zubeneschamali: (rey)
[personal profile] zubeneschamali
Title: The Life I Left Behind Me is a Cold Room
Author: [livejournal.com profile] zubeneschamali
Rating: PG
Pairing: pre-Rey/Finn/Poe
Word count: 988
Spoilers: Um, yeah. Set some indeterminate time after SW:TFA, spoilers galore.
Summary: It's not like Rey isn't used to the cold, but she really wishes the sun would shine on this planet once in a while.

A/N: When you don't intend to start writing in a new fandom, but you get a new trope_bingo card that includes "huddle for warmth," and you realize that Rey would probably be cold on any planet that's not a desert, and...yeah. Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] morganoconner for the beta reading and squeeing. ;) Title from Sarah McLachlan.



It's not like Rey isn't used to the cold.

Nights on Jakku can get downright frigid with nothing to stop the winds howling over the dunes. She's used to that, doesn't know how to sleep any other way than curled into a tight ball under animal hides and a scavenged cargo blanket too tattered for Unkar to be interested in. So the nights on D'Qar are fine enough.

It's the days when Rey never feels warm. This planet isn't as mind-bogglingly lush as Takodana, but it's still green and moist and it seems like the sun is never out. Finn and Poe both seem to enjoy it, based on the under-the-breath comments she's overhead about no longer being under the sun-blasted sky. Neither of them have said much about their separate escapes through the desert, but she's been caught out there with low supplies enough times that the thought of having no supplies is terrifying.

Rey learns to wrap another layer around herself, both because it makes her look less exotic and because she's cold most of the time. Moving around helps, and so she's happy to accept jobs around the base that involve running from one place to another. Her technical skills are valued as well, especially once someone sees how fast she can fix a droid, but too often that involves standing at the same workbench for hours straight, legs and shoulders cramping with cold. So she shivers and rubs her hands together as she works, looking forward to nighttime and the warm blankets on her bunk.

She's heading out from breakfast one morning when Finn catches up to her and bumps his shoulder against hers. "What're you doing today?" he asks.

"I'm trying to get that medical droid of Kalonia's operational again," she says. "It—we owe her a lot." She casts a sideways glance at Finn, trying very hard not to think about him lying so still and quiet in the medical facility.

"Need any help?" Finn asks.

"No, it's almost done." She rubs her hands together as they walk into the small workshop space she's been given, already feeling the cold sinking through her bones. "If I can get warm enough to work, that is."

"I can help with that." Finn sounds eager, and before she can respond, he's wrapped his arms around her and pulled her in close.

He's warm, warm and spicy-smelling, and for a moment all Rey can feel is the heat of the desert and the sting of wind-blown grains of sand. It's a reminder of being alone, of years and years of being alone and forgotten, and she starts to tense right there in Finn's arms.

There are footsteps behind her, and she feels Finn start to draw back. "Poe," he says in greeting. When Rey stays where she is, Finn relaxes again.

"Sorry to disturb you," Poe says hesitantly.

Rey turns her head without breaking contact with Finn. "I'm just cold," she says, and Finn rubs a hand up and down her arm.

"We could get some more heat in here," Poe says. "Maybe a portable heater?"

"The base can't afford a higher heat signature than it already has," Rey replies. "We need to cut down on our power usage, not increase it." She snorts. "If there was any sunlight on this planet, I could rig up some solar panels, but as it is…"

"Might have to rely on other sources," Finn says with a grin, pulling her closer.

Rey gives him a faint smile, feeling her shoulders stiffen.

"You okay?" Finn asks quietly, his face falling.

"I'm not used to being close to people," she replies.

She almost instantly regrets her words as Finn steps back. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to make you uncomfortable," he says with a quick, awkward smile.

Rey looks up at him, wondering how someone who shows so much concern for others could ever have worn Stormtrooper armor. "That's not what I meant," she says, standing very still and hoping he hears what she isn't saying.

A moment later, Finn drapes an arm over her shoulder, his warmth soaking through her once more. Rey turns into him, tucking her head under his jaw.

"It can be hard," Poe says, taking a few steps forward. "When you're used to being on your own." His gaze flickers up to Finn and then back to her.

"It's all I've ever known," she says with a small shrug.

"I hear you," Finn says gently.

Rey has an arm around his waist before she can even think about it. It's strange to think of someone as "alone" who'd been constantly surrounded by people the way he must have been, but it makes sense. "I don’t remember my family, and there wasn't much in the way of community on Jakku, you know?" From the corner of her eye, she can see Poe nodding, and she goes on, "But it was so easy working with Han, like I'd already known him for years. And then when he…"

When she trails off, there's silence. She hasn't articulated her loss like this before, not even to herself, not when there were people here who had known Han and felt his absence more deeply than she ever could. But they get it, Finn and Poe, and she's not surprised to feel Poe's warmth on her left side as he steps in to close the gap.

"The thing is," Poe says quietly, "There's three of us here. So we can each watch out for the others."

Rey's quiet as she lets it sink in: the warmth from the two bodies beside her and the warmth in their eyes as they look at each other and then at her. There's an odd sensation in her gut, unfamiliar but not unpleasant, and it's not until they've all let go and she's turning to Kalonia's droid that she can place it.

The feeling is hope.

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