Author's Note: This is an AU fic that is loosely inspired by the events from the comics as well as the Clone Wars cartoon series/movie.

Asajj Ventress's entire life was built on the concept of loss. Every gift given, every friend made, had been stolen away. Her earliest memories were of watching her father be slaughtered for protecting both her and her mother. Her mother too, was brutally murdered, but not before, they defiled her body. Asajj could still recall how viciously her mother fought them off, all the while screaming and pleading for Asajj to run away.

Even now, the sound of her mother's raspy voice begging her to get away haunted her dreams.

Her former master-a finer surrogate father she couldn't have desired-suffered an equally violent passing. Such loss ensured her detachment; it also ensured her pact with the darkness. For the dark side promised no pain, only vengeance, and that alone was enough.

Her ash coloured eyes narrowed as she watched the famous jedi knight Anakin Skywalker and his padawan Ahsoka Tano enter the caverns she now overlooked. Despite what the child might have thought Asajj held no qualms against the togruta. The youngling was as brainwashed as Asajj had once been. The arrogant hero who knew no fear was another matter entirely.

The galaxy's infatuation with Anakin only proved to Asajj just how corrupt the republic had truly become. It didn't matter how many innocents suffered at Anakin's hands, so long as he looked good doing it.

"Pathetic," Asajj murmured in her native tongue. She had been ordered by Darth Sidious himself, not to kill the jedi knight, only to provoke him. If their goal was to cause Skywalker to fall from grace they needn't bother wasting their resources, or her time. Anakin Skywalker was more than half way there.

In truth, Asajj wondered why the jedi order even bothered keeping him among their ranks.

With great care, she lowered her mental defences revealing her presence, but not enough for either jedi to locate her exact position.

The young padawan suddenly stopped in mid step immediately sensing Asajj nearby. Her master on the other hand, seemed oblivious. Asajj could tell that he was feeling the after effects of using the light side soon after using the dark.

"Uh, Master we have company."

Ahsoka warned Skywalker causing Asajj to smirk finding this all too amusing.

Silently she descended from her perch, landing without a sound behind the pair. Pausing she waited to be noticed. As much as she wanted to loser herself to blind rage, Ventress knew that control was power. If it worked for the Count, surely it would work for her.

"Well, if it isn't Dooku's little pet!" Anakin began as he whirled around to face her. His voice dripped with sarcasm as he ignited his lightsaber. Ahsoka however, was already moving in to attack. The child's features were stoic, by contrast to Anakin's visible disgust.

"If it isn't the Jedi's worst joke!" Asajj snapped as she moved to attack. Ahsoka's blade met the rattataki woman's lightsaber before Anakin had the chance.

"Shut-up Ventress!" the togruta shouted through clenched teeth. Asajj didn't respond as she touched the dark side of the Force. Asajj's speed and agility grew, enabling her to block both jedi attacks while unleashing vicious moves of her own.

"Stay out of this child!" Asajj hissed at Ahsoka as she used the Force to send the youngling flying back against the cavern's far wall. It disgusted rattataki warrior to know that jedi held no qualms about placing their untrained younglings to the frontlines.

The togruta cursed loudly as her body slammed into the back wall of the cave before going limp. Asajj was mindful to ensure that Ahsoka's body was bruised, not broken.

"Ahsoka!" Anakin screamed his fear and rage taking control; providing him the perfect excuse to use the darkness he was prophesized to destroy.

Asajj already knew he'd react in this way. She resisted the urge to sigh. Why bother?

They moved with unnatural speed, their lightsabers clashing and sparking from the force of their attacks. Little heed was paid to their surroundings and soon stalagmites and stalactites alike were destroyed, their remains scattering across the stony ground beneath their boots.

"Why do you mock your masters, Skywalker?" Asajj asked over the hiss and hum of their lightsabers. The question was a double-edged sword. A part of her wondered the same of herself.

"Shut up you hairless schutta!" Anakin growled, his attacks growing sloppy and vicious as his blue eyes turned a sickly yellow shade.

Asajj ignored Anakin's jibe her thoughts were entirely focussed on the battle at hand. She briefly wondered if this was how Dooku felt whenever they sparred. For once, she was the one in control, the one who ruled the battle.

Soon Ahsoka regained consciousness and was struggling to her feet, with the intent of returning to the battle. As much as Asajj would have enjoyed challenging the young warrior she wasn't about to risk the child's life to do it. With Skywalker consumed by his powers there was no telling if he knew the difference between friend and foe. Though Asajj believed herself to be sith, even she had her limits.

Though it was a struggle, Asajj began to channel the light side of the Force. Using it, she touched Ahsoka's mind suggesting that the togruta go to sleep. The dark jedi knew she would pay for her actions later, but for now, it didn't matter.

However, her brief distraction was not without its price.

White-hot pain coursed through the rattataki woman's causing her to cry out in pain. Anakin's lightsaber may not have found its mark, but it did catch her firmly in her right side. Though it wasn't fatal, it was enough to put her at a clear disadvantage. Asajj cursed herself for not being more mindful.

She tried to regain her lost footing, but the jedi was gaining ground. Though his attacks were sloppy, they were swift and vicious; leaving Asajj to struggle in her attempts to keep up.

As Anakin took control of the battle Asajj felt a shift in the Force. It was a powerful and filled with the warmth of light side. Initially she believed it was Ahsoka once more stirring awake. The child's naivety and innocence made her strong in the light. Nevertheless, this was a far more mature signature. The strength that emanated wasn't from innocence, rather from wisdom. It was none other than General Kenobi.

"Give it up Asajj! Accept defeat while you still can!" Anakin taunted unaware of his approaching mentor's presence.

With her mission now complete there was no reason left for her stay. Though it was a losing battle the rattataki warrior remained steadfast instead of making her escape as planned.

Without hesitation Anakin unleashed a dark side choke attack that caught the young woman entirely off guard. In her weakened state she could only resist the vicious attack for so long. With her wound draining her of precious energy, the fallen jedi soon had a stronghold over her.

As tendrils of the dark side wrapped around her throat Asajj tried one last time to make an attack. The ground beneath her feet had begun to spin. Her thoughts soon scattered as though they were being pulled in a million directions at once. Anakin was using the dark side to tear through her mental shields. In desperation, Asajj tried to touch the Light Side, this time to protect mind her mind from permanent damage.

Despite her best attempts, Anakin's mental attack proved too much and it wasn't long before rattataki woman was struggling to remain standing as her throat closed and stars danced behind her eyes.

"Anakin! Release her!"

As if from a dream, a strange warmth filled her thoughts just as she heard the stern, if not saddened, voice of Jedi Kenobi. Skywalker's invisible grip around her throat and mind grew slack as he cursed loudly in shock.

Using the the last of her energy Asajj grabbed a flash bomb from her hidden pocket as she staggered backwards. Throwing it to the ground the rattataki woman activated it before making her escape.

Just as the cavern was engulfed by a blinding light Asajj chanced a brief glance back. What she saw threatened to change everything she had ever known and believed.

Instead of trying to help Skywalker follow her retreat, Obi-Wan was standing Anakin down, permitting her the chance to escape. General Kenobi-for reasons she couldn't hope to explain-had chosen to defend, rather than fight her.