Poe Dameron never really considered himself a selfish person. Sure, as a kid he always wanted to be a hero, but that doesn’t make his actions less heroic. Sure, he’s the best pilot in the Galaxy and can fly anything, but that doesn’t mean that his actions are without risk. He might act on instinct and trust his gut, but no decision is made with knowing that consequences exist. Actions have consequences, ones he is usually more than willing to face. He’s supposed to be one of the fearless leaders. He’s survived torture and being shot down, all in a span of hours. Yet, Poe Dameron is not fearless.
Poe knew he wasn’t fearless. Sure he’d managed to keep his cool while escaping from inside the First Order with a fleeing Stormtrooper in a TIE fighter but that didn’t mean he didn’t know fear. He had been terrified when he woke up in the desert to a dark sky and his new friend nowhere in sight. He’d been terrified as he sat beside an unconscious Finn after destroying the Starkiller base. And Poe wasn’t foolish enough to not notice that the one thing he seemed to be terrified most of was losing Finn.
“You know they said he’d wake up on his own.” Rey had told Poe as she took the seat beside him. The pair of pilots often sat together keeping watch over Finn.
“People say a lot of things.” Poe shrugged. The pair had gotten to know each other over the past few days.
“I have to believe they’re right,” Rey put her hand on Finn’s as she spoke. “We have to.” She turned her gaze to Poe as she spoke.
When Rey had made him promise to stay with Finn it had been an easy promise to make. He’d be there when his friend awoke. He wasn’t going to leave him alone in a place he didn’t know. That would scare even him. When Rey left there wasn’t much keeping the fear out, she’d been fighting it back within him and he hadn’t noticed until she was already gone.
When Finn woke up it was like dawn finally breaking. Poe laughed like a fool and held his friend’s hand. He answered every question Finn had and reassured him Rey would be coming back.
He just didn’t know how much he would fear the day she actually did.
No, Poe Dameron was not fearless.
Otherwise he wouldn’t be walking out the main gates of the base to take on the most mundane of tasks pilots never do. If anyone asked he’d probably tell them that he’s just doing it to show his team no one is above grunt work, or that everyone needs to chip in here or there. Too bad most of them probably wouldn’t believe it.
Poe had just stepped past the gates with one of the usual guards to do a parameter check when he heard someone approach them.
“You can head back to your post, Sergeant.” The voice stated as it approached, a voice Poe knew all too well. “I’ll accompany Commander Dameron in his check.”
“Of course, General.” The guard gave a salute before heading back.
“You know,” General Leia Organa said with a knowing smile as she fell in step with the pilot. “Sacrifice is often appreciated but you’re taking things a bit too far.”
“I’m not sure I’m following, General.” Poe stated flatly. He had buried the urge to admit to anything for so long it was almost too easy to play dumb, an action that earned the pilot a chuckle from his superior.
“I can’t recall a time you ever volunteered for anything that didn’t involve getting inside an X-wing.” Leia grinned, waving his confusion off slightly.
“I thought it would be a valuable use of time.” Poe tried to make his unusual actions seem less out of character.
“And what of the guards and their time that usually is allotted for this?”
“Beside the one you just sent back?” Poe glanced at the woman beside him.
“Obviously,” Leia grinned.
It was Poe’s turn to wave a comment off. “I just needed a change of pace.”
“A chance of pace,” Leia repeated thoughtfully before adding, “So, I suppose your sudden enthusiasm for patrolling the grounds must have nothing to do with the fact a certain young Jedi-in-training is set to return within hours.” She eyed the pilot carefully as his shoulders stiffened somewhat before slouching.
“I haven’t…still not.” Poe tried to think of something to say but only succeeded in verbally stumbling and running a hand through his hair.
“Don’t worry, you haven’t been too obvious.” Leia, again, gave a knowing smile and placed a hand on the man’s forearm. “You can be so much like your parents sometimes.
The man let out a shaky sigh. “I feel like a kid.” He finally admitted. “Like I’m back to the point where pulling braids counts as flirting.”
“And everything around you is frustrating beyond belief because you know it shouldn’t work but your heart keeps insisting.” The former princess nodded. “And you just want to scream and fight with them and everyone.”
