Every MUSCLE within him trembles and quivers. His BLOOD vibrates under the PRESSURE, under Poe's struggling against a massive, invisible FORCE prodding against his mind, SLICING through thin membrane, CLAWING—
He SCREAMS, mouth blood-crusted and gaping painfully wide open, and his body THRASHES violently under his restraints before going limp. Hot, moist tears streak quickly down his reddening, grimacing face—
Poe exhales a choking, feeble moan.
He jolts, returning to the conscious world, heaving on his left side. Poe somehow manages to avoid waking Finn. The other man snores intermittently and noisily on the opposite side of the bed.
Rey, however, observes Poe from the semi-darkness, in her guarded curiosity. It's an alertness that Poe can't help but associate with the time-honored, experienced warriors from battlegrounds, ones who cannot shake off their foreboding senses.
She curls her bare legs to herself, lounging deeper into his father's old, wooden rocking chair.
"I get them too," Rey announces, so quietly as if the words were blade-sharp and tangible and could disturb the very air.
Poe shifts himself off the bed with care, glancing over his shoulder and seeing Finn with his eyes still shut and his dark-skinned features relaxed. Rey doesn't meet Poe's gaze, and rather, she stares off into nothingness. Her voice echoes the sentiment.
"When the nightmares feel like… maybe he's still in there …"
"He's not," Poe replies, firmly.
It's a little too insistent, defensive; but at the moment, that doesn't matter to him. He thinks about easing her out of the rocking chair. Like an act of gravity, Poe could pull Rey into the sphere of his arms. He could leave heated, nebulous kisses along her face.
Anything to erase the doubt and fear clustering in her eyes when she gazes up.
"… How would you know that?"
Poe hesitates, because he knows she feels it the same as him. The residual, phantom touches, when it's a memory chasing them, when it sprouts furry, insect legs and crawls inside their skulls. He smiles at Rey, big and toothy.
"I just do," Poe says, mustering as much reassurance he can behind it.
He holds out both of his hands, palms up, and Rey grabs them without a second thought, hopping back onto her feet.
She's a woman with calluses to her hands, from the days and night defending herself and others with her quarterstaff. Poe doesn't think he knew any women without that hardened skin, and without a courageous, fighting heart.
"We're safe here," he explains. "All of us."
It's not a confirmation, because Poe doesn't have one. But, her lips twitch up to faintly mimic him—and, Caraya's soul, Poe knows he gets attached easily, but he thinks he's already fall in love with her.
The headache blaring white-hot right between Poe's eyes… it heightens during noon and then tempers off.
He hasn't been home for so long, and Poe wanted to show his newest friends.
Rey helpfully volunteered the Millennium Falcon for their journey, and as much as Poe wanted those gears and handles in his very own hands to steer, the subject for discretion won out. Vacation-time came rarely as a Commander, and Poe wasn't set on wasting it on the Resistance base. If they needed him, he had BB-8 to relay messages and holo-files.
His little buddy chirps and hums, rolling themselves along the thick, swaying grass on Yavin 4.
It's not much but a tiny ranch surrounded by jungle-lands and snow-capped mountains. He does enjoy hearing Finn's awed, murmuring "whoa" as the ex-stormtrooper runs around and explores the grounds with a laughing, perspiring Rey.
It's a gas giant of a moon, magnificently alive with vegetation and animals.
Poe watches as his two friends clutch onto each other, suddenly caught in a whirlwind of evanescent-glimmering, green butterflies.
The skies above them deepen into ruby hues, dappled with golden clouds, just as Poe recalls from his childhood. But he can smell the crackle of electricity tinging the atmosphere, like a low simmer. "It's going to start raining soon, let's head in," Poe calls out, waving.
BB-8 cruises through the front door, burbling out in agreement.
Finn and Rey join him in the center of the yard, not too far from the edge of the jungle when she points to one of the gigantic trees. It seems no denser or greener than the others, but Poe knows exactly which one she is looking at.
"Why is that one glowing…? What is it?" Rey asks, trying still to calm her winded breathing.
"It's not. Well, not really. It's a Force-sensitive tree."
