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we set the fuse to go, go, go

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Dak had only met Poe Dameron over the phone, so he hadn’t been prepared for how absurdly handsome Dr. Dameron was in person. In fact, Dak felt betrayed that Luke, who was, after all, an emergency care doctor in this very hospital (not to mention the Chief of Surgery’s brother) and therefore in the perfect position to know that the new surgical attending doing Mrs. Castillo’s knee replacement looked like that, hadn’t warned him.

But as it was, Dak walked into Mrs. Castillo’s room for his quick post-op check-in with no forewarning and just barely managed to keep his jaw from dropping. He was pretty sure Mrs. Castillo, loopy and tired as she still was, noticed anyway.

“Ah, you must be Dr. Ralter!” Poe Dameron, who could definitely have been an artists’ model if he had any inclination, said with a grin. “Good to finally meet you.”

“Uh,” Dak said, as if he were an inarticulate teenager instead of a fully-fledged family doctor about to hit the wrong side of forty.

Mrs. Castillo narrowed her eyes. Dak felt a shiver of fear that she might call Garven Dreis, Dak’s old boss, with whom she was, to Dak’s continuing regret, gossip-and-dominoes buddies, and tell him that his clinical protege still didn’t know how to carry on a conversation. It was enough to snap Dak out of his attraction-induced frozenness.

“Yeah, it’s nice to finally meet you, too, Dr. Dameron,” Dak managed. “Looks like everything went well, huh?”

He pivoted his attention back to Mrs. Castillo, picking up her chart and flipping through quickly. “How are you feeling?” he asked.

For a short while, everything was normal and professional. In the back of his mind, Dak made a note to complain to Luke about his utter abdication of his husbandly duty to update Dak about new handsome people who would undoubtedly feature in the Alliance Medical Center gossip circuit.

“Mrs. Castillo here handled everything like a pro,” Poe said as they wrapped. He actually winked at Mrs. Castillo and somehow came across utterly charming. If Dak did that he’d just look like he had something in his eye.

“He’s a flatterer,” Mrs. Castillo warned from her bed.

“I can see that,” Dak agreed.

Poe clapped a hand to his chest, mock-offended, but still kept chatting as he and Dak exited the room and walked down the hallway.

“You lived here long?” Poe asked, hands in the pockets of his white coat. “You and Mrs. Castillo seem to go back.”

“I did my internship and residency here at the hospital and then I went to the clinic,” Dak responded. “So. Yeah. It’s been . . . a while.”

He looked around, not that the view of the parking lot out the hallway window was all that appealing, feeling a tinge of nostalgia. Dak had been just barely twenty-six when he’d shown up here. He’d fallen in love here, become maybe unhealthily bonded for life with his intern cohort here, slowly and painstakingly learned what it took to be a doctor.

“Fond memories?” Poe asked, an easy smile on his face.

“It’s a good place to live,” Dak agreed.

Poe looked down at his watch and then said, “You seem like someone who knows his restaurants. Have any recommendations?”

Dak considered himself something of a connoisseur of take out menus and was pleased to share his years of research. Dameron nodded along, occasionally asking about wine menus or dessert recommendations.

When Dak waxed poetic about his and Luke’s favorite Italian place, Poe said, “I’m sold! That’s dinner tonight.” Then, unexpectedly, he added, “That is, if you’d be interested in joining me. I hear the tiramisu is to die for.”

Dak stopped in the middle of the hallway. It wasn’t that people never flirted with him anymore, but after a decade plus of marriage and a social life that mostly involved people who had been at his wedding, whatever flirting Dak got in tended to be with either his husband or very old ladies who were laughing at him.

“Um,” he said, attempting to recalibrate. He had been—in fact, still was—heading in the direction of Luke’s office, planning to coax him out on time for once. Not to the to-die-for Italian place admittedly, but for take-out dumplings and cuddling on the couch, because sometimes that was nicer than a whole fancy night out.