“And you don’t think things will ever get sorted out,” she continued.
A nod was his only response.
“I’m familiar with it.” Leia smiled, squeezing his arm gently.
“Well, you make it sound so much…” He struggled again to find the words.
“More violent?” She supplied.
“Less ridiculous.” He corrected with a chuckle.
“Life is ridiculous.” She grinned. “But the challenging things usually end up being the most fulfilling. You of all people should know that by now.”
“I know but they’re just so close, and they are so…new to things.”
“How can you expect them to learn if you don’t let them.”
“This isn’t like learning to shoot or fly.”
“No, it’s much more important.”
“Excuse me, General Organa,” the guard she had sent away returned. “You asked-“
“I’ll be there in a minute,” Leia cut the guard off with a wave before turning back to Poe. “Just ask yourself if you can live with yourself if something happens to you or either of them. Is it fair to leave them not knowing?” With that she left the pilot to his own thoughts.
Leia Organa joined the small group gathered outside the main hanger. The group bubbling with excitement as they waited for the ship that gave her such a mixed group of feelings. She watched as Finn glanced around. He turned to her.
“Have you seen-“ he started to ask but she already knew his question.
“I’m sure he’ll be here,” she smiled back at him. Poe was never one to let her down. She had the utmost confidence in her best pilot. He always made the right decision.
Poe had just wrapped up his parameter check when he saw the Falcon coming in for a landing. He’d had more than enough time to think about a few things as he had finished the check, and Leia had been right. It wasn’t fair, but that didn’t quiet the fear. He jogged to join the group and only just made it before the ramp descended.
“You made it!” Finn beamed at him before turning back to the ship.
“Yeah, I guess I did.” Poe nodded before looking to Leia as she grinned. He’d have said something if he hadn’t been distracted by his droid buzzing past his feet to go greet the figures in front of them.
Poe just had to grin as BB-8 excitedly beeped a greeting to R2-D2 before moving past to nudge against Rey’s leg.
“BB-8,” Rey laughed and continued down the ramp. When she stepped aside at the bottom of the ramp everyone’s attention turned to the other figures, particularly the Jedi Master Luke Skywalker. Leia stepped forward to greet her brother as almost everyone watched everyone but Poe and Finn. They watched as Rey approached them. No one said a word until Luke and Leia were already heading inside.
“Rey,” Finn beamed as he rushed to hug her, planting a kiss on her cheek.
“Glad to see you up and about,” Rey hugged him back.
Poe found himself looking anywhere but at the two of them. Watching them together was like staring at the sun. He was thankful for the distraction when BB-8 rolled up to him chirping.
“I know, I can see that.” He told the little bot at his feet before hushing it as it continued to beep a few things he wished he hadn’t said to the orange and white droid. He nudged the bot with his foot.
“Poe?” Rey’s voice drew him back to the previously hugging pair.
“Yeah, hi, glad you’re back Rey.” Poe forced a bit of a smile. “Good to see you, I’m sure you guys have some catching up to do so we’ll just leave you to it.” He added in a rushed statement. “Come on BB.” He shuffled the droid towards the hanger before either Finn or Rey could comment.
“That…was weird, right?” Rey’s eyes followed the pilot and his droid as they clearly argued the entire time as they headed back to Poe’s X-Wing.
“Yeah, he’s been off the past few days.” Finn stared at where the man who named him had stood.
“He’s probably just tired.” Rey suggested, though she didn’t believe that herself.
“I hope so.” Finn frowned.
“But he’s right, let’s catch up.” Rey nodded, leading Finn inside.
The two talked until they both fell asleep in Rey’s new quarters. Rey woke up in the middle of the night and carefully without waking Finn decided to go for a walk. She found herself in the hanger, not really sure why, at least until she heard a familiar voice, and a familiar droid, nearby. She cleared her throat as she approached.
Poe’s grease smeared face snapped up to meet her gaze from where he’d been fussing with the ship’s engine.
“Rey,” he stared at her a bit.
“Need a hand?”She nodded towards the engine.
Poe seemed to weigh his options before nodding. “Sure, it’s just routine stuff.”
BB-8 let out a few beeps that had Poe throwing his grease rag at the bot and Rey laughing.
