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48 ABY, Coruscant

Finn was sitting at the table of the apartment he shared with his fiancé and their daughter, poring over lists and lists of names of people he knew at varying degrees.

Poe arrived from behind him and put down his steaming mug of caf to rub his hands on Finn’s back fondly.

“Do you really think any of these people will respond to such a last-minute invitation?” he asked, dropping a kiss to Finn’s cheek.

“Probably not. I don’t know what scale we’re doing this.”

Poe sat down beside him and grabbed the datapad Finn was holding.

“Ok, so, first, do we really want all those people we vaguely know from ten years ago while fighting the First Order to be at our wedding?”

He crossed out a whole section of names and looked up at Finn, who shook his head with amusement. Occasionally sipping from his mug, Poe continued to strike out names of people they hadn’t seen in years or with whom neither of them had ever been close. Finn occasionally peered over his shoulder. At the end of Poe’s process, less than a hundred names were left on the list. Finn wordlessly took back the datapad and Poe leaned back in his chair, crossing one leg over the other, taking his mug with both hands.

“There is no point in making a big wedding. We’re both too old and tired for that,” Finn agreed as he looked over the remaining names and struck out a few more.

Poe passed a hand through his greying hair and smiled wide, deepening the delicate lines adorning his face.

“What do you mean? I’m still in top shape,” he teased, “aren’t you?”

Finn shook his head as a grin tugged at his lips.

He crossed out a few more names and put the datapad down, then leaned in towards Poe’s mischievous smile. He pecked the older man’s lips.

“How many people do you want to hear congratulate you on your beautiful wedding before you get to live forever with me?” he whispered.

“Hmm… not a bad point. Now are you gonna kiss me or are you just going to stay this close to make your point come across better?” Poe asked.

“I thought I would kiss you but now the other option sounds pretty good, too.”

Poe closed his eyes and shook his head, smiling even wider, before putting down his mug again and hooking his hands behind Finn’s head.

“You’ve convinced me already. I’m all yours.”

“Are you sure?” Finn asked, a smirk growing on his face.

Poe let out a groan and opened his eyes to look into Finn’s.

Finn chuckled, then pressed his lips lightly to his fiancé’s awaiting ones.

“You ready to be legally stuck with me forever in 5 days?” Poe asked.

Finn kissed him harder.

 

5 days later, Bespin

Shara Dameron walked lightly down the aisle, nervously fanning out flowers from her basket, delicate Growdi Harmonique notes resonating around her. At the end of her walk, she nodded to Lando Calrissian, who was waiting at the altar, and sat down in the first row beside her “Aunt Rey”. The music suddenly picked up and everyone stood up. Poe had appeared at the end of the aisle. He was looking very dapper, according to his daughter at least, and his nervous smile complemented his uncertain steps nicely. He didn’t seem to know how fast he was supposed to walk, given that he had no one on his arm to guide him and no look to hold at the culmination of his small journey.

When he reached the end, all eyes turned back to the end of the aisle, where Finn had just appeared, just as flushed as his fiancé, pulling at his cuffs and biting his lip. When his eyes landed on Poe, though, he instantly calmed down and smiled. He slowly made his way to the altar, where he gave his daughter an enthusiastic thumbs-up, making her giggle. He then focused his attention on the man in front of him.

The man he was about to marry.

Throughout the first part of Lando’s traditional introduction, neither groom heard – or listened, for that matter – much. There was something surreal, something beyond, something unique. They knew it was only a symbol, only a formality, only a step in their very long story, but there was an air of mystique to it, as if the flowers Shara had dispersed earlier had let out more aroma than they should have, coating the air with a romantic smell. There was an air of forever. They’d made that promise numerous times already, but this was telling the world. Daring it to have anything to say about it.

“Poe?”

Lando’s voice brought them back from their temporary trance.

“Oh! Yes.” He turned to Jess Pava, who was holding out to him a datapad. He nervously grabbed it and cleared his throat before looking up to Finn. “I, uh… wow. I never thought we’d get here. Never did it occur to me that this could actually happen. That I could meet the person who is perfect for me, who completes me, someone with whom I feel completely free and safe and at home. We’ve been many places together over these last… years. There were continuous changes but you…”

Poe sniffled as he held back tears, smiling and shaking his head lightly to play it off.

“You have been the constant. My constant. We’ve both been through enough to come to the conclusion that nothing gold can stay and that nothing ever stays the same, but now I know that it’s false. Because the way I love you will never change and I will spend every second I can telling you and showing you how much I love you. Oh, man,” he said, giving up and wiping a tear from his eye.

“Okay. I’m okay. Finn. I love you. I love you so much sometimes I think I won’t be able to hold it all in. I loved you the very first day I met you, when I knew nothing of you except numbers and your rash sense of justice. And – now the more I know of you, the more I love you. I can never tell you enough how much it means to me that you let me in your life, that you give me a glimpse of the most wonderful man in the galaxy every day, that you are in my life. And of course, I will always be thankful that you gave me the most incredible, generous, amazing gift I could ever have asked for… Shara.”

He turned to smile at their daughter, not even bothering to hold back the lone tear that streaked down his cheek. Shara blushed and waved at her fathers.

“So, Finn. The love of my life, the light of my every morning. I vow to always try to show you how I feel and to always be honest with you. You are my partner in life, in fight, and in love. And there is no one I’d rather have by my side at any time.”

He handed the datapad back to Jess, who was dabbing at her eyes. When he looked back at Finn, the man was also holding back tears. He lightly cleared his throat before starting his own prepared speech.

“Uh… Poe. I’ve never really been to one of these. Not one that mattered, anyway. So I don’t know how this is supposed to go. I love you. I think that’s an appropriate starter. Um… You have taught me so much about myself, who I am, who I want to be, and who I want to surround myself with. When we met, I didn’t know who I was or what I lived for. I was lost and you gave me purpose.”

“You found it yourself,” Poe whispered tenderly.

“You gave me a fight,” Finn corrected with a smile meant just for Poe. “And you gave me a name and you trusted me with your life and with the Resistance and you have no idea how much it means to me that you were there. You were my friend, my partner and someone I could always depend on – and after years it never changed. But I discovered that you’re also soft and sweet and present and the best father for Shara. Today I stand in front of you and everyone, ready to promise that this will be forever, because I know my love for you will never waiver and I could not be happier to fully give you my trust and my heart, forever. I love your heart, your courage, your selflessness, your sense of justice, how stubborn you are, your fabulous hair – “

Poe chuckled and Shara covered her mouth with a cupped hand to hide a giggle.

