Everything We Need: Chapter 5 - The Three
For the first time since she had started her research, Rey felt like she was finally returning home. She had been back to their settlement for short periods of rest, but she had barely eaten anything and hadn't said much more to Poe or Finn beyond "Good Morning" or "Good Night" while she had been preoccupied. And now, on her walk back, Rey was suddenly felt very nervous. She knew things were going to be tenuous. She had, after all, been the one to disappear on them. But the truth was, she didn't know what they could do to help. She hadn't even known what she was looking for. This way had just been easier, at least on her.
When she walked into their settlement, Poe was eating an indeterminable soft, spoonable meal. It didn't smell bad, but it didn't smell good either. Rey walked over and sat one trunk away from him, not wanting to push her luck.
"So, how is it?" Rey asked, reaching for a bowl and spoon.
"Fine," Poe said calmly, slapping her hand with the spoon in it.
"Hey!" Rey looked up quickly and was more uncertain than ever of what Poe was feeling. She tried to surreptitiously tap into his feelings, but Poe was having none of it.
"Nope. No. Don't do that," Poe said, holding up a finger. "When you're here, no shortcuts. You promised."
"You're right. I'm sorry, I just don't even know where to begin. I feel like I've been gone forever."
"Well, you have, and that's your fault," he said around a mouthful, "and now you have to fill us in."
Before another word even left Rey's mouth, Finn was walking over.
"So you're back, right?" he asked, "like back, BACK."
"Yes, I'm back. I don't know if I'm any closer to anything, but I do have this," Rey said, holding up the Binoc Circuit.
"Great… soooo what do we do with it?" Finn asked, drawing out the question.
Rey shook her head and slumped back. "Honestly, I have no idea. I looked through every single book that Maz had. Every. Single. One. And this," she said, rolling it between on her thumb and forefinger, "is only referenced in two of them. But I know it's what I need. It's the first clue, at least."
"Oh, wonderful! I love clues! Clues are my favorite!" Poe said, putting his bowl on the ground and getting up. "You don't even know what any of this means, do you?!" Poe said, throwing his hands in the air, his back still turned.
He pivoted quickly and rounded on Rey, "I can tell you this much, it means NOTHING to me," he said, slicing his hand through the air. "You go off and spend a month away, you barely eat, you barely sleep. It's like Ren can torture us all over again just for the sake of…what?! Bringing him BACK?! You must be out of your mind!"
Rey had expected something like this. She had certainly hoped for less of a reaction, but she had tried to prepare for this, or so she thought. It still stung to hear out loud and startled her into silence for a few seconds.
Finn was standing up now, but not moving. Not sure which of his partners needed him most. He didn't want to pick a side. Rey could see the conflict in Finn's eyes and she was determined to make it easier for him.
Still sitting, making an effort to do the only thing she could think of to diffuse the situation, she chose to speak slowly and calmly.
"Poe, I know how you feel, I know what it was like!" When Poe's anger didn't subside, and she realized that she sounded like she was speaking to a temperamental child, she tried to change tactics and ended up just sounding like herself, for better or worse.
"Ren captured me too, you know!" she could feel a small wince shudder through her. She hated speaking that name; it felt like a betrayal to Ben. "You don't think I've just forgotten about that, do you? But all I can say is that the man that did that, it wasn't Ben."
Rey stood up and began to pace, but then stopped and looked at her two companions. She knew that she would either make Poe understand now, or risk losing him forever because of this.
"When the dark side chooses you, it doesn't take just a little part of you. It's not a power that can simply be called on, and tuck itself away. It invades your thoughts and preys on your fears and insecurities. It makes you think its power can save you. And soon, the more you need it, the more it consumes you until the only thing that remains is your desire for power and control." Rey had closed her eyes now, trying to fend off the feelings that she had so long ago, the idea of sitting on an empress' throne.
"It changes everything about you until it has achieved total corruption. Do you think Palpatine looked the way he did because he was just old?! He decayed from the inside. And he was hoping the same thing would happen to Ben. The only reward Palpatine ever wanted was to turn the greatest light into the deepest darkness."
She walked to Poe and stood in front of him.
