Good to see you again, Sir!

Plentiful are the doubts for a romance still fresh and new, but if you let it brew, the wishes for something more might just come true

The Marauder had just landed onto its designated pad.

Coming back home to Kamino after a rather lengthy mission was rather nice for the five clones. The Batchers were all getting out from the ship, one by one. With Wrecker and Crosshair first in line, followed by Tech and Echo. But, no sign of Hunter though. Anywhere.

Rex had been waiting for the familiar ship to take its place in the hangar bay ever since having been notified the Marauder was on the approach. Feeling all eager too see them and one specifically. Then gingerly making his way to meet up with some of his most favourite clones, the one in particular.

It had been some time since they had all been there together. The war against the Separatists sending them to their various missions across the wide galaxy. And in the few months time being running back to back ops, they had not managed to meet up even once.


Echo had a smile plastered on his face only too happy to see Rex. Being kind of besties, each having a special place in the ol' heart of the other clone's. Having a long shared history of working together being close friends and all. Not to mention the fact the Rex had been the one believing Echo was still alive and having gone after him with the aid of the Bad Batch.

"Good to see you Echo!"

Rex greeted the man with the usual spartan handshake, before pulling Echo in for a quick hug.

"It's been a while!"

While Echo loved his new crew, there was just something about Rex which soothed him immediately. As sometimes, the Batchers could be a tad too much for the Arc Trooper to handle. Especially since he was still new to the group and their ways of working. Well, kind of new. Echo had learnt early on to adapt to the Batchers and really, really fast too.

"Yeah, it's been kriffing nuts out there!"

Wrecker was by Echo side and greeting Rex as well as did Tech and Crosshair each in their turn.

"You're telling me!"

Rex let out a hardy laugh, but it was not far from the truth as it really had been crazy out there, fighting their enemy. It seemed their opponent was adjusting their stance and increasing their attacks on peaceful worlds. And so, meaning even more work for the clone troopers.

The five of them chatted for a moment longer, exchanging news and experiences. Basically war stories and a few faux pas' some to the shiny squad members had managed to pull during one of the missions. Luckily, no permanent harm had been done due to their small mistake.

But it was quickly becoming a cautionary tale to be told among the troopers much to the chagrin of said shinies. Now marked with that mistake permanently.

After the pleasantries were over, the Batchers already having agreed before landing on heading to the mess hall having gotten sick and tired of eating ration bars for so long.

"You gonna join us Rex?"

Echo asked the Captain then, wanting to spend a little more time with his friend.

"Well, not now. But I will catch up with you later on. I have orders for your Batch and the 501st to be on extended leave for the moment."

Something of a first in a while and good news for the tired troopers as well-

Rex had actually suggested it to Cody and the Generals. As they had been out there on the battle fields non-stop for months on end and the fatigue was starting to show. At least among Rex's own legion of troopers. Then again, the Batchers looked exhausted too.

"That is great news!"

Wrecker chimed, even if he was always willing to get out there to blast something or other. But, he was well aware of his own team mates wanting some time off. And there was still plenty to do on Kamino. Especially with the best training courses there Wrecker could easily spend all day dodging blaster fire and wrecking some training droids.

"It is. So from this moment on, take it easy fellas and enjoy your down time!"

Rex smirked at the four Batchers. But the one he really wanted to see was not there.

"So, um, where is Hunter?"

"He is still on the Marauder. Something about some last minute reports to file."

Crosshair snarled, having already told Hunter to let it be and do them later. And for Hunter to go eat something, preferably with the group. But Hunter was pretty diligent when it came to filing reports. Never leaving them to last minute. No matter what.

"I will go and say hello then."

Rex was already on his way to the ship, when he glanced back at the four on their way out from the hangar bay. What he did not miss however, were the few mock kissy-faces Crosshair and Wrecker were making to each other, getting some chuckles from the others from their supposed attempt of humour at the expense of Rex and Hunter.

Because it was totally obvious to Rex, that they were talking about Hunter and himself.

Not that it had been a secret. That the two of them had hooked up. On several occasions.

Ever since their first bout together after the somewhat sweaty sparring match where they had had a friendly competition against each other. And then a few more times after that whenever the two of them were on Kamino at the same time. It had of course not gone unnoticed by those closest to the two. But the Batchers had their unique closeness and so, having one of them hooking up with someone outside the Batch seemed to be something the others liked to poke fun of.

The family love of it all! As Hunter had called it.

But it was months ago since Rex and Hunter had last seen each other. And Rex was really eager to see Hunter. Really, really eager.

Even though there really was no label to their current relationship. Well, they were friends of course. But the rest? Well, they really had not discussed the matter of what the two of them were. Not even if it was serious or not.

