Name: Storyteller's Dream

Title: Guilt

Disclaimer: I do not own Star Wars

Rating: T

Main Pairings: Captain Rex/ Ahsoka Tano

Secondary Pairings: Commander Bly/ Aayla Secura (Mentioned only)

Notes:

:: ~ :: - Comlink Speech

Italic- Thoughts

" ~ " - Speech

Characters will be Out of Character.

There are several characters that add no use to the whole story but are there as fillers. And simply because we never see them.

Guilt

She's pacing again.

He can hear her though they are on a starship. Back and forth, back and forth. He would say that it bothers him; but in reality its not that she's doing it, rather that she's been doing it over two weeks. He looks over at the cot across the room from him. As Anakin Skywalker's Second-in-Command, he would normally get his own room, but with Obi-wan Kenobi on board, his Second-in Command, Cody was sharing the room. And Cody was wide awake, staring at him with a frown.

"Please tell me she hasn't been doing that since that mission." Cody spaced every word out, in effect wanting to know why General Skywalker wasn't helping his Padawan.

"She has." Rex replied, his mind going back to the mission in question. It was on a tropical planet and Intel had been wrong. There had been at least ten times as many droids as they had known about. Ahsoka had gone with one platoon of soldiers before they realized it was a trap.

Everyone had been killed, Anakin and Rex had just barely been able to reach her. Anakin, instead of helping her, blamed her for everything. The troopers that had come with Anakin had all realized it was a trap, but the Jedi Master had treated the whole thing as if it was Ahsoka's fault. To add insult to injury, he sent her to her quarters like a child.

So she would pace, and if Rex ran into her in the hall she looked haunted, he doubted she had slept at all. That is, if he ever saw her. None of the troopers have reported her eating either...

"Rex, I just got off a long, extremely boring, and very drawn out mission. Do you understand? Rex, I saw her this morning and I doubt VERY much she's been eating anything other than rations if that." Cody responded before getting out of the cot. He grabbed his armor and yanked out his comlink.

:: Bly. Bly wake up.:: Cody snapped to the other Commander.

:: What?:: Bly practically wailed over the comlink.

:: Do you have a spare bunk?::

:: You have got to be kidding me Cody. It's two in the morning.::

:: Quit whining you baby.:: Cody grumbled something about other whiny commanders.

:: Cody, you're whining to me about a bunk. What's wrong with your current bunk?:: Bly shot back.

:: Rex snores.:: Cody started to armor up while the captain coughed.

:: Is this something that you'll tell me if I let you have my second bunk WHICH I must say I am enjoying not having filled?::

"Damnit I am never gonna get some sleep." Cody snarled. He keyed his comlink again. :: Yes Bly I will fill you in on the situation as soon as I get there.::

:: In that case Cody, yes I have an empty bunk with your name on it.:: Bly said smugly.

"The things I do for you Rex." Cody grabbed his knapsack and walked towards the door.

"Wait, what have you done?" Rex protested.

"Go help your girlfriend. I don't mean to censor the Jedi, but Anakin SHOULD be the one doing this. You need to see to her welfare in his stead. IF Anakin is lucky I won't mention this General Kenobi." Cody turned and stomped off towards Bly's quarters, hoping that Bly will just let him speak and then sleep.

After a long moment of listening to silence thru the bulkhead, Rex grabbed his armor and rushed out the door.

~~*~~

She can't sleep. All she sees the minute she closes her eyes is the mission that went horrible wrong. She can see the death, the destruction... then she can see her Master's face. The anger directed at her. The disgust directed at her. She was to blame. And now...

Now she couldn't even look at Rex. Rex, her captain, Anakin's captain and she hoped friend. No, not any more. He couldn't even bare to look at her. None of them could.

It was her fault.

Ahsoka digs her fingers into her arms, hard enough to bruise. She doesn't notice the pain. Nothing could take away the pain of loss. She paced again. Her quarters were an eight by eight jail cell. She should be in a jail cell. But she couldn't say in this place anymore.

She opens her door and walks out turn towards the hangers. Maybe if she's lucky there will be a malfunction. Ahsoka kept her head down, not paying attention to who was walking by. If she had she would have noticed that Commander Cody passed her, though the man studied her and turned left at the next passage.

"Ahsoka?" A soft baritone voice called from behind her.

The young Togruta froze. She knew that voice, no matter how uncertain it sounded. Rex was standing behind her.

"Rex, what is it?" She asked uncomfortable with his gaze. He studied her from head to toe, noting the thinness of face, the haunted look and bags that told him she had not been sleeping. He walked closer to Ahsoka, noticing how she was starting to look hunted.

