Chapter 1: First, When There's Nothing.
Rey held Finn's hand gently, almost afraid that if she held it any tighter he would break. In the last two days... Three days? Rey wasn't sure how many it had been since she left Jakku, it felt like so long ago now.
The monitors on the wall meant little to her, she had never seen them before and she had no idea what they meant. Nevertheless she stared at the one she knew kept track of his heart beat, which was miraculously steady. Her eyes had glazed over hours ago, no longer registering what was in front of her.
She took a deep breath, the ragged sound startling her. She felt light headed, the room swam in front of her, and she squeezed Finn's hand to steady herself. She hadn't been breathing enough, her lungs hurt, and her body felt stiff.
Slowly, she became aware of the world again, the steady beeping of the medical equipment, Finn's slow, shallow breathing, and the muffled voices and footsteps from the base outside.
Rey rubbed her thumb along the back of Finn's hand.
"I wonder which of us needs it more," Rey whispered.
In all her life that she could remember, Rey had only known three feelings: fear, sadness, and longing. Love, friendship, those feelings were entirely new.
Finn was her friend. She couldn't lose him. Her chest tightened, and she felt tears come to her eyes. She couldn't stop them, and she didn't really want to. She lay her head against his chest, tears falling silently.
Roll, roll, roll, beep, WHISTLE!
Rey sat up slowly and looked around at the doorway behind her. BB-8 rolled in, beeping excitedly, slowing down when they reached Rey and bumping her leg gently. She smiled weakly and patted the droid. BB-8 was her friend too.
"She's been really worried about you." Rey looked up again.
Standing in the doorway was a tousled haired pilot holding two mugs of something steaming. BB-8 beeped in introduction.
"Oh," Rey said, "you're Poe."
"One and only," Poe said, taking a couple steps into the room. "You're Rey, BB-8 hasn't stopped talking about you. I would have come sooner, but I had to run some diagnostics on my X-Wing and check in with the general." He paused awkwardly. "I brought some tea."
"Um, thank you," Rey said, taking the warm mug he offered.
She took an experimental sip. It wasn't bad, it was actually slightly comforting. There was a scrapping sound as Poe moved a chair over so he could sit next to Rey.
"I can take over if you want, you should get some sleep," Poe offered.
Rey shook her head. "No, he's my friend."
Friend. My friend. Poe patted her shoulder in a way that Rey assumed was meant to be comforting.
"He's my friend too."
BB-8 beeped in agreement.
"I don't know if he's going to be okay," Rey admitted in a whisper.
Poe looked at her, confusion written all over his face.
"They didn't tell you?" He asked.
"Tell me what?"
"He's going to be fine, he'll wake up in a day or so, it's just nerve racking for us in the mean time," Poe said, looking at Rey incredulously.
"You mean..." Rey began, slowly taking in what Poe had said. "He's going to be okay?"
Poe smiled at her. "Yeah, he's going to be fine in a day or so, I just assumed that you wanted to make sure he didn't wake up alone."
Rey smiled for the first time since she had gotten back, letting out a small choked noise from the back of her throat. She wanted to hug Poe, but she also didn't want to let go of Finn's hand or drop her mug. Poe seemed to understand and he patted her shoulder again.
"I'll look after him, you go get some sleep," Poe said. "You'll feel better in the morning."
Rey wanted to protest, wanted to say no, she didn't need to sleep, she wanted to stay, but she realized it would do no good, the look on Poe's face told her that.
"I don't have anywhere to sleep," Rey said instead.
"You can take my bunk," Poe said.
Rey gave a watery smile. BB-8 beeped loudly and pushed against her leg again.
"Thank you, both of you." Rey slowly released Finn's hand and stood up.
Rey took a few steps toward the door, nudged on by BB-8, and Poe shifted to her chair and took Finn's hand. Their eyes met for a brief moment and Rey nodded at him, which he returned. Then she followed BB-8 out, comforted that Finn had another friend with him.
As she lay down in Poe's bunk not too much later, she felt safe, and it occurred to her that maybe she had more friends than she had thought.
Chapter 2: A Slow, Growing Dream.
Poe has a roommate. A human one, not just BB-8.
