“Are you the singer or the song?”
The first time someone had asked, Finn’s face had bunched up. He squinted and cocked his head to the side. “What?” Resistance lingo was sometimes a bit tricky—not as intuitive as the trooper terms for things—but this didn’t make any sense at all.
“You know, singer or song?”
“Uh, neither?” Finn shrugged and turned to Jess who was staring at him as if he had a second head.
“You don’t know,” she asked.
How am I the strange one here, Finn thought. And then he looked around. Where’s Poe? Poe was one of the few people who didn’t make Finn feel like a complete idiot when these little cultural gaps came up. Finn frowned as he realized the pilot was nowhere to be seen. He settled back in and looked at the food in front of him, refusing to acknowledge Jess’s question.
“You really don’t know,” she asked again quietly.
“Know what,” Iolo said, sitting down.
Bastian said, “I asked him if he’s a singer or a song and he said he isn’t either.”
“Well, then, maybe he isn’t,” said Snap, sitting down on the other side of Finn. “What business is it of yours anyway?” Snap bumped his shoulder into Finn’s and Finn smiled. Thanks, Snap.
“Besides,” Snap continued, “there are far more pressing questions that need answering.”
“Yeah,” asked Bastian.
“Yeah,” said Snap, “like who is that new Republic defector in procurement?”
As Bastian and Iolo filled Snap in on the details, Finn breathed a sigh of relief and mentally added singer/song to the list of things that did not translate. He also made a mental note to track down Poe and ask before there were any more awkward conversations about it.
Of course, as it turned out, Poe was away on a mission and wasn’t set to return to base for another few days.
That evening as he walked back to his room, Finn hoped that it was just a one-time blip and that no one else had any interest in singers or songs.
# # # #
After a few more days, Finn became convinced that that stupid question had to be one of the most important things you could find out about a being because it seemed like suddenly everyone on base wanted to know. Are you the singer or the song? What the fragging kriff?!
It was five months after Starkiller and a full four since he’d gotten out of med bay, and even though he’d settled into life with the Resistance (for the most part), he’d come to expect certain questions to come up: what’s your name again? What’s it like being a Stormtrooper? You and Poe aren’t dating, really? And okay, that last one always caused him to blush, or choke on his food, or suddenly find his shoes really interesting, but at least he was ready for it.
But that didn’t account for all of this singer and song stuff.
Finn frowned as he stalked down the hall.
Is it a greeting or something?
A political party? Sexual orientation?
Is it slang for how you take your caf?
Finn had desperately been trying to figure it out—because with each new asking of the question, he was getting more and more annoyed, especially because he could now guarantee exactly how the interaction was going to go.
Someone would ask the question.
And he would have to say, “Ummmmmm, I don’t know?” Then the other being’s face would go through the usual spectrum of confused, then knowing and finally, pitying.
“Oh,” they’d say. Then, they’d offer some platitude. “Oh, yeah, I forgot you were a…” Finally, they’d hastily change the subject without giving him any more information.
If this is Resistance hazing, it’s really bizarre.
# # # #
While Finn was busy being confused by much of the Resistance base, Poe was spending most of his time sitting in Black One waiting to get out of hyperspace.
That meant that he had time to think.
And these days, that meant he had time to think about Finn.
After Finn had woken up from his coma, Poe made a promise to himself. He was not going to ask Finn if he was the singer or the song. No. Not going to do it. I’m not going to put any pressure on Finn. He’s finding his way here, learning a new culture, and I’m not going to add to things by making him tell me.
Poe congratulated himself on his maturity.
And then he remembered the real reason he wasn’t going to ask Finn the question: because he dreaded the answer. What if Finn is another singer? What if his song belongs to someone else?
When Finn had been unconscious, Poe’s focus was simply on Finn waking up. He already knew he had a crush on Finn—kriff, he’d known that the moment the helmet had come off on the Finalizer—but things like soulmates and singers and songs were secondary to Finn just waking up and being better.