Friends with benefits being the first option coming to Rex's mind. Then again, they had 'benefited' from each other more than on one occasion ever since their first hookup. But yeah, friendly, with benefits was the one Rex was going with. For now at least.

Still, Hunter had been on Rex's mind more than any other of Rex's many friends had ever managed to occupied his thoughts.

And so now, Rex's first priority when coming to Kamino?

Naturally, it had been to see Hunter. Before anything else basically.

Rex also had not had any other intimate relations since the first time he and Hunter had had sex. And that in itself was totally odd in Rex's book. As he usually liked to have one or few vode in his bed whenever possible.

But again, still no labels. Just a casual intimacy between friends, right?

Rex stepped into the Marauder. Glancing around the immediate area and noticing the other man seated in the cockpit hunched over a computer console. Clearly emerged in the task at hand, making Rex wonder if he had even heard Rex coming in. Then again, Rex was reminded of Hunter's special abilities. Sensing people among other things was kind of Hunter's thing. So, most likely Rex had been noticed.

Making his way to where Hunter was, Rex felt the familiar tingles taking over his body once again. His skin heating up like a small bon fire. Even if he had yet to be touched be the other man.

Certainly, for Rex, this did not feel like any other conquest nor casual relationship he had been in before. And that in itself, should have sent all kinds of alarm bells to go off. But, that did not happen and Rex felt really, really good about seeing Hunter once again.

Hunter had remained behind on the Marauder. Wanting to finish the latest mission reports before heading out. Even if the others had been eager enough to rush out as soon as the ship touched the ground. But he could not fault them. Food was food after all. Even the bland Kaminoan grub.

It had been a rough several months for his squad of five. Having gotten called out to several of the so called suicide missions from Commander Cody. Not that the team did not enjoy those kinds of missions. But it had been far too many of them in a tight row without any breathing room in between.

Well, perhaps there had been a moment of peace here and there.

And during those times, Hunter's mind had wandered off to a certain handsome blonde Captain. It was still all new to Hunter, having a some kind of an actual real relationship with someone. Outside of his Batch that was. Because Hunter had had his fair share of bed fellows. Literally. A few regs here and there too and well… but anyways.

Hunter had never felt such a connection with any of them like he seemed to have with Rex. Well, there was his Batch, but that did not count, right?

They were good friends with Rex now. But, was there more going on there? Having spent time together in and out of the bed on several occasions already ever since their first time. It was somewhat of a record for Hunter. Making him wonder if there was more than casual sex among friends going on or just that.

Besides wondering that, Hunter knew he wanted more than a casual relationship. It was something having buzzed around in his mind for a while now. Having started after meeting Rex. And it was Rex he wanted. That much was becoming clear.

But, Hunter was no fool. Knowing Rex's reputation and his fondness for the other vode- Hunter was sure Rex could have pretty much anyone he fancied. And despite his caring nature, Rex was not the settling down kind of a person. At all.

And now, being back on Kamino once again. Having already gotten the word Rex was there too. Hunter was pretty sure that whatever had been going on between the two of them despite the frequency of it all…

Well, the fact most likely was, that Rex had not been the one without someone warming his bed during the endlessly long missions. The doubt looming in Hunter's mind whether Rex still held interest for him presently.

As it was, Hunter was sure had been a new and interesting conquest for the Captain. For a while at least. And so, undoubtably, that had all faded since.

Hunter was just about to hit send of the files he had managed to complete, when he felt it.

The familiar presence. But mostly, the scent Hunter had become rather intimately aquatinted with wafting to his senses. Hunter suddenly grew stiff, not sure why Rex was there. But despite his own doubts of where he stood with the other man, Hunter's body still reacted to Rex's presence in the familiar way.


Rex's voice was raspy when he half whispered the name of the man he had fantasised about for a too long of a time.


Hunter's voice was a perfect match to Rex's. Low and velvety. As the two were staring at each other for a long spell in the frozen moment surrounding them momentarily.

If there had been any doubts whether the attraction had been a fleeting, casual one, something shared between friends perhaps. Well, clearly, it had not faded nor diminished during the time they had been apart.

Rex was the first one to get his momentum back as he quickly closed the gap between them. Hunter was already up from his seat and in his haste bumped into Rex with a loud thud and an exclamation from both of them when their armour screeched against the others.

Their lips crashing together with the need and hunger igniting within Rex and Hunter. The two lovers' rekindled fire for each other. The missing of each other during the months past all but forgotten. With any and all doubts flying out from the viewport in the passion filled kiss.

Romancing the Clone

A burning heat, sprinkled with tingling sensations, a smidgen of passion to satisfy the constant hunger, the age old recipe for a romantic relationship

It was already quite late in the evening.

