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Saga Captain and Commander - TCW Episode Tags - Canon Vignettes [Rex & Ahsoka] 19/? - Jan 30

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Jade_Max, Feb 3, 2012.

  1. Valairy Scot

    Valairy Scot Backpacking One Pack a Day Mod of New Films star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Sep 16, 2005
    Interesting that he had more faith in Ahsoka than Anakin - well, not really faith, because Anakin was too frantic with fear to worry about faith - but Rex had enough faith to remain calm.
  2. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Aug 21, 2006
    WOW another reason to eagerly anticipate the DVD.

    Nice insights in Rex
  3. Jade_Max

    Jade_Max Jedi Master star 5

    Jun 28, 2002
    Valairy_Scot ? I don?t think it?s a matter of faith, I think you?re right; it?s a matter of frantic. Anakin?s one to be led by his emotions and Rex is more logical. It?s fun to write the contrast.

    earlybird-obi-wan ? Thanks ;) This is one more... hope I?m not spoiling you!


    A 'sequel' to the last Vig - something to take place upon Ahsoka's return...


    Title: Signs II
    Author: Jade_Max
    Characters: Captain Rex, Ahsoka Tano
    Genre: Friendship
    Era: The Clone Wars
    Summary: Set after Episodes 22, Season 3; Ahsoka's return from her adventure with the Trandoshans?

    Signs II

    "She's gone, Cap," Jesse was saying as Rex checked the firing pins on one blaster and sighting down the barrel. They were in the mess on board the Resolute heading back towards Coruscant after their last recon had failed to turn up even a glimmer of what had occurred to Ahsoka. "I don't like it anymore than the next guy, but we have to accept it."

    "She'll be back," Rex told his trooper calmly, removing the outer casing to his blaster and wiping down the interior with a soft cloth.

    "Why are you so sure, anyway?"

    "Why are you so certain she won't?" Rex's look was pointed.

    Jesse grimaced. "We've lost a lot of brothers, Sir. It?s not unheard of to have Jedi casualties and both the Commander and the General have had close calls. Too many of them. Just by numbers alone she should have been dead long before now; both of them should be."

    "And so should I," Rex reminded him as he replaced the outer casing and pulled the stock from the weapon. "If there's one thing that serving with General Skywalker has taught me, Jesse, it's that he doesn't give up on people. Especially not someone he feels responsible for or calls friend. I refuse to give up on her until he does."

    "Something was smart enough to capture her, Cap; that means she's out of her league."

    "All that means is that whatever or whoever it was managed to blind side her," Rex corrected. "Jedi aren't invincible. The battle behind her might have thrown her off; who knows. All I know is that the Commander is smarter than you credit her for and far more resourceful. She'll find her way back."

    Jesse shook his head. "I want her back as much as you do, sir, but with all due respect-"

    "Enough." Rex's tone was mild, but the look in his eyes when he pinned Jesse with his full attention was enough to snap the trooper's jaw shut audibly. "Until General Skywalker says otherwise, we'll continue to search for her under the assumption she?s out there to be found. Those are our orders and that's what we'll do."

    "Yes, sir," Jesse pushed to his feet, collecting his tray. "Whatever you say."

    Rex shook his head and returned to his blasters, breaking them down automatically and cleaning the various pieces before sliding them back together. It was a ritual he'd done many times; one that was normally soothing, but Jesse's pessimism had gotten under his skin.

    They'd been searching for days, well over a week, with no indication of where Ahsoka might be. They'd searched dozens of worlds, followed up lone Togruta sightings, all with the same result; nothing. He was frustrated at his own inability to help her when the signs he'd found all pointed to her capture. She was someone's prisoner, being forced to endure who knew what, and he couldn't find her, let alone give her aid.

    Did she need help?

    Something in his gut said she was in danger, one didn't kidnap a Jedi Padawan with good intentions after all, but, for all he wanted to jump in blasters blazing, he somehow knew she'd be okay. Even now. Nothing he?d seen, nothing he?d heard and certainly no discussion he?d been a part of had shaken his belief in her and her abilities. He couldn't explain it. He knew because he'd tried.

    Jesse wasn't the first of Torrent Company to approach him on his seeming unflappable faith in their missing Commander. Both Kix and Hardcase had approached him along with Tup and Oddball. He'd tried to explain it to Kix but hadn't been able to find the words
  4. Valairy Scot

    Valairy Scot Backpacking One Pack a Day Mod of New Films star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Sep 16, 2005

    [blockquote]Finally coming to a halt before Rex, he arched his eyebrows at her breathless and grinning state and deliberately took her in from head to toe. Her smile started to die before he finally spoke. "You're late."

    She burst out laughing and flung herself at him, hugging him hard. "I'm home," she corrected.[/blockquote]

    Ahhhh. I [face_love] .
  5. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Aug 21, 2006
    love Rex and the squad and the reactions to Ahsoka's return.

    That gives even more meaning to the episode
  6. Jade_Max

    Jade_Max Jedi Master star 5

    Jun 28, 2002
    Valairy_Scot - *grin* Thanks!

    earlybird-obi-wan - I only hope I'm not spoiling the season for you :/ one of the things I was disappointed with when I saw the episode was the lack of "after" with the troops which is why I felt compelled to write it. The 501st is quite fond of Ahsoka and you can see it when she's with her men; I just wanted to showcase that. Glad you enjoyed it :D


    I tried something new with this Vig and took it another route; hopefully they're still 'in character' :/


    SPOILER ALERT: This Vignette takes place after Episode 10 in SEASON 4 of TCW! If you do not wish to be spoiled, DO NOT READ!

    That is all.


    Title: Fallout
    Author: Jade_Max
    Characters: Captain Rex, Ahsoka Tano
    Genre: Friendship, Angst
    Era: The Clone Wars
    Summary: Set after Episode 10, Season 4; Ahsoka tries to help Rex after his clash with Krell as he comes to a surprising revelation. [tied loosely back to Vig #3 Boys Are the Same in this series]


    ?I thought I?d find you here.?

    Flexing his fingers around the armor on either bicep, Rex continued to stare across the expanse of the planet that had seen so much death; so many fallen brothers all because of one Jedi?s disregard for what they were as individuals. His crossed arms were a defensive stance; not for his own protection, but for others.

    The voice behind him was as unexpected as it wasn?t.

    It was only right that she find him here, at the broken and shattered top of the spire where the treasonous General had stood watching so many of his brothers die. Brothers who had been friends, veterans of many campaigns; brothers who had been more than brothers. More than family - if that was possible.

    Hardcase. Waxer. Oz. Ringo.

    Names that ran together in his thoughts amid faces that had been so similar and yet so different; names that echoed through his thoughts as he stared out across the vast expanse that had become a mass grave of the brave and selfless - the mass grave of the damned.

    And above it all, her voice penetrated with an echo of word he?d once spoken to her what felt like a lifetime ago.

    A time when he?d believed all Jedi to be selfless and honor bound. An order that fought with the army and were beyond the corruption that had turned loyal members of the Republic into Separatists. Above the temptations of those who were weaker, more susceptible to coercion and control; above the normal desires of the masses.

    He?d been wrong.

    Jedi weren?t the infallible, incorruptible beings he?d once been led to believe. While his time with General Skywalker had done much to disabuse him of his preconceived notions about Jedi, the General had always been an innovative and inventive leader who?d respected his opinion and valued the lives of his men.

    General Krell had been everything Anakin was not; his antithesis to the extreme. The experience hadn't been a good one. It had been a hard one; a lesson he could have done without.

    Rex had never realized just how fortunate he?d been to serve with Skywalker until Krell had taken command and Krell? Krell had done something he?d never thought possible. Something Rex would never have believed if he hadn't been standing where he was now in the aftermath of the carnage.

    Krell had shaken Rex?s faith in the Jedi.

    As a direct result, hers was a voice he didn?t feel he deserved to hear. Not here; not on Umbara and certainly not now.


    He closed his eyes against the concern in her voice, steeling himself against the desire to turn, to speak with her. After what everything that had happened, after everything he?d been forced to do to maintain his own integrity; after everything he?d done to nearly compromise that, the last thing he needed or wanted was validation from a Jedi. Especially this Jedi.

    He didn?t answer her.


    Speaking with her would excuse his actions, validate what some had called treason; validate his blindness to what Krell truly had been and his complicity in the subsequent massacre of his brothe
  7. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Aug 21, 2006
    You aren't spoiling the season at all. First time I am going to see it will be end of this year or the coming year.

    Love your touching post, giving so much depth to the characters and it will add to watching the episode.
  8. obsessedwithSW

    obsessedwithSW Jedi Master star 4

    May 24, 2005
    Argh wish I could watch the episode and then read these scenes! They are already powerful and insightful but it would do alot to make the series even better. you need to get on the writing team! Lucas has no idea what you could do for him.
  9. Jade_Max

    Jade_Max Jedi Master star 5

    Jun 28, 2002
    earlybird-obi-wan - oh good, I'm glad. I'm so glad these things seem to fit; I've worked really hard to ensure continuity - though this next one is... er... doesn't sit right with me completely; I'll admit it.

    I'm glad you're enjoying them though!

    obsessedwithSW - Thanks! You know, if you're based in the states, you can watch the episodes off the SW official site; if you're not, there's a teletoon feed somewhere online... *grin* I'd love to be on GL's writing team for this, but somehow I doubt it - flattered you think so though :)


    Title: Token Jedi
    Author: Jade_Max
    Characters: Captain Rex, Ahsoka Tano, Kix
    Genre: Friendship
    Era: The Clone Wars
    Summary: Set after Episodes 7 and before Episode 10, Season 3; Ahsoka's ambushed after returning to Coruscant from Naboo by an unexpected duo...