"Calm yourself, Ahsoka. It's just me. I want to take care of you." He said softly.

"I'm fine Rex. Really, see?" She said trying to hide her fear of him but he could see it.

"Ahsoka, what General Skywalker said; he's wrong. It wasn't your fault. Ahsoka," Rex grabbed her chin. "If it had been us, we would have died. It wasn't your fault."

For once, the stress lifted from her, causing her to loose the strength to stand on her own. Rex caught her as she fell, lifting her up into his arms. She weighed next to nothing which really bothered him, he couldn't decide at first if he should take her to the Medbay, but remembered that Cody was bunking with Bly so he could keep an eye on Ahsoka. Perhaps get some food in her. Looking down, he noticed that she was sleeping in his arms.

As he carried her back to his quarters he came across Jester and Wings the pilot. Both froze upon seeing their Captain carrying the Jedi Padawan. They stood there watching as Rex walked by. The Captain stopped moving and looked at both of them in full trooper armor.

"Are you two carrying your rations?" He asked the two after a moment.

Wings turned and looked at Jester before nodding and pulling all of his cubes out. Jester followed suit and handed Rex around ten ration cubes. Rex gave them a 'carry on' nod and opened the door to his quarters. After the door locked Jester looked at Wings.

"Commander Ahsoka is Captain Rex's girlfriend?" Jester asked confused.

Wings, who never spoke more than one or two words a day shrugged before heading off to his bunk. Jester spared his Captain's door one last look before following Wings.

~~*~~

Commander Cody didn't have anything against General Skywalker. Sure General Skywalker had no sense of sanity at times, often caused excess loss of life, but Cody never held it against him.

But he held Ahsoka Tano's current status against the General. And Captain Rex's stressed and sad look.

Cody was not stupid. Most would forget that he was there and speak in front of him. Rex didn't. Rex may not have been from the same group as he him but he treated Cody like a brother and Cody returned the favor. It's this treatment that helped him learn of Rex's crush on the Togruta Padawan. And it was countless meetings with Ahsoka that he was able to glean that Ahsoka thought the same way of Rex.

Matchmaking was not something taught to the Clones, but Cody loved to mettle in his Brothers' lives when it came to finding happiness. After all, a clone's life was short; why deny them happiness?

But now Cody could not stand by and allow this treatment of Ahsoka to continue. It would ruin his plans and Cody hated it when a plan was ruined. So now, he went on to find the one Jedi that could help him, assuming he didn't have to listen to the attachment speech that he heard more times than he cared too.

Surely Obi-wan Kenobi would help his Second. And afterwards, Cody could go find Bly's quarters and get some sleep. He walked up to Kenobi's door and rang the bell. Knowing that he was not getting an answer, he decided to keep pressing the button until the Jedi Master got up.

After five minutes, a rag-tagged Kenobi answered the door looking none to pleased. The expression changed to confusion when he identified his Commander.

"Cody?"

"We are going to have a talk, Obi-wan Kenobi. No it can't wait." The tired Commander shoved the Jedi Master away from the door and shut it.

~~*~~

Four Clones were passing by Obi-wan's quarters ten minutes later. They were expecting a quiet hour-

"HE DID WHAT?" The four heard Jedi Master Obi-wan Kenobi shriek.

One looked to his brothers before the four of them raced out of corridor.

Chapter 2

Ahsoka opened her eyes to see darkness. As she allowed her eyes to adjust to the darkness, she could sense someone in the room with her… it was Rex. Her memory came back to her. Guilt over falling asleep on Rex, she should have been a better Jedi. Only her Master would not have fallen asleep while doing... something. Carefully she sat up so as not to disturb Rex. Where was Rex?

She looked at the bunk across from her and froze for a long moment. Rex was laying on his side with his head pillowed on his arm. His expression was completely relaxed. For one long moment, Ahsoka found herself wondering what it would be like to be held in those arms.

Ahsoka had admitted to herself and Commander Cody when he pressed it, that she had feelings for Captain Rex. Rex has been a strong ally, a rock for her to lean on, someone that was better to her than her own Master. He was the one teaching her how to be a better commander... until this last mission. This mission showed her that she would never be the commander that the clones needed. She slid off the bunk quietly and made for the door.

"Where are you going?"

Ahsoka whirled around to see that Rex was still in the same position but with his eyes open. He shifted and sat on the edge of the bunk with a groan. It surprised her to find that he was wearing just a shirt and a pair of shorts.

"You should be resting Rex. You need your sleep."

"So do you. And you need to eat."

"I'm not hungry and not tired anymore." Ahsoka cursed as a yawn came out.