After Finn woke up, though, Poe had to come face to face with his crush, both literally and figuratively—because Finn was suddenly everywhere. As if it wasn’t bad enough that he saw Finn every morning in the gym (so what if I suddenly found a reason to start working out more?) and at least once a day in the mess (Finn needs company, after all) and in command (because we both work there, don’t we?), Finn’s room was two doors down from Poe’s. That meant he also saw Finn in the hall almost every night before he went to bed.
And most nights, as they were saying their goodnights, laughing over the day’s events, Poe desperately wanted to push Finn back into a dark corner of that hall and show him just how desperate his crush had become.
But he didn’t. Because Finn was just starting out on base, and Poe knew that Finn needed time to adjust.
That’s why Poe figured it was better not knowing—he could live in this indefinite space where Finn could simultaneously possibly be his mate and never be his mate. It was better than knowing for sure, he reckoned. Unless… Poe smiled thinking about Finn teaching new recruits about the weaknesses in Stormtrooper armor. Nah, Poe shook his head. If anything, he’s Rey’s mate.
# # # #
“Um, General, do you have a moment?”
“Of course.” She motioned to the chair opposite her desk. “How can I help you, Finn?”
It was still unnerving, how nice everyone was to him—but it was especially unnerving coming from the General. It always felt like a trap.
And his face must’ve betrayed that thought, because the General came around her desk, leaning on the front of it. “I’m not going to bite. What is it?”
He looked down at his feet. “What is all of this singer and song stuff?”
“Oh,” she said quietly. “I should’ve guessed.” She shook her head. “The Order doesn’t talk about it.” It wasn’t a question.
“No,” Finn said.
“So you don’t know anything about soulmates?”
Finn looked up at that. “Soulmates? That’s what this is about? Kriff,” he said. “Oh sorry, General.”
“Don’t worry about it, Finn.” She leaned back. “So you know about soulmates?”
“Well, not officially.”
Leia smiled and slipped into the chair next to his. “Why don’t you tell me what you know unofficially?”
Finn shrugged. “Not much. Just what the other troopers told me.”
Leia waited. Finn—at least when he wasn’t in life-or-death situations—was a very deliberate speaker, choosing his words carefully.
“They said that there is someone out there who is your fit. You develop a connection with that being, and the bond is stronger than any other—stronger than your loyalty to the Order, even, which is why I’m guessing we only talked about it when we were sure that none of the officers could hear us. Some of the troopers said that if you found your mate, you’d both get sent to reconditioning or be executed. Sort of took away the incentive to ask too many questions or to go looking for your mate.”
He looked up. Leia nodded. Kriffing First Order, she thought.
“They never told you how soulmates meet?”
“No,” Finn said. “I’m guessing even if the other troopers knew, they would’ve been too scared to talk about it. It was pretty risky just talking about mates.”
Leia nodded. “Well, they were right about soulmates. Beings who belong together. Sometimes, they form a romantic bond. Sometimes it’s more of a partnership or friendship. Sometimes it’s between family members. Usually it’s only between two beings but sometimes more. My mates were my brother and Han.”
Finn nodded. That made sense.
“And you just know when you meet them?”
“Usually, you feel a connection to them right away, but then there’s also the song.”
“Yeah, a lot of people have been asking me about that,” Finn said, leaning forward.
“Most beings in the galaxy have a song floating around in their heads—a song that they’ve never heard anyone else sing or play before but that is familiar and comforting, just the same. There’s something about it…” Leia drifted off for a moment, hearing her song—the song she shared with Luke and Han—in her head. She smiled. Then, she remembered Finn.
“Anyway, the song is what links mates together, and it’s how you find your mate. Your soulmate is the being who makes your song complete. You see, some beings are born singers—they know the words to the song. Others are born with the melody; they know the music. And when you find the right fit, you create something at once new and yet so familiar that you feel like you’ve known it all of your life.”
“So that’s why everyone keeps asking if I’m the singer or the song.”
She nodded. “They’re trying to figure out if you know the words or the music,” Leia said.
“What are you?”
Leia’s smile softened a bit. “I was a song. So was Luke. Han had the lyrics. As it turned out, you needed both of our melodies to make the whole thing work.” She shook her head. “It doesn’t turn out that way very often. Although I hear that in some cultures, entire clans or families make up the song.”
“And do you just walk up to beings and start humming or reciting lyrics?”
