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2016-11-05 05:47 am (UTC)
~bedside angst~, a stormpilot classic
D’Qar had been a solid base of operations for the Resistance - the longest Poe had been stationed at any single base since he resigned his New Republic commission [TK ??], in fact. But if there was one thing the Starkiller’s second attack had proven, it was that D’Qar was no longer secure. Whether the First Order knew the Resistance was on D’Qar, or just that they were somewhere in the [tk] system, didn’t matter. The Resistance couldn’t afford to stay at an openly known location, even with the First Order’s biggest weapon taken out.
They had to move.
For Poe, this had meant a week of solo recon missions immediately after the Starkiller memorial, investigating two dozen systems between himself and his team. There were some close calls - the First Order must be doing the same thing themselves, and there was always the risk of running into one of the smaller Imperial factions when flying in the Outer Rim - but Poe didn’t worry. His team was made up of all the best pilots he knew.
Well. The best ones still alive, anyway.
After they’d brought back information on a half-dozen promising planets and moons, though, there was nothing for Poe to do but wait until higher ranked officers chose where they would be going next.
Poe didn’t deal well with having nothing to do, so he found work for himself. Assisting with the repairs on the ships that had barely survived their encounter with the First Order, drafting messages for the families of those pilots who hadn’t made it, helping to pack up nonessential systems in advance of the move. Cleaning sand out of BB-8’s joins, when people started giving him That Look.
The “you’re overdoing it, Dameron” look. The “we’re worried about you, Poe” look.
He’d ignored that look in the past, and ended up in a frankly humiliating meeting with General Organa and Dr. Kalonia [tk sp?] about the difference between dereliction of duty and working yourself half to death.
Poe didn’t need to be reminded about how important he was to the Resistance - though, don’t get him wrong, it was nice to hear once in awhile - so after even BB-8 started making concerned chirps in his direction, he found himself a duty that required no strenuous activity at all: visiting Finn’s bedside.
He’d avoided it - of course he’d avoided it, he avoided visiting anyone in the medward [tk is there a sw term for this] if he could help it; Dr. Kalonia[tk] always got this look in her eye when she saw him, distinct from That Look he got from other people but just as concerning. Anyway, he’d told himself that Finn didn’t need anyone but the doctors checking in on him while he was still in a medically induced coma. And then, when he had healed enough that the risk of Finn causing himself permanent damage just by being awake had dropped, when they stopped medically inducing the coma… well, he’d had important things to do, hadn’t he? Finn would have understood.
If he’d woken up.
But he hadn’t. So here Poe was, sitting at a coma patient’s bedside, wishing he hadn’t come and wishing he’d come sooner.
“Stupid,” he muttered to himself. “As if me being here would’ve made any difference.” BB-8, who’d also been disappointed that Poe hadn’t visited Finn earlier, rolled into Poe’s chair once, twice, three times, nudging it closer to the bed with each movement. Poe nudged the little droid back with one hand. “Hey, hey, what’s with this? You’re gonna dent your [tk chassis? DROID TERMS AUGH] and then how are you gonna roll anywhere, huh?” BB-8 chimed a similar warning regarding Poe’s feet. Poe stood up, moved his chair to be flush against the side of Finn’s bed, then sat down again. “Satisfied?”
BB-8 rolled in a half-circle around Poe, whirred reluctant approval, and came to a halt at Poe’s feet, effectively blocking him in.
“What do you want from me, buddy?” Poe was here, wasn’t he? For all the good it would do, he was here. He shot a glance at Finn. He was so still, so unlike the man he’d briefly come to know, full of life and energy, fearful but enthusiastic, and almost stupidly brave.
Well, he’d ended up here, hadn’t he? No “almost” about it.
Someone walking through this section of the [medbay time term TK] slowed their pace, then stopped a few feet from where Poe was sitting. He looked up, grateful for a distraction, and nearly tripped over BB-8 getting to his feet.
“Sir!” [tk “General!” ? idkkk]
“No need to stand up on my account, Commander,” General Organa said wryly. She glanced between Poe and Finn, and then at BB-8. “I’ll admit, I’m surprised to see you here, Poe.”
