DISCLARMER: This is a blanket disclaimer, I will NOT be repeating it! So please pay attention! I don't own anything of 'Star Wars Rebels.' Not the names, places, characters, concept, nothing! They belong to the creators/writer/authors/ect which does not include me, sadly.
Sort of extended summary/explanation: This is related to my other work Weight of Shadows, but you don't need to read it to understand what's going on. Basically this is about Ezra and my OC, that person, trying to figure out how to survive each other, stormtroopers, starvation and everything in between while that person tries to teach Ezra how to survive. This was meant to be a one shot but it got longer than I intended so I decided to post it as a bunch of little one shots. The picture should make sense in the end. If you can't figure it out after the last chapter, just pm me and I'll explain it.
Oh, and for those who are reading my other work this won't count as this weeks update.
Italicized words = memories, people talking over com devices, and general emphasis.
Underlined words = alien/non 'Basic' language
Line breaks indicate changes in perspective, time lapses, scene changes, and the like.
The Rule Above All Rules
She tossed and turned, but it didn't help her fall asleep. Then again, she was on the ground and dirt was only so comfortable. She sighed and rolled back over again, facing the boy next to her.
He was asleep, but after what he'd been through it had only been a matter of time before he collapsed. Noticing he was shivering she slid a little closer, sharing her warmth, not that she was much warmer than he was but every little bit helped.
She studied the boy, taking in the soft sounds of his breathing and the way he looked so peaceful, free of the worries and pain that would haunt him the instant he woke up. Something bitter rose up inside her and she looked away, staring unseeingly at the sky above.
The smart thing to do would be to leave, he would only make surviving harder. He couldn't steal, he couldn't sneak, he couldn't even keep a look out. He was a liability, one she couldn't afford. . .At least that's what her logical, survivalist mindset argued, but - but she couldn't leave him. Every time she even thought about it pain twisted in her chest and his eyes, so full of hope and trust, filled her head.
She tugged her hat over her eyes. No she couldn't leave him and she couldn't let him get hurt, that thought hurt even more than thinking about leaving, but that left only 2 options. Option 1: she could do everything herself, find the food, the places to sleep, clothes when they needed them, and completely shelter him from everything. Option 2: teach him what she knew, teach him to survive, and hope against all odds he kept that innocence of his; something she'd lost so long ago she couldn't even remember it anymore.
She didn't even think about the first before dismissing it, there was simply no way she could keep them both alive on her own. The other, well, she'd better start right away if they were going to last the month.
A plan in place she turned back the boy. Now if she could just get some sleep. . .
Morning came far too quickly and it found the boy and girl on the outskirts of the city. They sat, backs to the buildings, as the girl spoke.
"The rule I want you to remember more than anything, the rule that needs to rule your life, the one you absolutely must follow is this: your life is more important than anything, more important than food, more important than water, more important than me."
He opened his mouth to protest but she cut him off.
"No, Ezra. You will protect your life. I don't care how you do it, what you have to sacrifice, who you have to hurt. You stay alive!" Her eyes stared into his with an intensity that made his water. She blinked and hugged him close. "I need to know you will do whatever it takes to stay alive. Please?"
"I will," he said, hugging her back just as hard.
"I can't lose you, Mi Cielo." She mumbled into his hair. "I need you."
He tightened his grip and pretended not to notice that she was shaking or that his hair was oddly wet.
Rule# 1 and Rule# 2
"Ok. Ok. Oooooh kaaaay." The mumbled words followed the girl as she paced back and forth in front of a sleepy eyed, sad looking boy. He yawned and her eyes snapped to him.
"Ok, wake up!" She clapped her hands together loudly and the boy jumped, sitting bolt upright and looking wildly around. Seeing no danger he slumped back against the wall and glowered tiredly at the person in front of him. She ignored him, tapping a finger against her chin as she thought.
"There are several things you need to know if you want to even think about staying alive." She sat down in front of him and he blinked at her, eyes wide. "These are the street rat's rules to survival if ya will. Rule# 1: the only person that will always be there for you is yourself. Repeat it."
