Finn’s fairly certain BB-8 hates him.
Rey tells him he’s being ridiculous. And of course she would think that, because BB-8 is a perfect angel whenever Rey is around. So it’s perfectly reasonable for her to assume Finn can look after BB-8 while she goes to work.
“You’ll be fine,” Rey says.
“She won’t be any trouble,” Rey says.
Rey’s been gone two hours and BB-8’s tried to get out the front door five times.
“No you don’t.” Finn nudges her away from the door, which she’s been sharpening her claws against. She lets out a petulant meow, turns her back to him and pads towards the couch.
Which is located right next to the fire escape.
The window to which Finn opened not five minutes ago to let in some fresh air.
They stare at it for a good thirty seconds. Finn turns to looks at BB-8. BB-8 turns to look at Finn.
“Don’t you dare,” Finn warns.
And so, of course, BB-8 flings herself out the window. Finn follows, screaming bloody murder but it’s too late; BB-8’s gone.
“Shit shit shit shit,” Finn chants as he races out the door, down two flights of stairs and into the alley where the fire escape leads to. There’s no sign of her; Finn follows the alley down to the next street, heart in his throat as he darts between people.
“BB-8!” He yells. It earns him several strange looks but he doesn’t care because Rey is going to kill him if any harm comes to her damn cat.
There’s a sudden car screech and Finn’s heart stop beating for a second because please, no. He gazes around frantically just in time to see a small orange and white body dart through oncoming traffic, miraculously making it to the other side of the road without getting hit. Finn follows, shouting apologies as he weaves in and out of pedestrians and cars alike. There are several angry honks aimed his way but Finn continues, unfazed. Well, a little fazed. He almost got hit like, three times.
BB-8 leads him on a merry chase through several side streets until they finally end up at a nearby park. He pauses for one second to avoid barreling an older woman over and by the time he turns back around, BB-8 has vanished.
“BB-8!” He calls several times, hands cupped around his mouth in a futile effort to project his voice. As if BB-8 would decide to respond to him now, of all times. He loops the entire park twice, stopping strangers to ask if they’ve seen a tiny orange and white cat. They can only offer apologetic smiles in response.
Twenty minutes later, Finn ends up leaning against a tree, hands on his knees as he tries to catch his breath.
How do you tell someone you’ve lost their cat?
Maybe he should give Rey flowers. She likes flowers. And chocolate, to butter her up before delivering the bad news.
Or maybe she never even has to know! He could find another cat that looks the same. How hard can it be, the town is crawling with them. Like even right now, he can hear the pitiful meowing of a cat somewhere nearby. It could pass for BB-8.
Actually, it sounds a lot like BB-8.
Finn spends a good two minutes circling the tree and nearby bushes, trying in vain to figure out where the sound is coming from. He eventually glances up to find BB-8 sitting on a branch of the very tree he’s been circling, a good three meters above the ground, meowing plaintively.
Rey is going to murder him.
“BB,” Fin says, raising a hand as an offering. “Come down. Please.”
BB-8 meows at him and doesn’t move.
“BB-8, you get down this instant or else,” Finn warns.
A second meow.
Finn tries to climb the tree. He can’t even reach the first branch.
“How did you even get up there?”
There’s no reply, of course. But it strikes Finn that perhaps BB-8 can’t get down, that the kitten had somehow managed to scamper up the tree without calculating an escape route first.
“Bet you didn’t think this all the way through, did you,” Finn says, not smugly. Very much not smugly. He’s not smug at all.
The smugness disappears when he realises he has no way to get BB-8 down. And then there’s a lot of frantic pacing and swearing and glaring aimed at the tiny cat perched forlornly in the tree. And then Finn just starts to get worried because maybe it’s cold up there and maybe BB-8 is getting hungry and how long does it take before a kitten starves to death? Because it’s been hours since her last meal and she’s only a tiny thing, really, probably needs plenty of food to grow but instead she’s stuck in a tree and Rey’s going to dismember him and what has he done to deserve this?
In the end, he does the only thing he can think of, and calls emergency services. It’s an embarrassing phone call, to say the least, but by the end of it he’s at least informed that a firetruck is on its way to his location. He’s also pretty sure the operator is struggling to hold in her laughter at his predicament.
