Title: 01110011 01100101 01100101
Fandom: Star Wars, sequel trilogy
Notes: Written for May the 5th, 2018 (Revenge of the Fifth)
01110011 01100101 01100101
“ehhChhhhh! Ehh-heh-Chhttuh! Sniff! Do you really have to go?”
Poe zips up his flight suit. “I missed too many flights when I was sick. They need me.”
Finn’s eyes can barely contain his sadness. “But I need you too.”
Poe leans over and kisses his hot forehead. “I know. But we won’t be gone long. You go to sleep and when you wake up, we’ll be back by your side.”
BB-8 beeps in binary and spins in a circle. Finn can only assume this is supposed to be a reassurance. But he’s never been more miserable. He stayed by Poe’s side the entire time the man was sick. And now that he’s come down with whatever Poe had, he’s being left alone.
“But I’m dying. Ehh-Hihtchhuhhh! Would you really leave me alone to die?” He takes the handkerchief and gives a blow into it that sounds almost exactly like a dying bantha.
“You’re not dying. You’ve got the same virus I had. And look…” Poe turns in place, almost like BB-8 just did. “See? Not dead.”
Finn is unconvinced by this evidence. “Viruses mutate. Maybe now it’s deadly? How do you know it’s still the same? Sniff!”
Poe sits down on the edge of the bed, and BB-8 rolls right over as well, getting as close as he can. Poe caresses Finn’s cheek with the back of his hand. “Do you feel fuzzy and dizzy in the head?” Finn nods. “Do you feel stuffy with this annoying, constant tickle in your nostrils?” Finn nods again. “Do you feel so weak that if you found yourself on a bench in the mess hall, you’d need to send a droid to get your boyfriend to carry you to bed?” Finn nods a third time. “Then congratulations. You have the same exact virus I had. You’ll be better in a week.”
“Not without your care, I won’t.”
“Give me a few hours to get the galaxy in order, and then I’ll be back at your side with cool ice cloths for your forehead and medicinal herbal tea and a comfortable boyfriend to lie down with.” He moves in to give Finn a goodbye kiss, but Finn’s nose has different plans altogether.
As the tickle flares up, he quickly turns his head to the side. “ehh… hehhh-CHSHH!” When he opens his eyes, he sees that he’s sneezed not on Poe but on BB-8. The droid chirps angrily and shakes off the droplets. “Sniff! Sorry.” He is sorry, but he’s also a little amused. Maybe this is revenge for all those times BB-8 says things about him that Finn can’t understand?
“Hey, you’ve been through worse, buddy.” Poe takes a handkerchief and wipes BB-8 off. Then he leans to the side and catches Finn in a quick kiss before Finn can sneeze again. “I’ll be back soon.”
Then the two of them are gone. Finn is alone. And feeling awful and alone is even worse than just feeling awful.
He tries to sleep, but every time he’s about to drift off, he either sneezes or coughs. It’s annoying, but it’s nothing compared to the dizzy, disconcerting feeling that lingers now that Poe is gone. With every moment that passes, Finn becomes increasingly certain that he is dying. He’s forgotten whatever reassurances Poe and BB-8 had left him with. All that he knows now is discomfort and the inability to breathe.
He sees something moving out of the corner of his eye, and thinks maybe Poe’s back. But when he turns to look properly, there’s nothing there. Every flash of silver in the room makes him jump, thinking Captain Phasma might have found him, and he’s in no condition to fight her. He hears footsteps outside the room and buries himself under blankets so the First Order won’t find him. But when he’s under there, it’s so hot and humid his cheeks burn. He pulls out again, gasping for breath, sneezing, coughing, and his head spins out of control.
He’s dying. He’s not sure, but this has to be what dying feels like.
All he knows for certain is that he can’t stay here alone when he’s sick and vulnerable like this. He’s got to go somewhere safe. He’s got to run for it.
Finn throws off the covers and jumps out of bed. The whole world pitches in one direction, and he stumbles in the other, crashing into a wall. It helps him stay right, and he follows it around the perimeter of the room and out the door. He isn’t sure where he’s going, exactly. Maybe the mess hall? There should be people there this time of day. There will be members of the Resistance. They’ll be able to keep him safe.
He stumbles forward on instinct. Right foot. Left foot. Right foot again. He leans against the walls of the hallways. He moves as quickly as he can, but he feels unsteady, like the base might be built on a ship, not a planet, and that ship is taking off. Then he realizes what no one else here could possibly know: this Resistance base is actually on Starkiller Base. The Resistance thought it was a planet, but they’re so wrong. And now they’re in trouble. And Finn is absolutely the only one who can save them all.
He quickens his pace, even though his head is throbbing and heart pounding. He’s gasping for breath, which makes him cough and makes him lightheaded and makes him dizzy.
And the next thing he knows, he’s waking up in a little pod, attached to machines. The First Order must have found him and are sending him back to a command ship. He reaches over to pull himself free of the instrumentation, but he feels a warm, familiar hand on his. There’s a hiss and part of the pod swings away. And there’s Poe standing there, looking worried.
Finn looks around, barely recognizing the infirmary for what it is. “What… ehhh ehhh-HIHKshhh!”
Poe gets a handkerchief from a nearby shelf and gently daps at Finn’s nose with it. “Couple of the guys found you passed out in the hallway with a burning fever. When you came to, you were ranting about Starkiller base and the First Order. You were making no sense. The medics here managed to bring your fever down and give you some fluids. You’ve been asleep for hours. Feel any better?”
It’s hard to know how to answer. ‘Embarrassed’ seems like an appropriate way to answer. ‘Sick’ also crosses his mind. But the real way he feels is happy. Poe is here. “Did you finish your flight?”
“Cut it short when I got the news. You had me worried.” He still looks it, even if he doesn’t sound it.
“See? I told you I was dying.”
A smile forces its way onto his face. “You’re not dying.”
“I woke up in the infirmary. I’m not convinced.”
“Well, trust me. You’re not dying.”
“The last time you said that, you left me to die alone in our room.”
For a second, Poe looks like he’s going to be frustrated. But then he shakes his head, the smile genuine and full. “I’m not leaving you now.”
“What about… ehh… ehhh-HTTSchhhhh! Sniff! What about saving the galaxy?”
“That can wait until you’re well. Then we’ll save it together.” He kisses Finn’s forehead, and the touch of Poe’s warm lips feels normal once again. Finn wonders if he’s even running a light fever any more.
“So when can you carry me back to our room?”
Poe glances at the monitors. “Umm…” He looks as though they make as much sense to him as BB-8’s beeps make to Finn. He shrugs. “How about now? Is now a good time?”
Finn lifts his arms to Poe.