"Uh huh. Ahsoka get back in the bunk; don't make me get up." Rex said calmly as he poured a glass of water and placed the ration cubes out on the table between the bunks. "I want to see you eat these ration cubes too. And in the morning, around oh-nine-hundred hours, you and I are going to have a long talk."

"Rex, there's nothing to talk about. I messed up. As Master says, I'm not fit to lead anyone."

Rex stood up and walked so he was toe to toe with the young Togruta. He pushed her against the door and trapped her there while looking down at her. Throughout this whole exchange, she had not once looked at him. He used his left hand to lift her face up to look at him.

"Ahsoka... talk to me. Don't judge me by the General's reaction. I know what happened. It wasn't your fault. It wasn't your fault. Ahsoka listen to me." Rex placed his hand on her shoulder. "This is not your fault."

"I should have known. Rex this is my fault." She felt tears beginning to form in her eyes. It was a weakness that she didn't want Rex to see. She was surprised to feel Rex wipe away tears. She wanted to run but the man held her still.

"Cry, Ahsoka, its okay to cry." He wrapped his arms around her and waited. Ahsoka's timid arms wrapped around his waist, something that he took as a good sign. Until she started to shake. He felt wetness from her eyes, her tears were causing her to fall apart. He tightened his arms, around her wishing he had the strength that she needed.

Finally when he felt her tears begin to subside, he slowly and carefully lifted her up into his arms and carried her over to the bunk. He tried to set her down and found that her grip on him would not let go. With not another thought he pushed himself into the bunk with her. He laid down and allowed her to rest on top of him while pulling blankets on to them. She wasn't moving which made him nervous until he looked at her eyes; they were closed.

With a sigh, the Captain closed his eyes and kept his arms around her tightly.

~~*~~

Cody gave a tired sigh as he finally entered Bly's quarters. Kenobi was a better ally than the Commander could ever have thought of. In fact he had even mentioned that he thought Rex and Ahsoka would make a wonderful couple and wanted to know if Cody thought Rex would date her.

Certainly Kenobi was a strange man. After blowing Cody's eardrums around a thousand times and teaching the Commander many different swear words in other languages the Jedi Master began to take apart the whole mission and telling Cody what went wrong and where. Never once did the General say it was Ahsoka's fault and that Anakin was to blame.

But now he had to explain to Bly what was going on so he could get some sleep. He just didn't think there would be six Null troopers sitting there too. Nor did he like seeing three other Commanders. Just great, Kenobi blows his eardrums, Bly invites everyone to a party.

"So... let's talk about your latest matchmaking plan."

"Alright... it's Ahsoka Tano and Rex..."

~*~

Ahsoka felt warm and protected. She felt as if there were bands around her which, instead of scaring her, comforted her like nothing else. She could hear a weird sound under her head and her pillow wasn't very soft. She opened her eyes and blinked when she realized that she was laying on top of Rex. The Captain was still asleep, holding Ahsoka close. She tried to push herself up and froze when she heard someone move.

"You have to be quiet, if Rex is anything like Bly he'll wake easy." Master Aayla Secura was sitting on the other bunk, studying Ahsoka's lightsaber.

"Master Aayla I..." Ahsoka started but stopped when the Twi'lek Jedi Master held up a hand.

"Ahsoka, if your master was half the man he acts like I doubt you'd be pacing every day and night. Since he isn't, suffered for so long I wondered if anyone would say anything. What happened on that Sith-spawned planet was not YOUR fault. Anakin got new Intel from our dear Mando companions and the six Null ARC troopers that are currently being the terrors of the ship. I've felt your grief, your guilt through the Force. Someone help Anakin if Master Kenobi finds out." The Twi'lek pierced Ahsoka with her blue eyes. "You and Rex are needed on the bridge when he wakes up. It's around ten so I figure that he'll be waking... right about... now."

Rex's eyes opened and he stared at Ahsoka who was looking down at him. Meanwhile Aayla Secura stood up and made her way out of the door. Only when the door whooshed shut did he know that someone was there.

"Rex about last night..." Ahsoka began.

"Commander, Ahsoka. I should have been there to help you. And I should have found you before this and come to your aid. This was not suppose to happen to you. Your pacing, your lack of appetite. I wanted to help you sooner. And I will help you in the future."

"Rex... last night was the best night's rest I have ever gotten." Ahsoka confessed. The Clone Captain's eyes widen for a moment before starting to chuckle.

"Ahsoka if you ever feel that you need to vent, rant, or beat on someone I'm here. If you need another night, just come here to me. I swear I will always be here for you."

"And I will be here for you Rex. But now we need to be on the bridge." Ahsoka said softly laughing as she tried to peel the man's arms from around her. Rex let go of her before sitting up. She started for the door.

