Okay so it wasn’t bad enough that they had been stuck on Lothal for what was supposed to be a supply run that had of course gone wrong. Then they had found an old Jedi temple that the actual Jedi couldn’t get into. And as if that wasn’t enough, himself and Kix had been sent alone, to scout it.
What the kriff.
Rex shook his head and stretched, turning to Kix.
“Alright. We’re nearly done, we’ve just got to have a look around the next courtyard and then we’re done vod. Can’t wait for it either, I’ve got a bet going with the commander and I’d like to get back as soon as possible to get my credits from her.”
“Only you and the Commander vod, only you and the Commander.”
The two turned the corner into the courtyard, and Rex instantly pulled Kix back behind a pillar, internally cursing. Kix was a medicinal officer, able to handle a blaster but in no way a soldier. And Rex had let his guard down. Keeping one hand over Kix’s mouth to muffle his startled questions, he peered back around the pillar. He couldn’t see any battle droids but there was what looked like a female togruta on the floor of the courtyard. Even from here Rex could see that she was clearly injured, blood mixing with dirt and staining what looked like battle armour. Rex desperately wanted to help her, but knew that until he knew what had taken her down, there was no way he could let himself or his vod out there to help until he knew the threat. He already knew that his brother would run to the fallen woman’s aid the instant he saw her, regardless if there where droids or not.
He ran his gaze around the courtyard again. No one to be seen but the fallen togruta. And Kix running to the fallen form, pack already open and rummaging through it. Several more pillars and-
Wait Kix is doing what now?
Rex darted out into the courtyard after him, ready to protect his vod with his body if need be, determined not to lose another brother to the sound of thunder, a spray of dirt and red-
But no one fired. It was dead still infact when Rex arrived at his brother and the fallen warrior.
It was never this still, even in the aftermath of a battle.
It was karking terrifying and Rex had been thrown off of exploding walls.
Upon reaching his absolutely stupid vod where he was kneeling over the still-breathing woman, he opened his mouth and began ranting even while helping Kix pull out medicinal bits and pieces from his backpack.
“ARE YOU INSANE!?! You could have been killed! Whatever harmed the civilian could have-“
“General vod she’s a Jedi”
“-attacked you, and-wait what do you mean she’s a General?”
“Help me role her onto her back”
“A General? A General Kix? Did you even check the colours of her sabres? What if she was a separatist?”
“Then I still would have helped her.”
Rex went quite after that, deep down knowing that he would have done the same. Together the two worked to gently move the togruta off of her side and onto her back and froze.
If you ignored the blood and the dirt, the lines of weariness, the added age and scars of battle that Rex was certain had not been there when he last talked to his Commander, the tongrutian woman was a splinting image of his Commander. The DNA scanner Kix was staring at numbly said the same thing.
God this day was going horrible. On any other day Rex would have loved to meet an older version of his commander outside of a creepy, abandoned, Jedi temple alone, but not when she was so obviously past knocking on deaths door, to the point of already having a foot inside the threshold.
Kix seemed to have shaken off his shock, and gone full medical mode, listing far to many injures for Rex’s liking. They both came to a conclusion at the same time.
They would have to transport her to the ship. If she were to have any chance of survival, they would have to transport her and fast. The two brothers looked at each other faces grim. It would most likely hurt a lot for their Commander.
But what choice did they have.
Kix stood, face hard, gear packed away, communicator in hand and nodded. Rex took a deep breath in and gently scooped the limp body of his Commander into his arms, trying to ignore the pained whimper that came from her unconscious from, and her harsh breathing that spoke of broken ribs. They would have to walk. No matter how much they might want to go faster it would only injure the Commander more. And so together the two clones and unconscious togruta began the journey back to The Twilight.
They were about three-quarters of the way to the ship when they finally encountered another scouting group that consisted of Echo, Fives and a shiny called Talon. Rex would have in any other situation found the looks on their faces comical, but he was to busy trying not to panic at the slowing shallow breaths of the woman in his arms to care. A few sharply barked orders sent the three of them full out running towards the ship to prepare the medbay. They might not have known yet who the woman was but the obvious fact that she was injured, combined with the looks on their commanding officers’ faces was enough to get them to move, and to move fast.
