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It was anticipation; not anxiety. 

Definitely not anxiety, though if someone pressed him, it would be hard to pinpoint what the difference was. There was a curious coil in his stomach and his hands didn't seem to want to stay still and his mouth was very dry--those were all things that happened when you were anxious too. 

He looked over at her in the dim light, hair loose and falling over her shoulder. His mouth was very, very dry. 

She begins: "Are you--"

"Yes." He says, before she can finish, before he even knows what the question is. Whatever she was saying, Finn felt very strongly that he agreed with it. Whatever it was. Anything. 

It's hard to tell what her expression is, but he hears the exhale like a laugh, feels her shift closer on the bed and there it is again, the sudden leap of something into his throat, the flush in his face. She kissed the corner of his mouth, and that's familiar by now. It's something they've practiced, all those little touches--something they've had to practice. 

Well, he had some help, they wouldn't have been able to teach each other a lot because neither of them knew anything, so that would have worked out poorly and--anyway. 

They practiced. A lot. Casual touching when they passed in hallways and long hugs when nobody else was around and kissing; he'd grown quite fond of kissing in particular, he liked the way that she had flushed immediately after, because he had too, and he felt better that Rey, patient, practiced, perfect Rey was feeling at least some of the same things. 

He wasn't always sure, and he didn't know if that was because he was just bad at reading the situation or if Rey was playing her cards close to the chest--he was pretty sure it was more of the former than the latter. Poe reminded him, often, that he could always just ask, but that seemed like a far more daunting prospect. What if she didn't? What if she felt absolutely none of the things that he did, not even a fraction of them? What if it wasn't even possible--because it might not be, not at this magnitude. 

He turned his head and kissed her instead of thinking about it any more, reaching up to comb his hands through her hair. He liked it loose; it wasn't quite that it suited her better, but her hair pulled back had always been out of necessity. It was nice to have the reminder that they had a little room for something beyond that--neither of them were just surviving anymore. 

"You're sure?" He says, and his voice has gotten lower and quieter the closer that she's gotten to him. 

She huffs that quiet laugh again--he's not sure why both of them are being so quiet, so careful, like there's something in the room that could be scared off by loud noises. She moves quickly, and not for the first time, he wonders how much of that is innate and how much of that is learned and then he stops really wondering a lot at all, because she settles herself low on his lap and it's--it's--

"I'm sure." She says, steady and reassuring and all that anticipation is flooding, absolutely, but it's heading south now, and she's leaning closer to his bare chest, still wearing something, and not for the first time, he's thinking that's the worst thing that's happened to him yet today. 

They'd gotten this far before, she'd sat on his lap before--the first time was particularly embarrassing and not worth talking about or thinking about or being brought up ever again, he'd gotten better--and he had lost his shirt on more than one occasion. His hands sliding up her back weren't new either, he's felt every inch, and not even for this particular reason before. But he's dragging the shirt up this time, and for a moment, her face, her eyes, her whole entire expression is swallowed up in hair and cloth, and it's back, just as quickly. 

He's still watching her face, even as one hand settles against her waist--bare skin on bare skin and that's good, that's really, really good, even if that was all she wanted, then he might even be fine with just that. He's actually not sure how they're going to get any further than this without getting overwhelmed, but they have all night and she is just so radiant. 

For the first time, looking at her, she looks unsure, chewing on the inside of her lip. It's an endearing look, and it's reassuring, because she has an uncanny way of looking more competent than him in nearly everything, and if this particular playing field is a little more even, he can't say he's complaining. 

Her eyebrows raise after a moment, even if her teeth don't stop worrying her lip--she meets his eyes with a question, before looking down, and if that's not an invitation, he doesn't know what is. 

He really doesn't--he's just assuming, in fact, and also he can't quite hold back, her jaw to the curve of her neck to the jut of her collarbone, to--

"Oh." His voice cracked. 

"Oh?" She said, not sure if she should be amused or dismayed, and settling for a worrying mix of the two, something bordering on the edge of insecurity.

