The Resolute hummed in hyperspace, heading towards Utapau. ETA was seven hours. In the quarter's area, all was quiet. A few words echo off the metal walls and floor. The majority of the clones were in the quarters themselves, enjoying sabaac, or retelling past missions. One group settled in the Commanders quarters. It held four clones, one commander. The rest were troopers. They all sat on the floor, a misshapen square.
"You know, if the Republic cares so much about us, they should lighten up this place." The Commander swivels his head to face the speaker. He looked at a reflection. Same features. Same voice. Same everything, save for a personality.
"Lighten up?" A short, amused laugh strikes the air. "And how, Tinny, should that be done? Or, how can it be done?"
Tinny leans forward, elbows resting on crossed legs. His brown eyes glow with merriment. "Simple, Fletch. We add curtains."
The other trooper cocks an eyebrow. "Curtains?"
Tinny laughed along with Fletch. Those two were the more light-hearted ones. They pulled constant pranks during leisure. Some clones were ticked at them, but the majority of them didn't care; it was a way to lighten up.
The last trooper shifted his position, now kneeling with his arms crossed in front of him. He looked annoyed, but his face betrayed him. It was twisting in a grin. "What else, pray tell, could lighten up this cruiser?"
The Commander grinned. The other three faces shared his look. "Well, guys, we could have a pet."
The last snorted. "A pet, Commander?" Even during off duty, he still got respect. Sometimes, it annoyed him—there was no reason too. But he highly suspected that they called him 'commander' from force of habit.
"It's 'Cody' when off duty, Klick." An incline of the head allowed Cody to speak on. "And yes, a pet. It would be amusing, if nothing else."
"Ah, yes. Watching some damned animal run in circles is amusing," Tinny said, with only some playfulness.
Klick snorted. "It must be, if said animal keeps doing it."
Fletch grins an absent smile. "I once saw an animal do that. On some force-forsaken planet. A horse, the natives called it. And they put it in a 'barn'." He shrugs. "I forgot the planets name, or what we were even doing there; I don't remember there being any Seps. Maybe we were just there to help." A twist hits his face, making him look sad. Alone.
Which he was. All clones realized that, someday. They stuck up for one another. Duty always came first, though. If you need to run, to get off and head wherever it maybe, thus leaving behind your brothers—
You do it, lest you risk said mission into failing. Every trooper learned that.
Some had a hard time accepting it, even this late in the war.
Cody sighed. "Let it die, dear. Just…let it die."
Fletch offered a wan smile. "I try, sir."
Tinny smiled. "There is no try. Only do."
Klick snorted. "What are you, a Jedi?"
" I'm a soldier, not a Jedi in training!"
Klick waved his hand. "Whatever you say."
Fletch ignore the small argument, and turns to Cody, squinting his eyes. He cocks his head. "'Dear'? Where did that come from?"
A sheepish shrug and smile is his reply. Laughs follow. "Just came out really." Silence follows, with the clones retreating in their minds.
Cody stretches his legs out in front of him, leaning back on his arms. His brown eyes watched Fletch.
Though he be a joker, Fletch held a quiet nature. And he seemed deeply connected to everyone, as if he was a Jedi. He grew attached to his squad mates and brothers—as he showed, just recently. Cody frowned. Such attachments were dangerous. It could cost your life, your General—
He pushed such thoughts away. No need to get negative.
A shout echoed outside the aluminum walls. The door slid open, revealing another face. Said face was twisted in a grin, and the eyes glowed humorously. Klick stood up, the face matching his counterpart. They met with a clap on the back.
Sometimes, Klick reminded him of Fletch.
The two stepped back, and plopped themselves back in the misshapen square, more a circle now, then anything. The newcomer formally saluted Cody. "Commander."
"At ease, Wess." A dip with the head was his reply.
Klick settled back, glancing at Wess. "Why are you so happy?" Clones were rarely just…happy. Content, relaxed, amused. But never happy.
"I haven't been sick in a whole month! This is cause for celebration!"
