A group of clones and their General could be found in a popular cantina on a Republic world. It was a rare treat, but there had been a lull in the fighting and Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi had decided to accompany some of the men to the surface to relax.
Cody suspected he simply wanted to get away from the cruiser for a bit, not that he blamed the General. There came a time when one just wanted to breathe inside a natural atmosphere. Still, the cantina wasn’t what Cody would call fit for a Jedi. There were all kinds of shady characters about, the lighting was dim and there was too much alcohol involved. After being in the field and facing down armies of Seppies… well, no one minded. That didn’t mean they let their guard down. Cody had given the Platoon going strict instructions to stay together and “don’t wander off!”- he’d yelled much to their General’s amusement. His laughter had echoed in the hangar, prompting many of his troops to chuckle with him.
It hadn’t surprised them that the General had wanted to come, but it only added to Cody’s warnings. They all knew to watch out for any threat to their General, but their Commander never missed an opportunity to remind them.
“You don’t have to tell us Commander.” Boil had said in exasperation. Honestly, the man thought only he worried. Waxer, Crys and Trapper all nodded in agreement, but this only served to make Cody glare at them into submission.
The 212th loved their General, but it frustrated them to know the man could find trouble by simply standing on a deserted planet. In fact, that had happened once, much to their amazement. How did a sinkhole just appear without any warning signs? And then there was the fact that it was cause for celebration if he didn’t lose his lightsaber at least once in battle. Bets were made on whether the General would find himself missing his weapon or not. Their Commander had not been amused by that.
Cody will be the first to admit he might be a tad too cautious. But he’d rather be seen as the clone with a stick up his ass than the Commander that got his men or General killed because he took the night off.
They’d been at the cantina for two hours before Cody started to feel… off. He took a moment to scan the room and check up on his men. The Commander was sitting by himself at a booth at the back of the cantina. He’d picked it strategically and made a bee line for it before it got taken by another patron. General Obi-Wan had followed after him amused. They sat together with a few other men before they all went their separate ways, all except Cody, unwilling to give up his position. If they’d been back at 79’s then that would have been different.
His eyes searched for each of his men, making them out in the dim light without difficulty. Waxer was talking to a pair of Togruta, Boil ever by his side glaring into his drink. Reed, Cale and Crys were playing cards against a group of human men. Force he hoped that didn’t escalate into a fight. Trapper, Wooley and a few others were at a bigger table talking, laughing and drinking. He ran through the list of everyone on leave under his supervision in his head, adding a check next to each trooper he saw. He finally spotted his General-and for a moment he had felt his heart start to beat faster as he simply hadn’t seen him-sitting on a barstool and drinking while talking to a large alien. Cody couldn’t make out his species, but he was a good three heads taller than Kenobi and wide enough that he took up two barstools. Not in fat, but rather in pure muscle.
The 212th’s Commander didn’t like how the male towered over his General, a predatory gleam in his red eyes. When he smiled Cody could make out sharp teeth and even sharper fangs. His garb left much to be desired and reminded the Commander of Hondo and his pirates.
Kenobi looked up at him with his ever present smile, hands gesticulating widely. The male responded and his General laughed, head thrown back.
Cody sighed, relieved. Everything seemed to be fine. Everyone was accounted for and appeared to be having fun. But he still couldn’t shake the feeling of wrongness that had assailed him in the first place. He glanced around for a few more moments before finally settling back on the Jedi Master, trying to watch without looking and intruding on the man’s privacy. It was probably thanks to that though that he noticed it. Cody took to studying the General’s companion, noting the pierced ears and slicked black hair. His skin appeared to be thick with scale like patches in several places. Braids fell across his back. Yup, defiantly reminded him of Hondo.
It was then that it happened, the large alien pointed at something behind the General and Obi-Wan turned to look, intrigue on his face. Cody was in the middle of wondering what they could have been talking about to make the scholar in Kenobi make an appearance, when the alien’s other hand came up and smoothly dropped something into his General’s drink.
For a moment time stood still. Cody’s brain short-circuited taking it all in. There was only one thing a sentient would put into your drink unnoticed. A drug. A drug meant to incapacitate its target. For what purpose? There were so many, and the few options that presented itself in his mind made him feel sick. Kidnapping, murder, trafficking, rape…and one said drug was being given to his General.
And suddenly, as the room came back into focus… Cody was hit with a wave of unadulterated fury.
