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Oh shit, a baby! x3

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One minute he was standing among the starved forms of his friends and the next, he just Wasn’t. Instead, he was in the middle of a battle between droids and mandalorians wearing orange-painted armor.

One of the men stared at Obi-Wan and shouted to another. “Commander!” The man who Obi-Wan could only assume was the commander whipped his head around, gaze fixating on the p- former padawan and Obi-wan felt a burst of fear that was not his own.

Osik. Waxer, grab his saber and get him out of here.” Obi-Wan was about to protest that he didn’t have a lightsaber when Waxer(?) scooped one off the ground and clipped it to his belt. “C’mon general.” He grabbed his hand and started dragging him away. “General? Who are you? Let me go!” Waxer took off his helmet and ran a hand over his bald head. Looking Obi-wan in the eyes, he seemed familiar. “This is worse than I thought. You’re Obi-wan Kenobi, right?” at his nod, he continued. “My name’s Waxer and I’m gonna get you to safety ok? Good.” Without waiting for a response, he continued moving, Obi-wan in tow.

“Wait! Where are you taking me?” That’s when he realized why the man looked familiar. It was Jango Fett, a True Mandalorian turned bounty hunter with a notorious grudge against jedi. He nodded, and as Fett seemed to relax, swept his legs from under him and took off, ignoring the quick swear and call after him.

Fett was quick, but Obi-wan was quicker. He climbed a tree and waited for him to pass. Once he was out of sight, he dropped down and went in the other direction. He had no idea where he was, only that he was most definitely not on Melina-Daan, they didn’t have these types of trees. He kept moving, trying to find higher ground so he could get his bearings and hopefully find a ship.

Alone on a strange planet with a jedi-killer after him, he reluctantly unblocked his weak bond with Master Jinn. Maybe he knew what was going on, Obi-wan did seem to have a lightsaber on the field. He mentally cursed himself for not getting it back from the bounty hunter. "Your lightsaber is your life, padawan."

Opening himself up to the Force, he was immediately hit with a sense of wrong. He reached for the bond with his former master and nearly fell out of his tree. It was withered in a way that could only mean one thing; Qui-gon Jinn was dead. This was very bad. He shut himself off to avoid the painful emptiness and tried to regulate his breathing.

Even when his rational brain had concluded that Qui-gon wasn’t coming back for him, a small part always hoped that he would bring other Jedi to rescue the Young. Now he was never coming back. Ever. Obi-wan slowly lowered himself to the ground, where he threw up what little was in his stomach. There wasn’t much, he hadn’t eaten or slept for at least two cycles and he felt that catching up to him. Against his better judgment, he found a small cave and curled up, and fell asleep.

                             


 

He woke up to something wet on his nose and then on his cheek. He opened his eyes to find a massive wolf-like creature licking his face. He resisted the urge to scramble away, knowing that sudden movements could startle the beast. Standing up slowly, he took in his surroundings. There seemed to be the mother who had woken him up, a few pups, and a… Togruta child snuggled up to the mother’s long tail.

Without disturbing the sleeping kid, she guided him over to where the pups were eating berries, looking at him expectantly. He picked up one and deemed it safe to eat, taking quite a few, to the mother’s apparent delight. She then let out a soft bark, calling the pups to her to nurse. She looked pointedly at Obi-wan. “Um, no thank you ma’am do you know where I can find water?” The mother seemed to sigh and inclined her head to the back of the cave where there was a small running spring. “Thank you.” He bowed to her and went to drink, bringing back a leaf full of it for the Togruta, who was beginning to wake up.

“Hello there little one.” She looked at him with huge blue eyes, studying him before holding out her arms in the universal request for “up”. He picked her up and she immediately grabbed at his hair. “Ouch!” She giggled, showing small, sharp teeth. He gave her the water which she drank eagerly. “My name is Obi-wan.” “Obah” “Close enough. What’s your name?” He sat down next to the mother, leaning into her strong body. “Obah.” She pointed at him. “Yes, I’m Obi-wan. Who are you?” He poked her in the belly, causing her to swat his hand.

She pointed at herself and said very sagely; “mm Sok.” “Your name is Soak?” She shook her head “Ah” “Soka?” She lit up and grabbed his finger excitedly, waving her other hand in a fist. “Da!” She then bit down on his finger, thankfully not breaking the skin, weren’t Togrutas venomous? Looking closer at her gums, which was very hard to do with all the chomping, he could see that she had new teeth coming in. Great. A teething Togruta meant lots of biting.

He looked around and found a suitable rock, summoning it to their little nest (the pups had since joined) and handing it to Soka. She was thrilled with his use of the Force, most children were. However, most children did not lift a pebble to copy him. Another force-sensitive being on a planet with at least one bounty hunter after them.

“I’ll get you out of here Soka. I’ll bring you to the Jedi.” He wasn’t sure what he’d do after that, he had nowhere to go. Maybe Dex would take him in. “Jeh eye?” She suddenly looked scared, twisting as if looking for someone. “Poh? Poh?” He wished he knew Togrutian, the feeling she was emitting made him think it meant “parent” or something similar. “Poh say safe”  “Don’t worry Soka. I’ll keep you safe.” The mother wolf rumbled with agreement, curling herself around the nest and shutting her eyes. Despite having just slept, Obi-wan found himself soothed back to sleep by the gentle breathing of the mother and the reassuring weight on his chest.

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Rex didn’t have a heart attack when his general suddenly crumpled, replaced by a little blonde boy who curled into a ball. He did, however, feel it skip a beat when a droid almost shot the kid.

Fives, bless him, grabbed the kid and rolled him to safety. Luckily, they had been picking off the last bit of defences, so the battlefield was quiet of blasterfire. The commander had gone off to deal with the troops bothering the villagers. It was an easy battle, they only sustained minor casualties and Kix was finishing off helping a brother with his sling.

“Kix! With me.” Kix followed Rex to the tent where Fives had taken the kid. Entering, Rex was aware of the fear in the little boy’s eyes as he approached. He followed Fives’ example and took his helmet off, crouching down next to the cot the kid was curled up in. “Hey there kid. My name is Rex and these are my brothers; Fives and Kix. What’s your name?” He gestured at each as he introduced them. “I’m not supposed to tell strangers my name. Why do you all look the same?” “We’re clones. And unless you want me to keep calling you “kid” you should tell us your name.”

The kid scowled and confirmed Rex's fear. “My name’s Anakin.” Rex could feel a migraine coming on. “Nice to meet you, Anakin. Can Kix here please look you over? You were in the middle of a battle and we want to be sure you didn’t sustain any injuries.”

General Skywalker looked warily at Kix who awkwardly waved at him. (Kix wasn’t good with children) “I just got a check up. You can ask Master Qui-gon.” Shit. Qui-gon Jinn had been dead for over ten years. “...right. Well Master Qui-gon isn’t here right now and we still want to make sure that you’re ok.”

General Skywalker nodded and Kix came over. “Alright, let’s see.” Kix was trying so hard to have a bedside manner, it would have been funny in any other circumstances. “Does anything hurt?” The general shook his head as Kix shined a light in his eyes. “Any cuts or bruises I should know about?” Skywalker looked at his arm and then shyly raised it to Kix. “I just got it out.”

Kix rolled up his sleeve and they saw a stitched up area on his forearm. “Obi-wan said that I should keep it clean and he showed me how. I like him, he said I can call him Obi-wan and he shook my hand and he taught me how to play dejarik and he wasn’t mad when I took his communicator apart and put it back together. He’s gonna be a jedi knight soon!” The little general seemed to run out of air and paused, giving Kix a moment to cut in. “What’s the last thing you remember sir?” “I’m not a “sir” I’m an Anakin.” “Anakin then, what’s the last thing you remember.”

Gener- no, Anakin scrunched up his face in thought. “We just got to Corsant- Croissant?” “Coruscant.” “Yeah. We got there and it’s so big and we went to the Jedi temple which is bigger than Mos Eisley and we went to a blue twi’lek lady who yelled at Master Qui-gon but was nice to me and she took my chip out and gave me candied bofa fruit and told me to tell Obi-wan to see her. I think I still have some.” He pulled the sticky candy out of his pocket and offered it to Kix. “... I’ll pass. Thank you though.”

Anakin shrugged and popped the now fuzzy candy into his mouth. “Where is Master Qui-gon anyway? I can’t feel him nearby. Gimme a sec, I’m gonna look for him.” “Wait-” Anakin’s face paled and he looked at Rex with the saddest eyes he’d ever seen. “Are they really dead? Master Qui-gon and my mom?” Kix looked questioningly at Rex. The General had told Rex about his mother one time the two of them had been captured and he’d had a loud nightmare after being drugged. He kneeled down and looked Anakin in the eyes. “I’m sorry.” He suddenly had an armful of little boy as Anakin launched himself into his chest. “... you feel safe.” He burrowed further into Rex, as much as he could with his armor on. “Can you stay here please.” He almost didn’t hear the whispered words. "... yes, Anakin. I can stay while we look for gen- for Obi-wan"


Cody was NOT freaking out. He was simply … stressed from the events of the day. That was why he threw his blaster into the cot as Boil tried to calm him down. And why he yelled at Waxer.

Waxer, who had let the little General get the jump on him. In any other situation, it would be hilarious that a literal child had gotten the better of one of his best soldiers. This situation however, was anything but. Obi-wan had fallen suddenly and a cadet sized child covered in dirt and blood had appeared in his stead. Cody knew instantly that it was Obi-wan. The “force bond” that they had apparently formed allowed them to feel each other or some osik like that. He clutched the lightsaber Waxer had given to him, running his hands over the familiar hilt.

Where are you cyar’ika? Please be safe. ” 

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 “ Where are you cyar’ika ? Please be safe. ” 

 

Obi-wan woke up with tears in his eyes and the memory of a warm presence, reaching out to him and pleading with him to be safe. Soka’s montrail poked him in the face as the toddler shifted in her sleep. Still wrapped in the warmth of the nest and not wanting to wake any of the others, he decided to try testing the rest of his bonds, maybe he could reach out for help(If he could figure out what planet he was on).

Making sure to keep the dead one with Qui-gon closed, he opened himself up and felt at the strands that connected him to those close to him. He still felt his crechemates, far away yet alive, but there were unfamiliar ones too. There was the warm presence that he had felt earlier, tinged with love of a romantic nature, a brotherlike bond with a ball of sunshine and light, and-. He turned to Soka and gently poked at the third bond, one of an almost parental feel. She shifted and opened her eyes, reaching for his nose and sending sleepy love across the bond.

Ok. This was happening. This was a bond that was older than the toddler herself. Something very odd was going on. This was further proven when the sunshine reached across the bond seeking comfort. Without really thinking, Obi-wan pushed reassurance towards it, Anakin, his brain supplied.

Obi-wan? Where are you? Captain Rex told me that Qui-gon and my mom are both dead and they don’t know where you are and there’s someone else too but I think she's a baby cuz she can’t really talk yet. Her name is Snips I think.” So Anakin had a bond with Soka as well, seemingly a close one based on the nickname. “Her name is Soka. Anakin?”

“Yeah?”

“Something very odd is going on here. I feel a strong bond with both you and Soka but I do not remember either of you.” Sadness washed over from Anakin. “You forgot me?” His heart almost broke at the feeling the boy was letting off, he was the only person Anakin had and he didn't remember him. “It feels wrong not to know you but yes.” Anakin seemed to feel a little bit better at that.

I wanna find you. The soldiers are nice and have cool armor, but they aren’t you.” Soldiers. Armor. Dammit, Anakin was with the Mandalorians “Does their armor have orange paint on it?” A pause as Anakin presumably checked. “No, they’re wearing blue wait- there are orange ones coming towards us, but Rex said those are his brothers” “Anakin, you need to run. Slip out and don’t let anyone see you.” “Ok… May the Force be with you? I heard Qui-gon say that. Did I use it right?” Obi-wan smiled “You did. May the Force be with you too, Anakin. Follow this bond and you'll find me. Be safe.” Anakin had already closed the open channel as he presumably escaped. The trust that Obi-wan felt from the boy was almost frightening; Anakin trusted Obi-wan more than anyone else it seemed. He wondered what he had done to earn such trust, and if he still deserved it.

 


 

Ahsoka was confused. She had just been with Master Plo, and now she was with an older boy who felt familiar. She still wanted Plo, but Obi-wan made her feel almost as safe. There was someone else, a big brother that she loved but couldn’t remember. He gave her a nickname and she loved him and missed him and she wished he was here.

She tried to inform Obi-wan of her feelings, but apparently biting his arm didn’t convey that message. “Ouch! Soka, no biting!” She bared her teeth at him “ maybe if you listened, I wouldn’t have to bite you. I want Plo. Or Anakin. ” she surprised herself with knowing his name but it felt right.

