Work Header

we are all stardust

Work Text:

Finn wakes up. He wakes up slow, the rising tide of consciousness making him aware, firstly, of how stale his mouth tastes. Then it's the general stiffness of his body, the foreign feeling of a pillow beneath his head, the softness of the clothes he's wearing. Finn doesn't think he's ever worn clothes so soft.

Then, he's awake enough to feel his back.

The air gets caught in his throat and he chokes, fingers scrabbling over the sheets beneath him because it hurts, it hurts like nothing he'd felt before and Troopers are trained to deal with large amounts of pain mainly by being put through large amounts of pain. It's a constant throb that should be less potent for how dull it is, but it's seeped right down to his bones, spread out along his insides and twined around his muscle fibres. It's all consuming, and Finn heaves his body up, trying to get away, trying to get some relief.

The movement makes the pain brighter, a solar flare starting in the small of his back and rippling outward, and he shouts, even though he knows he will be punished for it. You aren't supposed to vocalize anything without express permission, words or otherwise. There is a ringing in his ears and ropes of agony tightening around his flesh and he thrashes away from the feeling of someone touching him.

"-no, Finn, buddy, it's okay, it's okay, I'm sorry - where the fuck are the medi-droids? - sweetheart, please, I'm sorry -" The hands reach for him again, and Finn tries to wriggle back only to have those hands start holding him down.

He realizes, suddenly, that his mouth is moving and his throat is aching and he's begging. "Please stop sir, I'll be good, please sir please stop I'll be so good I'll never -" and then he's gasping out the pledge of allegiance to the First Order, because if he can convince them then maybe they'll stop.

And then there's a mechanical stream of beeps and buzzes and the hands holding Finn down are replaced by something metallic and much stronger, a sting on the inside of his arm making Finn shudder. That's it, then, the last injection before he's recycled for parts and Finn sobs because he doesn't want to die.

A cool wash of relief floods his flesh, slackening his muscles, and this, at least, is a merciful way to go. The pain is fading, now.

"You aren't gonna die, buddy," a voice beside him says softly. It sounds like the chords that produce that voice have been rolled in sand and soaked in rotgut.

"Poe," Finn realizes, eyes finally focusing enough that he can see through the haze of pain. He's not back at base, he's not being re-conditioned or recycled or thrown away. He is lying in a cot in a big room with the Resistance's symbol emblazoned on the wall, and Poe is sitting in a chair next to him. "You look awful."

Poe laughs, a little cracked, a little wild. His eyes are shadowed and his hair's a mess and an uneven shave has left smears of stubble along his jaw. "Not as bad as you, I promise."

"I'm wasting resources," Finn says next, thoughts growing fuzzy and indistinct as the painkillers take full effect. An injury like his is one that takes too much time to be worth recovering from, and Finn has this vague notion that he needs to inform them that he doesn't mind, really, if they need to recycle him. Now that he knows it's the Resistance. He wouldn't mind, if his heart and lungs and skin went to the people that needed them, here.

There is a sharp intake of breath, and Finn watches with detached fascination as absolute fury clouds Poe's expression before he scrubs his hands over his face and through his hair and breathes deep. Finn counts. Three lungfuls, then he looks at Finn again.

No one, Finn thinks, no one has ever looked at him like that before. It's a look he'd only ever seen in the holovids the older Troopers would sometimes smuggle in, the ones with boyfriends and girlfriends and families that want to keep them apart.

"Finn," Poe enunciates carefully, one hand reaching out to clasp Finn's own. "You are not wasting resources, okay?"

"Okay," Finn agrees, and then he passes out.

Finn wakes up, and it's easier this time. This time, the gradual ascent to wakefulness is accompanied by the strange half-numbness of symoxin and a medi-droid's tinny voice talking him through it. He is informed that he's been in a medically-induced coma, one he was put into after he woke from his injury-induced coma, that his recovery is progressing at a surprisingly rapid rate given the extent of the damage, and that Poe Dameron will be back in just a few minutes, he just stepped out to stretch his legs, he meant to be here when Finn woke. The medi-droid is insistent on that point, shaking its little metal arm in Finn's direction as it swoops around the cot, taking his temperate and adjusting his blankets and beeping angrily at the read-out it's getting from the medical scanner.

"You are in pain," the medi-droid informs him, the vocal box that translates its words into a language Finn can understand warping the phrase into something ominous.

"Not as much as before," Finn replies honestly, because it isn't so bad he can't think through it. He doesn't remember much of his first bout of consciousness, just how bad it hurt, just how scared he was. It takes him a moment or two to recognize the writhing in his chest as humiliation, because he can't remember what he said but he has the niggling feeling that it was shameful.

"You are in pain," the medi-droid repeats, shaking its scanner and wheeling closer, "But it is not a punishment. You are not being punished. You are safe here. We do not punish people with pain here." The medi-droid is practically vibrating, little pincers repeatedly smoothing the blankets by Finn's hip. "Do you understand?"

And Finn feels a fragile thing unfolding inside him, pink and tender and he bites his lip against the sudden flash of heat in his eyes. He hunches his shoulders and covers his face with his hands as it swells up to his throat. He doesn't - he's not -

The medi-droid buzzes, grabs Finn's sleeve and tugs on it. "Do you understand?"

"Yeah," Finn rasps through his hands. The medi-droid devolves into beeps and whines he doesn't understand for a few moments, tugging his sleeve, touching the top of his head.

"Poe Dameron will return soon," the medi-droid says. "Poe Dameron wanted to be here when you woke."

"Yeah," Finn repeats, and then he starts crying.

The exact moment Poe crosses the threshold into the medical bay is announced by the medi-droid at Finn's cot losing its shit. Finn is on his side, arms wrapped around the pillow, almost asleep, when Gee - the closest thing to a name the medi-droid gave him - starts wailing loud, a flurry of beeps and whines accompanied by the sound of its wheels spinning furiously.

"Gee -" Finn mutters, sitting up, and watches as Gee barrels across the medical bay to the doorway, where Poe stands absolutely still, damp hair dripping onto the neck of his shirt and shadowed eyes wide, fixed onto Finn from across the room. Gee snaps its pincers in Poe's face, then latches onto the hem of his shirt and barrels across the medical bay again, Poe tripping along behind it.

"I'm sorry," is the first thing Poe says, standing at the side of the cot. "I just - they said it'd be a few hours before you'd wake up, so I went to get cleaned up. I didn't think you'd be awake so soon or I would have -"

"It's okay," Finn says, and Poe's shoulders, tense in a way Finn hadn't noticed before, relax. All of Poe relaxes, actually, the man slumping into the chair behind him like he's given up on the idea of standing. And that makes Finn pause, leaning forward to get a better look. There are blue-purple blooms beneath Poe's eyes, hair a half-dried haphazard mess and shirt looser on his shoulders than it looks like it should be, and the sight makes Finn ache, a strange little ache under his breastbone. He wants to reach out and smooth the tangles out of Poe's hair. He tightens his arm around the pillow instead. "You look awful."

This makes Poe grin, and he shakes his head. "You said that the last time, too. I'm thinking you don't appreciate my awesome presence as much as you should, buddy."

"No!" Finn barks, an instinctual recoil to the idea of Poe feeling unappreciated. Finn appreciates him. Finn is full of appreciation. "No, I do, I'm sorry, I just -"

"Hey." Poe cuts him off, quiet but firm. The grin is gone and his eyes are still and serious as he leans forward and places a hand on Finn's shoulder. "That was a joke, Finn. One I shouldn't have made. I'm here because I want to be, okay?"

There it is again, that vulnerable swell starting low in his gut, and Finn finds he can't keep looking at Poe, not when Poe's looking like that.

"Hey," Poe says softly, leaning a little closer. Finn, because he can't stop himself, leans his forehead against Poe's. It was the only form of physical affection he could get away with, with other Troopers, quick touches of mask-to-mask to reassure each other that they were unified. That's what FN-3170 had been trying to do, Finn's pretty sure, before she died. "Okay?"

And Finn - swallows, a couple times, his throat swollen and his eyes itching. "Okay," he replies.

Gee tells him that Rey spent almost as much time at his bedside as Poe, before she left.

Finn wants so desperately for that to make her absence hurt a little less.

The day he gets discharged, Poe is on a practice run with the other pilots. Gee is the one who accompanies him to his new room - empty, because no one wants to bunk with a former Trooper, no matter how big of a hero they think he is - and when he gets there, he needs to sit on the edge of his bed and tuck his head between his knees and breathe deep, slow breaths. Gee's pincers pluck at his hair as he does, the medi-droid patiently counting out how long he should inhale, hold, exhale.

He's never had his own room before. Never had so much space for himself, and he has nothing, absolutely nothing, to fill it with.

"Is it gonna get better?" he asks, and he doesn't know why.

"You are recovering from a lifetime of maladaptive social conditioning," Gee replies. "You must give yourself time to adjust."

"Okay," he says. "How long will that take?"

Gee pauses, beeps a bit, worries the collar of his shirt with its pincers.

"It's okay," Finn sighs, "You don't need to answer. I think I know."

He stands, then, for lack of anything else to do, he folds the donated clothes he was given, tucks them away into drawers and tries not to think about wearing the detritus people left behind when they kicked it.

"If you need to get back to the medical bay, you don't have to stay here," he tells Gee, chest clenching at the idea of an empty room. He could go to the mess hall, but he doesn't know anyone and everyone knows him. Even the walk to his room was interrupted by people patting his shoulder and thanking him, or checking his shoulder and hissing at him.