Then they were on the ship, and Kix was screaming orders as Rex gently placed his beloved Commander on a bed within the medbay and slowly withdrew to let the medics do their work.
The journey to the ship had passed in a blur.
Older or not, scarred and battle-worn or not, in there was his Commander, the woman Rex knew he loved, whom Rex had sworn to defend with his life. Part of his own soul that Rex could not live, let alone function without. And he had the feeling that if this version died
(and he would sooner become a separatist then let that happen)
it would break him just as much as losing his current Commander would.
Meg was kaysh at vaabir ti ibic kovid, mesh'la dala kaysh kar'taylir darasuum? let solus meg at rejorhaa'ir te general’s.*
He supposed he had the force or whatever god existed to thank for her being here. To thank for giving them a chance to save her. And that the Generals and the Commander
(Young Commander? Current Commander? Short Commander? What was he supposed to call her when there were two of them?)
weren’t here. That they were still on Corasunt and only the 501st were on Lothal. Though knowing them the instant they got wind that something had even vaguely gone wrong with this supply run they would be here before you could say clankers.
Which meant Rex would either have to tell them the truth and put his severely injured, adult, been-through-who-knows-what Commander to the Jedi council and full out Skywalker or… or he lied.
And lied a kriffing lot.
For his Commander, changed, older or not he would do it without hesitation. At least until she recovered to the point where she could deal with the craziness that was the Kenobi-Skywalker duo.
Three days. It took three days submersed in Bacta, multiple operations and panic and flatlines before the Commander was safe in a medbay bed and would only need to rest and not do anything strenuous (like pull her stiches) to recover.
There was one complication.
She hadn’t woken up yet.
And now they had been on Lothal for a week. When they were supposed to have been here for a couple of days.
And know there was a comline connecting, which was a call from the Generals, no doubt about to demand an explanation.
Alright so three problems.
Aaaand now it was connected and he was gonna have to both lie through his teeth and make it up as he went. To one of the greatest negotiator’s in the galaxy and his commanding officers. Great.
“Rex! There you are! Are you okay? Where are you all? You should have been back on Corasuant by now! What happened? Why-“
“Anakin you have to give the captain time to speak if you want answers. Though I must admit, I to am curious to here them.”
Rex felt his hand come up to rub the back of his neck, involuntarily. A nervous habit. Now he was regretting not wearing his helmet.
“Well Generals, sirs it…we just…it was just a ship malfunction sir, we should be back on track in…”
He searched his mind for how long Kix said it should take before the Commander would be fine.
“…nine days sir? Nine days. Everyone’s fine sirs.”
God he was a terrible liar. Even if it was mostly a lie by exclusion. Did having a ship full of frantic, out-of-their-minds-with-worry-about-the-Commander troops count as a malfunction? Probably. By the looks on the General’s faces they thought so too.
“Rex…” General Skywalker said slowly “Is this like Genosis?”
Like Genosis. The code for are you being forced to say this, and are in danger.
“No sir.” Rex replied, relieved “Nothing like Genosis sir.”
Well at least that was true. This situation was nowhere near as easy as an exploding wall.
The three talked for awhile longer and Rex was about to cut off the transmission when Talon burst in, looking frantic. Rex spun around, open comline and Generals watching momentarily forgotten as he faced the gasping shiny.
“What is it?” he snapped.
“Sir-it’s-she-she’s waking up sir, and Kix said to go get you sir, because you would know how deal with this situation sir and-“
“I’ll be right there. Tell Kix to get everyone else out of there other then her and us.”
The shiny straightened and saluted “Sir, yes sir!” And fled from the room.
Turning back around again, a relieved sigh on his lips, Rex froze in the face of two equally unimpressed stares from his Generals. General Kenobi’s eyebrows were in his hairline.
“We’ll be right there” That came from General Skywalker
“Wait sir there’s absolutely no need to-” But they had already hung up.