How dare he?!
He stood up violently, thighs hitting the table and spilling his mostly untouched drink on its surface. He didn’t even notice or care. He walked with quick, angry steps, bumping into protesting patrons and passing a few of his men on the way. They stopped what they were doing to watch, suddenly on alert. Their Commander’s body language screamed murder, and his expression was thunderous. Not a good sign.
Cody couldn’t contain the sheer outrage and he felt at what was happening. That his General, his kind, compassionate, stubborn, self-sacrificing Jedi was in such a situation. How hadn’t he noticed anything wrong? Was the Force not warning him of danger as it did so many times? Or had the male already affected him in some way? The thought only fuelled the fire in his veins and he quickened his steps. Troopers were now signalling each other that something was wrong.
Did the Sithspawn really have the gall to try this with one of the most respected Jedi in the galaxy, in a cantina full of troopers and expect to get away with it? Like hell.
Kenobi was still talking to the alien, oblivious and smiling. Trusting. Cody’s fingers curled into fists. The Jedi brought the drink up to his lips and the alien smirked, and ohhh how it made Cody rage. The Force must have finally alerted the Jedi that something was amiss as he took the last steps, Kenobi suddenly turning to look at him in confusion and worry, drink still resting on his lips.
In one move, Cody ripped the drink out of his General’s hand and slammed it on the counter earning protests from the Jedi and his attacker.
“What are you doing scum!?” The alien roared, heard even over the music in the cantina causing many heads to turn. He grabbed Cody’s arm, but the Commander was already throwing a fist into his face. He’d made sure his feet were properly centred, and he’d put all his fury and outrage into his arm, legs locking tight so the hit would land full force.
It hurt, by the Force his hand felt like he had hit a wall straight on, but all that mattered, the only outcome he could see, was the alien falling backwards onto his ass by the force behind his fist.
“Cody!” Kenobi yelled, worry and rebuke mixed into one.
Any other time and the Commander might have felt ashamed by his behaviour. To act so aggressively in the presence of his Jedi. Not right now though. Obi-Wan made to go to the alien’s aid but Cody put his whole body in front of him, never giving his back to the male who was already getting back onto his feet.
“Stay back General!” It was his time to roar, his voice laced with rage and threats. So much so that it stopped Kenobi short, eyes wide as he stared at his Commander in confusion and shock. The cantina was suddenly as silent as a tomb, the band stopped playing and every eye was on the events unfolding.
“What is your defect clone!?” The alien male stood taller than before and if possible seemed to have doubled in size. Cody wasn’t worried and even smirked as the alien suddenly found himself surrounded by four squads of puzzled yet wary troopers, their weapons at the ready. Confused, as they had no context. But if their Commander was this angry and had taken such a protective stance in front of their General, going as far as bodily and verbally telling the Jedi to stay put, well… this sentient had registered as a threat in one way or another and they wouldn’t let him get to their General. When it came to his safety they had no problems shooting first and asking why later. Or even just shooting.
“Cody, what is going on?” Again there was that tone that just made Cody angrier. There was a hint of an order in there, but above it all was worry. And it killed him to know that his kind and compassionate Jedi was worried over someone who had drugged him.
“General, we’re leaving.” He simply said, turning and grabbing Obi-Wan’s arm. He wanted the man out of the cantina yesterday. The Jedi was too surprised to even think about getting free, and couldn’t stop from begin propelled forward by firm yet gentle hands. He almost tripped as he went, the room tilting slightly at the sudden movement before righting itself.
As he went, the 212th’s Commander gave out orders to his brothers.
“I want a squad to take this kriffing sorry excuse for a sentient to the nearest Justice station. Crys, bring the General’s drink as evidence. Don’t spill a drop.”
It only took a second for the implications to sink in and suddenly, instead of having a whole platoon of bewildered troopers pointing blasters at him, he had over 20 very pissed off and protective clones with blasters that seemed to be charging up shoved into his face. The male snarled but had no choice but to put his hands up in surrender as the troopers nearest to him actually started roughly poking him with their weapons.
The Jedi Master tried to say something more but one of the squads broke off from glaring and snarling at the aggressor to surround him and Cody, blasters at the ready and faces dark.