Gee beeps to itself, clacking its pincers together before it wheels closer, grabbing onto the hem of Finn's shirt. It wheels closer still, till its metal body is pressed against Finn's legs. "You have not completed your daily physical therapy routine. I will stay to help."

Finn realizes how pathetic he is the moment he hunches over and hugs a metal being devoid of the need for physical touch, the moment another tear or two leaks out because he's been making up for lost time when it comes to crying, and feeling things, and noticing how bad he is at being a person. "Thanks, Gee."

Gee buzzes, tugs on his shirt.

Poe knocks on the door shortly after he finishes his physical therapy. It hurt, not tortuously, but in that way that stretches new skin and cajoles damaged muscles into doing their job and leaves him lying in his bed stiff and sore with Gee gently reminding him to sip at the water it brought him every so often.

And Poe knocks on his door. "Finn, buddy! You there?"

Finn shifts, tenses his stomach to lever himself upright, and eases himself off the bed, hissing when a muscle in his back cramps at the movement. Gee releases a string of binary that Finn just knows is chiding, because Finn's supposed to rest, after, but Finn. Finn knows how to move through pain, and he'd very much like to see Poe.

He opens the door to let someone into a room that is his for the first time. It's a satisfying, vaguely frightening feeling.

"Hey," Poe says, smiles. He's still in his flight suit, smells like fuel and sweat, and his hair in knots from the helmet. There's a bag slung over one shoulder. "It's good to see you out of there, man."

"Hi," Finn replies. There's this thing he's started to notice, when he's around Poe, this waver under his diaphragm that feels like the first weightless jerk of hyperdrive, and sometimes it makes his tongue swell up, puts this restless energy in his fingers. Suddenly, for no reason at all, Finn remembers how it felt to lean his forehead against Poe's, and a foreign flush of heat scuttles under his cheeks. "Come in. I mean, you can come in, if you want. That's what people do, with rooms, I saw it in holovids. If you want. You don't have to."

Something happens to Poe's smile, now - it…softens, almost, like it's melting in sunlight, the edges of it becoming rounder. "Do you want me to? Come in?"

There is an eddy of emotion Finn doesn't have the vocabulary for that starts in his ribcage, and his fingers grip the hem of his shirt, folding and unfolding the fabric around his knuckles. "Yeah."

And then he steps back, and Poe steps inside.

"I smell putrid, I know, sorry about that. Practice run, you know?" He drops the bag, unzips the flight suit and slips it off his shoulders to tie the arms around his hips. Underneath, he's wearing a sleeveless shirt, and that unstable rocking movement starts up in Finn's gut again when he sees Poe's arms.

Which is ridiculous. They're arms, the same sort of arms Finn's seen hundreds of times living in close quarters with other Troopers. The only significant difference between Trooper arms and Poe's arms is that Poe has a tattoo curled around his left bicep.

"Gee told me," Finn says, gesturing to the medi-droid.

"Of course," Poe says. The skin around his eyes tighten, and his smile flattens, just a bit. "Gee tell you anything else?"

The medi-droid, who up till now had been suspiciously silent, beeps and rolls forward, snapping its pincers in Poe's direction as it bumps Finn's legs. Gently, very gently. It makes that vulnerable thing grow a little bit inside him, whenever Finn notices how gentle Gee tries to be with him.

He's not sure what he's done to deserve it. He would very much like to keep doing whatever it was.

"I must return to the medical bay. Poe Dameron will take care of you now. Poe Dameron will stay," Gee buzzes, and some kind of wriggling heat fills him up when it does, uncomfortable and marrow-deep.

"I don't think you get to decide that," Finn mutters, uncomfortable, and Gee snaps its pincers, irritated, swivelling towards Poe and releasing a stream of binary that ends with the medi-droid swooping from the room dramatically. Until it gets caught on the ledge of the doorway, beeping angrily as its wheels spin.

Finn can't help it. He starts to laugh, and Gee gets louder and more staccato, waving its pincers around until Poe lifts it up and sets it down. As a final farewell, Gee pinches Poe's arm, beeping loud and decidedly accusatory.

"Yeah, okay, I got it, Gee. You can go now," Poe says, a little bit tired, a little bit amused. So Gee does, and Finn listens to the medi-droid complaining in binary till it gets too far away and the sound fades. "That droid is something else," Poe sighs, shaking his head.

"So's BB-8," Finn offers, and Poe laughs out loud, this time.

"BB-8 has manners, man." Poe shakes his head, rubbing the back of his neck. "Ah. I have something for you."

"Really?" Finn can hear how loud his voice gets, how it pitches upward, and that heat is back in his cheeks now. His fingers are at the hem of his shirt, worrying away.

Poe's shoulders shift just slightly, a little thing Finn might not have noticed if he hadn't been trained to see small changes in the placement of weight and anticipate attack. He's not looking at Finn anymore, starting in the middle distance somewhere over Finn's shoulder. "Yeah, well, technically it's yours already, I'm just. Re-gifting."

There's an edge of something similar to discomfort in Poe's voice, and Finn reviews the last few moments in his mind, trying to find the fault in his behaviour that made Poe so - so very un-Poe-like. "Okay?"

His voice is very small, an inverse of before, and Poe seems to startle at the sound, squaring his shoulders and meeting Finn's eyes again. It's a relief, his meeting Finn's eyes, for all that Finn's gut responds with an unbalanced lurch.

"First you should sit down, though, buddy, you look like you're about to collapse."

So Finn does, lowering himself onto the edge of his bed with a groan. "Gee is vicious with the physical therapy. Phasma could use some tips, I swear, and she's the one in charge of the Pain Program." He uses the colloquial term for it, and a wave of something like nostalgia goes through him at the familiar taste of slang. He doesn't miss the First Order, not really. He just misses understanding where he fits in the galaxy.

Poe has frozen up entirely, the hand that was reaching for his bag curled into a fist. Poe, Finn realizes, is angry.

"Sorry, I shouldn't have joked like that. I know that Phasma - I know that the First Order - I'm -"

"Finn," Poe starts, breathes very deep and very slow in a way that makes an unformed memory wriggle in the back of Finn's brain. "What's the Pain Program?"

"The, um, the regime where they train us to function through large amounts of physical distress by systemically introducing us to various forms of enhanced interrogation techniques," Finn reels off, using the same words Phasma had, before the first round began.

Poe's jaw ticks. His muscles tense, and he's smaller than Finn but his presence seems to grow until Finn's almost choking on it. He's angry, and Finn - isn't scared. Poe wouldn't hurt him. Finn is - worried, he places cautiously.

"Poe?" Finn says, quiet like he was when waking another Trooper up from a thrashing sleep. "I'm sorry, did I -"

"I," Poe interrupts, and his voice is calm in the way Kylo Ren's voice is calm before he starts slashing up control panels. "Really, really hate the First Order. So much, Finn."

"You along with everyone else here," Finn agrees, leaning forward and grabbing Poe's hand. Because that's what Poe did when Finn was upset, at the scar and the pain and the dull inability to walk for the first few weeks. Poe, if at all possible, stiffens further, and Finn is about to let go and apologize until Poe's fingers tighten around his.

He's still not looking at Finn.

"They aren't going to hurt you anymore," Poe grinds out. "I won't - fuck, Finn, okay. Okay." One hand tangles itself in his hair, and Finn tugs until Poe is sitting beside him. The bed creaks, a little. "That was wrong. You get that, right? That shouldn't have happened."

"Every Trooper goes through the program to -"

"Then every Stormtrooper has been abused by their superiors, and that's not okay, Finn, that's not okay -"

"Okay," Finn agrees, quick, and he squeezes Poe's hand. That, finally, gets Poe to look at him again. "It wasn't okay."

Poe grins, and it looks more like he's baring his teeth. "You're just agreeing to make me feel better. You don't get it, do you?"

And Finn…doesn't. Not really. It made him strong. It made him highly functional. But Finn's starting to get the sense that there are things he doesn't understand that the rest of the galaxy does implicitly.

"Maybe I will, soon," he promises, and Poe's shoulders relax by a fraction of an inch.

"Yeah," he breaths, then he squeezes Finn's hand right back. He's still so upset, so Finn leans his forehand against Poe's, just for a moment, just to let Poe know he's there. Poe's eyes close and his lips part and he sucks in some air, and then there's this visceral twist of instinct Finn can't place that feels like hunger, almost. His mouth aches. It's a sudden, inexplicable flare, and, discomfited, Finn leans back. Poe breathes deep again, several seconds dedicated to the inhale and the exhale done in a sudden gust, and then he opens his eyes. "I have something for you," he says firmly, like he's reminding himself.

Poe lets go of Finn's hand to grab his bag, and the loss of a palm against his carves out a curious little hollow in Finn's chest.

"Here," Poe announces, then unearths the jacket. "I commissioned someone to fix it. It was supposed to be ready by the time you woke up, but it took a little longer to find the right material than we thought."

Then he holds it out, and Finn's stomach lurches like nausea, his cheeks tightening till his mouth is smiling.

"You didn't have to," Finn says, awed, reaching for the jacket with careful hands. He unfolds it across his lap, sees that the ugly gash in the material has been patched so well it almost looks like it was never damaged at all. "I can pay you back. For the commission."

Poe snorts. "With what money?" He's teasing, Finn gets that he's teasing, but Finn's back straightens, his jaw sets.