“ – but most of all I love that you care deeply about everything you do, and that you chose to undertake the most daring of missions with me. I hope the rest of our lives offer enough adventure for you.”

He handed the datapad he was holding back to Rey. Lando Calrissian looked at the two men alternately, feeling, like everyone around, that he was not needed in the moment they were sharing.

“Poe Dameron,” Lando said.

“Yes,” Poe replied, taking Finn’s hands in his. I love you, he mouthed, and Finn blushed.

“Do you take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband?”

“I do.”

Jess and Karé cheered, as if they somehow hadn’t been sure but these two words confirmed it. As if they hadn’t known nearly fifteen years ago that these words would escape Poe’s mouth.

“Finn Dameron, do you take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband?”

“I do.”

Finn bit his lip and looked to Lando nervously.

“… You may now kiss the groom,” he concluded, which earned more cheers from Jess and Karé.

Poe carefully grabbed the sides of Finn’s face and brought their lips together. Finn wrapped his arms around Poe’s waist and returned the kiss. Shara spilled over her basket with the remaining flowers and Rey tried to pick them up and throw them over the happy couple. The few dozen guests in attendance clapped as Finn and Poe walked back up the aisle, this time holding hands.

This time holding the promise of forever.

 

2 days later, Coruscant

“You know, up until I received your invitation, I was convinced you were already married. For, like, at least 20 years,” Jannah noted, handing Finn a folded scarf when he held out his hand.

“You’re the third person telling us that,” Finn remarked, looking up as he sat on his suitcase and wiped his brow.

“Must’ve been a vibe you were giving off. Hey, did you know I thought you were dating when I met you?”

“What?”

“Yeah, the whole bickering thing, making each other general, having no regards for your own safety when the other was in danger. You know. Shit people do when they’re in love.”

“What do people do when they’re in love?” Poe asked, walking in the bedroom and drying his hair with a towel.

“Apparently, pretty much everything we did when she met us,” Finn supplied, causing Jannah to nod.

“I was that obvious, huh?” Poe asked with a smirk.

“Yes,” Jannah said, as Finn said, “No.” Jannah shook her head with a hardly repressed smile.

“Thanks for helping us pack,” Poe told her, steering the conversation in another direction.

“Oh, it’s nothing. It’s more fun than hanging out with Rose who is freakishly planning everything for your honeymoon. And I’m not the one who’ll be watching Shara while you’re gone.”

“I hope she’ll be okay without us,” Finn mused, worry clouding his eyes.

Poe put a hand on his husband’s shoulder.

“Hey, don’t worry. She’ll be fine. She’ll be with Rey, and we’ll call her every day.”

“Yeah, but we’ve never been away from her that long. What if she misses us?”

“It’s more likely that you’ll miss her,” Jannah piped in. “She’ll be with her Aunt Rey, having a blast.”

“Okay, what if we miss her?” Finn asked, looking to his husband.

“We’re big boys, we’ll cope. And hey,” Poe lifted Finn’s chin, “I’ll be with you.”

He landed a small kiss on the younger man’s lips.

“Yeah,” Finn nodded with a loved-up smile.

 

***

 

52ABY, Coruscant

“Daddy, how did you meet Papa?”

Poe had trouble swallowing his mouthful of caf as his daughter’s question rang through the air, disrupting his breakfast. Which usually only consisted of one cup of caf and a lazy glance at the news of the day, but still.

“That’s a long story sweetie, I don’t think we have time before I drop you off at school.”

“Okay, but what about the short version?”

“Uh, okay,” Poe started, thinking quick and grabbing his jacket and keys, “Well, he saved me. And then we crashed, and I thought he was dead, but that’s essentially it.”

“You thought he was dead?!” the little girl exclaimed.

“Uh… yeah! But then he wasn’t and he had my jacket and we went off to fight the First Order and he came back in a coma, but that’s the long story and we don’t have time.”

“He came back in a what now?”

Shara was discovering a lot of things very quickly and it felt overwhelming.

“Wait, wait, wait, wait. So then you kissed him back to life?” she asked as clarification.

Poe stopped to look in her eyes.

“Sweetie, it doesn’t work that way. And anyway, no, I only kissed him, like, 2 years later. Come on, now, to Daddy’s ship, or you’ll be late to school.”

Shara followed Poe, eyes wide and the gears in her head working overtime.

“Ok, but –”

“Strap yourself in.”

She did.

“Ok, but, Daddy! How did Papa wake up from his coma?”

“Careful, sweetie, we’re taking off. Well, he just… woke up. A few days later. He was fine. He asked about Aunt Rey and then the ship was bombed so General Organa was out of it and he wanted to find Rey anyway but then Vice Admiral Holdo was the new boss and she didn’t agree with that so I snuck Papa and Aunt Rose out.”

“Who is Vice Admiral Holdo?”

“Amilyn Holdo.”

She’s the one I got my middle name from? The one who didn’t agree with you?”

“She did a lot of things besides disagreeing with me, but essentially, yes. That was what she did during most of the last day of her life.”

“Daddy, you’re confusing me.”

“It’s a confusing story. But you have it now, that’s how me and Papa met. The whole coma thing is accessory, that’s after.”

“Ok. How did Papa rescue you?”

Poe puffed up his cheeks and let some air out.

“I was on a mission and I got captured. You know Papa was a stormtrooper before, right?”

“Yes.”

“Well, that’s the day he stopped. They were gonna kill me but your Papa snuck me out, pretending he was going to lead me to execution, but actually getting me out to the TIE fighters to escape.”

“Why you? Why didn’t he break someone out before?”

Poe scrunched up his face in mock reflection before looking down to his daughter.

“I’m told it’s the hair that sold him.”

 

That evening, Finn and Poe were lying in bed, whispering to make sure Shara wouldn’t wake up.

“Your hair is so soft,” Finn moaned, his face buried in his husband’s hair.

“That’s what I was telling Shara. You defected for the hair.”

“What?” Finn replied, sleepily running his fingers through Poe’s hair.

“She asked how we met.”

