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Coming Home

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Finn sighs as he stumbles through what seems to be the longest meeting in his entire existence. Now Finn loves being a grad student. He really does. He finds the professors interesting, the research fascinating, and teaching the undergrads actually turns up a couple of gems once in a while. But if there is one thing which he does not like about the profession, it’s the ridiculously long departmental meetings that seem to drag on and on with no end in sight.

Usually he’s able to handle it a little better. Now, not so much. He had an early morning section he needed to teach, followed up by a ridiculous amount of meetings that had even cut into his lunch time. This meeting in particular was the last one of the day. It was supposed to end at 4:00. It’s now 5:00 and there are still things on the agenda that need to be discussed.

Inside his head, in another plane of existence, Finn is screaming.

Finally, the meeting ends. It’s 5:30, at the height of rush hour, and Finn is already on his way to Poe’s. They have a date scheduled. Or by date, really what Finn means is that Finn wants to watch a crappy horror movie but he can’t watch it alone, so he’s roped Poe into watching it with him and they’re likely going to end up making fun of it and sneaking kisses in between bites of takeout. The fact that Finn has been spending more and more time at Poe’s apartment than his own is a thought that Finn decides not to dwell on for the moment.

The strap of Finn’s bag digs sharply into his shoulder with the weight of the books he needs to read and the exams he needs to grade. Finn sighs, weariness overcoming him, and he finds himself fantasizing of some nice thai food right about now. He pulls out his phone and dials Poe’s number, pressing the phone to his ear as the bus shuffles and moves around him.

“Hey beautiful,” Poe answers on the other end of the line. The words bring a smile to Finn’s face, soft and unbidden. “I was just about to text you, did the department meeting run late?”

Finn groans low in his throat, and that’s answer enough. Poe hums sympathetically. There’s shuffling on the other end of the line, as though Poe is taking off his jacket. “Did you just get off work?” Finn asks.

“Yep. Just about to call for some takeout and hop in the shower. If I have to cook another thing again it will be too soon,” Poe says.

“That bad at the restaurant?”

“You have no idea.”

Finn nods understandingly, though he knows that Poe can’t see him through the phone. “Alright. I’m coming home now, should be there in a couple of minutes. How do you feel about some thai?”

“‘Coming home?’” Poe echoes.

Finn freezes. Inside his head, he returns to his separate plane of existence and continues to scream.

Poe’s voice is gentle, giddy with the discovery of something new and teasing all at once. The soft hum of the shower echoes from the other end of the line. “So, care to join me as soon as you come home?” The question is teasing, not really serious for the most part.

Finn’s face grows warm. “Shut up,” he replies eloquently. There’s no heat to those words. Finn knows that the teasing would stop the moment he indicated it should. He knows his face is probably morphed into a soft expression, unable to control the manic grin on his face. “Yeah, I’ll be home in a little bit.” The significance of the phrase hangs between them. It’s not a burdensome weight. Until this point, it had always been request to “come over” to either of their apartments. Sure, Finn has been spending more time at Poe’s apartment than his own, but his justification is that it’s closer to the university and has better water pressure. The shift from “come over” to “come home” is a big one, something that has occurred gradually without either of them really realizing until this moment. It has implications of what they are and what they’re going to be. But it’s happened gradually enough that it doesn’t feel like such a leap. It feels right. When he thinks of home, he thinks of Poe and BB8’s fuzzy cat ears perking up in between them. He thinks of his family visiting them and eating dinner together. He thinks of how much his sister teased him the minute she saw him with Poe. And he knows he’s right.

It’s as though Poe’s imagining his same thoughts. Finn can practically hear Poe’s smile. “I love you,” Poe says into the line.

“Love you, too,” Finn replies.