    Token Jedi

    ?Ugh! I swear it?s not that bad.?

    Ahsoka?s amusement was palpable as Kix checked out the blaster wound on her right bicep with a meticulous thoroughness that was almost comical. The care he was showing was usually reserved for the worst injuries on the battlefield. Slanting a look beyond to the clone Captain that had helped the medic ambush her as she'd been on her way to find him, her lips kicked into an entertained smirk.

    ?The healers have already looked at it, Kix.?

    ?No offense to your Jedi healers, sir,? Kix told her with a sidelong look at Rex, ?but there are times when even Jedi need conventional medicine. Why didn?t they wrap this??

    ?It?s a scratch; a bruise.?

    ?It needs to be under a bacta patch for a few hours,? he retorted as she rolled her eyes. ?There?s no reason not to take care of a wound like this properly while we?re on Coruscant. I want a better look; come with me.?

    Humoring him, Ahsoka went along as Kix put actions to words, looking to Rex again while she was being pulled towards the barracks where there was a medic station. A station manned, when he was on planet, by Kix himself and whatever other medics needed it.

    ?Was this your idea, Captain??

    ?Of course it was his idea,? Kix confirmed when Rex said nothing. ?How else do you think I knew about it??

    ?I don?t know; read my report on what happened with the senator on Alderaan??

    Kix once again nodded to the still silent Captain who was shadowing them but a few steps behind. ?He did." The medic's smile returned and he winked at her. ?Sometimes I don?t think he has anything better to do then read what you?ve been up to without us.?

    ?And look for what could have been done better??

    ?Of course.?

    ?Hmm,? Ahsoka glanced back at Rex and then at Kix, her eyes dancing, her tone teasing. ?Maybe he doesn?t. Maybe he needs something else to occupy his time??

    ?With all due respect, Commander,? Rex finally broke in. ?Reading the mission logs are a part of my duties.?

    "When we're on the Resolute maybe," she shot back, her tone triumphant. "You've been back from your mission with Skyguy for less than ten hours; you're supposed to be relaxing, Rex."

    "Keeping you out of trouble is relaxing."

    "Keeping me... How is reading my mission logs keeping me out of trouble?"

    He shrugged.

    She rolled her eyes.

    Kix laughed. ?She has a point sir; it was the first thing you checked when we returned ? to see if she?d filed any.?

    Rex didn?t so much as glance the medic?s way. ?The Commander has a tendency to be in the right place at the right time. It seemed logical she wouldn?t be spending her time studying.?

    ?And if I had been??

    ?I wouldn?t have found out about this,? he tapped his arm where hers was injured, ?because you wouldn?t have it.?

    ?And you wouldn?t have come looking for me??

    He didn?t have a response and so didn?t say anything.

    "Sir - Sir," Kix nodded to each one as they reached the barracks entrance, saving his Captain from an awkward silence. "If you'll wait here, I'll make sure the men are decent."

    "I still don't think-"

    "Humor me, Commander," Kix cut her off and disappeared within.

    Ahsoka turned to Rex and crossed her
  10. Valairy Scot

    Valairy Scot Backpacking One Pack a Day Mod of New Films star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Sep 16, 2005
    You write these characters so - so very human and wonderful. Heartwarming, really. I love it.
  11. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Aug 21, 2006
    Love those clones and their very human behaviour. They are humans[face_dancing]

    A nice and touching moment
  12. Jade_Max

    Jade_Max Jedi Master star 5

    Jun 28, 2002
    Valairy_Scot - Thanks! Part of the reason I like these characters so much is because they -are- just people. Soldiers, yes, but people essentially and they all have their own traits.

    earlybird-obi-wan - I love writing moments like this. People often forget that soldiers are people on the inside too, so being able to portray that is especially meaningful to me.

    Thanks for reading guys; I'm planning a second part to this ;) Stay tuned!
  13. Jade_Max

    Jade_Max Jedi Master star 5

    Jun 28, 2002
    The second part to "Token Jedi" is being a bit of a pain, so I figured I'd play with something that was easier to write for now :) This one pretty much wrote itself.

    I suppose I should take out the "these aren't related" note at the beginning *grin* since I keep tying them back to one another lol!


    Title: Respect
    Author: Jade_Max
    Characters: Captain Rex, Ahsoka Tano
    Genre: Friendship
    Era: The Clone Wars
    Summary: Set after Episode 11, Season 4 [References to "Fallout"]


    Anakin frowned as he examined the map of Zygeria; the information they'd been able to pull from the slaver's ship had been detailed but nowhere near complete. Landing instructions, restrictions, slave mart locations and auction details were embedded in the data and, with every line he read, ever holo he viewed as he examined the Zygerian capital, Anakin's expression grew grimmer and his hand clenched further into the fist on his belt.

    Watching him, Ahsoka could tell he didn't like what he was seeing.

    "Infiltration is our only option," Anakin finally exhaled, his tone even but Ahsoka could tell it was reluctant. He had no desire to infiltrate the den of slavers any more than she did. Except the lives of her people were on the line; they had to find them and quickly, before the Zygerian Empire sold them as slaves. His gaze never left the information he was assimilating as he formulated a plan. "If we can get admission to the Queen's inner circle and gain her trust, we should be able to discover what happened to the Colonists and plan a rescue."

    "No offense, Master, but don't you think she'd be expecting something like that?"

    "Which is why it'll work," she was assured. "You and I will infiltrate the palace while Obi-Wan and Rex look for the captives."

    Alarm bells went off in her head at Anakin's words; dangerous ones. Obi-Wan and Rex.


    Anakin looked up from the man with a frown. "No what, Snips?"

    "No as in we're not assuming that Rex wants to come along," she clarified.

    "He'll do it."

    Ahsoka shook her head. "You don't know that." It wasn't that she didn't believe Rex would do it; that didn't play into her thoughts on the matter at all. It was simply too soon after Umbara and Rex was still smarting from Krell's betrayal; from the treatment of his men at the hands of a Jedi. Fair or not, Krell's actions had colored Rex's opinion of the Jedi order as a whole that wouldn't ease without time and space to heal. If Anakin ordered him along... "Unless... did you already ask him?"

    "We'll need him for this one, Snips; his refusal isn't an option."

    Except it was.

    Ahsoka had seen Rex after Krell's machinations, seen the aftermath of that whole campaign and, after a long talk between them, had come to the conclusion that the good solider she'd initially served with was still under the damage Krell had wrought, but different. Umbara had changed Rex, hardened him and forced him to grow in ways she still didn't fully understand. It had also forced him to see that he was more than who he'd been bred and trained to be just as she'd always known he could be.

    The man she'd found at the top of the broken spire was a very different one in belief than the mentor and friend she'd known for so long; different but the same.

    Rex's new self awareness as a man with choices had brought new aspects to their relationship, forcing her to see him as more than who and what he'd been previously and she wasn't sure just yet as to who he was becoming. She liked it even as it scared her; he was still fundamentally Rex, but they'd both been forced to grow beyond their years in ways they'd never anticipated. Ways that were similar and yet different all at once.

    She knew for a fact that, if Anakin ordered him to go on this mission, Rex might, might refuse - and her Master wouldn't take it well.

    But Anakin hadn't seen Rex at the end of the Umbara campaign; the broken soldier she'd found and offered comfort to. He might have read the reports, offered his men his sincerest apologies for leaving them
  14. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Aug 21, 2006
    Loved this piece showing the care Ahsoka is giving to Rex and the banter between them
  15. Valairy Scot

    Valairy Scot Backpacking One Pack a Day Mod of New Films star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Sep 16, 2005
    YOu have developed an absolutely wonderful relationship between Rex and Ahsoka.
    Did you plan to attack the aftermath of the Krell episodes? The consequences of that were largely ignored, by and large and I think you are just the person to bring it to life.
  16. Jade_Max

    Jade_Max Jedi Master star 5

    Jun 28, 2002
    earlybird-obi-wan - Thanks! He's watched her back for so long, I can totally see her watching his when it comes to stuff like this. It's fun to write too!

    Valairy_Scot - thank you; it's easy to write a relationship I can see... even if it's just in my head :)

    As for the Umbara arc with Krell - Vig #8 [Fallout] deals with he initial fallout of that episode and Rex. I'm toying with the idea of doing the Rex/Ahsoka talk that follows but for now I think I'll leave it unless the Muse decides to strike hard.

    Thanks for the vote of confidence; Umbara is a tricky subject and one I can hope I give justice to. I'm sure I'll be touching on it more in the future :) The idea does occur to take a page from your book - so to speak - and write an in depth view on the Umbara arc based on what we see and what we don't... I'll have to think about it.
  17. Jade_Max

    Jade_Max Jedi Master star 5

    Jun 28, 2002
    In celebration of the move today! Yay - new boards!


    Author's Note: Big Thanks to the individual who suggested this [you know who you are *grin*]; I don't know if this is what you had in mind, but it's what the muse provided ;)

    Title: Beginnings
    Author: Jade_Max
    Characters: Captain Rex, Ahsoka Tano
    Genre: Friendship
    Era: The Clone Wars
    Summary: Set during the movie; shortly after leaving for Teth to retrieve Jabba?s son, Ahsoka and Rex share their first real conversation and set their path on a road to a friendship neither anticipates...