“And you told her I left the First Order because of your hair?”

Finn let out a breathy laugh.

“Was I wrong?”

“Well, kinda.”

He leaned on his elbow to look at Poe from above.

“There was also the ass,” Finn added in mock seriousness.

“You told me that already, and I don’t believe it for one second.”

“Fine! Continue believing in my heart of gold and righteous nature.”

“You do have a heart of gold and righteous nature,” Poe whispered, all joking disappeared, as his eyes met Finn’s in the dark.

Finn smiled and plopped back on the bed.

“I love you,” he murmured, stroking the side of Poe’s face.

Poe closed his eyes and lightly pressed his lips to Finn’s.

“I love you too.”

 

***

 

56 ABY, Coruscant

“Stop stroking your beard and come help me with the holo projector,” Finn called out.

“It gives me a sense of wisdom and serious,” Poe replied, coming out of the bathroom, “and I wasn’t stroking it, just… grooming it.”

“Just because you’re old doesn’t mean you have to be wise.”

“Papa, why do you always say Daddy is old?” Shara asked from her vantage point, on the countertop, munching on a pastry.

“Shara, how many of those have you had?” Poe asked, stealing it from her and taking a bite as he walked to his husband.

“Hey! It was only my third.”

“We said only one per day!” Finn exclaimed, looking up from the cables with which he was messing.

“Move,” Poe told him with a pat on the bum as he took his place.

Finn sighed exasperatedly, hobbling to the side, and finally answered his daughter’s question.

“Because he’s bossy, that’s why I say he’s old,” he said, looking down at Poe who was still middling with the cables.

“Hey, you don’t get to be the boss of the Rebel Alliance Hoth playground by being a softie like Papa,” Poe replied, shrugging.

Shara rolled her eyes and jumped down.

“Daddy, move.”

Poe took a step back, giving his husband a puzzled look. Finn just shrugged. After a few seconds, Shara turned to them and the hologram from the projector flickered to life.

“You’re both old,” she said and grabbed her oi-oi puff from Poe before leaving towards her room.

Her fathers looked at each other, stunned.

“Kaydel warned me about the teen years.”

 

An hour later, Shara was in her room (the only response Finn had gotten when he’d told her they’d have colleagues over was a “whatever” devoid of any care) and the Dameron living room was filled with greying past members of the Resistance. Poe was pointing at different spots of the map of the galaxy projected over the coffee table, trying to evaluate the progress they had made over 15 years fighting the mystery resurgence of the First Order. Said progress was rather slim, they had managed to capture only two fighters over the years, one of which visibly knew nothing of the massacre he was participating in. The other had swallowed an unknown pill that had instantly killed him before questioning was even brought up. Whoever was pulling the strings was extremely sneaky and knew what they were doing. The growing awareness of this fact had made Finn and Poe increasingly paranoid and wondering who in their circle they could trust – a circle which, over 15 years, had been much reduced.

“We’ve reached 100 attacks over the galaxy with more or less the same signature. All the planets on which we know something happened have a red dot on them,” Poe explained, pointing at a few.

“We still have no idea about… anything, really. Many planets don’t have the budget to create a local army or militia to protect them, and none of the Republic’s investigations have given much. We’ll be awaiting the results of the latest one anytime now, Sinjir will be back from the Senate with the intel soon,” Finn added.

“Basically, protection isn’t doing enough, so we should be going to the source, cutting down the roots, except we still don’t know what that is,” Rose supplied.

“Basically.”

The room was filled with a pregnant silence as everyone stared at the map, red dots blinking, painful reminders of thousands of casualties. When the door burst open to reveal an ever-ragged Sinjir Rath Velus, the whole room exhaled.

“What are the news?” Kaydel asked the old advisor.

“Whoa, whoa, hold your horses. Nothing before I’ve had a drink.”

Poe shook his head with a muffled laugh.

“You haven’t changed a bit,” he said, guiding Sinjir to the kitchen’s alcohol cabinet.

“Why would I?”

Finn turned to Conder Kyl.

“Your husband is impossible.”

“Oh, I know. And you only get him in small doses,” the blond man replied.

Once Sinjir was properly inebriated, he plugged his information disk to the Damerons’ projector for all to see.

“Ladies and gentlemen and, uh, whatever you are,” Sinjir motioned to Klaud, “… We have a lead!”

“You know a lead means information and something to pursue?” Poe asked.

“… Yes, why?”

“Just making sure.”

“We have a lead!” Finn exclaimed.

“Yeah, yeah, calm your effusions. We have the biggest lead yet but it’s still a crumb.”

Sinjir swiped through the report to get to the part that mattered to them.

“They’ve traced a shipment of armament. Two, actually. The firearm crates used in the attacks on Subterrel and on Agamar can both be traced back to the same manufacturer in the Savareen system. You know, the brandy planet.”

“Several planets have brandy,” Rey cut in, drily.

“Right. Anyway, the Savareen system! On Savareen itself, even.”

“We can dispatch a group to go take a look as soon as possible,” Finn assured.

“Another desert planet?” Rose teased him.

“It’s kind of a beach,” Koo Millham provided.

“What’s that guy’s problem with deserts?” Sinjir asked.

“I don’t have a problem –”

“Finn,” Poe cut in.

“Fine. Whatever. How many are we thinking?”

They decided on three groups of 5 individuals, leaving as soon as possible, in the next few days, hopefully.

“We’ll need armour and protection. Good armament and an escape plan. And a cover-up story. And I’m in the same team as Finn,” Poe declared.

No one dared contradict him, even though having the two Generals in the same group wasn’t a good idea, military speaking.

“So kriffing cheesy,” Sinjir muttered and that was all that was said on the subject.

 

That night, Poe couldn’t sleep.

“Hey, Finn.”

“Why do you act like we’re 14 and at a sleepover?” Finn muttered in his pillow.

“Sorry.”

“What is it?”

“Do you think this’ll work?”

“Do I have a choice? I have to think it’ll work. If not, we’re risking all our lives for nothing.”

“Do you think we should stop?”

“Stop what?”

“All of this. I’m getting old. So are you. We’re parents. We did our share. Didn’t we?”

“I know I’m always saying you’re old, but Poe, you’re 54. You’re not old.”

“Leia was 54 when she died.”

“Is that what it’s about? You living longer than Leia?”

