bloodyrosemccoy: (Lobot!)
[personal profile] bloodyrosemccoy
Because the first Star Wars Thing needed company. Star wars are hard, you guys.

EDIT: I just had this moment of BLAH, SHIT, THIS DOESN'T WORK AT ALL because I forgot how I figured out just when the hell Finn would tell Rey the real story. But by damn it DOES work and I had just forgotten. So if it confuses ME, I'd better put it in.

---

Rey had been lurking around the edges of the infirmary when Poe went to visit the comatose Finn. He wasn't surprised. Everywhere he turned, there she was, somewhere at the periphery of his vision, saying little and watching everything. Often he felt her eyes on him. If he'd been the paranoid type, he'd think she was following him, looking through him with those Jedi eyes, but probably she just wanted to talk to BB-8. The traitorous little droid was damn near smitten with her. Finn had been, too. He hadn’t gone to rescue her because he needed a pilot.

Poe couldn't see why they liked the girl so much. How could she capture anyone's attention if she held herself aloof from the rest of the base? Apparently the little Jedi princess, who had swanned in on Han Solo's legendary ship with Poe's droid and Poe's ex-trooper, had no need for socializing.

Someone had started a rumor that she was Luke Skywalker's daughter. Someone else said she was Luke Skywalker himself in some kind of Force-shapeshift or mind-projecting disguise. She'd supposedly fought Kylo Ren and won. And now here she was, at the edge of his vision again.

He was doing pretty well ignoring her right up until she sat down across Finn's berth from him.

Poe was surprised into looking at her. They'd kept their distance since they'd put together the Skywalker map, when the general burst of excitement in the room had led to a spontaneous hug. They'd sprung apart with mumbled introductions and hadn't spoken since.

They were still having trouble looking at each other. Rey twisted her hands in her lap, eyes on Finn. "I wanted to visit him," she said. "He doesn't have anyone. But he ... he saved my life."

"He's got me," Poe said. "And he saved mine, too." He managed not to say "first."

She looked puzzled. "He told me you barely needed saving."

Poe blinked. Well, so Finn was a bit of a liar. But--

"He'd lied to me before," she went on--had she heard his thoughts?--"and said he was with the Resistance. So after he came to get me, at the junction station, when we were trying to get into the oscillator, I asked him to tell me the whole truth, and he did."

But--

"He told me about saving you. He said he was trying to get you somewhere so he could tell you it was a rescue, but he was sure you'd go for his gun before he could."

But--

"He said you were the toughest prisoner he'd ever seen."

But-- "He talked about me?" Poe managed. He didn't know if he liked this Jedi princess knowing things about him. But Finn had talked about him.

She didn't seem to hear him. Her eyes were off somewhere over his shoulder. "He said you weren't scared at all. Cool as ice, he said. I bet you wouldn't even have been scared if--"

She cut herself off. Poe found himself leaning in, waiting for her to finish.

"If what?" he asked.

She blinked and looked at him, a little pale. "... If anything."

Whatever she was remembering, it spurred her to movement--a small gesture, raising the hand, fingers slightly spread, an absentminded relic of her thoughts.

Poe flinched back violently.

Rey jumped when he did, and for a second their eyes locked.

Suddenly the horror on her face smoothed away to be replaced by a studied calm. She stood a little too quickly.

"I should go," she said. "I've got a lot to do before I leave."

And she practically fled.

#

"I think I offended your girlfriend," Poe said after a while.

Finn did not say anything.

Poe, however, suddenly did have something to talk about.

"How the hell did you know I was gonna make a grab for your blaster?" he demanded quietly.

Finn remained stubbornly silent. Probably it was the medically-induced coma.

"Did you know what I was going to do with it?" Poe's stomach knotted. "I didn't think I was being that obvious." He scowled, a nasty new thought coming upon him. "Buddy, you'd better not turn out to have the Force. I've had about all the Force I can take."

General Organa was one thing. He trusted her. And she was Leia Organa. Nothing she did could be wrong.

