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Lying in the Long Grass

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Finn’s hands rest on his lap, his fingers twitching slightly as he watches Poe twist the stem of another tiny white bloom onto his flower chain. His dark hair falls over his forehead as he hunches over his work. Next to him, Rey lifts her hand and blows a handful of grass into the breeze. The thin green blades flutter and spin as a gust takes hold of them.

It was her idea to take a picnic out to the fields that surround the base. The trio’s rest days lined up for the first time in over a month, and they were eager to spend the day together. It only made sense to take that time away from the noise and hustle of the base. Poe and Finn agreed immediately.

They sit at the far end of one of the lush, green meadows, with the compound just barely in sight. The blanket they brought lies forgotten a meter or so away, abandoned so they could feel the grass beneath their legs. The gentle wind ruffles through Poe’s hair, then Rey’s, who has taken her knobs down for the day, simply pinning her hair back at the temples. As her blades of grass float away, she turns her gaze to Finn and smiles.

He smiles back, takes her hand and squeezes it, and then reaches for Poe.

“Can I see?”

Poe looks up, eyes crinkling at the corners, and places the stem of his last flower between Finn’s fingers. Finn carefully takes up the other end of the chain and stretches it between his hands.

“It’s getting long.”

Poe grins easily. “I’m making it into a flower crown for you.”

“A flower crown?”

“Mm-hm. It’s exactly what it sounds like. I’ll turn the chain into a circle when it gets long enough, and then you can wear it as a crown.”

“That sounds nice,” Finn says, his smile wide. He looks over to Rey, then back to Poe. “Can you show me how to make one for Rey?”

Rey scoots closer to her two companions. “I want to make one too, for you,” she tells Poe.

“All right,” he agrees. “Let’s get you two some flowers to start with.”

The ground around them has already been stripped of the small blooms, Poe having gathered them for Finn’s crown. Rey crawls a few feet away, plucking up the flowers she finds around her knees, and repeats the process when the area is bare, diligently moving away from Finn and Poe. Finn sets the half-finished flower chain down onto the flattened grass at his feet as he and Poe stand. They walk a few paces in the opposite direction of Rey and bend in tandem to collect their own buds. The field is peppered with the petite white flowers, and the pair quickly gathers enough to satisfy Poe.

When they turn back towards Rey, they’re both surprised to see the amount of ground she’s covered. She’s easily twice as far away from their resting spot as they are.

She works methodically, running her hand close to the ground to snap the flowers’ thin stems and gathering them up in twos and threes. Her technique is effective; she’s already gathered a rather large bunch. So large, in fact, that she can no longer hold it in one hand. She has her left arm pressed against her stomach, and has resorted to tucking the flowers into the space between them.

Poe laughs. “Rey!” She looks up. “If you don’t stop now, you’re going to kill the whole meadow!”

She flushes as the two men make their way over to her. “I didn’t know how many to get so I –” She makes a rolling gesture with her free hand. “I just kept going.”

“That’s all right, mi reinita.” Poe gives her a hand up.

“Now we definitely know we have enough,” Finn teases.

Rey makes a face and punches him on the shoulder, but laughs. She cradles her flowers against her ribs until they reach their resting place, then kneels again before letting them fall into the grass. Poe and Finn lower themselves down next to her, placing their bunches on top of her pile. It’s an impressive little stack. Poe’s a bit surprised that there were this many flowers growing out here.

He picks up a bloom, twirling the stem between his fingers and watching the thin petals blur together.

“Making a flower chain is really pretty simple,” he says. “Basically, all you’re doing is tying the flowers together by their stems. See, like this.”

Picking up his unfinished chain, he twists the stem of the flower in his fingers around that of the last flower, keeping it near the bud’s head. He makes his movements slow and deliberate, so that his companions can watch and follow him.

They each take up two flowers and copy his motions, tying one stem around the other. Finn holds his blooms with care, but when he attempts to tighten his knot, the stem snaps apart between his fingers. The broken flower falls to the ground.

Before he has time to react, Poe slides his hand over his. “It’s okay, buddy. The knots don’t usually stay very tight. Sometimes it helps to loop the stem through a second time, like this.” He demonstrates. Finn nods. He tries another flower, slipping the end of the stem through the knot like Poe showed him, but not trying to tighten it any further.

“Looks good,” Poe praises, and Finn feels his palm slide over the top of his head. He glances over at Rey, who already has four tiny flowers linked up. He sighs, wondering how she’s so good at everything. It’s almost unfair. But he can’t bring himself to resent her, so he lowers his head back over his own work.

The three work quietly for a while, their fingers bumping occasionally when they reach for a new flower to add to their chains. After a few minutes, Poe holds up his chain and pulls the two ends together. It ought to be big enough, he thinks, so he ties the two end flowers together and looks up at his friends.