Hunter and Rex having retired after the hardy party the 501st had been hosting for the clones currently on base on Kamino. The Bad Batch having taken part as well. It was all Echo's idea. As he was the one who was trying to incorporate his new batch with the regs and having been somewhat successful in his hard efforts as well.

As it was, there had been a rather large rift between the Clone Force 99 and the rest of the clones. Echo having not felt comfortable with the situation and then having decided it was high time to bury the old Vibro Ax for good and for them all to start getting along. Because even if Echo was as much enhanced as the rest of his new squad, he was still a reg, through and through.

In most cases it was possible to do just that. Especially with the clones the enhanced team had been working with. But, even if Tech and Wrecker had made several new friends, Crosshair was still the more difficult one of them to do just that. Carrying a boulder size chip on his shoulder because of some ancient incident having happened between him and some regs not even present now.

So, being well versed with Crosshair's preferences by now, Echo had introduced the sniper to a few clones Echo was sure would peek Crosshair's interest and curiosity. Hopefully loosen the man and well, if Echo was quite honest, get him a good lay in the process. As Echo suspected most of Crosshair's grouchiness was rooted in not having sex in a long while. Maker knew, that Echo surely needed one himself and was about to remedy that situation during the evening as well.

Echo was only too glad to see his new family making the connections he had set them up for. Wrecker making friends with a bunch of commandos, fitting right in with the group of loud mouthed and joke cracking bunch of them as he was.

Tech had found his own interests too. With a group of regs, some of them more technically inclined as the Batcher himself was. Enjoying long discussions about one thing or another and clearly, having quite the captive audience as well for his lengthy rantings.

Echo smiled being only too happy with his efforts. After checking up on his new batch mates and how they were faring, Echo made his way to Kix and Jesse. Hoping the two of them were up to some late night sparring. After all, the two of them had always welcomed Echo to their coupling before.

Rex's private quarters were neither big nor too comfortable. But there was a bed there and that was all the two lovers needed really. To add to that a few other creature comforts like a private fresher. It was perfection. The two of them having spent several nights in the place together whenever they were on Kamino at that same time.

And so, it was time to familiarise with the other once again after having been apart for a long while.

Hunter and Rex had spent some time with the others. Partying away their much deserved down time. But neither of them ever leaving the other's sight. Even if both of them, mostly Rex though, had been dragged off by various groups during the evening. As the man was totally popular among all the clones.

Echo having tried to get Hunter to get acquainted with some of his friends, had found it was a moot point to do, as clearly, his Sergeant was only interested in one of the regs at the party. Rex. The secret if it ever had been one, having left the bag long ago. At least among the Batchers. And it was becoming quite clear to those making their advances on Rex as well, that there was someone more special on Rex's mind as well.

But right now, Rex was all Hunter's. None of the other clones trying to get his attention in the privacy of Rex's quarters.

"My, my, isn't someone eager."

Rex chuckled while having been pinned to the wall as soon as they two of them had entered his quarters.

"It." Kiss. "Has." Another kiss. "Been." A lick and a kiss. "Far." A soft bite followed by a licking kiss. "Too long." Kiss, kiss, bite, lick, nip, taste, kiss.

Hunter had kind of made his point then and there.

Several months between them. Not to mention the party, where Hunter had grown impatient of everyone and their tooka wanting to have their share of Rex. Hunter was not big on sharing. Never had been. Then again, he still wasn't sure whether this was it. The kind of relationship where the sharing ended in a handshake and peck on the cheek with anyone else.

But tonight was not the time to discuss any such things. To discusses. Period.

Hunter was due for some lovin' and more specifically, from Rex.

Rex let Hunter take the lead.

Not that it was a problem, both of them being flexible in that way. Well, they were, flexible. In more ways than one. And what was also part of what made their love making so special. And it was then also, when Rex realised it. That in his mind, he had called it making love instead of sex. Not that he was going to blurt it out. Not right now at least!


Rex managed feeling the attention his lover was giving getting to him. His arousal very much present. But Hunter was not far behind Rex. His own bulging deflating the more attention he was giving Rex.


Hunter managed to sprout out only sentences containing single words while making his way downward. Shedding Rex's clothing while doing so. The shirt was gone and Hunter had access to the fully exposed smooth skin of Rex's torso, sucking and nibbling on every inch of he could reach. Stopping at the two erect nipples, suckling each of them while eliciting the most gorgeous sounds out of Rex.

But, Hunter was impatient at the very moment.

He could concentrate on the smooth skin of his lover later on. As right now, he wanted more before it was time for less. Or rather slower, because less had never been the option for either of them while making love. So, reluctantly leaving the tasty nubbins and the quips of Rex's, Hunter moved ever more downward on his quest.

