Title: Five Times Poe Was Cold and One Time He Wasn't

Author: tarotgal

Fandom: Star Wars: the Force Awakens

Pairing: Various, Finn/Poe
Disclaimer: Not my characters! No money made!
Summary: Just as the title says, a look at Poe dealing with various colds and feeling cold and lonely.


Five Times Poe Was Cold and One Time He Wasn't




As far as Poe Dameron was concerned, the worst part of coming down with a cold wasn't the incessant sneezing or the itchy, scratchy throat. It wasn't even the way it made his nose all red and eyes all bloodshot, so that he was anything but attractive, unless you had a thing for pathetic. For Poe, the worst part was feeling cold. There was a loneliness that came with being sick, and Poe Dameron did not handle lonely well.


“All right, that's the last of the blankets. Bet you're feeling all toasty and warm in your little nest there, aren't you?”


He wasn't. He was comfortable enough, sure. But he was still freezing. It took all his strength to keep his teeth from chattering as he flashed what he hoped passed for a charming smile.


“You know I'd stay with you and keep you company all day if I could, but I'm supposed to be on duty in twenty and—”


“Go,” Poe croaked. He kept the smile up the entire time Ensign Minnow was making a retreat from his quarters. And the moment he was alone again, he sunk back down into his blankets with a miserable, self-pitying whimper.


It was breakfast time, and he had precisely two options: one, skip it and regret the potential blood sugar crash later in the day or, two, haul himself out of bed, stagger down a cold corridor or two, and sit alone at a table as he ate. Neither option was good, but one certainly took less energy than the other. And that was how he made the decision to pull a blanket up over his head and try to fall back to sleep.





Poe felt so hungry he almost felt sick. Then he remembered he was already sick, and it was hard to tell if the dizziness was from a fever or from working so hard on his ship the night before or from not having had breakfast that morning. Or dinner the night before. Poe needed food.


But he also needed rest. And warmth. And tissues. And someone to take care of him and make him feel better through all of this misery. If it was one thing Poe had learned while fighting in the resistance, it was that you couldn't always have what you needed, and you definitely couldn't always have what you wanted.


So, just like he would a casual lover, Poe kicked himself out of his bed. He headed to the mess hall for lunch with a blanket unashamedly wrapped around his shoulders and clutched tight in the front. It didn't do much to keep him from shivering as he walked down the cold corridors, but he knew he'd be a lot colder if he didn't have it. And Poe hated feeling cold.




He turned to see Kelsey Walters approaching at a jog. He gave her a smile and wave that made him feel goofy and unnatural. She slowed down and came to a stop just short of their usual hug. “Hi,” he said, and even that word was full of such congestion he felt ashamed and took a step back. Germs filled his every breath. “You're heading out with the squadron today, right?”


“An hour, yeah,” she said, rocking on her heels. “You know we hate to leave you behind.”


Poe knew all too well. And it physically hurt to be left behind, even if it was only a week-long mission. Right now, that week seemed like an eternity. “Good luck, not that you'll deed it, of course.” More congestion. He rubbed his nose.


“Of course.” She formed a fist and meant to bump it into his shoulder. But he stepped back, coughing.


“Dod't wadt to get you sick right before the flight.” Colds spread far too quickly when you were cooped up on a small carrier together. They were already down one pilot; they couldn't afford to lose more.


“Right,” Kelsey agreed. “Good idea. But, man, this must be killing you.”


He shrugged but, yes, it was. Not able to hug her or see his squadron off made him feel lonely and cold. A good hug definitely would have warmed him up. Poe shivered and hugged his blanket more tightly around himself. “I'b off to get sobe food. I sorta skibbed breakfast.”


“Aw, Commander, you've got to eat before they close down before dinner. Go, go!”


He snuffled into his cuff and nodded. “I'b goig.”


“Get better soon, Dameron. We need you back in the fight.” They did, but no amount of needing was going to get them anywhere. He just hoped that his absence wasn't going to cost any of his teammates their lives.


“I'll be fide by the tibe you get back,” he promised and hoped. If he wasn't, he had bigger problems that just feeling miserable. And cold. And lonely. “Fly fast, Walters.”


The moment she was done, he shivered with cold again and shuffled onward to the mess hall with the blanket hugged tight around himself.





The soup was abysmal, but Poe found himself forcing it down anyway. The tickle in his throat got more intense every time he stopped eating, and he craved the warmth. It was even colder in the mess hall than in the hallways.


No one was at his squadron's usual table, as they were all probably off running pre-flight checks by now, loading their ships into the carrier's hanger. He'd been called over to sit with some of the other pilots, but he had waved them off. A couple fortuitously timed sneezes emphasized his position that he really should eat alone.


