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Crowning Glory

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It has become a ritual they both find soothing, here in this new place: something they can rely on to stay the same, when everything else has changed. For Rey, Finn knows, it is a chance to remind herself that she has, at long last, someone who truly cares for her above all other things. For Finn, it is a chance to turn his deadly hands to a task which is only and purely about love.

So every morning, clean and dressed and nearly ready for the day, Rey sits down on the little stool beside the bed and Finn picks up the soft-bristled brush from their nightstand and begins, slowly and gently, to brush her hair.

It’s quite long when it’s not bound up, falling nearly to her waist, and after some trial and error Finn has discovered the best way of brushing it without causing Rey to flinch, starting at the bottom and working the inevitable tangles out as gently as he can, until at last he can run the brush in long sweeping strokes all the way down from the crown of her head, and her hair lies in one shining sheet along her back, every strand in perfect order. By this point, if he’s doing it right, Rey has her eyes closed and is almost completely relaxed; sometimes she even slips into meditation, and he can feel her contentment through the Force as he runs the brush through her hair.

And then, once her hair is as tidy as it can be, Finn sets the brush aside and gathers her hair up in his hands. For the first little while, while Rey was still adjusting to being somewhere that was not Jakku, he would bind it up neatly in the three little buns that she always used; but as the months went by, eventually she decided that she would like a different hairstyle, and Finn spent several rather baffling weeks watching every holo he could find about hairstyles and asking every person on base with interesting hair how they managed to make it look so nice. This resulted in Poe and Jess sitting Finn down and giving him a braiding lesson using Jess’s hair for demonstration purposes, which was as hilarious as it was useful, and also in General Organa spending most of an afternoon teaching Finn the five most common Alderaanian braids, which was an honor Finn honestly isn’t sure how he earned.

Rey looked at the array of holos he brought back, all the hairstyles he had learned to produce, and looked at him, and shrugged, and said, “You choose.” So now, every morning, Finn gets to pick some beautiful style or other to adorn his Rey of sunshine. On days that they have somewhere to be, he usually just braids it tightly and loops it up to keep it out of the way; on other days, when they have a little more time, he amuses himself with multiple braids, or particularly intricate ones.

This morning they are going to be meeting with ambassadors from half a dozen polities who need to be convinced to help the Resistance, and Finn sits there for a moment with Rey’s hair soft and heavy in his hands, and then nods to himself and begins. Today her hair needs to say that she is powerful, that she has immense control of herself and her power, that she is strong and brave and deadly and glorious.

Finn knows exactly what to do.

This is a slightly more complicated braid than he sometimes does, not because the braid itself is complicated but because he has to stand up and walk around Rey in order to get it perfectly right, and that means he has to move slowly so as not to jar her out of her peaceful meditation. But the slow, easy movements are themselves almost meditative, and Rey’s hair is soft and pleasant in his hands, and Finn finds himself humming softly, a low sweet tune he can’t remember learning, as he works.

When he’s done he pats her gently on the shoulder, and Rey leans back into his hand with a soft sigh of pleasure, then opens her eyes and stands, looking towards the mirror hanging on their wall - and pauses, blinking in astonishment, and reaches up to touch her hair.

“I look like the General,” she says at last, quiet wonder in her voice. The crown-braid gleams gently in the overhead lights, and Finn thinks, looking up at her, No. You look like a princess - like a queen.

But all he says is, “Yes. She taught me that one. It suits you.”

“It does,” Rey says thoughtfully, running one gentle finger over the elegant curves of the braid. “And it’s comfortable. Thank you.”

“You’re welcome,” Finn says, and Rey turns away from the mirror and bends to kiss him, sweet and slow and easy. And this, too, is part of the ritual, part of the way they remind each other, every morning, that the one stable thing in their swiftly-changing universe is the never-shifting bedrock of their love.