“Needed or not, can’t hurt right?” Rey grinned.
Poe tried to hide the red tint the bot had caused to invade his cheeks. “Right.”
The two worked for a while on the engine, chatting and even arguing about superiority in different ships. They carried on until footsteps approached.
They both looked over to find Finn standing there.
“Hey Finn,” Rey smiled.
“We were just working on the engine.” Poe added.
“I can see that.” Finn smirked.
“What are you doing up?” Rey asked.
“BB-8 came to get me.” Finn informed them.
“What?” Poe glanced around for the bot that was hiding behind Finn’s leg.
“Why?” Rey asked simultaneously.
Finn laughed as the two just stared at him.
“They don’t know how long they’ve been out here do they?” Finn asked the droid. BB-8 did his best to shake his head to answer in a negative manner before informing the two pilots that they’d been working for hours.
Rey groaned as Poe laughed.
“Guess we got carried away.” Poe grinned.
“Clearly,” Finn shrugged. “Rey, you might want to get some sleep before training in the morning.”
“Yeah,” Rey nodded as she wiped grease off her hands. She turned back to Poe. “See you later.”
“Don’t stay out here all night.” Finn pointed at Poe before they walked off.
Poe headed the warning, but that didn’t make sleeping any easier.
The next morning Poe sat poking at what was supposedly his breakfast. He stifled a yawn as footsteps approached, looking up to see Finn standing there.
“Mind company?” Finn asked. “Rey’s already training.”
“Not at all, take a seat.” Poe gestured.
“Thanks.” Finn took a seat as Poe went back to poking at his plate. “Not hungry?”
“What?” Poe looked up at Finn then looked at his own plate. “Nah, just tired.”
“Worked too late, didn’t you?” Finn grinned.
“Something like that.” Poe nodded before staring back at his plate. He wasn’t about to tell Finn that this was far from the first night his brain wouldn’t shut off so he buried himself in upkeep.
“Poe,” Finn looked the pilot over carefully. “You okay?”
“Of course, just a little tired.” Poe grinned.
“But you’ve been-“ Finn started.
“Don’t worry, Buddy.” Poe squeezed his friend’s shoulder. “I’m fine.”
Poe had gone off to work with his fellow pilots with tired eyes but a smile as he left Finn to his day. Too bad Finn couldn’t shake the feeling that something wasn’t right.
“Something’s wrong with Poe.” Finn said when he joined Rey after training.
“He seemed okay while we were working.” Rey thought about it.
“He seemed…off at breakfast.” Finn added.
“Did you ask him about it?” Rey turned to study her friend.
“He said he was just tired,” he sighed.
“And you don’t believe him?” she asked.
“He’s been acting funny for days. BB-8 even thinks so.”
“Oh really, and how would you know that?” She couldn’t help but grin at the man she knew hardly understood the little bot.
“Because BB keeps pushing at me. I don’t know, you talk to him.” He looked up at her with pleading eyes.
“Poe or BB?” Rey raised an eyebrow.
“Either, both, I don’t know. I’m just…” Finn seemed a bit lost for word.
“Okay, I’ll talk to one of them.”
“Thanks, Rey.” Finn smiled, relieved that someone else was with him on this.
Rey didn’t wait long to ask.
“Finn’s worried about you.” Rey stated as she leaned against Poe’s ship.
“Finn’s what?” Poe asked leaning out of the cockpit.
“Worried about you.” She clarified.
“Well he shouldn’t be.” He shook his head, ignoring all the feelings the idea seemed to cause.
“Really?” Rey queried, “Because he seems to think it’s kind of important.”
Poe sighed and climbed out of the fighter.
“It’s just been a weird few days.” He told her as he ran his hand through his hair.
“When was the last time you actually slept?” She narrowed her gaze at him. “And don’t lie, who lies to a Jedi?”
“Jedi-in-training.” He corrected her with a grin.
“Exactly,” she eyed him.
“Like a said, weird few days.” He tired to shrug it off.
“You haven’t slept in days?” She stared at him in what seemed like shock. She took his initial silence as confirmation enough.
“Poe,” she stated his name firmly, harnessing every lesson she’d learned watching Luke Skywalker.
