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Droid Soul

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Poe isn't the only person he's ever met whose daemon settled as a droid, but he's one of the few. She used to be called BeBe when they were both younger, and once she found her permanent form, she decided that she would like to be called BB-8 instead. As a droid or a tuskcat or a tauntaun, though, she's still the most beautiful, adorable, best thing in his life.

But having a droid daemon isn't quite like having an ordinary daemon.

People don't talk about this. Or, at least, they don't talk about it with anyone else who doesn't have a droid daemon of their own. And Poe comes to see why, because droid daemons are not quite like other daemons.

They can be separated from their human, for one thing. Poe has heard rumors that it's possible to be entire parsecs away from a droid daemon without suffering -- it's not fun, whispers the woman who tells him this, resting a hand reflexively on the silver arm of the protocol droid beside her, but it can be done.

And they don't mind other people touching them in the same way normal daemons do. He can feel it when BB-8 touches people, but barely, no more invasive than having someone else in his personal space -- and Poe is a fairly open person who doesn't mind that sort of thing.

In fact, most people don't realize that BB-8 is Poe's daemon at all, at least outside the Resistance base. It's impossible to keep a secret like that in a close-knit community. But when he's traveling, people don't pay much attention to her. Droid daemons are rare enough that the possibility just doesn't usually occur to most people, especially in societies where daemons are rare, which is nearly everywhere that humans aren't a majority. A few other races in the galaxy also have daemons, but it's not particularly common.

So, when he's not on base, he's used to people assuming BB-8 is an ordinary astromech droid, and thinking his daemon is something small hidden about his person.

Which is the only thing that saves him when the First Order get their hands on him. If they'd realized BB-8 was his daemon, he wouldn't have had a chance. They'd have been able to torture everything they wanted to know out of him.

But with half his soul still free, most of their interrogation attempts bounce off. He's nauseated and miserable, but he's pretty sure that's mostly from being separated from BB-8. However, it looks like that woman back in that cantina -- he can't even remember what planet it was, now -- was right about being able to tolerate separation from a droid daemon. According to everything else he knows about daemons, he ought to be incapacitated or dead. But he's not.

"Where is his daemon?" Poe's masked interrogator snarls at the nearest Stormtrooper, voice rising to a roar as his worrt daemon hunches soggily and unhappily on his shoulder. "Why did no one bring it to me?!"

"We couldn't find it, my lord. I -- no -- please --!"

Poe turns his face away. He never thought he'd feel sorry for a Stormtrooper. Maybe it's the scream of the jakrab at the Stormtrooper's side as she dies under the sizzling red lightsaber. But there's nothing he can do for either of them.

All he can do is find some way to escape.

***

After the Stormtrooper kid and his fynock daemon help Poe get away and die in the attempt, his first thought is finding BB-8 ... except he doesn't know where to look. He can tell that she's still alive and presumably doing okay, but not where she is; apparently his ability to home in on her location doesn't work across this kind of distance. He can't leave her on Jakku, he can't ...

... except he doesn't have a choice, because he has to get back to the Resistance and tell them what happened. He's been on a First Order cruiser; he's seen their troop movements firsthand. He has information the Resistance needs.

I'll come back, he tells BB-8 silently, trying to extend comfort across the gulf between them. I don't care how far. I'll find you.

But in the end, he's not the one who finds her after all. She finds him, and she brings friends, not only Finn (not so dead after all) with his fynock on his shoulder, but also somebody new, a girl trailed by a krayt dragon. Droid daemons might be a little more okay with touching people than most daemons, but it still startles Poe to see BB-8 happily bumping into Finn's legs and letting Rey tap her to get her attention -- her sheer level of physical familiarity with both of them is something new.

Like most people, they didn't realize BB-8 was a daemon; he knows they would never have been so familiar with her if they'd known beforehand. But they didn't know, and now BB-8 has shown up in the middle of the Resistance base with all the pride and delight of a child bringing home a beloved new pet: Look what followed me home, can I keep them?

Like he can say no.