Author's Note: Greetings, all! This is my first Star Wars fic, one of three I'm currently working on. I will warn you that certain characters do not 'appear' as they're described in the Clone Wars cartoons and comics. That's deliberate. In addition, I am working on several stories right now, so updates will be intermittent.

Disclaimer: The concept of Star Wars and its characters belong to George Lucas, though some of the characterizations contained herein are mine.


The Jedi pair crept down the stairs, lightsabers unignited for now. The young man in the lead drew in a deep breath, nodding to himself. Yes. They were on the right track. His Master's Force-signature was dimmed, but he would recognize it anywhere. His thumb pressed the emitter and a bright blue light sprung forth. His blonde-haired partner said softly, "Go to him. I'll handle any. . .trouble that might crop up. Remember. I was born here." Her smile was feral, reminding the young Jedi of the girl whom his Master and grandmaster had met years earlier. He nodded, raised his lightsaber in a salute, then followed the admittedly-muted signature of the single most important person in the galaxy to him.

It took very little time to find him, and Anakin Skywalker, the so-called Chosen One and equally so-called "Hero Without Fear" (because there were many things that frightened this young Jedi), stepped cautiously into the incongruously clean and sterile prison that held his Master for the last six months. Incongruous, because they were in what was apparently the dungeon of a singularly unpleasant fortress. His eyes swept over the room, taking note of the machinery to which his unconscious Master was hooked, courtesy of a steel band around his forehead. Off to one side was an intravenous tube, no doubt supplying the Jedi with nutrients, and possibly sedatives to keep him unconscious.

"Oh, Master," he breathed. His master had lost a considerable amount of weight since had last seen him, and his hair was longer, his beard somewhat thicker. His hair and beard would be easily trimmed, but he had lost weight and muscle tone, and that would not be so easily remedied. Anakin choked back his grief, instead running his eyes over the machine off to one side. Was there time to free Master properly? The sound of shouting in the corridors and the distinctive snap-hiss of a lightsaber. . .no, they were running out of time.

Still, he couldn't hurt his Master. Anakin stared at the offending piece of machinery, silently debating how much damage it would do to his Master if he simply destroyed the kriffin' thing. He was entirely too aware that simply destroying the Force-forsaken monstrosity might end up killing his Master. But. . . The soft moan of anguish from the prone figure stopped his heart. . .and made his decision for him. With a snarl of rage, Anakin lifted his lightsaber high over his head and slashed through the machinery that was torturing his master. He wished, with all of his heart, that whoever was responsible for this monstrosity felt its destruction.

But he wouldn't worry about that now. Instead, Anakin deactivated his 'saber, quietly replacing it at his hip, and then strode to the table. He choked back a sob, seeing his master's beloved features for the first time in months. Anakin stroked back the unconscious man's hair, sliding the steel band from his forehead at the same time, released the restraints, then scooped the still body of Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi into his arms. Only the soft puff of breath against his neck reassured Anakin that his master still lived.

"How is he?" his companion on this rescue mission asked, appearing in the doorway. Her face paled and she all but ran to them both, stroking Obi-Wan's face and hair tenderly. She whispered, "Oh, Obi-Wan. I should have made that monster suffer for what he did to you." Anakin didn't reprove her. In some ways, they were entirely too much alike. . .in their natures, as well as their love for Obi-Wan. After a moment, she regained her composure and said softly, "Let's get him out of here, while none stand in our way. I've already commed Master Dooku."

"Good. Let's get out of here, Asajj, and take Obi-Wan home," Anakin replied. Asajj Ventress nodded, stroked Obi-Wan's hair one last time, then turned around to head back up the steps to freedom, her blonde braids bouncing along her shoulders and back. Anakin followed, cradling his entirely too light Master protectively against his chest. Asajj had contacted his grandmaster, and if there was one thing about Master Yan Dooku that one could always expect from the elder Jedi, it was his ferociously protective attitude toward his former padawan.

"C'mon, Master," Anakin whispered, "we're taking you home, and we'll take care of you. Grandmaster Dooku always says that you take care of us both, and he's right. It's our turn to take care of you." He hugged Obi-Wan again and continued to trudge his way up toward the light, toward freedom, toward safety.