Leia laughed. “Some do. Most don’t.” She shrugged. “That’s where this gets a bit more complicated. Like I said, you just get a feeling about a being and you find you want to share your song with them. Sometimes you know right away. Sometimes it takes weeks, months, years even. One day you’ll hear someone playing a melody and you’ll just know the words that should go with it, or you’ll be humming your tune and someone will just jump in and add words and they’ll just…fit.”
“Sounds nice,” Finn said.
“It is,” Leia said quietly.
Finn leaned back in his chair, processing everything. “How would I know which I am?”
“Which you are?”
“How do I figure out if I’m the singer or the song?”
“Oh.” Leia rested a hand on his shoulder. “Have you ever had a song you hummed to yourself to make yourself feel better, something that calms you down after a hard day? Or maybe there’s a little nonsense rhyme in your head, something that you’ve caught yourself saying when you get anxious.”
Finn shook his head. “I think they trained it out of us.”
Leia squeezed his shoulder. “Give it time. My guess is it will come back.”
They sat there for a few moments. Leia began humming a tune. It was sad and slow and it made Finn think of missed opportunities and lost loves. He felt a tear running down his cheek.
He quickly wiped it away.
After she finished, the silence of the room seemed to be closing in on him. Finn rose. “Thank you, ma’am.”
She nodded. “You’re welcome, Finn. Any time you have questions…”
He nodded. “I appreciate it,” he said.
# # # #
Over the next few hours, Finn became obsessed with music. He tried to think of any songs he knew, any bits of poetry that could be set to a melody, anything musical from his life at all, but nothing came to mind.
What if I can’t do this? What if I don’t have a mate?
The next morning, he had his weekly comm to Rey, so he decided to ask her about it.
Rey burst into a wide smile. “I was wondering when you’d ask. I’m a song,” she said.
“Really? What’s that like?”
Rey shrugged. “I don’t know. I’ve just always had this tune in my head. Sometimes when I’d be sick or when there was a sandstorm outside, I used to hum it.” She smiled. “It sounded nice echoing through the AT-AT.” She closed her eyes and Finn could tell she was singing the melody to herself.
“Can I hear it,” Finn asked.
Rey began humming a sweet little tune. It was light and quick and the more Finn listened, the more he realized it fit Rey. He smiled, tapping his fingers on the panel in front of him as she hummed.
When she finished, he grinned. “That’s nice. It’s…if there was a song that ever encapsulated a being, your song does that for you.”
Rey giggled. “What about you,” Rey asked, “singer or song?”
“Neither? Both?” Finn sighed. “I don’t know. I think if I had a song, the Order made me forget it.”
“I don’t think you can forget it, at least not permanently. You’ll remember it eventually.”
“That’s what the General said.”
“See? Are you going to doubt the great General Leia?”
Finn could hear a snort from behind Rey’s shoulder. He laughed. “Tell Master Skywalker I said hello.”
“Hello, Finn,” came Luke’s voice. He leaned into the frame. “And as much as I doubt the infallibility of my sister, she is right. You’ll remember eventually. You need to stop worrying about it.”
“Well, then, people need to stop asking me about it all the time,” Finn muttered.
Luke smiled and shook his head, wandering away.
Rey leaned in. “They’re attracted to you and want to know if they have a chance.”
Finn blushed. “Um, yeah, that could be…” He looked up at Rey. “So when you were here…”
“Oh yeah, lots of people asked.”
“No one fit?”
Rey shook her head.
“Not even Jess?”
Rey’s eyes went wide. “Finn,” she hissed. She blushed right up over the tops of her ears.
Finn laughed. “Don’t worry. I’m alone in here.”
“Yeah, and I’m sure no one is monitoring our comms,” Rey said, shaking her head.
“So I take it you didn’t get a chance to see if she was a fit?”
“Not yet,” Rey said, regretting making her confession about Jess to Finn a few weeks ago.
“You want me to ask if she’s a singer or a song?”
“Want me to ask Poe?”
It was Finn’s turn to blush. “Why would you ask him? That’s crazy!” Finn’s voice had gotten really high. “Yeah, so how’s training going?”
“You’re not going to change the subject on me now, are you, Finn?”
