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Since You've Been Gone

Chapter Text

(Ezra's POV)

The Phantom II's entry ramp hissed open. I felt Kanan's hand rest on my shoulder.

The whole crew was standing there. Hera, Zeb, and even Chopper. They were smiling, ready to greet us. Me and Kanan.

But not Sabine.

The smiles of the crew instantly faded. Zeb hung his head, and allowed his ears to drop down. I had never seen him so... Devastated.

Hera and Kanan walked over to each other, and hugged. Hera was... Crying. Then, I saw something I thought I would never see. Chopper was not mad, or angry. Not even frustrated. I saw a basket in the droid's mechanical arms. It even had a checkered ribbon on it, tied in a neat bow. He dropped it, and slowly wheeled away. I undid the ribbon, then peeked inside. I saw paint cans, almost a dozen of them. All different colors, and I realized these were ones Sabine didn't have. They were neon florescent paints, extremely expensive and hard to come by. Chopper put some thought into this, and there is no possible way he didn't run into trouble stealing these.

I didn't even notice Zeb sneaking up behind me. He wasn't even sneaking, really. He just walked over. He would have always taken that opportunity to scare me, but he was trying everything he could not to.

"Hey kid." The voice was solemn, and depressed. This wasn't like him. When I didn't respond, he continued talking. "Chopper disappeared for the whole day, and wouldn't tell us where he was going. Turns out, he spent the whole day hiding from over thirty Stormtroopers after he stole these paints. He was so proud to show it to us, and he spent about twenty minutes trying to find the perfect basket and ribbon to put his gift in."

In the same sad tone, I told him, "I've never seen Chopper anything but annoyed, but I guess that Sabine leaving has effected us all."

Zeb nodded. "I hope she comes back soon."

"Me too Zeb, Me too."

Chapter Text

(Ezra's POV)

It was the middle of the night. I couldn't sleep. At first I thought it was just because of Zeb snoring, but I realized it was because I knew Sabine wasn't in her room. It was empty. I couldn't let it just be empty.

I walked down the hall, and the door opened to Sabine's room. I saw all the pictures and and paintings around the walls. It was a comfort.

I sat down on her bed, and closed my eyes.

I felt a wave of memory wash over me, and I realized I was having a vision. But this one was different. It was a vision of the past. I heard Sabine's voice, just as I remembered it. Right from the beginning.

"If the big guy catches you, you are a goner! Good luck kid!"

I smiled, still with my eyes closed. Watching the first time I met her, and the rest of the crew. It seems like it was only yesterday now, and I knew it was because it felt like I didn't have time. At least not enough.

"Hey my name's Ezra, what's yours?"

I laughed at my own terrible first impression skills. I probably ruined my chances with her right then and there. Or as Zeb put it, "what chance." I sighed. I was still just a kid, nothing else. At least, not to her.

And here I was, still hung up over a girl who... Well, Zeb was right, I never had a chance with her. I know that.

"Then why are you still hung up over her, a girl who will never love you!?"

"I don't know! She is beautiful, and amazing, she's not just a girl waiting for someone, she doesn't need anyone, she doesn't need you!" I stopped, realizing I had said that last part aloud. I hope that no one heard me sayin-

"Ezra? Is that you?" I heard Kanan's voice.

Karabast.

Chapter Text

(Ezra's POV)

I looked up. Kanan was standing in the doorway, looking equally confused and sad.

"Ezra, what are you doing with your blanket in Sabine's room? It's the middle of the night, why are you even awake?"

I smirked, but not with my usual enthusiasm. "Well, what are you doing up?"

Kanan frowned, but he didn't appear to be angry. Just upset. "I was meditating until I heard you yell."

"Sorry Master."

Kanan sat next to me, and gave me an understanding look. "It's fine. I miss her too. But with all she has done for us, and all we have done for her, I'm sure we will see her again." He smiled.

"I know, but... When? It feels like it has already been years without her. And, even if we do see her again, would she come back to the crew? Or would she stay with her family... I mean, it's not exactly like they cared for her, at least not as much as we did, and-"

I was interupted by Kanan. "Ezra, we're her family, even if not by blood. She knows that. We are the family she will always remember. The family she will always care for. The family she will always love. And no matter how far apart, we are unbreakable. This crew is more than part of a rebellion. This ship is more than a means of transport...

This crew is a family, and this ship is our home. And Sabine is a part of it, no matter what.

Chapter Text

(Sabine's POV)

"I'm done running away. My father's on Mandalore. We will find a way to get him back. And then, maybe we can join the fight against the Empire. But right now, I can do more good here. Thank you, both of you."

"All of Clan Wren saw what you have become, You could lead Mandalore"

"No. This was about my family. I'm not Mandalore's leader. But I will find the person who is."

1 week later

I sighed. I missed home. My real home, in the skies. If I closed my eyes I could almost picture it.

Kanan would in his room with the door shut, trying to block out the noise while meditating.Hera would be looking at star maps while flying the ship, with Chopper beside her grumbling. He acted like that no matter what, but he loves Hera, and doesn't get mad with her often. Zeb and Ezra would be up to some sort of trick, who knows what. All I knew was it would cause Kanan and Hera to yell. And I would be in my room, painting our latest adventures.