Soooo..... I suck. I literally haven't updated in a year. In my defense I was focusing on college and my original work. Original work is currently in Editing Hell (trademark), so here I am. I'm on tumblr with the same user name, so if you want Quality Gay Content (my OCs, and just in general), come shake a stick at me. I always need more Reyva in my life, so send me a message with head cannons, prompts, whatnot.
Without further a due, and immense apologies, chapter two.
Rey opened her eyes, awake at once. At the now open doorway she could just make out BB-8 chastising a flight-suit clad figure in hushed beeps.
"Shitshitshit..." the day glow orange began to back away.
"Is this your bunk?" Rey asked, not moving from her fetal position.
"Yeah, Poe and I share." A dark shape above the orange jerked towards the bunk opposite Rey that she hadn't noticed in her exhaustion. The pilot was a woman Rey noted.
"You're his girl?"
The pilot snorted loudly, and when she spoke it was through heavy laughter. "Holy hellfire god no, we're literally competing for the title of gayest pilot in the resistance."
Rey understood all of those words, but not necessarily in that order. She decided she liked the pilot's laugh.
"I'm Jessika Pava, defending champion of previously mentioned title, as well as that of snarliest bitch when tired. I've got no competition on that one though." Jessika stepped over BB-8 and into the room. BB-8 whirred in protest.
"My. Bunk," Jessika snapped at the droid. "I will let her sleep as soon as you let me do the same."
"Yes I know her name, now let us sleep you orange nuisance."
Whistlewhistlebeepwhistle. Rey didn't know that phrase.
"R2-D2 is no longer allowed to babysit you, and I'm telling Poe this time."
BB-8 gave an indignant beep.
"I mean it."
Jessika unzipped the front of her flight suit and Rey let her eyes fall shut at the sound. There were no other words, droid or human, for a long time. Rey could only hear the sounds of Jessika's breathing and BB-8's internal cooling system, along with rustles of Jess getting settled in her bunk.
"Hey, Rey?" Jess asked a moment before Rey assumed she'd fallen asleep.
Rey opened her eyes again.
"Do you know where anything is on base?"
"The hanger and medical," Rey replied.
"Want me to show you around tomorrow? At least the mess hall anyway, so we can take something to Poe."
Rey nodded. "Thank you, Pava."
"Okay, if you want to live, call me by my first name or one of my nicknames. I don't care how powerful of a Jedi you are or are going to be, my last name, used in any context except giving orders, gets your ass kicked."
Rey couldn't tell if Jessika was joking or not.
"Thank you, Jessika," she corrected.
Jessika shot her a thumbs up, then went face first into her pillow. Rey closed her eyes again.
Friendship was definitely a good feeling.
Chapter 3: Let Your Fear, Cease to Hide...
Jessika, holder of the completely and utterly official title of "gayest pilot in the resistance", cannot, for the life of her, win an argument against a droid she practically shares custody of.
Jessika POV. Such a sarcastic bean. I love her.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
The problem with BB-8 being your bunk's designated alarm clock is that there is no damn snooze button. Jess wonders briefly, only briefly because brief is the only thing she can manage before her second cup of kaf, if she could program a snooze button into the droid. Unlikely.
"I will blast I hole right through you if you don't shut up," Jess mumbled.
BB-8 beeped happily.
"Do not harm BB-8."
Oh shit. Jess had forgotten about the new girl, who, apparently, had never been introduced to sarcasm. Very much awake now, Jess sat up and began to back track, verbally and messily.
"No, no no, I'm not gonna hurt BB-8, I'm practically his mom."
"Her today?" Jess looked at BB-8 to check, and she nodded. "Sorry, her mom."
"BB-8 is my friend," Rey said. She was sitting cross legged in Poe's bunk, still looking at Jess with caution.
BB-8 began to beep and whirr out an explanation, and Jess almost laughed to hear her explanation of "violent morning humor." Rey's expression softened into delighted curiosity.
"And that's normal?" she asked BB-8.
"At least around here," Jess cut in. Rey looked up at her, smiling slightly.
Oh no... she has dimples... Jess immediately shut down that train of thought. It was too damn early to be that damn gay. Gay could wait until after caffeine.
