She’s led to the General’s rooms after checking in on Finn. There wasn’t really much to check on, as the droids had told her that he was currently in surgery and beneath the hands of their best medics, so she stood outside the medbay with BB-8 at her side until a golden 3PO unit found her.
“Oh, Miss Rey!”
She turns, arms wrapped around herself. BB-8 chirps in recognition, obviously knowing the 3P0 unit. “Yeah?”
The droid gives her a little bop of a bow, gesturing with his red arm down the hallway. “I am C-3PO. I was told by the General to lead you to her rooms to freshen up. A change of clothes is waiting there, and the General told me to tell you that her refresher has the best shower on base!”
She stares at him for a moment. There are too many words in that sentence that don’t really make sense to her, but she pushes herself off of the wall anyway and wordlessly follows him down a series of hallways to the General’s quarters, BB-8 following obediently and chirping to anyone he recognized as they walked.
The droid leaves her in the room with BB-8 zooming along the carpet, exploring the new environment. While the droid rolls around excitedly, she spends a good few minutes staring at the vast space in front of her. It’s bigger than her entire living space, probably twice over, and she can see a work station with organized piles of datapads and disks - probably diplomatic work. The bed’s bigger than anything she’s ever seen, and looks so much more plush than her small hammock made out of scrap fabric back in the AT-walker. She lets her fingers brush against the blanket, biting her lip at the feeling of the soft silk beneath her calloused fingers.
She sees the pair of pants and shirt set out on the bed and picks them up, immediately clutching them to her chest. They smell clean and fresh, so unlike her own clothes that smell of sweat and sun and sand. They’re soft on her skin, too, and she finds herself reluctant to put them down.
She can see a small room off to the side and walks towards it. BB-8’s already found it, his little beeps and chirps echoing along the tiled walls and floors. She steps in warily, looking at all the strange fixtures.
She steps into the small glass shower, hands stroking against the cool material. Smooth glass was hard to find on Jakku, most of it attacked by sand, dusty and scuffed within a few moments of being on the planet. She turns and looks at the controls, biting her lip before stepping out.
The tub’s sunken into the floor, looking a lot like the large watering holes the animals used, but much, much cleaner and a bit deeper.
She’d never been given enough water back on Jakku to actually have a bath. To have all of this at her disposal… it’s a bit overwhelming.
She undoes her hair, setting the leather wraps down on the counter of the refresher and running her fingers through the dark strands. When had she last let her hair down? She’s not entirely sure she can remember the last time. She quickly unlatches her belt, setting it on the counter before unwrapping the fabric from her chest and arms. BB-8 beeps curiously, and she smiles at him as she sheds her shirt and pants. The droid turns away politely as she unwinds the wrap from her breasts and steps out of her shorts, moving into the shower.
She turns a handle, curious, and hoping that it would work.
She presses a button to her left, and then jams her fist against the one right above it.
BB-8 beeps again, and she turns to see that the droid has turned around and is looking at her in a way she can only describe as curious.
“Never been in one of these before,” she explains, grabbing one of the tan-colored towels from a nearby rack and wrapping it around her body. “I don’t know how to work it.”
BB-8 chirps again and rolls off before she can stop him. She briefly hears the sound of the door opening and closing, and his quickly fading squeal as he goes to get the General.
She sighs softly, bending to fold her clothes as neatly as she can. It really is a pathetic little pile, she thinks, as she settles herself against the counter.
Her head snaps up as she hears a voice that decidedly doesn’t belong to the General.
“The General’s rooms? What are we doing here?”
She freezes as she hears BB-8 rolling across the carpet, and the dull ‘thunk’ as the droid rolls into the bathroom, the floors slightly varying in height. BB-8 chirps cheerfully at her, and she looks up to see Poe Dameron standing in the doorway.
They’d met, once, briefly. The day’s gone by in a nanosecond, honestly, and she can only really remember exchanging names and an awkward embrace after the map had been finally put together. They’d gone their separate ways after, him to fix his ship and her to check on Finn. She stands, awkwardly meeting his gaze as they stand in the middle of the bathroom.
“Um…” he says, eyes taking in her practically naked form before meeting her eyes again. “Do you - do you need help? BB-8 said you needed some …?”
She clutches the towel tighter around her. “I can’t figure out how to turn it on,” she admits, awkwardly, vaguely gesturing towards the shower with the hand that isn't holding the towel closed.
And then he smiles, and she feels the tightness of her throat ease a bit.
“Oh, yeah, they don’t exactly have this on Jakku, do they?” he asks, and she remembers after a moment that he’s been there. Not on her side, obviously, but he’d been there all the same.
He crosses the bathroom, still grinning, and uses his hands to point to each of the fixtures. “Shower or bath?” he questions.
She blinks at him, confused that she had a choice. “I don’t-“ she starts. “I mean, is one better than the other?”
He shrugs. “Shower’s are quicker, but baths are more relaxing, I guess. There are some in the medbay for if we have a particularly rough day of training."
“Shower,” she decides, letting her death grip on her towel loosen just the slightest bit. Aside from his initial lookover, he hasn’t let his gaze move lower than her eyes, and she’s grateful for it.
He nods, and she watches as he takes a handle to the side and moves it all the way up. The loud sound of water hitting tile and glass scares her, and she jumps back, letting out a surprised shout as he stares at her, surprised.
“You okay?” he asks.
“Loud,” she decides.
He shrugs, putting his hand under the water. “I guess, if you’re not used to it. It sounds like rain, too, but I guess you don’t really know what that’s like.”
She shakes her head. The feeling of her hair brushing her back is strange, to say the least, and she’s not entirely sure she’s comfortable with it.