I opened my eyes.

And I saw on my formally white walls and ceiling, the paintings.

All of the adventures, all of the crew's moments together as a family. They were all here. And I loved it.

They were my crew. There for me when I needed them most.

They were my family.

 

But would they ever be my family again...

Chapter Text

(Zeb's POV)

I stared at the walls of the Ghost, almost expecting something to happen. Some color to appear.

It didn't.

And, everything was too quiet. Sure, I was still messing with the kid from time to time. But not as often. Sure, it was fun... But, It was even better when Sabine would come out and yell at us for messing with her "artistic focus."

Yesterday I had decided to go to the cantina. I got a drink and then played some Sabacc. I won many rounds, but I still felt like I was losing. Karabast. A former Honor Guardsmen from Lasan wasn't supposed to feel like this.

I thought to myself. When Kanan was gone, it was bad, but I was fine. Same goes for Ezra and Hera. And definitely Chopper. But, when there wasn't a colorful mandalorian girl by his side, to protect him and have his back...

And for him to have hers.

Whenever we went anywhere, especially when she first joined.. I remembered.

(Flashback)

A 15 year old brightly colored girl, in full armor ran past Kanan and Hera. Kanan hung his head.

The twilek spoke up, in a calming voice. "I know, but she will learn. She will understand that-"

Kanan sighed in frustration, "What! That Jedi aren't her enemy!? Hera, what if she never trusts me?" His face sunk in sadness.

I walked down the hall of the Ghost, and stopped at the girl's room. I opened the door carefully.

"Hey," I said calmly. "You ok, kid? Kanan doesn't want to hurt you, you know that right?"

She shook her head. "He doesn't like mandalorians, he's a Jedi."

I sighed. "Kanan just wants to get to know you. He wants to see-" The girl had started to turn away. This wasn't working. I know Kanan said not to be... my usual self, but I had a feeling that i had to. "Wait kid."

She turned back to face me, with a look of both sadness and suspicion.

My voice was happy to be less comforting, as I said the words I had wanted to say for a while. Ever since I found out Mandos were good with gambling.

"Wanna play Sabacc?"

(Flashback End)

I grinned. It was the start of something, that day. At that time, I became the only one she trusted. It took her a week to like Hera, and about a month to finally come round to Kanan. But, I was the first friend she ever made on the Ghost. And I realized, something had been hiding inside me for years. I just thought she was a friend, a colleague. But she was much more than that. I realized, the reason I was so empty inside.

Sabine was like my sister. We could count on each other, and I knew, I loved looking out for her.

And now, I don't have her here. I don't know whether she is safe. I can't protect her. I am a warrior. And I don't get attached easily. Kriff, I'm not really even attached to Kanan, Hera, or Ezra. But since she left, I feel something I would never tell anyone. With Sabine gone, I was missing something.

I was missing a piece of myself.

Chapter Text

(Hera's POV)

Looking at the stars while flying is always peaceful. You can always wonder what each one holds. Chopper is recharging, so the whole ship is always more cheerful when that happens. Except, now it seems like him being absent makes it more sad on the Ghost. But whenever I feel wrong, flying sets me right. If only we were flying somewhere else. Right now we are flying over Krownest. And all I can think about is what my daughter is doing-

No. Not my daughter. Not anymore. She is with her family now, her real family.

That isn't us.

I just wish that I could see her smiling face once more, on the ship. As if nothing ever happened. I wish she was here, making trouble. I can't believe i'm saying that. But, it is true. I would rather have Sabine causing trouble on the ship, then not have her here at all. I just wish that she was here. But, I know whenever I look up at the stars... She is looking right back at me.

Chopper's rusty orange color became real as a single tear fell from my face.

She is looking right back, I know she is.

And I will never, not for a moment put her out of my mind.

Chapter Text

(Tristan's POV)

It had been a long day, with trying to figure out where my father was. And how we could save him. My brain was exhausted from the seemingly endless dead-ends and puzzles. They were keeping Father hid, that was for sure. So, I was already worn out. Then I had to deal with my little sister, taking her anger and sadness out on me in our sparring match. She had gotten much better with her skills, and I had no doubt in my mind it was because of the two jedi she had been living with. At least, to some degree anyway.

My mind was entirely conflicted about the whole subject of this "Ghost Crew" that I had never met. Yet, my sister had so much faith in them. They were all I heard about most of the time. I had only learned a little, but it was enough for me.

There was the older jedi, Kanan. He was Specter One, as they all went by code names on missions. He was a survivor of Order 66, and he didn't like to talk about his past at all. Then there was Hera. She was a twi'lek, and The Ghost was also her ship. Sabine said she was the best pilot in the galaxy, and told me many stories about her skills. Hera had a droid, an old C1-10P model astromech from the Clone Wars. He loved Hera, but everyone else was entirely dependant on whether he was having an off day. He apparently was the most angry droid you could ever meet, and Sabine said he knew more swears than she did at the time of her arrival.

And that was saying something. Mandalorians know quite a few bad words, and Sabine knew them in 3 different languages.