“No! I was just curious about your training. Have you managed to lift anything bigger than a rock yet?”
Finn breathed an inward sigh of relief as Rey began telling him about the boulder she had lifted with her mind.
# # # #
“Poe, we didn’t realize,” Jess said. “How were we supposed to know that Stormtroopers don’t have soulmates?”
“Yeah,” Bastian said.
“Wait, what?” Poe turned to Snap to fill in the blanks. “They don’t have—”
Snap rolled his eyes and put his hand on Poe’s shoulder. “Don’t panic, Poe. Your boyfriend probably does have a soulmate—”
“And it’s probably you,” Jess muttered.
Poe slapped her shoulder. “Shhhhhh, the adults are talking. Go on, Snap.”
Snap sighed. “Like I was saying, Finn probably does have a soulmate. He just doesn’t know if he’s a singer or a song yet. I figure the First Order wasn’t too keen on soulmates so they probably programmed that out of the Stormtroopers. Loyalty to the Order and all. It’ll just take some time for him to remember is all.”
“So he doesn’t remember?”
“Nope,” Jess said. “He didn’t even know what singers and songs were.”
“Well, did anyone tell him?”
“Calm down, Commander,” Jess said. “He went to see the General. She filled him in.”
“Thank the maker.” Poe sat down, trying to process what he’d just learned. He looked up at Snap. “How weird would that be, not having a…”
“I know,” Snap said.
“I’m gonna go check on him,” Poe said rising.
“That’s a shock,” Bastian said quietly.
“What was that, Bastian?”
“Didn’t think so,” Poe said, leaving the hangar.
# # # #
“Hey!” Poe came jogging up next to Finn. “How’s it going, buddy?”
“Good.” Finn couldn’t help the way his face crept into a huge smile. He felt like an idiot. “When did you get back?”
“Few hours ago. How’d everything go while I was gone?”
Finn inwardly groaned. “They told you.”
“About the stupid singer and song stuff. They told you.”
“Yeah, sorry, buddy. It’s a small base. People gossip.”
“Apparently,” Finn said, grabbing a tray and frowning at the mid-day food selection.
“Look, it’ll blow over. It’s just…we don’t get a lot of brand new people here—”
“We got three Republic defectors and a ship full of ex-smugglers this past week,” Finn said.
“Uh, yeah, well, I mean, we don’t get a lot of ridiculously attractive new people around here, especially not the type who save everyone’s lives during their first mission.”
“You think I’m ridiculously attractive,” Finn asked, casting a sideways glance at the blushing pilot.
Fragging hell, Poe thought. He laughed. “You know you’re attractive, Finn, so don’t even try to start something.”
Finn laughed back. “Fair enough.” He headed for an empty table at the other end of the mess. Poe followed.
“Okay, so everyone’s interested because I’m the new guy. I get that. But why did it take them so long to ask?”
Poe looked down at his food. “Ummmm, that might have been my fault.”
Finn raised an eyebrow.
“I might’ve told everyone to back off when you were first getting used to everything. I didn’t want them to overwhelm you—”
“Poe, we’ve talked about this.”
“Yeah, I know, buddy, it’s just that…”
“I’m not a damn child, Poe!”
“I know that, Finn.” Are we really gonna fight about this? “I just figured that they could save the questions about your love life until you’d been around more than a week.”
Finn opened his mouth and then closed it. “Fine. Fair enough.”
“I didn’t mean anything by it.”
“I said, fair enough.”
Poe’s voice was quiet. “Do you want me to eat somewhere else?”
“Kriff, Poe, no. I’d just like it if you’d stop treating me like I’m gonna break. I promise, I can handle this stuff.”
“So have you figured out what you are yet?”
Finn shook his head. “The best I can figure, they programmed it out of us. Dr. Kalonia seems to think it may take a few more weeks or even a few months for things to start coming back. If they come back at all, that is.”
Poe suddenly had a horrible vision of Finn never knowing his song. “Kriff,” he whispered.
“Poe, it’s not the end of the world.”
“I know, it’s just…” Poe shrugged. His song was such a part of who he was. He couldn’t imagine not having it.