Still, suspecting to hear even better sounds from the other man before he was done with Rex.

"I guess… you… are right."

It was all Rex managed to utter, the words kind of slurry, as he was fully engulfed in the sensations the ministrations of Hunter's on his body. Not that Rex was complaining. Rather the contrary. Rex was happy to have a lover like Hunter. The man certainly knowing his way around another's body, never having left Rex unsatisfied.

Besides, Hunter had been right. It had been far too long between their last encounter. But it was so much better. With the wait and all, now that the two of them were finally together.

"I am always right."

Hunter grinned widely, only too happy to hear Rex say it though. Whatever it all meant, still remained unsaid. But for now, Hunter had more important things on his mind. Like ridding Rex of his pants and briefs and going for the price which only waited for Hunter's capture.

"You, are going to be the death of me."

Rex panted as Hunter's slender fingers found their target. The length of Rex already standing erect, saluting Hunter, who remained as teasing as ever, making Rex work for it before he was satisfied himself and then plunging in with full force. His mouth devouring Rex's erection fully.

"Hunt…" Rex's pants were becoming more ragged. "Not gonna…"

Rex tried hard to form words, but Hunter was relentless, sucking on Rex's length like a starving man finding food after a lengthy period of being denied. And it was partly true for Hunter, having not had a taste of the man of his dreams in several months.

A loud moan broke the other wise silence room, part from the suckling sounds Hunter had been making while swallowing the length of Rex's deep into his throat.

"Hon!" Rex warned Hunter then, feeling his release was close, just there at reach.

Hunter was determined to prolong the moment as long as he could, even if they had all night to reach their heights again and again.

Still, Hunter enjoyed hearing the all the noises coming out from his partner. Hunter loved the control he had over Rex, even if it might have been a momentary status only. As knowing Rex well by now, Hunter knew there would be payback.

There was no comment from Hunter, his mouth too busy on the might which was Rex's using all of his moves to get his lover to the highest of highs. His tongue licking whenever Hunter pulled back, teasing the length until swallowing it whole again.

Rex's eyes were turning in their sockets. His grip on Hunter's shoulders getting more tighter each pass Hunter made over his length. Rex was indeed getting higher, ever closer to the state of bliss there soon would be no holding back from.

Hunter felt Rex's body go rigid under his grip, having been holding onto the man's legs for support.

"Hunt!" Rex shouted as there was no option for holding back anymore.

Hunter was ready. Gulping in all of that Rex could offer. The salty substance filling his mouth, his throat, swallowing it all, until there was nothing more for Rex to give his lover.

Rex collapsed against the wall with a loud thud.

Hunter made a quick move it, getting up to support his lover. Reaching his level, Hunter took a moment to admire the wreck of a gorgeous man Rex had become under his ministrations.

And with a devilish grin, satisfied with his own results, Hunter slanted a sloppy kiss on Rex's lips, devouring the flesh with such gusto, Rex had no choice but to respond in kind. Already plotting his soft revenge. But that would have to wait, a moment, as Rex was totally and utterly spent. For the moment at least. Later would still come, literally.


Situation normal! All fucked up!

"Hunter! Sitrep!"

Echo's voice kept on echoing inside of Hunter's helmet.

The open comms channel crackled in the open air, waiting for response which never came.

Being unable to respond, Hunter was lying unmoving on the ground. His helmet out of reach and the blood from the wound seeping really fast. Being absorbed by the dirt around him.

"Hunter, come in!"

Echo's tone was demanding.

But there was no repose no matter how sternly he was willing for Hunter to answer his hails.

"Where is he? Where is Hunter?"

Crosshair was angry, his voice filled with venom while having reached Wrecker, Tech and Echo.

The two of them having caught up with Crosshair after having run to safety from their target. The facility of the Separatist's they had just blown up.

"He was right behind us."

Wrecker had been running fast away from site.

Wrecker having been the last one out having blown the place to smithereens as per plan.

"He was right behind us. Just now!"

Echo repeated what Wrecker had just told Crosshair. Like an echo.

"Wrecker was the last on out. Before… before we blew up the place."

They all stared at each other for a spell. Not knowing what had happened to Hunter.

"Hunter, come in… please!"

It was Crosshair's turn to try.

Contrary to belief, that the permanent grouchy behaviour never left him - Crosshair sounded almost… pleading, his timbre soft. Calling out to their Sergeant who was nowhere in sight.

"We need to go back and look for him."

Wrecker was at a loss. Wrecker was sure he had been the last on out and there were no more clankers around there either. They had made sure of that.

"Wrecker and I will go."

Echo sounded almost guilty now.

