Author's note: Okay, so this is my first Star Wars fic. Post TLJ, so SPOILERS. I've shipped Poe and Rey since TFA, but TLJ finally pushed me to actually write something. If you don't like Poe and Rey, don't read. That simple. I ain't here for shipper nonsense. Like I said, first Star Wars fic, so be gentle. I only have a loose knowledge of the Poe comic, so if there are discrepancies, I hope I am forgiven. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: They're not mine.
She was tired. When was the last time she slept? Outside Master Luke's little stone hut? That felt like another lifetime. Rey sighed quietly, even now trying to make herself as unobtrusive as possible. But it was difficult to hide with so many people on board the Falcon. The remnants of Resistance. Leia. Finn. Rey was so grateful her friend was safe; she couldn't imagine losing him too.
"You're no one. Nobody cares about you."
Rey shook her head in disgust; that wasn't true. Finn cared about her. The look on his face when she saw him was one she wouldn't soon forget. If there was anyone in the galaxy who truly cared about her it was Finn.
And Leia. Leia cared. Rey had no idea how to comfort someone who'd lost so much, but Leia seemed to be more worried about her. It was comforting in an odd way. Leia could blame Rey for so many things, but Leia just wanted to make sure she was alright. Almost maternal. Once again, the two women were bound by grief and so quickly. Rey could feel it in the Force, the sense of loss Leia experienced. But there was something else there. Hope. After everything, Leia was hopeful.
So why did Rey feel so hopeless?
She'd failed. She'd failed in her self-appointed mission. Just who did she think she was? She was just a nobody from Jakku; she couldn't save someone who clearly didn't want to be saved. Han tried. Luke tried. If Ben wasn't going to come back for his family, what hope did she have?
No more. The Resistance needed her. It hung by a thread, but no one on board this ship was giving up. She didn't plan on giving up either. She just needed to rest.
Rey moved toward the cockpit; if there was any place she could be alone it was there. Chewbacca growled softly as she came in; Rey offered him a small smile. "Hey Chewie."
Anything wrong? he asked in Wookie.
"Just tired. I'll be alright. You should go rest though."
He started to protest, but Rey laid a hand on his shoulder. "I miss him too. I was so angry, but I understand now. Master Luke's watching over us. I know it." She could feel it, hovering on the edge of her consciousness. She didn't know how, but she would see Luke Skywalker again.
Chewbecca patted her hand then rose from the pilot's seat. They were still in hyperspace; there wasn't much to do until they reached the Outer Rim. Rey just hoped the could find a safe place to rebuild. She busied herself by scanning the Falcon's databanks, hoping to find somewhere for them to land or even refuel. It was calming, working on the old ship. It was familiar. If there was one thing Rey knew it was ships.
Poe left the small med bay, his shoulders slumping the moment he was out of sight. Finn was fine; exhausted but otherwise okay. He refused to leave Rose, who was still unconscious. Rose was stable for the moment, but she would need more advanced medical facilities than they had at hand. Poe just prayed she held on, for Finn's sake. It was clear Rose had become very important to Finn in a very short amount of time. He was happy for his friend.
The Millennium Falcon. Poe hadn't been on board since he was a very small child on Yavin 4. He could remember distinctly his parents introducing him to the heroes of the Rebellion; he was fascinated by the stories. That's why he'd become a pilot. Flying was in his blood, but more importantly, he wanted to be apart of something.
Now that something was on its last legs it was mostly his fault.
How could he have been so stupid? All those lives lost, all because of his impatience. It was a bitter pill to swallow. No one talked about that in the stories. He'd lost comrades – friends – before, but never anything like this. Now he was just grateful to be alive. If it hadn't been for Rey, they would all be dead, and the Resistance snuffed out.
He'd led a mutiny. Poe didn't deserve to even be on this ship.
Poe looked away, embarrassed. "Sorry, General. I didn't mean to intrude." He was so lost in his thoughts that he never saw Leia sitting at the old chess table.
The General patted the seat beside her. "You're not intruding."
