His back is pulsing, pulsing, and it’s so, so loud he can’t stand it, something is so very very wrong and everything is loud and-
-and it’s snowing.
She’s in the medical bay, and people are streaming past her. She’s supposed to ask for the information desk, but she sees people talking everywhere, and no one is standing still. There are several desks, but they are all empty.
Chewbacca is standing beside her. He probably knows how to find people here, but maybe not right now, she thinks.
Chewbacca is beside her, until a woman with hair like steel walks over to them, and puts her hand on his arm. Chewbacca looks up her. He hadn’t looked at Rey, or Finn, or anyone since Kylo Ren-
- The woman with steel hair leads him away gently. She spares a look behind her, back to Rey, then makes eye contact with the tousled hair pilot being pushed out – gently, but firmly – of an operating room. The woman jerks her head in Rey’s direction.
He’s walking through the desert. He’s so uncomfortable he can’t bear it but he can’t stop until he finds Rey, but she’s not here. The Force is all around him, a galaxy of stars, a map leading him to her. Distantly, he knows it’s all wrong. He feels the cold dread knot in the pit of his stomach.
That’s not how the Force works…
Within the first ten minutes of knowing her, Poe had left and retuned twice. First to find someone with a room chart, then to duck into an operating room, and then, finally, he led her to a small room, off the left corridor. He had left again almost as soon as they crossed the threshold.
Poe returns an instant later with a folding chair and a violently purple can of soda. He gently pushes the can into her hands while setting up the folding chair and easing her into it. Before she has even dully sat down, he is out the door again.
He is brilliantly, vividly awake one moment. Everything is real, and he doesn’t question the blue curtains or the white ceiling or the person beside him because they are all unquestionably there. He blinks.
Poe returns half an hour later, with a pillow and a blanket. He eases the pillow behind her while unfolding the blanket to cover her legs.
She’s never met someone as methodically caring yet rushed as him.
He brushes the hair off her face absentmindedly as reaches down and picks up the can from beside her chair. Please drink it, he says.
The band in the cantina keeps playing. He’s sweaty and nervous, and strangers are looming in to stare at him as they walk past the table he’s sitting at. He started unpeeling a fruit a while ago, and he is still peeling off strips of rind, covering the table with them. He isn’t alone at the table.
TO-41 rolls into the room minutes after Poe leaves. It stops in the doorways swivels its head, and then rolls forward to look at her. She’s in shock, it says. The droid beeps angrily, and rolls out.
The TO unit returns, momentarily, with a stout Ewok, who takes Rey’s pulse and looks in her eyes and brings her another blanket. The droid rolls to a stop beside her. Eat something, it says.
Poe is beside him in the TIE-fighter laughing as they soar. Poe is beside him in the Tie-fighter laughing as they crash into the atmosphere. Poe is not beside him in the TIE-Fighter but he is still laughing, laughing as he falls away into the ocean of sand –
Poe returns two hours later, with an orange can of soda for her and bags under his eyes. He’s rushing between his team’s rooms, she realizes. She wonders how much of Black Squadron is here.
He asks is she’s eaten.
He picks up Finn’s jacket and wraps it around her shoulders.
He’s gone before she realizes.
It’s snowing, he realizes. That’s why he’s so cold. He’s looking up at the dark sky and the snow is falling down around him, and it’s should be beautiful, but it’s not.
Finn is so still.
She reaches out, and takes his hand.
The Imperial March plays as Finn walks through an abandoned Starkiller Base. Its pristine and empty. Finn is walking through gleaming chrome halls. He doesn’t know where he is. He marching through hall after hall, in perfect military time, but he’s not even conscious of where he is going. He realizes FN-2003 isn’t beside him, but-
-someone is beside him, holding his hand.