    [Post Season 1, "The Hidden Enemy - Episode 16 which appears to be set directly before the movie as the only things to escape Slick's betrayal are the heavy cannons - the only heavy equipment they have in the movie *grin*]



    Rex was reading over the personnel files he'd been forwarded, looking for men to replenish their flagging numbers since Slick's betrayal on Christophsis with a grim expression when Ahsoka found him shortly after midnight.

    The sound of the door opening wasn?t unusual, especially after such an operation as Christophsis, but there was an uncomfortable number of empty bunks right now; part of the reason for his own late night. No footsteps sounded that drew his attention so he ignored it, focusing on the personnel lists, idly noting that someone must have activated the door while walking past. There were several long minutes of silence before his attention was drawn from his grim reading.


    He glanced up, setting aside the datapad and starting to rise as protocol demanded, but she waved him back to his seat, sliding in across from him without an invitation. Two steaming mugs of caf were set on the table between them, more on his side than hers.

    "Don't get up for me," she insisted and then made a face, "Skyguy says there's a phrase for that but Force if I know it."

    Half way to his feet, he paused before sinking back into his chair and taking his cue from her. If she wasn't going to adhere to the protocols at this hour of night, neither was he. "As you were."


    "The phrase you're looking for," he told her, his lips twisting with amusement. "It's 'as you were'."

    "Oh!" Her eyes lit up. "Well then, Captain Rex, as you were."

    "Yes, sir." He didn't, however, pick his datapad back up. "Was there something I can do for you, Commander?"

    "What? Oh, yeah, I was hoping you could answer some questions." He regarded her, his expression neutral but she didn't let that deter her from forging ahead. She pushed one cup of caf a little more his way before setting the other aside. He nodded sharply at the gesture but neither touched them further. "Skyguy said you should show me the ropes but we kinda got interrupted back on Christophsis."

    "Battle will do that."

    "Right, so anyway, I was going over the occupation as a whole and I'm curious about something. Actually I?m curious about a lot of things, but I?m going to settle on this one for now; they?ll be plenty of time while I?m learning from Skyguy for you to teach me what else I need to know. So; anyway..." He didn't say anything as she built up a head of steam, simply watched her and she forged ahead. "When you landed on Christophsis, you had tons of tanks, heavy cannons, E-Webs, spare -"

    "Hardware," he interjected.

    "Excuse me?"

    "The heavy equipment; we call it hardware."

    "Oh," she processed it for a heartbeat. "So you had loads of... hardware, this massive base that was fortified, a stockpile of weapons that should have lasted for months and then... what - nothing?"

    His expression tightened. "It's not something we like to discuss, sir."

    "Ah, but I'm a Jedi," she leaned forward on the table, bracing her chin on her folded hands as she planted her elbows on the tabletop as if that explained everything.

    ?All pertinent facts are in my report, Commander.?

    "I didn't read your report, Captain. I could - but I wanted to hear it from you."


    ?Because spoken accounts always have better detail than the wr
  18. Valairy Scot

    Valairy Scot Backpacking One Pack a Day Mod of New Films star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Sep 16, 2005

    [blockquote]We had a traitor in our midst," he finally admitted reluctantly. "Someone both Commander Cody and I trusted. He was feeding the enemy our intel, giving them our locations, our battle formations, everything. He sabotaged the weapons depot, took out all of the hardware except the heavy cannons."

    "He... a clone?"

    She sounded appalled and he regarded her for a moment. His response was even, but slightly pained; short. "The men, clones or not, are still men, Commander. Put the right sort of temptation in front of a man and he will succumb."

    ?Even you??

    ?In theory.? His expression hardened. ?But not in this instance. Nothing could make me turn on my men.?

    "A clone?" She'd straightened, her hands hitting the table with a thump, distress written across her features and taking him by surprise. ?I thought you were supposed to be brothers.?

    ?We are.?

    ?Then how could he... what was?? she floundered. ?I don?t understand.?

    Neither did he; not completely. But her innocence, her confusion, her very shock at the fact one of his brothers had even considered treason reached a part of him he hadn?t known existed. She looked so vulnerable; so much the child she was struggling to move beyond, he felt compelled to try and explain. Compelled to try and ease her bewilderment.

    ?Slick... Slick justified it as trying to free us from slavery. He believes that we blindly follow orders, fight and die for a cause that none of us really understand or care about because we weren?t given a choice. He believes that the Jedi are the ones who keep us tied to the military; the ones who take away our freedoms.?

    ?The Jedi??

    Rex nodded.[/blockquote]

    Oh, going into the gray, but so wonderfully done. =D=
  19. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Aug 21, 2006
    love this insightful first meeting between Rex and Ahsoka

    Great post and want to see more after the move
  20. Jade_Max

    Jade_Max Jedi Master star 5

    Jun 28, 2002
    Well, I'm kinda back - I didn't sign up on the temp boards and life has kind of kicked me in the teeth, but I figured I'd put up the chapters that were posted on while this place was being worked on.

    For anyone looking for the full series of Vignettes, check my site:


    Author's Note: Big Thanks to the individual who suggested this albeit by accident [you know who you are *grin*]; it just refused to be silent in the back of my brain

    And Huge Thanks to laloga for taking a peak at this when I felt it didn't flow; her insight was invaluable.

    Title: Token Jedi II
    Author: Jade_Max
    Characters: Captain Rex, Ahsoka Tano
    Genre: Friendship
    Era: The Clone Wars
    Summary: Set after Episodes 7 and before Episode 10, Season 3; Ahsoka's been inducted into Torrent Company as their 'Token Jedi' and, later, she finds Rex to ask some questions that refuse to leave her be…
    Sort of sets up "Boys" on Rex's side of things – so hints of the referred to unrequited crush that's mentioned in that Vig. Take this as you will.

    Token Jedi II

    The artificial lights of the firing range glared somewhere above as Rex narrowed his gaze against it. Sighting down the length of his blaster pistol, outstretched towards the targets in his left hand, he inhaled, clearing his mind as he focused. The indoor range, just off the barracks, was empty save for him, giving no distractions, no interruptions, no-

    "I thought for sure you'd be catching up with Fives and Echo back at the barracks."

    His shoulders stiffened, his fingers tightening around the stocks of his DC-17s at the sound of her voice; it was unexpected. More so because she wasn't supposed to be there, but it didn't break his concentration as she continued to speak. Her tone was conversational even as it held an edge he could easily identify; she was irritated with him about something. Knowing her, he wouldn't have to wait long to discover what.

    "It's not like they've been around a lot since they were promoted."

    He didn't turn, nor did he take his gaze off the target at the end of the firing range. With careful precision, he pulled the trigger in a quick triple tap, the bolts slamming into nearly the same place each time; the head of the target.

    "They don't get off Kamino as much as they used to," he returned, taking aim with his other hand and, unsurprisingly, having the same result. A marksman such as himself never missed when given as much time as he had at the firing range even with the odd distraction. "They returned this morning."


    She was silent for a few moments as he tapped off another round and then stopped, scrutinizing the impacts on the virtual target at the end of the simulated way.

    "Were they on special assignment?"

    "To the Chancellor," Rex confirmed. He regarded his target, nodded once, and then turned, holstering his blasters as he did, resetting the target with a press of one foot. He took a step towards her and stopped almost mid-stride. His eyes widened as they took her in, from the tips of her montrals to the boots on her feet, with a long, sweeping look.

    Ahsoka grinned, straightening to strike a pose as his gaze touched on her boots and then her face after that first look and then, unable to help himself, swept slowly back downwards.

    Predominantly burgundy, the tunic caught close at the neck - adorned with the diamond shaped choker he and the men had given her - open in a small rounded triangle just below her collar bone and above her breasts, only to close securely as it fitted down across her torso to her hips and hanging to mid thigh.

    It clung to her like a second skin, showcasing her physical growth to her advantage and, in the back of his mind, Rex deliberately locked that fact away, concentrating instead on the rest of her new uniform.

    A distinctive belt crossed her hips, dual lightsaber hilts - a new addition – hung from just in front of each one and the long strap of mauve fabric that hung at the center of the belt was the only visible nod to her old outfit. Below, she wore charcoal leggings with a half dozen diamonds running down the outside of each leg. They disappeared into sensible boot to which were attached reinforced shin and knee guards, the same color as her tunic.

    In addition, each forearm was covered in bracers of the same hard material, buckles lacing them tight to her arms. Combat gloves for grip tipped each one, lending her a better grip.

    Kix's bacta bandage had done its job and her arm was once against unblemished and clear, as revealed under the four bicep covers, equally spaced, and giving the appearance of forming diamonds between them. Both practical and decorative, the fabric served to break up the patterns of her skin and, like the markings on her face, served as obvious camouflage. The hard materials on her forearms, shins and knees was an obvious nod to the armor plating the clones wore; a little something to offer her better protection while in the field no doubt.

    His lips kicked into a half smile. Diamonds. They suited her.

    "Do you approve, Captain?"

    His gaze lingered near her neck level before he took her in as a whole once more, deliberately considering the military applications of her new outfit, and nodded sharply. "It will do. What's the occasion?"


    He waved at her new clothes, striding towards her once more. Dressed today as she normally saw him, armored and battle ready despite being on Coruscant, minus his helmet, he saw a flash of disappointment in her gaze as she regarded him back and couldn't place it. She'd sought him out, what could she possibly have to be disappointed about? He shook the thought away.