And, also a Lasat named Zeb. He was the "muscle", at least that's what I assumed. But, Sabine said when he wasn't busting "bucketheads" or gambling, he was a great friend who always had your back. And finally, the young padawan. His name was Ezra, and he was 15. He had only been with them for about a year now, and he was discovered to be a jedi shortly after they met. He was taken as a padawan by Kanan, and since then has gone through a lot with them. Sabine also said that he used to flirt with her a lot, and had used every pick up line in the book. I couldn't help but laugh as she told me about his sad attempts to charm my sister. It was funny, she talked about him quite frequently.

It was like she couldn't help herself, or didn't even know she was talking out loud.

I shrugged it off. The reason I was so conflicted was, put simply...

When she ran from the academy, she knew she couldn't have come to Mother or Father. But she could have come to me. And instead, she ended up joining a glorified gang, at least that was my opinion. But maybe it was just my sadness corrupting my mind again.

And even more, she talked about them as if...

They were more than him. As if they mattered more. They way she talked about them, the way she looked up to them.

More than me.

And then came the matter of his sister's room. He had gone in to wake her up a few days after she came back to Krownest, and he did expect what he saw. Well, to a certain point. He had expected the paint, and the mess of the debris field she left behind after making her "masterpieces." And he did think they were amazing. But he didn't expect what he saw.

The walls were filled. Completely covered in art. Some pieces were overlapping each other. And they all were different, yet the same. They were all of moments she had told him about. Memories.

He had thought that things would be better now. His sister was back home, where he could keep her safe. And everything was great. Once they found their father, they would all be happy as a family again. But now, he saw that he was wrong. Sure, he had tried to find her after she left... But she didn't know that. She didn't know that he had spend almost a year trying to find his fifteen year old sister, scared and alone. And she found a crew, but now he saw that she saw more than a crew.

The paintings, all memories. Of different moments, different stories. But the same people.

Over and over, she painted them. The same fighters. The same crew. The same friends.

 

The same family.

Chapter Text

(Ezra's POV)

I stared at the different weapons. I couldn't believe I was getting ready for the Battle of Lothal. The whole thing seemed like a dream, but I knew how fast it could turn into a nightmare. We had amassed quite an army, but we still looked small compared to the Empire.

I finally decided on weapons. I would bring a standard rifle, as well as my lightsaber. But, I knew if something went wrong, I would need more. Like Sabine always said, "carry enough firepower to deal three times the damage you expect to." Unfortunately, I couldn't follow her advice exactly, because I was planning to deal quite a bit of damage. The weaponry didn't have enough for my to carry three times that, and I was pretty sure I didn't have the space on my body.

I sighed.

If only you were with us now.

Sabine always knew what to do for battle, and I would always rely on her to give me some advice before a firefight began. But, she wasn't here now.

And that was going to make this that much harder.

I looked down at a box, and smiled. I blew the dust off the case and opened it carefully.

Inside was my old electro-slingshot. I picked it up, and brushed the cobwebs off the handle. Who knows what might be needed where we're going.

As I walked out of the armory, I glanced in the cockpit of the Ghost.

Hera was standing there, talking to Kanan. Normally this wouldn't be out of place, but I could sense something through the force, coming from Kanan. Something that told me we were reaching the end of the line. I sensed fear, like a tidal wave. Constantly crashing on the shore of his mind. Hera was saying something... My heart sunk as I heard the word.

"Goodbye."

This was a suicide mission, and we all knew it. We would put up a fight, and maybe take a few Star Destroyers with us, but we all knew that this was our last mission together.

I kept walking, down the hall to the common room. There I saw Zeb, playing a game of Sabacc with Chopper. And to my surprise, Zeb was losing. And, he wasn't even mad.

Chopper made his move and won the game, causing Zeb to sink down in his chair. Chopper wheeled over to the cockpit, and Zeb retreated to our shared quarters. I sat down at one side of the holoprojector table. It wasn't long until I heard Hera's voice over the ship's coms.

"Take Battle Stations. Phoenix Squadron is going in."

I took a deep breath. This was it. Time to show the Empire what we're made of.

Chapter Text

(Ezra's POV)

The battle had begun. There were ships in the skies, and wherever you looked you could see a fight in process. I snapped out of my daydream as I heard Hera's voice on the coms of the Ghost. "Here we go. Converge on the Destroyer in formation six." As the ships moved forward, I ran to the gunner position. The whole battle seemed impossible. There were five times as many ties as I had ever seen if you put them all together. And there were seven, no eight Star Destroyers all attacking. We fought for hours, while the planet I once called home loomed in the background.

One by one, each of our fighters was shot down. And even with Zeb and I on the guns, The Ghost took heavy fire. All of our ships did. There were only a few ships left, against the still large forces of the Empire. I heard Hera on the coms, and I immediately knew that this was the end.

"Well, it's been a good run. I would like to thank all of you for fighting. Remember, this will never end. As long as there is an Empire, there will be a Rebellion out there fighting for freedom."

The voice was sad, and almost disappointed. I couldn't take it any longer. As fast as my legs would carry me, I ran to the other gunner position. Zeb was sitting there, with a frown.

"After this, lets play Sabacc 'lright..."

I was stunned. Zeb knew we were going to die, but he didn't want to get sad. He wanted to go down without seeing a tear from my eyes. So I let him have his wish, and ran down the ship to the cockpit. Kanan and Hera were in a tight embrace, but when they saw me they beckoned me over. We shared a hug. At least I am going to die with a family.