They should have checked. They should have looked behind them. Whether Hunter was following them. Even if it was a clear cut case for them. And Hunter had told them to go.

"Alright, we'll prep the Marauder and wait for you there."

Tech wasn't too happy about the situation either.

Hunter always commed in if he was in trouble. And there was no reason for him to disappear like this either. They had cleared the area before taking off from the facility. No hostiles in sight. They had all started towards their ship, together.

So, what had happened? They had heard nothing. Right?

"Comm us when you find him."

"We will."

Echo and Wrecker both took off.

Running back towards their target. Tracing their steps looking for Hunter. There were only so many places the man could be at. As it was, the now blown up facility was not far away. Only hoping for the best as this was still pretty much hostile territory.


Echo noticed the slumped heap on the ground first.

Both him and Wrecked pounced to where Hunter was at, reaching the man in no time. Seeing Hunter lying on his face in the dirt. Echo could see the condition Hunter was in even before they turned him around. The pool of blood right beside him a dead giveaway.

Echo was at his side. Checking his pulse before pulling out his field med kit and scanner. Checking Hunter's eyes first, seeing that they were unresponsive. Running the scans before daring to even start turning Hunter around.

Wrecker stood there right beside the two, letting Echo do his thing. But Echo could tell the big guy was starting to panic. He always got like this when one of them got hurt. And the news Echo was about to deliver would not help either. But he needed to patch up Hunter and that meant turning him around. So, he needed Wrecker's help.

"There is internal damage. Hunter has lost a lot of blood."

There was no easy way to put tell such things. And so, putting them bluntly was the only option for Echo to convey the information. He was only hoping Wrecker could handle it.

"Wha… what happened?"

Wrecker was still in a kind of a shock.

Finding Hunter in such condition. Even if they had just seen him, moments ago. But as Wrecker glanced around the immediate area, he detected something. A hint of something glittering in the distance.

"Looks like debris of a landmine."

Echo saw it too. And with that fact more worry flooded through him. Because the shrapnel alone from such mines could do devastating damage.

Wrecker honed in on it and nodded in agreement.

"There is no way to detect those, before it's too late. Unless you know they are there."

Wrecker's tone had an even sadder timbre now.

They should have known better. Not trusting the scans. But it was too late and Hunter had paid the price. Wrecker was blaming himself for what had happened even if they all should have known better by now.

"I need you to help me in turning Hunter around so I can patch the wound."

Echo looked up at Wrecker, who looked like he was going to keel over soon.

"Look, Wrecker, we need to get him on the ship. I will comm Tech to come and get us from here as I don't dare moving Hunter without a stretcher. But I need to give him first aid. Now! Please!"

Echo had to make it an order, as when Wrecker got like this, it was the only thing which could reach the man.

Wrecker gulped and only nodded in response.

And then, gathering himself, Wrecker aided Echo to turn Hunter gently around so Echo could reach the wound. It looked rather bad too. The gap between Hunter's armour over his stomach having been sliced open and blood was pouring out of his gut.

Echo started working on Hunter immediately. With Wrecker aiding him the best he could. After the patch job was done, Echo made another scan and nodded.

"That will hold the bleeding. For now."

Echo looked up at Wrecker who had an expression reminiscent of a little boy lost. Echo patted Wrecker on his arm then. Trying to support the other clone the best he could.

"We need to get Hunter out of here."

Echo had only one idea on how to do it. Getting their ship to the place they were in.

Wrecker was quite still, but then thought of something. Something bad!

"What if there are more of those mines around here?"

Echo glanced around. It was a distinct possibility. And a somewhat of good luck situation too, as none of the others had managed to trigger any of them. So far.

"I will adjust the scanner to search for any. That should do the trick so Tech will be able land the Marauder safely."

Echo got to work and made the necessary modifications, now that they knew what to look for.

"That should do it."

Echo made the scan and the area around them was clear. Nothing in the close proximity which was good. Echo then took a few steps to another direction and immediately, his scanner picked up a mine.

"Over there."

Echo pointed at the area where he had detected the elusive mine.

"Well, at least we know the scanner works."

Echo wasn't too happy about their situation at all.

They had completely discounted the possibility of land mines. They really needed to do better and not simply jump into situations without looking. Because it wasn't the first time they had encountered such devices. But at least, the last time they had been aware of them.

Securing the immediate area for the Marauder, Echo made the call.

"Tech. You better bring the Marauder to the location of our signal. We found Hunter and it's not looking good." Echo informed over the comms then. "Please land onto the exact coordinates I am sending you now."

Echo pushed the buttons on his comms device to send Tech the secured coordinates to land on.

As the Marauder quickly arrived, the four of them managed to get Hunter inside without too much of a fuss and then setup him up in the cargo hold. Hunter's condition still being stable.