    "The new outfit; why the change?"

    "It was time," she shrugged.

    Taking another look, it struck him forcefully that it wasn't just a new outfit. It was a personification of her as a whole he realized. A testament to her growth as both soldier and Jedi; a testament to the hard edges of her personality that hid the softer center she carefully shielded with jokes and quips. A hallmark of everything she'd been and who she'd become. It was everything about her that he admired and respected. Her new look said volumes about her if one cared to look – and what to look for.

    And besides, it was far more sensible than the little scrap of fabric top, skirt and leggings she'd been sporting when he'd first met her. How could he not approve some something that wasn't only functional but practical? She continued to speak, oblivious to his realization and Rex concentrated on her words; he wouldn't have known how to voice his thoughts to make them sound professional.

    "Besides, if I wore this," she reached up to touch the pendant at her throat, "with my old clothes, it'd have dug into my skin. I bleed enough on the battlefield without inducing friendly 'fire' into the equation."

    He said nothing as he joined her, quick stepping her through the doorway and out of the firing range. He'd broken enough rules and regulations by taking her into the barracks earlier in the week; he didn't need to add to that number so soon. Not by too many anyway.

    She didn't protest, falling into step close to his side. He hadn't considered where she was going to wear the pendant and only now did a thought occur to him. "Is it comfortable?"

    "It is now," an easy grin crossed her lips, her tone turning teasing. "More comfortable than the circumstance you orchestrated to give it to me."

    "I had little to do with it," he denied immediately. "Kix and Hardcase set it up with Jesse and Fives; Echo, from what I gather, just went along with it."

    "And you?"

    "Nothing more than the others."

    "Nothing? Nothing more than having the barracks cleared? Taking the onus on you in the event I was caught there? Being willing to suffer a reprimand and possible punitive action for having a woman in your company barracks?"

    He shifted, tucking his hands behind his back as they walked, one hand grasping the other wrist lightly as Ahsoka pinned him with a look.

    "It couldn't have been done without you, Rex; give me some credit."

    He didn't look at her and didn't reply; he didn't know what to say.

    "You're not getting off that easy, Rex ol' boy," she stopped, drawing him to a stop as well, and turned to face him, her expression suddenly serious. "Why a pendant?"

    Not answering, he looked at her but not at her, more through her. He was afraid that if he met her gaze in that moment she'd see something in his he didn't yet understand.

    She exhaled noisily, obviously put off by his silence but not willing to back down. "Was it your idea?"

    His head snapped up and the words slipped out defensively despite their honestly. It was a reaction more than anything he gave any real thought to. "It was a collective suggestion, sir."

    Her brow furrowed as the markings on her face lifted in the Togruta equivalent of raising her eyebrows. "I know you men think alike, but that's a little much, Rexster." Her amusement was back and palpable as she shook her head. "There's no way all one hundred and forty four of your men, plus you, Fives and Echo, all came up with the same idea."

    Put like that, he had to agree with her. "Fives, Echo and Kix put forward the idea of a pendant; Jesse and Hardcase wanted to make it a necklace; I suggested the choker."

    "And the rest?"

    "There were other suggestions," he conceded, "but none of them viable."

    "Like what?"

    "Rings, bracelets, montral covers," his gaze was drawn of its own accord to the curves that had begun to arch above her head as she'd aged; the child she'd been hadn't the graceful sweep of those elegant lines which now so complimented her. "Anklets, shirts, ear cuffs, lightsaber charms," he shook his head as much to clear it as to remind himself of his focus, "not all of the ideas were practical."

    "Or well thought out," she agreed. "Lightsaber charms; really? I take it whoever suggested it didn't know there's nowhere to hang a charm from a lightsaber?"

    Rex nodded. It had been one of the tamer suggestions; not that she would ever hear them from him. "One of the men suggested making it a tattoo," he tapped the side of his neck under his ear as to the suggested spot for said tattoo, "but their nerves about giving you a gift without having to convince you of the merits made it unlikely."

    "Hmm," her eyes danced, "didn't want to brand me, Rex?"

    "Didn't think you'd go for it," he corrected dryly.

    The idea had been, and still was, surprisingly appealing. Almost intimate. The thought of Ahsoka wearing his Company emblem as a permanent mark... boldly and proudly bearing a symbol that she belonged to the Company, to him as a result, had fired his imagination in a way he'd never before experienced.

    It was the main reason he'd vetoed the idea in the first place.

    It wasn't productive or proper, completely unprofessional - she was his CO and his friend after all - but he'd found himself helpless in the face of his deep seated admiration for her. It had taken much control to banish the thought when it had been voiced and, even now, the idea of branding her was... it was-

    "Is that why they were with you - us - when you gave it to me?"

    - it was inappropriate.

    Drawn from his thoughts, his admission was reluctant as he firmly reprimanded himself and banished the thought viciously. It had no place in their relationship. "Partly."

    "Don't tell me they were serious about you needing moral support."

    "I didn't want you to misunderstand the gesture, kid."


    She echoed him, her tone still amused and obviously not having followed his earlier line of thought. Which, Rex reflected as he watched her, was probably for the best.

    "All of Torrent Company pitched in for it," he told her instead, turning to keep walking and Ahsoka fell into step beside him again. "It wasn't just from me."

    She was silent for a moment. "I get that and I appreciate it, but I would have felt better if you'd given it to me on your own, Rex."

    His eyebrows arched in surprise; he'd been trying to avoid the discomfiture that scene would have inevitably brought. Something so personal wasn't exactly an area he had a lot of experience in. He'd never given her, given anyone, a gift before. That things had gone as well as they could have had been something of an eye opening experience.

    She continued without looking at him and obviously oblivious, thankfully, to his thoughts. "As I said, I'm honored to wear it..."


    She exhaled. "I felt strange to be the Commander but not; you and I have been friends for some time now, but I don't know that I'm ready to share that… to share you with the rest of the men."

    "Kid…" He shook his head. "Ahsoka; I was hoping to avoid this."

    "What, taking to me?"

    "No, no… this." He made a motion between them with one hand, struggling to find the words to describe what he didn't really understand. "This…"




    Her shoulders slumped as she stopped beside one of the rails that overlooked the streets below them.

    They moved from the building that housed the shooting range and barrack while talking and into the semi-private square nearby. It was deserted at this time of day, most of the troopers having left for maneuvers, additional training or other tasks they'd be assigned. Only a small contingent remained and most of those, Rex knew, would be in the common area Ahsoka had seen, taking in some much needed relaxation before the start of their rotations.

    He watched as she turned towards the rail, sliding both forearms across it to brace herself as she looked into the streets below. Studying her, he realized she wasn't seeing anything below them; her gaze was unfocused and aimless.

    Her words, when she finally spoke, were soft, almost introspective. "So that scene really was for your benefit as much as theirs."

    It was a fair enough assessment though, when said that way, it made him look weak. He didn't know what to say in response as he stayed beyond her, taking up an at ease pose, wondering why it bothered her so much.

    When Ahsoka finally turned, bracing her back against the rail, her elbows on top, she regarded him shrewdly. "Did you really think I'd refuse such an honor, Rex?"

    "Few Jedi would see induction into a company of clones as an honor, kid."

    "I'm not most Jedi; I thought you'd realized that by now."

    "I said few Jedi," he corrected her, "not most. Even knowing you, of all the Jedi we've served with, weren't likely to refuse, there was still a chance."

    "Do you know me at all, Rexster?"

    He grinned at her tease, appreciating that she was attempting to put him at ease. "Knowing someone and knowing how they'll react are two different things."

    "Okay, that's fair," she conceded. "I suppose I could have reacted differently. I might have if you'd given it to me when we were alone."

    "I couldn't take that chance."

    "For the men."

    He nodded once.

    They shared a look and then she laughed, shortly, shaking her head. "You do know it'd be pretty hard to misconstrue anything you say, right?"

    "Thank you."

    "You're about the most straightforward person I know, Rex. Most of the time I don't have to wonder as to what you're thinking."

    "Most, sir?"

    Their conversation was informal, but the title of respect slipped out before he could stop it and she grinned but didn't comment on it. "Well, I can't quite figure out why you objected to Kix examining me on his bunk."

    Rex arched his eyebrows; he'd all but forgotten her playful suggestion but didn't answer. If she hadn't figured it out, he wasn't about to enlighten her and she cocked her head at him when that revelation finally dawned on her.

    "You're not going to tell me, are you?"

    "Is it relevant?"

    "Only to my insatiable curiosity about what makes you tick. You sounded very fierce."

    Deciding to humor her, he stepped up to stand beside her, making her turn her head to continue watching him as he looked out across the cityscape. "It would be unbalancing," he told her, careful to keep his expression neutral.

    "In what way?"

    Not the way he was about to suggest. "I need soldiers first, not medics; once the men heard about it, and they would have, the exodus would have begun."

    "Exodus? Exodus to where?" She sounded more perplexed by the moment. "Rex, you're not making much sense."

    Still not looking at her, for he didn't trust himself not to laugh if he did, he continued. "If the men discovered that working on a wounded young woman was a way to get her into their-"

    "You're teasing me!"

    He finally looked at her as she made the accusation and he laughed at the indignation he saw in her face. It contrasted beautifully with the sparkle in her eyes; she appreciated his tease and respected his privacy. His evasion had worked and he knew she wouldn't pry further. He could see the understanding in the depths of her gaze.