Fifteen minutes later, there are two firefighters approaching him with a ladder. They’ve got their dark turnout pants on, the yellow stripes standing out bright, but appear to have ditched the corresponding coats. Instead, they’re wearing dark polo’s emblazoned with their firehouse’s emblem.
Both men have dark hair, but the one in front, of slightly smaller stature, has a head of tousled curls and dark, laughing eyes and Finn’s a goner before he’s even had a chance to open his mouth.
“Are you the guy with the cat stuck up a tree?”
“Yeah, she’s up there,” he manages to get out, points rather ambiguously up to the sky. The firefighter’s eyes follow his finger before dropping back down to Finn’s face and then he smiles and Finn has to focus really hard on ensuring his knees don’t buckle at the sight.
“What’s your name?”
“Oh right, sorry, I’m Finn.” He sticks his hand out and the firefighter takes it, fingers wrapping firmly around Finn’s. His hand is warm and sends tingles through Finn’s fingers. Finn tries very hard to ignore this.
“I’m Poe. Poe Dameron.”
“It’s good to meet you, Poe,” Finn says and Poe’s practically beaming at him by this point.
“Good to meet you too, Finn,” he replies, then pauses, staring up at poor BB-8 still stuck up the tree. “Although maybe it could have been under better circumstances.”
“Right, yeah,” Finn says, startled out of whatever weird dreamy haze had settled over him since being in Poe’s presence.
BB-8 is still stuck up a tree.
“How long has she been up there for?” Poe asks, releasing Finn’s hand to help the other firefighter angle the ladder against the tree.
“At least fifteen minutes, probably longer. I kind of lost track of her for a little bit, and by the time I found her, she was already up there. I think she’s too scared to come back down,” Finn comments, wringing his hands together as Poe begins ascending the ladder.
“I’ll have her down in no time,” Poe assures him. Finn moves a little closer to the base of the ladder, which is being held steady by the other firefighter.
“Snap,” he introduces himself as, nodding at Finn in lieu of his hands being otherwise occupied. “Don’t worry; your cat’s in good hands with Poe. He’s something of an animal whisperer around here.”
Turns out he’s not joking; Poe’s barely reached the branch BB-8 is stuck on and held out his hand before BB-8 is pouncing on him, claws likely digging into his shirt as she presses her trembling body against his.
Finn watches with baited breath as Poe slowly makes his way down the ladder, one arm curled protectively around BB-8.
“Oh thank God,” he breathes once Poe’s got both feet on the ground.
“She’s adorable,” Poe declares. “How long have you had her for?”
“Actually, she’s not mine. She belongs to Rey; I’m just looking after her. I didn’t steal her,” Finn feels the need to add.
Poe chuckles. “I believe you,” he assures Finn. “What’s her name?”
Finn scratches the back of his head. “It’s uh, it’s BB-8.”
“BB-8.” Poe repeats.
“Do I want to know the backstory?”
“Let’s just say five year olds are very imaginative when it comes to names and an acronym was necessary.”
“Gotcha.” Poe winks at him. Then:
“So, you have a five year old?”
“I – what? God no! Rey, she’s a teacher. Her school kids named BB-8.”
“And Rey’s your… girlfriend?” Poe asks casually.
“My what? No, no, she’s my friend. My best friend. My friend who is female but is not my girlfriend. We’re just really close friends. Not close like physically. There’s no kissing. Just hugs, but not in a sexual way. Oh God.” Why are there still words coming out of his mouth? Abort, abort! “We’re just good friends! Best friends. Did I already say that?”
“Yeah, you did.” Poe, for his part, looks highly amused. Finn’s glad at least one person in the conversation doesn’t feel like dying of embarrassment. He tries to change the subject as a last ditch attempt at saving face.
“So what about you? Got a girlfriend? Cute girlfriend?”
Poe laughs, bites his lower lip. “No cute girlfriend. No cute boyfriend either, for that matter,” he adds with a wink. Finn can feel the blood as it rushes to his cheeks.
“Ahh,” is all he can manage to say. Miraculously, BB-8 comes to his aid when she lets out a purr, a sound extremely loud for something so small. Poe glances down, strokes one hand through her fur.
“Bet you’d like to get home after all this excitement, wouldn’t you,” he murmurs to her, lifts her tiny body up so she’s level with his face. She licks his nose in response and Poe bursts out laughing, scrunches his nose and Finn’s fairly certain he’s going to make the record books for being the first person to die from an overload of adorableness.