“No. I don’t know, maybe it is. I just want to be there for Shara and when I look back at my life, I want to know I’ve done my job. All parts of my job. I don’t want to get stuck on a dead end and forget to live the rest of my life. You know?”

“I know,” Finn whispered, scooting closer to Poe and resting his head on the older man’s shoulder.

Poe wrapped his arms around Finn’s body, breathing slowly.

“Your beard is cute,” Finn piped up.

“That’s your way to change the conversation?” Poe laughed.

“No! I mean, yes, but I was also realizing it just now and thought I’d share.”

“Shara doesn’t agree. She said it was itchy and looked too serious.”

“Yeah, well, who are you in bed with?”

“Fair point. So, what were you saying about the beard?” Poe added innocently.

“You’re fishing for compliments.”

“I’m asking my husband to finish the thought he had started to express.”

“Mhmm… Right.”

Finn brought a hand up to Poe’s cheek and traced the side of his face slowly.

“It makes you look very… mature. Like a silver fox.”

“A silver fox,” Poe scoffed.

“Are you going to let me finish?”

“Yes, sorry. Carry on.”

“It gives the idea that you were a womanizer in your twenties and can’t settle down even now.”

“How is that a good thing?”

“It’s attractive.”

“I’m not sure it’s a compliment.”

“It’s attractive in an asshole kind of way. Like, wow, that guy looks like he will leave in the morning and never call me again. But I want to try anyway.”

“That’s so twisted.”

“Will you call me in the morning?”

“I’ll be with you all day.”

“Stop using that doubtful voice. Will you call me in the morning?” Finn asked again, a smile tugging at his lips.

“It’s very hard to know right now… The only certainty is that the sun will rise tomorrow.”

“You’re horrible at this. I would never get in bed with you.”

“I haven’t tried ‘this’ in twenty years. I know you’ll get in bed anyways.”

“See, that’s not bad! Cocky. That goes with the sexy beard.”

Poe rolled his eyes and kissed Finn slowly.

“Is the kissing up to your expectations, or is that another false information I’m projecting?”

“It’s above expectations. A+.”

Finn kissed him back and closed his eyes, savoring Poe’s lips and the scratch of salt and pepper against his chin.

 

 “That fancy uniform looks good on you, Daddy,” Shara observed from the doorway on which she was leaning.

The teams were getting ready to go and they had brand new uniforms to protect them from any harm they could encounter in the way, metal plates hugging their whole body. (To the reader – imagine the outfit Oscar Isaac wears in Dune – that’s exactly what they’re all wearing.)

“’Daddy’ is right,” Finn said, in a low voice.

“Finn!” Rey exclaimed, eyes wide open and motioning to Shara.

“What?” he answered with a goofy smile, “That’s my husband.”

“You’ll never tire of saying that, will you?” Rey asked, shaking her head.

“Why would I? That’s my husband.”

“Is everyone ready?” the husband in question asked, looking around the room at the fifteen individuals who represented the hope of finally getting tangible information about the terrorists that had been plaguing their thoughts for over a decade. Everyone nodded, some visibly worried, and some determined.

“Blue leader, is your team ready?” Poe asked.

“Yes,” Rey replied after taking a look at the team she was commanding. Chewie gave a little roar to reassure her.

“Red leaders, is your team ready?”

“Yes,” Kaydel replied as Rose nodded after making eye contact with Jannah, Koo and Suralinda, who had rolled her eyes at the formality.

“All right, well, you know your roles. Let’s give ‘em hell,” Finn concluded, and everyone set off towards the hangars.

 

As the transports were nearing the sandy plains of Savareen, Finn felt his stomach twist. It had been years since he’d attempted something like this. A mission. Risking his life so defiantly. Twenty years ago, this would have been just another day at the office, but today, it felt tangible, it felt heavy and ridiculous.

Whose role am I playing? he wondered, with a nagging fear of having been completely miscast. He looked to his husband, laughing with Jess and Karé a few steps away. He could still see the young pilot, daring, reckless, ready to jump into his X-Wing at any sign of danger and go do what he believed to be right he had been all those years ago. And time had defined his strikingly beautiful features, the laugh lines at his eyes creasing with every happy outburst. The steadily greying hair added an air of wisdom and timeless handsomeness to the already handsome man. Poe had aged so well, bloomed and blossomed with every year, that it was easy to forget his generalship had been born decades earlier. Easy to forget he was father to a teenage girl, that he had settled down, that he didn’t fly competitively anymore, and that he’d stopped partaking in the drinking contests he always won in his twenties. Easy to forget his reflexes had died down, that his fighting skills had worsened, that the missions he undertook had a much lesser chance of being successfully completed. Finn knew all that and in that moment he hated himself for knowing it. His husband was not broken or frail. He wasn’t even old. He had assured Poe of that himself, and it was a fact – 54 years “old” was not old. No matter how young all the prominent figures in their lives had died, that did not make that age old. Just because they’d all been gone by 70, didn’t mean their own time was coming.

“Poe?” Finn asked, a breathless tremor resonating in the space between them.

Poe stood up, worry wrinkling his forehead, and closed the space between Finn and him in a few paces. He took Finn’s hands in his own and brought them to his lips, placing a soft kiss on the worn knuckles, his serious eyes never leaving Finn’s.

“What is it?” he whispered, his beard still tingling the younger man’s fingers.

Finn bit his lip and shook his head, urging tears not to come. He gave a small, sad smile and cupped Poe’s face with both his hands. Poe’s fell lamely to his sides. Finn dropped his lips to Poe’s and closed his eyes.

“What’s wrong?” Poe asked again, cocking his head to the side.

“I don’t know. Everything. What if this is all a setup, a bad joke, a final trap to fall into?’”

“Hey, hey, hey, I don’t want you talking like that. It will be fine. We have a lead. We finally have a lead.”

Poe grasped Finn’s hand on his right cheek and kissed the inside of Finn’s wrist. His voice was soft, gentle. Fragile.

“I love you,” Finn said.

“Shh… you’re saying that like it’s final, like it’s the last time, like this is some kind of final mission. I won’t accept it. I won’t.”

“What if this was written in the stars?”

