Title: Bear Hugs

Author: tarotgal
Rating: R
Pairing: Finn/Poe
Disclaimer: Not my characters or world! No harm intended or money made!

Summary: Finn comes down with his first cold.
Author Notes: Written for my 2016 comment fic meme


Bear Hugs


It was late when Poe returned from the briefing. He had about enough time to grab some food from the galley before heading off on his patrol duties. And he was pretty hungry. So, naturally, he went straight for his cabin instead. He could make-do with snacks during his shift; he couldn't go without seeing Finn another minute longer.


Their cabin on the carrier was tiny, so he found Finn sitting on their bed. In one hand was a damp rag that smelled strongly of cleaning solution, in the other a piece of a dirty stormtrooper uniform—an arm piece, if Poe had to guess.


His boyfriend greeted him with a huge smile and waited, conservatively, for the door to slide closed behind Poe before shooting up off the bed and wrapping his arms around him in a warm bear hug. They kissed, Finn's hand sliding up into Poe's hair, messing it up a little, but that was a badge of honor Poe was happy to wear to the flight deck. “Well, hey there,” Poe said, as soon as he got his mouth back.


“Hey yourself. I thought you wouldn't have time to come by before your shift.”


“Change of plans.” His stomach rumbled, but so softly Finn probably hadn't heard it.


“You're not going out on patrol?” The pilots were taking it in turns to fly ahead of the carrier, keeping their eyes peeled for trouble in the form of First Order scouts or unfriendlies that might betray their presence.


“No, I'm going. Just wanted to see you more than I wanted dinner.”


Finn frowned at this. But he glanced over at their bags in the corner; they had a few dozen standard rations between them. Those were supposed to be for emergencies, though. “C'mon,” he said, grabbing Poe's arm and turning him right around in a sort of graceful dance of concern. “We'll go to the galley together fo-HIHSHUHHHSHHHHH!” Finn stopped short, swinging his arm out to the side and stopping Poe in his tracks as well. “What was that?”


Poe listened closely. There was the soft hum of the carrier's engines. There was the sound of someone walking down one of the adjacent corridors. There was nothing out of the ordinary. “What was what?”


“That strange suh-huhhhh h'DCHISHHHHHHHH!” Finn jumped in place and pointed wildly at his nose. “That!”


“What, something wrong with your sneeze?”


“Is... is that what it was?” He touched his fingers to his nose experimentally and drew them away at once. “It's wet!”


“Uh, yeah. You snee... wait. Is that the first time you've ever sneezed?”


Finn nodded. He did not look happy about this, not at all. Plus, his nose was running unchecked. Which was actually kind of adorable in a pathetic sort of way. Poe went over to his bag and rooted around for a pack of tissues he was pretty sure he'd shoved in there as an afterthought.


“Yeah,” Finn replied, taking the tissues from Poe but not being sure what to do with them. “I've never needed to before.”


“Never? No allergies to anything?” There was this plant on a planet Poe had visited that he swore had it in for him personally. For the second he'd gotten out of his ship, he hadn't been able to stop sneezing. It had been a little embarrassing at first, then it had quickly become hilarious. And he'd learned it was hard to laugh your ass off about something when you were already busy sneezing your head off.


“The First Order does some genetic modifications. I think there's something in there about getting rid of those.”


“What about just sneezing from dust? Or sand?”


Finn shrugged and shook his head.


“Seriously? All that time on a planet that was probably 110% sand and not a single grain got in your nose and tickled it?”


Finn shook his head again.


“Never been sick?”


“Oh no. Definitely not that. The First Order inoculates us annually against that sort of thing. I don't think I've ever been sick.”


“Well...” Poe slapped him on the upper arm. “Hate to tell you this, babe, but you are now.”


All lightheartedness drained at once from Finn's face. “Sorry... what?”


“There's a bad cold getting spread around this place. A couple of the pilots and a large number of the crew have it. Looks like you're its latest lucky victim.”


“No... no, I can't be sick.”


“Why not?”

“The inoculations... oh.”


“It's been over a year since your last one, I take it?”


Finn nodded gravely. “Oh, this is not good. I... oh no... I think it's happening aga... agaihhh... hahhhh... hahhh-CHISHHHH!” There had been more warning that time, but Finn still hadn't covered his face, and Poe felt a bit of the spray graze his hand. He glanced over at the small sink in their cabin, but Finn was already racing over to it. The man was scrubbing his hands on the bar of soap, working up a lather under water that was starting to steam from being so hot.


“That's not going to work, babe. You can't get rid of a cold that way.”


Finn slowed then stopped his scrubbing and let the suds get rinsed down the drain. “Well, then what can I do?”


Poe sighed. “Not a lot. There's medicine--”


“That'll kill the cold germs as soon as I take it?”


“No... it just lessens the symptoms a little bit... if at all. There's nasal spray, too.”


“And that'll keep these sneezes from happening again?”


“No,” Poe repeated. “That mostly keeps snot from dripping down the back of your throat.”


Finn looked horrified. Absolutely horrified. “Then... what can I do?”