Hera wiped a tear off of my face, and smiled.

"Don't cry, Ezra. We are all here. Here together." Her voice was breaking, and she was trying to say what I knew would be her last words to me. The last words I would ever hear, as the star destroyer fired at our now disabled ship. But, I saw something, something in the fire. And I smiled sadly, as the thoughts poured into my mind without me trying to think of them.

And I realized, there was still someone out there. The most rebellious soul I knew. And I saw what she would have seen even in the worst of times, the mandalorian only saw one thing. I shed one last tear, and the words came softly out of my mouth.

 

"Look At the Color."

Chapter Text

(Ezra's POV)

We waited for the blast, for a big noise. And then silence, as we died. I tried in those few seconds to remember everything I had been through, and how the crew changed my life in so many ways. All for the better. Did I regret going with them? No. Because even though I am about to die, I am going to die with a family. And I wouldn't change that for the galaxy. I waited, for my death.

And there was a noise. A terrifying noise.

But, it wasn't like anything I expected. I slowly opened my eyes, scared to move a muscle. I saw that Kanan and Hera, and also Zeb were doing the same. To my surprise, we were still alive. And instead of the noise of an explosion, we heard the Ghost's coms slam into life.

I heard a voice, and saw fighters across the sky. Fighting the empire. And all of us stared, shocked to see the same starfighters we saw on Concord Dawn. The voice was clear.

"Are you really going to just give up!?! Fight, I thought that was what you rebellions did!"

The voice was that of a man, but sounded more like an older boy. We heard the coms again, as the rest of the crew hurried back to battle stations. And I started to go with them.

And that was when the new voice on the coms almost stopped us in our tracks.

"This is Specter Five to Ghost. We could use some help over here!"

Everyone only paused for a minute, but was focused on the enemy now converging. We had backup. From Sabine, and a whole squadron of Mandalorian fighters. There was hope. I stared out the window, wondering which ship was hers. Then, I saw a ship that stood out, but not in a colorful way. In fact, it was exactly the opposite.

The ship was entirely black, and I saw there was no detail on it at all. No marks either. The only thing that made it different was that the ends of the ship stuck out, and I saw what they formed.

Wings.

"This is ship Black Wren speaking. Follow my lead." It was the male voice again. I was puzzled as to who this was, and why the voice sounded so familiar. Then, it hit me.

It was Tristan. Sabine's brother.

And then I saw it, and I knew this ship was hers. Color streaked across it. And I saw the Starbird on its front. (A/N I am going to draw these ships don't worry.) "This is The Starbird speaking. Come on, lets go. We will never beat them here, at least not today. We need to fall back."

As much as we all hated to admit it, we knew it was true. So, we made several turns and stops. Eventually, we ended up on Krownest. We all descended the ramp of The Ghost. We saw Tristan standing there.

He spoke. "Come on, she's waiting for you inside."

We walked in silence, still in shock from all that had happened. When we reached the Wren Fortress, we went into the throne room. There were two thrones in the room now, and one was taken. I stared as I saw her, unable to say a word. But Tristan started before I could. The whole place went silent as he spoke the words. Words I never even imagined hearing, especially now.

"May I present, Sabine Wren. The Countess of Krownest."

Chapter Text

(Sabine's POV)

 

I turned around to see them. My friends. My crew.

There were shocked expressions as my brother announced my title. They were almost as shocked as I was when finding out that the position of Countess was mine.

Well, Almost.

We stood in silence for what felt like years, until I worked up the courage to speak. "That was foolish. Attacking the Empire head-on like that? What were you all thinking?"

Zeb shouted back at me, "We were fighting, and we saw the opportunity to-"

I cut him off. "To what! Die?!"

Zeb was about to reply again, when Hera spoke up.

"No, Sabine. To live. To truly live. Not hiding behind closed doors, taking a stand."

"Well, that stand almost got you killed! You would have been dead if we didn't jump in! This Rebellion is going to kill you all!" I replied.

The entire crew stopped dead in their tracks. And so did I. I hadn't meant to say that, I was just worried about them. And.. Angry. Angry they didn't ask me to help them fight. I expected Hera to be angry, to shout back at me. But, she didn't. She just looked disappointed. And that was a thousand times worse. I could take the anger, the lectures and shouting. After all, I had been dealing with quite a lot of that since I came to Krownest.

But I couldn't cope with the feeling that by joining my birth family again....

I had lost the one that truly mattered. The ones who took me in, cared for me. I would do anything to help them... I remembered my sparring match a few days ago with Tristan.

(Flashback)

My brother and I were doing the usual sparring in the morning. But he was pushing me to my limit today. And I was getting a little bit frustrated. And then he said something that made me hate him.

"Why do you care so much about that crew, and this rebellion? We are your family after all, why do you care about them more than us? It's not as if they truly care for you."

I froze, but only for a moment. I shot back a reply as the fighting continued. With every sentence, I struck a blow to his staff. And with every blow, I was closer to winning the match.

