A/N: Better settle in, Reader- you're in for a rollercoaster of feels. The Reader is referred to with "they/them" pronouns to be inclusive to all of you :) Please let me know if I ever slip up anywhere!
You may be a senior Padawan, but you still work alongside your former Master with his battalion. After all, where better to assign a proficient healer than with one of the GAR's main aid regiments? You weren't about to complain.
Or rather, you tried to see the best in the situation and not complain, because you'd seen the hardships of the many people your Master's battalion had helped… even if your fellow commander hated your guts and thus kept you apart from ever truly getting to know the men you worked alongside with.
He'd been like that since the very beginning, even when his colors were red instead of gray. Never speaking to you more than needed, always with a fierce scowl and usually only when on duty. Only calling you "Commander" or "Padawan," never even using your last name. His coldness has caused many of the men to consequently be wary of you and avoid interacting outside of duties. Sure, you did have a few of them you considered friends— coincidentally, some of them the men closest to Commander Wolffe— but it still hurt to be kept apart from the rest of the battalion.
You tried not to let your Master see how much the isolation wounded you, especially after you'd accidentally walked back into a briefing room after forgetting your datapad and seen Master Plo with his hand on Wolffe's shoulder, calling him ad.
No, you'd survive the Commander's punishment by yourself, even if you didn't know what you'd done to deserve it. He was the true leader of the battalion, anyways— you shouldn't even be there.
This day starts out similar to any other.
You and Commander Wolffe are jointly leading a delivery of food and medical supplies to the outskirts of a war-torn city on a Mid Rim planet. The people there are easier to work with than most and hold no hatred towards the Jedi, so you're able to take charge with the medicine distribution as you work through healing the most severely injured brought to you. It's gratifying work, and you're happy to see the spark of hope that you're able to bring to your patients' eyes.
You've just wrapped up with the last of them and have fallen back into a more supervising mode as you try and catch your breath. Healing is strenuous work, and you'd recently found yourself pushing further than you really should. The exhaustion rarely ever leaves your bones anymore.
It seems you'll be unable to have any reprieve, however, and you try to hold in a sigh as you see Commander Wolffe approaching you. "Commander?" You ask, trying to fix your stance to hide your weariness.
He doesn't seem to notice it. "Got any reason for just standing around?" He huffs, and you can clearly hear the poorly hidden ire in his tone. "Tryin' to make the place look pretty?"
His scornful addition only serve to further frustrate you, and you try to keep yourself calm, knowing he's probably looking for a fight. "I only needed a moment to myself, Commander. I Force-healed more civilians today than I have in the same time frame before…" You trail off for a moment to catch your breath, but he takes advantage of your pause.
"You think you're the only one who's working your shebs off right now?" He growls, leaning slightly towards you. "Well, suck it up—"
Your eyes narrow and you take a step towards him. "Excuse me, as I was saying, if I try to help any more right now, I will suffer from Force-exhaustion and pass out. Either way, I'd only get in the way if I try to help the men now."
He begins to speak, his frustration palpable both in his bright Force signature and his low voice. You're unable to focus on what exactly he's saying though, as something on the outskirts of your senses catches your attention. You look around discretely, trying to figure out where it's coming from.
"—are you even listening? You can't even take this seriously—"
And then you feel it— something on the edge of your senses, a warning through the Force. Your reaction is instinctive and while you start moving before you fully comprehend why, your mind is at peace with your path.
You throw yourself in front of Wolffe just in time to take the shots meant for him.
His helmet may be on, but you can feel the tidal wave of shock and anger and, to your surprise, fear course through him as his arms wrap around your waist when you begin to fall forward into his chest. He cradles you against his plastoid armor as he drags you toward the ground, out of range of any following shots. It's a good thing he does, as somewhere above the growing static in your ears, you hear the sound of more blasterfire erupting.
The fire spreads through your chest with every breath you suck in, and you find your eyes locking onto the gray paint strokes on his helmet as the Commander barks out orders to the men. You try and focus on that as the pain threatens to make you cry out, and consequently it takes several frantic shouts of your name— your actual name— for you to hazily move your gaze to where you know Wolffe's eyes are staring back at you.
"You're going t'be fine," he says, shifting his hold on you so that you're tipped more securely against his chest. "General Plo is clearing the path for us to get you out of here." His fingers slightly tighten on you. "You stay with me, yeah? Just keep fighting, y'hear me?"
You don't have the energy to give more than a slight nod, but you're still able to sob as Wolffe stands and begins to run with you in his arms. Each step jostles you against his armor, making the pain worse. He tries to counter it with a constant low murmur of apologies and repetitions of your name to ensure you're still awake, which you desperately grab onto as a distraction.
It becomes too much at a certain point, and you must pass out in agony somewhere in his flight, because the next thing you're aware of is opening your eyes to find the durasteel ceiling of a LAAT/i above you as you're lifted onto the craft in a cot. A moan escapes your lips unbidden as consciousness returns the pain at heightened levels, and you shut your eyes tight in an effort to keep your tears from spilling. You're their commander. You can't show the extent of your injury. Your men have suffered worse than this.
And yet, as each breath becomes shallower and more difficult to inhale, you find yourself crying out desperately and weakly. "Wolffe…"
Your left hand has begun to clench tightly at your light gray robes as you swallow the worst of your cries, but time stands still once more when an armored hand gently eases your hold on the fabric and weaves their fingers through yours instead. Their other hand finds your forehead and rests there lightly. The comforting gestures don't lessen your agony, but they offer a mental reprieve from it, if only for a few moments.
The rational side of you knows this isn't the Commander. He would never abandon his men while they're still fighting, and besides, he can hardly stand the sight of you.
But the other half of you that can feel yourself dying takes control of the moment as it tries to distract you from your fear by letting you pretend that for just a few seconds, Wolffe was with you and he cared.
Besides, who would it harm? As your eyes began to flicker shut despite the frantic shouts of the trooper clutching your hand—Comet, you recognized— you doubted you'd be opening them again anyways.