Poe still felt uncomfortable. He didn't know how Leia could even look at him after what he'd done. "I should go…" He gestured inarticulately, not having the faintest idea where to go or what to do.
Leia clearly wasn't there for his pity party, so he sat. She laid a hand on his arm, her face concerned. There was a sadness in her eyes that Poe didn't dare ask about; there were whispers that her brother was gone. Just another casualty. How much could one woman be expected to lose?
"This is not your fault."
Poe shook his head. "If I hadn't…"
"Hadn't what? You did the best you could with the information you had."
"You said it yourself, General. I got people killed. I put Finn and Rose at risk. If Finn had died…"
"But he didn't. He's right here. We're all here. You led us when everyone else lost hope. Including me," she added quietly. "You made mistakes. You'll learn from them."
"I had help. If she hadn't found us…"
Leia smiled softly. "Our young Rey does have a talent for showing up in the nick of time. Like some pilots I know."
She had a far away look in her eye; Poe suspected she was thinking of Han. Leia never spoke of him, but Poe could tell. He thought of the ring that hung from his neck, his mother's. Would he ever know that kind of love? It seemed foolish to think about when they'd had such a close call, but seeing the way Leia missed Han, he couldn't help but wonder.
First, they needed to survive.
"I'm gonna go see how everyone's doing," he mumbled, moving to rise. "I'll come back."
Leia nodded as he left; Poe's heart broke for her. General Leia Organa was the strongest person he knew; if she'd lost hope, even for a moment, where did that leave them?
He stopped to speak to several people, checking on wounds, seeing to the Falcon's limited stores. They had just enough to get to the Outer Rim; what happened when they got there was anybody's guess. He'd worry about that later. No one looked at him with disgust. Everyone he met was tired, a little beaten down, but when they saw him, they looked hopeful. He felt like a fraud. He wasn't a hero. That title belonged to the woman who'd rescued them.
Rey. She wasn't what he expected. He'd only caught a fleeting glimpse of her before she left on her quest to find Luke Skywalker, but he hadn't thought much more about her. Finn clearly cared about her. A lot. And Finn was his friend. What was important to Finn became important to Poe. So when Finn placed that beacon in his hand, he protected it with his life. Rey was an abstract to Poe, just a girl.
Until he saw her there, hand outstretched, dozens of heavy boulders floating in midair.
She was powerful, that much was clear. He remembered his mother telling him about the Force, but he'd never seen anyone use it the way Rey did. He'd heard stories about Luke, but they were just stories. It was another thing entirely to see what he'd seen. It was extraordinary. When he finally got a moment to breathe, Poe had introduced himself to her, just thankful to be alive. She seemed…embarrassed? Shy? In spite of everything, he thought she was cute, the way she smiled as they shook hands.
Where was she now?
Poe had been over half the ship by now; there was no sign of their rescuer. Then he remembered: she was a pilot. Finn told him all about how Rey had flown the Falcon during their escape from Jakku. Poe had remembered being a little jealous; when he was a child, he imagined himself in the pilot's seat of the famous ship, besting Imperial fighters. Now Han Solo was gone, and the Millennium Falcon belonged to someone else.
Following a hunch, Poe headed for the cockpit. He was surprised to see BB-8 in the corridor; it was almost like the little droid was guarding something. He perked up when he saw Poe. "Hey buddy," Poe said softly, kneeling to pat his friend. "Something wrong?"
The little beeps and chirps told him what he needed to know. Rey was inside. BB-8 had taken a shine to young Jedi; Poe had noticed that earlier. BB-8 didn't like that many people (or droids, for that matter) but he liked Rey. Poe thought that was a good sign. "Think she'd mind some company?" BB-8 chirped knowingly. "Not like that," he scolded. "Honestly. I just want to make sure she's okay."
It was more than that. He needed a friend. He hoped she did too.
BB-8 rolled to give him a path. Not wanting to startle the woman armed with a lightsaber, Poe thought it best to announce himself. Her soft voice came over the intercom. "Who is it?"
"It's Poe. Poe Dameron."
The door remained solidly closed for a long moment; he was about to walk away when it opened. Rey stood on the other side, the shy look back in her brown eyes. "I still know who you are, Poe Dameron."