Tinny snorted, but otherwise said nothing. Cody knew that Tinny—detested—did not like Wess. As to why, he had no answer.
Klick snorted as well, but was more amused than annoyed. Fletch watched with curious eyes. Briefly, it met the Commanders. Both looked away. Turned their gazes to their brothers, who were quietly conversing. Tinny looked like he wanted to leave. He kept glancing at Cody, waiting for some okay. Cody gave a subtle nod. Tinny smiled.
"I'm tired, you guys. I'm going to go back to my quarters." He glanced at Klick and Fletch. "I'll see you at touchdown." He stood, dipping his head, and saluting the Commander as a parting gift. Fletch dipped his head also.
"I'll see you, then." Tinny stood, and left. His socked feet softly pattered on the floor. He slipped quietly out when the door slid open. Cody turned his gaze to Wess, who looked confused. Concerned. Anything, but annoyed. Wess appeared oblivious to Tinny's feelings.
Which, Cody guessed, was good.
But he still thought there shouldn't be any reason where there was cause for someone to be discreet and such; they were brothers, everyone of them. There's no reason to hate another.
But Cody would let Tinny be; he always did. There was no reason to mess with the two, things would get ugly.
Cody shook his head. No need to get negative.
Again. He lauhged silently,and turned to Fletch, who was grinning widely. "I was just thinking," he said as way of explanation.
"Of what?" Klick and Wess stop their conversation.
Fletch toned the smile down a bit. "Well, we had one mission recently, with another general. Tinny and I, that is. Anyways, we were boarding the LAAT's when one native girl started screaming about how cute we were, and that we shouldn't leave. Her father, or someone grabbed her, and pulled her away before she created a bigger comotion. And I heard her mumble—or say, seeing as she didn't really try to hide it—that 'he is such a waste of good looks and toned muscles'. Tinny then shouted out 'oh, we get that a lot. But don't worry, I'll come looking for you.'"
Fletch shook his head. "I don't know why I just thought of that, but that's what I was thinking of."
Klick shook his head, smiling. "Tinny told me that story." He grinned. "I remember one mission, one of the first in the war."
Cody settled back, listening to the two swap stories. Wess matched his sitting position. Crossed legs, arms set slightly behind, supporting the body. Cody listened to them for what seemed like hours. And probably was. A beep in his comlink announced that ETA was now two hours.
Everyone needed to get ready. He stood, stretching his tired muscles. The three troopers looked at him expectantly. Cody switched into Commander mode. "All right, men. Go to your quarters. Get your gear on, clean your blaster. I want everything in tip-top shape in time for the battle." He paused as the three stood. "Move it, you dogs!"
Klick, Wess, and Fletch saluted, solemenly. The marched out.
Cody heisatated. "Oi! You lot!" All of them turned their head, curious. "Pass along the message. Fletch, inform Tinny." A ghost of a smile appeared on his face. "And good luck."
They all smiled. "Good luck, Commander," Fletch said. They continued their march.
Cody turned, and faced his room. Since he be higher in rank, he didn't have to share a room. His blaster lay on the only table. The sleep couch looked brand new. Absently, he wondered when he last slept in it. His armor lay at the end of the sleep couch, marred with scars and scratches and dirt. He gave u trying to clean it years ago.
He picked the helemt up, holding it at arms length. A few personal scratches decorated it. The one he respected the most sat in the front, left side.
The General's. He remembered, asking him. Kenobi promised he would, later.
"I'll sign when I want to sign. Don't push me!"
Kenobi had said it so many times. Five months, he said it. Finally, when greeting him at departure, just a few hours ago, he agreed.
"There. Happy now?" Kenobi said it playfully, with a smile on his face.
And Cody was. He was happy. Really, trully happy.
They bantered the whole trip to the bridge. Or, at least tried to. He noticed that the General seemed—
Off. Something had happened. But Cody pretended nothing had. For Kenobis' sake.
He shook his head, mentally punishing himself for being distracted. He put his helmet on the floor.
Commander Cody got ready for war.