The wolf mother stood up and stretched. She nuzzled each of her babies, including her and Obi-wan, before leaving the cave to hunt. Ahsoka wanted to go too, she liked hunting small animals but the Mother made it clear that they were to stay in the cave by moving a rock in front of the entrance. Ahsoka pouted until one of the pups growled playfully, running in circles and taunting her. She launched herself into the swarm of puppies, startling Obi-wan into falling backwards as she pushed off his chest. 

 

She wasn’t sure how much time had passed when she sensed Anakin outside the cave. “Obi-wan? Are you in there? I can’t get in!” “Ani!” She ran to the rock and put her hands against it, looking back at Obi-wan. “Ani!” “Give me a minute.” He closed his eyes and Ahsoka felt him reaching towards the rock with the Good Feeling that Plo had called the Force. As the rock began to move, they heard clanking coming from outside.

“This is where the boss said they’d be.” the tinny voice of a droid spoke up. “Well I don’t see anyone except that little kid- Hey!” The opening had become big enough for Anakin to slip through and Obi-wan let the rock roll back into place. “Blast that rock!” Loud pews hit the barrier but it held. "We need to retreat. We're not supposed to make noise." "Roger Roger."

Anakin had gone directly to Obi-wan, wrapping his arms around his waist as the older boy awkwardly held him back. Not one to be left out, Ahsoka slams into their legs, looking up at the boys with a huge smile. “Ani!” Anakin looked confused but patted her on the montrails “Hey… Soka?” “Ani. Ani an Obah an Soka!” She was so excited that she grabbed Anakin’s arm and tried to bite it. “Woah! Watch it, Snips!” Snips felt right. She grabbed her rock and gnawed on it, making her sore teeth feel better. Anakin and Obi-wan sat down and talked about something. Ahsoka was too busy with her rock to pay attention and eventually fell asleep in Anakin’s lap.

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Anakin, Obi-wan decided, was delightful. The kid had so much to say and spoke with so much enthusiasm, it was impossible not to smile. Through their talking, they figured that they must have both been from different times, which was easier to accept than he would have thought just two cycles ago. Anakin asked why he had to run away from the “Nice soldiers” and Obi-wan explained that they were working with a bounty hunter. Anakin had looked confused at that. “They didn’t feel like slavers.” “Slavers? What are you talking about?” The younger boy looked up. “What are you talking about?”

Obi-wan told him how Fett disliked jedi and was probably after them because of that. At his urging, Anakin told him about being a slave and his mother and him finding out that she and Master Qui-gon were dead. Obi-wan hugged him as well as he could with Ahsoka in his lap. “I was a slave once. I was in the mines on Bandomeer.” “Really?” “Really. Master Qui-gon saved me too.” Anakin looked thoughtful; “I’m really sorry about Master Qui-gon. I only knew him for a little but you knew him so much longer!” “Only a few years.” “Exactly!” Anakin’s eyes were big. “So much longer!” Obi-wan gave an exaggerated gasp. “Anakin! Are you calling me old?” Anakin was too busy laughing to answer. They quieted instantly when they heard something outside the rock. The mother wolf came in carrying some kind of dead animal and looked immensely pleased that she had acquired another “pup”. She licked Anakin until she deemed him clean, much to the little boy’s delight. “There’s no more sand!”


They awoke from their (quite literal) dogpile to the mother’s low growling. The droids that had been there earlier had come back with friends. Lots of them. Without his lightsaber and with two younglings to protect, Obi-wan knew that he didn’t stand a chance. He still stood in front of them, hoping to shield them with his body at least.

“There they are!” One of the droids gestured with his blaster at them. “Woah. There are three of ‘em' ', another responded. “Shut up!” said a third, pulling out a comm. “I’ve gotta tell the boss.” a pause. “He said to stay where we are and he’d meet us. He also said no blasting. He doesn’t want the clones finding our position.” “Roger roger.”

Clones? “I was gonna tell you.” Anakin seemed to be able to sense his confusion. “All the blue soldiers are clones.” The boy’s whispered confession made Obi-wan’s brain start working at hyperspeed. Maybe the man that had chased him was a clone as well. Now that he thought about it, he hadn’t sensed any malicious intent, just fear, fear for Obi-wan’s safety. He began to think that he had made a mistake in running away. He was still too impulsive, it was no wonder Qui-gon left him behind. He felt a tug on his pants and looked down to see Anakin glaring at him, a feat that was more adorable than threatening. “Stop it. Don’t be mean to yourself.”

The mother moved her long body in front of the children and snarled at the droids. “Um, I think that wolf is going to attack us.” “Don’t be stupid.'' The droids were arguing, which allowed for Obi-wan to pull Anakin and Soka behind the wolf. He hoped that the “boss''” orders would keep them from shooting the mother and her children.

“Hey look! Up there! Clones!” The droid that had spoken was pointing above the cave, out of sight for the inhabitants. “Blast them!” The droids started blasting upwards and other bolts began to rain down as a battle began with them in the middle. *BOOM* Someone had thrown a grenade and it had hit the top of the cave, causing the rocks above to crumble and fall, barely missing the mother who slinked back when the shooting had started.

There was a lot of dust and when he was able to see again, Obi-wan wished he couldn’t. The blasting had stopped and through a hole in the rock pile, a still smoking clone had fallen and lost his helmet, dead eyes staring right at him, confirming his suspicions. He looked around and saw that Soka was ok but Anakin… Anakin was holding his head and swaying on his feet. “Anakin, are you alright?” “I think so. It’s just a knock on the head, nothing I’ve never had before.” He stumbled against the mother, red smearing off on her white fur. “Anakin!” Soka had already toddled over to him, poking his face in an attempt to wake him up. “Ani! Ani!”

“Uh oh.” one of the droids was speaking. “The boss said not to hurt them. He is not going to be happy about this.” “That is correct.” A deep voice rang out in the quiet. “Sir! We-” The droid was cut off with a sound of metal being crushed. “You failed in your simple task. That cannot be excused.” A lightsaber ignited and, from what Obi-wan could hear, destroyed the remaining droids. The problem was that the clone’s body was in the way of him seeing the battle, if it could even be called that. The man destroyed the droids quickly and efficiently, deactivating his saber and coming towards the cave. Obi-wan pulled back and put himself in front of Anakin and Soka, just in case whoever was coming through wasn’t friendly, the droids had called him “boss” afterall. The rocks rumbled again as the man used the Force to move them aside. The man who stepped in was familiar. “Master Dooku?”


“Ge- Padawan Kenobi.” A look of surprise briefly flashed on the master’s face. How did Master Dooku even know who he was? He had only been Qui-gon’s padawan for a while and had never met the man. Force knows Qui-gon never talked about him. A painful reminder that Qui-gon could never tell him about it now. Master Dooku felt… odd somehow. Maybe it had something to do with the weird time stuff, he did look slightly… more wrinkled? Grey? He hadn't missed the way the master stumbled over Obi-wan's title.

“I admit, I had not expected to find any younglings out here, let alone three.” Obi-wan was going to protest that he was not a youngling when the wolf mother growled threateningly at the tall man who stepped back, placating her. Soka was still sitting on Anakin’s chest, trying to wake him up. She was near tears now.

“I’m afraid this Latonian wolf will not allow me to come any closer, she seems to have accepted you as her young.” Obi-wan could have sworn there was some amusement in the statement. “She will permit you to pass if you ask her. I’d suppose you’d want to get young Skywalker some medical treatment. My ship is not far.” “Anakin?” “I see. You don’t remember him, do you?” Obi-wan shook his head. “I feel like I should.” The older man beckoned them forward. “We can get this all sorted out once we leave this wretched planet.” Obi-wan picked up Anakin, who was much too light for a nine-year-old, and thanked the mother, Soka following close. She licked each of them one last time before allowing them to pass.

“Obah” Soka was pulling his pant leg. “Up!” Master Dooku sighed and reached for Anakin. “I can carry the boy so you can hold Miss Tano.” Soka snarled at him and tried to bite him before Obi-wan grabbed her. “Soka! We spoke about this. No biting.” he turned back to Dooku “She’s teething.” He merely raised an eyebrow and nodded as they walked to the nearby clearing in which his ship had landed. 

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“Master Dooku?” It would never cease to be startling, hearing his old title. “Why did those droids report to you?” He turned back and looked at Obi-wan, who had stopped and was holding Tano protectively. “I have been undercover for quite a while. I will explain more when I am certain we are not being watched. We are almost there.”

They had just made it to the ship when Dooku sensed several clones approaching. Levitating Skywalker onto the ship, he turned to usher the other children in as well. If anything, having the brat onboard would ensure Kenobi would follow. It seemed the Force bonds of the older versions carried on to the younger.

“Step away from the kids, Count.” The clone who had spoken wore blue, marking it as one of Skywalker’s troops. “It is you who should not be allowed near them. Losing children in a warzone, you obviously cannot be trusted with them.” The clone adjusted the blaster pointing at him. “Last chance. Let them go.” Kenobi still wasn’t all the way on the ship. Dooku sent a slight push at him. “They are not my prisoners, clone.” Kenobi was almost inside when the Tano brat recognized the clone. “REK! Obah look! REK!” Dooku could swear the clone was smiling under its helmet. He turned to address the toddler, softening his voice. “Hello Commander Tano. How about you come back with us? We can see if you recognize any of the other vode. I know Fives will be happy to see you.”

The clone had lowered its blaster while talking to Tano and Dooku took the opportunity to send out a wave, knocking down the clones and turned, putting a hand on Kenobi’s shoulder to ensure he stayed with him. The door shut behind him and he went to the cockpit, ushering the children into a separate room with bacta packs for Skywalker. He typed in the coordinates for Serenno, already feeling a headache coming on from Tano’s crying. He really hadn’t thought this through. Perhaps it wasn’t such a good idea after all.

 


 

Something had seemed off about Master Dooku from the beginning, and his behavior since had made Obi-wan more and more wary of the man. It was odd, it seemed like he was hiding something, like there was something sinister behind his shields. Obi-wan shook his head, hurrying to keep up with the much taller man. Soka’s montrails poked him in the face as she squirmed, seemingly still trying to get to Master Dooku. Maybe the toddler sensed something he did not? No, that was ridiculous. No matter how much Qui-gon avoided speaking of the man, the Jedi master was held in high regard among the council and throughout the order. Still, even though the Force wasn’t warning him of any imminent danger, it urged caution.

They had just reached the ship, and Master Dooku was lifting Anakin onto it. Anakin Skywalker. Soka Tano. Dooku knowing these names further solidified Obi-wan’s thoughts of time travel. As he was about to follow Anakin’s unconscious body in the ship, he heard the sound of many blasters being cocked. “Step away from the kids, Count.” Maybe the title was part of the undercover work Master Dooku had informed him of, but the way the man said it was with such contempt, it seemed more like an insult.

Obi-wan felt no ill intent directed at him, instead there was concern. All the anger in the clone's voice was directed at Dooku, who had been talking. “-you obviously cannot be trusted with them.” The soldier gave no reaction to the snide comment. “Last chance. Let them go.” “They are not my prisoners, clone.” Why would the clone think they were in danger from Master Dooku? He felt a push towards the ship and began to enter. Whatever was happening, he decided to stick with the jedi master until it proved to be unsafe.

“REK!” Soka screamed right in his ear and pointed at the man, presumably the “Rex” that Anakin had spoken to. “Obah look! REK!” He felt Rex soften as he turned to Soka. “Hello Commander Tano.” Commander? Just how old was she? “How about you come back with us? We can see if you recognize any of the other vode. I know Fives will be happy to see you.” He had relaxed, giving Master Dooku an opening to push the troops back. He placed a firm hand on Obi-wan’s shoulder and guided him onto the ship, shutting the entrance quickly.

“There is bacta in the third cabinet to the right. Tend to Skywalker’s injury until I am able to assist.” Obi-wan reluctantly carried Soka into the room Master Dooku had put Anakin in, the door sliding closed behind them. He placed the crying toddler down on a chair next to where Anakin was lying, allowing her to chew on the boy’s sleeve. As much as he wanted to tend to Anakin’s wound, he felt an overwhelming urge to look out of the small window. He glanced out of it and saw a clone rip his helmet off and stare at the retreating ship. They locked eyes and Obi-wan felt a jolt over the warm, as-of-yet unidentified bond. Cody?

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Cody was tired and angry. Dooku had gotten away with not only both little generals, but also the commander. Rex had flipped out when he brought Cody to where Skywalker should have been, only to find him gone with barely a trace. “Ob- General Kenobi was scared of us, seems to have thought Waxer was Prime. Maybe they communicated over their force bond and he warned Skywalker.” Rex begrudgingly agreed, recalling how the kid seemingly already adored Obi-wan and would probably trust anything he said.