“That means she’s adopted you as one of her humans,” he says, somehow managing to keep his voice steady. “You’re part of the family now.”
Poe seems perfectly happy with this new development, if the smile he shoots Finn is anything to go by.
Snap, who’s been leaning against the ladder and watching the entire conversation unfold with a smug look on his face, lets out a small cough. “Poe, we should be heading back.”
“Right, of course.” There’s a flash of disappointment on Poe’s face but it’s quickly replaced with a now familiar smile as he hands BB-8 over to Finn.
“Thank you so much.” Finn frees one hand to shake first Snap’s, then Poe’s hand. “I’ll try and keep her out of trees from now on.”
Poe maintains a grip on Finn’s hand for longer than is strictly necessary. “Give us a call if you need any help,” he says.
BB-8 lets out a plaintive meow as they watch the two firefighters leave.
“I know the feeling, BB.”
Finn tells Rey what happened after giving her a bouquet of flowers. She whacks him over the head with them before going to get a vase.
“I can’t believe you lost my cat!”
“Nearly lost your cat. And it wasn’t my fault; BB clearly has a death wish!” Finn follows Rey into the kitchen, watches as she kneels down to pat BB-8. The little monster purrs innocently, like she wasn’t the cause of the entire debacle.
“Anyway, I got her down eventually. Well, not me. A firefighter.”
Rey perks up in interest. “A firefighter?”
“Yeah. Poe Dameron.” Finn practically gushes the name, but he can’t help it.
“Was he nice? Was he cute? Handsome? Charming? Give me details!”
“Yes to which one?”
“Yes to all of them.”
Rey lets out a low whistle. “Oh Finn. You’ve got it bad.”
BB-8 meows in agreement.
The second time BB-8 gets stuck up a tree (and it’s the exact same tree, Finn doesn’t know what is up with that cat), Finn’s torn between the embarrassment of having to ring emergency services again versus the possibility of seeing Poe.
Poe wins out (and also the fact that Finn still has no way of getting BB-8 out of the tree) and this time he knows the phone operator is laughing at him. Nevertheless, it’s worth it when Poe and Snap appear not ten minutes later, dressed in the same gear as before and both grinning like loons.
“Finn!” Poe says delightedly, claps a hand on Finn’s shoulder as he pulls him in for a half-hug. He pulls back all too soon for Finn’s liking, one hand raised to block out the sun as he peers up at the tree. “She sure likes this spot.”
“Or she just hates me.”
“Oh, I don’t think anyone could hate you, buddy.” There’s something about Poe’s tone which has Finn blushing like a school girl.
“He likes you,” Snap confides in Finn as they watch Poe coax BB out of the tree. “The call didn’t even come in to us but he insisted on taking it.”
Finn’s still struggling to stammer out a reply by the time Poe and BB-8 are back on the ground.
“I’m sorry for bothering you again,” he finally gets out. Poe looks up from where he’s crooning over BB-8.
“Are you kidding? You’re not a bother, Finn. Sometimes it’s nice to take a break from fires and do a good old cat rescue, you know?”
Finn nods but his heart is sinking. Of course that’s the only reason Poe answers the calls.
“Plus, how else would I get to see you?”
Or perhaps not.
Finn and Rey spend two hours turning their apartment upside down, trying to determine how BB-8 is getting out. The search is futile, and they wind up sprawled on the floor, staring up at the ceiling whilst BB-8 keeps herself busy playing with the laces on Finn’s shoes.
“So, how’s your firefighter?”
Finn blushes. “He’s good. He’s very good.” BB-8 tries to bat Finn’s lace to one side and ends up rolling over his foot instead.
“Have you asked him out yet?”
“What? Don’t deny it, you want to have his little firefighter babies. ”
“Oh God, please shut up,” Finn moans.
BB-8 overshoots her attempt at pouncing on his shoe and goes tumbling across the floor.
The third time, it’s boiling outside and Finn’s just run several hundred meters only to find BB-8’s climbed the damn tree again. His shirt is sticking to him, there’s sweat pouring down his face and Finn’s had enough, just flat out asks the operator if she can send Poe down.
He gets a brief lecture on taking proper care of his pet before she hangs up on him. So it’s only fair to say he’s a tad surprised to find Poe standing in front of him five minutes later, clad in full firefighting gear, face smudged with soot and armed with a water bottle and bright smile.