Obi-Wan recoiled slightly at the amount of hostility yet worry that suddenly seemed to surround him. As they left the cantina, they heard the start of a scuffle followed by cursing that would put any pirate to shame, and Kenobi tried to free himself again to go help his men, but his Commander and the troopers surrounding him closed ranks, never stopping from their destination.
Once outside though, he dug his feet in the ground and pulled Cody to a stop.
“All right Commander, care to tell me why you decided to use my companion’s face as your personal punching bag? ” He demanded, pulling himself free but making no move to walk away. His vision swam for a second but he paid it no heed. The five troopers took position with their backs to them, making sure no one could sneak up. They might be acting paranoid, but they honestly didn’t care. Someone had tried to drug their General! The next sentient that came even close was getting a blaster bolt to the face!
Cody closed his eyes and begged for patience.
“General,” He started, voice shaky with anger. “your…companion was trying to drug you.” He finished in a slow and calm manner.
His General blinked, swaying slightly. “Oh, is that it?”
There were splutters all around and suddenly every clone was staring at him with a mix of anger and incredulity.
“Have you no care for your safety!?”
“Enough!” Cody yelled over them, though he threw a glare at Obi-Wan.
“Sir, I understand you react to things in a calm manner and that’s more than okay, but we would appreciate it if you didn’t react like this isn’t a big deal!” He ended up yelling the last words. “If I hadn’t noticed what he was doing…” And here he trailed off as his own words reached him, his anger turning into horror. “Oh Force if I hadn’t noticed.” He looked down at the floor in despair and suddenly the rest of his men looked worried and shaken, taking a step closer as if to reassure themselves the worst hadn’t happened.
Obi-Wan put his hands on his shoulders, grounding him. He let the Force pass through him and into his Commander. Although he found it was difficult to do so for some reason.
“Cody, calm yourself. Look at me.” He ordered gently. Once he was sure he had his Commander’s attention he continued. “I was suspicious of him, but I also didn’t feel anything in the Force to know his intentions. I could feel he was planning something, but I couldn’t tell what. But I wasn’t worried. Do you know why?” He asked with a smile.
“Why?” Cody breathed, entranced both by his words and the Force coursing through him.
Kenobi beamed at him. “Because I have you.” He turned to looked at the rest of the clones. “All of you, to watch my back.” He stepped back and Cody immediately missed that connection. “I was never in danger.” He shrugged and just stood there looking very pleased with himself.
In the past, when they were starting as troopers in the GAR, those words might have filled them with pride and even awe. And they had. The first time the General had said something along those lines. As it were, after many, many situations that involved them saving the Jedi, such words were met with silence.
“I’m going to punch him.” Boil suddenly said. “Commander, permission to punch him!” Kenobi looked slightly hurt at this and staggered back.
“Permission denied.” The Commander deadpanned, hands coming up to rub at his temple tiredly.
“General.” He said, seeing the crestfallen look on Obi-Wan’s face. “We are honoured in the trust that you have in us. We would never want to let you down. Of course we’ll be there and we’ll die protecting you if we have to.” He started softly, quickly continuing as Kenobi seemed ready to fight his last words. “But sir, you don’t realise that when you say that,’we have your back’, what we hear is ‘I’m not going to look after myself’.” He sighed. “Sir, we would be grateful if you took the same care with your life as you do with ours. Try as we might, we won’t always be there, and the thought that you’re out there not caring about the potential danger you could be in because you’re certain we’ll magically be there at just the right moment worries us to the core. I beg that you not be so callous towards your safety.”
Silence met his heartfelt speech, the troopers nodded silently at their Commander in approval. After a few seconds of starring wide-eyed Obi-Wan looked away and shifted awkwardly. “I- I’ve never been good with that. I don’t know how.” He said in a small voice, like it was a confession he was ashamed off.
“Trust me sir, we know.” Boil groused breaking the moment, earning an elbow to his ribs by Waxer and a glare from the rest.
Again, the Jedi seemed to sway slightly, making Cody frown.
“Sir, are you all right?”
Kenobi grimaced but nodded. The action seemed to turn him green. “Well, actually… you said he was trying to drug me?” He asked a little too innocently.
Kenobi winced, and brought a hand up to his head. “… He’s been buying me drinks all night. I… I think I may have drank a little already.”
For a moment there was stunned silence before they were all moving. Cody and Waxer reached for their General as his swaying became more pronounced, wrapping arms around his waist and shoulders. Trapper had his comm out and was calling for an emergency evac.
