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Common Thread

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Luke made his way through the sterile corridors of the command ship. So many meetings, briefings, events since the Battle of Endor. He wondered if Mon Mothma was keeping him busy to distract him from his father’s death. She was one of the few he’d trusted with the truth, and the New Republic leader had handled the news by over-scheduling him into a bureaucratic nightmare.

The highlight of the past three weeks had been the arrival of Ahsoka Tano. Leia told him what little she knew about the Togruta woman—mainly that she’d been a trusted friend of her adopted father’s—but encouraged him to spend time with her.

“She’s a Jedi in all but name, Luke,” Leia had counseled. “And you need someone like that.”

Taking his sister’s advice, he’d tentatively asked Ahsoka to meet, relieved when she accepted.

Intimidated at first, Luke warmed to the woman quickly. She was easy-going, funny, patient, and above all, non-judgmental. He’d confided in her, more than he’d even told Leia. His doubts, his fears, his overwhelming sense of being unprepared for what lay ahead. Sometimes he thought he talked too much, but Ahsoka would wave a hand and shake her head, telling him to go on.

When he told her about Vader, he’d asked if she’d ever met his father. Ahsoka had nodded silently, and Luke cursed his insensitivity. Darth Vader was probably responsible for the deaths of her friends and whatever other misery had driven her from the Jedi Order.

He didn’t mention Anakin again.

Sure, she was older than him, but no one would know it to see her. During one of their early sparring sessions in a half-empty cargo bay, she’d pinned him to the floor, white blades crossed precariously close to his neck. It had been exhilarating in a way that training with Ben and Yoda had never been, and Luke was slightly embarrassed to realize he had a crush.

Maybe more than a crush.

He thought about saying something, lost his nerve on more than one occasion. He knew very little about her, save the permanent sadness she carried. It was never far, even when he got her to laugh.

Luke felt the same, really, and wondered if that was why he was drawn to her.

After Leia…well…he’d tried, but after Leia, Luke wondered if it was safer to keep his distance from romance. Better to be alone.

Ahsoka made him rethink that philosophy.

The next time they met up to spar, Ahsoka suggested they trade sabers, demonstrating her preferred Shien reverse grip. Her unorthodox fighting style was just another reason he liked her. She was going easy on him, Luke could tell, and twelve minutes later he had her trapped against a shipping crate.

Panting, Luke turned off the blades with a swish. They were so close, he could feel her breath against his skin. Her eyes were the same blue as his. He saw a reflection of himself there, and it made him bold.

“I have a secret,” he said, as Ahsoka extinguished his lightsaber, one eyebrow quirking in question.

Before he could rethink it, Luke kissed her. He heard his hilt clatter to the floor in her surprise, but she didn’t stop him. At least, not right away. She was soft and yielding, her hands threading in his hair. But too soon they slid down to his shoulders and pushed gently.

Unsure if it was hesitation or rejection, Luke pulled back. That familiar, sad smile was on her lips.

“So do I, Luke.”