He hurries on before she can get the wrong idea (although how she could possibly get the wrong idea, he had no idea--she'd seen herself before, right? They had mirrors on Jakku?)

(Actually, they might not.) 

"Oh, wow." He says, and he doesn't miss the settling shift of her shoulders, but he does miss the way her face contorts because he's sitting up suddenly, gathering her close, fingers pressing into her back to pull her in so he can kiss her again, longer this time. Some of that is to keep himself in line, and maybe a little for the feeling of her breasts pressed to his chest, and a lot because she is just very, very beautiful. Not even because she's sitting on his lap with her shirt off. 

He's not sure if the Force is the proper thing to be thanking in this particular moment, but he can't think of any other kind of higher power that he should be prostrating himself before for this proper miracle. She's beautiful. 

"You're beautiful." He says, between kisses, because now they're just kind of making out and that's sort of a retreat back into something comfortable, or at least something familiar. She knows how to kiss him, and if he knows anything at all, he knows how to kiss her

He could be content to do this for a while, maybe even forever--or not forever, not when she shifts on his lap like that and, uh, this is not a sustainable situation, actually. As it turns out. So maybe he could do this forever, but also maybe he wants to do something else, and then this is the first crossroads. 

Escalation. How do that. He wishes Poe were here, but then he backtracks hard away from that thought because it seems like that might be awkward, what with the lack of clothing and all. 

The thought peeks back around the corner anyway, and--now is not the time. For that.

Getting her shirt off was easy, a matter of slipping it over her head. The rest of it, however, presented the kind of logistical challenge that he hadn't come across yet before. 

If he was wearing pants and she was wearing pants then...who took off their pants first? How did they even accomplish that? She'd have to get off his lap, which sounded terrible at the moment. The potential shimmying didn't seem much better though, certainly not attractive (at least not from him), so he was at a loss. 

"I have to stand up." She said, against his mouth, apparently reaching the same conclusion at the same time as he did. 

"What--no--" She's already sliding away, one foot on the floor and straightening up. The half light of the room frames her in a way that kind of makes him think she's not real all over again, and then she's shimmying out of her pants and it's much, much better than he imagined. It's like every bare inch of skin gives him another reason to fall head over heels, and it was never about how she looked anyway, but it would also be a little useless to pretend that it didn't help, especially right now, when it was particularly obvious, and--

She clears her throat, arms crossed. She's blushing again, or maybe she's never stopped. It doesn't quite get his attention though, not until she does it a second time and his face snaps up to hers, eyes wide. She glances down at his pants. 

The fact that he doesn't crack his head off the top bunk is something of a minor miracle, and were he in a place to contemplate, he'd almost suspect that The Force had something to do with it. 

He's not in a place to contemplate. He's barely in a place where he can figure out how his belt works, and when her fingers reach for it, ostensibly to help, he has to back away with a wounded noise, can't even look up at her. 

"I can do it!" He says, which really means if you touch me in this exact moment, Something Will Happen, and so she backs off, fingers curling in against her palms. He's not sure the right message got across, but he gets the belt open anyway, and his shimmy has a lot more desperation and a lot less attraction than hers, and that's it. They're both naked. 

He's too busy looking at her to properly register that she's looking at him right back, something curious in her gaze, and then something else too, reflecting back at him like a mirror. Hunger isn't the right word, makes the both of them sound a lot more predatory than they are--he doesn't want to eat her alive. 

He wants to do something, that's for damn sure. 

It's magnetism, maybe, or maybe just want--it's that thing he didn't even know how to name until recently. He doesn't think she did either, the want always had to take a backseat to need, on what the next step in survival had to be. What you wanted didn't factor in. Until here, and now, when what they wanted was the only thing that mattered. 

Rey moves first, much to his surprise--but then again, maybe not, he'd felt pinned to the spot, and she was always in the lead anyway. She kisses him again, and this time, it's not just her bare chest pressed to his, but the full length of her body. His cock is pressed against her hip, and her hands are sitting low on his waist, and his are occupied with her shoulders, the slim expanse of her back. 

