Finn wakes up in a new base on a new planet and Rey is gone.
It could be worse, he thinks. At least he woke up. He’s healing, apparently, and while he’s got therapy to look forward to (that’s how she says it, Doctor Kalonia, look forward to, but Finn is unconvinced), he won’t have any lasting damage beyond the scar on his back.
Starkiller Base was destroyed. Rey is okay. The map to Luke Skywalker is complete.
And Poe is sleeping in a chair pulled up to Finn’s bed, still wearing his flight suit, slumped over right next to Finn’s leg.
Yeah, Finn thinks. Things could be a lot worse.
He settles in. For a while, it seems like he doesn’t do anything but his therapy, or play cards with Poe when Poe’s free. Poe comes by a lot, when he isn’t flying. He’s good company, clever and funny and unassuming, and he tells good stories. He brings BB, too, and Finn still doesn’t know what the droid’s saying most of the time but he likes watching them, Poe and BB-8, and he likes the way Poe blushes sometimes and darts glances at Finn, because Finn can guess what it means.
He likes the warm curl that spreads through his chest, and the way Poe sometimes lays his hand on Finn’s thigh or his knee or his wrist, casually, thoughtlessly, like he doesn’t know what it does to Finn. That contact, that feel of someone else there with him, someone who looks at Finn the way Poe does. Like Finn is important.
As time passes Finn gets to know Poe’s pilots, too, and the techs, and the mechanics, and the soldiers. He likes the way they all so obviously care about Poe, and the way they seem willing to care about Finn, too. At least, some of them. Mostly the ones who are closest to Poe.
Finn knows he was a stormtrooper and he knows they don’t have much reason to trust him. He was their enemy and he lied about Starkiller Base. He could have gotten everyone killed because he didn’t care farther than his ability to save Rey.
But Starkiller Base was destroyed, and some of that was because of Finn.
Finn also knows that Poe defends him. He hears about it, secondhand, mostly from Jess, sometimes from Kaydel, and he doesn’t quite know the word for the feeling that inspires within him.
It’s more than a standard month before Finn gets to see Rey’s face again, and it’s only a hologram. But it’s her, and she smiles as widely as Finn remembered, and looking at her makes him feel like he’s whole again.
The transmission is a bit shaky and the image flickers, but Rey sounds happy. She says, I miss you, like she’s embarrassed, but like she means it. She also says, I’ll be there soon, and Finn’s grin stretches across his face.
When Rey returns, Poe is gone. He’s following some lead that apparently Finn doesn’t have the clearance to know about, something to do with some old adversary of Poe’s. Something with a T.
In any case, he’s gone, with BB-8 and Karé and Iolo. Finn is trying not to admit even to himself that he worries.
But then Rey comes back, and she makes Finn forget everything but how happy he is to see her. “Finn,” she says, her arms around his neck, and they stand like that for a long time.
He almost forgets where they are, forgets that Rey hadn’t come alone, when a familiar voice is saying, “There are better places for reunions than a grungey tarmac in the mist, you know.”
Finn and Rey pull apart and Rey makes a face at Han. “You’re still out here.”
Han is standing with his arm around General Organa, and she in turn has her other arm around a small bearded man who must be her brother. Han smiles and Finn thinks he’s never actually seen him genuinely happy before. “I guess I am.”
He moves, claps his hand on Finn’s shoulder. “Looks like they sucked you in, too, big deal,” he says, with a wry sort of understanding.
“Looks like,” Finn says, and he doesn’t stop smiling at Rey for the rest of the day.
Finn has to share Rey with Luke Skywalker. It’s an adjustment.
He’s glad that Rey has found someone who is important to her, who feels a bit like the family she wants, but Finn had gotten used to the idea that he could be Rey’s family. He thinks she’s become his.
Though, knowing Luke is teaching Rey to be an actual Jedi Knight sort of makes up for any lingering feelings of jealousy. His new best friend is going to be a Jedi Knight.
Finn’s friends are amazing.
He watches sometimes, Luke teaching Rey control, Rey practicing her lightsaber drills against a remote. Once Luke says, “Rey tells me you’re pretty good with a lightsaber.”
He’s looking at Finn like that means something.