A scout called in that he had found a ship that matched the description of Dooku’s and they rushed to set up an ambush. Rex didn’t want to go, he wanted to find Skywalker first, but Cody convinced him to go. Rex quickly called in reinforcements, saying that Dooku had the generals and a small togruta that he was sure was the commander. He also reported that Skywalker seemed to be unconscious and was bleeding from his head. Cody arrived just as the ship took off, taking their family with it. Through a small window, he saw a flash of blue eyes and felt a shock through the bond. “Cody?” Then it was gone. He was gone, taken by a sith lord alongside two smaller children with no recent memories. They needed to contact the council.


Mace Windu was having a decent day. He’d been on house arrest from Master Che after she had heard about his several mishealed ribs. (Ponds snitched) He had been grumpy at first, but Depa came by with Caleb, knowing Mace couldn’t say no to the smiley kid. They brought him take-out from Dex’s and watched a holofilm. (Mace did not cry when they had to put the Akk dog down, don't listen to Depa, she lies.)

Depa had been called away, taking her padawan with her and leaving Mace to meditate. He settled down and reached into the Force, allowing it to flow over and around him, opening himself up slowly to let it through him. He had just reached a meditative state when something shifted in the Force. Something big had happened and while Mace could not tell whether it was good or bad, he had a sneaking suspicion that Skywalker and Kenobi had something to do with it. This particular headache that was coming on only seemed to show up when they were involved. He decided that it was Not His Problem and tried to settle back down.

He had just closed his eyes when he heard a creak and looked up in time to see Master Yoda drop down from the ceiling vent. “Feel that, did you?” “Well good morning to you as well Master.” The troll sniffed. “6 in the evening it is. Answer my question, you did not.” Mace sighed and realized that his little break was over. “Yes. I believe Skywalker is involved alongside Master Kenobi.” “Yes. Both of them, involved they are. Padawan Tano as well.” Mace rolled his eyes. Of course Tano would be there too. “I did not sense any harm come to them.” “Hmm. Investigate this, we should.” At that moment, Mace’s comm started buzzing. He sighed, already knowing who it would be. “Let’s take this call with the rest of the council.”

“Hello Captain Rex. Commander Cody. I assume you have information about the force anomaly?” The two looked at each other. “I don’t know about any force anomaly sir, but Generals Skywalker and Kenobi seem to have been… shrunk. Commander Tano too.” “... Shrunk?” Another clone popped into view. “Yes sir, shrunk. I wasn’t able to see General Kenobi or the Commander, but I did perform a few scans on General Skywalker.” The medic, (Kix, he thought) pulled up some charts. “It seems that the General is in his nine-year-old body, with only nine-year-old memories. From what’s been described to me, I assume the same thing happened to the others, although to different ages.”

Captain Rex spoke up. “The commander looked to be about three standard. General Kenobi was maybe thirteen? He didn’t have a braid so maybe younger. They were scared of us and ran off. We finally found them,” Commander Cody interrupted with what was possibly the worst news considering the situation. “Dooku found them first. General Kenobi was holding Commander Tano as an unconscious General Skywalker floated near them. The Commander recognized Rex, but the count rushed them onto the ship and was able to take off.” Great. “Thank you for the report, men. Finish up where you are and then meet us at these coordinates. May the Force be with you.” The clones saluted and the call ended.

Shaak Ti was the first to speak. “If Ahsoka is truly that age again, she will be teething and needing a lot of meat. She might also be developing the urge to hunt.” A low noise came from Plo Koon. “Ah. I do remember that stage. She was rather… violent to strangers.” Shaak nodded. “And like I told you back then when you came to me with a youngling attached to your sleeve, it is perfectly normal for a togruta her age to act similarly.” Mace vaguely remembered Plo running through the temple after the girl, trying to bring her back to the creche. Shaak had almost fallen over laughing at the Kel Dor master’s panic. This was no laughing matter though. Now, Shaak was on Kamino, unable to leave. Plo was running a campaign in the midrim, and the other jedi they would send to get her were in the same situation.

“We may have another issue.” Kit Fisto had spoken up. “The men said that Kenobi did not have his padawan braid but looked to be of age. I am afraid that that means he may have been pulled from Melida/Daan and the conflict there.” That was indeed concerning, Mace had been relatively new on the council when they debriefed the skinny, broken boy, but he remembered how long it took for Obi-wan to trust adults again. Maybe it would keep him from trusting Dooku.

“Might I make a suggestion?” Mace gestured for Ki-Adi to continue. “Seeing someone he knew might help convince him to trust whoever we send. I believe Master Vos has just returned from a mission?” Yoda finally spoke up. “Good idea that is, but send someone as well we should.” The fucking troll looked at Mace. “Master Windu, between campaigns you are. Meet young Vos and search for Obi-wan you will.” He grit his teeth. “Of course master.”

The meeting adjourned and all others signed off or left, leaving Mace and Yoda. Yoda was silent, giving Mace the chance to speak first. “Why is it always your lineage?” Yoda whacked him in the shin. “Luminous beings are we. Go to meet the men and Vos you must. Stay here I will, to further research.” “Yes master.” “To Serenno, my old apprentice may go. Center your search around there you should. May the Force be with you.” Mace bowed. “And with you.”


After he was sure the course was set, Dooku reluctantly went to the back to check on the children. Skywalker was bandaged almost professionally and had seemingly unconsciously curled around Tano, who had fallen asleep next to him. Kenobi was sitting in a chair next to them, looking as though he would pass out any moment. He straightened up when Dooku entered, still looking wary.

“Master Dooku. Thank you for the medical aid and transport back to the temple.” Kenobi looked him in the eye when he said this, silently challenging him to tell him the truth. “We are not going to the temple at the moment, padawan.” He noticed again that the boy very subtly flinched at the title. “I- I’m sorry if I have deceived you master, but I am no longer a padawan.” That was not what he had expected. “I would still like these children to be brought to the temple, but I understand if you want to drop me off somewhere.” Kenobi looked down, obviously trying to hide some emotion.

“That will not be happening.” He looked up quickly. “What?” “I am not going to drop a- thirteen?” he nodded. “A thirteen-year-old off on a random planet. Besides, I need to make a stop before we head to the temple. The mission I am on requires me to be visible on a certain planet. The three of you will stay with me until I can find a safe way to return you.” He looked anxious when he next spoke. “Master, if I may ask some questions…” He had seen this coming, of course. “You may. But I suspect you have quite a few and we would not want to wake Skywalker and Tano. Come with me to the cockpit and we’ll talk. Do you like tea?” He knew that older Kenobi liked it, but children rarely like the same things as their adult counterparts. He nodded. “Master Qui-gon likes- liked sapir but I always liked Chandrilan. ” Both of them decided to ignore the slip up and he walked to the small kitchen and set the water to boil. 

 

After both of them had fixed their tea, Kenobi with the chandrilan he had managed to find in the back of the cupboard and Dooku with an ithorian blend, Dooku had led them to the cockpit and sat the boy down before he could fall over. “I believe you have questions for me, and I certainly have some for you.” He fell silent, allowing the boy to start. “Is- is- master Qui-gon really...” “I’m afraid so.” “oh.” The quiet response revealed that Kenobi already knew, he just needed to hear it from an adult for it to be real. He seemed to curl deeper into himself, hiding his face in his knees.

“How long ago?” “Over ten years.” he nodded again. “I figured something related to time happened. So how old am I supposed to be?” “Thirty-six, I believe.” “Am I a jedi?” The question surprised him even though he had claimed earlier that he wasn’t a padawan. “One of the best.” His head moved up just enough to see his eyes. “Really?” “Indeed. In fact, you trained Skywalker, he’s supposed to be in his early twenties, who in turn is currently training little Ahsoka Tano, who I believe is fourteen. You are also the youngest jedi master to be put on the council.”

Kenobi put his face down again and after a moment his shoulders started shaking. Damn. He was never good at comforting younglings, not good at comforting at all really. Only with Si-. No, this was not the time. He needed to focus on the here and now as his old padawan would say. He hesitantly put his hand on Kenobi’s shoulder. The boy looked up with red-rimmed eyes but a small smile. “He came back for me. I didn’t think he’d come back for me.” This seemed to be what pushed the child over the edge as he leaned over and pulled the sith into a hug. After a moment, Dooku awkwardly put his arms around the small form, realizing how thin he really was. He felt wetness on his cheek and realized that he was crying as well. Hell, maybe Rael was right about hugs being what people need. After a moment, Obi-wan pulled back and wiped his eyes. “I’m sorry master, that was highly inappropriate of me.” Dooku composed himself quickly. “... It is alright. But now I think you should sleep. ” He put a heavy Force suggestion into the last word and Obi-wan sank back into his chair, eyes closing and breathing becoming softer.

Dooku himself fell into his seat, running his hand over his face. “What the hell am I doing?” “Now that is the million-credit question.” He whipped his head around and saw a blue ghostly figure smiling at him. “Long time no see, Doo.” 

Chapter Text

“Long time no see, Doo.”

 

“And now I am hallucinating. How wonderful.” The spectral form of Sifo-Dyas rolled his eyes in the most familiar way. “You know you aren’t. C’mon, after all those attempts to bring me back you’re just going to ignore me when I come to you?” Dooku pointedly looked away from the vision “You. Are. Not. Real.” “And why is that? Because you had me killed?” Dooku winced, but resisted turning away.

“You are a ghost of my own creation, my conscience made flesh.” The hallucination gave him a look. “Almost flesh.” he amended. “Maybe it’s because I’m sane, is that it? Turns out death can do wonders for your mental health.” The hallucination seemed to lean on the controls in a relaxed position that Dooku hadn't seen in the last years of his friend’s life.

It- he- it sighed and looked at Kenobi, who had started to show signs of a nightmare. “You should look after him.” The specter placed a hand over the sleeping boy’s head and he immediately calmed down. “He’s been through a lot. Skywalker too. Don’t you roll your eyes at me, you know I’m right.” It came towards Dooku and put a hand on his shoulder, causing a pleasantly cool feeling. “Ask him about where he came from. He needs support. Don’t think too harshly of any of them. I leave you now, most honorable count.” He seemingly faded into the hyperspace behind him, giving Dooku a small smile and leaving him feeling…lighter. One thing was for sure, he had many questions.

 


 

Anakin woke with a start, quickly taking in his surroundings. He looked to the warmth at his side and saw Soka curled up against his body, still sleeping peacefully. He reached to his other side, for some reason expecting Obi-wan to be there and sitting up when he was not. Soka made an unhappy noise but rolled back into slumber. He hopped down off of the table and snuck towards where he felt Obi-wan was, rubbing the bacta patch on his head. He peered around a doorway and into the cockpit, seeing Obi-wan asleep in the co-pilot’s chair. Tiptoeing towards him, he suddenly stopped as the pilot’s chair spun around revealing an old man.

“Who are you ?” He looked to see if Obi-wan was sleeping or drugged. The man followed his gaze and sighed. “Kenobi is fine. He has had a very long day and needs his rest. Are you hungry?” Anakin nodded warily and followed the tall figure into a kitchen where the man signaled for him to sit in a chair. “Your name is Skywalker, is it not?” Anakin nodded, this man was obviously wealthy and he had always been told not to speak to wealthy people unless they ordered him to. “I am Count Dooku.”

Anakin took it as a sign to speak, though he kept his head down respectfully. “Are- are you my master now? Obi-wan and Soka aren’t slaves, so you should let them go.” Dooku sighed and Anakin flinched, expecting punishment. “You are not a slave either, child. Not anymore.” “Oh.” He scrunched up his face in thought. “Then why are we here?” “You were in danger on that planet. You will be safer with me.”

Anakin couldn’t sense any lie, but the man still made him suspicious. “Okay… Do you know why Obi-wan is smaller than he should be?” Dooku seemed to almost smile. “I do not know why, just that it seems to have affected you and your companion as well.” That made sense. “Can I have something to give to Soka? She’s hungry.” He could feel the toddler waking up and looking for him. As if on cue, they heard a thunk and the sound of little footsteps as Soka ran in and climbed onto Anakin’s lap. “Good morning Snips.” She rubbed her eyes and wrapped her hands around his neck. “Hi Ani.”

Dooku handed Anakin another meal bar. “I’m afraid that my ship is not stocked with proper food for a teething togruta, I will ensure she gets something once we arrive at our destination.” “Where are we going?” Anakin asked as Soka started gnawing on the bar, not taking her eyes off of Dooku. “Serenno.” Anakin hadn’t heard of it, but he hadn’t heard of a lot of planets. “Is that near Coruscant? Cuz Obi-wan said that he was going to bring me to Coruscant with Soka to the Jedi. Are you a Jedi?” Dooku paused from where he was, near the door. “From a certain point of view.” He walked towards the cockpit. What was that supposed to mean?

The man gave him a weird feeling and Anakin didn’t want him to be alone with Obi-wan. Soka seemed to agree with him as she squirmed to get down and follow Dooku. She stumbled as the ship lurched, but Anakin caught her, slightly unnerved but remembering a similar feeling when they left hyperspace on the ship with Padme. “It’s ok Soka, that just means we’re almost there and we can get you some meat.” Soka bared her teeth in an almost smile at that thought. “Hunt?” Anakin smiled, but kept his hands away from her mouth as she seemed hungry.

