Poe goes into the refresher and accidentally catches his reflection in the mirror. He has bite marks all over his neck and chest. Fucking Hux, he thinks. He rubs his hands over his face. He needs to start dating. Actual dating, not whatever this thing with Hux was. No, someone nice, someone he can settle down with, someone who wants that.
Poe stops seeking him out. They still see each other and talk occasionally. It’s not easy talking to him because his default mode of interacting with Hux is flirting and he doesn’t want to give him the wrong idea. Not that Hux seems to care, though. He acts as if nothing’s changed, or actually, as if nothing had happened between them, to begin with.
It drives him a little crazy. Makes him paranoid that this thing they had was all his doing. Maybe to Hux it wasn’t a big deal, maybe he can take it or leave it, maybe he has other options. It’s not completely out of the question, Poe supposes. Maybe someone else wants to know how the usually tightly wound former General Hux looks all fucked out, wants to know they did that, wants to see what it takes to make him lose his composure, wants to be wrecked by him and be put methodically back together.
Being the highest-ranking person on base means he can’t date anyone on base. There are maybe some loopholes, but he honestly feels gross thinking about it like that.
When one of the galactic government representatives asks him if they can have dinner to discuss the situation in Cloenia, he says yes. It skirts the line of unprofessional, maybe, but it’s just dinner and it doesn’t have to be anything more than that.
Ideon is attractive, definitely. He is tall, broad-shouldered, has an easy smile and the orange light of the restaurant casts his features under a warm glow. At no point does anyone say fuck off or shut the fuck up. It’s nice. Pleasant, even. Poe claims to have important business back at the base and goes home alone.
“What is it,” Hux says when he opens the door. He had clearly been asleep. His hair is mussed, falling on his face; he is wearing loose pants and a soft-looking grey shirt that Poe has taken off his body countless times. He looks warm, inviting. “Well?” When Poe doesn’t say anything, he opens the door all the way and lets him in.
Hux frowns. “You look—” He looks away and says, “did you just come from a date?”
It’s what you suggested I do, Poe doesn’t say. “It was a business dinner,” he lies, though Hux sees right through it.
He looks at Poe intently for four, five whole seconds before turning around. “Was it?”
“No, that would’ve made it more interesting, actually.” Hux would’ve made it more interesting, but he has never been on a date with Hux. It’s the kind of thing Hux is ‘not interested in,’ Poe reminds himself.
Hux exhales more than laughs, expressing what Poe assumes is amusement in one long breath. It reminds Poe how pleased he used to get every time he made Hux laugh. It made him stupid.
“I was thinking,” Poe starts and pauses, not sure how to continue; stares at the beige wall instead. Hux has been living here for a year, maybe more, and his room is as devoid of personality as the day he arrived. We should get back together, is how he wants to finish the sentence. Hux would probably go for it if he said we should start fucking again. Feelings-free like you said you wanted. He refuses to just give up after one boring date, though. “Do you—?”
“Come here,” Hux cuts him off, reaching for him.
Hux fucks him on his hands and knees on the bed, the rough sheets under his knees not letting him forget where he is. Not that he’d want to. Hux stands behind him and the angle really does wonders for Poe. He closes his mouth and teeth on Poe’s shoulder when he comes, leaving a very obvious mark.
Poe puts his clothes back on afterward and when he turns around, Hux is staring at him, idly tracing a pattern on the bed. He quickly turns to stare at the ceiling as if caught, but it’s not like Poe minds being ogled. “I’m gonna go now,” Poe says, almost a question.
“Goodbye, then.” Hux is flushed and sweaty, lying sideways on the bed. Poe makes himself look away.
“Right. Yeah, okay,” Poe says and leaves.
Poe figures he just has to keep trying. Obviously he’s looking for more than an attractive date. He wants someone he has to keep up with. How hard can it be?
Ianara is certainly hard to keep up with. She’s smart and funny and a little mean. Maybe mean in the wrong way. They meet for a holofilm and she stares at the screen enraptured the whole time and shushes Poe when he comments on a scene. Even as he’s making plans to meet up again, he knows it’s not going to happen.