Finn shakes his head at the other man, disbelieving. "No, she's right. I can kinda see it, too," he says. "It's like a ring of… blue light around it. Glows brighter for a minute and does this pulsing thing…"
His jaw dropping, Poe takes hold of Finn's shoulders, turning completely to face him. "Are you kidding me? You never told me you were Force-sensitive!" he yells, excitedly.
"I am…?" Finn replies, eyebrows furrowing.
He stays bewildered even as Poe hugs him tightly.
"That's wonderful, Finn," Rey exclaims, practically grinning from ear-to-ear. "Wait until I tell Master Luke!"
"But… I'm… not a Jedi or anything like that."
Poe ignores the outright protest, looking him in the eye.
"Neither is General Organa, but she's still Force-sensitive like you and Rey are," he says, arms loosening around Finn's waist, sliding comfortably to his hips. Finn is body-warmth underneath his clothes and leagues of soft skin, and he cannot get enough of being near him. "And who said you can't be a Jedi, buddy?" Poe encourages him, squeezing Finn's hips with teasing grip, "You fought Kylo Ren with Luke Skywalker's saber! How many people can say they could did that?"
"Almost got myself killed while doing it," Finn says, bitterly.
It melts slightly off his expression when Poe moves in close, letting go of his hips and cradling the sides of Finn's head. An overly affectionate kiss between them, more dry than spit-sticky or tacking. Finn's mouth lingers against his, just hovering. He smells sweet just like the meadow-grass under their feet, drenched in sunlight.
"You weren't trained at the time," Poe insists. "Believe me, I'm telling you… it could happen, Finn." After getting a nod from the other man, Poe lets go of him, feeling a rough, playful shoulder-nudge as Finn glances around.
"Rey?" he hollers out.
Poe searches his gaze along the yard, craning his head around. Something plummets deep in his gut.
She's there in the distance, right along the jungle border. The winds pick up, rustling the branches and luscious, full leaves of the Force-sensitive tree as Rey stretches out a hand, planting it upon its smooth, papery bark. It's much too far to see her facial expression, and Poe doesn't know how it's happened, but she's collapsed entirely underneath it.
He and Finn race towards her, over the grass and howling wind, bellowing out her name.
Finn's down on his knees before him, and it's like all of his medic training flies out of his instincts with the panic. His hands uselessly pat her chest and her face, as if needing a reaction.
"Rey, wake up," Finn says hoarsely, pleadingly. "Don't do this. Wake up."
Poe grasps onto his wrist, losing his patience and baring his teeth.
"I know, I know—just," the other man barks out, regaining his wits. Finn sucks in a mouthful of air, touching Rey's throat with gentle intent and concentrating. "I got a pulse, we're good," he says after a long moment. Poe's relief crashes into him, sagging his shoulders, making him lightheaded. "There's nothing wrong with her breathing."
Poe kneels up, reaching out and taking her slim hand into his.
"Rey? Rey, please. Can you hear me?" The oncoming tropic storm is blowing in, only a few miles away. Rey's hand coated and dripping with fresh blood, smudging against Poe's fingertips. It's too-warm fluid. Without thinking, Poe licks his lips.
"We need to get her inside before—"
And just like that, Finn hurriedly scoops her up, Rey's head dangling backwards as Poe supports it.
When he was seven, his parents warned Poe to never wander the jungle alone.
It didn't stop him from considering it then, but everything grew darker and noisier when the lights faded.
BB-8 whimpers out a concerned string of beeps, rolling themselves closer to Rey's bed. Finn paces around the droid.
"She's gonna be fine, BeeBee-Ate," Poe speaks up without the usual amount of conviction, leaning his chin on an opened hand. He drags his fingers over his closing eyelids. "We don't know what happened."
"Was that tree bleeding?"
He understands Finn's terror and agitation.
They washed the… whatever it was off Rey's hand, and without any trouble, but the sight itself had been haunting. The Force-sensitive tree leaked dark-reddish, wet patches on its bark, and Poe doesn't know what is going on, but if Rey could tell them…
A snuffling, groaning noise from the bed. BB-8 trills happily, circling out of the way as both men come to take a seat on the other sides of her.
Finn whispers out for Rey, but not touching her, as she half-opens her eyes, unfocused, sleepy.