They made it to the cockpit where Dooku was messing with the control board, probably getting them ready for landing. Without turning around he addressed Anakin. “Wake Kenobi and get strapped in, we will be landing shortly.” Anakin released Soka and she jumped onto Obi-wan’s chair and gently patted his face. “Obah?” Obi-wan sat up straight, almost throwing Soka off his lap before he realized where he was. “Hello Soka.” He picked her up from where she had retreated. “Master.” he nodded to Dooku who barely acknowledged him. “Strap Skywalker and Tano in, then yourself, we are landing.” Obi-wan walked with Soka in his arms, putting his hand on Anakin’s head and messing with his hair. They found two chairs with the proper equipment, but they were both too big for Soka. Obi-wan strapped Anakin in and handed him Soka as he situated himself. “I’ll hold her while we land.” Anakin reluctantly passed Soka back to Obi-wan, kicking his legs where they dangled down and missing the warmth from the little girl. It was cold in space.

 


 

They landed with no trouble aside from Ahsoka biting anxiously on Obi-wan’s arm before he redirected her attention to the stone he still had. He was slightly unnerved with how long and peacefully he slept and suspected Master Dooku had done something to contribute to it. Still, he was their best option at the moment and Obi-wan still didn’t sense any ill will towards them. He had a slight memory of a nightmare being cast away by a warm presence. Could that have been Dooku? It didn’t feel like him. They exited to the strangely empty landing platform and trailed behind Dooku, who silently led them indoors. Anakin was looking around in awe at the large… palace. It was a palace and Obi-wan was barely concealing his own astonishment. Anakin jogged to catch up with Dooku. “Do you live here?!” “Sometimes. For a while, you will as well.”

“Wow! Who’s that?” Anakin pointed at a painting as they neared the end of the hallway. The woman depicted had dark hair and sharp features, but looked as though she was hiding a smile. “... My sister, Jenza. She is no longer around.” His tone left no room for further conversation, but left Obi-wan with lots of questions. “I have had two rooms arranged for you, I’m assuming you would not want Miss Tano to sleep alone.” Anakin tugged at his sleeve. “Obi-wan! Can I sleep with Soka?” He smiled and looked to Ahsoka, who was making grabby hands towards Anakin. “Ani. Ani.” “I think that’s a yes.” He put her down and she ran over to hold Anakin’s hand as they kept walking. Dooku walked them to two rooms next to each other. "I will leave you to get settled in, I have to make a few calls."

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Happy Holidays to all of yall!!! As you can see, this is not really a post, just a quick update:

I finally got the first two Jedi apprentice books and I'm super excited to read them. I've been kinda held up because I wanted to be sure the information in my next few chapters were accurate. Now I can keep working on it!!!

I'm very thankful for all yalls support, really one of the best gifts this year❤❤❤

Also, I was thinking of writing a little aside piece involving the holidays? Just some even more au fluff from this au if anyone is interested, please lmk.

Love you madly!❤

- (not) Mary

Chapter Text

Dooku’s master was not a very expressive one. Yoda embodied the whole jedi code, keeping himself detached from everyone and always centered. Sometimes he was jealous, another trait Yoda didn’t have, of the relationships between other masters and padawans. Master Kostana had taken Sifo on an “educational” trip to one of Coruscant’s markets and he had come back smiling and full of food and stories of different sentients’ life day celebrations. He had brought Dooku a small trinket, a “good luck charm” as he called it. Dooku thought it was ridiculous, but the look on his friend’s face made him slip it into the small compartment built into his lightsaber. For safekeeping of course.

He was meditating with his master in the early morning. When Yoda spoke. “Distracted you are, padawan. Meditate you cannot. Unease I sense.” Near the beginning of his apprenticeship, Dooku was unnerved by how well his master could read him, but by now he was used to it. “Yes master. I- I was wondering about life day. Other masters and padawans have been doing things and I was wondering if you knew of any traditions, if it would be prudent to learn about them.” Yoda opened his eyes and stood up, leaning on his cane. “Hmm. Time for your classes it is. Speak later tonight we shall.” Dooku could tell when he was being dismissed and left, bowing respectfully to his master.

The whole day, Dooku was wondering what his master would tell him. Would he tell him that it was not the jedi way to observe materialistic holidays? By the time evening rolled around, he had created thousands of scenarios, each more outlandish than the last. Sifo Dyas wasn’t helping, he kept offering ridiculous suggestions. Dooku was pretty sure Yoda wasn’t going to sacrifice him to a swamp god, but he couldn’t be sure. Sifo made some very good arguments.

That evening, he cautiously entered the master-padawan apartment to find it dark. He turned on the light and saw a note on the table. Yoda had been called away to a council meeting and would be back late. He would also have to leave early in the morning, so Dooku was expected to “do something that calls to him” whatever that means. He made himself dinner and meditated before going to sleep, disappointed but not surprised.

In the morning, he went around his morning routine, making himself the caf that Yoda would hog. “Stunt your growth it will! Look at me you should!” which was ridiculous because Dooku was taller than most humans his age. Deciding to start the day in the way he always spent his days off, he grabbed his datapad and opened it to the book he was reading. Or he tried to. Instead of his very interesting book on the history of lightsaber forms, the datapad opened up to a projection of his master. A seven foot tall projection of his master. Dooku fell off the back of the couch where he had perched with a very dignified yelp. “Traditions you have asked for padawan, traditions you shall receive. Shopping you must go, find more than just groceries you will.” Coordinates popped up and the recording restarted. Shrugging as if he wasn’t super excited, Dooku tried not to rush to the coordinates.

That evening, a very tired Dooku dragged himself back to the temple. He had had an interesting experience, buying odd foods from questionable vendors, climbing a building to find a certain berry, and getting one random piece of fabric from the first ten shops he passed. He opened the door and found his master meditating in the middle of the room. “Hello padawan. Find your day informative, did you?” “Yes master.” Yoda lightly whacked him with his cane. “Lie to me, do not. Confused you are. Confused I was, when my master made me do it.” Dooku looked at his master in surprise. “Back in the sith wars?” he asked innocently. He was whacked a little harder than before. “So polite they tell me my padawan is. So diplomatic.” he shook his head in false sadness. “Have them all fooled you do. Know better I do. So rude to the elderly you are.” Dooku smiled slightly before going back to his “politician face” as Sifo called it. “I’m quite sure I have no idea what you are talking about master.” “A menace you are. Follow me to the kitchen you will.”

That night, Yoda taught him a recipe that had been passed down in their lineage for generations. Dooku was surprised at how good it was, given that the only food his master had made before had mud in it. At the end of the night, Yoda showed him how to use the force to weave the fabrics together, making a beautiful collage of colors and light. Dooku had then given it to Sifo-Dyas, who had kept it next to whatever window he slept near.

Dooku found the burnt remains of it when he searched through the rubble for the body. It was right beside him.

Chapter Text

Mace Windu did not want to be the one to make this holocall, but Vos had conveniently disappeared when the responsibility had been mentioned. So that was why Mace was waiting for Rael Averross to pick up so he could inform him of the situation. Vos had suggested, which made his absence even more annoying, that other members of Dooku’s lineage be notified to keep a lookout, as the count might be feeling sentimental. Feemor was too far in the outer rim to reach, but Averross was close enough to get a choppy signal through.

“Rael. How are you.” “Just get it over with. You never call me with good news, or even just to say hi. I’m hurt Mace, truly.”

“You were the one who requested the mud planet in the outer rim. As it is, I do have to ask if your former master has contacted you recently.”

Rael’s smile fell and his body language completely changed. “I don’t know. I blocked his comm number.” At Mace’s eyebrow raise he sighed and pushed back his dirty hair. “He still manages to get through sometimes, crafty bastard. He hasn’t reached out recently though. Why?”

Mace avoided the topic. “What does he usually say?” Rael shrugged. “Ya know, the usual “Join me, join the dark side” etc etc.” His impression was unnervingly good. “Y’all better not be tryin ta use me to get at him, Ah told you, Ah don’t want anything ta do with him and Ah have no influence over the man. You know that.” Rael’s accent became stronger as he grew more agitated.

“An incident occured where Kenobi, Skywalker, and Tano seemed to have been reverted to younger ages without any recent memories. Kenobi a teenager, Skywalker a child, and Tano a toddler.” Rael narrowed his eyes “Oh Kriff, no. No. Fuck. Please tell me he didn’t-” Mace cut in. “He took them to his ship, Kenobi seemed to recognize him as a Jedi and followed him. As far as we know, they haven’t been injured past Skywalker having a bump on his head.”


Rael took a breath and released his feelings into the Force. “I see. Do you have a rescue team?” Mace looked really tired, even in the shaky hologram. “We don’t have many Jedi able to leave their posts. Right now, it’s myself, Vos, the 501st, and the 212th. We believe he’s brought them to Serenno, but we need confirmation before we can even begin to plan an attack.” It made sense that they would turn to him.

Rael sighed. “If he calls, I’ll answer. I’ll let you know, but I’m coming to help. I’ve just about finished here.” Mace shook his head. “We’ve got it covered. We need you to get in touch with Feemor. He’s undercover on Dysnomia and should be ready for an extraction anyway. May the Force be with you. Remember, this stays top secret.”

Rael returned the sentiment and sat down after hanging up. He shut his eyes and hit his head on the table in front of him. Lagg came in at the sound, took in his general’s condition and sighed. “Thank you very much for cheering me up, Commander, that sigh of disappointment really got me.” He knew he was being petty but considering the circumstances, he thought he deserved to be a little petty. “Sir…” “I know, I know. Are we almost ready to get off this godforsaken planet?” “Yes sir. Just a few more hours, really. Bad council meeting?” Rael shook his head. “You have no idea. Be ready to receive a transmission from the count, I have to take it this time.” Lagg winced. "Should I have the men break out the good stuff?" "No, don't wait for me. Just save some for after this because I can't deal with this man sober."


Dooku sighed after hanging up the comm. Ventress was on her way, though she was annoyed she hadn’t been told what for. He could already feel a headache, so why not just get the other call over with? To his slight surprise, Rael picked up on the first ring. What wasn’t surprising, was that he started yelling as soon as he did.

“Seriously? You’re kidnapping children now?!”

“I see that you’ve been informed of the current situation.”

Rael scoffed and ran his hand over his hair. “Is that what you’re calling it? Cuz I might need more alcohol if it’s gonna be like this.”

Dooku frowned, Rael did not look well. Why hadn’t he noticed before? He used to be able to tell whenever the boy was ill, simply through his body language. He’d seen Rael in some holos, but hadn’t noticed the now obvious decline in his health. “Are you sleeping? Eating? Really, padawan, I thought I had taught you better than this.”

Rael glared. “I’m not your padawan. I haven’t been for over three decades. You gave up the right to check up on me when you fell, Count. When you joined the same monsters who killed Qui-gon. You didn’t even bother to go to the funeral.” He looked off to the side, nodding at someone Dooku could not see. “Now you have three children under your care , if one can call it that, and seemingly no plan. Bring them back. Turn yourself in, just do the right thing for once. I won’t have you traumatize these children, not after what they’ve been through. You don’t even know what the problem is, let alone how to help them.”

Dooku paused, taking the information in. “And the Jedi do? Do you know what Kenobi told me?” Rael glared. “He told me that he was no longer a Jedi. I was unaware the Jedi ever let him out of their sight, let alone Qui-gon.” Rael looked pale even through the blue hologram. “Oh Force, of all the times to be pulled out of, it had to be that one.” Dooku filed this away for later.

“Come to Serenno, child. You know more about how to help them, yes? Then come here and do so. You know the Jedi cannot come here without inciting a galactic incident, but I could allow passage for my former padawan.” “No. I have to go and do my best to help sentients survive this hell that you’ve created.” “I understand. My offer is a standing one, I sincerely hope that you reconsider. I must take my leave of you, padawan. I do hope to see you soon.” Rael made a very rude gesture before hanging up, already turning to the person off-camera. That went well.

Chapter Text

Obi-wan followed the guard that led them to Anakin and Ahsoka’s room before going to look at his own. It was big, really big, with a very regal feel to it. It had its own refresher and looked very comfortable. It made Obi-wan uneasy.

“Obi-wan! Look at how much water there is!” When he got to them, Anakin was standing at the sink with the water running, Ahsoka splashing in it. While their methods were questionable, the children had the right idea. “Anakin, do you know how to take a shower?” Anakin turned from Ahsoka, turning off the water. “Kinda? Not one with a lot of water though.” Obi-wan nodded. “You should be alright. I’ll help Ahsoka in the sink so I’ll be nearby if you need anything.” He scooped up the already wet togruta, lifting her over his head and earning a squeal of happiness.