But other Force users ... you couldn't say the same for them. One simple gesture and they could squeeze your mind till it burst. They'd crush it and twist it apart and leave you wrecked and gasping. You'd be appalled that you were still alive, panicked by the delirious notion that the stuff streaming from your eyes was pulped brain matter, and you'd raggedly sob out every secret you'd ever kept until you realized that they'd already torn everything they needed from inside your head and left you alone with nothing but echoes in your skull. They didn't even need a full minute.

And here Jedi Princess Rey had the nerve to be offended when he'd ...

... indiscriminately panicked ...

"Well, when you put it that way," he muttered grudgingly to his silent companion.

He sat with Finn for a long time, going over their conversation. He had been distracted by her actual words (and the intriguing revelation that Finn had talked about him as more than a ticket out of the First Order), and hadn't been paying attention to what she'd told him.

Which, among other things, was that after days of skulking around a base full of strange faces, amid sidelong glances and whispers that she was some kind of Force witch, with General Organa busy and Chewbacca off mourning, she'd finally approached the only other person she might feel she had any connection to, and he had--

"You stupid nerf herder," he told himself.

"Are you waiting for a berth, Dameron?"

Poe jumped again. Dr. Kalonia could sneak up like a shadow.

"Concussion bothering you?" she went on, eyeing him professionally.

"No," he said. "Just visiting my friend."

Kalonia clearly knew that, but remained undeterred: she had finally gotten him in for a follow-up. "No lasting headaches? Dizziness? Double vision?"

He huffed impatiently. "Of course not."

"Disorientation?"

"I blew up Starkiller Base recently," he said. "I think I've proven I'm okay to fly."

"Irritability," she said, making a show of entering that into her log. "Any confusion?"

Poe decided visiting hours for Finn were over.

Some time later, he saw Rey lurking again, this time in the mess hall. She was off against the wall, plate piled high with food from a hundred worlds, all of which she ate with uncritical fervor. But even as she did, her eyes kept drifting toward the sporadic groups at tables throughout the hall.

Poe paused, holding his tray thoughtfully. A few people waved to him; he tried to make it a point to sit with different groups when he could. He spent a moment considering.

A happy little chirp by his knees made the decision for him. "Traitor," he muttered fondly as BB-8 cruised directly to the lone figure by the wall.

The droid had done this often enough, and Poe had shaken his head and moved on to eat with friends. So while Rey was chatting with the droid, she did not notice the owner until he set his tray down across from her.

She paused halfway through a piece of jewel-fruit and looked up at him with the same impassive face she'd put on when he'd driven her away. He took a moment to deliberately arrange himself in his seat. He'd thought a lot about what to say. Still, he had to brace himself--he'd been doing that a lot lately--to offer her a reassuring smile.

"I was terrified," he said.

She set the fruit back on her plate, eyes widening. "Really?"

Had she actually thought he might not have been? "Of course I was." Somehow it was easier to say it now. He could even keep smiling as he confessed one of the things that he hadn't even been able to tell an unhearing Finn. "I was going to make a grab for the gun--but only because I was hoping it'd force him to shoot me before I had to ... well, I wasn't thinking very clearly."

"But Finn said--"

"He didn't see all of it," he admitted a bit harshly. "I mean, I can handle normal things. But the Force--" He waved a hand vaguely, as though something about discussing it required the gesture. "The Force is the Force. What am I supposed to do against that but run like hell?" He took a long pull of fizzjuice.

She bit into a roll. The comment came from around the mouthful: "I wish I could run from it."

He nearly spat out the juice. "You kidding?" he said when he'd swallowed. "You've got Jedi powers and you don't want them?"

Rey shook her head. "I ... don't know if I want them. I mean, when I--when I saw--Kylo Ren." The faraway look was back. "He--he could do things with the Force. Awful things. And I think--I think I could, too. I ..." She shuddered.

Once again he found himself waiting for her to finish her thought. "I told you mine," he prompted.