“Snap’s bringing the ladder,” he says and Finn scrambles to his feet from where he’s been slumped against the base of the tree.
“You – were you just in a fire? Are you okay? God, I’m so sorry, I didn’t even think –”
“Hey, slow down buddy.” Poe reaches out to rest a reassuring hand on Finn’s shoulder. “We were heading back to the firehouse when we got your call. Didn’t even need to make a detour, it’s fine.”
“I’m still sorry. I’m trying to keep a close watch on her but I still have no idea how she’s getting out of the apartment.” They both gaze up to where BB-8 is perched on a branch, peering down at them. She lets out a small meow when she spots Poe.
“It’s alright sweetheart, I’ll be up soon,” Poe calls to her. He turns to Finn, hands him the water bottle. “Drink up. I’m not having you getting dehydrated on my watch.”
Finn takes a swig, hands the bottle back to Poe, who tips the bottle back to splash some water on his face and hair. Finn watches several water drops slide down Poe’s neck. He very pointedly doesn’t think about his tongue doing the same.
“Oi, Poe, quit flirting and come help me!”
Poe rolls his eyes at Snap, although his face is a little redder than normal. “Give me a second,” he says, leaves to help Snap carry the ladder over. Finn moves to one side as they set up, already well versed in the process.
Before he heads up the ladder this time though, Poe shrugs off his coat. He goes to lay it on the ground before pausing, turning and placing it on Finn’s shoulders. He steps back, nodding in admiration.
“It looks way better on you. I knew it would.”
With a wink, he starts climbing the ladder, leaving Finn flabbergasted on the ground. Snap’s very clearly trying not to laugh out loud.
The coat starts sliding off his shoulders so Finn grabs a hold of it near the collar, tugs it more firmly around him. It’s heavier than expected, smells of smoke and sweat but it’s emblazoned with the name ‘Dameron’ in bold letters and Finn’s happy to wear it for as long as necessary.
He swaps the coat for BB-8 when Poe comes back down. Poe seems just as reluctant to take the coat back as Finn is to hand it over.
“It really does suit you,” Poe says sadly as he shrugs it back on.
“I like wearing your name,” Finn blurts out in response. Which, well. Is true, but he didn’t want Poe to know that.
The smile Poe gives him is absolutely worth the embarrassment.
The fourth time, Finn’s ready to cry from frustration because this is just getting ridiculous.
Lieutenant Poe’s squad is on a call, the responding firefighter tells him (Finn didn’t even know Poe was a lieutenant. Honestly, could the man be any more perfect?). The new firefighter introduces himself as Iolo, and is up the ladder in a matter of seconds.
He remains up there for ten minutes, trying in vain to coax BB-8 into his arms. The cat stubbornly refuses, shifting further along the branch every time Iolo moves closer. She yowls and bats him with her claws when his fingers brush her fur. He eventually comes back down and begrudgingly tells his partner to call Poe.
“Tell Dameron his bloody cat wants him,” are his exact words.
Poe and his squad show up half an hour later. Iolo and his partner left a good twenty minutes earlier after receiving a call of their own, leaving Finn sitting in his usual spot by the tree.
“Hey.” Finn stands up, moves forward to help carry the ladder. They don’t really need help; there’s Poe and Snap, along with another female firefighter. But they’ve clearly just come from a fire, the strong stench of smoke wafting from their clothes and Finn feels useless just standing around.
“Hey buddy.” Poe’s smiling as always, but there’s a weight to his shoulders that’s not from the ladder.
“Are you okay?”
“Tough call,” the female firefighter responds. She sticks out her hand. “Jessika Pava. Dameron won’t shut up about you.”
Poe flushes red while Finn shakes Jessika’s hand. He’d like to delve further into what exactly Poe says about him, but first:
Poe sighs. “It always is when kids are involved.”
Finn’s stomach drops.
“Did they – are they – ?”
It’s Snap who answers.
“We don’t know. We got ‘em out and into the ambulance, that’s the best we can do sometimes.”
Poe and Jessika both nod at his words but their mouths are downturned in disappointment and a heavy silence settles amongst the group. Finn can’t stand the hurt in Poe’s eyes, acts without thinking and surprises himself (and likely the others) by pulling Poe in for a hug. Poe stiffens against him for a moment before relaxing, arms coming up to wrap around Finn.