“The General is in harm’s way! I repeat, the General needs an evac. and medical now!”
“Trapper, don’t be so exaggerated.” The Jedi Master said, a slight slur making itself known. “I just need to lay down and let it pass.”
No one paid attention to him and he was slightly affronted by this. He could make out frantic voices coming from Trapper’s comm. unit and the arms around him tightened. It felt nice. He felt warm and safe. Truthfully, he had started to feel slightly off by the second drink his companion had ordered for him. That third glass might have been too much and he had thought he was simply feeling tipsy. He sighed to himself. This is what he got when he tried to relax.
“‘m gonna sleep ‘ow.” He tried to say. Exhaustion crept up on him and he rested his head on the nearest surface, not caring what it was. The night’s events finally caught up with him and he fell into unconsciousness, but not before hearing the panicked voices of his men.
Obi-Wan woke with a splitting headache. He felt no shame in moaning like a wounded animal, hands coming up to press against his eyes in search for some comfort against the light. And also to see if he could in some measure kill the stabbing pain in his head.
“Serves you right.” Oh he knew that angry tone.
“Good morning to you too, Stitch.” He groaned. “To what do I owe the pleasure?” He yelped as his neck was attacked by one of the medic’s many evil needles. Relief against the pounding in his head was immediate, but the ‘stab wound’ would definitely ache for a while.
“You’re such an idiot General. It’s a good thing Commander Cody was there, or you might be waking up in a cell or worse.” His medic’s face was twisted into an angry glare, eyebrows drawn together and eyes just daring the General to come up with a sarcastic response.
“As always Stitch, your bedside manners warm my heart.” Obi-Wan was never one to back down from a challenge.
Stitch’s eye started twitching making his stitches tattoo jump under his eye and the Jedi decided to have pity on him. He sat up slowly so he was more at eye level with the clone and looked around the med-bay.
He was the only one in it and only his area was lighted.
“What time is it? What happened?”
This seemed to stop the medic’s anger short.
“It’s the night cycle, you’ve been under for about six hours… You don’t remember anything?” Stitch descended on him with a diagnostics pad, running it over the General and marking things off.
“It’s a bit foggy.” He confessed, running a hand through his hair. “We were all in the cantina, and I was approached by an interesting character.” He missed Stitch’s disgusted look. “He bought me a drink and we talked about… I don’t quite remember what. My memories start getting hazy from there.”
Stitch looked at him for a moment before sighing in exasperation. He used his comm unit to send out a message to the Commander.
“You have many apologies to make.” He said grumpily, but the fight had left his body. He couldn’t be angry if the man didn’t remember after all.
Kenobi looked up in disbelief, and worry. “What? Why? Please tell me I did not do anything embarrassing or hurt anyone.”
He looked so upset at the fact that he might have actually done something that merited an apology that Stitch could’t help but put a comforting hand on his shoulder, his eyes softening. This man… honestly how could one man have so much compassion in him? Here he was with no memories and as calm as ever. The only thing that seemed to break his calm was the thought that he had hurt someone.
“That’s not it General. You, well…”
At that moment the med bay doors opened with a hiss. Stitch had never been so happy to see his Commander.
“Cody!” General Kenobi looked up at the figure that approached, a smile on his face and his body relaxing. The clone medic decided to make himself scarce. While he had lost the will to yell at his General, everyone knew that Cody was a ticking bomb just waiting to go off. He did not want to be present when it happened.
“Commander, I’m needed elsewhere.” Not a complete lie. Some of his brothers had hurt themselves fighting the General’s attacker as he’d tried to flee. The idiot. With three squads present there was no way he was getting away. Especially not in the face of what had almost happened to their Jedi.
“He doesn’t remember anything, and I haven’t told him about… you know.” He said in a low voice as he passed. The Commander seemed to tense at this before sighing in resignation.
“Acknowledged.” With that, Stitch left the med bay, praying to the Force that his brother could get through that thick, stubborn, idiot’s head.
Obi-Wan tilted his head in confusion. It was clear that his Commander was tense and ready to pounce. Why, he didn’t know. He tried to reach out with the Force to get a general sense of what was ailing his Commander, but when he tried to tap into it… it wasn’t there. All he could access was a void of darkness. Quickly, he ran his hands over his wrists and neck, but he didn’t feel any Force suppressors. So why….?