“Screw the stars,” Poe said, defiance kindling the fire in his determined pupils. “Hey…” he said, suddenly softened, “It’s okay. We have no reason to think this will go wrong. This is routine, sweetheart. It’s… it’s exciting. But it’s routine scouting, it’s nothing much.”

Finn nodded and smiled.

“Routine.”

Poe kissed his cheek and gave his hands a squeeze.

“Master Poe, we are nearing the designated landing zone,” a robotic voice interrupted.

“Coming, Threepio,” Poe replied, casting a last look at Finn. It’ll be fine, he mouthed.

 

And fine it was indeed. By the end of the day, after bribes here and there, a lot of walking (including a twisted ankle for Jess Pava, who had firmly decided the occasion deserved a shower of curse words) and a lot of faked understanding of the local dialects, the teams had managed to acquire names from higher up the pyramid of command, as well as a schedule for more armament to be shipped out. It was a success, at least this once. For the first time in years, the Resistance was back in business, back in action, back in the thick of it all. Neither of the Generals were sure if that was a good or a bad thing.

 

***

 

59 ABY, Coruscant

The last three years had seen the Resistance absolutely flourish. Granted, real information was not easy to come by or by any means frequent, but it was better than the decade that had preceded it, and parts of the dormant military organization had awakened, building up emergency procedures and a communication channel reaching all active members. Thankfully, that now included a steadily increasing number of young members – younger than the average age of 50 years old that was present three years previously, anyway. With the growth of the organisation, to be able to stay informed of the Republic’s decisions, the Senate had ruled that leading members should participate in the legal proceedings, out of fear that the entity would get out of hand, much like the First Order itself had, years previously. Begrudgingly, both Finn and Poe had agreed to become aides to senators – Finn to the senator of Arkanis and Poe, that of Yavin. They routinely had to attend all kinds of functions as well as the Senate reunions. The Resistance itself had also been recognized as an affiliated entity of the Republic, and therefore had its right to appear in front of the Senate and had to report to the Senate when necessary. Poe had tried to keep the organization as independent as he could, like it had been Leia’s original intention, but they had had to give up some of the freedom they used to have to reach an agreement. Rose, Finn and Poe were officially mandated as senatorial representatives and could all freely address the Senate when they wanted – as long as they filed a demand like the rest of the senators.

It had all been a lot of talking, a lot of paperwork, a lot of politics for which Poe simply had no patience, so Finn had taken the helm for most of it. And, at least, it was settled and decided, so they hopefully wouldn’t have to renegotiate anything in the foreseeable future. That knowledge, the calm that had occurred then did not, however, make the senatorial proceedings any less boring. Poe had to fight to stay awake at all during the seemingly endless discussions over meaningless details. Finn didn’t fare much better, but he did manage to pretend to be interested, but his thoughts usually strayed far away from the business deals and political tiptoeing.

That night, when Poe came home, later than Finn because of his senator’s lengthy debriefing after the actual meeting – unnecessary torture, according to Poe, not that he’d dared bring it up so far, although Finn had the underlying suspicion that it wouldn’t be long before he did – he was absolutely exhausted. Finn looked up from his datapad, doing his own debrief, but with a cup of caf and some of the oi-oi puffs his daughter enjoyed so much.

“How did it go?” he asked, wiping crumbs from his chin. Poe only grunted.

“Come on…” Finn insisted, “it can’t have been that bad.”

“You’d be surprised.” He rummaged in the kitchen cupboard. “Hey, where are the – ”

Finn held up the half eaten pastry in his hand. Poe walked briskly up to him and stole a bite.

“That’s mine,” Finn remarked flatly.

“Is it the last one?”

“Yes.”

“Then it’s ours.”

Finn raised an eyebrow but let Poe finish it off.

“Poe.”

“Hm?”

“What’s wrong?”

“Not much. You know, except from hating my job. And my boss. Hey, where’s Shara?”

“She’s still out.”

“With who?”

“Uh… Whatshername, with the blue hair and fins on the sides of her face.”

“Shouldn’t she be back by now? It’s getting late.”

“She’s still got almost an hour before curfew. Plus, she’s 18, Poe.”

“No she’s not.”

“I don’t know what to tell you.”

“Wait, is she really 18? I thought she was 17.”

“We celebrated her birthday last month!”

“Riiiiight. Okay, yeah. This job has officially made me go crazy.”

He buried his face in his hands.

“I’ll just go to sleep, I’m exhausted.”

“Take care of yourself, okay? Don’t go hurting my husband or driving him to madness. Take breaks. Rest.”

“I’m fine.”

Finn pursed his lips but didn’t push it further. Working in the Senate had taken a toll on both of them, but it seemed to Finn that recently, Poe had been faring like… well, like crap. Finn didn’t want to prod too much, but he was starting to get very worried about his husband. It felt like he was slipping away into his own world, away from Finn and Shara and anyone else, really. Finn gulped down the last of his caf and let his cup soak in the sink. He was still drying his hands on his pants when he got to the bedroom, pushing the door open delicately.

“I thought you were already asleep,” he told the figure lying down on his bed, reading.

Poe rolled to the side to face his husband.

“I didn’t want to.”

“Oh? And what did you want to do?”

“Hm…” Poe stroked his beard absentmindedly. “You.”

Finn shook his head to hide his smile as he kneeled down to the bed.

“This isn’t going to solve anything. It’s just a distraction, it’s not real. It won’t help you.”

“Who says I need help? Who says I want help?” Poe asked, a sudden edge to his voice, and he sat up on the mattress.

“Poe, just talk to me! Talk to me! Stop pretending everything is fine! This,” he gestured between them, “is only going to work if we communicate! I can’t do this alone!”

“Oh, please. This has been working for twenty years. You can’t put that in my face like you suddenly know better than me!”

His voice was rising in volume, he had stood up and was gesturing wildly.

“You never cut me out like this in the twenty years this has worked,” Finn all but spat out, also standing up.

“I’m just tired, okay? Just old and tired and stuck in a job I know is in the best interest of the galaxy or whatnot but that I hate. I’d think you could just let me breathe. I don’t want to relive the day over and over again just for communication.”

Poe exhaled the breath he’d been holding far too long and turned away from Finn, his hand passing through his hair.

Finn gave him a few moments before he quietly walked around the bed and wrapped his arm around Poe from behind. The older man quickly relaxed at his touch and Finn felt Poe’s muscles loosen.