He found the corners of his mouth twitching, almost against his will. "Sorry. I just didn't want to startle you."
"Did you need something?"
"Uh…no. I, uh, wanted to see if you needed anything."
Her little smile was back, almost like she was surprised that anyone would bother. "I'm okay. Just tired, really."
"No offense, ma'am, but after seeing what I saw I'm having trouble being okay."
Her nose wrinkled. "No one's ever called me 'ma'am' before."
"Sorry." He couldn't help it; there was just something about her that commanded his respect.
"No, it's okay. But I'm really just Rey."
He smiled. "Alright then, just Rey." He nodded, feeling awkward. "I'll go now."
Rey hesitated, then called him back. "You can stay. If you like." She was tired of being alone. Poe was nice. She liked him the moment he introduced himself earlier. He was Finn's friend. She didn't know what else to say, so she moved back into the pilot's seat. The cockpit door hissed to a close behind her; her new companion settled in the copilot's seat.
Rey's brow knitted, confused. "So…what?"
Poe cringed. Real smooth, Dameron. "Sorry. I just…look, I feel like I should thank you for what you did. For saving us. I thought we were all dead."
Rey was definitely blushing now; she'd never had anyone like Poe Dameron thank her. It was odd. "I wasn't sure if I could," she replied honestly. "I'd never done anything quite like that."
It was Poe's turn to be confused. "Never?"
Rey shook her head. "I had no idea about any of this until few days ago. I mean, I knew the Resistance existed and everything but all this? Total shock. I still don't know how I feel about it, if I'm honest." She snapped her mouth shut, wondering why she was even telling him this. The last time she tried to connect with someone it just blew up in her face.
Poe leaned forward in his seat, concern all over his face. Rey felt something inside her flip flop; he was handsome. She'd noticed earlier, of course, but now they were alone. Those brown eyes were soft, much softer than she expected. He'd only just met her. But something told her she could trust him. "Hey, your secret's safe with me," he said gently. "What's said in the cockpit stays in the cockpit and all that."
She found herself smiling again. "That's right. You're a pilot too."
"I am, but I will admit to being very curious how a girl…sorry, woman…from Jakku of all places learned to fly."
Rey shrugged. "I don't know. I just…tinker, really. I scavenged all over the place, old ships. I had to learn quickly. What everything was, how it worked."
"Finn says you're good."
Rey blushed. "Finn says a lot of things."
Poe laughed. "He does like to talk. Not as much as me, mind you, but you can't shut him up when he cares about something. And he really cares about you."
"I'm glad he's alright. I missed him."
"You were the first thing he asked about when he woke up. Wanted to know where Rey was. He was not happy when I told him you went after Luke."
"You're his friend too, aren't you?"
Poe looked away, toward the streaming stars. "I like to think so. He might wind up hating me if Rose doesn't make it."
Poe couldn't look at her. "I convinced him to go on that mission. I put him in danger. Him and Rose. Some friend."
Rey reached across and laid a hand on his arm, just like Leia had done. She looked surprised, a little hesitant, but her eyes were clear. "This is bigger than us," she said quietly. "It's big and it's scary and we'll just have to accept that we'll make mistakes. That doesn't make you a terrible person, Poe Dameron."
Poe swallowed, then finally brought himself to look at her. Really look. He didn't understand the Force or anything like that, but he thought he sensed a kindred spirit. Whatever happened on her quest, it had shaken her. But she was still fighting. If she could, then so could he. "Thanks."
They were quiet for a long moment, just looking at each other. Rey looked away first, a pretty flush on her cheeks. She settled back in the pilot's seat, tending to some flashing switches.
"No. We're just going to need supplies when we get to wherever we're going."
"No one's told you either, huh?"
"The Outer Rim's supposed to be a rough place," she said offhandedly. "Not that I've ever been."
"I've never been either. But it has to be better than where we just were, right?"
She nodded. "Yeah."
"Would you mind a copilot until then?"
She smiled at him, a real happy smile. It lit up her whole face. She was really pretty. "I'd love one."