"I can do other stuff. I can help with the upkeep of your x-wing, or repair your blaster, or -"

"Hey, no, Finn, hey," Poe interjects, and then he's sitting beside Finn again with a hand on his shoulder. "It was a gift. You don't owe me anything."

"You keep giving me things," Finn insists, because he realizes the immensity of how true it is as he speaks. "Like my name, and the jacket, and I haven't given you anything back."

Poe purses his lips, then, carefully, carefully, he brushes his hand over Finn's jaw. There's that feeling again, the hungry one, but it seems less important than the look Poe's giving him. Finn wants to lean forward and fall right into him.

"You don't need to give me anything, Finn," Poe says, as careful as his touch. "I promise. You are enough."

"Okay," Finn whispers, and he's not sure why he's whispering. Something twists Poe's features, his body shifting like he's about to lean forward and Finn feels himself mirroring that, the stance of Poe's shoulders and the angle of his face.

"Fuck," Poe says abruptly, before drawing back.

"What?" Finn asks, curious, half disappointed and half relieved when the almost-hunger inside him dies down.

"Sorry, buddy, I just really need to clean up," Poe says quickly. "I just now managed to smell myself, and I am ripe."

"You are," Finn agrees, because Poe is. Body smells are a wonder to Finn, the clinical, sanitized environment he grew up in never allowing for a build up of sweat and scent. He finds he doesn't mind, at least not as much as Poe does.

"Alright," Poe says, then he scrapes his hair back. "Alright, here's how this is gonna go: I'm gonna shower, then I'll come back and take you to the mess hall, then I'll introduce you to all your adoring fans. Sounds good?"

He is already halfway to the door. The muscled slopes of his shoulders are inexplicably fascinating to Finn. Poe glances back at him, one eyebrow raised in question, and Finn raises one back before nodding.

"Sounds good."

Finn knows his biology. He knows the name and function of every bone in his body, can describe to the smallest detail his muscular system, understands exactly how much strain he can put on his body before he collapses. So, after the mess hall and the whirlwind of faces and names and surprisingly friendly questions, lying in bed, he isn't entirely ignorant of what the tightening in his gut is, the sudden flush of heat in his loins.

It's just… They were always discouraged, strongly discouraged, from stimulating themselves, or other people, or acknowledging physical arousal at all, but Finn can smell Poe on his sheets, still, his sweat and skin. And it makes Finn hot, makes his skin tight and his dick hard and it's happened before, obviously, inevitably, but he's always been able to wait it out. Finn waits, breathing in the lingering traces of Poe, and it doesn't go away. It gets worse, more distracting as he shifts and tries to find a comfortable position. He sleeps on his stomach, his back still too sensitive without the helping hand of symoxin, and the pressure of the mattress against his groin is unknown and dangerous and very, very tempting.

He isn't in the First Order anymore. He'd seen people in the mess hall, their faces pressed together curiously and their bodies straining towards one another, so stimulating other people can't be taboo, here. And maybe, just maybe, neither is stimulating yourself.

There's a surge of shame that chokes him, when he thinks that, a surge of disgust at the lack of control, but Finn bites his lip and tells himself that the First Order was wrong about a lot of things. That they're wrong about this. It's still humiliating, how responsive his body is, but Finn closes his eyes and presses his face into the sheets, breathes in Poe and rolls his hips.

"Oh," he gasps, at the coil of heat that spirals out from his groin when he does. His toes clench and his hips twitch, not deliberately, but instinctively, like flinching back from a blow. "Oh," because this is good, this feels good.

Finn spreads his thighs, tries to maximize contact with the mattress as his hips jerk, each roll sending a wave of pleasure that forces his body into movement that creates another wave that makes his hips grind down, again and again, this brighthot molten ball between his hips that's growing tighter and hotter and oh.

He's close, he doesn't know what to but tension can only sustain itself for so long before something breaks, right, Finn feels so close to breaking. One hand clutches the sheets near his head, the other follows the wordless pull of his body, cups his groin through his pants and he can feel the outline of his dick and balls in a way he never has before, when he was washing or changing. They're so sensitive, it feels like he'll fall apart when he curls his fingers, rubs his palm back and forth.

"Poe," he says, and that makes it feel even better, thinking of Poe's arms and shoulders and the way he held Finn's jaw today. Finn gasps in a breath, pulls his hand back only to slip it into his pants, and this is the first time he can really remember doing this, touching his dick for reasons other than washing or peeing. His fingers skitter over the head, leaking this sticky dampness a part of him wants to smell out of pure curiosity, and it sends this reverberation of sensation through his groin, down his limbs. He's panting open-mouthed, rubbing the head again and again and gripping the shaft to feel the weight of it in his hands and then he thinks of Poe, doing this. Holding him. Stroking him.

It's like lightning, what happens next, the brighthot ball expanding and expanding and pulsing and Finn jerks, once, twice, as warm fluid leaves his dick in several spurts.

Semen, Finn thinks dazedly, also known as seminal fluid. Composed of sperm, fructose, water, and other various fluids produced by the gonads.

He brings his hand up to his face, rubbing his fingers together to examine the texture, licking them curiously to examine the taste. It's salty, bitter, tastes a little like how Poe smelled, today, after the practice run. Not pleasant. Not particularly unpleasant, and Finn thinks of the whispers that would go around the barracks at night, of the practice of using your mouth to stimulate someone. He wonders what Poe -

And then the shame stops him, then the humiliation sets in, and Finn suddenly, desperately wants to be clean. He shimmies out of his shirt, wipes off his hand, wipes off his groin, throws the shirt in the corner of the room to ignore now and deal with later, and wonders how objectively disgusting it was, to deliberately think of Poe when he was doing that. To think of -

Poe is his friend, one of the only two friends he has, and it's wrong of Finn to corrupt that.

He strips the sheets off his bed, sleeps on a bare mattress, and tries to forget how good it felt.

He thinks, sometimes, about the other Troopers he's killed. There are a lot, and he didn't know all of them but he did know quite a few, knew their designations, their voices, their particular stance in hand-to-hand. It's not that he's guilty, it's that he's not guilty, that he's grieving and occasionally crying and frequently waking up with the memory of how it felt to stab DT-8136 through the chest and hear him sizzle, and he's not guilty about it. None of them had ever hesitated, when ordered to kill, and Finn couldn't watch them raze hundreds of innocent people down. He doesn't know why, but he can't seem to pull the trigger when the blaster is pointed at those who are unarmed.

To the First Order, this makes him a traitor. To Poe, this makes him a good man.

The jacket, apparently, means something. It doesn't take long for Finn to notice the looks of surprise, and, after Poe had introduced him to people in the mess hall, he'd started responding to the greetings thrown his way as he walks down the halls, started wedging himself between various combinations of the X-wing pilots during mealtimes. They're the ones who ask questions that try to be subtle and end up probing, and Finn can almost grasp the vague shape of what they're getting at, in a wordless, abstract way that doesn't quite reach full understanding.

He's missing something. Finn isn't stupid. He knows he's missing something.

"So you and Poe, huh?" Jessika asks, one eyebrow raised, voice pitched suggestive and Finn pauses with his spoon halfway to his lips.


This, for whatever reason, seems to annoy Jessika. She snorts and tosses her braid over her shoulder and leans forward, like this is an interrogation. "You're wearing his jacket. He gave you his jacket."

The blood in Finn's veins seems to fizz, and it his stomach swoops the same as it did when Rey's dizzy flight got them off of Jakku. "I know, he even patched it up for me. I told him he didn't have to, but." He shrugs. "He's a good man."

It's satisfying, to say that.

Jessika is staring at him, her eyes narrowing. Beside her, Kare's head tilts, her eyes scouring over Finn in a way that makes him hyperaware of the space his body occupies. "You have to understand the implications," Jessika says after a few moments. "Of the jacket."

There are a lot of things that confuse Finn, outside the First Order, but it still frustrates him each time another phrase leaves him a few steps behind the conversation, stumbling to catch up. "What implications?"

Jessika opens her mouth and Kare jabs her elbow into Jessika's side and Snap frowns at both of them and says: "That's really something you should talk to Poe about," which is entirely unhelpful. The questions stop, after that, and later that day in the hangar he hears Jessika yelling at Poe, loud and angry and accusatory.

"-he doesn't even know what it fucking means, Poe, what the fuck is wrong with you - no, shut up, I'm not done - everyone looks and sees him wandering around wearing the fucking jacket and everyone knows what that means to you but him, Poe, shit, they fucked him up so bad and you're not helping by pulling that shit, okay, honestly -"

And Poe snaps back, quiet enough that Finn can't hear the distinct words from the doorway where he stands with Gee. He just wanted to introduce the medi-droid to BB-8. That's all. Gee grabs Finn's shirt and wheels into a corner quickly, one pincer extending to press against Finn's lips in an action he has since learned to mean quiet.

"I don't think I should be hearing this," Finn mutters, and Gee whines low and soft, yanks Finn's shirt pointedly. "Gee, I don't think Poe would want me to hear this."

There's something close to panic mounting in his gullet, the first surge of panic before a battle, and Finn's fingers clench into nervous fists, the words stepping around something his mind stubbornly refuses to name as much as it recognizes it's there.

