Preface

Clone Haven's Ship-of-the-month weekly prompt "Pumpkin Patch" Rex/Echo

Set somewhere in the space time continuum of the Clone Wars and the Bad Batch.

It is that time of the year, when the darkness and the light are fighting for dominance. The weather not really warm or cold. But just enough to get cozy over some hot drinks around a warm fire. Mostly though, it is about reaping the rewards of the hard labour. As, the harvest is upon. Also for the clones on the rebel base.

Echo and Rex are taking a side tour from the eternal struggle of saving the entire galaxy while becoming… farmers? There is dancing involved here too, as why not?

Part of the Echo/Rex series

Seeds, crops, WTF? Are we becoming farmers now?

'Sometimes the most simple things in life, despite some strife, are a much welcomed change.'

"Farming?"

Echo's timbre had risen at least two octaves, while letting the surprise filled question drop from his lips?

"What, exactly are we farming?"

Rex and a few other clones had decided to start growing some of the food they were acquiring from off world at the moment right on the planet as its soil was good for farming. Not having to spend time scouring the galaxy for food would certainly save time and effort, despite the work they needed to put into it.

They had the knowledge, then means and volunteers to start the whole farming thing. As a matter of fact, a few of them had already started the initial process and now, all they needed was to start planting. As the planet, despite having some kind of seasons, was a mild weathered one.

There were already plans to hurry up and having their first harvest ready in a few months time, when the autumn season was upon. There were even talks about a festival of sorts at the end. As they had several nat-born families with children living on the base as well. So, something for everyone to enjoy at the end of a hard work stretch.

"Well, basically whatever vegetables and grain we can get the seeds for. We already have wild fruit growing around us and those we can utilise too."

Rex stated simply, letting out a small laugh, as clearly, Echo was not really into the whole being a farmer thing. Or that was how it seemed to Rex.

"Rex, we are soldiers, not farmers."

Echo's scowl was clearly present. As Rex was right, this was not something Echo was on board with. Not personally any way.

It wasn't like Rex was forcing Echo to do this as not all the clones were eager to become farmers. Besides, they needed their soldiers too. Naturally. They still had their cause, the rebellion and an Evil Empire to fight against.

"Echo, you don't have to do this if you are not interested."

But, Echo wanted to be a part of Rex's life as much as Rex was his and if it took digging in some dirt to spend more time with his partner, then so be it.

"I… I didn't say I wasn't into it. It's just, well, I don't know the first thing about farming."

Rex laughed out loud at his point. Taking his partner by his hand and squeezing it lightly.

"Echo, we already have others working on the whole farming thing. I will take part wherever I can and have the time for simply to get a hang of it. And, if you want to check it out? It's fine. If not, I will never hold it against you."

Echo glared at Rex for a moment longer, knowing that perhaps he had overreacted a tad and thought Rex wanted him to do some farming too. Then again, as the option was now there to either take it or leave it, Echo decided he would at least try and see what it was all about.

Heck, even Wrecker had informed the Batchers he would do some farming, while the rest of them had politely declined. Well, not Omega, as the kid wanted to try anything. At least once.

"Well, perhaps I can go with you and check what it is all about."

Echo finally relented, not really sure as to with what he could help out there.

Rex smiled widely and drew Echo in for a kiss.

"I know you will do great. No matter what you do."

It's is that time of the year, the season for harvest

'After the hard work put in, it's great sample the fruits of the labour, especially if it tastes good.'

The few months had passed and first harvest was upon. They had all worked long and hard, even enlisting the more soldier types to help in the fields when the harvest was due. And thankfully, their bounty was plentiful, as they even had produce to share. Or as someone had suggested, perhaps to sell even off world.

But, after the hard labour was done, the time for some leisure was upon. And so, the harvest festival was decided to be held over the upon coming weekend.

The clones had with the aid of the nat-born families setup the harvest festival. Having built a special area for just the party. With a stage, tall tables and even something one of the families had called a 'pumpkin patch'. Apparently a rather popular idea among a few of the non-clones living on the base. At least it had been on their home worlds.

Whatever it was, the kids seemed to be rather cheerful about it. The Batchers among Echo were waiting eagerly to see what the hubbub was all about.

They had all pitched in where they could and had the time. Both in the harvest and setup of the party. But having gone on an urgent mission, the final setup had passed Clone Force 99 by.

And so, hearing the rumours of a band playing there and dancing too, well, it was a surprise for the squad to say the least.

Rex having informed Echo in no small words, that he had reserved at least the first dance from his partner, thus punching the dance card of Echo's officially.