Finn let the conversation die out for a few moments. Then, he asked, “So, what about you—singer or song?”
Poe smiled. “Singer. Definitely singer.”
“So what are your words?”
Poe shook his head. “Not today. Maybe some other time.” When we know about you.
“So is it bad to ask people?”
“No, nothing like that. It’s just, some people are open with their songs; others keep them close. Everyone’s different.”
“So you haven’t paired up yet, then?”
“Oh stars no.”
Thank the maker. “Who is paired up?”
“Well, you know about the General. Hmmmmm, Snap and Karé. That was a strange one. It happened pretty soon after we got here, but they kept it a secret for the longest time.” Poe laughed. “They finally had to tell everyone just so beings would stop trying to match with her. Ummmmm, L’ulo’s mate died about ten years ago. I don’t know.” Poe shrugged. “I think it’s hard when you’re a soldier.”
“So why does everyone care so much?”
“About mates in general or about you,” Poe asked.
“About me,” Finn said. It’s strange.
Because you’re amazing. “Uh, I’m guessing they want to know if there’s a possibility.”
“With the ex-Stormtrooper.”
“With the ridiculously attractive ex-Stormtrooper, or did you forget?”
“Ah, right,” Finn chuckled. “I forgot about that.” He took another bite of whatever it was that was passing for protein. “So do people not…” He made his eyes wide and leaned forward. Please get what I’m trying to say here.
“Do people not…?” What are you trying to say, buddy? “OH! Sex?”
“Yeah,” Finn said quietly.
“No, we still have sex.”
“Even though your soulmate is out there somewhere?”
“Well, it’s not like it’s an orgy every night,” Poe said. “Some people wait. Others sleep around. Most beings fall somewhere in between.”
“What about you?” Kriff, why did I just ask that?
“Uh,” Poe rubbed the back of his neck, refusing to meet Finn’s eyes. “I’m not a virgin, if that’s what you’re asking.”
“I didn’t mean—”
“No, no, no. It’s okay.” Poe bit his lip and then finally said, “I guess I’m a bit of a romantic. I only sleep with people I have real feelings for, which means I don’t have a lot of sex. I figure if I’m gonna sleep with someone who might not be my soulmate, I’d still like there to be some sort of connection, you know?” He quickly shoveled more food into his mouth.
“Good,” Finn said.
“Good?” Poe’s mouth fell open. It was full of vegetables.
Finn blushed. “Yeah, well, I mean, it sounds nice—the whole making a connection thing. We weren’t allowed to have that in the Order. Sex wasn’t personal; it was just something you did to get off. I…,” he looked down at his food, pushing it around with his fork, “I never liked that.”
“Oh,” Poe said, realizing he was going to have to re-think his assumptions about Stormtrooper sex.
“Poe,” came a screeching voice from across the mess. “Poe Dameron, were you or were you not supposed to come and see me when you got back?”
Poe gave Finn a pained look and mouthed sorry before standing and running over to an angry-looking Twi’lek standing on the other side of the hall.
Finn stood and bused his tray, heading back for command. He turned and gave Poe one last look as he left the mess. Why wouldn’t you tell me your song?
# # # #
At first, Finn hadn’t even realized it was happening. He’d be in the fresher or disassembling a blaster and he’d start humming. Or late at night when he was trying to sleep, he’d hear it faintly in his head.
Sometimes when he’d be walking to or from the gym, he’d whistle the same little tune—a strange thing Finn was fairly certain that they’d marched to as Stormtroopers. Except we didn’t march to music, did we? No, we didn’t march to music… And this doesn’t sound like the kind of song you can march to anyway.
No, Finn thought. It couldn’t be! I must’ve heard it somewhere.
It was a full two weeks later before he allowed himself to believe it.
That’s my song.
It was so strange to have this piece of music that he’d never heard before suddenly in his head, and yet it felt so natural, so right. And it wasn’t just a second or two, it was several minutes of a melody that built up and crashed down and went back up again—it’s the kind of music that would make a good love song, he thought. It had these tragic moments, but for some reason, it filled him with hope.
His favorite part was when the melody stopped being so sharp and sad and suddenly swelled into this smooth, soaring moment of what felt like pure joy. He always felt like he was flying when he heard it in his head. And he was dying to share it with someone, anyone.