His smile’s kind as he waves her over, taking her hand and putting it beneath the water. She’s used to water warmed by the sun, hot and not exactly the cleanest. But this water’s hot, steam filling the small space of the shower.
“To make it hotter, you go right, he explains, showing her the second handle. “Colder, you go left.” He tugs the handle to the left, and she stares in fascination as the water against her hand becomes cool to the touch.
She moves her hand in the stream, smiling when it drips off of her fingers. She lets it pool in her hand before she lets it drop, the water hitting the bottom of the shower with a soft ‘smack’.
“You’ve really never been in one of these before,” Poe observes, sounding amused.
“Never,” she explains, eyes watching the water droplets as they collect on the glass. She touches one before it can travel too far.
He watches her for a few more moments. “… want me to stay in case you have questions?” he asks. “If you press this button here, you can’t see anything through the glass.” He presses a button to the left and she pulls her hand away from the glass as it becomes frosted. She can see the silhouette of her hand from the other side, but not much else.
“… if you want to,” she admits, adjusting the handle as he’d instructed until it becomes hot, but not unbearably so. She’d use the cool setting later, but she’s sore and in her time waiting for Finn she’d seen the droids in the medbay apply heat packs to pilots who’d complained of muscle pains from the rough flights.
“You’ve never seen this much water before,” he teases. “Can’t have one of the heroes of the Resistance drowning on me.”
She should be offended, but something about his tone tells her that he’s not doubting her ability to take care of herself - instead, he’s just teasing her, trying to ease the awkwardness.
She waits until he’s turned, attention focused on BB-8 before dropping the towel to the floor and stepping beneath the stream. She gasps at the heat and pressure of it, and she can see Poe turn towards her at the sound.
“What is it? Are you okay?” he demands.
She lets herself smile a bit at his worry, and laughs. “Great!” she insists, laughing again as she backs up into the spray.
It’s invigorating, and strange, and so so pleasurable. She lifts her arms slightly, watching the rivulets of water moving down her skin and letting it drop off of her fingertips. She experiments with it, seeing just how high she can lift her arm before the water changes direction. She tilts her head back, letting the water soak her hair, before reaching for a bottle on the shelf.
“… what’s this?” she calls over the roar of the spray.
“Well, I would tell you, but I can’t see it," he replies, and she hesitates, thinking on how to do this. She sticks her hand out of the shower, dripping water on the floor as she holds the green bottle out to him.
“Shampoo,” he tells her. “For, you know, washing your hair.”
She frowns, because she doesn't know. She tries unscrewing the bottle like she did with the scouring liquid back on Jakku, pouring a good amount into her hand before applying it to her hair. She's used cleaning liquid for the metal parts they scavenged, and she had a bar of soap back on Jakku, but neither of those smelled nearly as nice as this does. It smells like greens she's seen briefly but doesn’t know, and she gets a whiff of something sweet she can’t quite name. She scrubs and rinses, feeling a bit ashamed at the dirt and sand washing off of her skin and down the drain. She feels lighter, though, and for once the line of dirt on her chest from the V of her shirt isn’t nearly as noticeable. She scrubs at it for a moment and watches as the line disappears, leaving clear, tan skin behind.
The heat of the water soothes the muscles she’d pulled between everything that’s happened, and she sighs softly in pleasure as the water pounds on her back and runs down her sore legs. While she’s used to walking on the sand, running is another story entirely and she’s sure she’ll pay for it in the next few days.
“Feel okay? Did you get checked by medical?” Poe asks. She looks up and sees his figure, now sitting on the counter with BB-8 between his feet. She can see the orange and white of his uniform, and the tan of his skin and the dark brown of his hair, but the shapes are blurred. She idly wonders color she is to him, if he can see the difference between her hair and her skin through the glass.
“Yeah,” she calls back, before stepping out of the spray towards the corner of the shower. She takes the handle that he’d grabbed before, pulling it down. It doesn’t stop the spray, only lightening it, and she feels her chest clench in slight panic. She pulls it up and then down again, with no luck. Instead she’s still standing under the weakened spray. “Why won’t it turn off?!”
She can hear his laughter echoing against the tile, and then he’s in with her, pushing the handle down and then in. The water stops abruptly, drips filling the silence between them. She covers herself as best as she can, but he doesn’t look at her. Instead he picks up the towel she’d abandoned earlier and holds it in her direction, pointedly looking the other way.
She takes it from him and wraps it around herself, stepping out of the shower when he steps out of the way. “Thank you.”
She’s never really thanked anyone before. On Jakku, everyone kept to themselves. She could count on her hands the number of times she’d thanked someone for doing something for her.
It wasn’t often that someone offered their help willingly.
But he’d helped her, despite the awkwardness and overall ridiculousness of the situation. He’d laughed, perhaps at her, yes, but he hadn’t made fun of her for her ignorance and stepped in to assist when she needed it. She holds the towel tighter, smiling a bit as he turns to look at her.
“No problem,” he replies, grinning. “Not exactly how I’d imagined our next meeting, but hey - it’s something, right?” He looks towards the door. “Do you think Finn’s out of surgery yet?”
So word had spread to him to. She shrugs, unsure. “They said they’ve never seen lightsaber wounds before,” she explains. “It might be a while.”
He nods and pats BB-8 on the head. “Well, he knows where to find me if you need help with anything else.” His grin is friendly, bordering on flirtatious. She sees his eyes rake up and down her dripping form one more time, and she blushes a bit, knowing that before he was analyzing the situation and now he’s looking because he wants to. “Clean’s a good look on you.”
And then he’s gone, leaving the bathroom. She hears the door open and close, and looks down at BB-8, raising a dark eyebrow at him.
“Did you get him on purpose?” she questions the droid, who merely chirps innocently in response.
If she stubs her toe a bit while giving him a playful kick, well, nobody will know.