    "A little," he conceded. "But a valid concern, kid. I need my men in top shape, not daydreaming."

    "Would it help if I promised to sit on every bunk in the barracks so not to show favorites?" Her smile turned into a smirk. "Or maybe just yours?"

    "Do it and I'll report you to General Skywalker."

    "Spoil sport. He'd have me on recon for a week!"

    "You would have earned it."

    "And you would be right there next to me since the only way I'd gain entry is with your help," her eyes danced as she crossed her arms over her chest, the awkwardness of their conversation reassuringly and obviously forgotten as she turned true to form and teased him. "Admit it, Rexster; you'd do it just to spend some time with me."

    He didn't deny it. "Once you're back on the front lines..."

    "Hopeless, Rex; simply hopeless." She touched the pendant again, her smile turning wistful. "I know we can't go back to when you guys gave this to me, but I could see there was something you were holding back. Care to fill me in?"

    Looking back over his shoulder to ensure they hadn't gained an audience - though his brothers weren't known to be the spy type especially when Ahsoka was about - he looked back to her when he was confident they were alone. He chose his words carefully, deliberately, knowing that she'd understand but doing what he could to soften the blow. For all the ceremony the other day to present her with the token of Torrent Company's collective admiration, it wasn't, and never could be, what any of them hoped.

    "Your designation to Torrent Company is honorary, Ahsoka. We can't technically make it official; a Jedi isn't allowed to be a part of a clone unit. Echo did some research before they brought the idea to me as a group. This is entirely off the books."

    "So, what you're saying, is that it really is a token for the Torrent Company's token Jedi."

    "For what it's worth, it looks good on you," he paused, casting her a speaking look she could interpret any way she wished. "It looks... right."

    "It feels right."

    "Good," he nodded once, sharply, just as her comlink beeped and indicated the end of their brief interlude.

    "Skyguy," she sighed, making a face, but didn't answer it. "I'm supposed to be at the Senate watching a debate about the war and learning about politics."

    He chuckled at the disgust in her tone. "Knowledge and defense; sound familiar."

    "Only you would think to quote a Jedi axiom back to me," she pushed off the rail. "I'll catch you later, Rex. Stay out of trouble!"

    He watched her go with a shake of his head; it wasn't him she should worry about.

    earlybird-obi-wan likes this.
  21. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Aug 21, 2006
    Yes nice to see more of the friendship between Ahsoka and the clones.

    Ahsoka and trouble;)
  22. Alexis_Wingstar

    Alexis_Wingstar Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 16, 2006
    I just started reading these.. to bad all but the last are truncated. You write Rex and Ahsoka's characters spot on.^:)^ When I'm more wide awake, I'll read the last one.
  23. Jade_Max

    Jade_Max Jedi Master star 5

    Jun 28, 2002
    @ earlybird-obi-wan - I have such fun with the dynamic and that one pretty much wrote itself when it came to content. Viewpoint however; I can't thank laloga enough for giving me some awesome help with it :) I'm glad you enjoyed it - I totally had fun writing it!

    @ Alexis_Wingstar - I'm glad you're enjoying them; if you'd like the whole series, they're on under the same name. The link is at the top of the most recent post until they can 'fix' the truncated issue :) I love both of their characters, so I'm really glad to hear they're in character by other enthusiasts. They're a lot of fun and I know I'm not necessarily dealing with the issues we normally see on screen but hey, that's what fanfic is for, right? :D

    Thanks for reading guys :)
  24. Jade_Max

    Jade_Max Jedi Master star 5

    Jun 28, 2002
    Author's Note: I blame (yes; blame :p) Queen for this; it just refused to be silent in the back of my brain.
    This has been done for some time now but only recently edited. A huge thanks, once again, to laloga for her invaluable insight; this wouldn't be what it is without her input.​
    Title: Respect II
    Author: Jade_Max
    Characters: Captain Rex, Ahsoka Tano
    Genre: Friendship/Humor
    Era: The Clone Wars
    Summary: Set after Episode 11, Season 4; Rex helps Ahsoka pick her 'slave' outfit and offers some sage words of wisdom

    Respect II

    Standing outside one of the now empty homes on Kiros, a home that belonged to someone who'd so recently been captured and taken prisoner to be sold as slaves, Ahsoka cast Rex a sidelong look. Her nerves were obvious, her distaste for this task only second to her trepidation in its execution. And she said as much.

    "I don't know if I can do this."

    "You can."


    "Think of it as a necessary step in locating them," he suggested, stepping forward to open the door, his helmet under one arm. "As a... loan, of sorts."

    "I don't follow."

    "Once we find them, you can return what you borrowed and it will have played an important part in securing their freedom."

    She brightened at the suggestion; the optimism sat well with her even though they were both aware that the possibility of locating all of the colonists and freeing them successfully was unlikely. Following him into the house he'd chosen at random, Ahsoka paused for a moment to take in the sweeping lines of the décor and functionality and Rex saw her features tighten. Without needing to give it much thought, he knew of what she was thinking – and he knew it wouldn't help.

    "Don't think about it."

    With a jerk, Ahsoka turned back his way. "What?"

    "Don't think about it," he repeated firmly. "Focus on what's necessary to find them; on the goal of this mission."

    She blinked. "Mission? Finding me an outfit hardly qualifies as a mission."

    "It's a precursor," he volleyed back, determined to keep her talking as he steered her towards a nearby room. It gave her less time to dwell. It was one of the only times since her capture by the Trandoshans, since the recent events at Umbara, that he found he missed her youthful chatter. Chatter that would have kept her occupied now instead of silent and pensive. They found themselves in a bedroom, a small wardrobe along one wall, a chest of drawers and storage press beside it and at the foot of the bed respectively. Rex took it in at a glance. "No different than the planning session in the command center."

    Ahsoka flipped the lid on the storage press at the foot of the bed and extracted a black and white patterned garment that had something Rex didn't recognize hanging from it. It tinkled softly as the balls at the end of the fabric strings moved but the fabric was nearly sheer in places, only the strategically placed stripes making it, presumably, wearable.

    "Somehow," looking from him to the shirt - what he presumed was a shirt anyway - and back, Ahsoka's comment was dry, "I don't believe you."

    Neither did he but he wasn't about to admit it. "What else is in there?"

    "What, don't like it, Rex?" She held the shirt up to her chest and cocked her head at him; the playful gesture belied the pain in her eyes but he could see she was trying. And just like that, he was glad she wasn't the youthful chatterbox. She'd never have been able to survive this task intact; her maturity, he decided, was a double edged sword. "I think it might just be the thing; fringe with bells."

    "Then put it aside and you can try it on when you find something to wear with it." He glanced at the monstrosity in her hands apprehensively. "I don't think that's what Anakin had in mind, though."

    She made no comment on the fact he'd just called the General by name, but her eyes widened. "You don't think so?"

    "It's not flashy enough," except for flashing skin; far too much skin, he added silently, ensuring his tone held conviction as he attached his helmet to his belt to free up his hands. "There's bound to be something more suitable."

    Ahsoka, thankfully, dropped the shirt back where she found it, rendering his need to veto the thing on principal alone moot. It was far too revealing, slave costume or not, and he had no intention of allowing her Master to exploit her that way. Then again, if Anakin saw her in that shirt he might change his mind about this whole endeavor. Maybe he should have her try it on for the General…

    "Rex; catch."

    He looked up in time to snag the expertly tossed datapad his way. "What's this?"

    "Master Kenobi's 'suggestions'," she was facing the wardrobe, visibly squared her shoulders and pulled the doors open. The people of Kiros didn't have much beyond beautiful clothing and artwork, so it was no surprise that this wardrobe held several outfits – most in the same sheer white fabric paired with other colors. She pulled one off its hangar and held it up before making a face. "Slave or not, I think I'm supposed to have fashion sense. This wardrobe is a disaster."

    "Let's try another building; a larger one."

    Ahsoka didn't protest as she put the outfit back in the wardrobe and closed the door as she'd found it. He saw her whisper an apology but ignored it. Everyone coped with missing in action situations differently and he would be nearby to listen if she wanted to talk. Leading the way from the house, he headed towards one of the more soaring and sprawled structures and opened the door, stepping inside before her.

    The main room, as with most items of Togruta make, rose high above his head and his gaze was drawn upwards, to a curving, graceful set of stairs towards the back. It would have been beautiful had he been invited to view it in any other circumstances. As it was, he felt like an intruder and did his best to hide the feeling as Ahsoka stepped in behind him.

    "This way; come on."

    She followed him to the back of the area and exhaled, visibly relaxing when he glanced her way. Ahsoka drew his attention to a series of racks along the back wall that held bolts of fabric. "We're in a shop."

    Rex took the opportunity as she started going through cupboards to scan through the datapad.

    A list of fabric colors, what not to get, was the first page, along with a series of dos and don'ts that Master Kenobi had obviously picked up from his travels. Harmless, but Rex quickly memorized the information; it would be useful. He flipped the page, expecting more of the same - and nearly dropped the datapad.

    Three separate images of different females greeted his gaze, making his eyes widen. The first was a purple Twi'lek dressed in what was probably called a body suit but looked to Rex like two piece of fabric that had been barely connected across her middle to expose as much skin as possible through the chest and hips.

    He deleted it without thinking; there was no way he was letting Ahsoka wear something like that.