“Thanks buddy,” he murmurs into Finn’s ear. He stays in Finn’s embrace for several moments, breath warm against Finn’s neck, before pulling back with a cough, running a hand through his curls.
“Right, so, kitten rescue time!” He says cheerfully, smile back on his face. Jessika rolls her eyes but Snap’s beaming almost unnervingly at both Finn and Poe.
Poe has BB-8 in his arms in no time. It’s almost as though she’s been waiting for him; the minute he’s level with her, she cautiously moves closer until she can safely sit in the crook of his elbow, purring contentedly.
Finn watches Poe introduce BB-8 to Jessika, passing the kitten to her, then Snap. It feels like they’ve formed a little family. The thought makes his stomach do all sorts of gymnastic feats.
The feeling only intensifies when Poe hands him a card with a number scrawled on it.
“My mobile,” Poe says with a smile. “Consider it a direct line to your friendly neighborhood kitten rescuer.”
“I couldn’t take up more of your time,” Finn tries to protest but Poe’s shaking his head.
“Let’s face it, BB’s got me wrapped around her paw. As if I could ever knowingly leave her up a tree. Plus, the company she keeps isn’t too bad either.” Poe nudges him in the side with a grin. Finn nudges him back. They share a smile before Poe brings one arm up to wrap around Finn’s shoulder.
He keeps it there until they have to leave. Finn misses the weight almost immediately.
Rey somehow smells the lingering traces of smoke on Finn’s clothes the moment she enters the room.
“Was there a fire?” She asks, sniffing. Her eyes widen. “Were you with your firefighter?”
“He’s not my firefighter, he’s just a firefighter.”
“Who’s dropped everything he’s doing to come rescue a cat stuck up a tree four times now.”
Finn doesn’t bother acknowledging this with a response.
(In reality, Finn can’t think of a response. Rey’s words are doing funny things to his heart. It's very distracting.)
The fifth and sixth time, Finn rings Poe directly.
Like clockwork, Poe is at his side, accompanied by Snap or Jessika.
Finn tries very hard not to think about the fact that this probably isn’t regulation behaviour. He fails, and ends up asking Snap while Poe is distracted with BB-8.
“To be fair, I don’t think we’ve ever had a cat so determined to climb a tree,” Snap says as they watch Poe reach BB-8. “But even then, no, we’ve never done this for anyone else. And if it was any other firehouse, we probably wouldn’t be allowed to. But Poe’s a good lieutenant and Chief Organa knows it. As long as it doesn’t interfere with his work, she’s happy for him to help.”
“So why is he –”
“Pava wasn’t exaggerating when she said Poe won’t shut up about you,” Snap interrupts. “Why do you think that is?”
Poe hugs Finn when they leave. His embrace is warm and comforting and Finn finds himself thinking about it several hours later, when he’s lying on the couch with BB-8 curled up on his chest.
“What do you think, BB? Should I risk it?”
BB-8 stands up on her tiny paws and pads closer until she can lick his cheek.
“Yeah, thought so.”
“Twice in one day, huh? BB’s sure growing attached to that tree.”
“No, BB’s safe. I’m actually calling to ask whether you’d like to go to dinner with me sometime.”
There’s a long silence on the other end.
“Poe?” Finn tries. “Sorry, did I overstep a mark? It’s fine if you don’t want to; just forget I said any-”
“Finn, I’d love to,” Poe interrupts. Finn can hear his smile through the phone.
“Yeah. I’ve been trying to gather up enough courage to ask you out for the past couple of weeks now, actually.”
Poe laughs. “Yeah buddy, really. I thought I made it pretty clear I was interested in you.”
“I’ve been reliably informed I’m not the best at reading people.”
“They may have had a point.”
They agree to meet the following night at a nearby restaurant, after Poe’s shift. There’s a giddy excitement between them over the phone until they say goodbye and then it’s just Finn dancing around the apartment while BB-8 does her best to trip him over.
Finn stands outside the restaurant for forty-five minutes.
There’s no sign of Poe.
He tries texting, calling, but it keeps going to voicemail.
He wouldn’t just stand you up, Finn reasons with himself. Not without a really good reason.
It doesn’t help the disappointment seeping through him.
He’s halfway home when he thinks to stop by the firehouse. Maybe Poe’s still stuck there, maybe he had to do extra paper work and his phone died. The firehouse is only a few blocks away, Finn reasons to himself. It can’t hurt to check it out.