"-done a damn thing, fuck you, Pava, you think I don't know that?" and Poe's voice is getting louder and Finn should really just leave but if he leaves now they'll see him. They'll know he heard. "It's the only thing in the whole fucking galaxy that's his, who gives a shit what it used to mean for me, he needs -"

"-limiting his chances for other relationships, it's basically like you've pissed on him to claim him as yours -"

"-never do that, Jessika, stars, how can you even say -"

"-talk¬ to him, Poe, or I swear I will -"

"Neither of you seem to realize the irony of having this fight behind Finn's back," Snap's voice cuts in, loud enough that Jessika and Poe both fall silent. "Jessika, step down. You've made your point. Poe. You're going to have to deal with this at some point, preferably before a fatal miscommunication occurs. Are we done here? Because I think we're done here."

Gee's started doing that thing it does, where it's almost vibrating with how much energy it isn't releasing through a string of binary curses or overly enthusiastic medical scans, and it yanks on Finn's shirt one more time.

"Follow Gee, Finn," it intones, one pincer opening and closing excitedly and Finn only has time to whisper out a desperate "No!" before Gee's wheeling around the corner into the open space of the hangar.

Finn scrubs his hands over his face, stomach cramping on nerves he'd managed not to feel even as he was breaking into the Starkiller, rounding the corner and walking, shoulders hunched, towards where Poe is standing. Poe, who looks stunned and scared, sort of. An unfamiliar fear, not of pain or of death but of what Finn is going to do, what he might say.

"Hi," Finn says, tries to think of something else. Any topic of conversation that will guide them out of the asteroid belt they're in.

Snap throws up his hands and rolls his eyes, grabs Jessika's arm and hauls her out of the hangar with him.

"Sorry, Finn," he says as he walks by, patting Finn's shoulder.

Gee and BB-8 have gathered underneath Poe's X-wing, chattering excitedly to each other, and Finn gestures to that weakly. Poe does not follow his pointed finger.

"They seem like they like each other," he comments, part of him hoping Poe will take the distraction they've been offered, most of him knowing that Poe won't.

"How much did you hear?" Poe says, after his mouth opens and closes and he's scraped his hair back with his hands. Finn hates the way his voice sounds, like he's hurt, like he's winded.

"Enough. I think," Finn hedges, and Poe nods.

"Okay. How much did you understand?"

And Finn's gut clenches, because Poe's hands are shaking, and Finn doesn't want to be the cause of this, the tremble in his fingers and the raw sheen in his eyes.

"Not much. It doesn't matter, Poe, I can just stop wearing the jacket and then people will stop thinking -" and here Finn stumbles over the shape he can't quite recognize, "-whatever, and it'll be fine. You don't have to -" He waves his hands to replace the words he doesn't have.

"What is it that people are thinking, Finn?" Poe's voice is strangled. "Can you tell me that?"

It matters, Finn realizes suddenly, it matters a lot that he can't grasp the nebulous concept Jessika and Poe were fighting over. "No. I'm sorry."

The set of Poe's shoulders soften and curve inward, his body crumpling in on itself before he takes in a breath and meets Finn's eyes. "It's okay, Finn, it's not your -"

"It's not." The rush of irritation surprises him, its source untraceable and intangible, but Finn doesn't know and it's hurting Poe. Finn's ignorance. He knows what he is, he knows how the First Order isolated him, but he hadn't ever considered that maybe he's hurting people, even without a blaster in his hands and a white helmet on his head. "It's not okay; I'm hurting you."

"No, Finn, that's not it, it's not about me -"

"It is, obviously it is, stop trying to make it not my fault -"

"Because it isn't!" Poe is closer, now, Poe is close enough that Finn can smell him, and Poe is yelling. "It's not your fault that you don't understand, it's not your fault that they starved you of anything good in life, it's not your fault that I'm -" His voice breaks.

"That you're what, Poe, what is it? Just tell me, I can handle it, I just need to know." Finn's yelling back, and he's so angry, and he's not sure if it's at Poe or something else entirely.

"You don't have any reference for it. I don't. Finn," Poe says, his voice gentling, softening. Finn grabs his hand, and Poe looks down at that with a pained expression.

"Just tell me." Fin squeezes his palm, leans his forehead against Poe's, and Poe sways toward him, his other hand latching onto Finn's shoulder. It's so hot Finn can feel the outline of his fingers through the jacket that apparently causes so much trouble.

Poe closes his eyes, swallows a few times. "I don't want you to feel obligated, Finn. You need to know that before I tell you, okay? You aren't obligated to do anything for me, not because of the name, or the jacket, or anything else I've given you."

"Sure, yeah," Finn agrees, their voices quiet enough that their words hang between their lips, suspended by this rising swell Finn knows, somehow, has been inevitable since Poe resolutely rejected to refer to Finn as his designation.

"I like -" Poe starts, then stops, huffing out a breath through his nose. "Do you know what romantic attraction is?"

"Like in the holovids? Boyfriends and girlfriends and stuff?" Finn asks, then feels the bottom of his stomach drop out and the breath flee from his chest when the implication of Poe's question dawns on him.

Poe smiles, a thin, rickety thing that looks all wrong against his features. "Yeah, buddy, like in the holovids." Slowly, giving Finn time to pull back, Poe moves his hand from Finn's shoulder to his cheek, palm curved around his jaw and Finn feels the touch in the way his blood seems to hum as it courses through his body. It's wonderful and also, in a way he can't rationalize to himself, deeply frightening. Their foreheads are still touching, and there's an intimacy here Finn's never felt before, maybe never seen, because nothing like this had happened in the holovids. It had all come together so easily in the holovids. "I feel - a lot, for you, Finn, more than I've ever - for anyone else, and this doesn't mean I have any expectations, or that anything will change, between us, I just. I just care so much about you, Finn, I can barely fucking breath."

"But -" and Finn's thoughts are skipping, drawing blanks and circling back onto themselves and tangling together into a writhing mass that presses up against his skull. "But we're both men. It was always - in the holovids, it was always a boy and a girl, when it was about humans."

A sudden, sharp intake of breath, and Poe nods, agreeably. "Yeah, in most holovids that's the case. But it's not always like that. For a lot of people, it's never like that."

"So it's - biologically possible? For two men to even…" Finn trails off, remembers the night he puts a concentrated effort into ignoring most days, of how good it felt to say Poe's name as he touched himself. And there it is, the expected flood of shame, but riding on its tail is the sense of parts coming together to form a whole, of understanding.

"Not for all men," Poe says, his voice turning bruise-black as he forces these words out. "For some men, it's just chemically impossible for them to feel that way toward their own sex, and that's fine, and if that's how you feel then you don't need to worry about any of what I said. We can just be what we are, and you don't have to -"

"What if," Finn starts slowly, and as soon as he started speaking, Poe fell silent, bracing himself as if for a blow. Their noses are almost touching, and, at some point, Finn had wrapped his free hand around Poe's waist. They are standing very close, close enough that Finn can taste Poe's breath and the tender wariness it carries. Finn isn't sure he's seen other friends stand so close to one another. "What if that isn't how I feel?"

The words ripple through the air and Poe responds to them as if they are tangible things, his eyes widening, his pulse quickening in the hollow of his throat. The hand on Finn's jaw flexes. "…okay," Poe says almost soundlessly, swallowing air. "That doesn't mean you have to be with me. It doesn't mean you have to be with anyone. You can just take your time and talk to people and explore."

Finn bites his lip as the conclusion comes to itself in his mind, and for all that understanding brings with it a rush of relief, the words catch in his throat and it's difficult. He doesn't know why it's so difficult to say it. "What if I want to be with you?"

Poe groans, like Finn's hit him. "Finn. Sweetheart."

"Poe," Finn responds, squeezing his hand. He's terrified, for some reason, heart racing and skin tingling and he's not sure what he wants Poe to say but he wants something. He's wanted something for a while, probably.

"Do you know what that means? Emotionally," Poe swallows again, shudders, "Physically?"

"You can teach me," Finn whispers, and they're so very close, and he's full of that visceral ache again, the one that makes his gut rock and his lips itch. They're so very close and Finn thinks of what he saw in the mess hall, of people pressing their faces together, their lips together, and his body reacts to this thought the same way it does to water when it's deprived.

They're so very close and it's so very easy to angle his chin and move that much closer and then Poe's lips are touching his, thin skin to thin skin. It's relief from pain he'd gotten accustomed to feeling, the sensation of Poe's intake of breath, of the warmth and wetness when his lips part a bit, and Finn surprises himself by gasping. This makes the moist parts of their mouths slide against one another, and it's exactly like hunger and nothing like hunger, the way his body moves in, the way his hand grips Poe's jaw in an action he doesn't entirely think through, the way he presses himself up against Poe.

Poe groans again, only this time it is entirely different, the pitch and the way that Finn can feel the sound in his tongue. Poe's lips move, like he's trying to talk, and that sends a thrill down Finn's spine, strangles a grunt from his throat. His mouth opens instinctually, searching, hoping, and then Poe's tongue is touching his bottom lip, Poe's tongue is sliding against his teeth and into his mouth.

A bright starburst of heat spreads through his stomach, and Finn feels his throat vibrate in what he realizes is a moan. He's gripping Poe tight, one hand on his jaw, the other on his waist, Poe cradling his cheeks in callused hands that smell like motor oil, and all Finn wants is more.

Poe tips his chin, drags his mouth away, and Finn whines, tries to follow him.

"Hey, Finn, sweetheart, hey," Poe is murmuring, flexing his fingers on Finn's cheeks and holding him there. "Slow down, darling, hey."

"I want," Finn says, tries to move in again.