"I need you to KNOW this, I need you to BELIEVE it: Ben wasn't born to do the things he did. He was Han and Leia's son! He was just a boy…like you. If one thing had gone differently, he could have been your best friend! He could have been your brother! Even if you can't understand my feelings for him, can't you understand why he's worth saving?"
Rey turned and went back to her seat. Finn looked at her sadly and then back to Poe, who returned his glance.
Poe sighed, "I'm sorry, Rey, but he would have never been my brother. He would have never been my friend," his emotions getting the better of him, despite everything.
"I know that you and Finn have some sort of way of looking at the world that a boring human like me could never possibly understand," his sarcasm turning venomous now, "but I can't ever understand what you're asking me to. I can't understand how the man who decimated villages, the man that shot my ACTUAL friends out of the sky, I can't understand what it is that YOU saw. Because I never saw it. And even if I had, I'm not sure I could believe it. Not even if I could do it just for you."
Poe turned on his heel and as quickly as he could he stormed towards his hut. Once he was inside, he realized he could never take back that moment. His shoulders slumped, and he slid down the door, angry at everything, but mostly himself.
On the other side of the door, Finn slowly walked over to Rey, leaned down, holding out his hand for her to take.
She took it and he pulled her into a hug. He held her as she cried into his shoulder.
"Whatever it is we have to do, we can't do it just you and me," Finn said quietly, whispering into her neck, "We need Poe, so we have to figure out how to make him at least understand what's at stake."
"I know," Rey said, trying to calm down. "And I can't just make him come with us. I don't WANT him to do anything just for me. I want him to know that a good man died and there might be a way to set that right. But I've said everything I know to say," she said, stepping back to look at Finn.
"Well, what if it's not you that says it?" Finn asked.
"I don't understand what you mean…" Rey trailed off, thoroughly confused.
"Well, what you said, about in another world, he and Ben could have been brothers… I don't know, it got me thinking… what if Leia talked to Poe?"
Rey took another step back, both a bit stunned by the suggestion and kicking herself for not having thought of it before. But then she shook her head.
"No…I mean…how…I don't think Leia could…can she?" Rey asked, her thoughts tumbling from her mouth before she could process them.
"Don't look at me!" Finn said, his hands up in surrender. "I just come up with the ideas. You're the Jedi Master, remember?"
Rey playfully shoved Finn away, and then they both sat down next to each other.
"Well, I mean, he couldn't see her, right? I mean, assuming that I could just reach out to her and she would agree, how am I supposed to convince him that Leia is here if he can't even see her?"
"So…about that," Finn started.
Rey looked at him suddenly, like Finn had fired off a blaster to get her attention. "What….about….what?" Rey asked, the vagueness and hesitancy from Finn already making her nervous.
"What if Poe well, I mean I know we've talked about it before, but what if we somehow figure out how to get him to use the Force to talk to Leia? I mean we both know, his reflexes, his piloting, it's not a coincidence. I mean, could we make him use it enough that he COULD see her?"
"I don't know what we'd have to do, and right now, I don't think Poe is up for trying anything that involves the Force," she said sadly.
"Shhh…shhh," Finn pleaded, "He hates the "F" word."
"Sorry," Rey said, lowering her voice. "But even if we could figure out a way, if he's not going to listen, we're still no closer to figuring anything out. We're back at square one: Knowing we need him and him not wanting any part of this."
It was then that D-O rolled up to Finn. Rey was a bit surprised. She hated to admit that she had almost forgotten about him in all of this. Since discovering the small droid on Ochee's ship, D-O had taken to Finn with a loyalty that she had not anticipated. In those early days, he had rarely said more than two words, it seemed like. But now, well, sometimes it seemed like it was hard to get him to STOP talking. Rey wasn't sure if that was because he spent so much time with Finn, or if that's what had drawn the two of them together in the first place.
"What's up, buddy?" Finn asked.
"Are we going to Yavin with Poe?" D-O asked.
"What? What are you talking about? Any of your circuits crossed?" Finn asked, worried. He immediately leaned over the little droid in an attempt to check the wiring. D-O ducked his head and wheeled back quickly, then set his head upright again.
"Overheard. Poe's loud. Talking about trip to Yavin."