No need to ask why. She knew, she’d been there too. “Yeah, well,” he nudged BB-8 with his foot. “This one wouldn’t take no for an answer.” BB-8 just chirped smugly and nudged him back.
The general smiled. “You’ve got a very loyal droid there, Poe.”
“Loyal to who, though,” Poe muttered, grinning when BB-8 made a long string of insulted beeps and whirs at the implication that it could ever be anything less than completely loyal to him. Just because other people happened to also be worthy of BB-8’s affections…! The general laughed quietly under her breath, cutting herself off when the sound started to change.
Poe stared. “General…”
“I’m fine, Poe,” she said. Then, looking at him sideways, she added, “Or, at least, I’m doing as well as you are.”
Poe huffed a sigh, and sat down. “That obvious, am I?”
“No,” the general said thoughtfully, “no, I think this time it would only be obvious to someone like me, or my brother.” She set a hand on Poe’s shoulder. “I know you didn’t go into full detail during your debrief about what happened on the Finalizer…” Her hand shook for a moment, then squeezed just a little tighter. “What my son did to you.”
Poe had to look away from those too-knowing eyes, and found himself staring at Finn. That was worse, so he turned to look at BB-8. BB-8 made an inquiring sound. Really, the wall had probably been Poe’s best option from the beginning. “Nothing to say.”
“I don’t have to be Force-sensitive to know that’s not true,” the general said bluntly, “but I am, which means I have a better idea than most what did happen. An invasion of the mind like this can bring up old, painful memories. Things we’d rather forget.” Letting go of his shoulder, she pressed fingertips gently against Poe’s temples. Poe closed his eyes and did his best not to lean into the motion. “There’s only so much I can do to help, Poe, and I’m sorry for that, and for many other things.”
“I know,” he muttered. Shaking his head, he broke free of her hold and got to his feet, stepping over BB-8 when it looked like it might prevent him leaving. “And I appreciate the gesture, but believe me, it isn’t necessary.”
“I disagree.” Crossing the room, General Organa took his face more firmly in her hands. “I won’t make it an order unless I have to,” she said quietly, meeting his eyes. “Talk to someone, someone who knows what they’re doing, or let me in.”
Poe gave in with a sigh. “I hate this,” he said, leaning down to give her easier access. “All due respect to you and your brother, General, but the Force scares the hell out of me.”
“Believe me, I know,” she said. Bringing her thumbs up to stroke across his temples, she added, “I was interrogated by Vader himself, a long, long time ago.” Her gaze grew distant, focused on something else. Somewhere else. “He had a more delicate touch than his grandson. A better temper, too. Some of this… it’s just petty.”
Poe frowned; her tone sounded more optimistic than upset. “And that gives you hope?”
“Pettiness is cruel, but it’s not evil.” Poe snorted; a few choice words came to mind when he thought of Kylo Ren, and “not evil” didn’t quite make the list. The general showed no signs of having heard him. She was busy, soothing memories Kylo Ren had made raw and aching, tucking them back into the corners of his mind where they belonged. After a few minutes, she released him. “Better?”
Poe let his thoughts drift, mouth twitching up into a small smile when the first memory that came to mind was flying in an old A-wing, and not… something else. “Thank you, General.”
He moved to leave, but something in his voice hadn’t convinced her, and she grabbed his wrist. “Poe,” she said, giving up on subtlety altogether, “he’s not your mother. Finn is going to get better.”
Poe shut his eyes, grateful there was no one but General Organa there to see the pain blossoming on his face, as sudden as a punch. “I know. I know that.”
“A week ago I wouldn’t have been so sure, but a week ago we didn’t know if the new nerve endings would take, and they have. Two weeks ago we didn’t know if he would keep breathing on his own long enough for us to get him here - but he did. In defiance of every statistic [dr kalonia’s first name?] rattled off to me that first day, he’s survived. The worst part is over. There’s nothing left now but the waiting.”
Poe swallowed thickly. “Take it from someone who knows, General.” Glancing briefly at Finn, he gently twisted out of her grip and left, saying, “The waiting is the worst part.”
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