"The only person who will always be there for y–"
"–Me is you–"
"The only person who will always be there for me is m-myself?"
"Th-the only p-person who'll always b-be there for m-me is myself!" he shouted, tears burning his eyes. She frowned as he curled in on himself.
"Hey, what's wrong?"
He shook his head, refusing to look at her.
He sniffed and she flinched. Tears weren't something she was used to dealing with, though she should be given how much he'd shed the past week.
"Mi Cielo," she grabbed his shoulders and shook him. "Tell me what's wrong!"
She yelped as she was suddenly tackled by a sobbing 7 year old.
"You s-said. ! .with me. . .but n-Now. . .l-leav-Ving. . .don't. ! .w-wAnt. . .s-s-stay An-and. . ."
She had no idea what he was saying what with the way his face was buried in her jacket and the uncontrollable sobbing.
"M-Mi Cielo**?" Her voice quivered slightly and she swallowed, rubbing the boy on the back. "Please stop. I-I can't understand you."
The boy jerked back, tears and snot dripping down his face.
"Don't go!" he yelled and tackled her again. "Please don't go!"
"Wha-why would you. . .Oh!" Understanding hit her and she slapped a hand over her face. Taking a deep breath she gently pushed the boy off her and wiped his face with her already stained jacket. She forced him to look at her and said in the firmest voice she could manage, "Ezra, I'm not going to leave you."
"B-but you said–!"
"I know, but," she sighed and tugged at her hat. "Look, I'm not going to leave you, ever, unless you want me to. What I meant," she continued quickly, speaking over his protests, "what the rule means is that I want you act like you can only count on yourself. That way, just in case we get separated or something, you know what to do, ok?*"
He nodded, wiping his eyes and sliding closer to her. "You'll stay with me? No matter what?"
She nodded. "As long as you need me or want me."
He bit his lip and looked at her, eyes burning wetly. "Promise me! Promise me you won't leave, ever, no matter what."
She looked shocked for a minute and then her shoulders slumped. "Come here."
He did and they huddled close together.
"Rule# 2: words can be lies, don't trust them. Actions. . .actions will always be more honest than words. So, no, I won't promise you." She felt him stiffen and the hurt that flashed across his face caused her heart to twist painfully. She tightened her grip on him. "But! I will work hard every day to prove you can trust me, when – when I say won't go. That. . .That's the only sort of 'promise' I can give."
There was a long silence and then finally a tired, small voice answered.
"You better work really hard then."
She let out a strangled sound somewhere between a laugh and a sob and flicked him on the head.
"Better make it worth my time then," came the mumbled reply, though there was no hiding the relief in the voice. He smiled and wiggled a little closer. Neither would admit it, but they needed each other and they needed to know the other cared because if there was one thing they did know, it was that no one else did.
Ok, this turned out way angstier than I had intended, but the rest should be more on the funny/fluffy side.
As for the first part, I love working with my OC, that person, and I've been toying with ideas on stuff from their perspective and this just screamed "opportunity" to me, hope you liked the peak inside that person's mind.
* This might have confused some people and I'm not sure I did a good job explaining it so basically here's what happened: The way Ezra understood the rule was that it implied that he couldn't count on her to be there, that she was going to leave him. Seeing as this takes place about a week or so after his parents were taken he's a little emotional and full of insecurities right now, so when he thought she was going to leave him he got a bit hysterical. Which also, I think, explains his need for her to promise never to leave him and his clinginess. What she does when she understands what's going on is try to reassure him that, no, she doesn't plan on leaving him unless he wants to get rid of her. (She's got her own issues, but they're not really part of the story -this one anyway, maybe I'll do something with her in a different story but not right now!) Ok, hope that clears up any misunderstandings.
** OH! The whole 'Mi Cielo' thing, that is part of the other story and will be explained in one of the yet to be posted chapters, so if you're curious about it that's where the answer will be (eventually, haven't quite gotten there yet). And yes, I know the asterisks are out of order, I just didn't feel like rewriting it (again T-T).