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Take a Break

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It sat as poorly on the Jedi as the troops they had served with. While many of the men were settling on planets hard-used and left with devastated populations from the war, some had been incapable of laying aside the military and pledged their service to their Jedi. The hastily formed Auxiliary Jedi Corps was organized for them, and for those Jedi that had found the sudden end of the war difficult to come to grips with.

Aayla had not thought she would be one of those, but after only a month back in the Temple, she had requested to rejoin the Auxiliaries. That had suited Commander Bly more than well enough, and he had requested her to be reassigned to his unit. While the rank of General had been laid aside, every auxiliary unit treated their Jedi Attaché with the same deference and respect as before.

What neither of them expected, or necessarily wanted, was to be placed on leave with orders to concentrate on evaluating their psychiatric health. That the order had been signed by Chief Medic Kix and Chief Master Healer Vokara Che meant no amount of appealing was going to get the orders overturned. The most Aayla and Bly could hope for, now that they were on some tropical beach, watching their troops discover the sand and surf and all the shenanigans that went with that, was for a nest of die-hard Seppies to turn up.

"I thought you longed for peace."

Aayla looked at Bly, adjusting her lekku to expose her shoulders more to the sun. "I wanted the dying to end. But I feel a need to help, one that is not being requested in the Core. With you and our men, maybe I can find that need's fulfillment."

"If we survive this leave," Bly said, not quite growling it.

She had to smile; he was as consummately a man of action as Wolffe, it seemed. "It's not so bad, my friend." She reached out toward his hand, noting he had finally accepted the physical contact by the way he turned his fingers to entwine with hers.

He did look at her, at how much younger she seemed with the weight of the war off her features. "You came back to us," he said. "That makes it better."

"I'd missed you."

They settled then, watching their men, growing closer to each other.