So he slid onto the bench at the empty end of a table with his bowl of steaming soup and his spoon as his disgustingly bitter hot herbal tea and his blanket and a sodden handkerchief well beyond its usefulness. Having other people around was both wonderful and terrible. He felt a little less alone, surrounded by people, but it was a tease to be so near and not be able to socialize with them.


“Heard you were under the weather, Dameron.”


He looked back to see Rhys Goldmark sauntering up to him with a food tray in his good hand. He snuffled into his handkerchief and nodded as he replied. “Fightidg off a bad cold.” He sniffed again and wiped his nose dry. “Better dot get too close.”


“Oh fuck that. I'm already out of commission anyway.” He settled down right next to Poe, so close their legs touched. Warmth rushed through him for a second, and he resisted the urge to lean into the man. Rhys was in Purple Squadron, which had come back from a tough mission a few days ago. They'd returned with some news about not one but two new First Order outposts, a half dozen tie-fighters that all needed repairs, and one pilot with an arm fractured in three places. Rhys had been as bitter about it as Poe's tea was. “You go to the med bay about it?”


“They gave me a decodgestadt. Heh-nngheh-Hehdtchh!


Rhys laughed and leaned over, bumping shoulders with him. “Seems like it's working wonders.”


“I thidk it's wearidg off.” His head felt heavy and stuffed like it had around this time yesterday. “heh-DITCHuhhhhh! Ihhhtchehhhh!


“Awww, bless you, Poe. Damn! I'd pat your back but...” He made a face and knocked on the hard cast covering his arm from bicep to wrist. 


Another shot of warmth came over him, and it had nothing to do with the soup he was finishing up. “Thads. Sniff! So... how's your arb?”


“Supposed to get this damn thing off in a week. I'm already ready for it to be off now. You know how I have to take showers?”


Poe wanted to answer with something clever or at least with some sort of insinuation. But his mind felt all muddled and he couldn't come up with anything. He merely shook his head and snuffled again into his handkerchief, which made his nose tickle all the more—not at all his intention. “heh-hih-IHTSchhhhh! HIHKTSchhhhh! IHTCHihhhhh! T-chhhuhhh!


“Aw, so many blessings. What was that, six sneezes? Impressive!”


Rhys' laughter loosened Poe up a little more and made him feel less self-conscious. “Odly four, I thidk. But you should see whed I really get goig. Just ode sdeeze after adother after adother. By dose is reledt... re-hehh reledtless-heh-IHPTSchhhh! Hetchheww! HehShuhhhh! Eh ehhh nngh ehhhhh IHHPTShhhhhh! HIHTschhhhh! Ehhh ehhhhTIHShhew! Uhhh...” He grabbed his napkin and blew his terribly wet nose into it. Then he sighed and closed his eyes. “That tibe it was six. I thidk I'd better go to the bed bay about that decodgestadt.”


“Good idea. See you around, Dameron.”


Poe got up and reluctantly left his fellow pilot's side in favor of a trip to the medical bay.







The medic waited patiently for Poe to blow his nose and drop the tissue into the waste bin brought over to the examination table. “Done for now?”


Poe shrugged. His nose was already tickling again, the need to sneeze playing around in his nostrils. But it would be another minute until the tickle built back into an urge. He took a fresh tissue from the box beside him just in case, anyway.


“Just warn me when you've got to sneeze again. I want to take your vitals and your temperature before I give you any more medicine.” She turned and grabbed something sterile off a tray, ripping the plastic off it.


“Ub, I'b godda sdeh hehh hehhh sd-ehhhh hehhh—” He tore a tissue out of the box and shivered as he buried his nose in it.”hehhhTSchhhhh! HehhhTIHSchhhh! HehKEHTChhhhh!


The medic was watching and waiting, making him feel self-conscious. He couldn't make eye contact. “Sorry. Tried to ward you.”


She nodded and pulled a few tissues from the box. She held them to his face. “Better just hold these here for a while.”


He took them, agreeing, and held them to his face as she listened to his heartbeat and breathing. She stuck things in his ears and shone light in his eyes, which made the tickle flare up wildly in his nose. “uh-GIHCHtttttt!


“My apologies. Sometimes that happens.”


He shivered, wishing he'd never come. He felt isolated, studied, on the spot. He'd thought it would be nice to be looked after here, but this wasn't the sort of attention he craved. Not by a long shot.


“Are you cold? You're not running a fever... but you're still shivering, aren't you?”


The blanket he'd brought with him sat on the edge of the exam table. He grabbed it now and hugged it to his chest, not caring how weird it looked. It was well known that he was a little weird. He didn't mind that, and neither, apparently, did any of his friends, lovers, or squadron members. “Cad I go back to by quarters?”