He quickly scrubbed her down, avoiding the teeth as she playfully snapped at him. At least he hoped it was playful. After she was clean, he wrapped her up in a fluffy towel he had found. He plopped her down on the bed, looking around and finding a set of drawers with some clothes in them. The small tunic he found was extremely soft and he helped her into it with little struggle. He found clothes that looked to be around Anakin’s size and placed them outside the ‘fresher door. Anakin looked very small in them, even though they were an average size for nine-year-olds.

“Obi-wan? Aren’t you gonna clean up too? I can watch Ahsoka, we can go find some food with Mr. Reden.” “Mr. Reden?” “The guard! I like him, he said that maybe I could look at the ships!” Obi-wan felt like he should be concerned with the feral grin Anakin had, but he really wanted to shower so decided to ignore it. “Ok. You do that, but don’t wander too far!” He could have sworn Ahsoka rolled her eyes and Anakin ran over to gave him a quick hug. “Yeah, you definitely need to shower.” “Anakin!” The boy grinned and bolted to the door, Ahsoka toddling behind. “Keep up, Snips!”

After the shower, Obi-wan looked at himself in the mirror, looking over the scars from shrapnel from an explosion. One of them looked red and he hoped it wasn’t infected, maybe he could find some bacta, he didn’t want to inconvenience anyone. He noticed the odd locks on the doors, they felt like a void in the force. He reasoned that these locks were like the ones at the temple that guarded restricted areas, ones that could not be manipulated with the force.

A map would have been nice as he reached out with the force to try and find Ani and ‘Soka. He finally saw a woman bustling down the hallway with a pile of sheets in her arms. “Excuse me, ma’am?” She stopped and looked at Obi-wan with confusion, and then happiness. “You must be one of the Count’s wards! What can I do for you hun?” “I’m looking for the other children that arrived with me, a young human and togruta. Do you know where they are?” “I think they’re eating in the kitchens. Are you hungry?” Obi-wan was not hungry and said so. “Well, if you don’t want to go eat, I can show you to the library if you’d like.” At Obi-wan’s conflicted expression, she smiled and assured him that Anakin and Ahsoka would be alright.

“I think Reden is with them, he loves children. Has four of his own, though they’re all grown up. Follow me now.” Obi-wan obediently followed her to a large library, dropping him off and promising to come check on him later. “What’s your name ma’am?” She smiled impossibly wider and looked like she would have pinched his cheeks if she had not had her hands full. “You can call me Amie. Now enjoy yourself, and I will make sure that you eat later.” She left the room, leaving him alone in the empty space.

He wandered around a bit, searching for the history section, but couldn’t find anything on Melida/Daan. He went to the poetry section, though he’d hated it at first, poetry helped him to meditate. Now, he was just looking for a reminder of Qui-gon. For some reason, he was drawn to a small blue physical book. When he looked at the cover, it was in a language he didn’t recognize, but somehow almost understood. It was titled “Laare be Manda” which Obi-wan thought meant “Songs of Manda”. He took the book over to a chair and sat down to read, maybe this was something his older self knew.

He was trying to read a passage that he thought might be a lullaby, when someone rolled in through the window and looked at him in disbelief. “What the kriff? Kenobi?

Chapter Text

After hanging up with Dooku, Ventress reluctantly set course for Serenno, annoyed that he wouldn’t tell her what was going on. 

She landed a bit away from everything, putting her ship into a small hanger out of sight. Walking towards the main castle, she saw movement in one of the libraries, one of the “Outsider Friendly” ones. If she went all the way around, it would take her forever to get there! (ok maybe an extra 5 minutes but still) So she climbed up on the side of the castle and began jumping from perch to perch until she reached one across from the window. She launched herself in, rolling and hopping to her feet, expecting to see one of the staff looking frightened then annoyed. What she saw was not that.

Curled up in a chair, was a red-headed kid reading a book. The kid jumped up in surprise and reached for his side though whether it was for a lightsaber or a blaster, she didn’t know. “What the kriff?”

Maybe one of the kids from the seemingly constant class trips got lost and started reading? That made no sense.

“What are you doing here?” The kid spoke with a coruscanti accent.

“I live here! What are you doing here?”

“Miss Amie told me that Master Dooku said I could come in here and read. I wasn’t aware he had other people living here.”

“Master D-? Kid, who are you?”

“My name is Obi-wan Kenobi.” Ventress blinked. Looked around. There didn’t seem to be any cameras and Dooku didn’t really seem the prank type. He always called the holo prank shows she watched “Mindless stupidity” but he liked watching political dramas purely to criticize them, so his opinion was invalid.

“I’m going to infer from your reaction that you are acquainted with my older self.” She laughed until she looked closer. The kid was glaring at her with familiar eyes, and the force rang with the truth. “Ok. Come with me, kid, we’re gonna go talk to Dooku.”

She grabbed him under the arms and took off down the hallway, ignoring his protests as she kicked open the door to Dooku’s office. He looked up from some datapad with his ridiculously large reading glasses* and sighed. “Ventress.”

“Master. Is this,” she held baby Obi-wan out like the kitten from that holofilm about tooka royalty. “Actually Obi-wan Kenobi?” He squirmed and she dropped him, taking amusement in how he scampered to smooth out his robes and move away from her. What was interesting was that he moved towards Dooku with his back turned to the count, something that older Obi-wan would never do.

“If so, can we keep him?”

“Asajj, really?”

“I promise I’ll feed him and take him on walks!”

She was enjoying the look of frightened confusion on the kid’s face. “Ventress. He is indeed Obi-wan Kenobi, albeit a much younger version.” “Seriously? This little twig becomes the famed Negotiator, partner to the Hero without fear, General of the 212th, and all around pain-in-the-ass?”

Dooku pinched the bridge of his nose. “Yes. If you’d allow me to explain, I’d tell you that he, Skywalker, and Tano have all seemingly reverted to younger selves, with no memory past their physical age. We want to ease them into the present, so I would appreciate it if you refrained from speaking about the current going-ons.” he looked at her pointedly at this. So that meant no dark side stuff in front of the babies. She could deal with that.

“Why don’t you go get settled in, I’d like to speak to young Kenobi alone.” She grinned at baby Obi-wan and waved. “Gotcha boss. I’ll see you later mini Kenobi!” 


The bald woman who had come through the window, Ventress, had certainly thrown Obi-wan off. He was so shocked that she picked him up, that he didn’t even think to struggle until they burst into Dooku’s office. She seemed to know his older self, she at least knew of him judging by her reaction. Apparently he had made quite a name for himself.

He stared at Dooku. “That was my… ward. Asajj Ventress. She can be a little much the first time you meet her. She is well acquainted with your older self and it has come as a bit of a shock to her, as you can imagine.”

“Yes, I suppose that can be unnerving.”

Dooku gestured for him to sit at the chair in front of the desk. “I was hoping to ease you into this time, but I’m sure she has given you questions. I will answer what I deem pertinent.” Obi-wan nodded, he could understand Dooku wanting to prevent, for lack of a better term, culture shock. “Before I answer any of your questions, I need you to tell me where and when you came from.” Obi-wan froze and diverted his gaze away from Dooku’s piercing stare.

“I don’t see how that’s relevant.” Lie. It made perfect sense for the master to want to know what was happening before the incident, as he had called it.

“It is important for you to tell me, child. I can sense much pain in you, too much for someone your age.” No shit. He dug his fingers into the armrests, trying to keep his cool. How could he be the so-called Negotiator when he can barely control his emotions? This was why Qui-gon didn’t want him, he was too emotional, too volatile, and too weak. (But didn’t Master Dooku say he was a great jedi? Didn’t Ventress list titles with some respect in her voice?) No, he was worthless, bad, not cut out to be a jedi. Qui-gon should have left him on Melida/Daan for good.

“Kenobi. I will find out eventually and I’d like to hear it from you first.” “Then I am sorry to disappoint you master.” That was all he ever seemed to do. “I’d like to go look for Anakin and Ahsoka now, if you don’t mind.” He turned to leave without waiting for an answer. “You spoke of Qui-gon coming back for you. Where did he leave you?” Obi-wan sighed, it seemed the master wasn’t going to take no for an answer.

“Melida/Daan. There was a civil war, we were sent to retrieve another master after negotiations fell short. I discovered that a third faction existed, made up of children from both sides. I went against the mission and chose them over the order. I’d like to go now please.” He hadn’t turned around the entire time, and winced when his voice broke on the last word.

“Of course. I thank you for telling me.” Obi-wan was about to leave, but something told him he needed to stay. To get some answers. He turned. “Actually, I was hoping to ask you some questions, as agreed on earlier.” What seemed to be a smile tugged on Dooku’s mouth as he put his hand out, inviting him to sit back down. “What year is it?” “It is 3631.” Still a startling number, even though Dooku had told him he was supposed to be in his thirties.

He was going to ask something else, but a familiar presence pulled in his mind. “Do you know what language this is?” He held out the blue book as Dooku inspected it. “That is Mando’a. Language of the Mandalorians. Do you understand it?”

“I think so? Should I?”

“From what I understand, your older self is quite fluent. Interesting that it seemed to pass over into you.”

“yeah.. One word stands out though. I think it means “glory” but that’s not why it’s important. I think it’s the word itself; Kote.

That was the first time he had said it out loud and something seemed to hit him. “ Kote.

Then he was falling backwards, down

down

down

down.

Chapter Text

Dooku was slightly concerned when Kenobi fell out of his chair, but not too worried about the fall. (the carpet was enough cushioning he hoped.) What was more concerning, was the way that the boy seemed to be reaching out to someone unconsciously, someone with a very strong bond. Why would the word for glory trigger it? Unless, it was as Kenobi had said and the word was more important than the meaning. It certainly rang a bell of some kind. He pulled up records and found surveillance footage of an attack on a droid factory. In it, he could see Kenobi and a few clones break into the control room.

Wonderful! If we could just finish up here, we can get back to the ship before Anakin and the 501st.” One of the clones tapped Kenobi on the shoulder. “General.” Its tone was exasperated, not how one should speak to a superior officer. “My dear commander Cody! What would I do without you?” “Lose your ‘saber, I’d bet.” and sure enough, the clone handed Kenobi his lightsaber, the man accepting it with a smile. “ Well then it’s a very good thing that I have you. ” One of the other clones had taken its helmet off and raised its eyebrows comedically behind Kenobi’s back, causing the other to laugh. The commander snapped around towards them and pointed. “If you two laser brains want to have latrine duty, then by all means carry on. Otherwise, I would suggest taking out the cameras!” “Sir yes sir!” The clones raised their blasters and shot right at the camera, ending the recording.

It appeared that Kenobi had formed a powerful force bond with his commander. Nevermind the clone wasn’t force sensitive or that its programming was to serve the Republic above all else. Kenobi always seemed to find a way to make things more difficult. Using the force, he lifted him and brought the still unconscious child back to the room. After placing him on the bed, he felt a warning in the force. He opened the door to the room next to it, the one where Tano and Skywalker were supposed to be. It was empty, because of course it was. Something was happening and he needed to take care of it now.


After eating, Anakin and Ahsoka went exploring. Reden had said to stay in their room, but they got bored and told him they were going to sleep. Hopefully he wouldn’t want to wake them by checking.

The long hallways were mostly empty, they only had to duck out of sight a few times when droids or people walked by. It seemed like part of the castle was more of a museum, one opened to the public. It must have been a school day, as there were several classes of children of varying ages wandering the exhibits. Anakin pulled Ahsoka through the large doors that then closed behind them.

Ahsoka got scared at the amount of people, and Anakin wasn’t thrilled about it either, so they turned around to try to go back in, only to find the door locked. “Chuba.” “Chuba!” “No Snips, don’t repeat that.” He pulled her by the hand and tried to hide from the other people. “Hey! Watch it!” Ahsoka had bumped into a Rodian girl around Anakin’s age.

“What are you doing away from your class, kid?” “She’s my little sister.” Anakin explained. “She… gets scared when she’s away from me.” The girl squinted at them. “I don't see the resemblance. Don’t worry. You can join me on the scavenger hunt. My name is Slia Graff, what’s yours?” Something told Anakin not to use his real name. “Kitster. My name is Kitster and this is Snips.”

“Nice to meet you! Are you new?” “Um, yeah. We just got here today and we’re kinda lost. We were wandering and now we need to get back inside the castle without being seen. Our… older brother is gonna get mad.” Slia laughed. “ Back into the castle? Where did you even come from?” “This old guy picked us up from a weird planet. There were clones and droids and blasters!” Slia looked thoughtful. “Oh! You must be refugees. Don’t worry, you’ll get used to Serenno soon.” “How well do you know your way around? Could you help us get into the castle?” She held up her hand. “I can help. But it’s gonna cost you.”