“I’m not sure the whole Force thing is really for me,” Finn mutters, voice directed somewhere in the vicinity of his hands. He feels as though he’s disappointed Luke. Luke Skywalker. What is wrong with him?
But Luke is nodding and his voice is kind. “If you change your mind, you know how to find me.”
Finn looks at Rey, twisting around, nose crinkling in concentration, two remotes spinning around her. “I guess I do.”
Poe is gone for weeks, long enough that by the time he comes back, Rey is settled in like she’s been part of the Resistance for ages. It’s easier for her, Finn thinks, because of Luke, because of her training. She has a place. It’s maybe easier, too, because she has him, a bit like Finn had Poe when he first arrived. Only Poe actually fits, and Finn knows he doesn’t.
Finn’s been helping around the base as much as he can, cleaning, doing repairs, working in the armory, anything anyone ever asks and a lot more they don’t ask. It’s hard, though, to feel useful when he knows he doesn’t actually have a role, when everyone else is clearly integral. Finn isn’t pulling shifts in the command center. He isn’t running missions. He isn’t a medic. He isn’t a mechanic.
He also knows that he is still the defector, the ex-stormtrooper, and half the Resistance trusts him less far than they could throw him.
So when General Organa calls for him specifically and tells him all about how she wants to send him on an undercover mission to a First Order occupied world, Finn barely lets her finish giving him the outline before he enthusiastically agrees.
Poe is somewhat less enthused about the whole thing.
“I could go with, I could--”
“The team is already set,” General Organa says firmly. “I think you have other obligations, don’t you, Poe?”
“Yes, General,” Poe says, chastised.
“I’ll be fine,” Finn says, unable to hide his pleasure at what’s ahead but feeling sorry for Poe anyway.
“Sure, yeah, I know,” Poe says, and his smile is fake but Finn doesn’t call him out on it.
“The briefing is in one hour,” General Organa says to Finn. Her gaze, as it passes over Poe, is not unkind, but she adds, “Team members only.”
“Yes, General,” Poe says.
Finn squeezes Poe’s fingers but his shoulders still slump when he walks out.
Rey kisses Finn’s cheek when he goes and says, “May the Force be with you.”
He tells her to keep Poe company.
The mission is sort of a test, Finn knows, and he knows his teammates are watching him. But Snap is good-humored and Jess is someone Finn already thinks of as a friend, so it’s okay.
They’re stealing plans, some sort of new weapons development project. Finn has to put the armor on again and for a moment he thinks he might be sick, but he thinks of Rey and Poe waiting for him back at the base, and he thinks of what could happen if he messes this up, if the First Order is allowed to proceed.
That makes it easier.
It goes fine, until it doesn’t. Their escape is hot, and Finn takes a blaster bolt to his shoulder. Snap peels them out of there with flying that Poe would’ve been proud of and after he punches them into hyperspace, Jess slips out of the copilot’s seat to take care of Finn.
Her touch is ungentle but she knows what she’s doing. Finn tries not to swear too much but only half-succeeds.
She smiles at him as she works. “Just a graze, really. Lucky for Snap and me, Poe would’ve had our heads if we let anything happen to you.”
Finn’s face feels warm, all of a sudden. He doesn’t know why. It’s dumb.
Jess’ smile grows. “Oh, so it is like that? I wasn’t sure if it wasn’t just Dameron mooning over you, what with Rey and all.”
“Dunno what you mean,” Finn mumbles and won’t meet her eyes.
Snap is chuckling from up front. “Leave the kid alone, Pava, he’s injured. Maybe wait until you’ve given him the drugs before you cross-examine him.”
Jess acts like this is a wonderful idea. “Will he talk more if I do, do you think? I want details, now, this is a juicy story. Hey, do you have a thing for both?”
Finn groans and wishes maybe Poe’s friends liked him a little bit less.
Poe is gone again when Finn gets back to base.
“He left yesterday,” Rey says, and she sounds sorry about it. “He really wanted to see you.”
“That’s okay,” Finn says, even though it isn’t. Well, it is; Finn knows Poe couldn’t help it. He knows they’re fighting a war and he knows that Poe is important. He knows that Poe goes where General Organa tells him to go and that he can’t just sit around waiting for Finn.
It still feels like druk, though.
But Rey is here, and she listens avidly to Finn’s recounting of his mission. Then she tells him all about her Jedi training and it feels a bit like they were never apart.