“There’s a lot to do.” He tried to cut off any argument she had as he turned back to his X-Wing.
“Poe.” Rey reached out and grabbed his shoulder. “You need to sleep.”
“I’ll sleep later.” Poe gave her an unconvincing smile.
“I have a feeling later not coming anytime soon.” She had to fight to not roll her eyes.
“Don’t worry, Rey. I’m fine. I’ll try tonight, okay?”
Sometime after dinner BB-8 came rolling into Rey’s quarters. Rey and Finn had been discussing her training when the bot rolled in.
“BB-8?” Rey stood up and knelt by the droid who beeped and chirped up at her. “He is where?” She listened once more to the bot’s beeping before heaving a sigh. “Come on Finn.”
“Where are we going?” Finn asked, already following her out into the hall.
“To rescue Poe from himself,” Rey stated plainly.
“You heard me.”
The three figures hurried across the base to the hanger.
Rey climbed up the ladder to Poe’s X-Wing and looked into the cockpit to find Poe asleep, mumbling something she didn’t understand.
“Poe,” Rey called to him but he didn’t wake. “Poe.” She leaned in and shook his shoulder.
Poe startled awake with a wild look in eyes.
“Take it easy,” Rey told him, squeezing his shoulder slightly. “Before you hurt yourself.”
“Rey?” Poe blinked a few times and seemed to shake off whatever had bothered him in his sleep.
“Yeah,” Rey smiled. “You know when I said you needed sleep I meant in a bed, like a normal person.”
Poe let out a rough laugh. “Now why didn’t I think of that?” He looked at her with tired eyes, his hair falling in his face.
“Oh Poe.” She laughed and without even thinking about it reached over and brushed the hair out of his face.
“What’s happening?” Finn shouted up at them. Poe’s eyes went a bit wide, having not realized their good friend was even there and cursing his own stupidity.
Rey shook her head before leaning out to answer. “We’ll be right down.” She looked back at Poe, “Think you can manage that.”
He nodded before starting to climb out and following her down the ladder.
“What happened?” Finn asked the exhausted pilot.
“I guess I crashed out.” Poe told the floor, grinning weakly as BB-8 rolled into his limited line of sight.
“You freaked the little bot out.” Finn stated. “Freaked us all out.”
“I’m sorry, just haven’t been sleeping.” Poe admitted.
“At all?” Finn asked somewhat desperately for clarification.
Poe shrugged. He hadn’t slept since Finn had fully recovered and started spending time in his own quarters.
“Been a few days.” Rey answered for the pilot, “But he said he’d try, just didn’t think he’d start here.”
“Right, that’s it, come on.” Finn said grabbing Poe by the wrist and heading towards the door.
Stopping only to look at Rey and BB, “You coming or not?”
Finn didn’t stop until he was inside Poe’s quarters. “Sit.” He pointed at the bed. Poe sat without protest. Rey stepped in as BB-8 whizzed past her and into the room. She closed the door behind them.
“Finn, what are you-“ She started to ask but he cut her off.
“This has to stop.” Finn looked at Poe.
Poe’s eyes went wide. “What?”
“You, this.” Finn gestured at the exhausted, rumpled mess that was Poe Dameron.
“I don’t…what are you saying?” Poe looked a bit frantic as he looked from Finn to Rey and back.
BB-8 started beeping and ran into the back of Finn’s legs. The droid clearly upset at his owner’s raised heart rate and frantic look.
“Finn, wait,” she crossed the room. “You’re scaring them.” She usually wasn’t big on touching but she knew enough about Poe to know that it was practically his grounding force. She ran her hand through his disheveled hair. “What Finn is trying to say,” she glares at Finn before looking back to Poe. “You can’t just not sleep, right?” She glanced at Finn.
“Yeah,” Finn nodded. “You’re going to hurt yourself.”
“We’re serious.” Finn sat down next to him.
“I know…” Poe frowned.
“What’s going on,” Finn brushed his shoulder against Poe’s, “why aren’t you sleeping?”
“It’s okay.” Rey nodded.
“It’s a bunch of things.” Poe shook his head.
“Start with whatever is easiest.” Rey tried to reassure him.