 

Five minutes later saw them sneaking something called an ice-cream. It froze his mouth and burned in a weird way that Anakin hadn’t felt before. It was sweet and he decided he liked it. ‘Soka was gnawing on her “popsicle”, projecting happiness and relief at the cold on her teeth. “So why do you want to break into the castle anyway?” Anakin was getting tired of telling her. “We aren’t-” “I know, I know. You were already inside and you got locked out.” He could tell that she didn’t believe him, but she was helping them so it didn’t really matter what she believed.

“You’re just lucky to have found the best sneak on Serenno to help you. Who brought you here? Count Dooku has a lot of people looking for refugees and helping them find new homes.” “That’s the guy who brought us here. Dooku.” She looked at him with disbelief. “Say I believe you, how did Count Dooku find you?” Anakin shrugged. “I think he knows Ob- our older brother, he found us and rescued us from some scary droids.” “Wow! I wasn’t sure if I believed that the 80 year old count was really out on the battlefield but I guess he is. He used to be a jedi, you know.”

That caught his interest. “Used to be?” “Yeah! He left when his brother died so he could take care of us.” “I thought he had a sister?” Slia’s face turned sad. “Lady Jenza was killed by clones near the beginning of the war.” That didn’t fit with what Anakin knew about clones. “I met clones, they’re nice!” She glared at him. “Well I don’t know if I believe you about the Count, but I know that the clones are bad. They’re just meat droids that go around hurting people.” He could tell that he wasn’t going to change her mind and remembered what Qui-gon had told him when he had caught him fighting Greedo. “You will just have to tolerate their opinion. Fighting will not change it.

He kept quiet as she led them to the large gardens which were filled with so much green and bright colors that it stunned Anakin. He had seen the ones in the Jedi Temple briefly, but the council had called them in before Qui-gon could show him the rest of them. He recognized a few flowers, some plants that Qui-gon had called a “kale”, and a type of tree that bore an odd shaped fruit called a “pear”.

Walking through the gardens, Slia ducked under some vines and hopped down into a little dug out area. They reached a small vent. “Here. I found this place a few weeks back. This should bring you into the palace proper. I hope you don’t get arrested!” She saluted Anakin and patted Ahsoka on the montrails. “Maybe I’ll see you guys again! Bye!” Slia climbed the wall of the ditch and waved one more time as she disappeared from sight. Anakin pulled out a small multi-tool that his mom had saved up for him to get and unscrewed the cover, moving it aside and ushering Ahsoka in. He climbed in after her and put the cover back on, loosely, in case they needed to go back out quickly. 

 

They crawled around the vents for a while, until Anakin felt a mental tug in one direction. Looking at Ahsoka, he could tell that she felt it too. They followed it to a grate that overlooked what looked like some kind of hospital. It was dark, too dark to see anything but the green glow coming from what looked like some sort of tank. It was just enough to cast the shadow of a person, suspended within. “We need to go, Snips. We need to go right now.” They scrambled back and fled out the vent, climbing out of the ditch. “Gah!” “I know ‘Soka, I saw it too."

They still had no idea how to get back to the castle and Obi-wan. They must have looked lost because a tall human woman came over to them, crouching down to their level. “Are you kids lost?” Ahsoka hid behind Anakin, but he couldn’t sense any ill intent from her so he shyly nodded. “Yes ma’am. We need to find our older brother but he’s inside and we don’t know how to get back inside and there was a bad feeling and-” Anakin stopped, sniffing and trying not to cry. Crying meant weakness. She seemed not to think so as she smiled softly and reached out towards Ahsoka, who had been drooping, extremely tired and Anakin couldn’t blame the three year old.

“Come with me. I’ll help you find your brother.” She began walking them away from the castle. “No, they’re back there!” She picked Ahsoka up and smiled condescendingly at Anakin. “All the classes have left, dear. We’ll go look for a security guard and they can help us find your family.” “But-” She wasn’t listening as they approached the guard.

“Hey! Ani!” They turned around to see a man running towards them. He had hair down to his shoulders, with dark skin and a yellow stripe across his face, which looked worried and relieved. “There you are! I’ve been looking for you for ages!” The man winked at Anakin, silently asking him to play along, the force giving him a feeling that he should.

“Hi! We got lost.” “I can see that.” He turned to the woman, giving her a bright smile. “And who do I have to thank for the return of my niece and nephew? I must say, you really saved me from a tight spot. Their mom is always saying to “Keep an eye on them, Quin, they’ll give you the slip if you’re not careful!” And wouldn't you know it, she was right!”

The woman was obviously taken aback. “Oh! You’re welcome, I suppose. Be more careful with them! I can’t imagine how mad I’d be at my brother if he misplaced my children. My name is Dori Gal, by the way.”

“Quin” reached out to take Ahsoka. “I cannot thank you enough, milady. Maybe I can repay you with a drink?” Dori blushed. “You make a tempting offer sir, but I’m quite happy with my husband.” “Alas, I should have known such a beauty like you would be taken.” He placed Ahsoka with Anakin and bent to kiss Dori’s hand. “Again, my many thanks for- Shit.

Anakin followed his gaze to see Dooku walking towards them, the security guard from earlier trailing behind him. “Watch your language around the children, Vos. ” Quin’s (Vos’?) demeanor completely changed. “Where’s Obi-wan, count?” “He is safe. Leave, now. I will only warn you once. Okern.” The guard stood at attention. “Take the children and this woman inside for safety. I will deal with this trespasser.” “Dooku-” Quin slammed back into a pillar, hitting his head with a loud crack that made Anakin wince. They were ushered inside, their last sight was Quin hopping to his feet and charging at Dooku.

Dori was holding Ahsoka again, trying to quiet the now crying toddler while also looking very pale. The guard, Okern, led them down a hall and into a small room with a couch and a few chairs. He pulled out a chair and gestured for the shaking woman to sit down, reaching for ‘Soka. The togruta started crying harder, burying her face in Dori’s neck in an attempt to get away from him.

The woman held her closer, seemingly unconsciously stroking her montrails comfortingly. Ahsoka began to calm down, a slight purr coming from the little girl’s chest even as tears streamed down her face. “My husband is Togrutan, our children always calm down this way.” She sat on the couch, beckoning Anakin over and offering an arm. He tucked himself into her side and could almost pretend that it was his mother holding him and humming a tune. He was very tired and scared from the day and he began to drift off.

 

He woke up to soft voices speaking nearby. “You have my gratitude, Mrs. Gal. Vos has been a thorn in the side of the CIS, but I never imagined that he would be so bold as to come here. Had you not gone towards Okern here, well I dread to think what might have happened.” Something was darker about Dooku, despite his calm demeanor. “Of course. If I may ask though, why did it seem that the children knew him?” Dooku sighed. “He is a distant relative, they may have recognized him because of this. He has no claim of custody over the children and would do well to remember that in the future.”

Dori shifted, holding Anakin a little closer. “Is he going to prison?” “I’m afraid that he escaped, but I assure you, he won’t try anything like that again. I apologize for keeping you from your family. I’ll have a guard escort you home.” “Thank you , my lord.” Dori shook Anakin lightly. “Hey sweetheart, the count is here to take you back to your room. Do you think you can walk?” He nodded sleepily, standing with her, holding her hand and trying to preserve the motherly feeling. He looked up and gave her a hug, watching as she handed the still sleeping Ahsoka to a surprised Dooku and leaned down to return it. She then turned and followed a different guard, who was radiating amusement but kept a straight face, out the doors.

“Where’s Obi-wan?” Dooku looked down at him, looking very uncomfortable with the sleeping togruta in his arms. “He is resting. There was an incident and he is very weak.” Anakin glared at him. “Obi-wan isn’t weak. He’s super strong!” “He is. But even strong people need to rest in order to continue being strong.” Anakin guessed that made sense and he was too tired to argue anyway. “Mmmmk. There's a weird tank in your basement, it feels really weird an’ Soka got scared but not me cuz I'm brave like Obi-wan” Dooku froze and Anakin ran into his legs. He took a deep breath and put his hand on Anakin’s head. “That sounds like a very bad dream, but that’s all it was, a dream. And dreams pass so quickly.” Anakin’s head felt funny, like there was some kind of blanket placed over it, not quite suffocating, but not uncomfortable either. “Why don’t you think of a more pleasant dream? Think of a peaceful place and imagine yourself there.” Anakin saw Naboo and Padme and his mom. That was a much better dream than- what was the other dream?

Chapter Text

The plan was to have Vos distract Dooku and have Cody and Rex sneak in and grab the kids. As usual, nothing went according to plan. Vos spotted Skywalker and Tano outside and tried to get them, but he was foiled by Dooku. Mace had to get Kix to sedate Quinlan as he was protesting, despite his obvious concussion, that he did not need a bacta tank. It was made much less convincing by the injured jedi making his case to a very scared shiny whom he had mistaken for Mace. Now Mace was desperately trying to reach either of the clones to let them know to get out of there, that Dooku was coming. Captain Rex reported back in at the ship, tired and disappointed, but commander Cody was nowhere to be found.

Of course they knew about Obi-wan and the commander, unlike Skywalker, Kenobi understood that attachment was very loosely defined and that romantic relationships were not only allowed, but encouraged! They had a running bet on how long Skywalker would try to hide his obvious relation with senator Amidala. Mace really liked the woman, he found her views on the order refreshing and she made for a hell of a debate partner. Still, no matter how smart she was, she also seemed to think she was keeping the "secret". They even had bets on the status of their relationship, Mace and Kit were betting a lot of credits on them being married while Shaak and Adi insisted they hadn't gone that far. Some had even taken it one step further and bet on the gender of their first child. Plo was betting on twins, one of each but Mace doubted that.

If the commander was caught... Mace could only hope that he made it out alive.

Chapter Text

Cody had felt something change, a tug on the bond. He followed it to a room guarded by a tall blond man. He didn’t want to alert anyone of his presence, so he quietly knocked the guard out, stepping into the room. Obi-wan was there, laid out in the bed with his eyes shut. Cody panicked because he just looked so still. He reached out to touch Obi-wan’s hand, to wake him up, but the boy grabbed his wrist and shot up straight in bed, eyes terrifyingly blank and he was pulled out of his body. He couldn’t see, he couldn’t feel, and all he heard was a loud rushing as he fell over.


Cody opened his eyes to see a boy looking at him in confusion. This wasn’t a vod, and he’d never met anyone else who looked his age. He guessed that the boy was about five, or thirteen in nat-born years. He realized that he was in armor that was way too big for him, so he struggled to get out. The kid, who had not stopped staring at him, it was getting a little creepy, put his hands out and closed his eyes. To his surprise, the straps of his armor came undone and he was able to escape.

This must be a jetii’ad like they were told about. Relieved that his uniform seemed to be normal sized, he stood at attention. “CC-2224, at your command sir!” The boy had jumped backwards at his sudden movement but was now coming back towards him. He sat at the edge of the bed and looked very confusedly at Cody. “Kote?” he said it slowly, like he was trying it out for the first time. Cody’s breath caught but he managed to maintain his composure. “No sir, I am CC-2224.”

The boy now scrunched his face in a way that made Cody feel weird, it was “cute?” He saw his younger brothers as cute, but this was different. “No, I’m pretty sure you’re called Kote. It means…” The boy tilted his head, trying to remember. “Glory. That’s you. Your force signature is very distinct.” Right. Jetii osik. Wait, could they read minds? “Sir, I don’t know what you mean-” The jetii’ad hopped down and reached out his hand towards Cody’s face, specifically the bandages covering the cut he had gotten during one particularly difficult training session, from a particularly difficult trainer. Cody was sure he didn’t flinch, he never flinched, but the hand retracted suddenly, as if he had. “Sorry. My name is Obi-wan Kenobi and I think I accidently made you time-travel.”

…Maybe jetii were just crazy, because Kenobi wasn’t making any sense.

“Sir-”

“Please don’t call me sir. I know it sounds crazy but I feel like if I just touch you, it’ll start to make sense.”

Kenobi quieted and Cody realized that he was waiting on him to grant him permission to touch him. He reached out his hand and met Kenobi’s, their fingers touching and a shock went through him. Flashes of a man who looked like Kenobi went through his brain. He could see him smiling, patting a togruta on the head before it switched to Kenobi, for he knew it was Kenobi, taking his jetii’kad from an outstretched hand that must be Cody’s. He blinked and saw him again, this time looking tired with several bruises and cuts. Cody saw a vod arguing with him and somehow knew Kenobi was refusing medical treatment. The vision cut to Kenobi asleep on his shoulder, a memory of keeping completely still so as to not wake him.

He would have seen more had the young Kenobi not pulled his hand away, looking at him with shock. “Well that was most informative.” He fidgeted and Cody recognized the action from one of the visions. “Um, did you see the same things I did?” Cody nodded, still unable to speak, not even knowing what to say if he could.

Cody, to his credit, did not jump when there was a knock on the door. Obi-wan did though, grabbing his hand and hissing to get under the bed. He complied a moment before the door swung open. He saw a pair of expensive looking boots and a pair of small, bare feet. “Master Dooku! Is something wrong? What happened to Ahsoka?” He paused before addressing the owner of the bare feet. “Anakin, what happened to your shoes?” A small tired voice grumbled something in reply and the bed moved slightly as Anakin climbed on.