"Ahsoka wait for me outside if you beat me."

"Okay, Rex."

~~*~~

Ahsoka emerged from her quarters to find Rex was waiting on her. He had his helmet tucked under one arm and was engaged in a conversation with another clone where blue strips. The blue striped Lieutenant looked like he had been blown up. Twice.

"Pag, could you please NOT try to blow up the ship for once?" Rex had a desperate quality to his voice.

"Ah Rex. Come on that's the fun part. But if you want, I'll blow up an engine. How does that sound?"

"Uh about as bad."

"Rex?" Ahsoka called. Both men turned towards her. Rex's eyes softened, while Pag got a curious look in his eye.

"Pag?" Rex called over his shoulder as he led Ahsoka to the bridge.

"Yeah Rex?"

"MINE."

"You never did share." Pag muttered as he walked towards the shower.

"What was that all about?" Ahsoka asked Rex after a moment.

"Pag, my only platoon brother is an explosion expert. He enjoys blowing everything apart."

"Platoon?"

"We were created together and were in the same platoon. Pag, Slick, and I."

"Are there any other brothers?" Ahsoka noticed a sad look cross his face. "If you don't want to talk-"

"I told you we would talk in the morning didn't I?" Rex said softly. "There were eight of us, Pag, me, Slick, Mice, Nag, Goof, Hilly, and Camp. The Kamino had us do a live fire exercise, but something happened with the equipment. It failed and killed Nag and Goof immediately. Camp and Hilly both got fatal wounds before Jango stepped in and rescued up. The Kaminos later told him that they knew the equipment was faulty. You know what Slick turned out to be. Pag and Mice turned into something else entirely."

"And you became a Captain." Ahsoka said softly. She placed her hand in his looking at the size difference. "My Captain." Rex seemed to swell with those words as the door to the bridge opened and everyone saw the two of them holding hands. Hell was about to break loose.

The Clones and Mandos just looked at them, shrugged and went about their business. Commander Cody yawned up against the wall trying to get some sleep. Even a few of the non-Clone crew shrugged it off. Aayla looked up, smiled at them and looked back at Bly before looking at the 3D model. Master Kenobi smiled reassuringly at them before looking down again.

Master Skywalker looked enraged.

"Snips! Rex! What do you think you are doing? Ahsoka you know better! Jedi do not form attachments. Must I split you two up? Fine I will-"

"Not." Obi-wan Kenobi finished. "I don't have anyone else to advise Ahsoka and Captain Rex is the best one I ask for. Unless you know how to bring back Jango Fett."

"This isn't your decision."

"Wrong it is. Tell me about guilt. Guilt drove your Padawan to not sleep, not eat, and avoid everyone. Anakin, Intel was wrong and you blame Ahsoka. She looses everyone and you blame her. I never blamed you."

"We don't need to have this out now-"

"Yes Anakin we do. When my Commander wakes me up in the middle of the night to tell me that Ahsoka Tano is suffering from survivors' guilt and that you just sent her to her room without even bothering to take care of her, then we have a problem." Obi-wan Kenobi placed his hand on Anakin's shoulder. "You are being hard on yourself and hard on her. You need a break from the war, so I am sending you to Naboo. We'll be alright without you for a couple of weeks. We're gonna stop at Avenderia to set up a base. If I remember correctly Senator Amidala is in residence so perhaps she can show you around Naboo."

"I guess you're right. I have been hard on Ahsoka, but that doesn't explain the attachment."

"Some attachments make us stronger." Aayla supplied. "Giving us something to guard personally. Some reason to continue to grow within ourselves and each other."

Anakin looked away from the two Masters and away from his Padawan.

"Snips, I am sorry. I am wrong. You are not to blame for the intel. I should have stopped you, there was new intel; I should have stopped you. But I can't understand why I didn't stop you. I'm sorry."

"Master, I let you down as well. I let the men that I was leading down."

"If I was a better man, Ahsoka I would not have sent you to your quarters." Anakin turned to her. "Forgive me?"

Inside of herself, Ahsoka could not give him full forgiveness. The Force could not give him full forgiveness. But she could try.

"Yes Master. I forgive you."

"Well not yet you don't" Anakin grimaced. "But later perhaps." He passed them on his way out of the bridge.

After a long moment, Aayla leaned back.

"So Avenderia?"

~~*~~

She sat on the edge of her bed wondering if she should go to Rex's quarters again. It scared her that after one night she was attached to Rex. But she has crushed on Rex for so long it might be that she finally has a chance-

Ahsoka looked up as her door opened and Rex walked in. He looked out of place for a moment.

"Cody kicked me out of my quarters." Rex said simply. "Can I bunk with you?"

"Always."