"Because they were there when I needed them most! And I didn't have a purpose until I met them! They showed me how to be something, something bigger than myself!" By this time I was quickly dashing around, dodging my brother's attacks. "People called me a traitor, a fraud! And I believed them, because my family never taught me how to believe in myself! And do you know why I fight, fight for something other than myself?!" I began to quickfire my strikes, never missing.

"Because the wisest woman I have ever known and ever will told me something I'll never forget!" Now with every word I stuck a blow.

"If all you do is fight for you own life, then your life means NOTHING!" With my last word I knocked him to the ground and held my staff over his body.

"And I have held that to heart, wherever I go! And I inspire others to do what I did!"

I took my staff off of his chest, and stared at him with a frown. I began to walk out, but I turned my head around slightly.

And in a calm voice I said, "I am not a traitor. I am not a coward. And I may not be a Jedi, or a pilot, or a guardsman. But I know something that you or Mother never taught me, never could."

"I am a rebel."

(Flashback End)

I stared at the twilek's face. She was crying softly, silently so as not to be heard. And I no longer cared what people thought of me. I was the Countess. I was supposed to be strong. Never show your weakness. Never show you feel anything. And I knew with all of the people around, I would show weakness and emotions by not being who I was right now. Their strong Countess. But they were wrong, I wasn't strong like they think. I had weaknesses. And I didn't care what people thought. I would not let Hera cry like that. Never.

I descended the steps. And I threw myself into Hera's arms. I would never let my...

What was she.. More than a pilot. More than my Captain. She was always there for me.

She wasn't my birth mother.

 

But she was the one who mattered.

Chapter Text

(Ezra's POV)

After seeing Sabine, it was decided that we would stay on Krownest for a little while. At least while the heat died down after the battle. I sat in my room, one I didn't have to room with Zeb.

I stared at the walls, blank and white. I never realized how much I needed color in my life.

No. Not color. Sabine.

"The girl I had been crushing on for more than a year now, constantly flirting with. The girl who never liked me back. And never would, it seemed."

I sighed and flopped down on my bed. Then, I heard a knock at the door.

"Come in," I said blankly.

The door opened and there stood Tristan, Sabine's brother. He looked down at me, but to my surprise his face didn't bear a look of disgust. He had a huge smirk on his face.

He finally spoke. "You know, you have more of a chance then you think."

"Huh? What do you mean," I said quickly.

"You were thinking. Out loud." He looked at me with a smug grin.

I thought, 'Karabast. I need to stop doing that.'

I froze. "Wait. Did you just say I had a chance?!"

He smiled, this time more sincere. "I have heard that you are quite a flirt."

I blushed.

Tristan took my silence as an invitation to continue. "She told me so much about everyone in her crew. But she talked quite a bit about you. Even if she didn't realize. Come with me."

I followed, remaining silent. Tristan opened the door to Sabine's room. She was at blaster practice.

Tristan spoke up. "I thought that since she was home, she would be happy. Happy with us. But she wasn't. I thought it was something else, but..." He paused.

"My sister was not what our society considered normal. She could do any problem you put in front of her by the age of four. And when she was given a test on explosives, she was the only one who left the target in colorful ashes. She wasn't normal, and still isn't. But she was smart, so Mother made the choice to send her to the Imperial Academy. I protested, I knew they would try to snuff out the creative light inside my sister. But, no one would listen to me. They sent her off."

I looked at the wall and saw a painting, almost a mural. It was of all the moments we all shared together as a crew. Hundreds of them.

He continued forlornly. "She doesn't need me anymore, never really did. She has a family, but not here. And you do have a chance."

Tristan pulled back a curtain near Sabine's bed. I froze in place, unable to comprehend it.

There was a painting, of the two of us. Sitting near my tower on Lothal, the twin suns behind us. And there was a poem in a language I had only seen used by Sabine. Mando'a, I believe.

 

Adol te akaanir, Ni motir de gar

Gar cuyir meg Ni akaanir par

Bal adol te aaray bal te kar'ta shukur

Gar su vercopa par or'atu

bal Ni kar'taylir at mirdir ibac gar rucuyir dini'la

a jii Ni liser't ve'ganir gar dayn be ner mirshe

bal tion'tuur Ni mar'eyce

te ca'nara was dar

Ni gotal bic Gev nayc nartimir

bal cuyir nayc brokar

bic shuk'la ner kar'ta

jii Ni liser haa'taylir ibac cuun Munit Oya'karir cuyir sha te kyr

bal jii gar Kelir draar cuyir or'atu ner burc'ya

 

Tristan translated it for me, and I sat there in stunned silence.

 

(Through the fight I stand by you)

(You are what I fight for)

(And through the pain and the heartbreak)

(You still hope for more)

(And I used to think you were insane)

(But now I can't get you out of my brain)

(And when I realized)

(the chance was gone)

(I made it stop not start)

(And now before it began beating)

(it broke my heart)

(Now I can see that our journey is at an end)

(and now you will never be more than my friend.)

Chapter Text

(Sabine's POV)

Everyone knew I loved art, I was even called "The Artist" by many Imperials. But most people didn't know that I loved to make music. The only ones who really did were my mother, and Tristan. I could remember what we used to be like, before the Empire came to take me to the Academy. It was just the two of us.

When I needed a friend, he was there. When he needed a friend, I was there for him.