“Everything is fine now, child. Someone attempted to kidnap young Skywalker and Tano, but I took care of it for now. I am going to be placing extra security around to ensure this does not happen again.” “Someone tried to kidnap them? Do you know who?” The older voice that must be the Master Dooku that Obi-wan addressed responded in a reluctant tone. “I’m afraid I do. And you as well.” For some reason, Cody knew that Obi-wan was turning paler. “Who?” he whispered.

“I am very sorry to inform you that it was Quinlan Vos who attempted to take them.”

“Quin wouldn’t do that! He must have had a reason.”

“Perhaps. All I know is that he attempted to take Skywalker and Tano from a young woman who was helping them after they got lost. He gave her quite a fright and managed to escape. I must now warn you that the people you knew, may not be the ones you remember. A lot can change in twenty years.”

Cody felt something cold coil around him and suddenly he couldn’t breathe. He felt his body swing out from under the bed and into a wall. “But some things seem to remain the same.” “Master Dooku, stop!” A child started crying and Cody felt the pressure on his throat lessen, just enough for him to stay conscious. “Kenobi, I am taking care of an intruder, stay out of my way.” Obi-wan didn’t listen and was suddenly between Dooku and Cody, standing with his arms spread out like he was shielding him. And maybe he was, as Cody dropped to the floor, gasping for breath.

Obi-wan turned his back to Dooku, something Cody would advise against, and dropped down to him, reaching out to him with a look of pleading. Trust me. And to Cody’s surprise, he did. Cody grabbed his wrist and the two fell back into another memory, one much clearer than before.

They were standing in the doorway of a medbay, looking at a small togruta lying in a bed, connected to machines. Next to her was a young man who had fallen asleep while holding her hand, waiting for her to wake up. A familiar looking clone was pacing, keeping watch over the two. Cody briefly registered him as Rex before he was distracted by the conversation happening.

“Is she going to be alright, general?” Older Obi-wan nodded. “Ahsoka is tough. I just wish she didn’t have to be. And Cody, we’re off duty and I’ve had a very tiring day. Please don’t call me general.” “Alright cyar’ika. I’m just glad I’m not the one to tell the Wolffepack about this. Wolffe would try to take on the entire clanker army and Dooku by himself for hurting his vod’ika.” Older Obi-wan smiled. “I’m quite sure Master Plo would be right beside him, if not leading the march.”

They began walking away. “Not so fast.” They both winced as they turned around to see an angry looking medic, “Kix” his brain told him. “Ah yes, I assure you we are quite fine. You should focus on those who need more desperate attention.” “Cut the crap Kenobi. We can do this the easy way, or the hard way.” Obi-wan rubbed the back of his neck. “Well-” “I’ll take care of him, Kix.” Kix nodded. “If both of you don’t get some rest, I will be forced to take drastic measures. I am prepared to use both guilt tripping and stunners. Get lost.” He shooed them out and shut the door behind him.

“I have some reports to finish, I trust I will see you in the morning?” Cody continued to follow Obi-wan, past the commander’s quarters. “I’m not going to face the wrath of another medic by allowing you to stay up. Waxer and Boil can file the reports.” Obi-wan opened his mouth to protest but Cody cut him off. “I will not sleep until you do.” They had reached their destination and entered what must be Obi-wan’s quarters. “And just how are you going to ensure that? Are you going to camp out here all night?” Cody grinned. “If I have to.” “Very well, you have convinced me. Now let's get some sleep, shall we?”

The vision blurred and came back into focus on the two of them asleep in the same bed. Backs to each other, but holding hands. More images of them together swirled about, some in battle, some not. The only consistent thing was the feeling of safety Cody had, just being with Obi-wan Kenobi. He looked up and saw the boy Obi-wan staring back at him. They locked eyes and Cody felt something click. “Oh.” Obi-wan must have felt it too because he tightened his grip and his eyes seemed to be glowing. “Oh.” Then everything went black.

Chapter Text

This was not going well. Dooku should have known that Vos was a distraction and now he had a deaged clone as well. Even better, it seemed to be the clone that Kenobi had formed a force bond with, if their interaction was anything to go by.

Tano was crying and Skywalker was looking torn between staying with her and going over to Kenobi, who was shakily standing up alongside the clone, looking at Dooku with distrust. He stepped back and allowed Kenobi to bring the clone over to the bed, where he sat it down and picked up Tano, Skywalker scrambling to hold his arm and hide behind him. She was still crying and reached out to the clone. “Ah. Ah!” Kenobi let her crawl over to it and she climbed onto its lap, much to its apparent discomfort. She sniffed and put her hand on its cheek, patting it lightly. “Not Rek.” “That’s right Ahsoka, he’s not Rex.” Kenobi addressed the girl without taking his eyes off of Dooku. “He’s Cody.” “Koh.” The clone looked at her with wide eyes and hesitantly shifted her into a more comfortable position. At least she had stopped crying.

“Master Dooku. I think I’d like to contact the temple now please.” Kenobi was reaching for his lightsaber. This was what he had been hoping to avoid. It’s not like he could just get rid of the clone, it would surely make Kenobi upset and he didn’t know how strong the bond was. If he killed it, the whiplash could harm this younger version of the man who made it.

He moved closer until Kenobi ignited his blade, hand only slightly shaking. “I’m afraid that isn’t possible at the moment.”

“Why not?”

“There are communications issues.”

“Why?” To his surprise, Skywalker quietly answered. “Slia said there’s a war. A big one.”

Whoever “Slia” was, Dooku would have to send them a gift basket. “What?” For the first time since he had put himself in front of the clone, Kenobi’s face changed to one of confusion. “Skywalker is correct. There is a galaxy-wide war going on and the jedi are leading armies.”

“No. No. How?” Kenobi was shaking his head and looked like he was about to fall over.

“Hand me your saber, child. You are going to injure yourself with it.” The blade deactivated and Dooku summoned it without any resistance. He pulled out his comlink and activated it. “Asajj, please tell Amie that we have another guest, then come to Kenobi’s quarters.” “Yes master.” She heeded his serious tone and didn’t crack any jokes.

Kenobi was still having a crisis. “Jedi aren’t supposed to lead armies, but I was leading armies and there were droids and the men with armor, the clones were dying and so were jedi and all types of people- Is that why the force feels so wrong?” Dooku didn’t answer. He knew anything he said would go unheard as the boy spiraled, wringing his hands with nails digging into his skin.

“-but they are actually younger, I-” The clone moved, handing Tano to Skywalker and kneeling in front of Kenobi, glaring over its shoulder at Dooku. It hovered its hands just above Kenobi’s arms, hesitant to touch him. “Um, Obi-wan. Can I touch you?” Kenobi nodded, still shaking. “Ok. I’m going to hold your hands. You can squeeze my hand if you need to, you don’t have to worry about hurting me.” It gently pulled his hands away from each other. “That’s good. Now I’m going to need you to breathe with me.”

Dooku watched with interest as it led Kenobi through a breathing exercise until he seemed to come back to himself. Maybe he could use the clone as a sort of emotional support for Kenobi. He heard a click and turned to glare at Ventress, who was holding a holo-cam. She silently shrugged and put it away.


Ahsoka was tired of being passed around like a hot potato. First that lady had held her, and that was fine, then a guy that felt familiar held her for a moment, then the lady again. This time the lady held her a little too tightly and Ahsoka felt like she was going to choke on the woman’s fear. She started crying and the lady helped, but then she tried to pass her off to that guard!

She had fallen asleep in the lady’s arms, but woke up being held by the old man, Dooku. She considered biting him, but he felt less yucky than before and also he was very quiet so she didn’t. She didn’t think he had any experience holding younglings before, so she shifted into a more comfortable position.

Then she was in the bed with Obi-wan and Ani, when Dooku started hurting a guy who looked familiar. She started crying again, half because he looked like Rex and half because it suddenly felt really cold on the inside. Before she knew it, she was in Obi-wan’s lap again. She squirmed and crawled over to Not-Rex. He felt nervous, but she knew that he just wanted to be helpful and didn’t know how. She informed him that he was indeed, not Rex, and Obi-wan told her that his name is Cody. She decided she liked Cody. He knew how to hold her.

Then she was passed off again, back to Ani who pulled a small metal thing from his pocket and handed it to her to gnaw on. She really loves Ani. She pushed love to him and he squeezed her in return. A lady snuck into the room and took a picture of Obi-wan and Cody. She felt familiar but not in a good way. Her gut was telling her that the woman couldn’t be trusted. Or maybe she was just hungry again. There was a lot of quiet for her montrails, but not for her head. She felt like she might start crying again, things were just too confusing. She had too many big thoughts in her head and she couldn’t figure them out.

“Bah.” She pushed the metal thing at the lady, fast. The lady dodged it and laughed quietly, sending it back at a much slower pace. “Master, maybe I should take the younglings to a different room.” Dooku nodded. “I think that would be wise.” Ahsoka was all for leaving the room, it was too cold and sad now. She pulled Anakin towards the door and he sleepily followed. They walked to the room next door and Ani went right to the bed and fell asleep. Ahsoka looked suspiciously at the lady, who just stared back. Suddenly the lady stuck her tongue out at her!

“Ani sleep. Soka play.” Ahsoka crawled out of Ani’s grip and walked over to the lady. “Hunt?” The lady looked delighted and leaned down to pick her up, pausing. “Can I pick you up?” Ahsoka decided she could hold her and reached up her arms. She pointed to herself. “M Soka” she poked the lady. “You?” “I’m your new auntie Asajj!” “Asa?” “Close. Asajj.” “Saj” “That’ll do. Now I heard you wanted to hunt.”


There were too many thoughts swirling in Obi-wan’s head, he couldn’t focus on any one of them, just pictures and words and feelings. He held on to Cody’s hand like a lifeline, his presence a solid rock in a chaotic storm. He was vaguely aware of Anakin and Ahsoka leaving and the cold darkness he had felt coming from Dooku retreating behind the man’s shields.

“Cody?” “Yes si- Obi-wan?” He opened his eyes to meet Cody’s, a feeling of calm coming over him from the warm gaze. “Are you hungry?” As if summoned, Amie came into the room, took one look at Cody and melted. “Well aren’t you a handsome young man! You must be the extra guest that our distinguished count neglected to inform me of.” She looked at Dooku pointedly who stepped back. “Had I known, I would have told you. I assure you, I would never assume to hide anything from your omniscience.” She tsked and moved around the tall man to come look at Cody closely. “Hm. We’ll have to work on you. You are far too skinny.” Cody looked confused. “I assure you ma’am, I am the ideal weight for my age and size.” She shook her head. “Where do you find these children? Nevermind, make sure that you are present for the meal in exactly three hours.” She bustled out of the room.

“Master Dooku.” Dooku looked at him and Obi-wan knew he was taking notice that he was still holding Cody’s hand. He dropped it quickly, sure his face was burning. He was thankful that Dooku did not point his awkwardness out. “How long were you planning on keeping me in the dark about the war?”

“I made a decision and I stand by it. You are far too young to be burdened with the news and after hearing about your recent experience, I deemed it best to ease you into it. Judging by your reaction, I was correct.” Obi-wan hated that Dooku was right.

“But now I know about it! And you said that the clones on Januss were the enemy.” “Did I?” Obi-wan thought back and realized he hadn’t. “But why would they think you were going to hurt us? Don’t they know that you’re a jedi? Cody was there!” He had just realized it as it came out of his mouth. “He was bigger but he was there and he was scared for us! For me.”

Dooku didn’t even flinch. “I told you that I was deep undercover, yes?” Obi-wan nodded, he could see where this was going but he wasn’t sure he trusted it. “I am undercover with the intention of figuring out the identity of a sith lord by the name of Sidious.” The sith had been gone for generations! “They came back?” “They never left.” Dooku looked at Obi-wan with something akin to pity. “It was a Sith apprentice that killed your master. One that you then killed.” He had killed a sith? Doing the math, he couldn’t have been much older than twenty.

“I killed a sith?”

“I think you should come with me. I have some things you will likely want to see.” Obi-wan looked back at Cody, unsure if he could leave him. Dooku sighed. “What’s your number?” Cody stood at attention and to Obi-wan’s horror responded; “CC-2224 sir.” He looked at Dooku in disbelief. “He has a name.” He caught a flash of annoyance from Dooku and nearly got whiplash from how fast it was hidden behind airtight shields. “Of course. Commander Cody, was it?” “Yes sir.” “Commander Cody may come as well.”

They walked down yet another unfamiliar hallway (seriously, how big was this place?) and reached another office-like space. There was a table with a holoprojector in the middle and Dooku went to it, pressing a few buttons. A hologram opened and showed several unlabeled files. Dooku opened one and Obi-wan took a step back in surprise as security cam footage of what looked like a reactor room began to play.