But he was also terrified.
Because there was really only one someone that he wanted to share it with, and what if he isn’t my mate?
That was the exact question he whispered to Rey during their next comm.
“So you’d rather not know than give it a chance? What if he is?”
“But what if he isn’t, Rey?”
Rey fought hard against rolling her eyes and instead offered him her sternest stare. “Finn, you are going to have to be the brave one. From what little I know of our friend, he is never going to make the first move for fear of hurting you—”
“Or more likely, he isn’t interested,” Finn mumbled.
“I doubt that,” Rey said.
“How would you know?”
At this point, Rey did roll her eyes. “Because I’ve been talking to you every week since you woke up, Finn. Oh Rey, Poe was so wonderful today. He stayed with me during physical therapy and then he went to the mess and got my favorite kind of fruit.”
“That’s not what I sound like.”
A voice from just behind Rey said, “That’s exactly what you sound like.”
“Hello, Master Skywalker.”
“Hello, Finn,” Luke chuckled. “A little advice? Take the risk. Life is too short to waste wondering about these things.”
“Exactly,” Rey said.
“So you want me to get Jess in here so that you two can talk,” Finn asked with a smile.
“That’s completely different! I’ve only seen her once or twice. You’ve spent months with Poe.”
“Ummmmm-hmmmmm,” Finn said.
“Just tell him,” Rey said.
“Okay,” Finn said. “I will.” In a few days.
# # # #
A few days stretched into a few weeks.
And during those weeks, Finn had turned into a complete wreck around Poe. He dropped things. He stammered. He got easily flustered.
It was so bad, Finn had started trying to avoid Poe.
Poe didn’t know what to make of it. Eventually, though, he had to confront the issue. He cornered Finn in the hall one night. “Did I do something wrong?”
“What? No!” Why am I talking so loud?
“Well, then, why are things so…” Poe shrugged.
“It’s just been a stressful few weeks. I’m training to be a Pathfinder. Still learning the ins and outs of the Resistance,” Finn lied.
“So, we’re good?”
“Yeah. So good. We’re great. Awesome, in fact.” Way to oversell it, Finn.
“Okay,” Poe said. He didn’t sound convinced.
No, don’t be sad, Poe. “Wanna watch a holo,” Finn heard himself ask. What the kriff?
“What? Right now?”
“Oh, yeah, you’re right. It’s late, isn’t it? It’s just that I have the day off tomorrow and…” Finn rubbed the top of his head. “Sorry, stupid idea.”
“No,” Poe said. “No, I just…” Don’t sound too desperate. “I just didn’t want to inconvenience you. I have tomorrow morning off too, so yeah. A holo sounds good.” Poe stuffed his hands in his pockets. “Your place or mine?”
“Uh, well, I guess I invited you, so my place?”
“You want something to eat while we watch?”
“Sure,” Poe said, as Finn punched in the code to his room.
“Uh,” Finn walked in and looked around.
Spartan was the word Poe had settled on the first time he saw Finn’s room, and that was still the case.
“Let me guess,” Poe said, “you don’t have anything here, do you?”
Finn shook his head apologetically. “I could go get something…”
“Naw,” Poe said, smiling. “I have an in with the mess hall. Let me run back and go get us something. Drinks too?”
“Sure. Thanks, Poe.”
Poe left and Finn started straightening the room. Not that there was much to straighten, but still… Kriff! It’s all wrong!
He and Poe had hung out before, but since he’d learned his song, Finn had tried to make sure they hadn’t been alone together. He didn’t want his song slipping out accidentally. I am not going to ruin what I have with him.
He moved the pillows off his bed. Then, he put them back on. Then, he moved them to the head of the bed. Then, the foot.
“Fragging hell,” he said, grabbing a pillow and hitting the bed with it. Why am I so kriffing nervous?
Just breathe, he told himself. He closed his eyes, sitting on the bed, clutching the pillow to his stomach. It’s no big deal. Just two friends watching a holo.
Just two friends watching a holo, and one of them is the most beautiful man on base, and I love him, and I’m going to screw this up.