"So people threaten violence in the morning... and that's funny?" Rey asked slowly.
"Only because we know none of us would actually hurt each other. And, and because of the way we say it," Jess added.
There was silence for a moment while BB-8 shifted between them excitedly. How even a droid could be a morning person Jess did not know.
"So, I have to ask, how long have you been up?" Jess asked.
"Since five AM." Rey said simply.
Jess blinked at her, astounded. "That is not a human hour. That's a time you stay up till, not a time you get up!"
Rey scrunched up her eyebrows. "Is that more violent morning humor?"
"Kind of," Jess said. "Listen, kid, I gotta get some caffeine in me if I am going to have to talk to you any longer?"
"Have to talk"? "Have to"? Really Pava? Really? Way to make her feel welcome.
"You don't have to talk if you don't want to," Rey said, her eyes wide and honest.
"No, no! I do want to talk, I just know I'm not fun to talk to before I start on my second cup of kaf," Jess explained hurriedly. If there was anything she wanted, it was to not offend the impossibly cute girl in front of her, but damn if cute girls didn't up her likelihood of putting three whole feet in her mouth.
Rey smiled, the first full smile Jess had seen on her. She nearly died on the spot.
"Well, lets deal with that quickly," Rey said, standing up. "I enjoy talking to you."
Rey was already halfway to the door before Jess's mouth caught up to her brain.
Rey stopped in her tracks and looked down at her legs in confusion.
"I mean I need pants," Jess corrected. "I gotta put pants, and like, a bra on."
"Right," Rey said. "I'll wait outside."
Rey pushed the button next to the door, making it slid upwards to let her out. It closed with a hiss. Immediately, BB-8 began to beep furiously at her.
"I am NOT stealing her!" Jess protested, throwing the sheets back.
"Yes she's cute, but that doesn't mean I'm flirting with her!" Jess rooted around in the mess that was the drawer under her bunk for pants. Gotcha!
"I was being nice!"
Jess half tuned out the next two minutes of binary berating as she struggled into pants and boots. She took a hard look at her bra and tried to decide how lazy she was today.
"Okay! O.K. she's pretty, and I totally would, except that A, she's currently a very important person I might get in trouble for flirting with, and B, she's out of my league. Please, just, stop."
BB-8 let her last whistle fade.
Jess slipped her arms out of her sleeves and did her bra up before slipping them back in. Moderately lazy, extremely cold.
"Alright, let us venture my child," Jess shot at the silent droid.
BB-8 beeped matter-of-factly.
Jess blushed. "Yeah? You really think?"
thank you all for the comments! I really appreciate any and all feedback!! Please feel free to shoot me a message at my tumblr anytime!
Chapter 4: Deep Inside Your Mind
Jessika takes Rey to the cafeteria, the differences between Kaf and tea are explained, and Rey does a lot of thinking.
I am terrible. I am also incredible busy eight hours a day usually, but hey! only eightish months instead of a year this time? Improvement, I think.
Rey picked at the hem of her shirt. It was tunic like, and was standard issue in the Resistance, and reminded Rey of the better parts of her old clothes. The comfortable, easy part. There was an electronic hiss as the door slid open, revealing a smiling Jessika, and a whirring BB-8. Rey smiled too.
"Okay, cafeteria, medbay, then to see someone who can set you up with a bunk," Jessika said, knotting the sleeves of her flight suit around her waist. It was the obnoxious orange thing Rey remembered her in last night. It was less glowy now that there was lights on, but still... you'd see her coming.
Not that she'd have to worry about Jessika sneaking up on her. It wasn't Jakku.
Jessika was still talking. "Not that I mind you sharing with me 'n Poe, but the floor won't be comfy, and I think there's an empty one down this hall, so you won't be far-"
BB-8 beeped shrilly, interrupting Jessika.
"Wha-oh yeah, go ahead. We'll catch up with you later."
Rey blinked. She hadn't been paying enough attention. Her mind had been providing her with images of what could have happened to Jessika on Jakku, where an orange flight suit, at least that shade and vibrance, would have drawn her attention. Attention wasn't good.
"Where's she going?" Rey asked, watching BB-8 roll away.