“I’m sorry,” Poe murmured, fingers absently playing with Finn’s sleeve.

“I’m sorry too.”

They didn’t need to explain what they were apologizing for. They just knew it wouldn’t happen again. They heard the front door open and their grown daughter’s voice echoing throughout the apartment.

“Daddy, Papa, I’m home!”

“We’re in the bedroom!” Finn called, squeezing Poe tighter a second.

“Ugh, I don’t want to know,” Shara replied, walking to her own room.

Poe dissolved in laughter as Finn let out a strangled sound.

“Shara!” Finn cried after her, but she had already disappeared in her room. “So, how was it with… uh…”

He looked at Poe and mouthed help me out, but he just shook his head.

“Keldra,” Shara eventually provided.

“Right. How was it with Keldra?”

“Good.”

“Really? That’s all I get?”

Shara opened her door and narrowed her eyes at him.

“Papa, you didn’t even remember her name.”

She closed the door again, but she was smiling, so Finn let it go.

“So how did it go?” Poe asked when Finn came back to their room.

“It went well,” he simply replied, and got into bed.

 

***

 

60 ABY, Coruscant

“Another day, another useless argument in the Senate,” Poe grumbled as he got seated for the beginning of his workday. The previous day had been a tiring and over-the-top debate about military funding. All that Poe had remembered was that the whole day had come to nothing and that it would start all over again today. He knew it should matter to him, as the Resistance was one of the most important military organizations affiliated to the Republic, but all of it was too much protocol and grandeur for him to participate fully in the discussions. Besides, Rose was representing their interests in the Senate this time, so she had it under control.

He opened his bag, pulled out his documents and a small note fell out. He leaned down to retrieve it – his back hurt more than he cared to admit as he did so – and unfolded it on his desk. He looked around to make sure no one had seen the goofy smile that had spread across his features.

Poe looked back down to the paper in his hands. Take a breath. Now actually take one, I know you didn’t the first time. You can do this. I love you. – Finn

Poe bit his lip and directed his gaze to the general area of the Arkanis Senator’s pod, searching for his husband’s eyes. For a moment, Finn was completely oblivious, milling about his boss’ documents, and Poe just looked at him. When Finn finally looked up, their eyes meeting, he smiled widely at his husband. Poe smiled even wider and Finn mouthed, through all the distance and the noise between them, what?. Poe shook his head and thought one single thing.

I’m so glad I married you.

 

***

 

65 ABY, Coruscant

“Did you call Shara yet?”

“No, I didn’t have time. Write it down, I’ll call her tonight.”

“Got it,” Finn said as he jotted down for one of them to call their daughter when they came home from the Senate that night. She’d been settled in her new home for three years now, but the baby was giving her trouble. Neither of her fathers had been pregnant, but they still did all they could to share their parental wisdom to their daughter as she got ready for her maternal adventure.

Poe kissed Finn’s cheek as he leaned across him to grab his jacket on the counter.

“Don’t you think you’re too old to be wearing leather jackets?”

“Oh, shut up. Han Solo wore them until he died.”

“He was 66, and you’re getting dangerously close to that. Besides, you’re not as cool as him.”

“Excuse you, I am supremely cool. You’re the one who’s a grandma at 54.”

“A grandma? You take that back.”

“I will not.”

They continued their good natured bickering all the way to their early morning meeting.

 

“So, what’ve you got, Rose?” Poe asked as he walked into the meeting room, followed closely by Finn. They sat down around the table, where a dozen other people were already there.

“How’s Shara doing?” Rey asked as Finn sat down next to her, letting Rose quickly fill Poe in without saying too much before everyone arrived.

“Okay, last I heard. Tired, of course. I was going to call her tonight, I’ll keep you in the loop.”

“Please do.”

The meeting was an emergency one, although no one wanted to make that apparent. After years of small nuggets of information, they were fairly certain they’d managed to track down the main base of the First Order sympathizers they’d been pursuing for over two decades. Rose had filed a demand for a senatorial elocution that very evening (the only possible time on such short notice) and Finn would spend the day getting ready for the speech he’d be giving. They had all agreed to let him do the talking because not only was he much more poised than Poe, he was also the one who had managed to extrapolate locational data from one of the pictures they’d caught circulating. If their recognition mission, the subject of the very early meeting, had gone as hoped, Finn would be announcing a substantial success to the Senate, as well as the beginnings of a plan to act towards finally eradicating the threat.

“I have the intel Jess and Karé sent about the mission,” Rose said as the last expected guests sat down around the meeting room table.

“And?” Poe asked, at the edge of his seat and holding his breath like everyone else.

“They got out safely and they found evidence, that they recorded and photographed, that the group we’ve been chasing does indeed operate from that base in Abafar, underground.”

A loud whoop erupted across the room and congratulations flew. Rose herself was grinning as she took in the room, letting them all celebrate before she continued to present the information gathered by the ground troops.

Really, this was looking like it would be a good, good day for them.

 

“You ready for your speech?” Poe asked as he sat down beside his husband in the Senate cafeteria.

Finn was still typing on his datapad and moving around whole sections of his speech.

“Not yet. I want to give it enough effect, you know? To have it sink in, but also give enough information so that they take us seriously and don’t ask too many questions.”

“I know. You’re gonna do great, don’t worry.”

Poe kissed Finn’s temple lightly and put his hand on the younger man’s arm.

“Thank you. I’ll send this to you when I’m done, if you could look it over.”

“Sure.”

“You okay?” Finn asked, looking up.

“Yeah, just… relieved, I guess. Now that we can stop chasing them around and focus on something else. I feel a bit lost, don’t you?”

“This isn’t over though, is it? We still have a lot to do. But I see what you mean. We can focus on you and me… We could travel the galaxy. We never did get around to doing that,” Finn nodded.

“I can show you every part of the galaxy you never got to see. And also, Shara’s baby. We can be grandfathers in peace now.”

“Hm, I’d like that,” Finn hummed distractedly and kissed the side of Poe’s nose.

“I gotta go, but I’ll see you tonight before your speech.”

“Bye.”

“Bye.”

 

The afternoon had come and gone, and there were only a few minutes left before Finn was to make his grand allocution in front of the Senate. The only problem was that Finn was nowhere to be found and Poe was starting to get nervous.