It’s quiet when he gets there; one of the trucks is out on a call, the other parked in the garage. He can see a group of firefighters eating in the mess hall, but a quick glance tells him Poe isn’t one of them. He makes his way through brightly lit corridors until he finds a reception area of sorts. There’s nobody behind the desk but there’s a door across the corridor with a brass sign proclaiming ‘Chief Organa’.
Finn knocks once, twice.
Finn pushes the door open, peers inside. There’s a woman seated behind the desk, her face solemn. She stands up to greet him.
“What can I do for you?”
Finn shifts his weight from one foot to the other. “Chief Organa, my name’s Finn, I’m-”
Her gaze sharpens. “Poe’s Finn?”
Finn nods. She closes her eyes for a brief moment. When she opens them, they’re filled with something like regret.
“I’m so sorry; we didn’t even think to inform you. Poe told practically the entire house that he was going on a date with you tonight but with everything that happened, it completely slipped my mind.”
Chief Organa gestures to the chair in front of her desk. Finn slides into it as she perches on the edge of her desk.
“We had a call to a house fire. Dameron and Pava were doing a final sweep when there was a structural collapse and the floor they were on caved in. We got them out but they’re both still in hospital for smoke inhalation, cracked ribs, numerous other injuries.”
Chief Organa moves forward, places a hand on Finn’s shoulder.
“I’m so sorry you had to hear it like this.”
Finn nods wordlessly, mind blank.
“Are you alright? Is there anyone I can call?”
Finn forces himself to shake his head, to swallow. His throat is sandpaper.
“No, I – I’m fine. Are they going to be okay?”
Chief Organa smiles for the first time and it takes years off her face. “They’ll both be fine. They’re two of the most stubborn people I’ve ever met. If the doctors say they should be on bed rest for a month, they’ll both be back here in two weeks.”
Finn nods, stands up on decidedly unsteady legs.
“Thank you for letting me know,” he says. Chief Organa rises to her feet as well.
“It’s a pleasure to finally meet you, Finn. If only it could have been under happier circumstances.”
“You too, Chief Organa.”
“Please, call me Leia.”
They shake hands, and although Finn’s hand dwarfs Leia’s, there’s a strength to her grasp that belies her size.
He turns to leave, pauses at the door.
“Is he allowed visitors?”
Chief Organa nods. “I’m sure he’d appreciate the thought.”
Finn can only manage a small smile. He closes the door behind him, walks down corridors which seem narrower than they were before.
He calls Rey once he’s outside, standing in the middle of the sidewalk.
“Hey, how’s the date going? Did you kiss yet? Are you still at dinner? Are you calling to rub in my face what a great time you guys are having? Because I’ll have you know, BB-8 and I are having a lovely date night of our own-”
“Rey,” he chokes out and Rey immediately stops talking. “Rey, Poe’s in hospital.”
“What? What happened? Is he okay? Are you okay?”
“I’m fine. He never showed up for the date so I stopped at the Firehouse on my way back and I spoke to his Chief and she told me he was injured in the fire. He’s probably going to be in hospital for a couple of days until he recovers.”
There’s silence on Rey’s end for a moment.
“Where did I put my keys?” He hears her ask, voice distant. She’s probably talking to BB-8.
“Rey, you don’t have to come down here.”
“I’m not leaving you alone,” she replies fiercely.
“I’m fine, Rey.”
“No you’re not.”
Finn sighs. “No I’m not,” he agrees quietly.
Rey and her vespa are in front of him seven and a half minutes later. She sits next to him on the curb, one arm around his shoulder. It takes twenty minutes for Finn’s hands to stop shaking.
They eventually make it back to their apartment and spend the night watching trash television until Finn breaks sometime after midnight, tells Rey how scared he is of what he feels for Poe. How scared he is of how much he feels for Poe. How scared he is of losing Poe before he even gets to know him.
He falls asleep with his head in Rey’s lap and tear tracks on his cheeks.
They go to the hospital the next morning. Rey chooses to wait outside Poe’s room.
“I think you two could use the privacy,” is all she says.
Finn’s hesitant to enter and Rey ends up pushing him through the doorway. Poe’s bed is furthest from the door, although the other two beds in the room are unoccupied for now. There are flowers and cards on Poe’s bedside table and hanging above his bed. A chair has been pulled close to Poe’s side and Finn wonders whether it was Chief Organa who occupied it, or perhaps Snap. Or maybe a member of Poe’s family. Finn doesn’t even know if Poe has any family.