Cold ran through him, a hand coming to grip his chest. Not that the Force was in his chest, but he always thought that the Force acted though intentions, and intentions came from one’s heart.
“Wha- it- I…” He looked up at his Commander, a hint of fear in his eyes. “Cody, what happened to me?”
And Cody… Cody exploded.
“You were an idiot that’s what!” He yelled suddenly. Obi-Wan flinched as if slapped. Unable to access the Force, he had been unprepared for the onslaught.
“Because you were so trusting, a complete stranger almost succeeded in capturing you!”
Again the Jedi flinched. “I… don’t remember.” Then he gathered himself and glared back at his Commander.
“Instead of yelling at me, please tell me what happened. Why can’t I access the Force?” He knew he must sound slightly hysterical, but he had to tell the Council immediately what was happening to him. A Jedi didn’t suddenly not have access to the Force.
“That will pass in an hour or two, or so Stitch and Mend estimate.” He said impatiently. He knew he was being cruel. The Force was a part of the Jedi. They lived through it. It was an extension of themselves. He couldn’t imagine how it must feel to have it severed. If the fear in his General’s eyes had been any indication, it was bad. And Cody was acting as if it didn’t matter. Force he wouldn’t be able to look at himself after this.
He forced himself to take a deep breath to calm himself. What was done is done and his inability to answer a question was only going to scare his General more than he already appeared to be. Cody brought a chair over to Obi-Wan’s bedside and sat down heavily.
“Don’t worry about the Force. You’ll be able to access it in a couple of hours.” He started again, trying to sound soothing, but he was just so angry. “You were drugged, General. At the cantina. We took the drug back for analysis and found that it acts very similar to the Force suppressors.”
Obi-Wan took that information in and dropped back against the bed with a relieved, if slightly shaky sigh. So he wasn’t cutoff from the Force. Thank the Maker.
“Oh, that’s good. Very good.”
Cody growled. “No it’s not!” Kenobi looked at him in surprise and… hurt? Damn it he was making things worse. “General, you still don’t understand! You were drugged by a slaver! His… speciality-“ He spat the word out. “is capturing and selling Force-sensitive sentients. Apparently the market has suddenly exploded and many have disappeared already.”
The Jedi’s eyes widened in shock. His thoughts immediately went to all his friends. To Anakin and young Ahsoka. To all the Padawans that went out to investigate the different cities or the initiates that walked the streets, alone at times, and might be approached by one such slaver. By the Force, all the younglings that were scattered around the galaxy and presenting Force-Sensitivity were vulnerable!
“I must inform the Council!” He tried to get up, determination and slight desperation in his eyes, only for a hand to push him back onto the bed. He went to protest but it died in his throat at the sight of his Commander. Cody was livid. He’d stood up and was practically snarling at him.
“That was the very first thing we did. General Yoda has sent General Koon to investigate.”
And hadn’t that been fun. They’d been communicating in conference mode. General’s Yoda, Windu and Koon were present as well as Commander’s Ponds and Wolffe. The way his brothers seemed outraged and tense as the events were presented was not lost to him. Nor was the way Wolffe’s body went rigid when his beloved General was assigned to investigate. General Koon seemed unbothered by the task but had taken Obi-Wan’s attack hard. Cody knew that the Wolfpack was going to be out for blood. The Kel Dor was going to have a group of feral brothers tracking his every move. Cody did not envy his vod. If Kenobi had been assigned this task, he might consider throwing the General in a cell guarded 24/7 by three squads of troopers while he and some of his men went after the slavers.
“We tracked down a large shipment of the drug in the city and sent it back to the Jedi Temple for further analysis. We weren’t able to identify exactly what blocked your access to the Force, but I’m sure the Jedi will.” Or so he hoped. If they knew, they could make an antidote should they ever need it. Hopefully they never would.
Obi-Wan took it all in but felt like he was still missing something.
“If you know what happened, caught the slavers, sent the drug back for analysis and I’m obviously not being sold off in a slavers’ market… why are you so angry?” He tilted his head as if the slight angle might give him the answers he was looking for.
Cody simply stared. The General seemed so genuinely confused that it killed something in the Commander. It brought forth so many questions. Was the General so dense that he didn’t notice how he had scared everyone? Did he not see what it did to them? Did he really not care at all about his own safety? Did he not understand that there were people who cared for him and the normal reaction when he was hurt was panic and anger and worry? And if so, what had happened or who had made him think there was nothing wrong with his life being in peril?