But Echo worried about the massive blood loss and internal damage Hunter had sustained. As they did not have the proper medical facility on the small shuttle class ship and there was a long way back to Kamino.

Crosshair and Wrecker glared at Hunter, while Tech took the pilot seat taking the Marauder off the ground and into space. Echo remained at Hunter's side, making sure he would be as comfortable as possible with what little they had on board.

Always, by your side

To worry or not to worry, even when not really sure whether there is anything to worry about?

The flight back to Kamino had been a quiet one. Tech had pushed the hyperdrive to the limit.

Making the impossible happen and flying the Marauder back to home base in record time.

Echo had remained by Hunter's side, keeping their Sarge as comfortable as possible. Hunter had not regained consciousness during their way back and that had Echo. The comatose state was not desirable at all. And Hunter had lost so much blood after stepping onto the mine.

The Marauder landed and the medical droids were already waiting for them at the land platform taking Hunter back to the med bay on a hover stretcher. The rest of them followed suit, not wanting to leave their leader's side even for a moment.

Reaching the med bay Hunter was immediately taken to surgery. The Kaminoan medical team taking over the procedure with the aid of the droids. While the lead surgeon in unspoken gestures made the rest of the squad to remain behind and wait in the allotted space leading to the various surgical rooms.

Crosshair huffed the loudest, while the other three simply took the situation as presented to them. Taking their seats and preparing to wait for the duration of Hunter's surgery.

As it was, there was really nothing any of them could do at this point. Echo having done his job in the field as the acting medic. Something both him and Tech were sharing during their missions. Only this time the duty had fallen onto Echo. And so did the responsibility of Hunter's life. At least, that was how Echo saw it.

"He will be fine."

Wrecker tried then to cheer the others, even if he wasn't sold on the fact himself either. As when looking into the quite miserable and rather sad faces of the other Batchers around him, looking worse for wear, the lot of them.

They all remained there then, seated in the silence of the room. Waiting, hoping and sending silent prayers to the Makers out there for Hunter to be alright.

It had been a while already.

Wrecker and Tech had dosed off. While Echo remained the ever vigilant one and glaring at the entrance of the operating theatre. Crosshair had started pacing around nervously after some time of waiting. Gnawing through several toothpicks in the process to no more than dust.

Just as Echo was about to say something to Crosshair, to make him calm down, the door to the waiting area swooshed and they could see the familiar armour of a certain Captain while barging into the room.

"How is he?"

Rex tone was demanding, him forgoing all politeness and greetings.

"Good to see you too!"

Crosshair snarled at Rex. None too fond of the Captain's barging in to their waiting area. Even if he knew well whom Rex was to Hunter.

Rex realising his faux-pas immediately changed his stance.

"Sorry. I was just so worried… Good to see the rest of you and that you are alive and well."

Rex was trying to save his little boo-boo just then. Not wanting to upset any of them either.

"Rex." Echo greeted his friend. "Hunter is still in surgery. No word from the Longnecks yet."

Rex nodded then having managed to wake up Tech and Wrecker while barging in.

"Rex!" Wrecker chimed. "We thought you were on a mission."

"I was, but we came back early and well, then I heard…"

There was an audible gulp from the usually composed Captain heard rather loudly then.

Echo knowing well how Rex was feeling right now. After all, they were all worried about Hunter. And knowing how close Rex was to Hunter. Well, Echo got up and made his way to Rex, placing his good arm around Rex.

"Hey, it's gonna be okay."

Echo was trying to assure Rex, despite their own doubts. But Echo knew they had to hope for the best and the Kaminoans had great medical knowledge after all.

Rex glanced at Echo. Looking for any signs in the other man's eyes for deception. For trying to simply spare his feelings from the horrible truth.

Echo knew there was never any fooling Rex. But he had not been lying either.

"It was bad, I won't lie to you. But, Hunter is tough and the Kaminoans will fix him up real good."


There was a tear in Rex's eye now. And then another.


Echo was really trying to assure Rex now, even himself of the same. Pulling Rex in for a hug.

Soon enough, there were two more sets of arms around the Captain, Wrecker and Tech having joined in the sentiment.

Crosshair had remained some distance away, glaring at the pile of affection going on. Never the first one to jump into those kinds of situations. But…

"Oh what the hell!"

Crosshair threw his arms up in mock surrender and then, piled on to the tight group of hugging clones.

The hug pile must have lasted for some time, but none of them wanted to let go, as the shared pain and love for Hunter could be felt between them all.

The pile would most likely have lasted longer even if it wasn't for them clearing of a throat sounding close by.