    The next image was of a human woman, dressed in a skimpy bikini, her limbs all muscled and tanned, her body posed on its side with elaborate combs and jewels adorning her face. A gauzy material had been placed over the bikini, as if to render it modest, yet the effect was anything but.

    Unable to believe his eyes, Rex turned the datapad over in his hand as if searching for a source, shaking his head when the standard military issue stamp looked back at him. He flipped it back over, his brow furrowing. Where did the General get this on such short notice?

    "Anything interesting in there, Rex?"

    He didn't bother casting the last image more than a glance - which revealed another human woman in more of the same - before he turned off the datapad and tucked it into his belt. He'd return it to General Kenobi later if he didn't find better uses for it.

    "You haven't looked at this?"

    "Not yet."

    "Nothing very helpful." Looking around he didn't spy her immediately until she moved, bracing her forearms on the railing in the loft above. "What have you found?"

    "Fabrics mostly," Ahsoka admitted, lifting a garment she'd found in one hand to show him. "There are a couple of outfits in the changing rooms and a few dozen on the racks."

    He arched his eyebrows. The reluctance in her tone caught him by surprise. "But?"

    "I don't feel right doing this, Rex," she admitted again, her shoulders slumping a little at the statement as the garment dropped to the rail. "I keep telling myself that it's okay, they'd want me to do this to help find them. That it's not... it's..."

    He stayed where he was, watching her struggle with it for a moment and then strode towards the stairs. Taking them two at a time, they were small stairs, he reached the top in short order and made his way to her side directly. She'd turned to watch him, the tension in her posture screaming at him as if she were begging him to somehow make this right.

    It was another distinctive change from when she'd been a cocky little thing who could take on the galaxy without help; from before her own capture and his ordeal on Umbara. Another hallmark of their changed relationship. Her eyes pleaded with him, almost demanded, for him to make it right. And there wasn't anything he could do; no quick fix that could make it any easier. She, like he before her, would have to simply accept the situation for what it was.

    Beyond their control.

    "It's necessary, Ahsoka," he told her frankly, knowing it wasn't what she wanted to hear but what needed to be said. "If this is going to succeed, you have to have the right tools. These," he waved behind him, "are the tools we have to work with. It's not easy. It's not supposed to be. If it didn't hurt, we wouldn't know it to be important."

    "Is that how you justify it?"

    "I do what I have to, Ahsoka; and so will you."

    She visibly braced herself, forced a smile, and nodded once - sharply - an echo of his own mannerisms. "Okay. I'll start with this," she held up the garment in her hand. "Find me something else, would you?"


    "Master Skywalker said you should help me," she strode determinedly across the loft to a small room at the back where she could change, "and you said you would."

    He had but what did he know about fashion?

    "I'll try on whatever you bring me, Rex," she promised, turning as she reached the door to catch his eye again. "I trust you."

    The door closed and Rex cast about himself helplessly. Trust him with this? Was she crazy? He shook off the thought. She wasn't crazy, just trying to make the best of a bad situation and he had agreed to help make it easier on her. If she couldn't choose the outfits, but would try them on - at least she wasn't having him do it - it was the least he could do.

    Squaring his shoulders, Rex turned to the first rack of colorful outfits, pushed the darker colors he'd noted in Kenobi's 'hints' as a 'no' off to the side and then collected the rest. Anything that was sheer in any fashion followed the dark colors; everything else went on his arm and over the top of the door to the room Ahsoka was in.

    "Not very picky, are you?"

    Her dry comment reassured him he'd made the right decision; picking and choosing wasn't going to get them anywhere. "I don't know anything more about this than you do."

    "Obviously. I'll come out in the ones I think might be good," she told him, opening the door to stick her head out. "This could take a while to sort. Want to see what else you can find?"

    "You'll be fine while I'm gone?"

    "I'm surrounded by clothes, not clankers, Rex; I think I can manage."

    Taking that as his cue, he nodded and she disappeared back inside. Taking a deep breath to brace himself for the next part of his 'assignment' he realized that by being the one to search for the clothing and bring it back to what Ahsoka seemed to consider neutral ground, he was doing her a huge favor. It was one thing to take an item of an impersonal rack; it was another to remove it from someone's home.

    Especially for her.

    Rex, having no tie to these people except for the fact that they were important to Ahsoka, departed the shop and began searching building to building in the nearby structures for further items to add to her selection. He was picky, taking only things he thought wouldn't compromise her dignity, and making a mental note - and then a physical one - on the datapad General Kenobi had thoughtfully provided after he erased the holos – of each location and details from within.

    He stuck to those homes close by, picking colors from the whole of the spectrum, before returning with laden arms. Ahsoka was muttering to herself as he climbed the stairs.


    "Yes, Ahsoka?"

    "Oh good, it's you. I need your opinion on something."

    He set the pile of clothing in his arms carefully on top of one of the racks as he neared the change room. "I'm hardly the person to be asking about…" He arched his eyebrows as she came into view. "Did you skin a Savrip and mount a panthac hide on it?"

    The almost armored looking top was form fitting, clinging to her much like her normal outfit and flared out around her hips in a series of striped hide-like strips that swayed, opening and closing as she took tentative steps, flashing her legs from the knee down. She met his gaze and grinned, striking a pose, and he could see the knowledge in her eyes; she'd deliberately chosen something they wouldn't pick.

    "We can do better, huh?"

    "Much," he agreed. "Here; try these."

    She looked at the stack of clothing with a surprised expression. "There's… so much of it."

    "I only borrowed what I thought…" he paused, deciding against that particular track and changed tactics, putting as much reassurance into his tone as he could without sounding condescending. "I know where I took each item; I'll put back what you don't want when we're finished."

    "Then you'd better give them to me one at a time so I don't mess up the order."

    "I've got your back, Ahsoka," Rex touched the datapad on his belt. "Mix and match as you like."

    Her smile wasn't as genuine as he'd have liked, but it was determined as she accepted the clothes and turned back to the change room.

    Several outfits later, Ahsoka had brought the topic back to her missing people. "I know we can track where the Zygerians took them, but what if we're too late?" her voice carried, muffled only by the door as she changed her outfit. "What if, by the time we get there, they're gone and we don't find them?"

    "We will," his insistence was firm and he didn't hesitate. His eyebrows arched as the door opened and he shook his head. "You wear that and the General isn't going to let you off the cruiser and onto the shuttle let alone out in public."

    "Too much, hm?"

    "Too little," Rex corrected. The small tube-like garment riding high on her thighs even as long tassels swayed, shifting here and there, small bells or beads on the end of the thousands of strands clicking and tinkling as she moved. "He said a costume with flash, not a towel with… I believe you called it fringe?"
    She laughed. It was a genuine laugh and her eyes held a glint of teasing as she turned back to the change room, the garment a surprisingly pleasant counterpoint to her amusement. "If you think that's bad, Rexster, I doubt you'll like this one."

    There was a rustling of clothing as she changed and Rex turned back to his task as she did so, sorting the garments that had been pushed aside and deemed unworthy like the one she'd just been in, as a way to occupy himself. Thinking about what was going on behind the door was counter production and pointless; he couldn't afford the distraction.

    The sound of the door opening once more brought him around from hanging two garments back where he'd found them and, before she's stepped completely out, his eyes had widened. He blinked once, slowly, feeling the blood crawling up his neck, suffusing his face, his ears starting to burn as a mantra of immediate denial began to sound in his head in both basic and Mando'a.

    Nayc. No way. No how. Draar. Nu draar. Not in his life was she-

    "What do you think?"

    Was she joking?


    She grinned at the discomfort showcased by his short response and then, to his dismay, spun in place, providing him with a view of more sienna colored flesh than was healthy for any male of any species.

    Her outfit, if one could generously call it that, was little more than two very brief triangles of fabric mounted within a framework of silica beads that wrapped about her chest in an almost indecent manner. The 'skirt' appeared to be a long, singular piece, attached to beads that draped across her hips and lent the fabric the look of being ready to fall with any movement. The fact that the silica beaded belt-like thing holding it in place appeared to be secure was far from reassuring. A filmy, nearly transparent material made up the length of the skirt that nearly hit the ground, a darker, heavier version keeping her dignity intact.


    The resulting instruction, when the words left his lips, his face burning, was curt and almost rude. "Change."

    "But I-"

    He shook his head once, emphatically, and turned, willing the blood suffusing his face away. "Not that one."


    "Change, Ahsoka."

    There was a brief moment where he was certain she would say something more and then the door to the change room closed and his shoulders slumped as he exhaled slowly, trying to calm his racing heartbeat. He nearly jumped when the echo of the silica beads hitting the floor resounded like a blaster shot and stifled a groan.

    He hadn't given her that to try on!

    Their conversation and subsequent interactions after the events on Umbara had forced him to acknowledge the fact that Ahsoka was no longer the youngling, the child he'd so often deliberately thought of her to be in his mind. Both as a protection for his sanity - it was against regs after all - but also for the sake of their friendship and he'd learned to suppress any unprofessional attraction. Thinking about her as anything other than a friend and CO wasn't something he could afford. Tramping down on the wayward thought, he deliberately, sharply reprimanded himself, boxing the unprofessional reaction back into the compartment in his mind where it normally resided.

    Where it belonged.

    "Rex? Are you okay?"

    He inhaled deeply, balancing his thoughts, controlling himself firmly, before he turned. She stood in the doorway to the room dressed in a white sheath that was as form fitting as ever, the way he was used to seeing her, except for the striking contrast of the pure fabric against her skin. White against sienna; it wasn't something he'd ever seen in his time with her.