“There's not much, I'm afraid.” This time he took Finn by the arm and led him a few steps back toward the bed. “Honestly, the best thing you can do for a cold is rest.” He sat Finn down on the bed and melted a moment later as his boy looked up at him with the saddest expression ever to be seen in the galaxy. He looked so lost and helpless, probably feeling what he'd felt back when he'd left the First Order, except then they'd been in a battle and he'd been too preoccupied with not dying to let his emotions show through. “You've really never been sick before?”


“Never.” Finn forced himself to laugh, but the sound was half-hearted, weak. “The First Order made health a number one priority. You can't have an effective army if they're susceptible to this kind of thing. And can you imagine what it would be like to sneeze inside one of those helmets?”


“No.” Poe sat down on the bed beside him and then pointed over at the pieces of uniform in various stages of cleanliness. “But you're going to find out pretty soon.”


Shock filled Finn's face this time as realization took hold. “But... I'll be over this... this buh... bug bef... bef... oh man, I've gotta... hah-gotta hahh-CHITSHHHHHHHHH!” Poe reached over, ripped open the pack of tissues, extracted one, then folded it over Finn's nose for him. He rubbed back and forth, finishing with a firm wipe. The result was definitely an improvement, though Finn's nose twitched as though he might sneeze again already. “I'll definitely be over this bug by the time we get to the First Order base, right?”


Poe bit his lip, sympathy filling his face. “Um, well...”


Finn narrowed his eyes in suspicion. “Out with it.”


“These things usually last a couple weeks.”




“Yeah, weeks. But sometimes they're quick. The last one I had only lasted nine days.”


“Wh-huh-nih-uh-what?!” Finn sputtered. “Nine? Nine!” Finn put a hand to his forehead and flopped dramatically to the side, lengthwise upon the bed. Or maybe not so dramatically as exhaustedly. The man looked absolutely beat. And the cold had to have been draining his strength already. “But we're going to be there in three days! And I'm the one who's supposed to lead the ground assault. I'm the one who knows the First Order's operations. I'm the only one who... who... wh-uh... huhhh!


Poe leaned over. “Wait, here's a tissue. Cover your--”


Too late. “huhhh-DIHSCHHHH!


Poe had closed his eyes, for what little good that had done. He used the tissue to wipe the side of his face. He couldn't blame Finn. This was the guy's first cold. It was his first time dealing with sneezes. But pretty soon it would also be his first time dealing with a cranky, sick boyfriend, too. He sighed. This was going to be a tricky mission. “We'll figure something out. How about you just get some rest right now? Let's start with that. You've got to be tired.”


Finn nodded in agreement and coughed. He jumped again, startled.


“Let me guess. First time coughing, too?”


“That's what--”


“Yep.” He rubbed Finn's arm through the jacket. “Get some rest. I'll be back after my patrol shift. Infirmary on this carrier's gotta be closed right now. I'll see if I can't bum some meds off someone for you in the meantime. Hang in there for me?”


Finn looked skeptical. He sniffed and looked alarmed yet again.


“That's gonna happen. Probably a lot. Just snuffle into those tissues if it gets bad. And try to sleep. Okay?”


Finn shrugged. He was making his boyfriend no promises about this newfound thing causing chaos in his body right now. And Poe tried to convince himself that his boyfriend would be fine. Finn was a hell of a lot stronger than anyone gave him credit for, including his own estimation of himself. He'd be all right for a couple hours. Besides, he looked tired. He'd probably drift right off. He dropped a kiss on Finn's lips before departing. Oh yeah, he was definitely going to come down with this cold now. But, hey, in for an Imperial Credit...




It was even later at night when Poe got back to his room, finishing off a protein bar his past self had hid under the seat of his fighter for occasions just like this.


Their cabin was almost dark, but he found Finn in bed. Good. Right where he was supposed to be. There was a blanket draped over him and tissues scattered absolutely everywhere except the trash slot where they belonged. He'd thought Finn would manage to get that part right without instruction. Too tired to care much, Poe just cleared the ones off the bed to make room for himself. Then he stripped down to climb in for the night, dumping his clothes in the dirty pile in the corner to be cleaned later. He'd deal with the mess and procuring proper breakfast and looking after a cold-ridden Finn in the morning.


But as he turned back toward the bed, Poe caught sight of something that made him pause. An inch or two of his old jacket could be seen sticking out above the covers. Finn had hunkered down in it, the collar level with his cheeks. The guy had apparently crawled right into bed, fully clothed.


With a sigh and shake of his head, Poe finished undressing and squeezed into bed beside Finn. It was then he realized Finn had indeed undressed. He wore socks and underwear, but not the pants and shirt he'd had on when Poe had left him earlier. So he'd taken off his shirt... and made a special effort to put the jacket on again before going to sleep. He could have just been chilled, but if that were the case, he would have left all his clothes on. No, there was a much better reason he'd keep his jacket on. And Poe's heart went out to him for it.


“I'll get you through this,” Poe promised in a whisper before wrapping his arms around Finn in a bear hug and dropping off to sleep.