"I know, I know, I do to," Poe is whispering to him, carefully turning his head just enough so that Finn is always catching his chin or his cheek or his nose. "But we need to go slow, babe, we need to take this slow."

"Why, " Finn grinds out, nerves like live wires in his flesh. He wants.

"What is that called?" Poe asks, and his question draws Finn up short. The pilot leans in, presses his lips to Finn's and before Finn can lean into it he draws back, stroking Finn's jaw with a thumb. "What is what I just did called?"

"I - it has a name?" Finn asks, then feels an uncomfortable heat roil under his skin when Poe raises a brow. "I saw it in the mess hall. I don't. I don't know what it's called."

"It's called a kiss. The act of moving your lips together like we were is called kissing. And my having to explain that is exactly why we have to go slow."

It's familiar, the uncomfortable roil of humiliation, but its familiarity doesn't lessen the sting, and Finn rolls his shoulders inward, letting go of Poe's waist and suddenly Poe is pressed up against him, one arm wrapping around Finn and tugging him in.

"Oh, Finn, darling, no, sorry, I didn't mean it like that." And then Poe exhales over the underside of Finn's jaw, presses little - kisses, they're called kisses - under his ear, along his cheekbone. It makes Finn shudder, electric shock under his skin. "I don't want you to do anything you don't feel comfortable with because you don't know what it is, or because you think it's a requirement, or whatever. I want to do this right."

"There's a wrong way?" Finn mutters, tilting his chin and then they're kissing again and Finn doesn't think anything has ever felt this good, not even when he stimulated himself.

With a ragged gasp, Poe leans his head back, his lips all pink and irritated. "Yes, babe, there's a wrong way, fuck, please stop kissing me, I want to do this right."

"What does that even mean?" Finn says, a little frustrated. He tries repeating what Poe did to him, exhaling over his neck then kissing his jaw. Poe shudders against him, so Finn does it again, kissing his cheek, his ear, that warm hollow on his throat. Anything Finn can get to. As he does, Poe talks, and his voice is syrupy and warm and hitched in places and it sounds so good, it sounds wonderful.

"I - we do things together, like - shit - like sitting next to each other at mess, and purpose - purposefully spending time just the two of us to talk, and - Finn, Finn, okay, please," and Poe is pushing him back gently. Finn follows the wordless direction, biting his lip because it feels swollen and sensitive and good. The pressure of his teeth should be painful but isn't, sends a thrill down his spine instead. "Okay," Poe says, then he takes a deep breath. "Damn. This - this wasn't what I had expected out of my day."

"Is this okay?" Finn asks, abruptly uncomfortable. He'd been thinking so much about what felt good to him, the past few minutes, about what he wanted, that he hadn't really considered - hadn't really asked -

"Yes," Poe breathes, tucks his forehead into the crook of Finn's neck and wraps his arms around Finn in a hug and then just holds him. "Yes, Finn, this is amazing. I wanted - I wanted this a lot."

"Would you, if I hadn't heard what Jessika said, would you have ever…" Finn's voice trails off. He isn't sure what he's trying to ask.

And Poe - doesn't let go, but steps back so they can look each other in the eye. His are deep and still and serious. "I don't know," he says, "But I'm glad you heard."

"I would have wanted you to. If I hadn't."

That makes Poe smile, small and soft, and lean in, and kiss him.

Finn really, really likes kissing. They don't get to do it as often as Finn would like - as often as Finn would like is forever, always, every day - because there is, in fact, still a war going on, and Poe is, in fact, still the best pilot in the Resistance, but when they do -

Poe's been teaching him things.

"Oh," Finn sighs as Poe - bites his neck, and it makes a hot shudder run down his spine, and it shouldn't, because who likes getting bitten, except apparently Finn does. Poe bites his neck and Finn can feel him pinch skin between his teeth and suck, and Finn claps a hand over his mouth to keep himself from moaning. He's not used to making sounds that aren't purposeful, not when it doesn't hurt, and sometimes it makes him flush and feel hideously exposed, how moans and sighs and half-formed words push themselves out of his throat without his permission.

"Mm, no, babe, I like hearing you." Poe smears these words across his neck as he kisses a line up Finn's neck to his jaw, one hand grabbing Finn's and pulling it back. He turns his head to kiss Finn's palm.

Finn really likes kissing.

"Besides," Poe continues, and there's this way his voice sounds, when he talks while they're kissing a lot. Making out. Whatever. "We got your whole room to ourselves. No one," and he kisses Finn's lips, "Is going," then it's his jaw, trailing down his neck, "To hear you."

He bites Finn again, soft, draws the flesh between his teeth again and Finn jerks as a gasp tears itself from him, turns into a moan halfway through. It feels so good, it doesn't make sense that it feels so good.

"Poe." It sounds like the name has been punched out of him, and Poe pulls back immediately, hands that were on Finn's waist flying up, palms out, fingers displayed. Surrender.

"Too much?" Poe asks, and Finn shakes his head vehemently. Poe laughs, leans in to kiss Finn's nose. They're on Finn's bed, Finn in Poe's lap and this is his favourite position to make out in, Poe lying down and Finn curled on top of him. It's nice, to feel Poe's body shift as he sits up to kiss Finn on the lips, as leans back to kiss him on the neck.

"What's that called?" Finn asks, grabbing Poe's hands and putting them back on his waist. Poe leans into him, nosing his collarbone, nipping at the skin of Finn's neck and it sends little shocks fizzling under his skin, sends another gasp spiralling through the air.

"What's what called, sweetheart?" and that's the other thing, the names, the collection of names Poe calls him. They make him feel warm deep in his belly, make him happy in a way he doesn't know how to reason with or quantify, the same way he was whenever Rey looked at him with that light in her eyes.

"The, ah," Poe's letting his breath trail behind Finn's ear, the patch of skin so nonsensically sensitive, and it's scattering his thoughts, makes the words stretch and warp across his tongue. "The biting, it feels -"

"Good?" Poe prompts, in a tone that means he already knows the answer. He likes it when Finn tells him how things feel, he likes it a lot, and the skin of Finn's cheeks feels tight and hot as he nods.

"Yeah," he starts, then falters. His hands are on Poe's shoulders, and he plucks at a stray thread in Poe's shirt. Poe just watches him, and Finn can barely look at the way Poe looks at him, open and tender. "It feels like it's sending shocks through me or something. It feels really good."

Finn will sometimes say things, and Poe will react in ways Finn doesn't understand but very much appreciates, and this, apparently, is one of them, because Poe's eyes close for a moment and he inhales quick and kind of groans. "Finn. Darling."

It's becoming a thing. Finn's name then an endearment.

"So what's it called?" Finn repeats, and Poe nods, opens his eyes.

"Hickeys. Well - hickeys are the marks that get left behind. What I did was giving you a hickey." He strokes Finn's hip as he talks. "Not everyone likes them, so -"

"Do you like them?"

Poe's pupils dilate, just a bit, and he shifts under Finn. "Yes. But you don't have to give me any, if you don't want."

That's a phrase that comes up a lot. Finn doesn't have to if he doesn't want. Finn can refuse. It isn't a big deal if Finn isn't interested.

Finn is very interested.

His hands moves from Poe's shoulders to his jaw, and Finn leans in, just brushes Poe's lips with his at first. Then they part, a bit, as Poe sighs, and Finn presses himself flush against Poe, moving his mouth sort of open and closed, tugging at Poe's bottom lip with his, and then, tentatively, tentatively, because he's still not sure he's doing this well, he sticks out his tongue and touches it to Poe's. And Poe likes that, Poe surges up against him like it's instinct when he does, so Finn licks the inside of Poe's mouth, cautiously, holding his breath to hear Poe's reaction. Finn wants - Finn wants to make Poe feel good, too, give him hickeys and kiss him slow and sweet and warm.

"Ah, fuck, Finn," Poe pants when Finn draws back to kiss the corner of his mouth, then his jaw, then below his ear.

"Does it matter where it is?" Finn whispers into Poe's skin, nosing at his hair.

"No, wherever, wherever's good," Poe babbles, his hands flexing on Finn's waist, his fingers knotted in the fabric of Finn's shirt. Finn finds a vein pulsing on Poe's neck, tucked under the curve of his jaw, and carefully, Finn opens his mouth and fits his teeth over Poe's skin. He's not sure how much pressure Poe used, so he bites gently, pulsing his jaw to see just how hard he should. "Finn, buddy, yeah," and Poe's voice is electric hot and unformed at the edges and his hands fist the fabric of Finn's clothes, tugging when Finn worries the skin with his teeth, tongues at it intermittently.

Poe gasps when Finn pulls back, scraping his teeth over the hickey as he does, then closes his eyes and sort of shudders when Finn grips his jaw, turning his head to the side to examine the mark he left behind. It's red and vaguely circular and darkening to bruise-purple, and Finn, curious, presses his finger to it, presses a little harder when that makes Poe gasp again.

"Doesn't it hurt?" Finn asks him, Poe's hands running up and down his back and occasionally rubbing out a knot as Poe shakes his head, eyes focusing on Finn slow. Like he's distracted.

"I - little, I guess. Not in a bad way. I just gave you several of them, babe, don't you know?"

"I have a higher pain tolerance than you do," Finn reminds him, running his fingers over Poe's cheek. Saying this makes something shift in the air, makes Poe frown and look away and he's not nearly as interested as kissing Finn as he was a heartbeat ago. "Sorry, I didn’t mean to - I'm sorry."