But, Dak realized quickly, Poe presented an even better alternative. During the weeks Poe and he had been speaking about Mrs. Castillo’s surgery, Dak had more than once off-handedly thought that Luke would like Poe, would appreciate his combination of daring and care. Now Dak had the chance to introduce them for real. Plus, Luke experiencing Poe in person would lend important credence to any future complaints about Poe’s distracting forearms.

“Sure,” Dak said aloud. “If you don’t mind my husband coming along.” He gestured down the hall. “He’d sulk for days if I went to Basil without at least checking if he wanted to come, too.”

Dak saw the split second realization occur, in the slightest widening of Dameron’s eyes. To his credit, Dameron only nodded affably and said, “Yeah, of course. Wouldn’t want to deprive anyone of a good meal.”

So that was how Dak found himself coming into Luke’s office, closing the door, and announcing, “It turns out Dr. Dameron is incredibly attractive. Also he kind of asked me out?"

Luke blinked owlishly from behind his computer monitors. “What,” he said.

"C'mon, keep up, babe," Dak said. "We’re going on a date with that hot new surgeon. Get your stuff.”

"Could you try that explanation again?" Luke said slowly. "With more words? And possibly context?"

So Dak ran back through his story, taking special care to point out how, really, this was all because of Luke and his failure to warn Dak about Poe Dameron—“I haven’t even met him,” Luke protested, as though that were an excuse—and concluded, “So anyway, we’re going to Basil, come on.”

“Why exactly am I supposed to be pleased that some handsome young surgeon is flirting with you?” Luke asked, as Dak helped him into his jacket.

It was a token protest at most. Luke was fully capable of digging in his heels when he really didn’t want to do something. But Dak’s account of Dameron’s competence and bedside manner (along with the strong hints that he had a sweet tooth to rival Luke’s) seemed to have left Luke at least amenable to dinner, albeit vaguely suspicious.

“Because,” Dak replied, smoothing down the lines of Luke’s jacket, “we’ve been in love for almost twenty years and I happen to know what you like. And I think you’ll like him.” He kissed Luke softly, lingering longer than he probably should have, knowing someone was waiting for them, and then reached for Luke’s hand.

“Okay,” Luke said, smiling and blinking slowly, wearing one of Dak’s favorite post-kissing expressions. It practically demanded Dak kiss him again. So he did.

When they met Poe out in the main lobby, Dak snuck a look at Luke just in time to spot the way his eyes widened for a split second, before he schooled his expression. Even though it was possibly a little weird under the circumstances, Dak felt a little glow of pride in his chest at so exactly predicting how his husband would respond to Poe Dameron’s face.

“Dr. Skywalker,” Poe said, reaching out to shake Luke’s hand. “Good to meet you. I’ve heard so much about you. I can’t believe I didn’t realize that Dak is the brother-in-law Leia’s mentioned.”

Luke nodded for a beat too long and Dak could swear Poe’s eyes tracked up and down Luke’s body in a pleased once over. Dak felt a strange, unfamiliar thrill down his spine.

At dinner, Dak found himself surprised into laughter by Poe more than once, and he caught Luke ducking his head and grinning, the way he did when he had a crush. That little tic had been Dak’s first sign that maybe his chief resident turned work buddy turned probably the love of Dak’s life might be equally as interested in adding kissing and sex and vows to their friendship as Dak was.

“So?” Dak crooned into Luke’s ear, later, when they got home, just ever so slightly buzzed from the wine and the company. “Was I right?”

Luke shrugged, overly diffident. “You were right,” he said, slipping out of his unbuttoned shirt. “I did like him.”

Dak grinned and marked his victory by also slipping Luke out of his pants.

As accurate as Dak’s prediction that Luke would like Poe had been, throughout the following weeks of shared dinners and months of Poe coming over and hanging out on their couch, Dak failed to foresee where this would all lead.

But waking up to Poe naked in their bed, Luke’s familiar graying blond hair peeking out from behind Poe’s wild curls, was victory in its own way.