"Med. She's checking on Poe and Finn. We should make sure to bring Poe something. When Snap got hurt, 'bout three months back, Poe was in an out of medical at all hours, didn't sleep. He just trained, ran drills for new recruits, and worried about Snap. Anytime someone Dameron knows is hurt, he goes all mama Ewok. Doesn't eat, not even when he has to go on a mission."
Eating. Rey's stomach knotted at that. The tea Poe had brought her was awfully long ago, and not nearly substantial enough.
"We'll have enough for him?" Rey asked, suddenly worried. She didn't have anything to trade for portions here, and she wouldn't ask Jessika share with her, especially not if she was going to split her portion with Poe.
Jessika gave her a look as they rounded a corner and came face to face with a trio of thin elevators. "Yeah..."
Rey didn't understand her confusion. What did Jessika have in her pockets to trade? There weren't any lumps or bulges.
"I don't have anything to trade."
Jessika pushed the button to call an elevator to them. It lit up and she turned to face Rey, brow furrowed.
"For what? Sex? Repair help?"
Rey opened and closed her mouth. "I don't want a child, and I have nothing to repair."
Jessika closed her eyes and rubbed her temples, seeming in pain. Then it hit Rey.
"That was violent morning humor again," she said carefully.
Jessika nodded, dropped her hand and opened her eyes. She looked tired. "If it doesn't make sense, assume so. So, yeah, that was more sarcasm."
The elevator on the left's doors opened, and Rey followed Jessika inside.
"Okay, but seriously, what would you need to trade for?" Jessika asked, speaking when the doors had closed behind them.
"Portions." Rey really didn't understand how they weren't understanding one another.
"Oh! No, we don't trade, we have volunteer cooks. A resistance doesn't just have fighters. We have cooks, and nurses, communications operators. Droids and non-droids. Everyone helps. Anyone helps. When I broke my leg I signed up for kitchen duty. It feels good to take care of people."
Once Rey adjusted to the fact that she would be fed no matter what, she analyzed what she knew about Jessika so far. One, she didn't seem to be serious very often, two, she cared about people, and three, she tended to talk. When she started talking on a subject, she followed it to an end. Unless interrupted.
"Also-" Jessika's sudden tone and conversation change startled Rey from her analysis. "How would I get you pregnant, and why was that your first thought?"
"That's what sex is for?" Rey, again, didn't understand. "If you couldn't get me pregnant, why would we have sex?"
"Sex is fun? And you don't get pregnant if you're the same gender, or if you use protection."
"Oh," was all Rey said in response. She mentally listed out questions she was going to ask Jessika later, if the subject came up again. Now, the elevator doors were open, and Rey could smell food.
There were so many people. People who looked human, people with tentacles, people with heads with scales and big eyes. And none of them wanted to kill her, or take her food. The room was mostly grey, grey tables, grey floor, but large windows gave a view of the forested planet. Opposite the windows was a wall with a long gap that she estimated started about the height of her chest and ended just above her head.
"C'mon. Line's not that long." Jessika put a hand on Rey's elbow and guided her over to the wall, where on the other side she could see a couple people dishing out spoonfuls and forkfuls of food onto the plates presented.
At the beginning of the line was a stack of plates, and a stack of each type of utensil. Jessika handed Rey two plates, and a set of utensils for each, before taking some for herself.
"It looks like they actually have something meat adjacent," Jessika said as they joined the line.
Rey followed behind Jessika, and listened to her greet each of the kitchen volunteers and explain they were taking food to Poe as well. Almost all of them said something along the lines of "send my regards," and the one who didn't speak waved her tentacles in a positive manner. Rey watched as all three plates were methodically fill with several strips of fried meat, a flop of mashed vegetable that had also been fried and salted, and a roll.
"C'mon, there's a drink table right over here." Jessika had a hand on her elbow again. She kept doing that - people kept doing that. Touching her, Rey clarified to herself. She didn't want to admit it, but it was nice.
There were a couple stacks of plain, unassuming mugs on the drinks table, along with several large containers, and bowls with little packets of sweetener.
"Want Kaf?" Jessika asked as she fixed herself a cup.
Rey thought about this. "Poe brought me tea last night."
