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Saga Friends to the End (2020 Fic-Gift for WarmNyota_SweetAyesha)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by TheRynJedi, Jan 14, 2021.

  1. TheRynJedi

    TheRynJedi Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jun 20, 2018
    (Warning, sad story ahead. It was the only story that stuck, no matter how much I tried to brainstorm with it or Ny's other wishes)

    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha 's wish list:
    3. Rex and Ahsoka reunite ... so this could be during the OT (after TCW etc.) or if it's way after TCW after the events in ROTJ. Lots of catching up in that case.


    As the blue haze of hyperspace cleared, Ahsoka watched real space materialize around her ship. The Rebel (--no, it’s the New Republic, now-- she reminded herself) Medical frigate Remembrance floated before her. She sent in her docking request and got clearance codes from the frigate’s control deck.

    Ahsoka normally hated interruptions in her continuing search for Ezra and Thrawn. But this one... it was different. Moments before receiving the message, she had felt something, a nudge from the Force, letting her know that this detour would be important.

    Soon, she was being shown to a private sick berth. It was a room designed to keep a patient comfortable while being treated for long-term illnesses, or... terminal ones.

    Ahsoka took a calming breath. Of all the things she had done in her 40-some years of life, of all the trials, the dangers, the challenges she had faced, this was going to be one of the hardest. It shouldn’t be, if she was a proper Jedi, it might not have been so hard. But she was not a proper Jedi.

    She pressed the door chime.

    “Come in.” Came a familiar voice. Familiar, yet so changed. The door slid open, and Ahsoka entered.

    “Hey, kid!” Rex said, brightly. His once-firm voice wavered, though, as he struggled to push himself out of his comfortable chair. Ahsoka started to tell him it was ok, he could stay seated. But she felt his determination. He got to his feet, and even saluted her. “Commander!”

    “Commander, yourself.” Ahsoka said, she returned the salute, then moved forward swiftly to take Rex’s arm as he wobbled. “Rebel command gave you that promotion just before Endor.”

    “I remember, kid, I’m not that far gone.” Rex grinned at Ahsoka as he held out an arm for a hug. Ahsoka accepted, and the two old friends held on to each other tightly.

    Ahsoka could sense how weak the former Clone Commander had become. Despite being born four years after Ahsoka herself had been, the clone aging process had been accelerated so that they would mature faster. Rex was chronologically only around 40 standard years old. His body, though, was the body of someone twice that age, and that body had been through a lot. As much as Ahsoka wished that embrace could last forever, she heard Rex quietly grunt, and felt his legs tremble slightly.

    With subtle assistance from Ahsoka, Rex eased himself back into his chair. Ahsoka pulled up a seat so she could sit nearby.

    “How’s the search going?” Rex asked. “I’m assuming you haven’t found the kid, or you would have brought him with you to see me one last time.”

    Ahsoka chose to ignore Rex’s “one last time” phrase. She didn’t want to think about that right now.

    “No, I haven’t found Ezra yet.” Ahsoka sighed. “But I do have a lead.”

    “Oh?”

    “A former associate of Thrawn’s,” Ahsoka replied, leaning back in her chair. “I tracked her down to the planet she had taken over and was terrorizing. Tried for a while to get into her fortified city to confront her, but her guards were just good enough to cause me trouble every time I tried.”

    “How’d you get in finally?” Rex asked.

    “That’s the oddest thing.” Ahsoka snorted a laugh. “A Mandalorian showed up out of nowhere. I assumed he’d been hired by the Imp to take me down. But then he yells my name, and says that Bo Katan sent him.”

    Rex chuckled. “Ha, well that saved his life. Why’d she send him?”

    “Well, right about then was when I saw the kid.” Ahsoka replied.

    “The kid?”

    “He had a child with him.” Ahsoka said “A… well, a baby Yoda.”

    “A what?” Rex said in surprise, then coughed weakly from the sudden outburst.

    “A child of Master Yoda’s species. I know, I was amazed too.” Ahsoka replied. She stood up and started pacing the room slowly as she talked. “This Mandalorian says he's a bounty hunter. The child was a bounty he picked up, but he didn’t have the heart to leave with the Imps who’d hired him. I don’t blame him, the child was incredibly cute. He's also Force-sensitive. The child was mostly non-verbal, but the two of us were able to communicate well enough through the Force that I got images and impressions from him. His name is Grogu, and he was once a youngling in the Jedi Temple. The Mandalorian had been tasked to take Grogu to ‘his people’, to the Jedi. Bo Katan sent them to me because I was the only Jedi she really knew. The Mando wanted to leave the child with me...”