And one night, he told me something I would never forget.

-flashback-

I was six, and he was nine. We were in our bedroom, one that we shared. Sure, the place was huge, and we could have had separate bedrooms. But we didn't want to be apart. We were inseparable. I never even considered we could be anything different. We both sat on our beds and stared up at the ceiling. Then, Tristan looked over at me.

"I feel like I failed everyone," he said.

I looked over at him. "What do you mean?"

He frowned, but I knew he was upset with himself, not me. "I wasn't good enough to get into the academy. My marks were almost perfect, why didn't they choose me?"

I smiled sadly. "I don't know, you are almost perfect at everything. I don't know why they didn't pick you."

He started hiding his face, so I wouldn't see him crying. "You have better marks than me in everything except hand to hand fighting, and you are three years younger than me! And now all I get from people is, 'You should have done better, you should be more like your sister!'"

I walked over to his bed and took his hand gently. "No matter what vod, we will have each other. Because no one can ever change the fact that we are together."

He looked up at me, and pulled me into a hug. "Thanks sal Nau. You are the best sister I could ever ask for."

"You too, brother."

"Because we will always be together, right sis?"

I nodded and smiled, as we turned off the light and went to sleep.

"Forever, brother."

Chapter Text

(Ezra's POV)

After I saw the song, I couldn't put it through my head. My thoughts were flying past me, and my mind was racing. Finally, I couldn't bare it any longer. I raced to my room and began my work.

At first I was going to just tell her how I felt.

Then I thought about a letter. Then a poem.

Then, A song. A response in Mando'a.

Perfect.

This was not as easy as I thought it would be. My datapad's trash folder was almost filled with drafted responses. No matter what I did, there was always something wrong with what I wrote.

But I pressed on.

Ni ganar ru'tionir gar par munit ca'nara

A Ni ganar ratiin cuyir sirbur nayc

Kar'taylir darasuum cuyir dini'la cuyir bic nayc

at mirdir ibac Ni Ru'kel vurel solus tuur tionir gar

bal cuyir sha gar eso

cuyir nayc ret'yc

ibac cuyir meg Ni solus mirdir

a bic Ru'lis cuyir or'atu veman ibac Ni mirdir

bal tion'tuur gar cuyir dar

ner kar'ta c'ogir dayn lo te werde

par vercopa o'r ibic aikiyc yilad

anay tuur vi akaanir

a ori aru'e

birov tuur Ni cuy' nayc serimir

a Ni kar'tayl gar darasuum ibac Ni kar'taylir

 

 

I have been asking you for a long time

But I have always been denied

Love is insane, is it not

To think that one day I would ask you

And be at your side

Is impossible

That's what I once thought

But maybe it is more real than I imagined

And even when you are away

My heart reaches out into the darkness

For hope in this desperate array

Every day we fight

Against a giant foe

Most days i am not certain

But I love you, that I know.

 

I smiled, and slipped it under Sabine's door. The door opened, but I was long gone.

Chapter Text

(Sabine's POV)

I couldn't believe we were doing this. A dance, for all the rebels? A time of fun, not war? It was unheard of. Hera told us this morning, and Zeb respectfully declined. At least, as much respect as he was capable of. Hera and Kanan were going together of course, and Ezra asked me.

And I said yes.

So now Hera was in her dress, a dark purple full length gown with her lekku having matching colored gems on a silver head-dress. She also had matching purple wedges with silver hem lining.

I chose a short dress that only went a little past my knees. And I wore my combat boots, despite Hera's protests. But, she did make me paint them to match the dress, and put the same pattern of fabric on them. The dress was black as night, and had fabric made to look like a wren's wings swinging around the straps and my upper arms. It also had I also had dyed my hair and grown it out for the occasion, so it was in a crown-braided bun, and dyed black as night with the exception of the braids being blue like Ezra's hair.

I knew Kanan was going to wear a dark green tuxedo, but Hera didn't. But then again, she did know what Ezra was going to be wearing and I didn't. The same holds true for the two of them.

I couldn't wait to do this, but I was more nervous than I would care to admit. Hera however, had a smile as bright as the gems adorning her lekku. I knew this would be quite something, but I had never been to a dance that I wanted to go to before. The only ones I knew were the dances that my mother brought me to when I was little. They were filled with other nobility and royalty, not just from Mandalore.

I hated them.

But tonight was going to be special, I could already tell.

Chapter Text

(Sabine's POV)

I walked down the ramp and we crossed the floor of the room. Yavin Four's natural environment was perfect to surround and decorate the dance hall. Despite the limited resources, the whole thing was amazing. I turned around to see that Hera had already found Kanan, and the two were laughing and already starting to dance. Then, I saw a navy blue suit across the hall.

Ezra.

He was standing there, eyes wide in amazement. But not at the decorations like I thought he would. He was looking at me, grinning like a joyful loth-cat. I walked over to him, never letting our eyes break away from each other. "Hey there, Loth-Cat." I smiled at him, jokingly calling him by his nickname.

He grinned. "I feel underdressed." He pointed to the top of my hair bun, with the blue braid. "Wait, did you color that like my hair?" I laughed, blushing more than I would have liked. "Yeah, I thought it would look nice."