Jessika picked up another mug and filled it from a different container. "Was it sweet?"
Jessika poured one packet of sweetener into Rey's mug. Once stirred in, Jessika picked up both mugs by their handles in one hand, and picked up her plate again in the other.
"Alright. Table, then when we've eaten we can take Poe up his plate and relieve him of duty. If he'll let us."
When they'd sat down at the nearest unoccupied table, Rey spoke.
"I hadn't know they were so close."
Jessika shrugged. "I think it's less that they are, and more that Poe hopes they'll be. I know Poe, and I saw his face when we saw Finn after that first rescue mission when-"
Rey nodded when Jessika paused awkwardly. Considerately. When she, Rey, had been taken.
"As soon as they saw each other they ran and embraced like long lost lovers. It was super gay," Jessika said affectionately.
"You've used that word twice," Rey said, seizing the opportunity to ask one of her questions. She took a bite of the mashed vegetable while Jessika chewed on a meat strip.
"What word?" Jessika asked when she swallowed.
"Gay. What does it mean?"
Jessika held up a finger, her index finger, and took a swig of her Kaf. When she swallowed she answered.
"It means liking your own gender."
Rey looked down at her body. "I like being a girl."
"No, like, other people, romantically. Some people like only people who are a different gender, some people like only people of their same gender, and some people don't really give a crap." Jessika took another long drink of her Kaf.
"I'm not sure I understand," Rey said. She mostly understood, but she wanted to make sure she got it. She didn't want to get something horribly wrong and make a mistake. "I don't see that much of a difference."
"Okay, well, take Kaf and tea. Two different drinks. Some people only like tea, some people only like Kaf. Some people like both. And yeah, not really a difference except in damage control, and..." Jessika trailed off, her cheeks growing pink.
There was a seconds or two of silence.
"I like tea," Rey said, bringing her mug to her lips with both hands. It was warm, confortably warm, and the color of Jessika's eyes and hair - a deep, rich brown that was almost black. "What does that mean?"
Jessika laughed. "Just means you like tea. It's done being a metaphor now."
Rey took a long sip of her tea, putting together this conversation with the one in the elevator, answering a lot of her own questions. As she did, a couple others popped up.
"So you think Poe's in love with Finn?" she asked.
"I think he'll probably end up that way. Right now it's just sudden friendship coupled with strong feelings of the romantic sort." Jessika stuck a fork into her vegetable mash and took a larger than necessary bite.
Rey looked down at her own food and realized she hadn't eaten that much of it. Her normal anxiety while eating was nowhere to be found at present. She smiled and broke her roll, and then shoved half of it into her mouth. Jessika snorted, a hand coming up to cover her mouth to stop from spitting out her food. Rey couldn't help it - she laughed too. It felt good, and so, so necessary. She couldn't remember the last time she'd just laughed.
"We both eat like banthas," Jessika said when they'd both swallowed and the giggling had subsided.
"Good thing we're friends."
It slipped out of Rey's mouth before she could analyze it, but to her relief, Jessika just smiled wider.
Chapter 5: All Alone, I Have Cried
24 hours ago, Rey would have been excited to leave. 24 hours ago, she hadn't gained and lost so much.
Am I going to try and and finish this before the next movie? Yes. Am I actually going to succeed? Who knows. Not me.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Rey stared up at the ceiling of the bunk she would eventually be sharing with Finn, if he woke up. When he woke up. She had to keep reminding herself that it was a when. A when she probably wouldn't witness first-hand. After she and Jessika had taken Poe his food, C-3PO had requested her presence on behalf of the general. Now, in ten hours, she was leaving to find Luke Skywalker. The last Jedi. It all sounded ominous, and the general had almost laughed when she'd voiced it aloud.
Rey looked around the room. It didn't feel like it was hers. It felt sterile, standard issue. She wished she would be there long enough to put her mark on it, so that when Finn woke up, he would know she'd been there. Rey felt that it might be comforting, knowing you'd be sharing a room with a friend.
Her door made the noise that let her know someone was on the other side. Carefully, Rey got up and went to the door, pressing an ear against the cool steel.
"Who is it?"