It came out in a rush. "Does being a Jedi mean everybody would rather get shot than talk to me?"

He was going to have to time his food better: the roll he'd been biting into exploded into a spray of crumbs and choking sounds. Rey nearly leaped from her seat, but stopped in complete bafflement when she realized that he was laughing uproariously.

"What's so funny?" she demanded.

It was a minute before he could answer. "Ow," he managed first. Those crumbs were rough. He started to tidy up the mess he'd made. "No. Somebody'd have to get hit on the head pretty hard before they made that choice. " She missed the ironic twist in his comment. But he was still laughing. "I thought I had problems. But a Force-phobic Jedi? You're like a fur-phobic Wookiee."

She actually smiled. "A jump-phobic pilot."

"A claustrophobic stormtrooper."

Rey frowned again. "So you don't think I'm some kind of ... I don't know, Darth Something?"

At least he wasn't eating this time. "Darth Something?"

"I don't know much about this yet," she said defensively. "But I know I don't want to be evil."

He thought suddenly of General Organa on the landing strip, and his brain unscrambled itself a little more. He had to voice his conclusion aloud. "Jedi don't have to do awful things. I mean, well, there's the Dark Side. But the Force is like anything. It can be used for good or bad."

"What if I use it for bad?" She was clearly seriously worried.

He picked up a chip and waved it at her. "Tell you what. If you're not sure whether something is good or bad, ask yourself, 'What would Kylo Ren do?' Then just don't do that."

He'd never heard her laugh before.

"I guess that's a good enough place to start," she said. "So I should just make sure not to turn into a Dark Jedi on the way to Luke Skywalker, then?"

"That'd be my advice," he agreed with exaggerated gravitas. "I think you just need to listen to yourself. It's not always easy, but people can do it." He grinned, though he wasn't sure if what he was about to tell her was a joke. "You know, when I was thinking about going for the blaster, I also considered just asking him to shoot me. But you can't rely on the kindness of a stormtrooper, right?"

Joke or not, she got it, and her mouth quirked. "Even a stormtrooper can find the light."

"You could say that. I'm just lucky he needed a pilot."

"You were lucky?" she snorted. "He kept talking about how lucky it was for him that it was you. He said he only thought it'd work because you had--uh, had guts like Han Solo. And he said you gave him a name, and no other pilot would've done that."

Poe sat back, startled. "He thinks I'm like Han Solo?"

She nodded, then looked down at her plate, picking apart a last jewel-fruit.

Han Solo. Finn thought he was like Han Solo.

Belatedly, he noticed her wistfulness. "Hey, Rey," he said more seriously . "I'm sorry. Han was--I didn't get to talk to him much. But he was--he was Han Solo." The concept of Han Solo was too big to describe, but he didn't need to. She nodded.

He reached down and realized that he'd eaten everything on his plate for the first time in a long time.

BB-8 noticed, too, and helpfully beeped out today's dessert menu.

"Thanks, buddy." He stood. "Rey, you ever try sabacc cakes? They've got all sorts of different fillings. They're tiny. You get a bunch and deal 'em out like a sabacc hand, see what you got. All the fillings are good, too, except the brown stuff."

"They're sweet?" she asked hopefully.

"Yeah. Quick, let's get up there before they're all gone."

He started toward the kitchen again, thinking she would follow him.

"Poe."

He looked back. Even after having devoured a giant pile of very physical food, she still looked a little ethereal--there was something indefinably Jedi about her. He could believe she'd taken on Kylo Ren. Skywalker better get himself ready, he thought.

"You'll take care of Finn?" she asked. "He needs someone."

"Yeah. He'll be fine."

She hesitantly said, "The difference between dark and light--you'd tell me, too, right? If I was going to get it wrong?"

"I don't think you need any help," he said. "But I'll do what I can."

She came up alongside him. Absently she reached over and brushed a last couple of crumbs off his face. "Promise?"

He clapped a hand around her shoulder. "Sure, Darth Something. I promise."
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