Finn likes that about Rey. No matter how long they’re separated they always settle back in like it was nothing at all.
“Poe is nice,” Rey says, idly tracing patterns on the bedsheets with her fingers.
“He is,” Finn agrees. “He’s done a lot for me.”
“You’ve done a lot for him, too.”
Finn shrugs. “Yeah. I guess so.” He supposes helping Poe escape will always count for a lot, even if he hadn’t done it for purely unselfish reasons.
He’s glad it was Poe. Out of everyone who could have been on that ship, when Finn needed to run, when Finn needed a pilot and a way out, he’s glad it was Poe. Sometimes he thinks about how if he hadn’t been there, Poe would probably be dead right now.
He doesn’t like thinking about that.
Rey yawns. Finn looks at her and says, “Sorry, it’s late. You want to go to bed?”
“Could I stay here with you?” Her cheeks redden. Her eyes dart away, towards the corner of the room.
“Yeah,” Finn says. “Yeah, you can stay here with me.”
They both get into Finn’s bed and he pulls the covers up around them. Rey keeps a little space between them but she doesn’t protest when Finn strokes his hand over her hair, or when he rests his hand on her hip.
He thinks he might love her, and he can’t remember a realization that has ever felt easier or more natural.
Rey leaves, then, too, a few days later. Luke is taking her to some planet called Dagobah, some swamp planet in the Outer Rim, apparently, where he was trained back when he was Rey’s age. It’s supposed to be one of the purest places in the galaxy, strong in the Force, but Finn thinks it sounds more like Luke is feeling nostalgic.
Rey seems excited, though, so Finn mostly keeps his opinions to himself. Except for the ones about how much he’s going to miss her. He thinks it’s fair to tell her that.
“I’ll miss you, too,” she says, and she kisses his mouth swiftly.
She’s blushing when she steps back and Finn feels like he is, too.
“Tell Poe hello for me, and I’ll try to comm you,” she says, and then she’s running towards her ship.
“Bye,” Finn calls after her, and touches his fingers to his lips.
He’s grinning when her ship pulls away.
Rey is true to her word and she contacts Finn regularly. It’s a bad connection but her voice comes through clearly enough, and so does her smile. Poe is on base now, too, and he sits with Finn and talks to Rey; they share stories about what they’re doing. Rey talks about Dagobah and how miserable the climate is and how Luke’s cooking is terrible. Poe tells amusing stories about his pilots and Finn always tries to think of something that will make Rey laugh.
It always works, even if sometimes Finn thinks she’s probably laughing more at him than at what he’s saying. She’s laughing so he figures that’s all that matters.
Poe leans in closely, standing behind Finn’s chair and resting his hand on Finn’s shoulder; his face is near Finn’s cheek and Finn can smell the product in his hair. It makes him feel flustered, sometimes, but Poe never seems to notice. He thinks Rey does, a little, but she’s always smiling.
He thinks if all three of them ever got to be in the same space together at the same time, they might have something.
The pilots are terrible gamblers, always in the rec room playing games of sabacc or dejarik or whatever else they can to throw away their credits. The stakes are always low because they’re always broke but it’s fun.
Poe is the worst at everything that requires bluffing. His face gives away everything; he couldn’t lie to save his life, and definitely not to win a game.
Finn’s pretty good, though, at bluffing but also at strategy. He learned to play dejarik on the Falcon, a bit from Han, a bit from Poe, and a bit from Chewie. He likes that game the best.
He’s actually just beat Snap at it when he gets up to pour himself a drink and feels a buzzing in his pocket. It only takes a moment to realize he’s getting a transmission from Rey. “It’s Rey!” he says excitedly.
As Rey’s hologram flickers into view, Poe crowds in beside Finn, his hands sliding over Finn’s shoulders and his back. He’s terribly handsy. Finn can’t help his shiver even as Poe is grinning and greeting Rey.
Jess pushes her way in between Finn and Poe. “Rey, you’ve gotta come back and rescue these two dorks, they’re pining away without you.”
Poe shoves her out of the way but Jess is laughing, and so is Rey.
“I’ll tell Master Luke I’m on a schedule,” she says, and Finn goes out into the hallway with Poe.
“Are you coming back soon?” he asks, because he can’t stop himself.