He held his breath as his master, gray hair visible despite the monochrome holo, followed a terrifying red and black zabrak past the shield doors and into the room. He watched as they dueled, so entranced by the dance-like duel that he almost didn’t catch the moment where his master was stunned by a blow to the head. He certainly caught the moment after.

His attention was drawn to a yell from behind the shield. There he saw a young man he knew to be him, trapped and unable to help his master. “No.” His whisper echoed the shout as the rays deactivated and his older self violently attacked the sith, obviously using anger and teetering on the edge of the darkside. He watched as the sith knocked him off the platform and kicked his lightsaber into the abyss that was the reactor.

He saw Qui-gon’s saber fly to his hand and the sith be cut in two. His older self ran to his dying master and held him, the words exchanged not caught by the cams. Qui-gon touched his face and his hand dropped. Older him held onto his master’s body long after he had passed. The recording ended with him rocking as he cried over the body of his master, the anger flooding out of him, replaced with grief. He looked up and saw that Dooku hadn’t been watching the hologram, just observing Obi-wan’s face with an unreadable expression. “Are there more?” 

"... Yes."

“I need to see them.”

Chapter Text

“Of course, Master Yoda. I hope you pass along my best to Masters Kenobi and Skywalker.”

Palpatine grimaced as he hung up, he knew the jedi were hiding something from him but he couldn’t push without acting suspicious. Dooku had been silent recently, maybe he knew something about the pair. He had been meaning to contact him anyway, the nightsister, Ventress, was getting too powerful. She would have to be disposed of and if it meant taking out all the nightsisters, especially Talzin with whom he had a …complicated relationship, even better. The usual boy meets girl, girl is a witch, boy is a sith, they have some adventures, try to kill each other, cut off contact, a few years go by, boy kidnaps girl’s infant son, trains him as a sith, sends him to his death, etc. etc. She had such an overreaction.

He put his hood up and called Dooku. “What is thy bidding, master.”  “Arise, Tyrannus. Have you heard that Skywalker and Kenobi are unaccounted for? I wondered if you had anything to do with it, I told you, you could have Kenobi, but Skywalker is mine.” Dooku nodded. “I have heard rumors, but my apprentice tells me that they are mostly false.”

“So you had nothing to do with it?” “I did not say that. I felt a disturbance in the force, a distress signal through the lineage bond I am unable to get rid of. I followed it, as I got closer, I recognized it as Kenobi, unrefined and childlike, but Kenobi nonetheless.” This was interesting, Palpatine had been aware of his apprentice’s soft spot for the young jedi master, but also of the distaste Kenobi felt for him. It did not make sense that Kenobi would call out if there was a chance that Dooku would hear it.

“I pursued the signature and found three younglings hiding in a cave. I believe them to be Kenobi, Skywalker, and Tano, somehow de aged into younglings. Tano, being the youngest, seems to be around three standard years old. Skywalker is nine and Kenobi is thirteen.” Tano was that togruta brat Yoda had assigned to Anakin. She would need to be taken care of in the future, it was clear that she would keep him in the light.

An impressionable young Anakin was quite possibly a problem. He had worked hard this past decade to gain Anakin’s complete trust, and honestly wasn’t sure if he had it in him to condition the boy a second time. Anakin had been severely suspicious of Palpatine at first, and it had taken months of subtle force suggestions to even get the boy to open up to him. Kenobi had been a problem then, but now… now he might be the key to accessing Anakin’s power if they cannot find a way to age them back.

Back-up plan firmly in place, Palpatine spoke; “I assume that you have them?” “Yes. Kenobi recognized me as a Jedi master and I have not corrected him. It is better that he stay here of his own free will rather than try to contain the three of them.” “I see. I believe it is time for me to visit an old friend. Mother Talzin may know how to fix this mess. I trust you can handle the situation in the meantime?” “Yes master.” “Good.” He hung up and sat at his desk, contemplating this new development. Yes, it may set back his plan, but it might just prove to be beneficial. He pushed a button on his desk. “Have my ship prepared for travel to Dathomir, I seem to have business there.”

Chapter Text

“You’ll never guess what I found.”

“Coming from you, Averross, I’m sure I don’t want to.” Mace reluctantly turned around to see Rael standing, looking very proud of himself with his arm around a very grumpy looking blond man.

“Master Windu. It’s a pleasure to see you.”

“You as well, knight Sterin”

“Fee here heard that we were having a family reunion and didn’t want to miss it!”

Feemor shut his eyes and took a deep breath, not something Mace recommended for someone in Rael’s armpit, and spoke with an annoyed tone. “He showed up at my extraction and kidnapped me.” He shrugged the shorter man’s arm off. “Of course, when he told me the situation, I came willingly.”

Mace was going to slam his head into a wall. “What part of “small secret mission” did you not understand?” Rael was about to speak but Feemor interrupted him. “I’m glad he told me, Master. I’m not as impulsive as the others in my lineage so you won’t have to worry about me running into some situations but I am going to be a part of this.”

Having a sensible person on the team was pretty hard to refuse. “Fine. Just keep your uncle out of trouble, will you?”


“Rael. You look better, padawan.”

“Not your padawan.” Rael was in a new place and looked cleaner. Not clean exactly, cleaner.

“Are-” he paused and glared at the floor, a motion so familiar, Dooku half expected to hear an ashamed child asking for help after completely wrecking some project. “Are they alright?” He did not have to specify who “they” were. “They are fine. Ventress seems quite taken with Tano. Not to worry.” he interjected as he saw Rael’s face twist. “Asajj is very good with children, or so I’m told.”

A knock sounded and Rael yelled. “I’ll be there in a minute!” Dooku raised an eyebrow. “Am I to assume that this is not an official call then?” “You can assume whatever you want you old piece of shit.” The call ended. Dooku really didn’t want to receive any other calls so he directed all incoming calls to a very polite lady who would talk them in circles until they hung up. He had other matters to attend to.

Kenobi was waiting for him to bring holos and he needed to edit some of them before bringing them out. He did a mental check; Skywalker was asleep in his room, Tano was with Asajj, and Kenobi was with the clone in the next room over, quietly talking as they ate the food that Amie had brought out for them.

He chose a holo of Kenobi fighting Grievous, that horrible cyborg, and one of Skywalker and Tano destroying a whole troop of battle droids. After a moment’s consideration, he deleted the security holo he had been looking at earlier. Better to not encourage the bond.

He contemplated Sidious’ message, he didn’t really care if his master took Skywalker and wouldn’t mind if he took Tano (though he shuddered to think what the sith would do with the toddler.) but he wasn’t sure about Obi-wan.

He had been planning on keeping him, of course, but how could he be sure Sidious would keep his word and stay away from the boy? How would he react to Skywalker disappearing?

He was a smart child, he would eventually figure things out, but Dooku hoped to have him as his apprentice before he did. Then there was the matter of the clone. Dooku was under no delusion that he was privy to anywhere near all of his master’s plan, but he knew it had something to do with the clones and the control chips in their brains. He would have to do further research into it, seeing how strong the bond was.


Ahsoka hunched low to the ground, tracking the movement easily through the cracks in the vents. She bared her teeth and pounced, launching herself onto the head of a human man carrying something that smelled really good. He flailed his arms, trying to get her off and dropped the plate, revealing a very tasty looking chunk of meat. She grabbed it with her teeth and dragged it back to Asajj, who was waiting around the corner.

“Good job!” She picked her and her prey up, swinging her around. “Let’s go find a place to eat, ok?”

,,,,

They were in an empty kitchen. Ahsoka was sitting cross-legged on the counter, Asajj sitting next to her, legs hanging over the side. They were both tearing into the meat and Asajj was ripping off strips for Ahsoka to make it easier for her to eat. She had been delighted when she bared her fangs at the older woman, Asajj bared her own in response. “Good hunt, kid.”

All the food was making her a little sleepy so she yawned and crawled into a surprised Asajj’s lap. “Good hunt” she responded as she tucked her head into Asajj’s shoulder, snuggling into the woman’s cool pale skin. She found that she smelled nice, like soil and flowers and something sharper.

“Like it when you’re warm.” she informed Asajj. “Don’t be cold.” She felt Asajj emit even warmer feelings as she hesitantly stroked her montrails. "G'nite Sajj."


Holy shit the kid was so cute. Ventress had dueled the teenager and knew she was exceptionally light but this little… being was so pure and trusting and bloodthirsty. She decided there and then that she would never let anything happen to Ahsoka Tano, be it in this age or another.

“She said she liked it when I was warm.” She was quietly ranting to her sister, Karis, with Ahsoka asleep on her hip. Karis was, as usual, unhelpful.

“I think this means you’re a mother now! Congratulations!”

“Hilarious.”

Karis stopped laughing and tilted her head. “We have a visitor, someone very strong in the dark side. They’re… they’re like a void. I have to go, Talzin is calling. Take good care of my new niece!” Karis blew a kiss through her mask and hung up.

Ventress frowned, the only person she knew of with that kind of aura was the legends of the man who took Mother Talzin’s son, someone who Ventress had reasoned to be Dooku’s mysterious master. Maybe he would know something.

Ventress felt very protective of her sisters, they were a constant bond that had comforted her through her bad times. Even when she didn’t know who they were, she always had whispers of comfort and encouragement. She was very happy to finally meet them when Dooku made the Nightsister connection and encouraged her to visit her homeworld. She was baptized a Nightsister and still visited from time to time.

She prayed to the winged goddess that the sith master wasn’t there to hurt them.


Mace was going to punt Yoda off the highest tower in the temple. Maybe throw himself off too. He could not deal with this disaster of a lineage. It seemed like everytime he turned his back, another one popped up and got involved in this VERY SECRET mission, not to mention Vos.

Quinlan was still claiming that he had not mistaken a shiny for Mace despite being shown the security holo. He eventually claimed that the helmet threw him off, because the helmet was “round and smooth on the top, just like Mace’s head!” Last he heard, the shiny’s brothers had christened him with a new name.

“Smooth” wasn’t complaining much, he was very happy to have his name printed over his designation on his bunk and apparently, the armor wasn’t the only thing smooth about him. Gossip was that he was extremely good at sweet-talking people into getting extra pillows. (For some reason, he really liked pillows.)

 

Chapter Text

Karis stood beside Mother Talzin, the matriarch’s magic keeping the sith from diving into their minds. “Mother Talzin.” The hooded figure spoke with familiarity, sounding almost welcoming, even though they were the "guest".

“How wonderful it is to see you again my friend.”

Talzin’s voice echoed through the area. “You presume too much Sidious. You are not welcome here.”

Karis had to admit, although she sometimes found Mother Talzin to be too dramatic and invasive, the presence she emitted was a comforting shield against the terrifyingly void sith.

“I know. But I come to you with interesting news, a magic unheard of before.”  “I find that difficult to believe.” Sidious grinned from under his hood. “Why else would I risk coming here, alone?”

Karis could hear the whispers among her sisters, the unease that permeated the air. “Speak then, and I will decide if it is worth my time.” Sidious bowed, respect absent from the gesture. “It has come to my attention that an odd phenomenon has occurred. Three jedi, two adult human males and one teenage togruta female, all in different places on the same planet, simultaneously disappeared.” He paused for dramatic effect. “In their place were children, specifically their younger selves with no memory beyond their physical age.” Mother Talzin was intrigued, Karis could tell.

“And?” “And I will tell you more once we are alone.” The two glared at each other for a few seconds, and it felt like the air was dead. There was no wind in the trees, no bugs skitting across the ground, just eerie silence. “Very well. Follow me.” Mother Talzin raised her hand to signal Karis and the others to disperse. “Karis, Saira, with me.” “I said alone Talzin.” “I am not so foolish anymore, Sheev. They will be silent.” Saira and Karis looked at each other and walked behind the two, Sidious taking Talzin’s arm despite being a good foot shorter than her.

They arrived at the guest hall, where they sat, Saira and Karis standing guard at Talzin’s side. Karis listened attentively to the conversation, despite being quite a bit lost on some of the topics discussed. They spoke of force bonds, lineages, planets, and midichlorians. She tried to absorb the information, but her attention was caught when the sith said a newly familiar name. “Ahsoka Tano is of no worry as she is now, but she has been an unforeseen obstacle and what better opportunity than when she’s at her most vulnerable?” Mother Talzin shielded Karis’ shock from Sidious but gave her a look that meant they were discussing this later. “I see. We will confer on the information you have given us. Leave.” Sidious bowed mockingly as he was escorted out. “I look forward to your call.”

As soon as they felt his oily presence leave the planet, Talzin turned to Karis. “Explain, dear.” Karis filled her in on how Asajj had fallen in love with the toddler and that she had sworn to protect her with her life. “This is interesting. Well, one thing is certain, we will not allow any harm to come to Asajj’s ward. In any case, it would do us well to further study this.”