Written for cowboyguy, December 2017


hhh… h’Emptshhh!” Poe smothered the sneeze in his sleeve. As he lifted his head, sniffling, he felt Finn’s hand on his back, rubbing.

“Bless you again.” Finn got up from the copilot seat. It wasn’t a large ship, so it was only a step or two to where Poe sat. Finn ran his hand over Poe’s head, letting the brown hair slip through his fingers. This was the pilot’s fifth sneeze since they’d left the planet and taken off for home.

Poe gave a little shrug. “I never sneeze this much. I must be catching a cold.”

“Oh.” Finn’s fingers paused a moment then continued stroking. “Sorry to hear it.”

“Hey, better at the end of a mission than at the beginning, right? Sniff! huh…” He lifted his arm again. “huh-IHptshhhhh!” He shook his head. “My sleeve’s getting pretty wet, though. Can’t keep doing this for much longer. Can you check the back and see if you can find me something to sneeze into? An oil rag or a bandanna or something like that?”

Grateful to have something not only useful but genuinely helpful to do, Finn took on the challenge immediately. The rest of the ship wasn’t really that much larger than the cockpit, so it didn’t take long at all to search. He went through boxes. He opened up storage hatches. He checked everywhere he could think of checking and didn’t come up with a thing that would be useful. They hadn’t packed extra anything—not even a change of clothes.

Finally, Finn spotted the ship’s emergency kit. This wasn’t an emergency, and Finn didn’t think it was likely to be stocked with a supply of handkerchiefs, but maybe there was something inside he could use. Upon opening it, he found what he’d expected: a week’s worth of food rations, water and canteens, some hot and cold packs, a fire extinguisher, a thermal blanket, several aquata breathers, a small emergency power source enough for communications to run off of, and a first aid kit. Fairly certain Poe would not enjoy sneezing into a gold foil blanket for the remainder of the journey, Finn checked the first aid kit. At first, it looked like mostly gauze, bandages, alcohol wipes, materials for splints, a few syringes, and a couple vials of things Finn hoped he wouldn’t ever need. But, upon further inspection, he found a small pack of tissues.

Victorious, he headed back into the cockpit where Poe was already winding up for another sneeze. His brow furrowed, eyes closed, mouth opened, and nostrils flared. “hih! ihp! Hhn!” Finn shoved a tissue into his hand. And, instinctively, Poe pressed it to his nose. “heh-IHHHschhhhh!” He wiped at his nose, wincing all the while. “What sniff! What is this?” Opening his eyes, he cast his gaze around until it fell upon the tissue pack in Finn’s hand. He recognized the orange and white logo immediately. “Tell me these aren’t standard issue Resistance tissues.”

Finn looked down at them, not understanding. Tissues were tissues, weren’t they? “This is all I could find back there.”

With a sigh, Poe held out his hand, palm up. “All right. I guess I’m stuck with them then. But just so you know, you’re not getting anywhere near my nose for the next couple weeks. These things are like sandpaper. By the time we get back to the base, my nose is going to be so red and raw that touching it’ll hurt. And kissing me will be completely out of the question.”

Finn sat back down in the copilot’s seat, already imagining how to angle his head so he could place a kiss on Poe’s lips without brushing against Poe’s sensitive nose at all. It was true; he couldn’t see how it would be done. “What if I kiss you elsewhere, though?”

Poe gave him a sidelong glance. “Where did you have in mind?”

“We’ve got a whole flight home to figure that out. Maybe I could experiment and you could—”


“You could just sit there and sneeze, apparently.”

“Oh, I’m getting real good at that,” Poe said, sniffling. He grimaced as he wiped the industrial grade tissue at his nose.