He’s sincerely charmed by the scene that greets him. Finn is worrying his lower lip between his teeth, carefully twisting one stem around another, and Rey has her lips pursed in concentration as she bends over her growing chain. Poe lets out a giggle, and they both look up. Rey takes in his grin and cocks her head to the side.

“Sorry, you guys just look really cute when you’re focused on something.”

Rey develops two spots of pink on her cheeks and Finn ducks his head.

“Here you go, bud, I’m all done.” Poe holds his flower crown out for Finn. The other man’s eyes brighten as he breaks into a smile. He leans forward, bending his head toward Poe.

Laughing again, Poe arranges the crown on Finn’s head for him. It fits exactly as he hoped it would, lying across the top of his forehead just above his temples. The white blooms contrast beautifully with his dark skin and cropped black hair.

Finn’s eyes dart between Poe and Rey as they take him in. They’re both smiling fit to burst.

“It’s perfect, Poe,” Rey says, squeezing the pilot’s shoulder. “Finn, you look really lovely.”

“I wish we had a mirror.” Finn sighs, but almost immediately breaks into another smile. “I’ll just have to keep it on until we go back to base,” he says, grinning at Poe.

Poe returns the smile. “I won’t complain. You really do look good.”

Finn angles forward again and presses his lips against Poe’s for a slow kiss, soft and sweet. When he breaks away, Poe smiles, then leans back on his hands.

“The two of you better hurry up so we can wear our crowns all together,” Poe teases.

Rey grins wide and snatches up another flower. “Bet I can finish before you do,” she says, nudging her elbow into Finn’s side. He swats her arm away.

“I’d like to see you try. Poe’s head’s a lot bigger than yours.”

Poe slaps his hand over his heart, feigning outrage. “You really know how to hit a man where it hurts, don’t you.”

Finn shrugs, but his eyes crinkle at the corners. “Hey, I’m just calling it as I see it.”

Poe slugs him lightly across the shoulder and he laughs as he pushes back.

“While you two are bickering, I’m getting a really good head start on Finn,” comes Rey’s voice next to the two men. They turn to see that her flower chain has already grown by two or three blooms, and she’s in the process of adding another.

Finn scrambles to pick up a flower for his own chain. “You cheater!” he gasps.

“What, were you waiting for someone to say ‘go’?” Rey twists yet another stem between her nimble fingers.

“Well ... yeah!” Finn replies. “That usually how it works!”

She giggles. “You’re just upset I’m gonna beat you.”

“We’ll see about that,” he grumbles. Both Rey and Poe laugh.

The next few minutes are filled with furious stem-tying, the quiet punctuated by soft curses from both Rey and Finn when their intensity inevitably breaks the flowers they’re holding. After every few additions, they hold up their chains for Poe to inspect. He shakes his head at each one, and they rush to continue.

“I didn’t think this would end up being such an intense activity,” he says eventually, as his companions continue to tie knots as fast as they can. “It’s usually pretty calming for me.”

“We can be calm later,” Finn pants. “I gotta show Miss Perfect over here that she can’t win at everything.”

“Excuse me,” Rey retorts. “I’m pretty sure the entire base thinks the sun shines out of your ass, not mine.”

Poe chuckles. “I’d tell you to relax, but I don’t think you’ll take the advice, will you.”

“Nope,” Finn and Rey reply in tandem. They both hold up their chains again for him to see. He runs his fingers over them, contemplating.

“Hmm. One or two more flowers each, I think, and then they ought to be good.”

Rey and Finn positively dive onto the dwindling pile of flowers in front of them.

“Two each!” Finn cries. “Two each!”

Rey nods quickly and they both emerge with two blooms pinched between their fingertips. As their fingers fly around the stems, Poe remembers that they have one last step to complete.

“Oh, guys, you have to tie the ends together, too,” he instructs.

In almost the exact same moment, they grab for the ends of their chains where they rest in their laps, looping the first flower’s stem around the last one’s. As they thrust their completed crowns in Poe’s face, he honestly can’t tell who finished faster.

“Well?” Rey demands. She’s breathing hard.

“It’s a tie?”

Both Rey and Finn sit back, affronted, and immediately begin to talk over each other.

“I can’t believe –”

“– she obviously cheated –”

“– don’t want to take sides –”

“– too nice for your own good –”

“Guys, guys!” Poe shouts over them. They close their mouths with two audible snaps. “I seriously don’t know who finished first. It looked like you ended at the same time to me.”

“Oh.” Finn’s skin darkens and he looks down.

“Sorry, Poe.” Rey’s voice is small.

“Don’t worry about it,” Poe says, then smirks. “You’re right though, I don’t like to take sides between you two. If I did, the other one would probably tear me apart.”

Rey sets her crown to the side, grinning devilishly. “Like this, you mean?”