Moving back towards the bunk happens in an uncoordinated tangle, maybe the only time he's ever seen her in a state of something less than grace. Or felt. His eyes aren't open, because that might be too much. 

That's where things really go wrong, maybe, and he's not sure if he trips or if his legs just give way and either way there's a hard thunk of his head against the upper bunk he'd managed to avoid on the way up and a sudden pain, momentarily blinding. 

"Finn?" His eyes open again, her face swimming into vision as he sits down hard on the bed--concern replaces whatever was there before, her hands reaching for him, settling on his face once she realizes she doesn't actually know what she's doing. 

"'m fine." He mutters, rubbing a hand across the back of his head, feeling the tender place that's certainly going to linger for a week or so. He doesn't have to look down to know that was kind of a mood killer, and he groans, leaning forward to rub at his eyes. Great. Fantastic. Naked with a girl--with Rey--and he gives himself a concussion and now she thinks he's an idiot, which is really hard to argue with, considering that he is

Her weight settles on the bed next to him and he can't even look up, not even when she nudges his shoulder, leaning hers against it. They're both still naked, he realizes, because of course, nobody's had time to put pants back on, but for some reason, the thought only annoys him further. 

"That was hard." She says, lightly, and for a moment, he's not sure if she's being serious or if she's teasing him, and so he looks at her, catching the corner of her eye.

And then, at the same time, they both snort and collapse into laughter, the uncomfortable miasma dissipating, even if his headache didn't. 

"That was uncalled for--"

"Oh come on, you were going to sulk." 

"I was not." He says, affronted at the implication, even though it was entirely correct. She knows him better than he remembers sometimes. 

"Weren't you?" She says, scooting back further on the bed. Still naked, as it turns out. 

He shakes his head, even though it hurts. 

"Nope." He says, "Absolutely no sulking." 

"Good." She says, and then he has to wonder if there's like a switch she can flip, or if he's just special, because then all of the sudden, she's looking at him like that all over again, and he remembers exactly where they were. 

"You should show me what you were going to do, then." 

He wonders if he's ever had a drink of water in his life. 

It was almost intimidating--enticing, of course, and how--but it was how much he wanted her, and it hit him with the force of a freighter, and he wondered if she knew that. If she had any idea what she did to him, just looking like that. It was a little scary if she did know, and a lot scarier if she didn't; if she just walked around wielding that kind of power without even being aware of it. 

Either way, he reaches for her again, and it was a whole lot of twisting about, a whole lot of difficulty of the best sort to get them back where they started--him on his back, with her across his lap. With neither of them wearing pants.

He had his mouth against her neck, her collarbone, his hands pressed against her thighs, fingers digging in because he was trying to pull her closer without really having to vocabulary to explain how or why--he had all of that happening at the same time when she someone managed to slip a hand between them and wrap it around his cock and he nearly jumped a foot in the air with a sound like she'd shot him. 

Her hand retreated immediately, which was probably for the best, though it didn't do much for the way he was panting against her skin, his blood thrumming louder in his ears than it ever had before. 

"Finn?" She sounded worried again, and that was definitely the wrong reaction to be having, that was not at all what should be happening, and the only way he could think to express that was to surge up and kiss her again, hands finding purchase like he needed an anchor. 

She sounded breathless by the time they parted, tongue sweeping across her lower lip. She didn't look worried anymore, at least, and that was all he could parse out through the haze. She should definitely not be worried. 

"Um," She started, and then stopped, eyes a little wide, "Should I--?" 

He nodded sharply, his mouth finding purchase on her collarbone again, like he could suck an answer into her skin and she inhaled sharply. Yes, whatever she was doing, whatever she felt like doing, whatever was happening here, yes, she should. 

He was better prepared the second time--or at least, as prepared as he was ever going to get, as this didn't actually seem like the kind of thing that one could actually be ready for. He still jumped, but not quite as far, fingers tightening against her hips. He'd meant to do something else with his mouth, meant to make himself useful, but there was only room for so much coordination at once, he only had so much concentration, and so he ended up with his forehead pressed against her shoulder instead, sticky with sweat and doing his best not to sound quite as desperate as he felt. 

