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something in the air

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Really, Rey thinks later, the whole thing is very embarrassing.

It starts when she gets back to her quarters one afternoon after the training Master Luke's got her doing practically all day now. She's tired and aching, ready to collapse into her bunk and spend half an hour groaning into the pillow before she has to get up again for dinner. If she's lucky, she might be able to get Finn to sympathetically pat her hair. If she's very lucky, she might be able to get Finn to sympathetically pat her hair and also bring her a bowl of whatever the mess is serving that day.

She pushes open the door, just in time to hear Finn say something like no, Rey, save yourself, and blinks first in surprise and then in concern. There's a vase of flowers set on the small desk, all fluffy white blooms and clusters of delicate yellow star-shaped blossoms, and Rey's about to look closer when she sees Finn already collapsed into her bunk, one hand covering his face.

"...Finn?" she asks, steps closer. "Finn?" He sits up, looks blearily at her.

"I'm dying," he tells her very seriously, and then sneezes. His eyes are red-rimmed and he rubs his knuckles into them, sneezes again. It's extremely loud. Rey doesn't hold back, throws herself down next to him and wraps her arms around him.

"Oh," she whispers, "Finn, no, have you- have you seen Dr Kalonia?"

"No," Finn says thickly, sniffs. "I just got back when it started, and then, I didn't want anyone else getting sick."

"Got back from where?" Rey asks, because Finn upright and talking feels a lot less alarming than the last time Finn had been dying, when Finn had definitely been dying. He gestures at the flowers.

"I wanted-" he says, and Rey can't help it; she reaches out for them, pulls them closer, buries her nose in them to smell the sweet scent.

"They're lovely," she tells him sincerely, "I can't believe you went- thank you, Finn." He sniffs again and she leans in, presses a kiss to his cheek.

"You like them?" he asks, and she can see that he's blushing. 

"Yeah," she says. "I really do." She snuggles in against him, kisses him again, and then feels a tickle in her nose, something that builds and builds until-

"Oh gods," Finn says, looking utterly horrified. "You're dying too."




They skip dinner, hole up in Rey's quarters, on the eminently sensible basis that whatever terrible virus they're both struck with appears to be airborne. Giving the entire Resistance some kind of awful deathplague is not how Rey wants to spend her night. She's miserable, can tell Finn's even worse. Her eyes itch and her throat feels tight and scratchy and she can hear herself sniffing constantly. Her head's throbbing even with Finn very gently stroking her hair.

"I'm sorry I got you sick," he tells her, and she rests her hand on his.

"I'd rather be here," she says, "I mean, at least you're not alone."

"Yeah," Finn agrees, sneezes again, and Rey's stomach rumbles. She tries not to think about what dinner might have been. She's skipped meals before. Living on the base is just making her forget what it's like, that's all.

Then there's a knock, and Poe calls through the door in what Rey can hear is a concerned voice.

"Rey? Finn? You in there? Missed you at dinner, I can't find Finn in his quarters."

"Don't come in!" Rey tells him in what she hopes is an authoritative voice. "We're dying." There's a long silence.

"You're what?" Poe asks, barrels through the door, and Finn and Rey both voice protest. He looks extremely worried, stares down at them both.

"We're dying," Rey says again, and she can hear that she sounds very pathetic. It's a little embarrassing. She's kind of a Jedi, and she's the co-pilot of the Millennium Falcon, and she faced down Kylo Ren in a fight. She should be able to die with dignity. She just feels so miserable, though.

"You're not dying," Poe says flatly, and Finn frowns.

"We are," he argues, "or at least, we're sick with some kind of horrible and deadly thing. We didn't want anyone else to catch it. You should have sent in BB-8," he adds reproachfully, "now you'll get sick."

"You're not dying," Poe says again, as if he can make it true through sheer force of will. "I'm getting the doctor." As he leaves, Rey sneezes, covers her face with her hands. She feels like all the liquid in her whole body is coming out through her nose. It's horrific.




Dr Kalonia arrives barely three minutes later, and Rey realizes Poe must have run the whole way. She, at least, is wearing a paper mask over her nose and mouth, a precaution Finn clearly approves of based on the noise he makes.

"Now," she says pleasantly. "What's all this about dying, then?"

"Finn was sick," Rey volunteers, "when I got back, and then got sick. He was out in the forest, earlier. I guess he caught something there. It must be terribly contagious."

"Hmm," is all Dr Kalonia says, but she looks closely at Rey, narrows her eyes when Finn gets hit with another bout of sneezing. "You were out in the forest?"

"Picking flowers," Finn agrees, and Poe suddenly snorts with laughter.

"We are dying," Rey hisses, "have some respect," and Poe just grins at her, his eyes crinkled at the corners.

"You're not dying," he says, sounding like a broken holovid, and nudges the doctor, gestures to the vase of flowers. She begins to laugh too, just a little, and pulls off her face mask.

"What," Finn demands. "What."

"You've just got allergies, both of you," Poe says, "buddy, you managed to pick Rey a really beautiful bunch of starflowers and puffblossoms. No wonder you're feeling terrible, they've got the worst pollen ever. You just need an antihistamine. Maybe a hot steam shower." Finn stares at him, drags his gaze to Rey.

"We're not dying?" he asks, very hopeful, and Dr Kalonia smiles at them both.

"Come on," she says, "I'll get you something, you'll feel better in no time."

"How did neither of you know?" Poe asks very curiously, and Finn raises his chin.

"Look," he says with dignity. "My whole life I only ever left the base wearing a mask with an air filtration system. I guess pollen counts as more smoke than toxin."

"I grew up on a desert planet," Rey points out, also with as much dignity as she can muster. It's not very much, especially when she punctuates her point with three sneezes.

"I hate flowers," Finn mutters, and Rey bumps her shoulder against his sympathetically.




"I'm sorry I gave you terrible flowers," Finn says much later, when they've had an antihistamine shot and eaten some dinner and taken a long, hot shower in the fresher. Rey feels exceedingly fresh and clean, and also like she's going to appreciate being able to breathe freely much more in future.

"It's okay," Rey tells him, because it is. "I still liked them."

"Even though they kind of almost killed us?" Finn asks, and Rey nods, curls in against his side, pulls the blanket up and tucks it carefully around him.

"Yeah," she says a little wistfully. "They really were beautiful. Nobody's ever brought me flowers before."

"Next time," Finn says, "I'll take BB-8 with me. So I can learn which ones are okay."

"Sounds good," Rey yawns. "Or just get holos. You can't have allergies to that."

"Or candy," Finn suggests. "I heard it's acceptable to get your cute girlfriend candy, instead of flowers."

"Okay," Rey agrees, kisses him goodnight very thoroughly. "It's a deal."