“I don’t know,” Rey says, more seriously. “I think so. Not too much longer, anyway. A few weeks.”
“A few weeks,” Finn repeats, and tries not to look disappointed. “Okay, well, we wanted to tell you, the general’s sending us out tomorrow, so if you try to contact us and we don’t respond, that’s why.”
“Oh,” Rey says, blinking. “Both of you? Well, that’s good. I think.”
“I’ll take care of him,” Poe reassures her, and his arm is around Finn’s shoulders now, his thumb rubbing circles over Finn’s jacket sleeve.
“That is not reassuring at all. You’re even crazier than he is.”
“Hey,” Finn and Poe protest at the same time, and then all three of them are laughing.
“You’ll be careful though, won’t you?” Rey says, right before they end the transmission.
“We’ll be fine,” Poe says. “We’re just meeting a contact. Easy.”
As Finn runs down a back alley with several very angry aliens chasing after him, he yells to Poe, “You just had to say it would be easy, didn’t you?”
“Sure, blame it on me,” Poe shouts, one pursuer falling to a shot from his blaster.
Rey enjoys that story a lot, when they relay it to her the next time she comms.
When Rey sets foot onto the tarmac, Finn grabs her and kisses her. She makes a sort of muffled squeal into his mouth but her hands fit to his hips and she looks pleased when Finn pulls back.
Luke walks by them, looking wry, and Rey blushes a little. “I wasn’t going to say anything,” he says, and goes off towards the command center, where he’s probably hoping to find his sister and Han.
Poe’s expression, Finn notices, is a strange mix of disappointment and want all at once, but he shakes it off and smiles at Rey. She hugs him and he seems surprised, very carefully circling his arms around her before relaxing into it.
They have two days together, all three of them, before Finn suggests to Poe that maybe they could take a speeder out to the lake off-base.
“I’m sorry, buddy,” Poe says, and he really does look sorry. “I’m shipping out tomorrow. Bespin. Gotta see Lando.”
“Lando? Lando Calrissian? Who blew up the second Death Star? That Lando?”
“Yeah, that Lando,” Poe says, and he’s smiling like he thinks Finn is cute. “He likes me. The general uses me as a go-between a lot, when they can’t speak directly.”
“So that makes you sort of like an ambassador, huh?” Finn teases. “Bridging cultural gaps? Sort of like how Karé says when you were in school you--”
“Whoa, hey,” Poe says, knocking his fist against Finn’s shoulder. “Whatever stories Karé helpfully shares about my time in school are probably at least ninety percent made up. Seventy-five. Maybe fifty.”
Finn laughs. “Iolo generally corroborates her stories.”
“Iolo’s a liar and you shouldn’t listen to anything he says.” Poe is smiling though and he says, “You want to hang out in my quarters or something? You and Rey? Since I’m leaving, I figured maybe…”
“That sounds nice,” Finn agrees.
They end up watching a film. It’s terrible, but Poe lets Finn lean against him, so they’re touching from shoulder to knee, and it feels nice. Rey sits a little ways apart but she keeps looking at them and Finn remembers how she’d held him on Starkiller Base, a little bit desperately. He thinks maybe Rey still wants things and doesn’t know how to ask for them.
So Finn stretches out, purposely obnoxiously, lying down with his head in Rey’s lap.
“Hey,” she protests, swatting at him.
Finn sticks his feet in Poe’s lap. Poe grins and says, “Looks like we’re being appropriated for Finn’s comfort,” he says to Rey. He’s already started rubbing Finn’s ankles.
“Don’t you feel lucky?” Finn asks. He smiles up at Rey.
“I object,” she says, but she’s settled her hands in Finn’s hair and is stroking lightly.
The problem is that it’s maybe a bit too comfortable. Finn ends up mostly dozing through the rest of the film, which, he expects, is probably not much of a loss. The next firm thing he remembers is Rey gazing down at him, her face so close to his, and saying, “I guess you didn’t care for the film.”
“I was riveted,” Finn says, and she laughs.
“Probably time for bed anyway,” Poe says, though he doesn’t try to push Finn’s feet away. “Suppose I won’t see you again before I leave, so maybe we should do the goodbye thing now.”
“Or,” Finn says, pushing himself more upright, “we could just sleep here.”