Her hand was surprisingly calloused, though that was stupid, because of course it would be--he'd just never thought about it in this context (which was a blatant lie, because he had certainly thought about it, he'd just not perhaps given it the attention to detail it deserved). She moved slow, which was good, because any faster would have spelled a disastrously early end for something that he was fairly certain he wanted to extend forever. 

He let it go as long as felt safe, so to speak--up until he couldn't make any promises, and it was a disgustingly short amount of time before he was kissing his way up her neck, murmuring stop, stop into her ear, voice rough. 

Her hand slowed and then retreated and he sighed, pressing his face into the crook of her neck for a moment, inhaling long and slow. Someday, if he didn't screw this up beyond repair, he'd really--he'd really, really like to just let her keep going. If she wanted. 

"Finn," She says again, her hands now pressed against his shoulder, warm even against his overheated skin, and it's all he can do to nod. God, she's beautiful, even from this angle, where all he can really see is her neck and her hair curling over her ear. Her ears are beautiful. Everything about her. 

"Can you..." It takes a moment to register what she's getting at, even when she's helpfully peeling his hand off her leg, and he feels like jumping again at the implication. He leans back instead, not too far, and she's looking at him careful. Rey's not used to asking for things, but Finn is very, very used to obeying orders. 

He moves slowly, less out of any intention to tease and more because he's not entirely sure what he's looking for. He's--asked, of course, he's not a total idiot, he didn't jump into this completely blind, but it's one thing to hear and it's entirely another to have his hand sliding up her inner thigh. 

Anyway, all of the advice basically amounted to you'll know and it had seemed useless and vague right up until--her eyes close on a quiet gasp, inhale sucked in through her teeth, and, okay, that's probably a good sign. He repeats the motion again and she shifts forward. She's better than him, doesn't press her forehead against his shoulder, which is fine, because he wants to see every expression play across her face, the way her eyebrows contract right in the middle, the way she squeezes her eyes shut even tighter, and her head falls back. 

She's beautiful. 

She reaches for his wrist at one point, and he's not sure if she means to stop him, but mostly what she accomplishes is anchoring him and she never says stop and so he doesn't, not even when she goes rigid and her mouth opens and he thinks for a moment that she might fall sideways to the floor. 

She finally makes a small noise, near distress, and his hand stops. She still doesn't move for a long moment, not until she moves his wrist and finally leans forward again--he shifts again to meet her halfway, hands pulling her closer all over again and it's like a quiet interlude. She needs to catch her breath and he needs a moment to stop feeling quite so smug about that. 

"Stop smiling." She says, without opening her eyes, her mouth against his jaw. She sounds drowsy and sated and he thinks that maybe that was it. That was as far as they get today, and he's got one aching problem with that, and a hundred reasons why that's okay. They are all different parts of her face. 

"'m not smiling." He protests, but not very sincerely, because he is. "Is that a Jedi thing? When you do that?" 

She smiles this time, and he can't see it, but he can feel it. 

"No--I just know you." And that, he will concede, could be true. Probably is true. But then another thought occurs to him. Actually, a number of thoughts occur to him, and they all have to do with interesting implications of what The Force might be capable of, and not nearly enough brain space is dedicated to considering if that might be some kind of sacrilege. 

"Okay?" He says, a question, and she nods, slowly, raising her head and using a hand to comb her hair out of her face. She's smiling, blinding as the sun, and just as warm and he wants to kiss her all over again, except then he wouldn't be able to bask in it. 

She ruins it by leaning forward and kissing him, and his expression screws up, and she laughs like she knows what he's thinking or maybe she just thinks his stupid face is funny. Either way, her hands are on his chest and she's shifting again, and he almost can't comprehend why until--

"Oh," He nearly chokes on the sound, on the feeling--she's so warm, every part of her, and he's mesmerized by all of it, his mouth is disconnected from his brain. 