One of the Kaminoans had come out form the operating room and looked at the clones now disentangling themselves from each other. Waiting for a moment before sharing their news.

"The operation is over. CT-9901 is resting now."

They informed the group in their most formal manner, using the CT-number rather than then and of the clone, Hunter.

"Can we see him."

Crosshair and Rex were half demanding, their request spoken in unison. Exchanging glances as they did.

"One at the time. Only. CT-9901 is still sedated. Try to make your visits as brief as possible."

The scientist told the clones in the same cold and calm manner, completely ignoring their demanding tones.

"Thank you."

They all responded collectively. Knowing well not to argue with the Longnecks after all.

"Who's first?"

Wrecker sounded eager, but knowing it would be either Crosshair or Rex as he looked at the two ready to pounce and go see Hunter immediately.

Rex glanced at Crosshair again.

Making the decision easy for all of them then. Because these men were all Hunter's family, the closest to the clone anyone really could be. So, with that thought in mind, the choice was pretty much made.

"Crosshair you can go first." Rex said solemnly. "Then the rest of you."

Even if Rex knew what his feelings for Hunter were, he reserved the first pick for Hunter's batch.

Echo and Tech both felt relieved of Rex's decision as they knew Crosshair well. And nothing would have kept him away from going to see Hunter first. Not the Longnecks, not Rex.


Echo mouthed his thanks to Rex, who only nodded his response.

They all took turns in going in to check up on Hunter. Finding really nothing much to do there, as Hunter was, as the Kaminoan medical scientist had told them all, pretty much out of it.

So, each of them taking their turn, they went to Hunter's bedside, just to be there for him for a moment at least.

Rex was sitting at Hunter's bed side. It had been a while. The rest of the squad having come and gone several few times over, as had Rex.

But this time around, Rex had remained. Hoping it would somehow send Hunter the message to snap out of it. Even if the medical staff had told them all it might take a while as it had been quite the shock on Hunter's body.

Rex had been having all kinds of scenarios running through his mind as the news of Hunter's accident had reached him just before the 501st ships were due to land on Kamino. Rex had paced around in agony gritting his teeth with so many emotions running rampant inside of him. Not the good kind either.

Rex had ran like there was blaster fire behind him all the way from the hangar bay to the med bay on the other side of the large building complex of Kamino to reach the bedside of Hunter's. The vague but scary message from Tech's had done nothing for Rex's fears, that of Hunter lying at death's door.

It had been a revealing shock as much as Rex falling into the lowest of lows he had been in a long while. The fear of loosing Hunter before their relationship had even taken off the ground. And not been there for him in his hour of need. If indeed those had been the last moments of the man he… loved.

Rex was hovering between consciousness and sleep. His head hanging while he was seated, having stayed by Hunter's side for the bulk of the time. Rex hand was on top of Hunter's, holding it in his own. Not daring to let go as the warmth of the other man's skin somehow brought comfort to Rex Hunter was still with them after the shock Rex had gone through of almost loosing him.

Just then, Rex felt it. Something stirring beneath his hand. Rex eyes flew open immediately, seeing Hunter staring right back at him.


Rex's voice was low but his face had a relieved soft smile on it.


Hunter managed to whisper, his throat sore and dry having been out of practice for a few days.

"How are you feeling?"

Rex was making conversation, as he could clearly see the monitors displaying Hunter's vitals, seemingly fine at the moment.

"Tired. Sore. Like having been blown up."

Hunter tried to crack a joke, but started coughing just after the words left his lips.

"Easy there!" Rex jumped up and grabbed the cup with the straw in it, offering it for Hunter to sip. "Careful now, not too much."

Hunter rolled his eyes of the mother-hening Rex was doing.

It wasn't Hunter's first time on the med bay after an injury leading to surgery after all.

And Hunter was well knowledgable of the SNAFU he and the team had made. Even if he had just woken up. But the memory of what had happened to him still fresh in his mind, no matter surgery, blood loss or whatever.

They had ignored to check the location for all possible threats in their haste. And well, guess it was all part of the teams mental cockiness too. But it could not be helped now. Still, Hunter made a mental note to talk about the procedure with his team. Not that Hunter doubted they had not gotten a scare out of what happened to Hunter and discussed the matter already. At least Echo had most likely done so.

"Thanks." Hunter felt a tad better now.

Rex and Hunter simply looked at each other for a moment, neither of them saying anything.

"I am glad you are okay."

Rex broke the silence. Even if his comment was imaginably most lame. But this was not the time for grand gestures. Hunter still being on the recovery and all.

"Me too."

Hunter forced out a smile and winced slightly when he tried to adjust his position.

"Easy there hon!"

Rex was as vigilant as ever. Especially when it came to Hunter's well being. Standing ready to assist as he adjusted Hunter's pillows to a more comfortable position.

