Disclaimer: Star Wars belongs to Disney and is the intellectual property of George Lucas. He created the sandbox. I'm making no money off of this and am simply destroying the sandcastles.
Title: Where It Is
Characters: Ahsoka Tano, Captain Rex and Cut & Suu Lawquane
Genre: Angst, Romance, Hurt/Comfort, Family
Era: One week post Season 5, Episode 20, AU
Summary: After Rex is sent after Ahsoka by Anakin, they leave Coruscant together and head to Saleucami to give Ahsoka the space she needs to heal, recover and decide what to do with the rest of her life.
Author's Note: This story is a direct sequel to the Short Story "Gone Without Goodbye" which is embedded within the last few chapters of my "Captain & Commander: Rexsoka AU" stories.
Author's Note 2: This fic was inspired, partly, by the song "That's Where It Is" by Carrie Underwood. It is pre-written [2013-2016] and will be posted with weekly updates.
Where It Is
Lawquane Homestead - Saleucami
1 week post Ahsoka leaving the Jedi Order
"Do not tell me that you miss me already," the teasing voice of his wife came across the comlink as she picked up the other end. "You have not been gone for more than an hour."
"An hour too long," Cut agree with a faint smile, his gaze on the unremarkable speeder that was headed straight towards the farm house and his family. "Are we expecting company, Suu?"
"You know we are not."
"Well, you're about to have some," he told her, all traces of his smile gone as he turned back to the eopie that was his ride. "I'll be home as soon as I can."
"You too." Flipping the comlink off, Cut leapt to the back of his mount and flicked the reigns as he turned it towards home.
"Jek!" Shaeeah hissed at her brother with a frown as he peaked through the viewport at the speeder that was coming towards the house. "Mom said to keep low. Get down!"
"They can't see me, Shaeeah," he returned excitedly, ignoring her instruction, "don't you want to know who's coming?"
"Nobody comes here," she returned haughtily, crawling up to join him on the bed. "Unless they want to trade."
"But traders don't come in speeders."
"I know that! Why do you think mom told us to stay out of sight?"
Jek let out a whoop of excitement as the speeder slowed and dashed away, racing for the door with a glad cry.
"Jek!" Shaeeah , mindful of her mother's instruction to watch her brother, went racing after him. He was already at the bottom of the stairs by the time she was at the top, and out the door before she could grab him. "Jek - stop!"
Another whoop from outside was accompanied by a cry of, "You came back!" and her mother's voice scolding her brother with his full name. Reaching the door, and knowing she'd get just as scolded, if not worse, for not controlling Jek, Shaeeah peaked out - and stopped.
Jek was across the yard and in the arms of a blond haired clone that Shaeeah had never expected to see again, giving him a powerful hug. A clone her father had repeatedly called family since his departure to the point that she and Jek not only remembered him in their memories, but as a part of their lives. He was their father's brother - a brother none of them had expected to return.
Unintentionally following in her brother's footsteps, Shaeeah darted from the house, past her mother, and launched herself at the man who'd helped her father keep them safe almost two years before. Rex crouched as she neared and lunged at him, wrapping her arms around him with youthful enthusiasm. His chuckle was as familiar as her fathers and Shaeeah grinned, hugging him tight. "We didn't know you were coming!"
Reluctantly detaching herself from Rex, Shaeeah glanced at her mother sheepishly. "Sorry, mom. Sorry Uncle Rex."
"It's impolite to greet one guest and not another," Suu's voice was calm as she met Shaeeah's, drawing her gaze to the left.
It was only then that Shaeeah noted her Uncle wasn't alone. Standing to his left, just behind him, was a female of a species she'd never seen before. Tugging on Jek, she pulled him away from Rex.
As he was released, Rex, still on one knee, turned and stretched one hand out to the young female before his gaze turned back to them. "Shaeeah, Jek, this is Ahsoka Tano. Ahsoka is a very good friend of mine." He beckoned to her and Ahsoka drew closer, visibly curious. "I hope she'll be a good friend of yours, too."
Shaeeah pulled Jek behind her, evaluating the other female with a solemn expression. Ahsoka, like Rex, came down on one knee, to their level. Rex cracked a half smile at his friend. It was a smile Shaeeah found she didn't like one bit.
"Ahsoka, these are Cut and Suu's kids; Shaeeah and Jek."
"I'm pleased to finally meet you, Shaeeah and Jek."
Blinking in surprise, Shaeeah couldn't help but feel that Ahsoka sounded young. Younger than her mom, anyway, and there was a lilt to her words that she hadn't heard before. Too young for Uncle Rex. What was he doing bringing some strange female to meet them anyway? She was so preoccupied she didn't hear her brother's enthusiastic greeting or anything else until her mother spoke.
She flushed at her mother's prompting and blurted out the first thing that came to mind. "What are you?"
Ahsoka blinked, visibly taken aback, but answered. "I'm a Togruta."
"A Togruta? No way!" Jek came out from behind Shaeeah, his eyes shining. "I didn't know Togruta looked like you!"
"Then what did you think we looked like, Jek?"
"Not with awesome horns like that," his eager response was fueled by the friendly tease of Rex's friend. "Dad told me about this Togruta he met back when he was-"
Shaeeah backed up a step as Rex gained his feet, and latched onto his hand as she threw another look at her brother and Rex's friend. This Ahsoka person was suspicious and she didn't like the way her Uncle looked at her. Her gaze was drawn up and away as Rex's hand closed around her own on a squeeze, but it was her mother that he addressed even as Ahsoka and Jek continued to speak animatedly behind them.
"Sorry for showing up unannounced, Suu."
"Unannounced, but not unwanted," Suu's smile was welcoming, the long rifle in her arms cradled nonchalantly. "Cut will be glad you are here."
Shaeeah saw his smile fade a little as he glanced back to his friend. "I'm not so sure about that."
"You have a very interesting friend, Rex," there was no mistaking the teasing in her mother's voice. "Following in Cut's footsteps, are you?"
"A story worth hearing then. Will you be staying long?"
"For the night at least, possibly longer," he shifted his feet and Shaeeah got the impression her Uncle was uncomfortable. "If it's not too much trouble."
"I suspect it will depend on the story you and your friend have to tell us." Suu turned her attention to Shaeeah and Jek. "Shaeeah. Jek. Your father will be home shortly to greet our guests. Where are your manners?"
Reluctantly, Shaeeah released Rex's hand and turned back to her brother. "Come on, Jek."
Jek said something she didn't catch to the Togruta before joining her beside their mother. "How can we help, mom?"
Shaeeah was glad she didn't have to ask. Rex's friend seemed suspicious and she didn't want to have to help her if she didn't have to. If she was really lucky, maybe this Ahsoka person would just move on and Rex could be a part of their family again.