"Will it fit?" He blurts out, before he can stop himself--and it comes out the wrong way, that's not really what he meant, and it sounds a lot like he's trying to puff up his ego or try some kind of line, and he was just actually struck with sudden concern about this part--this part that he really doesn't know, the most mysterious of all, the one thing that can't properly be explained and he doesn't even have to do anything, she's doing all the work and he doesn't want to hurt her and it could--hurt? 

They're staring at each other in mutual, near horrified silence before she snorts--he's still stuck on horrified silence but she's laughing, leaning back, and some of that horrified silence gives way to horrified-silence-staring and she wraps her hand around her stomach like she can't contain it. 

"I'm just--!" He's blushing up to his roots and thank God or the Force or whatever that means she can't really tell, but he's pretty sure his expression is doing a great job of telling that story all on its own. "It could--hurt? I don't know!" 

She hasn't stop laughing yet and he grumbles, feeling a particular sort of vulnerable--he's never done this before, and, okay, he's kind of an idiot, and if they could just forget it ever happened. 

"You haven't done it before either." He said, and that finally quiets her laughter, makes her sit up again, using a hand to wipe at the corner of her eye. She didn't have to laugh so much about it, it wasn't that funny. He was just trying to--he just cared, that was all, he just wanted her to feel good and for all of this to feel good and right. 

Evidently something in his expression catches her eye, her grin fading into something a little quieter, and she leans forward again, pressing her lips against his forehead, and then his nose and then his lips. 

"Finn," She says, voice full of warmth--he refuses to answer, refuses to even look at her properly, even when she's directly in his field of vision, and when she's the only thing he really wants to look at forever. 

"Finn," She says again, quieter, bumping her forehead against his. "Thank you." 

He holds it for a moment longer, before his eyes slide sideways, meeting hers--she's smiling still, head cocked to the side, and that's all it takes, really. He's an easy sell, and the bargain she's driving isn't particularly hard to swallow either. 

Plus, she's sitting on his lap without any clothes on. That helps, if he's being honest. 

He relents, shifting forward again and she moves with him, her arm coiling around his neck to steady herself. He bites his tongue this time, nearly bites through it when it's her hand on him again, but not moving this time, just holding him still. 

He thinks they might both close their eyes at the same time, but she makes a soft sound that's unlike anything he's ever heard and that, more than anything, drives the short jerk of his hips before he can rein himself in--hold still, hold still, hold still

The advice he'd been given was actually let her set the pace, but all he could think was don't move, don't move, don't move

It's a slow, somewhat agonising process, but he doesn't move, not even when he's grinding his teeth together, not even when she's settled all the way onto him and he is fairly certain he might die. He can't imagine better than this; he can't think of anything else but her and the way she's wrapped around him in every sense of the word, and how her hair smells and how her skin tastes and how very, very much he has been in love with her since the moment they met. 

"Finn," She sounds just as strangled as he feels, and there's a low buzz of satisfaction with that--both her arms are wrapped around his neck now, just like his are around her back and this is as close as they can get. 

"Please." She says, and then she's licking a broad stripe up his neck and he can't even process that, actually, but it has the desired effect, because he jerks again and she gasps and, okay, yes, he can--he can do that. He can do that a lot, actually, probably as much as she wants, forever. Whatever she wants. 

He does it again, and he feels her make a fist against his back just like his hands curl against her sides. He never thought that he'd want to be less close to her, but he's afraid he'll knock his forehead into her chin like this and his ego really can't take any more blows tonight, so he leans back and he watches her face the whole time, near reverence. 

She's beautiful, and he's said it a hundred times, but he doesn't know how to stop meaning it or how to mean it more, because she is beautiful, this fierce girl, this warrior woman, this person who certainly doesn't need him around but keeps coming back for some reason. She's as bright as the sun ever was, and brilliant, and a Jedi, and he's just a Stormtrooper, just FN-2187--

"Finn," She says his name--his name--again and he's pulled right back to the present, unable to quite figure out how he could have gone anywhere else. She's asking and he's obliging, and it's not like it's some kind of chore. 