Except he didn't want to go back to his quarters. He wanted to be surrounded by people fussing over him and keeping him company. Even miserable and sniffly, he still wanted to be the center of attention. Maybe they'd let him stay here in the med bay for a day or two? He wouldn't mind some of the medics and nursing staff looking after him.


“Absolutely you can go. We've got a squadron coming in early with injuries and need the bed.”


His heartbeat sped up, panic taking over. “Which ode?”


“Green. No casualties reported yet.”


Relief washed over Poe, even though he was headed back to his quarters. But, first, he had to acquire more medicine.





Poe opened the door of his quarters to find Trish Juun and a tray of dinner. Poe brightened, warming until Trish held it out at arm's length and did not walk into the room. Trish, whose signature move was bursting into his quarters without knocking. Trish, who dropped in on him without announcement and joined him in whatever he was doing or whoever he happened to be with. Trish, who normally couldn't keep her hands off him when they were together. Trish, who didn't want to get close enough to breathe the same air as him now.


“What habbeded?” Poe asked. He didn't feel very hungry, but he accepted the tray. Trish took a step back. “Did you draw the short straw?”


She flushed, which was something indeed, considering skin tone for her species was normally a reddish-pink. “We're worried about you, Poe.”


Poe coughed, and she recoiled. He shivered with loneliness. “Did all of by lovers get together add discuss by head cold?” It seemed impossible, but by the way she didn't meet his eyes, he suspected there was some truth in the outlandish claim. They must have been talking about him together, if nothing else. It was kind of hot to imagine them all together, talking about him, but if Trish was the one who they'd decided should pay him a visit, they couldn't have been discussing his prowess in bed.


“You need rest.”


He needed warmth.


“You need to get better.”


He needed companionship.


“You need to get some rest.”


He needed her to climb into bed and comfort him.


hehh-heh-IHKSheww!” His hand snapped up, covering his nose and mouth, as his head snapped down to meet it. “IHSchhoooo! Heh heh hehhhhh hih ihhh IHTchooo! Sniff! Sniiiiffffff!


“Uh... yes. Um, call me when you're not sick and sneezy any more, okay?” She vanished as quickly as she had arrived, and Poe had never felt more lonely.





The tickle in his throat was only matched by the one in his nose. He hated moving; he'd just managed to get the pillows just where he wanted them, but he was freezing and the comforter was at the foot of his bed still. He could reach for it himself, or he could wake up Finn and ask for it. But reaching might wake Finn anyway, and once Finn was awake, the man would surely notice that Poe was coming down with something. So Poe just lay there, freezing cold, and trying not to cough or sneeze. In the best case, he would fall back to sleep; it was still early.




The bed shook. Poe's nose ran. And Finn woke up.


“Wha... Poe?”


“Sorry, sniff! I, um...” He turned his head and found himself staring into Finn's beautiful, dark eyes. It was hard to admit, but he didn't want Finn to get sick, either. “Sniff! I think I'm coming down with a cold.”


Finn nodded. “I'm sorry to hear that,” he said softly. Then he rolled out of bed. Poe had expected nothing else. He shivered, closed his eyes, and wiped his hand at his nose.


“No, no. Here. I've got it.” The bed sagged again and Finn nudged his hand out of the way to wipe his nose with a soft, thin cloth. When Poe's nose was taken care of, Finn reached down and pulled the comforter up. He snuggled up against Poe's side and tucked the blankets and comforter around them both. “Can I get you anything? A cup of tea?” With his arms tight around Poe, Finn rubbed his hand up and down Poe's arm. He nuzzled his face against Poe's.


Poe didn't respond.


“Poe?” Finn raised his head. “Are you going to sneeze again?”


“No... I... I'm warm.”




Finn didn't understand how impossible this was. Being trapped under thick blankets with this man, who was like a human battery, was the most amazing feeling. “You're so warm,” he whispered into Finn's neck.


“Yeah. Made that trek through the Jakku desert a nightmare, I'll tell you. I've always run hot. That's why I ended up getting sent to more of the colder planets. I don't miss being a Snowtrooper. You know, also because of the murder.”


Poe kissed Finn's chin. “Glad you made the choice you did when you did. It landed you here with... me-hih!” He turned his head, directing his face toward his shoulder. “hehh-ITChooo! Ihshihhhh! Sniff! Sniff!


Finn wiped his nose for him until he stopped sniffling. “Nowhere else I'd rather be, even if it means I might catch your cold.”


Poe started to pull back, but Finn held him close.


“Stay here. You can keep me company if I end up catching it.”


Poe remembered sitting by Finn's side when the man was unconscious; it hadn't even occurred to him to do otherwise. And, as Poe lay there, handkerchief at his nose and a warm body pressed up against his, he wondered if what he'd been looking for this whole time was actually someone he could take care of.