"It does." Ezra was starting to blush too. "And the wings on the sleeves look amazing."

"Thanks. I wasn't sure about it at first, but Hera said if I did the same to my combat boots, then I could wear them. That was all the convincing I needed."

He laughed, with a fair amount of snorting. We both were laughing now, until he spoke up. "So, may I have this dance?" He held out his hand, shaking in nerves. I performed a mock curtsey and took his hand.

"You may, Ezra Bridger." He smiled, nerves gone, as we walked out to the dance floor.

 

Birov tuur Ni' cuy' nayc serimir, a Ni kar'tayl gar darasuum ibac Ni kar'taylir.

Every day we fight, against a giant foe. Most days I am not certain, but I love you, that I know.

Chapter Text

(Ezra's POV)

The night had just started, and yet it felt like I had been here forever. As the next song came on, Sabine led me into a dance. Almost in a trance, my feet began to copy her patterns and rhythm. The song wasn't exactly slow either. Many of the couples were dropping out and retreating to the sidelines of the dance floor, exhausted and trying to catch their breath. The tempo kept getting faster and faster, until only the two of us remained.

But I barely noticed any of the people gathering to watch us. I was focused on something far more amazing, far more beautiful. Sabine Wren. The girl I had been obsessing over since the moment I laid eyes on her. I still couldn't believe that this was really happening.

I couldn't really dance, but somehow being with her was making my feet soar and glide. She must be able to dance from all her experience being a countess. I longed to just kiss her, but I knew that was uncalled for. Especially with everyone watching us.

But before I could even continue, I felt her lips on my cheek. I looked back at her, blushing more than a ripe cherry jogan. Then, I smiled and pulled her in for a kiss. Our lips met, and the crowd cheered. And our feet had never stopped moving to the rhythm.

If this is a dream, never wake me up.

Chapter Text

(Sabine's POV)

The dance was over, after what seemed to be years. I found myself hoping that it wasn't over even much later the next day. I dyed my hair back to its purple color, and hung the dress up in my closet. The dance was more than just a fun party to me. It was a moment, a memory that I would never forget.

I changed back into my armor, and went out the common area of the Ghost. I was surprised to find out that Kanan and Hera weren't up yet. Then again, it was a late night. I smirked as it occurred to me that they probably were awake, but they wouldn't get up for a while.

Zeb was up, playing Sabacc against Chopper. As glanced down at the board, I saw that Chopper was clearly winning, and Zeb couldn't be happy about that in the slightest. I went into the Galley and brewed a cup of caf. I would need the drink to wake me up fully. From the other room I could hear the sounds of Chopper laughing in his own droid form and Zeb's grunts of frustration getting louder by the minute.

Kanan and Hera would be up soon alright. They would have to break up a fight.

Chapter Text

(Ezra's POV)

When I woke up, I saw the crew all around me on the floor. They were unconscious. I took a look at my surroundings, and saw that we were in a small black box, with glowing white light appearing to come from nowhere. I had only seen this place once before. But we couldn't be here. Could we really?

Kanan groaned, getting up. I saw him scanning the surroundings just as I had a few moments ago. His eyes went wide, and he seemed to be thinking the same thing as I was. The rest of the crew, excluding Chopper, got up and did the same thing. But they seemed to be more focused on getting out.

When I took a step forward the place expanded, the walls never seeming to get closer to us. It was just as I expected. Kanan cleared his throat, and the group turned to him in silence as he spoke.

"I don't know how, but we are in a force vision mindscape. Which means the force wants us to see something. All of us."

Chapter Text

(Hera's POV)

Before we knew it, Kanan and Ezra had heard something. The force itself was talking to them. The box's floor slowly changed, and five pedestals appeared around us. I turned around to face Kanan as he spoke.

"The force wants to give us each a gift. To help us with our goal." Ezra nodded, and Zeb chuckled. "Well, I'm certainly not gonna say no!" Sabine smiled, then turned to inspect the markings on the floor below our feet. We all read the words engraved on the stone.

Five pedestals, five people here

Find your own and you're in the clear

but choose another person's stone

and stay here till you are only bones

Everyone was silent, until Ezra quietly spoke. "Well, that's definitely ominous." He paused before continuing. "We have to find our own pedestal, and place our hand on it to choose."

"But we can't risk choosing the wrong one! How do we know what to choose?"

Sabine was looking carefully at each stone, and motioned for us to come over. "By doing this Zeb. There are markings on each stone." And so there were, detailed and intricate. Each had one word, and after Sabine's help, we translated each.

Lost

Scarred

Forgotten

Regretful

Entropy

 

Now we had to figure out which we needed to use.

Chapter Text

(Ezra's POV)

I ran to one of the choices and heard my team yelling at me in terror. I placed my hand on the word it read. Lost. Hera was running toward me, and everyone was screaming that it wasn't safe.

Then, they were gone.

It was just me on the floor, in a familiar spot on Lothal. I was alone again. Alone in the cold and dark nights of the winter. Trying not to freeze. Wanting to sleep, but afraid that I would never wake up. The only light nearby was a simple street lamp that unfortunately didn't give any heat.

Curled up in a ball, I felt a tear fall from my face. As it hit the ground, it already started to turn into its solid form. I was alone. The crew... Where were they?