Great. Four problems.
And so now Rex was stalking down the halls, trying to calm down. It would do no good for his Commander to see him like this. But the instant he walked into the medbay room his anger went out the window. There was no one in there but the Commander and Kix and now himself. Nothing in the room but the three of them, the bed the commander was laying in, an i.v. and a small side table.
Kix took one look at him and stepped away. The Commanders eyes were darting around under her eyelids, soft moans of fear falling from her life.
Now Rex was glad that Kix had waited for him to get here before waking her up. Even now when his Commander had nightmares, she would often wake not knowing where she truly was, striking out at all she thought was the enemy. Only himself General Kenobi and General Kenobi had ever managed to wake her up without being flung into a wall. Mostly. Anyhow.
He nodded to Kix, and walked forward to stand at his Commanders side, as Kix stepped back and stood against the wall, eyes sharp and attentive.
“Commander,” he whispered, voice gentle “Commander it’s alright. Your safe here. There’s no seppie’s or droids or sith nearby Ahsoka, I swear you are safe. I’m here Ahsoka. I’m right here.”
He kept talking quietly for a few more minutes trying to gently wake her up. Then she woke up all of a sudden, her forehead slamming into his nose.
“Kriffing sith hells!” not the most eloquent but kriff that hurt! So, he supposed he had something to be thankful for. But the commander was more important than pain now.
Speaking of which the Commander had sat up now and was rubbing at her forehead, and as Rex watched lifted her head, played her eyes around the room, fists clenching and unclenching at the sheets, and looked straight at him. Then she frowned, and looking slightly dazed but alert, opened her mouth and said the words or Rex’s nightmares.
“Who are you?”
He had to fight to not physically stumble backwards. Those words, god it felt as though someone had reached in and ripped his chest apart. But he forced himself to stand up straight and report. Feelings never won a battle and that was what this had become.
“CT-7567, Captain Rex sir. We found you injured in the courtyard of an abandoned Jedi temple on Lothal Commander. We’ve had you submersed in bacta for the last few days sir and you should be mostly healed. You’ll be okay Ahsoka.” Gods this hurt so much. He deserved some informality.
“Commander?” Ahsoka asked “I haven’t been a commander for twenty-two years. I’ve been a general for the last twenty. And Ahsoka? I’m Fulcrum. Haven’t been Ahsoka for years. She was innocent and young. I’m neither. And…wait a second…” Her head snapped up and a look of shock overcame her features “Rex? Is that really you? It sounds like your voice”
Oh, thank absolutely everything, he could breath again, thank the force she knew who he was. Wait voice? What does that have to do with anything? Who cares? She knew who he was.
“Yes Command-General. It’s me.” He choked out, relief pouring off him. Said relief was quickly thrown out the window with his Comm-General’s
Force help him, he had three Generals and one Commander now
“Rex why’s it so dark in here? Can you turn on the lights? I’d like to actually be able to see you please.”
Rex froze in confusion and fear and out of the corner of his eye saw Kix do the same and then go extremely pale.
“Lights General? They…they’re already on.”
His beautiful General frowned. “No they’re not, it’s pitch black in here.”
Now Rex felt truly terrified in a way he had never been before. A sense of foreboding came over him.
“I swear to you general they’re on.”
“No they’re not, I can’t see a thing in here-I”
Her breath became shorter and twisting she stumbled off of the medbed, slamming into the side table before staggering backwards into Rex. She spun around, hands frantically running over his armour and then clutching at the top of his chest piece as though she was afraid that he would evaporate.
“Rex, why is it so dark? What’s going on? Why are you in your old armour? How did you find me? Why-why is it so dark in here?!?”
Suddenly his General seemed to freeze as she came to a conclusion. One that Rex obviously hadn’t come to yet and was certain he wouldn’t like.
“General? What is it?”
She looked up at him, eyes that were not quite looking at his, filled with tears and agony, that ripped at his very being. It was a look he knew he would kill to prevent.
“I…I can’t see Rex. I’ve gone blind.”