    Hanging from her right shoulder, the dress seemed to cascade down across her chest, into the dip of her waist and over her hips. The fabric nearly brushed the floor, opening on either side just above mid thigh to reveal her legs when she walked and give her a freedom of movement. It was far more concealing than the other outfits she'd tried on but, somehow, no less enticing. His gaze skimmed her neck and, he almost smiled at seeing that she'd paired her diamond pendant with the dress.

    "Fine," he told her finally, realizing she was anxiously waiting for an answer. "I'm fine, Ahsoka."

    "Are you sure? You're not mad at me for-"

    "No." he cut her off before she could finish and did another deliberate look of her. "I think you found one for Anakin to see."

    "It looks okay? White, I mean; I've never worn white before. It isn't practical."

    "Not in a typical day for Jedi," he agreed, "but this is an atypical assignment. You look... nice."

    She smiled wryly. "Flatterer. I don't have to worry about my ego with you around, Rexster." Looking at him critically, her brow furrowed. "Are you sure you're okay? I sensed your distress; you seemed-"

    "Momentary lapse," he deflected the question, knowing she'd see it for what it was but unwilling to explain. He interjected a dry note of humor into his voice. "Anakin would have locked you away for wearing that last... thing."

    Ahsoka burst out laughing. "I know, right? I'm tempted to try it on for him just to watch him sputter."

    So was Rex; would serve the General right for putting him through this. He strove for a wry tone in his response - and succeeded. "I'd rather have a live General than one recuperating from a heart attack."

    Her grin was irrepressible. "Killjoy."

    Though the smile on her face was more genuine than before, he could see that the pain in her eyes had been joined by speculation; but she wouldn't push. She disappeared back into the change room a moment later and, in a flurry of moments, had changed, returning in a top and skirt that were similar to her old 'uniform' - except it was a garish yellow and a deep blue combination that was hard on the eyes.

    On her it clashed so badly he laughed and shook his head. "Are you joining the Galactic Circus?"

    "And miss all this?"

    "The goal of this exercise is to present a front to entice not repulse, correct?"

    She laughed and the sparkle in her gaze told him she'd achieved her goal and understood his dry comment for what it was. They shared a grin and the tension between them evaporated.

    The next outfit she chose was something called harem pants with a billowy top that he approved of almost immediately. For all the outer fabric was sheer, her modesty was well preserved by the opaque centers of each and a little ornamentation would do wonders to escalate her into 'slave' visibility; that it had made her look impish and mischievous aside, it was a good match for her personality.

    And so it continued for almost an hour, with Rex hanging those items that belonged on the racks as she was done with them, and setting the others aside to be returned to their owner's homes.

    Sorting through the clothing as she was trying on yet another top and skirt, Rex's gaze was drawn to an outfit she'd discarded without trying. Almost electric blue in color, it was a top and skirt, long but showing a long slit along one side. Picking it up, he considered it and the way she'd looked in the white shift and, making a decision set it aside before hanging several more items back where they'd been found. "Ahsoka?"


    He turned when he voice came out clear, not blocked by the door, to find her shaking her head at the image she presented. The skirt was purple, of all colors, rich and deep but contrasted horribly with her skin tone. The shirt was a loose thing that made her look like a box and done in vivid pink.

    "I think mynocks could give my people fashion tips," she offered wryly. "What's up?"

    "What about this one?"

    The white markings on her face arched as she examined the top and skirt. "Blue? I thought we decided I can't wear blue."

    "You've tried just about every other color," Rex reasoned. He'd seen her in dark blue and dark green-blue and neither had done anything for her. But the lighter almost electric blue in hand he suspected wouldn't clash the way the other had. "Just... Try it."

    Ahsoka looked at it dubiously and then took it, shrugged and turned to enter the change room for one last time. "One more blow to my pride can't hurt I guess." She paused inside the door, hung it on the back, and picked up a bunch more of the ones they wouldn't use. These she passed to him. "Here; these have done enough damage without continuing to look at them."

    He couldn't disagree with her; few of the colors her people seemed to deem as fashion melded well with the striking colors of her montrals, lekku and skin tone. Rex resumed sorting and then placing the clothing aside while he waited, hanging those that belonged on the racks in their place and stacked the others by where he'd found them. Furthest buildings on the bottom and closest-


    He turned at Ahsoka's uncertain query, a note he'd never heard before in her voice.

    The sight that greeted him was unexpectedly delightful in a painfully pleasurable kind of way. It was like getting sucker punched, low in the gut; like when Grievous had kicked him. He opened his mouth to say something suitably blasé about it but had been rendered speechless. But nothing came out. Stunned by the vision before him, he could do nothing but stare. Nothing in his experience prepared him for this.

    His gaze took her in seeming of its own accord, sweeping down across her montrals, the uncertain but hopeful expression on her face, the bare expanse of her neck, broken only by the thin line of diamond gold. Below to the over the shoulder half-halter style top which fit loosely but with enough definition to know she wasn't as young as her height suggested. Her waist, toned and firm, was bare between the shirt and the top of the skirt that hung low on her hips.

    A belt of gold held the fabric in place, the brilliant blue fabric two sheets of modesty that mostly covered her. It was open all the way on one hip, displaying the length of her left leg from him to ankle. The clean lines of her side were broken only by the belt at her hips and the thin line of fabric from her top. As she moved, the wrap shifted, revealing a small break in the fabric but revealing nothing beneath it; a clever design to avoid the wearer becoming entangled in the fabric.

    The tubes of fabric he'd though to be leg warmers or perhaps lekku adornments covered her arms from mid-bicep to wrist and only added to the allure of the costume instead of detract from it. The contrast of the blue against her sienna skin and the way it flattered the darker hued chevrons on her lekku and montrals was indescribable. It was like the outfit she'd used to tease him... only better.

    She was... was...

    Beautifully vulnerable.

    The words whispered through his mind, sliding into his thoughts like a vibroblade through muscle and almost as damaging. He couldn't afford to think of her that way and tried to squelch the thought with little success.

    Unadorned except for the diamond shaped choker and skirt's belt, the thought crossed his mind that if she'd been for auction, and he in the market, he'd have bought her in a heartbeat. Which was probably the reaction Anakin was looking for; it was not as reassuring as it should have been. The urge to throw a robe over her to hide her vulnerable uncertainty pricked every protective instinct within him and his hands clenched before he could act on it.

    "It's not too much?"

    He shook his head.

    "You're sure? It seems a little... I don't know... wrong?"

    He shook his head again, still struggling to find the words. His inability to voice his thoughts was affecting her and he could see the tension in her frame increase, her muscles coiling with uncertainty even as his gaze traveled over her once more, looking for a reason he shouldn't tell her the truth - and not finding one.

    "Should I go change? Is it that bad?" An emphatic shake of his head made her frown, her fingers plucking at the fabric on her legs. "Rex, say something; what is it?"

    "You're... I..." tongue tied, he couldn't articulate a cohesive response. "Ahsoka..."

    A smile blossomed on her face; a genuine, real smile as she realized why he was having trouble speaking. The vulnerable aspect of her appearance disappeared like smoke on the water as she straightened with sudden understanding. "You like it."

    He exhaled softly and nodded, decisively, once. "Yes."


    "Yes, Commander."

    She giggled, her eyes dancing. "You must to fall back on old habits; does that mean I look okay?"

    "You look-" like trouble; dangerous - gorgeous, breathtaking, stunning and a multitude of other adjectives raced through his mind without gaining voice, "-very grown up."

    "So this one?"


    "Then let's run it by Anakin; if he doesn't like it, we can try one of the others."

    Rex suspected his General's reaction would be different, but not as unenthusiastic as his own. The color on Ahsoka was so striking she would have turned heads on any of the planets they'd been, including Coruscant - which was saying something.

    "I doubt that will be necessary."

    "I'll bring them anyway. Someone once taught me to always have a contingency plan." She headed back towards the room, paused with her hand on the door and looked back over her shoulder. Her smile had disappeared, the amusement had let her eyes but her determined posture hadn't changed and there was gratitude along with the renewed knowledge of why they were doing this. "Thanks Rex; I never could have done this without you."

    They shared a look, one of mutual understanding. His acknowledgement that she persevered even though she hadn't come to accept the fact she was pawing through the things of her missing people; hers of his help, his steadfast presence and stoic support.

    A hallmark of her new maturity and the unique relationship they'd always shared.

    Yet, as she disappeared to change back into her own clothes, Force help him, all he wanted to do was thank her for the privilege - and the wisdom of her master to have assigned him this task. Instead he said nothing, tucking the urge back into the box in his mind that was privately labeled 'never to be opened' along with the rest of the last few hours. As the door closed behind her, he couldn't keep a grin from tugging his lips into a smile; a smile that was tinged with sadness as he shook his head.

    What Ahsoka had once defined as a 'crush' was something none of his men, himself included, could afford.

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  25. Jade_Max

    Jade_Max Jedi Master star 5

    Jun 28, 2002
    Disclaimer: It's George's sandbox; I'm simply destroying the sandcastles.

    Author's Note: Big Thanks to the individual who recommended this [you know who you are *grin*]; I couldn't not do this once you offered the idea

    Title: Unexpected Treasures
    Author: Jade_Max
    Characters: Captain Rex, Ahsoka Tano
    Genre: Friendship, Angst
    Era: The Clone Wars
    Summary:Set after Episode 7, Season 1; back on the shuttle, Ahsoka has to take responsibility for her actions

    Unexpected Treasures

    "Taking on Grievous like that was dangerous, suicidal even, Ahsoka," Anakin admonished with terse words as he paced before her, shaking his head. "What were you thinking?"