Or maybe they had just been a dream. He'd had those dreams before, where someone found him and gave him a home. A family.

It was always too good to be true.

______________________________________________

little loth-boy

don't you cry

remember the pilot

who showed you the sky

little loth-boy

don't be sad

remember the man

who was like your dad

little loth-boy

you are like no other

remember the guard

who was like your brother

little loth-boy

with hope so faint

remember the sister

with explosions of paint

little loth-boy

wait for the crew

and remember that they

are your family too

Chapter Text

Mandalore burned.

War after war, battle after battle. They were victorious.

And still, Mandalore burned.

And suddenly, everything was black. Sabine Wren looked around. A spotlight in pure darkness came into view. Dozens of mandalorians kneeling towards something. Or someone. As she walked closer she saw her mother towards the front. Kneeling towards someone on a throne.

Maul.

Of course, she thought. Death Watch at its finest. And years after the monster's reign was over she still knew about him. He is part of our culture now. Part of our history. A history of blood and death. Or as the history books called it, honor. But this isn't real, she thought to herself. Or at least, it isn't real now. You weren't even born.

The girl walked up to the throne, placing one foot on the step before it. The demon turned to look at her before starting to laugh. She just smirked. Although she would never admit it to anyone else, she was feeling very proud of herself. Because she knew. Oh, just you wait. Laugh all you want Maul. Because this isn't real.

She stared at the monster until their eyes met. He stopped laughing, his smile turning to a scowl. Keeping one eye fixed on the demon, she saw a familiar weapon placed neatly on one arm of the throne. Blood red eyes darted away from her gaze and reached for his belt, where a powerful weapon was hung and waiting for a new victim. But by the time the blade swung to make contact with where the girl should have been, she was ready.

Red clashed with black, the blades humming with every move. The blade felt familiar in her hands and suddenly she remembered why. The demon was going to win, that she knew. She was never going to beat him, even Kanan couldn't.

"You must use all your strengths together!"

The mandalorian heard his voice in her head. But he was telling her to fight. This, the same man who had told her more times than she could count to wear your opponent out. And that was what her foe was doing. This can't be real. All that the monster was doing was wearing her out. She didn't need to win. She couldn't. Looking the demon in his blood red eyes once more, she closed her own and let her weapon fall to her side.

The blade swung, and she was a cadet once more.

Chapter Text

Caleb Dume opened his eyes. He was sitting on the ground, although with all right he should have been with the crew. He touched the podium, of course. He must have chosen the right one. As his vision cleared, the republic camp on Kaller came into view.

The more he looked, the more panicked he became. Jedi robes and uniform covered his fourteen year old body. But nothing could prepare him for what he saw next. Clone troopers. Simply sitting and laughing, as if nothing was wrong. And nothing was wrong, at least not yet. A part of him was overjoyed. He could save her. He could save everyone. It hadn’t happened yet. There was still time to fix everything. The young padawan ran toward the figure he knew so well, to save her life. He opened his mouth to tell his master, to save everyone.

But a vision flashed before his eyes, a familiar twi’lek girl looking up in fear as a falling catwalk came crashing down on her. Even if the Empire wasn’t there, Hera would still be fighting the separatists. She would always end up on Gorse.

And everything and everyone he could save suddenly didn’t matter. Because if Kanan Jarrus didn’t exist, Hera Syndulla wouldn’t make it out alive. But he couldn’t sacrifice everyone in the galaxy for her. Could he?

Before he could do anything, his surroundings changed. He was still Caleb Dume, but he stood behind Kanan Jarrus. A man drinking his thoughts away, drinking away everything and everyone he had left behind. And he saw himself fighting Vidian. And not being able to use the force. He had drank so much to forget that he had forgotten. No. The force had given up on him, discarded him like a useless piece of garbage.

And when the catwalk fell, Hera Syndulla fell victim to the poison that he had drowned himself in. Every drop of ale came out in a sea of tears. Every sip of wine, a pool of blood.

Poison that couldn't kill. That's what the bartendenders always said.

But he had ordered and he had served.

Neverending heartbreak and guilt, on the rocks.

Chapter Text

Hey guys! Starfall here!

Just wanted to let you know that I am not done with this story. I am just spending a lot of time making sure the story goes where I want it to, especially since it is hard to write the amount of emotional trauma that I am putting these characters through. This is because I am writing Zeb's chapter, where the fall of Lasan occurs. I want to do justice to this story, and I hope to be done soon! Thanks for all the support!

Chapter Text

Garazeb Orrelios woke suddenly, the gunfire and smoke all around him. Lasan was falling, the Empire was here. He couldn’t think, not stopping for even a second to notice everything that was wrong. He didn’t stop to ask himself if this was real. All because he heard her scream. Surra. His little cousin, only fifteen years old. He ran, faster and faster towards the voice. And he got there just in time to see the girl silenced by a soldier in white armour. She fell to the ground and lay there, stone cold. Dead. She was so young, so kind. Why had they taken her? Because they were heartless. The fire raged on around him, and the screams grew louder and louder. The ground shook and roared beneath his feet. He drew his weapon, and let out his battle cry as he charged into the massacre.