Finn began rocking back and forth on the bed.
After a few minutes, though, the song just sort of burbled up out of him. He started humming, and before he knew it, he was feeling better.
Finn stood and rearranged the pillows before grabbing his datapad to try and figure out where to put it to project the holo. He frowned and fussed, all the while humming his tune.
He was so focused on the datapad and humming his song that he didn’t even hear the door slide open and Poe walk in.
Poe absently started singing, “¿Y si nunca te encuentro? Pero siempre lo hago, y cuando estamos en las estrellas, en la oscuridad, estoy llorando de alegría. Sé que he llegado a casa…”
Finn didn’t know the language, but it didn’t matter. That’s perfect, Finn thought.
He stopped humming and was about to tell Poe as much when he heard something crash behind him. He spun to see Poe standing in the middle of a pile of food and drinks.
“Holy kriffing hell,” Poe whispered, staring at Finn wide eyed.
It took Finn a moment. “Wait. What… Did that just…” Finn took a step forward and stopped.
“You’re the song,” Poe managed. It was both a question and a statement.
“Yeah, I, uh, I meant to tell you, it’s just that…” He was staring at what he was guessing was rum running down Poe’s pants. “Do you want to change clothes or something?”
“What? Do I want to kriffing change clothes?” Poe stepped over the food and drinks on the floor and grabbed Finn’s arm. “Are you serious?”
“I don’t know. That just looks sticky and wet.”
Poe just kept staring at Finn.
Finn blinked and finally met his eye. “What language was that?”
“Yavanese,” Poe said.
“It’s pretty,” Finn said.
“Yeah, I’ve always thought so.”
“What does it mean, the words?”
“Um, well, there’s a lot of it, do you just want to hear the part I just sang or the whole thing or…” Is this fragging happening?
“The whole thing,” Finn whispered. He led Poe to the bed and they both sat down.
“Oh, okay,” Poe said, “the whole thing.” He took a deep breath. “I don’t know how it sounds in Basic. I’ve always heard it in my head in Yavanese, but…” He licked his lips and took another breath before he started, speaking in a sing-song style:
When I hear it, that song, I weep.
And I’m not only weeping for the truth of it,
but I’m weeping for the lost parts of me,
the parts that don’t understand the words,
the parts that are immune
to the message of your melody.
Perhaps I’ve lost you somewhere before,
and so I weep for the past
but I also weep for the future.
I weep in the present moment
because I can see them both.
What if I never find you?
But I always do,
and when we’re up in the stars, in the darkness,
I am weeping for joy.
I know I’ve come home.
At some point, Finn had started humming along, and Poe started really singing.
“In Yavanese,” Finn whispered, and they started the song again. Poe closed his eyes. He knew instinctively which notes to hit as Finn hummed them. It was as if he’d always known.
They sang it two more times.
As they finished, Poe realized he was crying. He wiped his cheeks with the back of his hands.
Finn took one of Poe’s hands and brought it up to his lips, lightly kissing the back of it before settling both of their hands in his lap. He closed his eyes. “I was scared that it wouldn’t be you,” he finally said. “I wanted it to be you.”
Poe let out a breath. “Me too.”
“So now what?”
“I don’t know,” Poe said. “I…” He shook his head. “I’ve been fantasizing about this for months, but now that it’s happened…”
“Are you disappointed?”
“Kriff no, Finn! I just…” He turned and made sure that he was looking directly into Finn’s eyes. “I just don’t want to screw this up.”
“Me either.” Finn smiled. Not the big, blinding, Poe-thought-his-heart-might-stop smile, but the small smile. The crooked smile that didn’t quite reach his whole face. Poe found his fingers tracing Finn’s cheek.
Finn put his hand over Poe’s and leaned forward. “Soulmates,” he said just before he pressed his lips lightly onto Poe’s.
“Soulmates,” Poe repeated, answering Finn’s kiss with one of his own and moving his hands to the back of Finn’s head.
As the two of them continued to kiss and to murmur their endearments and encouragements to each other, the melody was present in both of their minds.
And later, as they drifted off to sleep in each other’s arms, the final line of the song—their song—was the last thought in either of their heads.
I know I’ve come home.