was imperfect in his use of the Force; flawed. It felt as if a dream he didn’t know he had was dead before he even knew. Poe’s fingers dug into his arm and he took a deep breath, forcing himself back to his surroundings. Luke and Rey were leaving, the latter giving him a pitying look that made his insides squirm uncomfortably.

“I can get back to the Infirmary myself,” Finn said, yanking out of Poe’s grip and half walking, half stumbling down the hall. He put his hands on the wall to keep himself from falling, but he didn’t get far before an arm wrapped itself around his waist and hauled him up.

“Don’t be a bone head, Finn,” Poe said gruffly. “It wasn’t fair of Rey to bring him here. And he shouldn’t have said those things about you.”

“Why not? It was all true,” Finn said. “I’m worthless. The Resistance isn’t going to want to spend more on me when they find out the truth. They’ll regret everything they’ve already done for me. I’ll end up as cannon fodder.” He knew he was babbling but he couldn’t bring himself to care. For too long, fear had manifested as silence. Now that he had someone willing to listen, someone he trusted, he just let the words go, giving voice to all his fears.

“No one’s going to give up on you,” Poe said. “Jedi or not, you are worth something to me - to us. You’re the reason the Starkiller Base was destroyed. Without you, we’d be scattered across the galaxy. Or worse, dead. And even if they forget that, you saved my life. I was dead before you found me and got me out. I owe you my life and as I see it, you’ve always got a place with me.”

Finn wanted to argue but instead he found himself leaning against the man, standing in the hallway outside the door to the ward he was housed in. Despite the reassurances, Finn felt drained and empty. Poe was the one person he could count on, and he felt himself drawn to the pilot in more ways than one.

“You don’t get it,” he said, voice low and passionate. “When I escaped, I didn’t want anything to do with this stupid fight between the First Order and the Resistance. I wanted out. But when I fought Kylo Ren...When I had that lightsaber...I still dream about it. It’s like you and flying. I felt like I finally had something that was mine.”

“Life isn’t fair,” Poe said simply. “You should know that. Kidnapped and brainwashed for most of your life. You got over that and you’ll get over this. You’re tough.”

Finn just nodded, unable to say anything else. He wanted to believe Poe, but it was too hard. No one else had felt the Force - he didn’t even pretend it was anything else now - the way he had. No one had felt the rush and then been denied it all in the same night. He hoped and prayed that Poe was right, that he would get over it. But the pulse of his scar on his neck echoed another tune. And right then, a small part of him wondered what he wouldn’t give to get a chance to learn to use the Force. It terrified him that he couldn’t think of a single thing, but then Poe opened the door and led him inside and Finn clung to him. Poe. He’d found his line and drawn it, hoping it would be enough as the temptation rose.