Characters: Finn, Rey, Poe, daemons
Warnings/Triggers: hints of war and death
Spoilers: Most of The Force Awakens
Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters, I just like to take them out to play.
Word Count: 1,325
Summary: Neither FN-2187 or his daemon have had a name before. But then everything changed.
Author's notes: Just a quick story that popped into my brain awhile ago. Daemon fic.
For reference: Dell (a canaan dog), Liddy (a common swift</a>, and Iskati (a kangaroo rat)
For most of her life, she didn’t have a name. Like her human, she was known by a designation only. 'FN-2187 (D)'. No one had given her a name at birth or, if they had, neither she nor FN-2187 remembered it, and stormtroopers were discouraged from naming their daemons. Some of them did it anyway, but she had never seen the point of risking punishment for something that unimportant. If FN-2187 needed to get her attention ‘hey’ would be enough. It wasn’t like anyone else was going to be speaking to her.
It was one of the many rules in place to ensure sameness. Individuality was dangerous and stormtroopers were expected to be as similar to one another as possible. She shifted into forms she was told to shift into until she couldn’t shift anymore and even then she’d thankfully settled into the approved dog form. All stormtroopers had dog daemons. Any other forms were not tolerated.
It wasn’t until Jakku that everything changed. Until that point, (D) had only ever encouraged FN-2187 to survive. She told him what he needed to hear to ensure he followed the rules and didn’t stand out or get in trouble. Even if sometimes--a lot of the time--she wasn’t sure that it was the right thing to do. Even if sometimes she had to resist the urge to scream at him to do the opposite.
Then Jakku happened and that’s exactly what she did. She screamed at him to stop, unable to help herself. All those people being slaughtered, all those people with proper names and lives and their daemons who were so many different forms. So many animals she’d never even seen before. So many options of forms to take, different paths to take, different ways to go, and they were being hunted down--systematically eliminated. She yelled and didn’t stop yelling until FN-2187 was on his way to free the pilot that would get them out of this situation. Into the big galaxy, where they should have been all along, and she had been too scared to acknowledge it.
The pilot had a bird daemon. She had never been that close to a bird daemon before. Only the highest level in the First Order had daemons that weren’t dogs, and stormtroopers rarely directly interacted with them. The pilot’s daemon was small, just half a foot in length, but her wings went out twice that width or more. She kept spreading them even as she was restrained, as though she didn’t know how not to be flying. The bird had tiny little legs and beady eyes and a sharp beak that had to be watched out for. FN-2187 marched out the pilot, and (D) took the bird in her mouth, trying not to hurt her, trying to avoid the wings that wouldn’t stop flapping until the pilot must have told her to stop.
Once they were free, once the act of being held prisoner was over, the bird took flight and swooped and dove around the pilot’s head, gliding in circles around and around that were dizzying to watch. Even inside the fighter, she kept moving, never landing, hovering this way and that as the pilot barked orders. Poe Dameron was the pilot’s name. And the bird was Lidella. ‘Liddy’.
Liddy was the first daemon (D) knew by name.
It was only the briefest of meetings. Liddy swooped down low over her back, wings brushing her in a friendly introduction before disaster struck. FN-2187 had a name now, Finn, and Poe was even more shocked that his daemon hadn’t any name. But he didn’t have time to offer a suggestion before they were falling and falling and falling and crashing and everything went black.
Then Poe was dead, and Finn was on his own, and Liddy was a pile of Dust, scattered amongst the sands of Jakku. (D) felt unaccountably sad that Liddy was gone, unable to swoop and glide and be free.
Then, when Finn met Rey and Iskati, that odd little hopping rodent who bounced interrogatively in front of her, Finn gave Rey his name--his new name, the first one he’d ever had. (D) needed one too.
“What do I say?” Finn hissed at her.
“Lidella!” she hissed back, without thinking. It was the only name she knew, and she thought it might help her to remember and be brave like Liddy had been. Free like her. If Finn got to be Poe, to wear his jacket and complete his mission, then she would get to be Lidella.
Dell for short, Finn told Rey, lying confidently. Dell for short, that was nice.
And so she had a name, a real one. Finn must have called her Dell a thousand times, even when he didn’t need to use a name. The only time he stopped was when he tried to leave Rey at Maz’s place; when Dell was yelling at him again, but this time he wasn’t listening. And she was new to this thing, this doing the right thing thing, and she didn’t know how to make him listen.
And when he finally listened, it was too late. Rey was gone, taken by Kylo Ren, Iskati held unmoving in his snake’s mouth. Dell screamed again. This was Finn’s fault. He should have stayed to protect them. He should have done the right thing. He should have listened.
She wasn’t going to ever let him do the wrong thing again. Not when people kept losing their lives. Dell took control now and lead, pulling Finn behind her whether he wanted to come or not. Finn hadn’t been able to save Poe, but maybe he could still save Rey. Bold, beautiful, brave Rey and little Iskati who didn’t know how small he was and bounced when he was pleased with himself and who sat on Rey’s head when she was working and never wanted a hand anywhere, even if it was a big jump or far away. Rey who looked at Finn and saw him as a person, not a soldier, not a plaything to be moved around.
They had to try. Dell yelled, and Finn listened.
It turned out, of course, that Poe wasn’t dead. Which was wonderful! Dell’s tail wagged so hard when she spotted him that she thought it might fall off. And there was Liddy, swooping about his head, dive bombing excitedly into Dell’s nose when Poe and Finn met up again.
But later, when there was a brief quiet moment and Poe wondered if Finn had named his daemon yet, Dell felt embarrassed that she’d taken Liddy’s name. She hadn’t known how important names were, how you were more of a real thing when you had one. Dell was more Dell now than she had been before she was Dell, just like Finn was really Finn now. Not FN-2187. It felt rude to have taken Liddy’s name and tried to be her when Dell wasn’t her. Liddy was herself, and Dell was herself.
“I didn’t know any other names,” Finn tried to explain to Poe, as Dell shuffled behind his legs, hiding her face. “So, I just called her Dell, after Lidella. I call her Dell now. She’s Dell.”
Poe’s face broke out into a big grin, and Liddy swooped in an amused circle around his head. “Hey, sounds good to me. I like it. Dell. Yeah, it suits her.”
Liddy did an arcing barrel roll around and down to the ground, gliding along on her belly, coasting to a graceful stop by Dell’s feet. She lifted her head and smiled up at her.
“Now we just need to get you a last name,” Poe added, giving Finn’s shoulder a punch as Liddy nipped Dell’s paw.
Dell and Finn regarded each other in surprise. She hadn’t even thought of that.
“You have to save Rey, first,” she said.
“I know,” Finn assured her.
This time, she didn’t even have to yell. Finn was already listening.
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