Poe blinks. “You could sleep here?”
“Yes, Poe, I am inviting Rey and myself into your bed.”
“I have to leave pretty early. You might not want to be bothered.”
“Early for you is normal for us,” Rey points out. “You’re the one who hates mornings.”
“Okay, fair. It’ll be a tight squeeze, though.” Poe gestures at the bed. He might have his own room but the bed’s the same as all the others.
“I don’t mind.” Finn considers that Rey might, however, and looks to her.
She shrugs. “If Poe doesn’t mind sharing, I’m fine with it.”
Poe runs a hand through his hair. “I guess we’re sharing, then.”
That was easy, Finn thinks. He knows Poe is good-natured and agreeable but, really. Finn wonders how long Poe has wanted a couple of extra bedmates.
He wonders how agreeable Poe would be to a different sort of bedmate. He isn’t quite brave enough to find out.
It is a tight squeeze. Finn isn’t entirely sure whose limbs are where. Poe accidentally pulls Rey’s hair once as they’re getting settled and she maybe less accidentally knees him in his groin.
Finn sleeps better than he has in months.
Finn wakes up to the sound of Poe’s alarm. Poe makes a sort of muffled groaning sound and only reacts enough to reach over Finn so he can slam his hand down on his datapad to shut the sound off.
Finn meets Rey’s amused gaze from over Poe’s huddled form. He nudges Poe. “Remember how you said you had to leave early? Maybe you should get moving.”
Poe’s response is unintelligible.
Finn hears an electric fizzling sound and then Poe yelps, pulling his feet up towards his chest and accidentally smacking Finn in the chest as he moves.
“Beebee! We talked about this; the zapping is extremely unnecessary.”
From the floor beside the bed, BB-8 says something that Finn thinks roughly translates to, I decided your assessment was stupid.
Or something like that. Finn’s grasp of binary is shaky. Rey is snickering, though, so his guess must be close.
“Just get up, Poe,” Finn says.
“Yeah, yeah,” Poe grumbles and then proceeds to roll over Finn like he’s a mildly perturbing obstacle in Poe’s path.
There’s… a lot of unexpected contact. Finn bites his lip, hard, so he won’t do anything embarrassing.
Rey’s face is lit up like she’s never seen anything so entertaining in her life.
“Don’t say a word,” Finn mutters.
“What’s that?” Poe asks from where he’s getting dressed in the middle of the room, no sense of shame or propriety or anything.
Finn feels a mild sense of disappointment that he allowed himself to be distracted into missing that. Poe’s pants are already zipped.
Okay, more than mild.
“Nothing,” Finn says. “Aren’t you going to wash first?”
“Why? I’ll just be sweaty again in a minute anyway. I’m taking Black One.”
“Lando will be thrilled you’re making so much effort,” Rey says.
“Lando’s always thrilled to see me,” Poe says, his familiar grin making an appearance. That, paired with his messy hair and the fact that he is still rummaging around for a shirt, is making Finn think he might keep himself under the covers until Poe actually goes.
Rey keeps making amused faces at him when Poe isn’t looking. She’s the worst.
Before Poe leaves, he sits on the edge of the bed and says, “You guys can stay here, I don’t mind. Let yourselves out when you’re ready.” He leans over and kisses Rey on the cheek, and then Finn. His lips are warm and dry and Finn feels like he wants to hold onto that sensation as long as he can.
“See you soon,” Rey says quietly.
Poe waves at them and leaves, BB-8 trilling a goodbye and rolling along at Poe’s feet.
When Finn makes no effort to move, Rey lies down next to him with her arm over his waist.
“I think I love him,” Finn says.
“Me, too,” Rey says.
Finn watches Han, Leia, and Luke sometimes. They’re different when they’re around each other, when they’re together. Han is happier, for one, and the general loses some of her weariness. They have this way of interacting wordlessly, like they don’t even need to speak to express anything, or to know what the others need. Especially the general and Skywalker, and Finn isn’t sure if it’s a Force thing or a twin thing.
Maybe it’s both.
General Organa has this way of looking at them, this perfectly practiced expression of long-suffering annoyance and frustration, but it’s layered over something that Finn thinks is just love.
He watches them and thinks he’d like to have that.
Maybe without the years of separation, though, and the family drama. Just the rest of it.