“Don’t worry, he’ll be there. He’s probably just tweaking his speech around right now. He’s never been late for anything important like this,” Rose tried to tell him.

“He sent me the final version half an hour ago, he’s not tweaking,” Poe replied distractedly, craning his neck to look down the hall.

“He still has five minutes to show up. He’ll turn up.”

But he didn’t.

When Finn was three minutes late to the speech, Poe took his datpad and turned to Rose.

“I’ll start without him. I’ll give his speech. Send him in when he gets here, he can finish it better than I can. He can probably start it better, too, but it doesn’t look like we have much choice for that.”

Poe took a shaky breath and walked into the pod that would take him to the centre of the Senate to give his speech. Or, rather, his husband’s speech.

“Good evening. Thank you for being here with us tonight,” Poe started, his voice booming a little too loud in the immense room. God, he hated the dubitative air so many of these pompous senators had permanently plastered to their rigid features.

“I come to you with information the Resistance gathered in the last week, about the military group this Senate had mandated us to attend to and investigate at the beginning of our association with the very institution,” Poe continued, thinking, so far so good. It was a good thing he was well acquainted with his husband’s habitual turns of phrase; he often knew how Finn would finish his sentences. When he knew what he wanted to say, at least.

He continued on with his speech, building up the entirety of the background leading to the breakthrough they actually wanted to share in the first place. Minutes passed, details passed, and Finn had still not come. Poe tried not to think about it, to focus on his husband’s words and their meaning instead of the man’s whereabouts, but it was no simple feat.

As he was nearing the part about Jess and Karé’s mission, Poe saw from the corner of his eyes one of the Resistance’s senatorial aides rushing to his pod. He apologized to his audience as he paused his speech to listen to the young woman’s sentences whispered urgently near his ear. His jaw trembled and he failed to steady his hands, his datapad crashed to the floor as he let out a shaky breath in a failed attempt to calm his pounding heart and the hysterical breathing pattern it was causing. He did not speak another word to the senators before rushing off.

“Where is he?” he asked when he reached the hallway right outside the Senate room, trying in vain to stay calm as he passed his fingers in his hair, nearly tearing off entire chunks of it because of the intensity of his trembling.

“Where is he?” Poe repeated more forcefully, looking at the three aides around him.

“Where is he,” he whispered, choking back a sob.

“Mr. Dameron,” a stranger arrived with the words provided, “Come with me. It’s about your husband,” the man added as he guided Poe through the labyrinthine hallways of the Senate building.

Poe’s throat was completely dry, his mind blank, and he just followed wordlessly, his pace fast but uneven.

When Poe caught sight of him, it was all he could not to shatter in a million pieces on the floor. That very floor that seemed to have opened beneath him, driving him into an endless pit. Because surely, surely, this couldn’t be happening. He had just forgotten to wake up this morning and this was a dream, a very bad dream, no, an illusion. A hallucination. He was going crazy, mad, absolutely insane. It was age, his ever growing age, messing up his mind and putting these stupid images in his head. It wasn’t happening. Rose wasn’t standing to the side in shock, shaking silently from powerful sobs, and the authorities weren’t there writing on their datapads.

Most importantly, his husband wasn’t lying on the floor, eyes open and glossed over, staring into nothingness as he swam in a pool of his own blood.

“What did you do to him?” Poe asked forcefully at the nearest officer, the tremor of pure agony in his voice betraying him.

“What did you do,” he screamed, tears finally breaking the barriers of his eyes. He fell to his knees like the thick, warm teardrops fell down his cheeks. The knees of his pants were instantly soaked in blood as he grabbed Finn’s hand and the man’s sleeve was soaked in Poe’s tears. Poe’s fingers desperately clutched at Finn’s wrist to find a pulse. Not there. Not there. He was just doing it wrong. This wasn’t where you found a pulse. It was somewhere else. Another point on this wrist.

“Somebody do something!” he called, his voice strangled and unrecognizable, his eyes searching wildly someone else’s gaze. “Just gotta,” he pushed his hands to Finn’s chest, “gotta push,” he pushed, “and he’ll,” he pushed again, “be back up,” and again, “in no time.”

When Finn remained motionless on the floor, eyes unmoving, unfeeling, inexpressive, his wrist dangling oddly from his husband’s grasp, Poe had a good look at him. And he stopped. And he lied down beside his husband, his best friend, his partner. He closed his eyes and looked at the ceiling, suddenly wishing he could see the stars. Point every single one of them to Finn, tell him about all of them, life on the systems around them. Take him to every place in the galaxy in a single evening, to make up for the years they should have gotten to do it. But he didn’t have the evening. He didn’t even have the starry sky. He didn’t have a husband.

He had a corpse next to him, staring into oblivion, getting more rigid by the second, fingers outstretched. Not holding on to anything; not Poe’s fingers, not Shara, not even a stupid oi-oi puff.

“What happened,” Poe croaked after what felt like an eternity. Maybe it had been an eternity. Maybe it had been a million years, but he would never know because the world had stopped when he had lain eyes on his husband’s… body.

“He received a communication. We think it was a few minutes before he… passed,” an officer said in the most calming voice he could muster. Poe still wanted to shake him and shut him up for saying these words that made no sense, had no meaning. But he also wanted him to keep talking. “It was the group your organization was pursuing. They… they claim they did this.” The officer cleared his throat. “They claim credit for your husband’s, um. Murder, sir.”

“What?” Poe breathed out. Everything flashed before his eyes.

Finn shouldn’t have been on this mission at all. He shouldn’t have been in the control room. He shouldn’t have been named General of the Resistance. He shouldn’t have joined the Resistance. He shouldn’t…

“He shouldn’t have met me,” Poe whispered so quietly no one heard him. “This is my fault,” he added, louder.

Everyone turned to look at him.

“What are you talking about?” Rose whispered between ragged sobs.

Poe only shook his head, and sat up to bury his face in his hands, pressing his forehead against his knees. He closed his eyes so tightly he could barely feel them, but a tear slipped out anyway. He didn’t know how long he stayed like this, fighting every single one of the hundreds of tears that streamed down his cheeks, down his hands, down his arms. When authorities came to take Finn’s body, Poe jumped and yelped. His legs hurt, he’d been squeezing his whole body together so hard.

“Don’t take him,” he said, his eyes red and his face streaked with too many tears to count.