    “So where is this youngling now?” Rex prompted. Ahsoka had paused, her gaze on the battered Clone trooper helmet sitting on a shelf on the wall.

    Ahsoka sighed. “After watching and talking to Grogu and the Mando, I could see the bond that the two had formed. Despite the Mandalorian not even knowing Grogu’s name.” Ahsoka smiled, but then shook her head. “I couldn’t take Grogu, I’ve already seen first-hand what keeping someone away from someone they love can do to a Jedi. Some other Master may know how to keep a youngling from falling to the dark side through that. But it isn’t me. Besides, traveling around the galaxy chasing leads on Ezra or Thrawn is not a very good environment for training a youngling. I sent them off to visit a powerful Force nexus, and gave the youngling some advice on how to tap into it to boost his presence. Hopefully some other Jedi out there will be able to sense Grogu and will be willing to take him."

    Ahsoka sat back down next to her friend. "But I came here to see you, Rex. How are you doing?"

    "Well, you got the Doc's message, I'm dying." Rex replied matter-of-factly, if weakly. "Frankly, the Doc is amazed I've lived this long. We clones weren't really designed to live past combat usefulness."

    Rex made a deep sigh that turned into another small coughing fit. When it passed, he leaned back into the chair's headrest and closed his eyes.

    Ahsoka watched her friend quietly, then reached out to look at him through the Force. Perhaps there was something she could do that the doctors couldn't.

    In his chair, Rex shivered. He cracked an eye at his friend. "Hey, I see you concentrating. Quit trying, kid, there's nothing you can do for me."

    The former Jedi smiled faintly as she closed her eyes and took a deep breath. He was right, there wasn't anything she could do, especially once she had caught his feeling of quiet resignation, of acceptance. He was ready to go.

    "I'm probably the last living Clone," Rex said thoughtfully.

    "Oh, I'm sure there's other ones out there, living out their retirements." Ahsoka replied.

    Rex shook his head. "I doubt many Clones survived the first ten years of the Empire. Once they started slowing down, they were retired. Not 'went into retirement', mind you, but 'were retired'." Rex put emphasis on the euphemistic phrase. "My brothers can't all have been hiding out in remote corners of the galaxy all this time. The Empire probably killed them. We were only ever tools to Palpatine, disposable. I tried hiding out with Wolffe and Gregor, to try to avoid the truth, but I knew. Somewhere in my mind, I knew that the Empire wouldn't have let useless Clones wander around loose. Palpatine hated loose ends. He couldn't even leave loose ends after he died, and left the galaxy Operation Cinder to deal with. First he used my brothers to betray the Jedi, then he betrayed my brothers in return."

    Ahsoka watched a tear leak from the corner of Rex's eye, and was reminded of that terrible day when they were forced to defend themselves from the men they loved and served beside. Ahsoka could tell Rex was thinking about it too, as he absently rubbed the scar on the side of his head. The spot where the ship's droids had removed the inhibitor chip that had been telling Rex to kill his Jedi friends. A command that none of them could resist, no matter how much a small part of them was screaming in horror as they gunned down their commanders, their friends.

    "What can I do for you, Rex?" Ahsoka asked quietly.

    "Just be here, kid," Rex said, resting his hand, palm up, on the arm of the chair. Ahsoka wrapped her hands around it, giving him a comforting squeeze.

    "I just, wanted a friend here." Rex sighed.

    "I'll always be here for you." Ahsoka said.

    .
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2021
    Findswoman likes this.
  2. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    I enjoyed that immensely. A very plausible aftermath for the Clones unfortunately. Palpatine and his no loose ends. :p

    Ahsoka's and Rex's deep abiding friendship is so in evidence. The heart-tugging aspects were poignantly done and lightened in no small adorable measure by the Mandalorian tie-in! =D= @};-
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2021
    Findswoman and TheRynJedi like this.
  3. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
    Aw man, something's in my eyes. Curse those onion cutting ninjas!