Hux sucks him off right against the door that night, carefully cradling his hips and maintaining eye contact all the way through like he knows Poe likes. He feels bad for thinking this was the ideal outcome of his date.
His third date is going pretty well. They agreed to go for lunch because a dinner date seemed to have more romantic connotations than Poe wanted to deal with. The restaurant is crowded, the layout almost labyrinthine, and the air is a little stifling, but he actually likes the guy. Nothing too exciting, but Gil is really really hot. He has nice blue eyes and a vaguely imperial accent. Poe is thinking maybe when he says, “the New Republic are all hypocrites.”
It’s not an unfamiliar argument. It’s one he’s had with Hux many times. They usually meet halfway. Yes, the New Republic forgot and failed many of its citizens, but the First Order’s methods caused more harm than good and they were no better, only claimed they were with nothing to back it up.
Poe spends what can’t be more than five minutes but feels like hours in horrified silence as the guy spouts propaganda straight out of one of Hux’s speeches. Poe decides to interrupt him. “…right.”
“The New Republic claims to be accepting of everyone, but they’re actually intolerant of anyone with different beliefs or methods. They want to create a society that doesn’t allow dissent,” he says with a familiar manic gleam in his eyes.
“Their methods, such as genocide?”
“Sometimes, a strong statement—”
“Okay, buddy. That’s enough from you,” Poe says, standing up to leave.
If he wanted to hear First Order propaganda he would– well, it’d be unfair to say ‘he’d still be fucking Hux,’ because Hux can recognize the lies the First Order told, the ones he repeated and preached to the masses. Poe is proud of him because coming to terms with your entire belief system being nothing more than simple propaganda can’t be easy and he knows it hasn’t. He actually can’t wait to tell Hux about this guy. He bets Hux is going to get a kick out of it.
Hux, predictably, laughs at him. He goes as far as briefly throwing his head back, resting it against the wall by his bed. It’s so rare to see Hux genuinely laugh that Poe is more than okay with it, even if the laughter comes at his expense.
“I just don’t know why he thought it was a good idea to tell me that. He knew who I was.”
“Maybe he heard you enjoy fucking former First Order officers,” Hux says, but the joke doesn’t quite land and an awkward silence settles in the room. Hux clears his throat, touches the space on the mattress between them. “You are going to keep tabs on him, though? To see who he might be talking to, who they might be trying to recruit, who’s financing them.”
“Yeah. Maybe I shouldn’t have left. Might be easier to find out who his contacts are if I were seeing him.” He’s mostly thinking out loud.
“Wow, Dameron, you’re willing to prostitute yourself for your cause. That’s admirable.”
Poe smiles. “Are you jealous we didn’t try that approach with you? You would’ve been too smart to fall for it.” Poe figures it’s okay to flirt with Hux again. He doesn’t have to worry about giving Hux the wrong impression; he already did that by begging him to get his dick inside him just a few weeks ago.
Hux stares at his lips, swallows, and changes the topic. “What did you say his name was?”
Hux thinks for a second, before saying, “no, I’ve never heard of him.”
“Tall, blond, blue eyes, gigantic hands,” says Poe. He kept broadly gesticulating, Poe remembers now. It was pretty annoying.
“Oh yes, I remember him now. Maybe you really shouldn’t have left. He’s great in bed,” Hux says, looking completely serious.
“I— what?” Poe says, feeling lightheaded for a second. He needs to have a proper lunch.
Hux holds his gaze for a moment before saying, “I’m joking. He might be good in bed but I wouldn’t know. You might be missing out.”
“I might be missing out on good sex?” he says and lets Hux settle on top of him.
Finn and Rey come to visit. They’ve been hard at work on their Force training school for a few months now, so he hasn’t seen them in person in what feels like ages. They’re walking close together and Poe is positive he saw them holding hands when they were exiting the Falcon.