    Anakin shot her a look and she snapped her lips shut, her expression mutinous because he'd asked the question and wasn't about to let her answer. He did, in fact, answer it for her - incorrectly.

    "I'll tell you what you were thinking - you weren't! General Grievous has murdered Jedi Masters, single handedly slaughtered whole companies and you thought you and your small band of infiltrators could take him? Not even I was this reckless at your age!"

    "If you'd just-"

    "I'm not finished."

    Ahsoka's hands clenched at her side and she stiffened, looking straight ahead, not watching him as Anakin continued to pace before her, his words laced with anger and disappointment. "You're very lucky, Snips, that you're my Padawan and not Obi-Wan's because if you were, he'd be sending you back to Coruscant and the Temple so fast your head would be spinning!"

    "But I-"

    "No excuses."

    "But Rex-"

    "Rex would never have engaged him if you hadn't give the order, Ahsoka. He's smarter than that!"

    She tasted blood as her teeth dug into the side of her cheek, shaking from the reprimand. That she deserved; she'd ordered her men to engage the General, all cock-sure and arrogant that she could and would succeed where Jedi with more experience and training had failed. It had cost her the squad, all except Rex and Denal, and that still smarted, weighing heavily on her shoulders.

    Grateful for small mercies, she hadn't seen them slaughtered when she'd been thrown into the wall by Grievous like an irritating gnat. She'd come to in time to see Grievous approaching an incapacitated Rex and hadn't stopped to think, leaping in to save the Captain who'd become a fast friend. In her mind's eye she could still see that arcing blade heading for Rex's head-

    Anakin stopped in front of her, his arms crossed over his chest and made her start, his frown deeper than she'd ever seen. "I'm disappointed with you, Snips. Those men were counting on you and you failed them."

    She winced, cringing at the statement, feeling every word like a physical blow - and Anakin wasn't pulling his punches.

    "I'll discuss with Master Obi-Wan what's to be done with you when we get back to the Resolute," Anakin told her evenly, finally turning away. "Until then I want you to meditate on your actions."

    Her jaw clenched, matching her fists, as her fingernails dug into her palms.

    Anakin paused by the door that led back to the cockpit, his expression stern as he looked back her way. "Ahsoka."

    "Yes, Master." The words were clipped and ground out between her teeth.

    "Not many Jedi have faced Grievous and lived," his admission was grudging. "You did good."

    Their eyes locked but, after the reprimand he'd just delivered, the small words of praise did nothing for her. Anakin disappeared back inside the cockpit and Ahsoka slumped against the wall, squeezing her eyes shut as the fight with Grievous replayed itself in her mind. She could see Rex and his men firing at the overgrown tinny, but it was the sense from Rex that hadn't caught her until later when she'd been trying to hide from Grievous. He'd followed her orders, reckless as they'd been, when he'd been about to suggest a withdrawal.

    He should have contradicted her and he hadn't. Why? Had her cocky arrogance infected the men, blinding them to what wasn't possible? Or had she earned their trust to the point they'd follow her into folly against their better judgment?

    She hoped not.

    This particular mission, if nothing else, had only showcased she still had a lot to learn.

    Grievous, she'd come to realize, had been toying with her from the start. If he'd wanted, he could have killed her before approaching Rex, but the incapacitated Captain in his kama and pauldron, had been the most logical target. Jedi could rally an army, but their clone commanders controlled it. Kill the top of the command chain - the Captains, Commanders and Lieutenants - and the men would fall into momentary disarray.

    Kill someone as pivotal as Rex...

    She shuddered, hunching forward as if to ward off the cold.

    Since Christophsis, Rex had been her ally against and for her Master. He'd helped guide her, offering support and council and, on rare moments, criticism. She'd only started getting to know the man behind the Captain, but what she'd seen so far had intrigued her. The thought of losing him now...

    "Do you have a death wish, Commander?"

    Glancing up, she found Rex watching her from the doorway to the cockpit, obviously having left it when Anakin arrived, his helmet clipped to his belt as he looked at her. His slight frown, after suffering through her Master's reprimand, was almost more than she could bear.

    With a single look he did what Anakin was capable of doing over the course of a five minute tirade. Having Rex disappointed in her was, in so many ways, worse than her Master. It shouldn't have been but in the short time she'd known him, she'd learned to respect his opinion and crave his approval.

    Their eyes locked - and she visibly flinched.

    "Not you too, Rex," her shoulders slumped, her head falling forward as she drew her knees protectively up against her chest, hugging them tightly as she buried her eyes against them. She couldn't bear to look at him, to see the displeasure in his eyes.

    The sound of his boots on the deck drew near but Ahsoka couldn't bring herself to look at him. She'd been cocky and arrogant through this whole mission and her Master had brought her back to reality with a thump. Rex's disappointment was just icing on the cake, hammering home in a way Anakin couldn't, just how much she had to learn.

    The slide of plastoid against durasteel caught her by surprise. Lifting her head she found Rex had mimicked her pose, sitting on the ground next to her, except he had one leg stretched out before him and the other cocked at the knee, foot flat on the floor, with his armored arm across it, watching her.

    She looked away.

    There was silence for a long minute and she cringed inwardly, waiting for the explosion. An explosion, as it turned out, that never came.

    "You took a foolish risk, Ahsoka."

    The sound of her name on his lips drew her head back around to find him still watching her intently, his eyes dark pools of concern and... relief? It was unexpected and gratifying all at once even though it did nothing to wash away the sense of guilt.

    "Grievous could have killed you; saving me..." he shook his head. "We're all expendable, Commander; you're not."

    "Expendable?" the words tripped off her tongue, horrified, as she recoiled from the blatant, earnest honesty reflected in his gaze. "You're not expendable, Rex. None of you are; especially not you."

    "I'm no different-"

    "Don't," she warned hotly, "finish that sentence! We lost a squad of good men, good friends today, what makes you think I was willing... I was..." tears blurred her vision as she struggled to hold onto her irritation. "Grievous could have killed you, Rex; I couldn't... I..." she turned her head away.

    "Commander... kid," he sighed, his voice gruff, "come here."

    Her gaze snapped back to his and the arm he'd extended in an awkward effort to comfort her; an offer she'd never expected in wake of Anakin's scolding and his own disapproval. She curled next to him, uncaring that his armor bit into her shoulder as she slid close, his arm coming about her shoulders as she pressed her face to the curve of his armored one.

    She didn't cry, but she came close as she considered just how near a miss it had been to losing him completely; Grievous' lightsabre flashing down towards a prone Rex's figure would probably haunt her for weeks. "I couldn't let him kill you, Rex," her voice was small, wavering, but held conviction despite it. "I should have told you to run; you were going to order them to run before I ordered otherwise."

    He sighed and she felt the action more than heard it, his arm tightening around her shoulders. "We all make mistakes, kid," he told her evenly. "Even me."

    The admission wasn't what she was expecting and she tilted her head to look up at him. "You didn't make the mistake; I did." her throat closed. "Master Skywalker is right; Grievous has taken out Masters more experienced than he is, why did I ever think..." she shook her head, frustrated.

    Rex, surprisingly, offered her the faintest of smiles. "Why do we do anything? Because we think we can. Your confidence is inspiring, Commander."

    "Ahsoka," she offered, having enjoyed hearing him address her informally; having him call her Commander during a discussion like this just seemed... wrong. "It's less of a mouthful."

    "Ahsoka," he agreed, his smile fading. "You're not the only one who thought they were about to lose someone else today. When you intercepted that blade; when you drew him away... I honestly didn't expect to see you alive again."

    "So little faith in me?"

    He shook his head. "Experience, kid; I'd just learned that Grievous could and would throw you around like a child's toy. I didn't think there was any chance of you coming out of there in one piece."

    "Honestly, Rex, I wasn't sure I would either."

    "Then why'd you do it?"

    "You're my friend," she told him solemnly, "At least... I think of you that way; you don't mind... do you?"

    "After you made me carry that tin can?"

    She had the grace to look abashed. "He didn't have thrusters and I figure we'd need him. Does it help that if I'd know he was a traitor droid, I'd have let you put a bolt or two through his processors?"

    He cracked the faintest of smiles. "Some."

    "So... you don't mind?"

    "What; being your friend?"

    She nodded.

    "Just don't be taking any more chances like that, deal?"

    "You don't get kicked by Grievous and end up under the arc of his lightsabre," she countered, "and I promise I won't deliberately goad him into chasing me in some pseudo suicide attempt."

    Rex held out his hand and Ahsoka took it, shaking it with a smile he echoed with one of his own semi-smiles.

    "Deal, Rex; I'm glad you're my friend."

    "Thanks for watching out for me today, kid."

    "You too." She released his hand and sighed. "Guess we both learned something new today, huh?"

    "A thing or two," he agreed. "More experience."

    "Can I just say that I'm glad I'm around to benefit from it?"

    "That makes two of us." Watching her for a long moment, Rex nodded once and pushed back to his feet. "Get some shut eye if you can; there's still a few hours before we hit the deck."

    Ahsoka watched as he turned to head back to the cockpit and spoke as he was reaching for the door controls. "Rex?"

    "Yeah, kid?"



    **** And that catches this one up to the thread at - yay!
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