She launches herself at Poe, knocking him back onto the grass and pinning his hands above his head with one of her own. With the other, she digs her fingers into his ribs, making him gasp and wriggle underneath her.

“Wait! Stop! You know I’m ticklish!”

Rey cackles and looks over her shoulder at Finn. “Oh, we both know.”

Finn takes the cue and leans forward to tickle his fingers against Poe’s other side. Poe bucks, trying to shake them off.

“Nooo!” he howls. “I give! I give! Make it stop!”

His friends relent, laughing breathlessly as they lean back. He pants, still trapped under Rey’s weight, but he can’t help but smile.

“You guys are the worst.”

Rey giggles. “You love us.”

“Yeah, I do.”

She rolls her eyes but leans down to kiss his cheek anyways. As she rolls off him, Finn takes her place, and presses a kiss of his own against the opposite cheek.

Poe smiles as he sits up, and kisses them back, very quickly, on their lips. Then he fixes Finn’s crown where it’s slipped down his forehead.

“Let’s see these flower crowns you guys made, then.” He gestures to Finn. “Rey’s first.”

Rey grins and ducks her head so that Finn can arrange the crown he made on top of her hair. He touches his own for a second to see where it should lie, and adjusts Rey’s accordingly. Finally, satisfied, he leans back to admire the effect. The flowers lie perfectly on her smooth brown hair and brighten the skin of her forehead, making her look luminous in the afternoon sunlight.

“Wow, buddy, that looks great,” Poe enthuses. He pats Finn’s arm, then takes Rey’s hand and kisses it. “Now you really are una reinita.”

She blushes. “All right, now it’s your turn.”

Poe dutifully leans closer and lets Rey place her crown on his head. She fiddles, carefully placing the white blooms amongst his curls so they’ll stay in place. They look stunning nestled in the dark waves, sometimes fully visible and sometimes half hidden by an errant curl.

Both Rey and Finn let out a sigh as she lets her hands fall away.

“You’re so perfect it’s unfair,” she whines. Finn nods in agreement. “How are you always so attractive?”

A red blush covers Poe’s cheeks and neck. He raises his hands to cover it.

“Oh, I – I don’t think I – um –”

Finn raises his eyebrows at the Jedi-in-training next to him. “Rey! I think we embarrassed him!”

She puts her hand to her mouth and widens her eyes. “Us? Embarrass Mr. I-Can-Fly-Anything? We’ve really got it, haven’t we.” They share a delighted grin.

“Guys,” Poe groans, “take pity on me, please. This is twice in one day you’ve ganged up on me.”

“Aw, c’mon, Poe, let us have a little fun,” Finn says.

“We don’t get to see you so flustered very often,” Rey chimes in.

Poe feels himself flush deeper. His companions’ grins widen.

“He’s getting redder by the second,” Finn stage-whispers to Rey.

Poe endeavors to school his face into a haughty expression. He can tell the attempt isn’t quite what he hoped for, though, from his friends’ giggles. He clears his throat.

“All right, I’m a grown man, I don’t have to sit here and take this. If you’ll excuse me, I’ll be heading back to base now.”

He stands, even as Finn and Rey reach for him.

“I don’t know if we can let you do that,” Finn says, leveraging himself to his feet. He reaches back down and draws Rey up beside him.

Poe raises an eyebrow. “Oh? And why not?”

Rey stretches out her hand and runs her fingers over his cheekbone. He suppresses a shiver.

“You look so gorgeous, anyone who looks at you would just faint straightaway.”

Finn shoots Poe a sly smile. “That’s actually something I might like to see.”

Poe snorts, but Rey hums quietly.

“Now imagine,” she says, “what would happen if the three of us walk onto base together, looking like this.”

Finn lets out a low laugh. “We might cause some serious damage.”

They both turn to look at Poe, their gazes both sweet and sexy at the same time. He can’t manage to pretend to be mad at them any longer, and instead wraps his arms around his two companions.

“That sounds like a pretty good theory,” he says. “What do you say we go try it out?”

They positively beam at him, tightening their arms around his back. Rey tilts her head up for a kiss, and he complies, pressing his lips gently against hers. Finn nuzzles his nose against his neck, and as Poe breaks his kiss with Rey, he leans his cheek against the top of the other man’s head.

“Flower crown check,” he says, taking a step back. Finn’s has slipped again, so he pushes it back into place. Rey’s seems to be staying just fine where it’s resting on her hair pins, but Poe wants to fiddle, so he does. Finn’s hands come up to adjust his hair, tucking some of the curls back under the flowers.

Rey goes to retrieve their abandoned blanket, and when she returns, Finn takes up both her and Poe’s hands.

“Ready?” he says.

Rey nods.

Poe grins. “The Resistance won’t know what hit them.”