They tell Poe all about how they’re making their school a safe place where their apprentices can explore their abilities as an extension of who they are, no pressure to become legendary Jedi masters, and without being separated from their families.
“You should come to visit,” says Rey, while Finn nods along.
Poe laughs awkwardly. “Oh, I don’t know how I’d feel surrounded by so many Force users.”
“They’re just kids,” Rey says at the same time Finn says, “they’d love you.”
Sensing his discomfort, Finn asks, “how are things around here?”
“Both hectic and tedious,” Poe says. “I miss flying that isn’t just about rushing from point A to point B.”
“That could be remedied this very afternoon if you’re up for it?” says Rey.
Poe misses flying and he misses being around people he knows won’t suddenly say or propose something monstrous and try to pass it off as completely rational. He misses them specifically.
“Yeah, sounds good. You wanna come along?” he asks Finn.
“No, thank you. I know the kind of maneuvers you guys are going to pull,” he says looking vaguely nauseous. He’s got a point.
“Hey,” Rey asks, suddenly hesitant. “How’s Beebee?”
Poe groans. “He’s been insufferable all day. He likes you more than he likes me now. He was waiting for you guys by the hangar. Didn’t you see him?”
“I didn’t. I’m going to—” she says urgently, squeezing Finn’s arm.
“Yeah, yeah. Go.” They smile at each other for a second too long before Rey leaves. When she’s halfway through the long grey corridor, she turns around and smiles at Finn again, who hasn’t taken his eyes off her.
Oh, to be young and in love, Poe thinks.
They’re having lunch in Poe’s office when Finn says, “so, Rey and I. We— well, we—”
Poe smiles and says, “I know, buddy. I could tell. I’m happy for you. You deserve it, both of you.”
“It’s good, but— it’s weird,” Finn says, leaning forward like he’s telling a secret. “Most of the time I don’t know what we’re supposed to be doing. Neither of us knows.”
Poe nods, wondering if Finn’s going to start telling him about their sex life. Poe can give them some pointers. He would rather not, but they’re his friends.
“We figure, if it works for us and we’re happy, then all whatever we don’t know isn’t as important, right? If they are, we can learn them together. We don’t have to do things the way other people do.”
“Yeah, bud. What’s important is that you guys work well together and make each other happy. That you ultimately want the same things.”
“Exactly,” Finn says, looking relieved. As if he expected Poe to tell him there’s only one correct way of falling in love. “We spent so much time thinking about what we’d do if we couldn’t make it work, what would happen to the school. But we can’t worry about things ending before they even have a chance to happen. And we’re committed to our students, we’d never let them down.”
Finn is unlike anyone Poe has ever met or will ever meet. Poe is lucky to have him in his life. Or at least he feels that way until Finn says, “you know, Rey and I want the same thing for you. You deserve to be happy, man.”
This is why Poe secretly hates people who are in love. They think everyone else should be in love as well. “Finn, buddy, I’m happy.”
He does not look convinced, so Poe tries something else. “Yeah, of course. And y’know, there’s no rush.”
“No rush?” Finn says, frowning at Poe.
Is Finn calling him old? Before Poe can reply, Beebee rolls into the room, Rey trailing behind him.
“Did you guys eat without me?” she says, grabbing Finn’s Oi-Oi puff and eating it in one bite.
Yes, this is exactly what Poe wants. A nice, normal relationship.
After careful consideration, Poe decided to approach the topic when Hux tended to be most agreeable: after a couple of orgasms left him too fucked out to object to even the clingiest of cuddling. “I was thinking that after you’re no longer on probation we could go somewhere together. Celebrate.”
“Like where? Though I suppose most places would be an improvement on this place.”
“I want to take you to Yavin 4.” As soon as the words left his mouth, Poe felt Hux’s whole body go rigid. So much for taking advantage of the afterglow.
“Can’t we go somewhere else?” he said, frowning at the ceiling.
“Well, maybe in addition to?”
“I don’t want to go to Yavin 4 at all,” Hux said, carefully enunciating each word. “I don’t want to go to some dead-end place to look at nature.”