"No," Poe breathes, and then he's leaning in and wrapping his hand around the back of Finn's neck and kissing him, hard, mouth moving like he's talking without sound as his body seems to strain toward Finn. There are times, when they're making out, where all the movements and moments seem to run together into one bright rush, streaming by like hyperspeed, and Finn stops consciously calculating his every action, stops being so sharply aware of what his body is doing. It becomes a push-pull grappling of mouth and hand and it's kind of like sparring, the rhythm his body would fall into without him ever having to think of when to block, when to strike.

Their legs are slotted together and they're pressed chest-to-chest, one of Poe's hands clawed in Finn's hair as the other slips under his shirt and spreads out in the small of his back, and Poe's hands are always so hot, always so rough from the X-wing controls. It feels - and this is almost enough to draw him back, this abrupt bloom of embarrassment - it feels sort of like he did before he stimulated himself, his groin all tight and warm and Poe's thigh brushes up against him as they shift.

It's one big flare, starting from his loins and spreading outward, and Finn plants his hands on the mattress, pushes himself up and away.

"Sorry," he spits out. His voice is very loud, and Poe has frozen beneath him, the hand that was in Finn's hair pushing his hair out of his eyes so he can look at Finn better. "Sorry, I shouldn't have -" The icy prickle of shame starts as a small pinprick in his chest and expands, souring Finn's breath, making his stomach cramp down on nausea. "I didn't mean to."

"Finn, hey, Finn," Poe says softly as he grabs Finn's shoulder, sitting up a bit and wrapping an arm around Finn's waist. But that makes him slide closer to Poe, that makes his groin press up against Poe's thigh again and Finn stutters out a breath, his insides curdling from the indignity of it.

"Sorry," Finn whispers, and Poe's expression softens, crumbles into something incongruously sad.

"It's okay," he says, and Finn shakes his head, small and fast movements.

"I shouldn't have - sorry."

"Finn -" Poe starts, then breathes deep, cradling Finn's jaw in his hands. "Please look at me, first off."

Nothing, Finn thinks, not that split-second decision to leave the First Order, not the walk through the desert to Jakku's bare-bones outpost, not those first few steps across the med-bay with his atrophied legs, nothing was as difficult as the idea of looking at Poe right now. His eyes are focused somewhere over Poe's right shoulder, and Poe strokes Finn's cheek, gentle, slow. He doesn't seem angry.

"Please look at me, sweetheart."

Finn does, and Poe smiles, a small thing that wavers at the edges. "Okay. So what you have is an erection -"

"I know that," Finn snaps, a heave of rough-edged frustration seeping into his voice. "I know my biology."

Poe doesn't react to the tone of Finn's voice the way he thought he would, the way other Troopers would react to it. He just seems to get sad again, and it makes no sense, and Finn feels too big and all wrong and he wants to shake Poe until that expression slips off his face.

"It's okay to get them," Poe says quietly. "It's natural, there's nothing wrong with it, especially not when it's a reaction to what we've been doing for the past hour."

Finn doesn't say anything. Poe strokes his cheek again.

"I have one, too, Finn, okay?" He gestures to his groin, and Finn risks a quick look downward and he does, Finn can see the outline of him through his pants. "I get them, I touch them, sometimes other people agree to touch them and that's awesome, sometimes they choose not to and that's also awesome, but this point is that it's okay. There's nothing…wrong with having one, or touching yourself or other people or feeling pleasure. There's nothing wrong with pleasure."

"We're not supposed to stimulate ourselves. Or other people. It's distracting and unproductive," Finn mumbles, repeating the words Phasma had said to his squadron a few years ago, when they'd first - first started getting erections.

Poe's jaw clenches and it's not sadness on his face now, it's anger, and he scrubs his hands over his face for a few seconds before he looks at Finn again. "That's bullshit, Finn," he says bluntly. "That's such - fuck, no, okay, how do I -" He stops, looks at Finn with his eyes all wide-open and soft and warm. "Was it bad, that the hickeys made you feel good? Or that they made me feel good?"

Discomfort crawls sluggishly through Finn's veins, and he shrugs, words he can't quite figure out stuck in his throat like food swallowed too soon. Carefully, slowly, Poe leans in and kisses Finn's cheek.

"Finn?" he asks, his voice a whisper.

"No," Finn rasps out, so quiet he can barely hear himself.

"Right," Poe nods. "Because hickeys and kissing are physical sensations that cause pleasure, and there's nothing wrong with physical sensations that cause pleasure, as long as you agree to it. And," here he fumbles, just a little, "um, stimulating yourself is sort of an extension of that. And stimulating other people is an extension of stimulating yourself. Sort of. But kissing and - and stimulating yourself is on the same spectrum of behaviour, and it's not bad."

Finn's been having these moments, since he joined the Resistance, where someone will say something like it's an obvious facet of reality, like planetary gravity or hunger or death, and Finn will have to wrestle with this bone-deep sense of wrongness he feels at the very idea they've presented. Gee uses words like 'conditioning' and 'socialization' and 'psychological abuse', says that he can trace that sense of wrongness back to those words, that overcoming that sense of wrongness is how he'll shed the First Order one belief at a time, and Finn understands, agrees, even, but it's difficult.

Hearing Poe's words and knowing they're true and accepting they're true is difficult.

"Okay," Finn mutters, and Poe sighs.

"Okay," he replies. "I'm not…upset at you, because you got an erection. I just wanted to make that clear. I hope you're not upset at me for getting one."

"No," Finn says quickly, and Poe smiles at him. It's not as big as Poe's usual smile.

"If you want, I can go," he offers.

"No," Finn says quickly, and Poe laughs.

"Well, alright then. So," and he's started to get that that voice again, the slow-burning syrupy one he only uses around Finn, around Finn when they're kissing. "What do you want to do?"

Finn fixes his hand into Poe's hair and drags him in.

Now that it's become less synonymous with stomach-churning distaste, all he can think about is physical arousal. He hasn't quite worked up the nerve to touch himself again, lying in his bed with the shirt he'd asked Poe to leave behind one night - Poe had offered to get him a clean one, if what Finn wanted was to wear Poe's clothes, but Finn had said it's because he liked the way Poe smelled and Poe had closed his eyes and taken a deep breath and slipped off his shirt. Poe, Finn noticed at the time, had had an erection - but he's thought extensively about stimulating Poe. He works his mind around new ideas like 'hand job' and 'blow job' and 'fingering', rolls his head into the soft, grease-stained fabric and thinks about the sounds Poe makes when Finn's biting marks into his neck, getting so hard but the press of his hips against the mattress always invites rotgut shame to bloom low alongside the heat. So he doesn't stimulate himself, but -


"Poe," he sighs, then pushes him down by his shoulders, because Finn is trying to ask him something and that's difficult to do when Poe is kissing him and every slide of his tongue against Finn's licks the thoughts from his head.

"What?" Poe is straining upward against Finn's grip, trying to get close enough to press their lips together again, his body warm and solid and there underneath Finn's. He can feel Poe's erection against his thigh, and Poe has to feel Finn's against his hip, and he wants so badly, he wants badly enough he's almost ready to ignore the humiliation that unsettles him deep the way that klaxons always do. Finn braces his hands on either side of Poe's shoulders and rolls his weight forward, sliding his thigh slow over Poe's groin. Poe's eyes widen, his lips part, and his voice is hitched and smooth as moonshine when he whispers: "Oh fuck."

"I want to try this," Finn states, then hopes desperately that Poe won't ask him to clarify what 'this' is.

"Yeah," Poe gasps, "Yeah, babe, whatever you want. We can stop whenever you -"

The first brush of the kiss makes him sigh, the pressure that comes with Finn leaning over him and prying him open makes him whine, small, sweet. It's something Finn is still skittering around acknowledging, the black patch in his mind that is comprised mostly of the satisfaction he feels when he grabs a fistful of Poe's hair and yanks, and it yawns open in him wide and hungry at the sound of that whine.

Finn doesn't want to stop, right now.

"I think about this a lot," because Poe really likes it when Finn talks. "About stim - touching you." Poe doesn't like the word 'stimulation', not when it's referring to pleasuring him and especially when it's not referring to Finn touching himself, but Poe likes hearing that, bites his lip and rocks his hips shyly. "At night, you know, after. With your shirt. It still smells like you."

Poe likes the shirt, Poe really likes the shirt, because the breath hitches in his throat and it isn’t just because Finn grinds against him. It doesn't stimulate Finn, much, mere glancing pressure that feels so secondary to the flush of blood under Poe's cheeks, and he rocks back and forth, his thigh catching on the cloth-covered curve of Poe's dick and dragging. Poe closes his eyes, presses one hand to his forehead and drapes his fingers over his eyes, so Finn grabs his wrist, presses it into the mattress. That gnawing satisfaction worms its way deeper when Poe sighs, blissfully, somehow blissfully, and softens under Finn, pliant and hot and kiss-swollen.

"Did you touch yourself? When you were smelling it?" Poe's words are almost soundless, breath weak behind them, and Finn almost wants to lie, wants to see what Poe will do if he thinks that he's lying where Finn was when he came, thinking about Poe - and he did think of Poe, he did, but he hasn't come again, not since that first night.

"No." He soothes the disappointment Poe won't admit to that Finn can't help but see, kissing Poe's collarbone then his neck then his jaw then his lips, pinching the top with his teeth, licking the bottom to work his way inside. Poe arches against him, and Finn shudders as he presses up against Finn's groin. Heat spreads outward like liquid, lightning rush of electricity through his veins and Finn's hips twitch in a violent forward jerk, forcing Poe down into the mattress.