“The nightmares are a good part of it.” He smiled softly as his loyal droid rolled up to rest against his legs. “He’s always there.” He reached out and put a hand on BB-8. “It’s hard to get him out of your head once he’s been in there digging around.”
“I know.” Rey agreed. She didn’t need to ask who he was talking about, it was rather obvious.
“What else?” Finn prompted him. “You said that was part of it.”
Poe hesitated, biting at his bottom lip.
“Poe,” Finn tried to give him a reassuring squeeze on his knee. Poe stilled at the movement and looked between his two friends. He had been trying to bury everything he felt since he’d met them both. The two were just so important to each other. Poe’d listened as Finn had gone on and on about how amazing Rey was and Rey going on about how brave Finn was. He’d agreed since the beginning but how could he compete with any of that. How could he possibly fit in without messing up what they had. Poe tried to hide his pained look by closing his eyes and hoping D’Qar had a core that would open up swallow him whole, but it didn’t. Instead Rey studied him until she seemed to put the pieces together.
“Oh,” she breathed. She looked at how Poe seemed to be fighting himself. The way he was pulling away from touching either of them, yet leaning in as the smallest of contact, as if hungry for but still defiant. “Oh Poe.” She pulled his face around and leaned her forehead against his. An action that earned the smallest of whimpers from the pilot, one she wasn’t even sure the others would hear.
“What did I miss?” Finn’s brow furrowed.
“It’s us.” Rey said quietly. “Isn’t it?”She was startled by Poe’s response as he stood up and practically bolted for the door.
“Wait!” Finn grabbed him by the arm. “What-“
“Don’t just…please. I can’t…” Poe tried to plead with him but wasn’t sure what he was pleading for.
“Poe, no one is asking you to do anything.” Finn didn’t want Poe to think he owed him anything.
“Except try and function around you two.” Poe looked between them. “Do you two know how perfect you are? I mean seriously?” He tried his usual sort of desperate humor to defuse the tension, to get away.
Rey watched carefully as Poe stated pacing, causing Finn to let go.
“What are you talking about?” Finn stared at Poe.
Poe spun around and kissed Finn directly on the lips. Finn’s eyes went wide.
“You and those ridiculous questions.” Poe mumbled against Finn’s lips before going to pull away.
“Poe, you should have said something.” Rey smiled reaching up again to run her fingers through Poe’s hair. “Could have saved us all a lot of trouble. If you haven’t noticed we’ve been trying to figure out how to make this work.” She pulled him by the collar over and brought his lips to hers. He went to pull her deeper into a kiss but she pulled away. “I don’t want to be the bad guys here, but you need sleep.”
“Sleep after that?” Poe smirked.
“Yes, because you’re fighting it so hard you’re shaking.” Rey smirked right back.
“You sure that’s what that’s from?” Poe laughed.
“No, but I’m not about to let you argue.” She pulled him down into the bed. “I promise we’ll work this out in the morning,” she gestures between the three of them.
“You do really need sleep, man.” Finn ran his hand down Poe’s back.
“So this is how it’s going to be, double teamed in my own room.” Poe grinned.
“You love it, admit it.” Rey laughed.
“You aren’t wrong.” Poe’s smile kept getting bigger and brighter, the sentiment finally reaching his eyes.
“But after you get some sleep.” Finn nodded.
“Mmhmm.” Poe let them kind of push him back in bed. Finn helped him take off his boots while Rey helped him out of his grease smudged shirt.
“Now sleep.” Rey kissed his forehead.
“What she said.” Finn chuckled.
“Stay?” Poe pleaded.
“Where would we go?” Rey grinned as she picked up his feet and settled with her back against the wall.
“Someone has to make sure you actually sleep.” Finn added as he sat down on the floor and leaned back against Poe’s bed.
“So going to have to look into a bigger bed.” Poe mumbled.
“In the morning.” Rey stated, squeezing his calves to emphasize the point.
“Mmhmm, in the morning.” Poe nodded into his pillow, one hand draping over Finn’s shoulder, the other held out to Rey.
“Good.” Finn laughed, taking Poe’s hand.
“Agreed.” Rey nodded, doing the same.