Poe sat on the bed so he could properly glare at him. “You are so charming in your ignorance. It’s by far your most attractive quality.”
“You’re the one who wants to go. I don’t see why I should be dragged there.”
“Dragged? Hux—” He took a deep breath. “You know that’s where I’m from, right?”
“Then surely you know it better and understand why it would hold no appeal for me,” Hux said, not even making an attempt at not sounding like an asshole. “You’re always talking about how much you hated that place.”
“Yeah, when I was a teenager. Look, I want you to meet my dad.” Well, sort of. What he didn’t want was to keep actively concealing Hux’s presence in his life and that meant having to suffer through whatever disaster that meeting might end up being.
“No, thanks,” Hux said immediately. He sat on the bed and hugged his knees, widening the distance between them even in the small bed.
Poe scoffed. “Are you serious? You are so—”
“Yes? You know exactly how I am.”
“I know that.” Poe clenched his jaw and looked away. Hux made it easy for him to forget sometimes and then there were times like this. “You won’t even consider it?”
Hux turned to look at him with the kind of intensity that almost made Poe recoil from him, but ultimately only drew him in further. “No, I’m not interested and I doubt Rebel hero Kes Dameron would be interested either.”
Poe tried again and reached out to touch his wrist. He did, after all, know how Hux was. “It’s not going to go the way you think. He’ll like you.”
Hux frowned, first at Poe’s hand on his wrist and then at Poe. “Why?”
“Because I’ll tell him you make me happy and once we’re there, he’ll get to see it for himself.” Poe paused for a second, almost talked himself out of it, before saying, “because he’ll know that I—”
“Don’t,” Hux said hurriedly. Something almost close to panic crossing his gaze. “I don’t want to hear it. And if you say it you shouldn’t expect me to say it back because I— I don’t.” He shrugged and moved his hand out of Poe’s grasp. “Some of us are better at not deluding ourselves, I guess.”
“What is that supposed to mean?”
“What do you think this is? You went and found the most objectionable person for you to fuck, just so you could feel good about yourself and not have to deal with your own fuck ups.”
“That’s not what—”
“Does it make you feel like a good, forgiving person to tell yourself you can look past who I— what I’ve done? Is the thought so comforting to you that you choose to double down on it with feelings and—?” Hux swallowed visibly and looked away, staring fixedly at the wall.
When the silence became too unbearable, Poe said, “is that how you see the past few months? I genuinely care about you.”
“As I said, I’m not interested. If that is what you’re after then you’re wasting your time with me. Worse, you’re wasting my time with this heartfelt—” He cut himself off and calmly staring at Poe said, “go play house with someone else, Dameron.”
I love you an obviously unwise amount, Poe thought. “Fine, I will.”
He stood up and went into the refresher, the locked door not putting enough distance between him and his stupidity.
He doubles down on the dating after Finn and Rey’s visit. It leaves him exhausted and moody but he figures he just has to keep trying. Anyone who reminds him of Hux is a hard ‘no’. It’ll just be distracting and inevitably disappointing when they can’t compare to the real deal. So that’s a no on: Jissard with the red hair, Tillo with the relatives on Arkanis, and Amara with the perfect posture. It’s surprisingly difficult. He’s not even counting all the vaguely deranged First Order apologists who inexplicably seek him out.
He enters the restaurant and almost walks back out. It’s fancy, sure, but it’s the overwhelmingly romantic atmosphere that puts him off. Even the light fixtures on the ceiling are shaped like the Anpheal culture’s symbol for union. Each table is its own intimate booth, with shimmering, almost see-through curtains around it. He could blow Hux under the table here and maybe no one would notice.
He has dinner with Sion, who is maybe ten years older than Poe. He’s charming and has perfect teeth and a really contagious smile. Things get weird about halfway through.
“So, you live with General Armitage Hux of the First Order, is that right?”
“Do I—? What?”
“I mean, on the same settlement. Base, I guess you’d call it,” he says slowly and self-importantly.