"G'morning, Sunbeam," Poe says, cheerfully and softly.
Rey frowns, ever so slowly, and then, she hacks out a meaty, gagging cough. The next one morphs into a vomiting spell, ruining quilts as Poe bodily lifts her towards the floor and Finn cringes, disposing of the mess.
"I remembering coming to tree… and then placing my fingers on it."
Rey accepts the cup of cool water, but doesn't drink anything. They listen to her, deciding on the kitchen to talk. Poe seats himself on the empty, stainless steel stool, right next to Finn and able to stare at his companions. "And before I knew it, I was somewhere else," she adds.
"What did you see exactly?"
"You," Rey says, pointedly. She glances at Poe, and then Finn who narrows his eyes, and he assumes Rey means both of them in this statement. "You were… hurt, and I couldn't do anything." Her hands quake, and her voice does no better, even if it's increasingly getting louder. "D'Qar was gone. On fire…"
Poe shushes her, as kindly as possible, waiting for a very pale-faced Rey to take a stabilizing breath. Just outside in the corridor, BB-8 weaves to their charging station, unable to listen in over the preoccupied chirps.
"Where were you on D'Qar? In the command center?"
She shakes her head immediately. "I was fighting. I—I had a saber…"
"Luke Skywalker's?" Finn asks.
"No," Rey says a bit harshly, as if tussling for the memory. "Green—it was green. And, it was like my staff."
"You had a duel-ended lightsaber?" Poe feels his eyes go big despite himself and he lets out an astonished laugh. "That's amazing!" It's more than that—he's never heard of such a thing from Jedi stories his parents told. That enthusiasm vanishes when Rey's lower lip strains under her teeth, and she looks back at her friends as if wounded. The storm roars and bellows outside the walls, banishing any silence.
"I saw him."
Dread filters into Poe.
Kylo Ren. The source of all of their nightmares, for all three of them.
"He fought stronger. He was different," Rey says, flatly. "And… he was winning."
Finn removes the cup from her hands, getting up. "Rey, I don't know a lot about the Force, but… maybe it was just a dream? Maybe it was trying to trick you into seeing something?" he offers, glancing at Poe with eyebrows raised.
"Master Luke said I could see things," she insists. "The past, or things that may happen…"
"That's right—it's what could happen. It might not happen at all," Finn argues, gesturing and accidentally flinging the cup harder than necessary into the sink. He apologizes under his breath, mopping up the water on the counter.
Poe shifts, rubbing at the back of his neck and lowering his eyes until he hears Rey speak again.
Tears spill down her pinkening cheeks.
"I don't want him in my head again…" Her confession so hushed and frail, combined with her imploring look, that Poe strains not to curse, and he's barely successful from not sending his chair sailing to the kitchen floor.
This time, Poe is there for her first, holding on protectively just as Rey's hands slip around his middle—and, he knows she won't ask for it. She won't because Rey's a woman with callused hands and a callused soul just like him and Finn. She shouldn't have to ask or to beg for comfort, or for what she needs.
"Nothing's going to happen to you," he murmurs, freeing his grip in Rey's hair and clasps onto Finn's arm, staring encouragingly into the other man's smiling eyes. "Either of you, okay?"
"We're not gonna let it, Rey," Finn repeats, bowing down and pressing his lips against her scalp.
In a way, Poe is not ignorant to what the other pilots believe. They fault him for being so attached, to BB-8, to Finn and to Rey.
But, it's not in his nature to be anything less to those he loves.
TFA is not mine. WELCOME TO JEDISTORMPILOT WEEK, EVERYONE! -HEARTS- IT'S THE GREATEST TIME OF YEEEEAR. This fic covers my bingo spot for "past/future" on the Finnyreypoe card provided by Jediprompts and also for "Hurt/Comfort" on the week which was supposed to be Tuesday, but oh well! At least it's going up! :) And also follows a prompt requested on tfa_kink asking for "Gen or Any/Poe - Poe gets attached easily". Any thoughts/comments are so so so so appreciated, and for real, if you are a JSP fan - we're offically besties. I don't make the rules. Reeeeeeeveal yourselves.