“I beg that you not be so callous towards your safety.”
The Jedi shifted awkwardly. “I- I’ve never been good with that. I don’t know how.”
He remembered their short conversation just before his General had passed out. This was something he had learned or at least something no-one ever bothered to correct, and if Cody ever found out who was responsible… It was something he would be looking into, even if he had to storm the Jedi temple and threaten Master Yoda himself for information.
“General.” Cody started, unsure how to voice everything he and his brothers felt. “I- we are angry, because the man we most admire was almost taken from us for nefarious reasons.” Obi-Wan looked at him with wide eyes. “At the time we felt rage against the slaver, but as you laid there unconscious, vulnerable, we felt useless.” The fight left him with those words and he set back down. “We had no idea what to do. Even as we brought you to medical and Stitch and Mend told us you were out of danger. We just… I just…” He sighed heavily. “This wasn’t a battlefield. This was you trying to have a good time and almost paying for it. We couldn’t keep you safe and you were right there. Do you understand how we feel? We feel like we failed you. And that is unacceptable.” He shook his head, a grimace on his face. “We also can’t deal with the fact that you seem not to care about your own safety. I don’t know how much you remember, but we talked about this before your lost consciousness. We won't always be there, General. No matter how much we’d want to, and you seem to not get that and act like we have your back 24/7.” He finished softly looking away, voice filled with regret.
A hand rested on his shoulders, forcing the Commander to look up.
“Cody.” The General began, sadness in his eyes. “I am so sorry for what I put you through. It is never my intention to make people suffer.” He shifted on the bed, trying to get closer. “Neither you nor your brothers have failed me. And you never will. As for the rest, I’m a Jedi, and before the war we would be sent on many missions. Rarely were we accompanied by others. Usually it’s a Master and their Padawan. Backup was…” He paused, thinking back on every mission he had been on. “Backup was rare. You’ll find most Jedi probably act as I do. We don’t expect to have such support. Sure, as a military group having the possibility of assistance is a given but, we never expected that our injuries or brushes with peril would affect others.” Kenobi sighed in resignation. “Attachment is forbidden to us, and so your reactions, your… emotions toward us, they are foreign. Not at all unwanted,” He added at the look in his Commanders eyes. “Just, we… I didn’t expect to be so…” Again he paused, unsure if he should say it, but one look at the almost innocent expectation on Cody’s face gave him courage. “Loved.”
The 212th’s Commander stared. He had suspected something of the sort. All the clones were always on the look out for any information about the Jedi, as even though they were told time and time again that they were made by the Jedi and were led by them, the vode simply didn’t know enough about them. They had been made aware that it was nearly improbable to meet a Jedi. They came and went unannounced and often acted from behind the scenes. Rarely was their presence noticed unless they were fighting, and even then they had only ever protected. It had been suggested that a Jedi did not go around with any type to security. Something that had left all of them frowning.
It was still hard to hear. To know their Jedi had always been in danger and harder still to know they almost never received any typed of assistance. It was probably the reason why many Jedi went and did their own thing while on the battle field-to the frustration of their Commanders. It was probably why General Kenobi acted as he did. He had been told he would now have backup, but that had translated into leaving his well-being in the hands of others, and if they failed to provide, well it was no-one's fault but his own. And that was not normal.
What really got to Cody were the Jedi’s last words. Loved. His Jedi felt loved. Which heavily implied he hadn’t before. He didn’t know how to feel about that, angry, saddened, confused, outraged or maybe all of the above. What he did know was he would make damn sure his General never felt unloved again. Cody was sure the rest of the 212th would see to it as well.
“Cody?” His Jedi’s voice was unsure and he realised he’d stayed silent too long.
“Forgive me. I was… lost in thought.” The 212th’s Commander rubbed his eyes, mind going miles per-hour as he tried to think of a suitable response to the confession and the glimpse into his Jedi’s past he had been given.
“General,” He started. “I don’t know what your life has been like. I hope one day you might tell me about it.” He took a moment to gather his thoughts again. “I want you to know that every man in the 212th and I have the highest respect for you, and yes Obi-Wan, we love you.”