“Uh, he’s no longer a general, since the First Order is no more,” Poe reminds him with a fake smile. “But yes, he lives in the settlement.“
“That must be weird. Is he a prisoner there?”
Poe pauses, but this information is public record anyway. Sion most likely already knows the answer. His reason for asking is what’s interesting here. “He’s on probation.”
“For how long? On the holonews they mentioned something about a program, community service? The minutiae of our legal system fascinates me.” He laughs self-deprecatingly, but Poe is neither nor fooled nor charmed.
“I’m sorry, what was it you said you did again?”
“Oh, I’m a consultant.”
“What do you consult on?” Poe asks, falsely bright.
“Oh, this and that. It’s a bit hard to understand,” Sion says, dismissively. Is he calling Poe dumb? “So, what does he do there? Do you guys have him working on something?”
“Are you suggesting we’re running a forced labor camp? He’s there to complete his rehabilitation program. Nothing more.” Poe’s actually annoyed now. He tries so hard not to think about Hux during his dates and this asshole comes and ruins it.
“Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to imply that. Curiosity always gets the better of me.”
Poe makes a vague noise of assent but he zones out for the rest of the date.
“I think my date wanted to recruit you,” Poe says, from between Hux’s legs.
“He kept asking about you. He wanted to know about your probation, the terms, what you did here.”
“Maybe he was angling for a threesome,” Hux says casually.
Poe looks up at him, but he’s not used to Hux making jokes so he can never tell.
“Would you like that?” Hux continues, staring at Poe intently. He asks this in a matter-of-fact way, not like he’s trying to talk dirty to him.
“Would you like that,” Poe says, angry at Hux for his mind games. He has no hope of ever figuring out what’s going on in Hux’s head.
“I asked first,” Hux says intensely, like the answer really matters.
Disentangling himself from Hux and sitting at the foot of the bed, he says, “and why did you? For the record, no, I would not like that.”
“Are you serious?” Hux asks, pointing to his neglected hard cock, but Poe is no longer in the mood. “You’re throwing a tantrum because you can’t handle the idea that someone else might touch me?”
He is, but he’s not willing to examine his behavior any further.
“What exactly is your plan, then? When you find your one true love. Keep fucking me on the side?” Hux says, sounding affronted.
“Shut the fuck up. You don’t get to be mad that I’m dating. This is your doing. You’re the one who said you—”
“I know what I said,” Hux says, interrupting him. “And I stand by it. I can’t give you the things you want and even if I could I wouldn’t because I don’t want them.”
“Oh great, we’re getting an encore. I didn’t get it the first time, so I really appreciate this,” Poe says, grabbing his jacket.
“Maybe I should start dating too.”
Poe scoffs. “Yeah, good luck with that, buddy. No one here but me lacks that much common sense,” he says, letting the door slide shut. He’s not going to do this anymore.
Sella is great. She’s a great listener, she likes flying and she rolls her eyes at Poe’s jokes. It’s going better than his last date, at least.
He notices something’s wrong after he’s been talking nonstop for close to ten minutes and she has been listening intently, not even attempting to participate. Now that he thinks about it, the whole conversation has been pretty one-sided. Less back and forth and more straight-up interrogation.
“Are you a reporter?”
She winces and says, “yes, but let me explain.” When Poe stands up to leave, she adds, “wait, don’t go. I just need a quote, something. I wouldn’t resort to something so desperate if my job wasn’t on the line,” she says, looking vaguely offended.
“You have an hour’s worth of quotes.”
“I’m not going to use something without your permission,” she says earnestly. “Look, I’m not thrilled about this either. Help me out, please?”
Poe sighs and sits back down.
“I’m a little surprised you’re single, to be honest,” she says, over dessert, afterward. They’re sitting across from each other, the half-eaten Wasaka berry pie between them. It tasted sharp and a little bitter. Poe liked it a lot.