"Sorry," Finn hisses, trying to back up, but then Poe's hands are on his shoulder blades, fingers almost clawing into the muscle.

"Please," Poe breathes, tucking his face into the crook of Finn's neck and wrapping a leg around Finn's hip. His lips catch on Finn's skin as he speaks. "Please, I want it to feel good for you. I can make it good for you."

As he speaks, he rolls his hips, deliberately, unhooks his leg and braces his feet against the mattress and puts force behind the slow, rhythmic movement. The gradual increase of pressure pushes them close then closer, Poe's heartbeat under his and this is the first time, Finn's pretty sure, that his stomach has ever touched another person's completely, ribs to groin. Their solar plexuses shift, scrape against each other as they move, as Poe tips his chin up and angles his lips to meet Finn's.

Finn's dick jerks, he can feel his heartbeat in the base, and sticky liquid seeps out in small thin splatters that leave him hot and damp inside his pants. "Oh." Finn's voice sounds strangled.

"Yeah, sweetheart, yeah," Poe slurs, rocking his hips back and forth at just the right angle, the curve of his dick riding the curve of Finn's. One of Poe's hands has slide down from his shoulder to the small of his back then lower, and the grip of his hand there, on his - on his ass, makes Finn feel exposed and stretched wide and shivering with the sweetsticky heat that spirals out in sluggish curlicues from his groin. "Thought about this, too."


And a low hum starts in the depths of Finn's ears, his body hyperaware and his mind clouded as he moves into and against Poe's body. The feedback loop of hardwired physical sensation is starting again, the one that forces his hips forward in response to a flare of pleasure that causes another pulse of heat that his hips can't help but chase after, once then twice then he's lost count. He can't remember when Poe shoved his thigh between Finn's, but Poe has his knee bent, pushing him hard up against Finn, and one hand is on Finn's ass and the other is on his hip, and Poe is talking, slick words that make Finn shake. "You're so good, Finn, darling, you're gorgeous, I wanted this so much, babe, wanted to make you feel good for so long."

"Yeah," Finn is gasping, and he's not actually sure it's in response to Poe. "Yeah."

"Can I touch you?", and Poe's hand is cupping Finn's groin, squeezing the bulk of his dick, just a little bit, just lightly, and it's a supernova, flaring out from low and deep in his gut till he can taste it on the back of his tongue. "You don't have to, but it'll feel much better than just dry-humping, sweetheart, it'll feel so good. Fuck, you look so fucking hot right now, I love the sounds you make. You don't have to, but I really want to jack you off."

Poe sounds wrecked, Poe sounds like he does after he's been in the stars for a few hours, strung out on the black expansive freedom of space and the adrenalin and the afterimage of wide, swooping arches through nothing.

"I want," Finn says, then he crushes his lips to Poe's, quick and rough because he doesn't quite know what he wants but he's thinking that maybe Poe can give it to him. Maybe Poe can show him.

A choked sound, then Poe's fingers are at the fly of Finn's pants, tugging with motions Finn can feel up his spine as he undoes one button at a time. His fingertips brush against Finn's dick, each time he pushes a button backward through a small hole in the fabric, and soon - soon it's just Finn's underwear, a thin white shield that does nothing to conceal the curve of his erection, the damp spot that marks the head.

Finn's panting open-mouthed, looking down with his forehead touching Poe's and watching as Poe's fingers skate over his groin. A fingertip rubs the damp patch purposefully, seeking, and Finn's gut clenches, muscles spasming deep inside that make his whole body feel tight. Another rush of heat through his dick, and he can feel the liquid seep out, can see it darken the fabric further.

"Finn, babe, you're aching for it, aren't you?" Poe murmurs, and it's that voice, the low, rhythmic, heady voice that puts Finn's thoughts into a tailspin.

"Yeah," Finn says. He doesn't know how to ask Poe to keep talking.

"I've seen how you look at me, I've felt how you move against me. You want me so bad and you don't even know how to know it, do you?" Poe's breathing this into his ear, air trailing its way over sensitized skin, and Finn shivers, his hands hooking into the meat of Poe's shoulders. The shape of Poe's shoulders are an endless source of fascination to Finn, the slope of his arms and the way the muscles ripple under his skin, flexing and relaxing in particular patterns with every movement. "Is that why you avoided me, after I gave you the jacket? For a little bit? Because I made you want?"

"Yeah," Finn gasps, and his voice sounds so different, sounds like it's someone else's coming out of his body. All high and reedy, clipping up into a yip when Poe pulls his underwear down, first over his head then down the shaft then the waistband is tucked neatly behind his balls. It pushes his genitals out, displays them, and something hot twists and unfurls spasmodically inside Finn as he examines his body, the bulbous head peeking out from the foreskin, the curve of the shaft and the vein running along the underside, the chaotic black curls that gather at the base and cover his balls. The skin there is darker than the rest of him, a little bit, shiny from the pre-ejaculate, and it had always disturbed him to look, before, made his stomach clench on sickness but now as Finn looks at his dick Poe moans.

"I wanted this so badly," he confides, and Finn knew that, Poe told him that, there's just something in Poe's voice, the way he's saying it now. As Finn watches, his dick twitches, a tiny thing, and the head drools more of that clear liquid. Before his thoughts solidify into something coherent, curiosity brings Finn's fingers to the tip, brushing against the slit gently and Finn grunts when even that makes his hips buck, the sensation moving down to nestle between his hips and seep into the rest of him. "Does that feel good, baby? Does touching yourself feel good? It fucking looks good, looks like everything I keep thinking about, lying in my bunk with my hands down my pants like a damn teenager."

Each word tiptoes down every vertebrae, crawling down his spine slow and hot and Finn shudders, grips the back of Poe's neck. The hand covered in his own slick he brings to his lips, smelling then tasting then listening to Poe make a sound like he's been struck. "You thought of me?"

"Fuck, yeah, yeah, I thought of you every night, about how you'd feel, how you'd taste," Poe likes giving blowjobs, Finn remembers dizzily, he'd told Finn he likes giving blowjobs after Finn had started asking careful questions about what - what sexual arousal means, practically, and hearing that - "Can I touch you? Fuck, please, can I touch you? I wanna get you off so badly, sweetheart, I wanna hear what you sound like when you come."

His fingers are hovering low on Finn's stomach, brushing the skin under his navel, and Finn can feel the heat of his hands on his dick, can feel how close they are to touching him. "Yeah," Finn rasps, and then Poe's there, palm on his shaft and fingers stroking back the foreskin.

It shatters him, skin on skin and the pressure of the slow drag down, and Finn hears himself, hears a loud 'ah-ah-ah' as his hips piston forward greedily. Then Poe is sliding his fist back up, his wrist twisting through the movement, and Finn's hand is wrapped around his forearm, Finn is panting against Poe's open mouth as he watches Poe's thumb flick over the head, fully exposed in a way it has only ever been to be cleaned. The context is so different, so much more intimate, that the sight of it makes a deep soft part of him fold around the pleasure, a liquid tremble starting under the slit and rushing through the rest of him.

"You get so wet," Poe says, sounding awed, and it turns Finn fragile, the reverent tone of his voice. Finn hasn't done anything at all to deserve it, not really. Not like Poe has. "Fuck, you're fucking weeping for me, for my hand on your cock, right, sweetheart? Godsdamned aching for it."

"Yeah, please, Poe, please," Finn stutters out, and once he say the words it's like a barrier has broken, like he can't force any sound out quick enough, coherent enough. "The first time I ever stimulated myself I thought of you, I could smell you on my sheets still and I said your name and it felt so much better once I said it - and - and - and -" Finn stumbles as Poe's other hand cradles his balls, squeezing gently, tugging gentler, "I thought about how you'd taste, if I sucked you off."

"Fuck, Finn, yeah?" Poe responds, encouraging, and Poe likes it when Finn talks.

"I like how your hands feel," Finn gasps, and then Poe is angling his chin and he's kissing Finn, hard, demanding, teeth and tongue and half-words he bites into Finn's lips as his hand works Finn over, stroking the shaft and brushing gentle over the slit of his dick and the hand at his balls moves lower, presses up against the hot sensitive space behind -

It's not like the first time, where the tension built and built till it broke, a logical progression of sensation. This time, it's blaster fire or the burn of a lightsaber, so sudden and bright and big Finn isn't sure of it counts as just pleasure. He feels almost depersonalized in the waves that follow the initial plunge, the first splatter, the way his abdomen tenses and his hips buck forward, three tight little jerks into Poe's fist.

His mouth is open, his mouth his open and he's moaning, one long sound that wavers as his lungs lose air. Poe is kissing him through it, on the corner of his lips and on his cheek and on the space between his ear and jaw, murmuring things Finn can't puzzle out as he strokes Finn through it. He keeps his hand moving until Finn whines, tugging on his forearm and wriggling backwards, then, he just - holds Finn, flaccid and slick with semen, as Finn crumples, bones going soft and muscles going slack. Finn's face finds the crook of his neck, his arms wind around Poe's shoulders, and he nuzzles at the warm skin he finds, lassitude unfurling through his body. One of Poe's hands curls around the back of his head.

"Can I touch myself?" Poe asks, ragged, after a few moments of silence. "If you don't want me to -"

"I want you to," Finn mumbles, words and response only half-processed. There's a heaviness to his thoughts, a particularly satisfied kind of tiredness he's never felt before, and when the rhymical, wet sounds start it takes him a few moments to gather the energy to lean back and look down.