The look of shock would have been funny if Cody hadn’t caught his eyes darting quickly to the side, as if checking that no-one had heard him. Cody understood. Jedi weren’t supposed to be attached. He’d noticed how the other man had hesitated to say the word and it was no wonder he seemed so surprised at the ease and passion with which Cody had expressed himself. It broke his heart and angered him at the same time. He understood a bit of the Jedi philosophy, but he didn’t agree with it. If Jedi weren’t attached… why the hell were they fighting? Duty? Loyalty? No, even in those situations attachment would soon follow or was even necessary. It made no sense to him, and he only saw sentients who suffered by keeping their attachments secret or were made to feel guilty for them.
“We only want to see you safe and happy. We want to protect you and make sure you make it through this war. I understand now, more than I did before, about your actions. It won’t stop us worrying, but now we know what we have to work with.”
That head tilt was so endearing. Cody smiled. “Yes, General. Now we know.” He didn’t bother telling the Jedi he would make sure all the vode received an update on Jedi culture (they’d slowly been building a file). He also wouldn’t tell him Cody would make it his personal mission to give Obi-Wan all the affection he could. It was clear now that the man, while maybe unsure how to react to the vode’s feelings, soaked it up like a starving man.
“Now, get some rest. The Jedi Council has lengthened our leave and will no doubt want to speak to you.” The Commander said. He could see that after all the emotion and words traded the man looked ready to drop. He was still being affected by the drug and needed more sleep. He made to get up, but a hand on his sleeve stopped him.
“Stay?” Obi-Wan asked softly and hesitant. “With the Force being suppressed I can’t… I can’t feel anyone.” He confessed. “Everyone’s all right aren’t they?”
Cody smiled at him, settling back down without a second's thought. “Yes, Sir. A few bruises here and there but just as eager to see you as you are to see them.”
That seemed to calm the Jedi and he leaned back against the pillows. “I’m still sorry I worried all of you. Stitch was right. I need to apologise.”
The 212th’s Commander raised an eyebrow at that. “I’ll get everyone to report for inspection.”
“Come now Cody, don’t tease me.” The Jedi sighed. “I’ll visit the mess once our good doctor sees fit to release me." He let himself start to drift, eyes locking onto his Commander's form. "I'll do better. I promise." He said determined, eyes drooping.
"So will we." The Commander whispered.
They stayed in silence for a few moments. Kenobi was close to falling asleep when he spoke.
“Cody? What happened to the slaver?”
The 212th was suddenly glad that the Jedi could not feel his emotions. The thought of the sorry excuse for a sentient brought forth all his anger again.
“Dead.” He said emotionlessly. “He made a run for it after we’d interrogated him and got shot for his troubles.” They could have recaptured him again, but the truth was, they had the information they needed about where to find the drugs. No one wanted him able to pick up his trade in the future. Justice systems only worked for a while.
Obi-Wan looked troubled by this news. “That is unfortunate.”
Cody snorted earning him a ‘look’. “All due respect General, but he should have thought about it before becoming a slaver."
"All life is precious. Everyone deserves a second chance."
This... this was why they all loved General Kenobi. There was so much kindness in him that it was a miracle this war hadn't consumed him. To feel worry and mourn for a sentient that had harmed him and would have sold him to the highest bidder... he was simply too good for this galaxy. It made Cody rage even more at the thought that the Jedi was disappointed time and time again by the darkness in people's hearts.
"Maybe, but we gave him a chance, and he decided to run."
It was obvious his General wasn't happy at the revelation, but he simply gave a small sigh and closed his eyes again snuggling under the blankets. The Commander eased back on his chair and watched as the Jedi fell into a peaceful sleep. He sat for several minutes simply staring at the Jedi's chest rise and fall. Slowly, so as to not wake his General, Cody got out his datapad and started writing a full report-for vode eyes only.
SUBJECT: Our Jedi
'I'm sure that after the events of today-that many are already calling The Cantina Debacle-you are angry and worried about our Jedi. He was just awake and while he doesn't remember the events and will continue to be cutoff from the Force for a short while, our vods Stitch and Mend assure me he's in perfect health. We have had a serious discussion.
He is eager to see you all. Please make yourself visible when Stitch releases him to make it easier for the General to approach you. He will most likely want to apologise for the 'trouble he's caused'. Make sure you give him a tip or two as to what will ease your mind.
There are several things I have discovered that will help all of us understand and help our Jedi.