Knowing she’s not interested in him has actually improved this not-date considerably. Maybe that’s his type now, people who are not interested in dating him. “Well, don’t believe the rumors. And y’know we were fighting a war.”
“I know. I covered the Battle of Crait,” she says and Poe feels his whole body go cold. “I always knew you guys would pull through.”
“Right. You know, this was— nice, but I actually have to get back to the base now. Busy day tomorrow.”
“Anything the galaxy should know about?” she asks jokingly.
“No, nothing interesting.”
He stops by Hux’s quarters when he gets back, even though it’s late. They haven’t spoken since Poe’s last date and he’s not entirely sure what to expect. He never is with Hux.
“I’m here to apologize,” Poe says when Hux opens the door. He figures that’s a good start.
Hux rolls his eyes, good-naturedly. “You’re here to fuck. You’re apologizing because you think I won’t fuck you if I’m mad at you. It goes to show how little you know me.”
Hux leaves the door open for Poe to enter and goes to sit on the bed. His sheets are black this time and Poe wants to spread him on them and take his time. “How was it? Your date.”
“It was— good. Fun,” Poe lies, though he doesn’t know why. Hux doesn’t care either way.
“Oh, that’s— good for you.” He looks away and says, “I guess it was only a matter of time.”
Poe doesn’t want to focus on the lie so he just says, “I honestly just wanted to apologize for how I’ve been acting lately. I haven’t been— it’s not gonna happen again, okay? I’m sorry.”
Hux nods a couple of times, squints at the door for a second before letting out a long exhale. “Of course. I shouldn’t have said— what I did. What you do is none of my business anyway,” Hux says determinedly.
Before leaving, he looks at Hux and lets himself think it— it’s not gonna happen again.
He stops going on dates after that night. They were all terrible anyway.
"We're not so short-staffed they're sending you to check in on patients, are we?” he asks from the bed in the infirmary when Hux walks in.
He looks the same, Poe thinks, and inwardly rolls his eyes at himself. Of course he does, Poe saw him just four days ago before leaving for the mission.
“I’m hoping to show initiative in order to be considered properly resocialized. By showing concern for other people’s well-being, that is.”
“Points for honesty, but your bedside manner leaves a lot to be desired. I don’t think you’re doing yourself any favors here.”
Hux does that same looking away and squinting combo he does whenever he tries not to smile before looking back at Poe. “I thought you were just off playing diplomat. Attempting to, at least,” Hux says.
Poe wants to say are you keeping tabs on me? but instead says, “shows you how good I am at it.”
“Is it bad?” Hux makes an abortive motion with his hand, reaching out for the biocast on Poe’s leg before he sets it on the mattress instead.
“You can touch it. Doesn’t hurt at all,” he says, possibly too eager. When Hux looks at him unimpressed, he adds, “okay, I am mortally wounded but it’s fine because I can take pain.”
Hux still doesn’t move his hand.
Hux is in the hangar bay when Poe gets down from his X-Wing. There’s almost no one else around, so Poe asks, “what’s wrong? Were you waiting for me?”
“No. I mean— yes, I was waiting for you.”
“Okay, let me get changed and we can grab a bite. Have you eaten?”
“I’m not hungry,” Hux says, but it lacks his usual stubbornness. He seems anxious.
“You can come and watch me eat, then.” Whatever conversation Hux wants to have might be better suited to a less public place, but Poe’s afraid he’ll slip and fall face-first into Hux’s dick if they go somewhere more private.
Later in the mess, sitting down across from Hux, he says, “so, what’s up?”
Hux has clearly taken his invitation to come and watch him eat seriously; he keeps staring at Poe and looking down at his empty side of the table. Maybe he is hungry after all. “Were you out on a date?”
Poe sighs. “Is that what you wanted to talk about?” It’s actually been more than a month since Poe last went on a date and longer still since he last touched Hux.
“No,” he says, sitting straight and placing his hands flat on the table. “There is one thing I should apologize for.”
“No offense, buddy, but only one thing? Clearly that counseling program is not all that it’s cracked out to be,” Poe says, knowing exactly where Hux is going with this.
