BB-Date

Fan fiction by @andyphifer

"BB-8, get out of there!" Poe shouted.

Sparks flew, durasteel screamed and BB-8 blurted out a series of scared and panicked beeps as a fire erupted on the X-wings's top-left S-foil. BB-8 ejected from its roost and moved quickly to make up for his disastrous error, but it was too late.

The picnic basket fell, slightly on fire, off the wing of Poe's X-wing. The small amount of artificial gravity meant the basket didn't smash into the ground, but it did spin enough times for the contents of the basket to roll out. The fire spread quickly, and the meiloorun fruit burst into flames as it fell to the ground. The fancy wine glasses drifted into the hard edge of the S-foil - one cracked, and the other kept going, spinning into space - and worst of all, half a flask of jet juice drifted onto the blanket Poe had spread out.

"Aw, buddy, come on," Poe groaned. "You can't have a picnic without the picnic. You've got to be more careful!"

BB-8 surveyed the scene in front of it. The X-wing tethered to the sun-side of the largest asteroid in the Endor system. The sun was peeking over the side of the planet, giving the asteroid a pleasant glow. A thermal blanket spread out in the middle of the portable atmosphere bubble completed the delightfully unusual picnic.

BB-8 looked down at the mess it had made and hooted sadly. It extended an appendage to snuff out the small fire in the X-wing's control panel, then rolled off the side of the wing and floated softly to the ground. The droid started to pick through the wrecked picnic basket, searching for surviving snacks.

"What were you even doing up there?" Poe asked.

BB-8 chittered out an explanation - something about altering the X-wing's payload to create alternating red and green fireworks.

"That's actually really sweet, pal," Poe said with a weary smile. "But I doubt I'll need them now that the whole picnic is ruined."

"Did you say 'picnic?'" Finn asked, as his head suddenly popped up over the small crater he was supposed to be covering his eyes and ears behind.

Poe Dameron had done favors, traded rations and charmed his buns off for weeks getting everything ready for the day. Keeping a secret like this on their tiny rebel base proved to be harder than he'd anticipated. Between having to put a restraining bolt on C-3PO to keep him from trying to audibly wink at Finn and keeping their launch secret from Rose (who was very strict about people leaving the base for non-mission-critical reasons), it had been a period of deception and spycraft Poe hadn't experienced in months.

Finn bounded over to Poe and picked up a half-torched meiloorun. He sniffed it, then held it to his tongue. Poe adopted a look of concern, but then Finn smiled and took a big bite.

"Mmthis ish great!" Finn said, swallowing the fruit and holding the fruit out to Poe. He cocked his head to the side. "Was it supposed to be one fire?"

Poe took it apprehensively, then had a bite. He smiled.

"That's amazing. Hey BB-8, can you torch the rest of the fruits?"

BB-8 looked at Poe and nodded its head vigorously. The lighter appendage popped out of its body and it hooted happily to itself as the unmolested meiloorun burst into flames.

Poe held his arms out and gestured to the half-ruined picnic blanket.

"Sorry about…"

Finn stepped forward and stopped him with quick kiss.

"It's perfect," Finn said. Poe smiled.

"Here, let me get that glass and we'll see how much booze we can salvage," Poe said. He took a few steps forward and jumped high. Aided by the artificial gravity, he sailed over the X-wing, headed straight for the glass that was dangerously close to leaving their atmosphere bubble.

"BB-8, get ready to pull me in!" Poe shouted, as he reached his hand for the glass. BB-8 shot out a line of tow cable, then hooted in horror as the cable went straight past Poe and obliterated the glass. Poe groaned again and grabbed the tow cable.

"That's okay buddy," Poe said, sighing. "You tried."

BB-8 pulled Poe back to the surface of the asteroid and rolled to the other side of the X-wing to sulk.

Finn handed Poe the flask of jet juice and grinned.

"We can just share the flask. Those glasses were a little too fancy for this stuff, right?"

"Hey," Poe said, with a mock pained expression. "Jet juice runs in my family. This is as fancy as my kind gets."

Finn looked down at the blanket. Half of it was soaking wet and stained red with jet juice.

"I guess we can share half the blanket also?" Poe said, shrugging.

The two settled down shoulder to shoulder on the blanket and enjoyed the explosion of flavor that the sweet and smokey meiloorun fruit combined with the bitter and strong jet juice brought. They sat in silence for a few minutes, enjoying the view.

"Jet juice. This is a fighter pilot drink, right? Did your mother teach you how to make this?" Finn asked.

"Oh sure. Pameron family recipe. All jet juice is mostly the same, but my mother found a way to get my old man's favorite spice into the mix and keep its flavor - no small feat. She made it all the time, but she only made her special recipe when we celebrated the new celestial cycle."

"So is this…" Finn started.

"It is," Poe said. "I thought since this is our first new cycle together, I should introduce you to the family tradition."

Finn smiled, eyes shining.

"I don't really have any traditions. I- I don't remember. Maybe we did."

"I'm sorry, Finn. I didn't mean to..." Poe said. He put his hand on Finn's arm and squeezed.

"Some of the other troopers in my squad would play sabacc the night before an operation, and the winner would get to pilot our raid transport. But that's not a very cheerful tradition."

Poe flashed a sheepish grin.

"Yeah, not really."

They both looked out into the expanse in front of them. Finn shifted his weight and leaned his head against Poe's shoulder. Poe reached an arm around and put on on Finn's other shoulder. The smell of Poe's favorite jacket, wrapped around Finn like a warm memory, was better than the toasted fruit they shared.

"Have you ever celebrated Wookie Life Day? I did that once with an old friend. When we all walked through that starlit void into the glowing orb…"

Poe looked wistfully into space while Finn's jaw dropped. He looked up at Poe.

"Wait, is that real?" Finn asked.

Poe looked at him and winked.

"I guess you'll have to find out. Maybe I'll take you one year."

"Is it safe?" Finn nervously asked.

"Don't worry," Poe said. "You'll be safe with me."


Chicken Spin Dot Com is @andyphifer.