Echo had only glared at Rex, not sure if he was joking or not. As Echo did not dance. Not anymore at least. But Rex seemed so totally eager about the soirée and all the activities there, Echo did not have the heart to decline the, um, offer.

So, guess he would be brushing up on his, well, moves if he was about to be taken on a spin on the dance floor with the leader of the rebellious cause.

"Tech, could you help me with something?"

Echo asked nervously, having thought Tech would be the on most likely having at least the basic knowledge on how to dance.

"What is it you need, Echo?"

Tech sounded eager enough to aid Echo, not even being sure what it was he was asking for but it really did not matter to Tech.

"Um, can you teach me to… dance?"

Echo had danced in the past though. But it was before, well having a new body. And now, well, guess he fell too awkward about how it would work with the cybernetics. But, he had honestly forgotten the moves as well. And it certainly could not hurt to brush up on any of it, right?

Tech stared at Echo for a moment, clearly not having expected this particular request. But, Tech was pretty sure he could help. So, checking his data pad first and soon enough, a few tunes started to sound in the living quarters.

"I will lead first."

Tech simply stated, having decided on a more direct approach, that of a show rather than tell. He then grabbed a hold of Echo, placing their arms around each other, before he started leading Echo into a gentle sway.

It had taken a few bruises and bumps, mainly for Tech during their training sessions. But Echo was a fast learner and after some time and fashion, the two of them had been gliding across the floors of the quarters of the Batch rather smoothly.

"Thank you kind Sir."

Tech bowed in front of Echo as their final dance rehearsal was completed and Echo had swirled Tech around the room without any kinks (pun intended) whatsoever.

"T'was my please dear Sir."

Echo was all smiles, because it felt good to be dancing again. Even with his new body, it was as before. The endorphins released from the experience he had just had with Tech, making him feel good about the task. And Echo could only imagine what it would be like with Rex.

The festival happening over the weekend and the main event only two days away, Echo was willing and able to show Rex a very god time on the dance floor.

The time for festivities and time for a private moment

'The festivities will continue all through the night, in the private rooms of the lovers, out of sight.'

"Rex, can I have the honour?"

With the party in full swing. Being the second evening, all the people from the base and a few allies having been invited to take part in the first annual harvest festival. There was laughter and loud chatter heard everywhere around. Not to mention the band starting to play some tunes with couples and groups making their way to the dance floor.

Echo, Rex, the rest of Clone Force 99 among several other clones had been sitting at the table, chatting and sampling the foods prepared for the party goers by several able cooks living on the base. As the music started to play, it was Echo who got up first and then, with a deep bow, invited his partner for the dance. Surprising not only Rex, but the others was well. Not Tech of course, being the one to guide Echo through his, endeavour.

Rex could only give a wordless nod in response, having actually not really having expected Echo to take on the dancing invite issued a week back. And here Echo was, surprising their leader once again.

The two of them glided across the dance floor like a pair of professional dancers. The rest of them giving room for the couple, only watching in awe as Echo guided Rex through the few songs. As the tempo grew slower, Echo adjusted their stance, pulling Rex impossibly close, the two clinging onto each other, but still moving with the music like they had always done it.

The dance floor was filled with couples and groups once again. All of them swaying similarly to the two lovers. And as the evening was coming to an end, the lights getting dimmer as the music was softer. The mood positively cozy and loving.

"I must say my sweet, you never cease to amaze me."

Rex stated between the kisses he was awarding Echo with, the two of them were laying in their bed.

"How far you have come from the awkward shiny we found on Rishi Moon. Then becoming the impressive Arc… Having survived the ordeal with the Techno Union. And now? Well, it seems there really os nothing you can't do, is there?"

Rex wasn't really asking, having seen how strong, capable and adaptable Echo could be. Not to mention the fact that Rex loved Echo like no other. But it did not really have an effect on Rex's admiration at the moment… well, perhaps it did.

"And now, being my love. Well, I am so lucky!"

Echo could only smile, basking in the adoration his lover was giving him, the adoring passionate kisses, licks and nips already having heated the simmering need within Echo.

"I am only too happy I get to surprise you still, after all these years."

Echo's tone was coarse, but managing to finally form the words the needed to.

Rex paused for a moment between his ministrations. Taking a long good look at Echo before reaching back up, being on eye level with his partner. Having Echo's eyes on his.

"You, are very special Echo. I knew that from the very moment I marked you as mine, all those years ago. And I have never doubted my love for you, no matter what happened between then and now."

Rex's tone was low, having hard time not choking on his words. But he needed Echo to know how he really felt, the deep most intimate thoughts for his lover said out loud.

"And I love you so so very much."

Rex leaned in for a kiss, seeing the tears reflected in Echo's eyes, the same as his own.