The real revelation comes when he has a stroke of genius--no pun intended--both of them are breathing hard, but when he reaches between them with his hand again, she gasps, and her grip on his shoulder gets bruising. There's a kind of satisfaction all on it's own in that, in pulling the reactions out of her, it's a whole lot of coordination to be asking of all his limbs at this particular juncture in time, but it's all kinds of worth it. 

In fact, he's so focused on her, on that, on making her feel good, that the orgasm kind of hits him from behind, sudden and sneaky. It's all he can do to remember how to breathe, and even that takes it's sweet time to kick in again--the thrust upward is sharper than he meant it to be, harder, and Rey seemed quite capable in handling it, rolling her hips right back into his. Her hand on his arm and curled behind his neck are the only things that keep him anchored, remind him of what he was doing, what he was trying to do, and if anything, do even faster. 

He knows it's not possible to come twice that quickly, not for him, but it almost feels like it when she's coming, fluttering around him. 

"Rey," He chokes out, and she doesn't even answer him, lost in the particular ecstasy of her own moment. 

Neither of them move for a while after that--Finn doesn't think he can, even if he wanted, and anyway, he couldn't possibly want to. Not when Rey's face is pressed into his neck. 

Eventually, slowly, trying his best not to dislodge her or imply that he wants her to go anywhere, he starts to lean back, depositing them both against the mattress. Rey sighs, long and low, something he feels against his chest more than hears. He might be a little deaf. All kinds of sensory inputs seem to be overloaded and slowly coming back online. 

Her eyes are still closed when he turns his head to look, and the only moving she's done is to curl her arms around his torso, hugging him. He's kind of fine with that remaining the case for a while. Forever. Whatever. 

"That was good." She says, eventually, and he nods because that's about all he can manage in terms of a response. Good was a word, and a pond was an ocean, but he didn't know how to conceptualize. He didn't know how to deal with that much good all at once. If he thought about it too much, it got out of hand quickly, became something that he couldn't handle, calcified into something fragile that was just waiting for him to drop. 

He chose to bask in it instead, which wasn't difficult. Not right now, anyway, not with Rey breathing against him. 

"I have to clean up." She says, some time later, when he was almost certain she was asleep. That was one of those other--logistical things--that nobody had seemed to mention. At least to him; theoretically it wasn't his problem, except that he didn't want her to get up and leave. 

She shifted minutely anyway, one foot finding the floor and remaining there for a few minutes, and he hoped against hope that she'd decided against it just as she heaved suddenly, moving up to kiss him quickly and then rolling away, standing up and out of his reach. 

It left him cold, which felt unfair somehow, but a lot of that probably had to do with the sweat cooling against his skin. That said, there was a pretty easy remedy for that particular problem, and by the time he'd gotten the blanket situation sorted, Rey was climbing back into bed. He lifted an arm and she crawled beneath it, and he pulled the blanket up around both of them. 

They were both still naked, but it felt different than before--all the places they touched burned with a low intensity that didn't threaten to consume him for now, but promised more in the future. He smiled at the ceiling. 

"Hey, Rey?" He thought she might be asleep, and so he kept his voice low, his hand dragging through her hair again. She remained still and silent, inhaling and exhaling in steady rhythm, before she nodded. 

He turned his head, pressing a kiss against her forehead. 

"I love you." Not because of the sex--even though he was a fan of the sex, he absolutely advocated for more sex. He loved her regardless of that though, regardless of pretty much everything else. He loved her. She might be too asleep to hear it or too asleep or she might not even care. 

He wasn't stupid, though; he was pretty sure he'd be able to tell if she didn't care. He knew exactly what indifference looked like, and gasping his name into his ear while his hand was on her was pretty much the opposite of that. 

Her smile curved against his shoulder, and she shifted again, closer this time, stretching an arm out across his chest. She sighed again, content this time, like she'd finally found the place to be, suffused with all the kinds of warmth that Jakku had been lacking. 

"I know."