Still, the slip of the tongue did not go unnoticed by Hunter.

After all, the endearments usually did not extend outside the bedroom.

At least they had not so far. And the more Hunter's mind cleared, the better he could see the lines of worry and darkness under Rex's eyes. The man having clearly been worried about Hunter.

So, reading into the story behind it, making Hunter feel kind of fuzzy and warm inside. Or then it was the drugs doing that, the ones still getting soaked into him thought the IV.

But Hunter could not help but wonder if…


Hunter realised it was Rex who was by his side, not his Batch.

Then again, knowing the Kaminoans they usually never let more than one or two to remain with the patients after any surgery.

"The others? Guess they got fed up of waiting?"

But, also knowing his team rather well too, they were most likely not far away.

"No." Rex snorted coyly suddenly. "I threw them out, actually."

"You did?"

Hunter let out a small laugh, seeing in his mind eye the incident playing. knowing it could not have been an easy feat, at all.

"Yeah, they were all getting a tad antsy and the Kaminoans as you know aren't fond of having too many of us hanging around here."

Rex revealed as much, letting Hunter know his squad had remained by his side. Most to the time, anyway, even if it was against the rules.

"I can imagine."

Hunter said to Rex, knowing he would never have left the side of any of this squad either. Not voluntarily. Hunter gave Rex another glance. Wanting to know. Really know why Rex was the one still there.

"But, you remained."

Hunter's voice had lowered to a whisper again.


Rex's eyes were glinting now. Something of a tear forcing its way out as the initial awkwardness of them being there, only the two of them was fading fast. It hadn't really been that awkward, just new and all those special words between them still unspoken.

Hunter closed his eyes for a moment. Despite his current status, recovering from being blown up and all. Literally. Rex was the one having been adamant enough to stay by his side. Even throwing out Hunter's squad, his family to be there. For Hunter.

It had to mean something, right?

"Why are you really here, Rex?"

Hunter decided to ask then his voice even now. Not sounding too demanding, simply wanting to know if there were any underlying reasons for Rex to be by his bedside right at the moment and not for his Batch.


Rex choked.

He had not been prepared for the talk about it all. But guess there was no avoiding it either.

"When I heard you were injured, badly."

Rex's eyes darted all around nervously, not really wanting to find a point to settle, until they found Hunter's again.

"I was beside myself."

Rex admitted as much and seeing as he had Hunter's full attention at the very moment, he decided to tell Hunter everything.

"I was worried that you might die before… well, before we even got to know each other better."

Rex had difficulties putting his feelings into words. It seemed to be easier to talk about complex battle plans with Hunter than it was talking about how he felt for the man. But deciding to solider on, Rex sighed, took a deep breath and then, as simple as that, let it spill.

"I love you Hunter."

There was a moment of pause, the words settling in.

"I have for some time now. And well, you getting hurt… and I wasn't there. It, it just tore me all up inside."

Rex's eyes were filled with tears now. But admitting his feelings felt good too.

Hunter felt the warm fuzzy feelings inside of him stir again, thus confirming that it wasn't the drugs after all causing them. But it had been Rex all along.

"I love you too."

Hunter's decision to admit as much had been easy now too. Having almost died and all. Well, there was no doubt about any of that now. How he really felt of Rex.

Hunter's hand was reaching for Rex's again.

Rex glared at Hunter. Blinking once, twice, not really sure he had heard the man right. But, Hunter kept his eyes on Rex's and there was no doubt there behind them either.

Only truth and… love.

Rex leaned in and placed a soft kiss on Hunter's lips.

Trying not to be too eager because Hunter was still recuperating. Leaning back and looking once again into Hunter's eyes, Rex was quiet for a moment. The silence between them comfortable. Either man taking in the words finally spoken out loud.

Until Rex was the one to break the silence.

"Don't you ever scare me like that, ever again!"

Rex half threatened Hunter. But there were happy tears falling to his cheeks.

"Sorry about that. And yeah, I will try not to. "

Hunter's voice was still gravely and with a half crooked smile told Rex what he needed to hear. As if it was even possible to make such promises. In their line of work.


Rex demanded though. Even if he too knew it was impossible of a promise to make.

"I promise."

Hunter tried then, before his mouth was devoured by Rex's for a passionate kiss.

After they broke apart again, Hunter heard or rather sensed some movement behind the door of his private room.

"Um, I think you better let the troops in here or you will have your hands full of angry Bad Batchers."

Hunter laughed a little, even if it made him cough again.

"They can wait for a moment longer."

Rex felt rather bold as he kissed Hunter one more time. Knowing quite well there would be words from the others. But right now, Rex did not care.