Rey and Finn looked at each other.
"Did you know about this?" Rey asked, looking at Finn.
"Not at all! You?" Finn said.
Rey just stared, hoping that her sarcastic face conveyed the appropriate I' ve-Been-Gone-For-A-Month-How-Would-I-Know attitude. Finn looked back and then almost instantly said, "No, you're right, why would you?"
She knew that he hadn't meant it to be a jab, but still, it felt like one. How had she left her partners all alone for that whole time? She suddenly felt incredibly selfish.
It was then that Poe came out, bag packed, and BB-8 rolling right behind him.
"I gotta go, I, I…uh… I have a group that needs a pick up on Organa and a drop off on Yavin 4."
"When did you find out about this?" Finn asked, concern and uncertainty bordering his words.
"Just now," Poe said nonchalantly.
"And you're just going to take it without talking to either of us?!" Rey asked, her voice rising at the end, a little bit of anger mixing in.
Now it was Poe's turn to look at Rey hoping that she would pick up on his You' ve-Been-Gone-For-A-
She accepted his look and went quiet. But she glanced at Finn, hoping that he would pick up where she left off. Poe couldn't go now. Not like this. She knew he was angry, but he wouldn't just pack up and go. Would he?
"C'mon man, now is NOT the time to be doing this," Finn said. "Can you just stay for a couple of days and pick up another transport then? Does it have to be now?"
"It does." Poe insisted, "It does have to be now. I can't sit around here while you guys cook up some plan that goes against everything I believe. I just can't. I need to be moving. We've been here too long already. I've waited around a month for you," here he looked at Rey, "to get yourself together, and instead what you come back with is a barely-there plan to find Kylo Ren." He was purposely being hurtful, and everyone knew it, but things had gone too far now for anyone to turn back.
Poe turned around and walked to his transport ship. He opened the door and put his bag inside. Then he came back down the ramp and stood there.
"You can come with me if you want, I guess," not even managing to muster a tone that sounded close to conceding, "but I'm leaving and I'm leaving now, so you'll need to make your decisions quickly."
Finn and Rey stared at each other, shocked into silence. Poe had never done this. Not to them. They had always decided everything together. Rey felt a sharp pang as she remembered, they USED to make decisions together, but she was the one who had left first.
Finn didn't want to choose. He never had wanted to choose between Poe and Rey, and he didn't want to be bullied into doing it now, but he didn't see that there was another option. At least not another option right now.
"No, I guess you need to go. Maybe it's your turn to get yourself together. Man, of the three of us, who
would have thought it'd be the stormtrooper that had it all together?" Finn asked sardonically.
"So, are you guys gonna…" Poe started to ask.
"We don't know what we're gonna do yet. But when we decide, do you think you'll care? Like once you've gotten this out of your system, will you want to come back to us?" Finn asked, clearly hurt and barely keeping it together.
"I don't know," Poe said, shaking his head. "I hope so."
"Well, when you figure out the answer, let us know. Maybe we'll have something by then."
BB-8 had been between Poe and Finn, swiveling his head at each reply through the whole exchange. Now he stopped and looked at Rey.
"It'll be alright BB-8," she said. "You should go with him," she said, nodding her head in Poe's direction. Rey walked over and knelt down. She put her forehead on his head and whispered: "He's going to need you."
BB-8 rolled back and slowly, sadly, went to Poe.
D-O rolled right behind him and was almost at the ramp before Finn stopped him.
"No?" D-O asked. Finn shook his head.
"Alright then," Poe tucked his head and walked up the ramp. "I guess I'll talk to you once I'm on Yavin."
Poe started to walk to the cockpit, but Finn shouted his name to call him back to the door.
"May the Force be with you," Finn said, the choke in his voice was the only thing that stood between him saying the words and falling apart.
"You know I don't believe in that," Poe said, looking up to check a part of the hatch that didn't need to be checked. If he could distract himself, he could get through this.
"Poe," Rey said quietly and sincerely, "Safe travels. We'll talk to you when you're leaving Yavin."
Poe nodded and closed the door. He looked down at them from the cockpit window. Then he put his headset on and lifted off, his ship becoming a spec in the bright blue sky in just seconds.