And there it is, Poe's cock, flushed redder and thicker and just a little shorter than Finn's, foreskin loose and beautiful as it bunches around then pulls back from the head, all purpling and leaking and swollen. His pants are open and shoved down ungracefully, bunched awkwardly and only revealing the shaft, and Finn regrets, sort of, not being able to see Poe's balls. His hair looks different from Finn's - longer, a little less curly.

Poe makes a breath-worn noise that forces itself through clenched teeth, and when he speaks, it sounds reluctant. "Can you - only if you want - can you touch me?"

"Yeah," Finn mumbles, and Poe shakes his head.

"You don’t have to, Finn, just because I -" His voice is all hitched and he's using the same hand to stroke himself as he did Finn, and the reason why it sounds so wet is because it is, because Poe's palm is covered in Finn's semen and he's stroking himself with it. Finn wraps his hand around the shaft, and the weight of it is harder than he thought it would be, the skin of it is softer. As soon as he touches it, Poe freezes, caught on the down stroke with his hand curled around the bottom half as Finn, curiously, drags his fingers over the top. Poe had made a fist and moved it up and down, twisting his wrist, occasionally increasing or decreasing the pressure of his grip, and that's what Finn does, copying his movements cautiously. "Fuck. Fuck, Finn -"

"Is this what you thought about?" Finn asks, and Poe makes a wounded noise, his head tipping back as he comes in hot spurts over Finn's hand. It gets onto the bottom of his shirt, the top of his pants, and for the first time Finn notices the matching smears on Poe's clothes.

Bodily fluids, by rights, are unhygienic and therefore unsavoury, so it doesn't make sense but the thought of Poe covered in Finn, smelling like Finn, makes Finn's stomach clench. It doesn't make sense that the first visceral urge he gets when he sees his fingers coated in Poe's semen is to bring them up to his lips and lick it off, but it is, so Finn does, and Poe shudders. His cock, soft against his stomach, twitches.

"I want to try that next time," Finn mutters, fuzzily. He's never been so tired without the help of symoxin, before, and the lethargy is inescapable as it steals over him, unspooling his spine and forcing him to sway into Poe again, tucking his face back into the crook of Poe's neck. "Give you a blowjob, I mean."

"Stars," Poe whispers, and then he's shuffling his weight down the bed, easing Finn onto his side. It should worry him more than it does, how quickly unconsciousness is creeping up on him, but Poe -

Poe won't let anything happen to him.

"M'gonna -" Finn rasps out, and Poe shushes him, runs a hand over his forehead.

"Yeah, sweetheart, sleep, it's okay, I'll be right here." A warm damp cloth passes over Finn's cock, quick and gentle before he's being tucked away, and he makes another protesting noise, a hand reaching out as he tries, through the grey haze of sleep, to vocalize what he wants. "I'm staying, shh, I'm right here," and then Poe is pressed up along Finn's back, Poe's arm is around Finn's waist and his hand is tangled with Finn's.

"You're going to ruin me," Poe whispers, the words soft on the skin of Finn's neck, and then Finn is asleep.

Finn is asleep until precisely the fourth knock on his door, and he wrenches himself upright and out of bed, scrambling into parade rest with his eyes fixed blindly, respectfully ahead. Then he stops. Remembers.

His shoulders relax out of their hardened stance, and slowly, he focuses his gaze again, glances over to where Poe watches him. Poe looks -

Poe looks fucking devastated, and Finn opens his mouth to - comfort him? To say that it wasn't fear that drove him, just body memory? Finn opens his mouth and says nothing at all before there is another knock on the door. Each one has gotten exponentially louder and more urgent.

"Finn, Poe, by the goodness of the godsdamned light, will you wake up?" Jessika's voice is loud, exasperated, and Finn watches as incongruous anger tightens Poe's features.

"We're up, Pava, what do you want?" Poe snaps back, irritated, and Finn sits down beside him, places a hand on Poe's shoulder cautiously. Poe shakes his head dismissively and grins, a little bit small, a little bit worn at the edges, before turning his head and pressing his cheek into Finn's palm. Finn strokes the skin under Poe's eye, feels how fragile it is, and then there is a swell of something tender manifesting under his ribs, expanding outward and pushing the air from his body in a sigh.

"The girl is back, the scavenger they sent to find Skywalker. I thought Finn should know." Jessika hits the door one last time, not a knock but a reprimand, and Jessika's voice had been hurt.

Poe's shoulders are stiff has he rubs his forehead. "I need to square things with her," he sighs, and Finn barely hears the words.

Rey is back. For a few heartbeats, the immensity of emotion stoppers him, the sudden solid knowledge that Rey is here. Finn sits and feels suspended between Rey's absence and her presence, how stark the differences seem now that he's experienced both.

Rey is back.

"Finn, buddy, you're going to want to change," Poe cuts in quickly, stepping between Finn and the door and Finn shakes his head, a grin growing so quick on his face his cheeks ache in response.

"Rey is back," he breathes, and Poe's expression flickers, just a little, before his smile returns in full force.

"And that's great, it is, but you're kind of covered in jizz, babe."

Finn looks down, sees the stains and remembers what caused them and he freezes, his fingers drifting down to pull the hem of his shirt away from his body and better examine how they've have hardened.

"This isn't late-onset gay panic, is it?" Poe teases, his hands coming up to cradle Finn's jaw, his lips brushing up against the curve of Finn's smile. "Because I don't think now's the best time."

Finn winds his fingers through Poe's hair, savouring the feeling of the strands sliding over his knuckles as he fixes his grip before he kisses Poe, and he'll never get tired of it, the first touch of lips to lips. Poe sways into him, softening and opening wide as Finn tugs on his hair.

"Rey's going to like you," Finn says, because Rey has to like Poe, because who, honestly, could dislike Poe? He turns away and sabotages the careful organization of his drawers, grabbing pants and a shirt at random and tripping over himself in his hurry to get undressed.

Poe laughs, the sound only half-happy as he grabs Finn's waist, steadying him and slapping his fingers away when they catch clumsily on the buttons on his fly. "Honestly," Poe mutters, doing up Finn's fly and smoothing the shirt over Finn's shoulders and shaking his head, violent, when Finn asks him if he's coming, too.

"You two need your moment," he says reassuringly, and Finn pauses, takes a moment to just look.

"I - Rey coming back doesn't mean we're going to stop, does it?" Finn asks, and he's not entirely sure why that's the conclusion he came to but he's not entirely sure that it was unwarranted, not with the way Poe flinches.

"We'll do this as long as you want to, sweetheart."

"I'm going to still want to, now that she's back," Finn insists, and Poe nods, quick, avoiding Finn's eyes until Finn grabs his hand and tugs on it. Poe shudders, squares his shoulder, looks at Finn with the same fear he had on the hangar that day, when Finn overheard his argument with Jessika. "She's going to like you, okay?"

Poe nods, swallows, closes his eyes and when he opens them again they're smooth and still and calm. "Okay."

Finn nods, resolute, and kisses Poe's forehead. "Okay."

And then he's running down the halls, full-tilt running and apparently word around the base has spread because people clear the way for him, patting his shoulder as he passes by.

Word around the base has most definitely spread, because he skitters around the corner and he's so close to the landing bay, so close to Rey, when he hears her.

"What do you mean, private moment? Get off, let go of me, honestly, if you aren't going to tell me where he is I'll just find him by my damn self -"

"Rey!" He's there, in the landing bay, and so is Rey, dressed in long brown robes with a lightsaber at her belt, and she's so beautiful, Finn doesn't think he's seen anything in the galaxy as beautiful as Rey.

"Oh." Rey freezes, drawn up short by the sight of him. Jessika, beside her, glances between the two of them, her expression twisted, before she raises her hands in surrender and walks away, and Finn barely sees her, barely sees anyone else except for Rey. Her buns are messy. There are several strands of hair knotted around her face. "Hello."

"Hello," Finn breathes, and then Rey is smiling, running across the landing bay with her arms spread wide and Finn spreads his arms wider, bracing himself for the moment she slams into him. Her arms are around his shoulders and his are around her waist, and she's so warm, and small, and strong. She smells like the mechanical smell of the inside of a ship and herself.

He feels her pressed up against him, chest to chest, and as he hugs her closer there is something else, a brief intangible brush along the edges of his senses that immediately reels back. Fin is left with the afterimage of apology, a self-chastising impression lingering on his tongue, and Finn shakes his head, squeezes her tighter.

It's stretching a muscle he'd forgotten existed, opening his mind, reaching out and reassuring her that it's fine, that this is fine, and carefully, Rey gathers around the fragile barrier of his mind, testing, cautious.

You don't have to. The words float by, and it isn't his thought but it may as well be. In response, Finn - stretches, and the black-cloaked figure standing behind them startles and glances his way as he does, but that hardly matters because Rey breaches the barrier of himself and rushes in, all her light and energy and strength filling up the hollow parts of him. He can feel her joy, her loneliness, the aching sense of completion that echoes back to him and doubles outward as they twine themselves closer and closer and never move from where they stand, arms wrapped around each other.

"You have someone I need to meet," Rey whispers to him as she explores his thoughts of Poe, shuffling through them with gentle consideration.

"Yeah," Finn replies, and the anxiety doesn't have time to form before Rey soothes it away.

"I like him," she says, and Finn can feel how true that is.