She unlocked the door, which slid open, and allowed BB-8 to roll casually in. Rey closed the door and went back to sit on the edge of her bed. BB-8 was looking at her with concern.
"You were worried about me?"
Rey smiled, the expression not reach her eyes completely. "You know I'm leaving in the morning, right?"
BB-8 gave a sad, but confirming beep pattern.
"I'll miss you," Rey said, putting a hand on the top of BB-8's head.
"No, R2 and Chewie are coming with me, you have to look after Poe, and Finn, and Jessika." Rey thought for a moment, then added, "And General Organa."
BB-8 seemed to perk up a bit at this. Rey picked up the droid carefully and set her on the bed. They sat side by side, the only noise Rey's breathing, and BB-8's internal cooling system.
"It feels more like home when you're here. Less empty," Rey said, after a couple minutes of comfortable silence.
With a click-pop, the little compartment where BB-8 had hidden the map opened, revealing some small spare parts, and a tiny screwdriver. Rey looked at her in confusion.
Rey really smiled this time, patted BB-8 on the head, and took the offered gift. She placed the slightly greasy pieces of metal on the T-shaped desk that separated the two beds. The shape allowed the beds to serve as a chair, and the desk itself to serve as a night stand as well.
Rey laughed. "There's the ulterior motive for bringing me a screw driver. Turn around."
As BB-8 did as she was told, Rey picked the screwdriver back up and unscrewed the panel that covered BB-8's command center. Quickly she typed out and saved her room code to BB-8's files. Then, after doing a spur-of-the-moment maintenance check over BB-8's primary functions, she screwed the panel back in place. BB-8 chirped happily as Rey put the screwdriver back, and organized the parts by size and shape. There were only three of them, but it gave her hands something to do.
"Thank you, BB-8," Rey said finally.
BB-8 had gone into power save mode, and was gently doing the droid equivalent of snoring against Rey's pillow. Rey, was still awake. The base was asleep, silent stillness leaking into her bunk.
Careful not to wake BB-8, Rey got up and padded out. The door slid shut behind her, hissing quietly, a noise that seemed far louder in the dimmed lights of night than during the day. Only maintenance droids were active at this time, and the only people awake were those on Night Watch. Well, them and Rey.
It was another world, wandering the empty base on her own. Nothing could touch her here. Here, she was safe.
Rey let herself be aimless for once. So much of her life, almost all of it, had been spent only doing what was necessary. What was needed. Surviving.
The elevators were smooth and silent. She liked the small spaces of the elevators, like her bunk.
Hallways and debriefing rooms, blinking lights and glowing monitors. It was almost all a dream. A waking dream. Sleepwalking.
Rey started, banging her hip against a desk. She hadn't realized she'd wandered into the command center.
The General stood, her face revealed by the patchy light of screens and glowing buttons. She looked tired. Haggard.
"What are you doing up?" Rey asked when the General said nothing.
Organa smiled. "I could ask you the same."
"I took Night Watch for the command center."
"But you're the General?" Rey's brow furrowed.
"I'm still a part of the resistance." Organa smiled. "You, however, have an early departure scheduled. You should at least try to sleep."
Rey shook her head.
"Consider it an order," Organa said kindly.
"I'm leaving my family," Rey said, finally voicing what had been troubling her. "Everyone I care about is here."
General Organa looked sympathetic as she stepped closer to Rey. Rey looked at her, her heart constricting. Her family was here, at the Resistance Base. In the past few days, without her realizing it, she'd found the family she'd wanted. Han was a father figure, who she'd lost before she'd really understood it. Finn and Poe were like her brothers. And Jessika... she'd figure that out later.
"I know what you mean," Organa said, placing a hand on Rey's arm.
Without putting much thought into it, Rey hugged General Organa, burying her face into her neck like she was a small child again. She couldn't remember her mother. A part of her didn't want to anymore.
"We've both lost so much," Leia said, holding Rey just as tightly. "I will never be more than a call away."
"Promise?" Rey asked, her voice so much smaller than she wanted it to be.
They stayed like that, in the darkened command center, both putting everything they couldn't voice into their embrace.
Questions? Comments? Concerns? Existential crises? Emotional outbursts? Rude remarks?