“Sir, we have to. This is standard procedure.”

“Just… give me some time with him.”

The woman pursed her lips, but took a step back before leaving the room. Many had left already, but Poe hadn’t noticed. He looked at his husband’s still figure. He hadn’t moved at all since the beginning of this horrible, horrible night. Obviously. Poe went back to his side, their bodies pressed together. He stroked Finn’s hair and kissed his cheek. Then his forehead.

He whispered, “I always knew it would end like this. Maybe it really was written in the stars.”

End like what? Tragedy? Death? What even was this? Was it an ending at all? Poe only knew that this, whatever this was, was the normal course. What Poe had gotten them into. The logical conclusion. Wasn’t it? But Poe wondered if there was anything logical in a man like Finn, a good man, a valiant man, a brave man, a wonderful man, dying so brutally. Dying at all.

When the woman came back for Finn’s body, he let her take it. When others came to bring him back home, he let them. And when he crossed the threshold of his home, he saw a note in his husband’s handwriting reminding them to call their daughter.

“Oh, shit, Shara…” Poe breathed as he collapsed onto the nearest surface. What was he supposed to do now? How did you tell your pregnant daughter that her father had been assassinated by the criminals he’d spent his whole life hunting down? In the end, he had been the one hunted down. Poe was disgusted at himself for that realization, that turn of phrase. Finn was not a deer or a fox or any kind of game hunters could chase around.

If he’d sent a search party for Finn, maybe this wouldn’t have happened. If, if, if. A lot of things could have been better if he’d done things differently. What was the last thing Poe had told him? Had he even told him he loved him in their last conversation? All he really needed right now was to curl up in Finn’s arms, and Finn would tell him it was all going to be okay. But it wasn’t all going to be okay, because Finn was not there, Finn would never be there anymore, and nothing would ever be the same. Nothing would ever be good. Nothing would ever be happy. Nothing would ever make sense.

Poe had always been so certain that Finn would perpetually be his future that he didn’t know how to carry himself now that Finn was resolutely rooted in his past.

Sometime in the middle of all these thoughts, Poe fell asleep. That he knew because he woke up the next morning and he was still wearing the same blood soaked clothes he’d been wearing the previous night when he’d crashed on… yes, that very couch from which he seemed to have fallen during the night.

A new day, he thought. A new day, and already it could only be worse than the one before it. Because the previous day had at least seen a little bit of Finn alive. This one would see none of that. Only sadness, and grief, and loneliness, and resentment, and disappointment, and tears. His tears, his daughter’s tears. The world’s tears.

It took him all the strength in his body to walk to the bathroom, strip from his dirty clothes – now good for the trash – and get in the shower. The hot, boiling water trailed down his face, his limbs, for much longer than reasonable. Poe closed his eyes and there was a point where he wasn’t sure anymore how much of the water came from the showerhead and how much came from his own helplessness. He started scrubbing his face, his arms, his torso, roughly, almost violently, before he stopped all of a sudden. He’d wanted to wash away all traces of blood and death from his body, but now he knew it also meant washing away what remained of Finn, his smell, his touch, his life. As he watched the water trickle down the train, Poe felt his last grasp on his husband slip away. His breath hitched and he had to hold on to the curtain to stay upright. This was real. This was happening. Or rather, it wasn’t. No one would knock on the bathroom door to tell him he was taking too long. No one had prepared breakfast back in the kitchen. No one would sleep next to him in his bed tonight. No one would come to work with him every morning. No one, no one, no one.

Poe tripped over himself as he came out of the shower, absentmindedly drying himself. He had to go see Shara. She also deserved to know. She also deserved to go through his thought process. And he’d be there for her, and her baby, and they’d go through this together, as a family. They had to.

Even if he knew he had to go, Poe still delayed his visit to Shara as much as he could. He took the longest time to get dressed (ditching the leather jacket), and was much more zealous with galactic traffic laws than he’d ever been.

He had a lot of time to think things over as he got to his daughter’s residence, how he’d tell her, what he’d tell her, and what they’d do. But when she opened the door and saw his face, his mind went blank as she said:

“Daddy?”

 

***

 

62 ABY, Naboo

“Daddy, come on!” Shara called from uphill.

“Yeah, yeah,” Poe replied, huffing and puffing, holding on to his picnic basket for dear life.

When he finally reached the top of the hill, the tiny figure of his grandson hobbled towards him, arms outstretched.

“Grandpa!” he called, elated to see his grandfather regardless of his shape.

Poe smiled widely and let go of his basket while crouching to let the toddler come to him.

“You’ve gotten so big!” he exclaimed under his daughter’s watchful eye. The baby giggled and Poe tickled his stomach, carrying his grandson to Shara and the blanket she had carefully splayed across the ground.

“Finn, come here, darling, let Grandpa settle down,” she said with a smile when Poe put the baby back on the ground.

Poe still wasn’t sure if hearing the name his grandson bore was painful or miraculous. Maybe it was both. No experience had to be simple or straightforward, people didn’t have to be what they seemed at first glance. What appeared to be a stormtrooper ready to execute a Rebel pilot was maybe only a scared, brave man. Like it did with every memory of Finn and their past, Poe’s chest constricted painfully. He looked up at his grandson, seeing all that the child was.

Finn might be gone, but his legacy lived in Shara and her son. Little Finn was not his grandfather, he was happier, he was more innocent and carefree. He lived in a world without war, without turmoil, but the way he lived was tainted by the blood that had flowed in the generations that had preceded him.

For once, Poe felt strangely at peace knowing that the Finn blowing on a dandelion before his eyes would never meet the Finn Poe had married all those years ago. In his years as a pilot for the New Republic, Poe had studied a lot the movement of stars, planets, and even galaxies. A lot of it had faded from his brain, but one thing he did remember was that in every planet’s orbit, there was a point where it was closest to its star. That point, that moment, had been given the name perihelion. But like every moment, it was fleeting. After having reached its perihelion, a planet had to keep following its trajectory. And so it had to slowly recede from the perihelion. Poe had spent nearly 30 years in this fatidic point, basked in the light only closeness to his guiding star could provide. Now it was time to back away, move on. Always held back to his star, but slowly moving away.

But in another period of his orbit, he would be at the perihelion again. In another life, perhaps.