He’d been having lunch with Rey but she left to meet Luke. Finn doesn’t realize how long he’s been sitting at the table, mind wandering, until Han plonks down across from him. “You’re creeping me out here. Blink or something so I know you’re still in there.”
“Huh?” Finn says.
Han’s lips twitch. “Close enough. Leia tells me your friend Poe’s off meeting Lando. Seems like a bad combination to me.”
Finn thinks about it. He thinks about the stories he’s heard of Lando Calrissian. “Hell of a lot of charm in one room,” he agrees.
“Hell of a lot of something,” Han says. His gaze flickers over Finn, assessing. “Putting it off will never make it any easier, you know.”
Finn doesn’t know why he follows Han’s illogical leap, but he does. Not that he’s prepared to say so. “I don’t know what you mean.”
“Sure you don’t.”
“Well, yeah,” Han says, like Finn is being incredibly thick. “You’ve got a big enough mouth at inappropriate times, so maybe you should put it to good use for once.”
“That’s really something, coming from you.”
Han raises his hands. “Hey, I’m just helping. Always helpful, that’s me. All I’m saying is, you got two beautiful people hanging on your words. You might want to do something about that before you lose it. Sometimes… Well. You never know what could happen.”
Finn thinks of the twisting pain in his belly when he’d watched Rey’s limp form disappear into the shuttle on Takodana. He thinks of the uncomfortable ache he feels every time Poe climbs into his X-wing.
He thinks of how this base is the first time he’s ever felt at home in his whole life, and the reason why that is.
“Yeah,” Finn says. “I guess you never do.”
Black One comes in to land and Finn is watching from the ground, clasping Rey’s hand. He hasn’t said anything to her, exactly, but she seems to know anyway. Maybe it’s a Force thing.
Maybe it’s a them thing. Maybe Finn’s got a little of what Han, Luke, and Leia have, after all, and he just hadn’t realized it.
Poe hops down from his cockpit as BB-8 gets lowered to the ground. “Hey,” he says, and his smile’s as wide as ever. “The welcoming committee would suggest you’ve missed me.”
There is a weird feeling in Finn’s gut, like fear, except not quite. He looks sideways at Rey and she squeezes his hand.
Poe, maybe sensing that something isn’t right, seems awkwardly uncertain as he stands there facing them. BB-8 rolls behind his legs and peers out unsurely.
It isn’t fear, though. Finn isn’t afraid. He knows he loves Rey, and he’s pretty sure he loves Poe, too. He’s pretty sure Poe’s loved him for a while, and maybe Rey, too.
So he isn’t afraid. You can’t be afraid when you know something is inevitable, when you just need that final push.
It will be okay.
Poe’s mouth is soft when Finn kisses him, and his hair feels silky when Finn winds it around his fingers. Poe just stands there, like he’s too surprised to do anything, like he can’t quite wrap his head around what’s happening.
“Is that okay?” Finn asks when he steps back again. He doesn’t feel worried. He almost wants to laugh, actually, because Poe has this stupefied expression on his face like all his dreams are coming true at once and he doesn’t know what to do about it.
“Um,” Poe says, and Finn thinks that this is really some accomplishment. He’s struck Poe Dameron speechless.
“Maybe this will help?” Rey says, and then she’s holding Poe’s face in her palms and kissing him, too.
“Okay, what,” Poe says after Rey lets him go. “Is this like a, hey, we really missed you thing, or like a--”
“It’s like a, we love you, you stupid dork thing,” Finn interrupts.
BB-8 says something that makes Rey laugh and Poe flush. Finn only knows enough binary to know that it was a bit rude.
“Yeah, I know, okay, I got it, no one asked for your opinion,” Poe says, to which BB-8 bleeps indignantly.
Then Poe apologizes to the droid for being rude, and Finn thinks he really, really doesn’t need a qualifier anymore. He isn’t pretty sure he loves Poe. He loves Poe, like he loves Rey.
Poe sweeps his hand through his hair, mussing it. “So, can we maybe go somewhere and talk about how you just said you’re in love with me? Or else we could just make out. I’m fine with either. Both.”
“I think we made a mistake,” Rey says, but she’s grinning.
Finn just thinks that he didn’t have to look far at all to find exactly what he’d been searching for.