It’s the thought of how little he knows Poe (how much he desperately wants to know Poe) that drives him forward.
Poe looks smaller, younger in the hospital bed. His dark curls are in stark contrast to the whiteness of the bandage wrapped around his head, and his face is lacking in color under the fluorescent lights. There are several small cuts and bruises visible on his face, and Finn has no doubt there are many more hidden beneath the sheets.
He’s not sure if Poe’s sleeping, tries to approach quietly but Poe spots him almost immediately, lips spreading into a wide grin.
“Finn!” His look of delight changes alarmingly quickly into one of shame. “I’m so sorry about last night, were you waiting long? I wanted to call you but I was coughing too much and then they took my phone away and then I think I passed out-”
“Poe. Hey, it’s fine. Don’t worry about me, how are you feeling?”
“I’d walk out of here right now if they’d let me.” His bravado is undermined by the painful sounding cough he lets out, followed by a wince and a grab for his ribs. “Maybe on crutches,” he allows.
Finn can’t help but smile at that. He takes a seat on the chair beside Poe’s bed, places the little firefighter bear he bought at the shops on the table.
“From me, Rey, and BB-8.”
Poe laughs, tugs at the bear until it’s sitting next to him on the bed. “Thanks buddy.” His eyebrows furrow in pain for a moment as he shifts into a more comfortable position.
“Seriously Poe, how are you?”
“Two fractured ribs, sprained wrist, mild concussion, some internal bleeding and smoke inhalation,” Poe lists off, sounding almost bored.
“It’s fine. I’ve had worse.”
“Is that supposed to make me feel better?”
Poe laughs, coughs, winces. Finn hands him a nearby glass of water, which Poe takes gratefully.
“When do you get out?”
“Not for another couple of days. And even then, I can’t go back to work for at least six weeks.”
Finn clears his throat. “I’m sure BB-8 would be happy to keep you company while you recover.”
“I’m pretty sure you’re her favorite person right now.”
“And what about you?”
“Well, someone needs to make sure you stay in bed, right?”
Poe laughs, eyes dancing. His hand is resting at his side and Finn reaches out, covers it with his own. Poe glances down, moves his fingers so they’re interlaced with Finn’s.
“I’m really glad you came to visit,” Poe whispers.
“I’m really glad you’re okay,” Finn replies honestly. “You’re kind of my favorite person right now too.” He lifts their joined hands to his lips, presses a gentle kiss to the heel of Poe’s palm. When he lowers it, he sees Poe staring at him with a soft fondness in his eyes.
He opens his mouth to speak but before he can, there’s a knock at the door and Rey pokes her head in.
“Sorry to interrupt but there’s a couple of people here to see Poe,” she says. Poe struggles to sit up as several members of what Finn presumes is his squad enter the room, led by Snap.
“Damn Poe, you look twice as bad as Pava,” one of them says and the group erupts in laughter. Poe shakes his head good-naturedly.
“Guys, I’d like to introduce you to Finn. And if my hunch is correct, that’s Rey by the door?”
Rey smiles, gives an awkward wave to the group as she ventures further inside the room.
“BB-8 is your cat?” Snap asks her. She smiles sheepishly.
Finn’s worried it might be awkward, but the group welcome both he and Rey in immediately. There’s laughter and jokes tossed back and forth, mostly at Poe’s expense, but there’s a sense of camaraderie in the room, a fierce protectiveness over each other. Snap keeps glancing down at Finn and Poe’s joined hands with a smile. Plus, Poe and Rey get along like old friends, bonding over their love of BB-8 (and Finn, although he doesn’t know it yet).
They stay until a nurse arrives to run some tests on Poe, at which point they’re all ushered out. It’s only then that Poe reluctantly lets go of Finn’s hand.
“We’ll come visit tomorrow,” Finn promises, presses a shy kiss to Poe’s cheek.
“I’ll bring pictures of BB,” Rey adds.
Poe beams at them both.
Two weeks later, they finally get around to that first date.
It involves a picnic under a tree.
Their first kiss (a soft press of lips, gentle touches; the slow slide of tongues, wandering hands) is interrupted when Rey appears, panting.
“Have you seen BB?”
A soft meow from above.
“I’ll get the ladder.”