“I meant, to you, specifically,” he snaps. “I shouldn’t have said what I did when you asked me to go with you to Yavin 4.”
“Oh, you mean when I said ‘I love you’ and you said ‘no thanks’?” Poe really doesn’t want to be talking about this and has no idea why Hux does.
“That’s not what happened.”
“True, you said ‘don’t say it because I don’t want to hear it’ which is not actually better,” Poe says, not hungry anymore. He looks around, but the place is almost entirely deserted. He still doesn’t want to make a scene.
Hux scowls. “I know. I’m not trying to make myself look good here. I’m trying to apologize.”
“And you’re doing a great job so far.” He pauses. “No, that’s— you were just being yourself, right? Not your fault I couldn’t accept that.” Poe’s thought about this a lot. It’s no one’s fault maybe; some people are just not good together. There’s no point in trying to hate Hux, anyway. Poe’s not good at it.
His words seem to snap Hux out of his weird subdued mood. He glares at Poe and says, “I don’t need you to make excuses for me.”
“I just don’t want to dredge all that back up. It happened. It’s fine. It’s been months, Hux.”
“It’s not fine for me. I don’t want you to— it was already too late. That’s what I didn’t realize. The feelings I was trying to avoid. What you were offering, I wanted it too, but not as an inevitably disappointing reality. It was cowardly and unfair to you. I want you to know that you were not alone in your feelings and I regret the way I treated you.”
Poe wants to put the guy out of his misery, but he also wants to laugh. He’s deeply enjoying Hux’s obvious discomfort. Hux brings out something mean in Poe and he doesn’t entirely hate it. He leans forward and rests his chin on the palm of his hand, waiting for Hux to fumble his way to an apology.
“I kept thinking I was right.” Hux frowns. “It hurt, though. The places you weren’t in.”
The table that separates them felt like a nice safety barrier to put between them at the beginning of this conversation but now Poe regrets it; he longs to touch him. His hair’s getting a little long and without whatever product the First Order provided, it keeps falling into his eyes. Poe’s fingers itch and now that Hux has all but said he loves him too, Poe’s tempted to skip whatever half-assed apology Hux is going to give him and jump straight to the part when he buries his fingers in Hux’s hair and pulls.
“You ruined the feeling of being right,” Hux says with a considerable amount of resentment.
Poe can’t help it, he laughs. “Sorry?”
He has come to accept his feelings for Hux as they are. He’s not in love with some idealized and sanitized version of Hux who never did anything wrong. There’s nothing Hux can do to erase or change his past actions, but it’s not Poe’s job to absolve or condemn him for his crimes on behalf of the entire galaxy. There are things about Hux that he likes that maybe he shouldn’t, but it’s possible he hasn’t given Hux enough credit.
“I’m saying I was wrong. That’s why it hurt,” Hux says exasperated.
“Hux,” he says, giving in and touching him, squeezing his hand. “Do you want to try this again?”
“I’m not going to fuck up again,” Hux says, with the same kind of intense conviction that he used to deliver First Order speeches. It makes Poe want to laugh instead of recoil.
“Of course you will, but don’t worry. I’m going to fuck up too.”
Hux is lying face down on the bed, all his noises getting lost in the pillows.
Poe grabs his hair and pulls his head back. “You like this, don’t you?”
“Yes,” Hux says without hesitation. He reaches back to touch Poe, grabs his hip, his thigh.
“Tell me how you feel,” Poe says, letting go of his hair and wrapping his hands on Hux’s hips.
“I love you.”
Poe’s rhythm stutters and he laughs, delighted. He feels something expand and release in his chest. It’s not like he didn’t know it, but it feels good to hear the words.
“Oh, I was just gonna tell you how much I like to have you writhing and desperate on my cock,” Poe says, mostly joking, and hears Hux laugh under him. “But no, this is— this is better.”
“You can still say it.”
“I love you,” Poe pants against his spine. “You know I love you.”
“No, I meant—”
“I know, I know.”